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Thursday, December 29, 2011

MIC: Who is Niat and Thasleem?

It is not even an official entity and it's ridiculous of its leader to expect MIC to inform him of Interlok's removal, says youth chief T Mohan.

PETALING JAYA: MIC leaders are livid at National Interlok Action Team (Niat) president Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim for calling MIC president G Palanivel a ‘liar’.

MIC Youth chief T Mohan said Palanivel had informed Thasleem of the goverment’s decision to remove Interlok in early November even though MIC’s not obliged to inform him.

“Who is Niat and Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim? Niat is not even an official entity and it is ridiculous of them to expect to be informed of the developments of the issue,” said Mohan.

“I believe Palanivel, out of courtesy, had informed Thasleem of the government’s decision to do away with the book when he met him at the Pantai Hospital in November.

“Niat should have the decency to realise that the government’s decision was due to MIC’s continuous engagement with the government on the matter.”

Mohan also accused Niat and Thasleem of claiming credit for the withdrawal of book with an ulterior motive of contesting in the 13th general election.

“Niat has been blowing their own trumpet, claiming that the decision to remove Interlok, was made because of the pressure they exerted on the government.

“That is not the case. It was that MIC’s role that led to the removal of the book. MIC was responsible for the formation of the independent panel which recommended amendments to the book.

“Palanivel was the first to raise the matter with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, on the issue.”

Outburst uncalled for

On Tuesday, Thasleem rubbished Palanivel’s claims that Niat had prior knowledge about the government’s plans to remove Interlok from the school syllabus.

He called Palanivel ‘a great liar’ who always confused the community.

Palanivel claimed that Thasleem had prior knowledge that the novel would be withdrawn from the Form Five syllabus as he told Thasleem about the government’s decision.

MIC’s central working committee member A Sakthivel who is also Puchong division chief said that Thasleem’s outburst was uncalled for because Palanivel had not made a false statement.

“Where is the lie? Calling Palanivel a liar is totally out of context. I don’t see Palanivel having made a false statement.”

He urged all parties to focus on the future instead of quarrelling over Interlok which has been removed.

MIC CWC member KP Samy meanwhile said he was with Palanivel at the Pantai Hospital when the party president mentioned about the Interlok removal to Thasleem.

“I think to be fair to Palani, Thasleem should realise that he (Palani) cannot reveal all details of what is being discussed in the cabinet.

“And Thasleem should not have just jumped to brand Palanivel as a liar just because the MIC president did not give more details,” he added.

Education Ministry’s director-general Abd Ghafar Mahmud in an official statement last Wednesday, said that Interlok would be replaced by Konserto Terakhir.

Both Interlok and Konserto Terakhir were authored by national laureate Abdullah Hussain.

‘I know I’m a woman’

A video story of a transgender undergoing rituals to dedicate her life to provide service to Bauchara Matha, the protector deity of the transgender community.
VIDEO INSIDE

PETALING JAYA: This is a video story of a person who wants to feel liberated. Sharan wants to live her life in her own way, without any pressures from the prying and judgemental society.

Sharan was born as a man but in the following years, she realised that she had more female attributions in her.

“I was born differently…and I have decided to embrace it (the female attributes) instead of fighting the two genders,” she said.

And now, after having decided on how she wants to live her life, Sharan has opted to become a nun by dedicating her life to Bauchara Matha, a deity who is known to be the protector of the transgender community.

“I am getting married to God…to provide services to God and the people. I have no room for any man or any relationships,” she said.

“Legally my MyKad might say I am a man. I am not bothered by it. You can’t take away how I feel about myself…I know I am a woman,” she said.

Filmmaker Arvind Raj followed Sharan on a journey of several rituals that are rarely performed and never recorded on film before.

Family protests Saudi lashing punishment

The family of an Australian man jailed in Saudi Arabia appealed their father's sentence of 500 lashes for blasphemy because they say it will kill him.

Mansor Almaribe, 45, a Shiite Muslim and father of five living in Victoria, was on a Hajj pilgrimage to Medina last month when he was arrested for blasphemy while praying, the Herald Sun reported.

Saudi Arabia is a Sunni-Muslim dominated country.

After the Saudi ambassador met with an Australian government official, a lawyer was chosen for Almaribe, who had begun an appeal to defer the penalty, the Sun said.

Son Isaam Almaribe, 21, said the Australian government was assisting but the family needs officials to "speed things up -- I just want dad home as soon as possible."

He said his father was in ill health, suffering from diabetes and broken bones in his knees and back from a past car accident, The Daily Telegraph of Australia reported.

"He couldn't survive 50 lashes, let alone 500 lashes," Isaam Almaribe said.

"Dad said 'Take me out of here as soon as possible because if I stay here I will die' -- that's how bad it is. To be lashed is barbaric and it's really terrifying. Humans shouldn't be treated that way," he said.

Anwar on 18-stop tour before Sodomy II verdict

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will be embarking on a whirlwind tour across the peninsula during the run-up to the Sodomy II verdict on Jan 9.

The tour will see Anwar making 18 stops in major towns in Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, from Jan 3 until 8.

NONEEvents will intensify during the weekend, which will see Anwar (right in photo) speaking in three major ceramah events in the Klang Valley, ahead of the Monday court decision.
"A lot of people pray that I should be acquitted. I will reiterate my innocence during the tour," Anwar told AFP.

Should Anwar be found guilty, it is likely to land the 64-year-old former deputy premier his second jail term ahead of a general election expected in the coming months.
While "optimistic" of walking free, Anwar added that he was "a political realist" and "ready to accept the worst."
"These are trumped-up charges. It is another coincidence that the verdict comes so close to elections. The aim is to deny me the chance to participate in the elections," he said.
A mix of Pakatan and BN areas
Earlier, PKR vice-president N Surendran told Malaysiakini that the tour was necessary to explain BN’s alleged misdeeds on him personally and on the country, as well as the reforms brought by Pakatan Rakyat.

“We believe that there is no reason why he should be jailed. We fully expect the court to do its duty to discharge and acquit him.

“If the worst happens and he is jailed, then this is an opportunity for him to explain and rally the people behind Pakatan Rakyat,” Surendran said.

The tour schedule indicates that Anwar will be speaking in a mix of Pakatan Rakyat- and BN-held areas. Notable BN-held areas include Muar, Bukit Katil, Bentong and Pandan.

Surendran explained that the venues were strategically chosen as part of Pakatan’s plans to expand its influence nationally.

“Every area, to us, is a Pakatan area. While we are looking to hold on to our current seats, we are penetrating BN-held areas, too.

“Our tour plan is a reflection of what we have been doing so far,” he said.

azlanKuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah will deliver his verdict on Jan 9, after hearing testimony from 27 prosecution and seven defence witnesses.

Anwar is alleged to have sodomised his aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Desa Damansara Condominium between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The politician has said that the charges are politically motivated.

Rev Eu: Article 153 remarks had to be said


 


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Senior Christian leader Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said today his controversial Christmas Eve remarks about the country’s constitutional protection for Bumiputeras was something that “needed somebody to say it.”

He told The Malaysian Insider today that he had nothing to fear despite the fierce reaction from various Malay groups and denials by the government that Christians or any minority group had been sidelined.

When asked if he thought his speech during a Christmas Eve gathering last week was too provocative, Eu said in a matter-of-fact manner that “it is what it is”, and that “it needed somebody to say it.”

“Enough is said, there is nothing to add.

“There are enough MPs who are well-versed in this issue to carry on with the debate,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

He described Perkasa’s call for him to be investigated for sedition an example of fear-mongering, adding that no one needs to be “fearful” in this country despite the vehemence from the Malay rights group

“This is not political; I am talking about the social wellbeing of everybody. It is biblical to speak up against any social imbalances,” he said.

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) chairman had said on Christmas Eve that the Federal Constitution’s Article 153 was akin to “bullying” if it only protected the rights of one group.

Article 153 states that it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s responsibility “to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article”.

In his speech, Eu had stressed that he did not have problems with rights of the Malays and the Sultans but “what irks many of us are the ‘shifting rights’” of the majority.

His remarks prompted demands from Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali yesterday for Eu to be probed by the police.

Ibrahim said the authorities should charge those who questioned Article 153 with sedition to safeguard national security.

The Pasir Mas MP said disputing the provision would only lead to civil strife, as it was part and parcel of what he described as an established “social contract” that could not be amended without consent from the Malay Rulers.

Amid the growing debate, opposition leaders have claimed that the provision had been manipulated by ruling Malay party Umno and was now being used as “a weapon of aggression”.

Constitutional expert Prof Abdul Aziz Bari had said that Article 153 meant the King must safeguard Bumiputera privileges without impinging on the legitimate interests of other communities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin previously denied that the provision had been used to bully any community.

Umno, BN allowed ‘hijacking’ of Article 153

No one is questioning the legitimacy of Article 153 but what should be discussed is its implementation, says a political analyst.

PETALING JAYA: Lack of public discussions over Article 153 of the Federal Constitution has allowed narrow minded extremists such as Perkasa to hijack the clause for their own selfish agenda.

Article 153 of the federal constitution calls for the safeguarding of the ‘special position’ of Malays and the ‘legitimate’ rights of non-Malays.

Whilst the term ‘special position’ has come to mean, and by default, ‘special rights’, the legitimate rights of the non Malays, according to Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) director Lim Teck Ghee, has been ‘diluted’.

Lim blamed this on Umno and Barisan Nasional.

“By preventing discussion about it, extremist group like Perkasa has hijacked the clause with their ludicrous interpretation of Article 153.

“Article 153 accords protection for non-bumiputeras but the matter seems to have been diluted,” said Lim commenting on Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s warning to the public not to debate and question Article 153.

Muhyddin said any discussions could trigger “racial tension”.

He was responding to National Evangelical Christian Fellowship chairman Eu Hong Seng who alleged that Article 153 was used to bully the non-Malays into submission.

“There is a reason, a rationale, behind the article. There is a history behind it.”

“I hope that there will be no debate on this matter as it could incite racial tension. What is already enshrined in the Constitution should not be questioned” said Muhyiddin.

‘No one is questioning legitimacy’

Perkasa also joined the fray and accused Eu of trying to instigate animosity against the Malays by questioning the privileges accorded to the majority group.

Article 153 paragraph (1) reads: “It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article”.

Rebutting Perkasa’s views, Lim said that BN should, in its election manifesto, devote time and effort to address the grievances that arise from the narrow interpretation of Article 153.

“There are many who appear to be ignorant about the clause and BN should make a stand on it to stop further verbal sparring over the matter,” he said.

Echoing Lim’s view, University College Sedaya International (UCSI)’s political analyst Ong Kian Meng said Article 153 should be read again in its full context and “in the spirit the supreme law of the land was drafted by the nation’s founders.”

“No one is questioning its legitimacy but we are talking about its implementation,” said Ong.

He also said that Malaysians are mature enough to discuss the topic and people should address the implementation of policies linked to the clause in order to benefit all races.

“For example, the New Economic Policy (NEP) is not part of Article 153. That is something that needs to be addressed as many are oblivious about it,” he said.

‘Change takes time’

Although he agreed that in the past there was limited room to discuss this matter, the situation was improving since the 2008 general election.

Universiti Malaya political analyst KS Balakrishnan, on the other hand, said there was no need to question or debate anything on the constitution as everyone’s rights were guaranteed under the social contract.

“What we need to address is on how to distribute the nation’s wealth equally and help the underpriviliged which the BN administration is already doing,” said Balakrishnan.

He also dismissed Eu’s claims and said the Chinese and the Indians were not stopped from seeking a fair share of the nation’s wealth for their respective community.

However, Balakrishnan conceded that although the right policies were in place to cater for all Malaysians, the government should look into speeding up its process.

“Change takes time and the government is in the process of ironing out the right policies for all,’ he said.

MCA: Gag order reveals hypocrisy

When taxpayer's money are at stake, Perak MCA leader Tan Chin Meng says Pakatan will impose another gag order.

KUALA LUMPUR: The gag order imposed by DAP on its internal squabbles reveals the party’s hypocrisy, said Perak MCA secretary Tan Chin Meng.

He cited the gag order issued by party stalwart Lim Kit Siang on DAP vice chairman M Kulasegaran after he gave the party’s Perak secretary Nga Kor Ming a dressing down over his alleged abuse of power.

Nga, who is MP for Taiping, came under fire when an Umno blog claimed his wife’s company, Ethan and Elton Sdn Bhd, was awarded the tender to tailor lounge suits for Ipoh city councillors when Pakatan Rakyat was in power in Perak.

The award was given despite the company having charged the highest price for the suits. Rivals also pointed to the fact that the company was registered with the Companies Commission Malaysia barely 42 days after Pakatan formed the state government.

Nga, who is considered one of Lim’s blue-eyed boys, denied any wrongdoing and said the contract was awarded via an open tender process.

Lim was forced to intervene when Kulasegaran, who openly rebuked and demanded en explanation from the Taiping MP, saying the matter was internal.

“When taxpayers funds are at stake, another gag order is the standard order of the day from Pakatan,” commented Tan on the matter.

The MCA leader also pointed to the ongoing public spat between DAP chairman Karpal Singh and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

While the differences between the two were purportedly resolved, Tan said the three-men panel comprising DAP life adviser Dr Chen Man Hin, advisor Lim and his son, secretary general Guan Eng, failed to launch an internal probe the into allegations of cronyism against Ramasamy.

The Batu Kawan MP had been accused of poor performance and corruption. He was said to have demanded for favours from DAP grassroots in return for contracts, an allegation he denied.

Tan said this was a blatant attempt by the DAP leadership to “wash their hands off any responsibility on possible cronyism occurring which involve public funds”.

“In both cases, these are not personal funds being used but taxpayers’ hard earned salaries which are being utilised for practices that warrant further probe.

“Thus, not only should DAP launch internal probes if there were any power abuse by the state’s top administrators, the police and MACC also should be called in to pre-empt any accusations that DAP’s internal investigations are influenced by personal bias,” he said.

UBF ‘agrees’ to back ABU

The Borneo Alliance (UBA) is unlikely to support Pakatan Rakyat, prefering to throw its support behind Sabah based parties

LABUAN: The organisors and sponsors of peninsular-based the ‘Anything But Umno’ (ABU) movement, which is calling for the removal of Umno in the next election, are seeking partners in East Malaysia.

Leading civil advocate, Haris Ibrahim (photo), yesterday flew to the Federal Territory of Labuan, defying the Sabah government’s “persona non grata” order slapped on him recently, to hold talks with Sabah political activists led by Daniel John Jambun.
Jambun said they held a series of talks with Haris and that he (Jambun) would report back to two major stakeholders in Sabah’s current opposition front – the United Borneo Front (UBF) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) – on what transpired at the meeting.

“We agreed in principle to support this ABU campaign because Umno has shown that it has been making decisions and policies against Sabahans and Sarawakians in the past 48 years we are in this Federation.
“The very fact that both Sabah and Sarawak are the poorest states now speak volumes of what (the) Umno-led Barisan Nasional had done to our gas and oil resources.

“So we agree that Umno must go in this coming general election,” said Jambun who is considered among the most senior leaders in UBF, and possibly also in the reactivated State Reform Party (Star).
Also at the meeting were Sabah activists Michael Liew and famed local rap singer turned activist, Atama.

UBA won’t back Pakatan

Haris, who was barred from entering Sabah as well as Sarawak after he was deemed a “threat to security”, beat the order by entering Labuan, a former Sabah free port that was ceded by Sabah to the federal government and made a federal territory in 1984.
He said that though he faced no problem disembarking, police officers took photographs of him when he arrived.
The ABU campaign in East Malaysia will be known as UBA or United Borneo Alliance.
While ABU organisors in the peninsular are set to back Pakatan Rakyat, state opposition leaders in East Malaysia, especially Sabah, are however backing state-based parties.
Jambun said Haris understood the Borneo Agenda sensitivities and acknowledged that Pakatan in Sabah would face an uphill task to ensure a one-to-one fight with BN in all state seats.
“ABU sponsors want a straight fight in all the 222 Parliamentary seats at stake. But this remains to be ironed out,” Jambun said.
“We in East Malaysia do not want to be taken for granted. Just because we did not want BN or Umno anymore does not mean that an incoming new federal government would treat us differently from BN and Umno.
“A new government must recognise our legitimate autonomy demands and our special position in the federation,” said Jambun.
It is understood that ABU plans to launch a series of videos nationwide early next year ahead of the general election underscoring all the failures of Umno and BN and the abuse of power by its leaders.
A separate video production for Sabah and Sarawak is expected to be ready for distribution in a few weeks time.
LABUAN: The organisors and sponsors of peninsular-based the ‘Anything But Umno’ (ABU) movement, which is calling for the removal of Umno in the next election, are seeking partners in East Malaysia.

Leading civil advocate, Haris Ibrahim (photo), yesterday flew to the Federal Territory of Labuan, defying the Sabah government’s “persona non grata” order slapped on him recently, to hold talks with Sabah political activists led by Daniel John Jambun.

Jambun said they held a series of talks with Haris and that he (Jambun) would report back to two major stakeholders in Sabah’s current opposition front – the United Borneo Front (UBF) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) – on what transpired at the meeting.

“We agreed in principle to support this ABU campaign because Umno has shown that it has been making decisions and policies against Sabahans and Sarawakians in the past 48 years we are in this Federation.

“The very fact that both Sabah and Sarawak are the poorest states now speak volumes of what (the) Umno-led Barisan Nasional had done to our gas and oil resources.

“So we agree that Umno must go in this coming general election,” said Jambun who is considered among the most senior leaders in UBF, and possibly also in the reactivated State Reform Party (Star).

Also at the meeting were Sabah activists Michael Liew and famed local rap singer turned activist, Atama.

UBA won’t back Pakatan

Haris, who was barred from entering Sabah as well as Sarawak after he was deemed a “threat to security”, beat the order by entering Labuan, a former Sabah free port that was ceded by Sabah to the federal government and made a federal territory in 1984.

He said that though he faced no problem disembarking, police officers took photographs of him when he arrived.

The ABU campaign in East Malaysia will be known as UBA or United Borneo Alliance.

While ABU organisors in the peninsular are set to back Pakatan Rakyat, state opposition leaders in East Malaysia, especially Sabah, are however backing state-based parties.

Jambun said Haris understood the Borneo Agenda sensitivities and acknowledged that Pakatan in Sabah would face an uphill task to ensure a one-to-one fight with BN in all state seats.

“ABU sponsors want a straight fight in all the 222 Parliamentary seats at stake. But this remains to be ironed out,” Jambun said.

“We in East Malaysia do not want to be taken for granted. Just because we did not want BN or Umno anymore does not mean that an incoming new federal government would treat us differently from BN and Umno.

“A new government must recognise our legitimate autonomy demands and our special position in the federation,” said Jambun.

It is understood that ABU plans to launch a series of videos nationwide early next year ahead of the general election underscoring all the failures of Umno and BN and the abuse of power by its leaders.

A separate video production for Sabah and Sarawak is expected to be ready for distribution in a few weeks time.

Malay Rights v Special Position

In this last week of 2011, we will be re-publishing selected stories carried in FMT throughout this year. We find that these stories still remain relevant in the present context.
FLASHBACK 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was posted on Jan 9, 2011, reminding the nation’s leaders the warnings that the late Ghazali Shafie gave 10 years ago. We think it is still worth reminding our leaders the warnings.

“There are no Malay rights since our Constitution holds dear that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law without discrimination on the basis of race and religion.”

That was what the late Ghazali Shafie said in a speech at the National Unity Convention in May 2001.

He continued: “What perhaps has come to be regarded as special rights is the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153 (of the Federal Constitution). The change from ‘position’ to ‘rights’ is frightening. Who did that, I wonder?

“In a plural society like ours, if the leadership was not bold and sincere enough to take corrective measures so that there would be a level playing field, then the situation would indeed be bleak and our society would be a playground for those who wish us ill.”

Born in Kuala Lipis, Ghazali was 88 at the time of his death in January 2010. He had a distinguished career in politics and government.

Many bigots, opportunists and self-serving leaders of today will probably dismiss those remarks on the New Economic Policy as just one man’s opinion. If they are ignorant of history, they may even question his authority.

If Ghazali were alive and facing these critics, he would probably reply in these words, which were part of the speech at the 2001 convention:

“It was Tun Abdul Razak who asked me to devise the NEP after being inspired by Rukunegara.

“The NEP was the fruit of consultations among the various races in the Consultative Committee and later Parliament, who agreed to the corrective measures by invoking affirmative action.”

Distortions and misinterpretations

In explaining affirmative action, he paraphrased Tun Abdul Razak, who likened it to the handicap system in golf, “so that,” he said, “everyone could play together on a level playing field.”

He added: “Almost ad nauseam, it was explained that the NEP was not to make the Malay community rich but to change vocations through affirmative action. To acquire riches is the privilege of any individual and it would be contrary to the Rukunegara if the only aim was to make the Malays rich.”

When he spoke those words, the greed for riches through the NEP had long taken root. Distortions and misinterpretations of the policy had already divided the nation, and our so-called leaders tossed around the word “unity” only when elections were near, and they still do so today.

But unity, if we take it seriously, is indeed the key to resolving the profound problems that the nation faces.

Is “1Malaysia” a call for such unity? Many Malaysians do not think so. They believe instead that it is a red herring meant to deflect attention from the continuation of discriminatory policies.

The thinking public does not buy all the hype about 1Malaysia that BN is pushing through the media organisations it controls. It remains an empty and meaningless slogan.

And, as if oblivious of what the public is saying, 1Malaysia has become a favourite catchword among BN politicians. They tag the slogan to everything, like a chef sprinkling salt in every dish. Do they really think that Malaysians are stupid enough to believe that mere rhetoric can charm them out of their dissatisfactions?

Shifting goal posts

Ghazali was right when he said that our national problem had become complicated because of the kind of education Malaysians were receiving. And nothing has changed since he made that remark 10 years ago.

“We become argumentative over some words without analysis or a look at the semantics,” he said.

And Ghazali was right too when he said: “We don’t seem to care about the fundamental right to food and clothing.”

Critics accuse the Umno-led regime of spending millions of ringgit on decorative rhetoric and ceremonial reforms without making any real effort towards substantive institutional changes that would bring about compliance with democratic principles and respect for human rights and needs.

Ghazali stressed that there could be no lasting unity unless the playing field was level.

He added: “Let us not shift the goal posts when the field is beginning to level. This exercise at maintaining peace and stability must be kept in constant repair.”

Ghazali, once an Umno supreme council member himself, probably had some faith that the party would eventually come to its senses and start to set things right again. If he were alive today, would he still have such confidence?

Zaid Ibrahim bantu Nurul Izzah lawan Azmin?

(Siasah) - Persaingan kuasa dalam PKR, yang semakin jelas dilihat sejak menjelang pemilihan lalu muncul lagi, mengaitkan pemimpin-pemimpin tertinggi parti.

Pengendali laman Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin mendakwa Azmin Ali, timbalan presiden PKR di belakang penyebaran surat layang memburukkan Nurul Izzah Anwar, naib presiden PKR.

Surat itu menggesa ahli-ahli PKR menghalang Nurul Izzah yang didakwa cuba membawa semula Datuk Zaid Ibrahim - yang kini memimpin partinya Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) - menyertai semula PKR.

Dalam kolum terbaharunya, Raja Petra menerbitkan semula surat itu dengan ulasan ringkas mengatakan Azmin dipercayai di belakang penyebaran surat layang tersebut, dalam usaha menyekat anak kepada Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim itu daripada menghalang kemaraan Azmin.

Menurut surat itu, Nurul Izzah mempunyai pengaruh untuk membolehkan Zaid dibawa semula menyertai PKR disebabkan kedudukannya.

"Sebagai naib presiden paling kanan dalam PKR dan anak kepada Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah pastinya mampu memanipulasi ayahnya dan setidak-tidaknya dapat membuka ruang buat Zaid menyertai PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat semula."

Menurut surat itu lagi, "Nurul Izzah perlu sedar bahawa status beliau sebagai anak kepada Anwar Ibrahim tidak semestinya akan merestui semua tindakan politiknya."

Zaid keluar parti setelah kecewa dengan politik Anwar dan permainan Azmin menyekat kemaraannya dalam parti.

Dakwaan Raja Petra ini sekiranya benar memberi gambaran usaha Azmin mengukuhkan kedudukannya dalam parti termasuk dengan menyekat Nurul Izzah, pemimpin muda yang dilihat berpotensi dan tidak mempunyai beban sejarah seperti beberapa pemimpin lain termasuk Azmin.

Kedudukan Nurul Izzah sebagai anak Anwar, pemimpin kanan yang muda dan popular mampu menggugat Azmin dalam kepimpinan parti.

Zaid semasa masih dalam PKR juga dilihat sebagai pencabar terdekat Azmin, disebabkan kedudukan seniornya yang dilihat mengatasi kelayakan Azmin.

Nazri: Race relations Bill to be tabled to improve ties among people

The Star
by RAHIMY RAHIM


KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to promote interaction among the races and foster mutual respect among Malaysians, the Government is expected to table a Race Relations Bill in the March parliament meeting.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the proposed law would be similar to the United Kingdom's Race Relations Act.

“The Bill would be used to combat racial extremism and is one of two replacement laws for the Internal Security Act (ISA),” he told Sin Chew Daily in an interview yesterday.

On Sept 15, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the ISA and Banishment Act would be abolished and that several laws would be reviewed as part of the Government's political transformation efforts.

Nazri said the country needed the race relations law in order to set limits to the actions of people living in a multi-racial society.

He said other developed countries had similar laws and noted that the skipper of English Premier League football team Chelsea, John Terry, was charged with hurling racial abuse at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

However, Terry was not charged under the Race Relations Act but faced a fine of 4,000 (RM20,000) for a “racially aggravated public order offence”.

Nazri said Malaysia's Race Relations Bill would be similar to the British law, including in barring discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality and ethnicity in employment, provision of goods and services, education and public functions.

Najib Describes 2011 As The Year To Explore New Social Media

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak describes the year 2011 as the year for him to explore the use of the social media to increase interaction with the Rakyat.

The exploration began early in the year when, for the first time, Najib invited people to ask him questions on the social website Twitter and Facebook.

"I didn't expect such a great response but I managed to respond to some of the questions, even the peculiar ones," said Najib when recalling the events throughout 2011 in his latest blog entry "2011 In Review" in his 1Malaysia blog Wednesday.

Looking at its success, the Prime Minister said that in the following month, he had invited 600 "online" friends for an afternoon tea session at Seri Perdana in the programme "Mari Berjumpa, Mari Berhubung".

His willingness to explore new methods resulted in numerous invitations to communicate with the youths via online.

"Immediately after, I was invited to do a "Gotcha" prank on radio by the morning crews of Hitz.fm. I also made appearances on the morning shows of Radio Era, Mix.fm and Hot.fm," he said.

Based on the cyber experience he had gained, Najib said he had introduced the 1Malaysia Roundtable, an interactive platform for Malaysians to provide fair and constructive comments, suggestions or ideas to better the lives and the people of Malaysia in June.

"I also took part in one session where I discussed a budget for sustainable growth," he said.

Another important milestone in his social media journey was when he introduced his very own Mobile Application for smartphones which could be downloaded from his Facebook page and 1Malaysia website.

During the year, Najib also introduced some official 1Malaysia merchandise and gave plenty away through the 1Malaysia Merchandise campaign.

The campaign also invited Malaysians to submit photographs of the Jalur Gemilang which were then added to the Jalur Gemilang 1Malaysia Album of the Prime Minister's Flickr page.

"2011 has been a very colourful year for me and I must take this opportunity to thank all Malaysians for your show of support," he said.

Najib said all the ideas, complaints and comments sent by Malaysians via his his websites had been read and he would do his best to respond to them.

He also hoped that all Malaysians would continue to join him in making more positive progress next year in the spirit and practice of 1Malaysia.

"At the end of year, it always feels as though the year had gone by too quickly," he said.

Among the important events recorded throughout the year were his efforts to launch various programmes for the people such as the 1Malaysia Housing Programme or PR1MA to assist middle-income earners own affordable homes.

The issue of rising costs was also addressed with the launch of the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia or KR1M - beginning in Kelana Jaya and then spreading nationwide - followed by the Menu Rakyat 1Malaysia, where restaurants take part to offer breakfast and lunch at a fixed price of RM2 and RM4 respectively.

Realising the need to address the development of the younger generation of Malaysians, the 1Malaysia Youth Fund was launched to finance ideas and projects by the youth.

More programmes were announced in the 2012 Budget, which focused mainly on the lower-income earners, rural areas, youth and public services such as the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia programme or BR1M, a financial assistance programme for Malaysians living in a household that earns less than RM3,000 per month.

In World Bank's 2011 ease of doing business report, Malaysia entered the top 20 position and it holds equal first rank in the world when it comes to the ease of business getting credit.

"The Economic Transformation Programme or ETP has therefore bore some fruits. In the ETP progress update in September, for the first half of the year, Malaysia had already received FDI investments of up to RM21.3 billion," he said.

By its first anniversary in October, the ETP had assisted Malaysia to achieve a GNI of RM228.55 billion and committed investment worth RM171.21 billion, with an estimated total of 372,361 potential jobs, Najib said.

This year had also seen the Prime Minister engaging the international market and strengthening Malaysia's networking to help boost its major transformation programmes.

"I made my first official visit to the UK this year at the invitation of British Prime Minister David Cameron where I had a chance to invite the country's captains of industry to explore investment opportunities in Malaysia," he said.

He was also given the honour to deliver a lecture on "Coalition of Moderates and Inter-Civilisational Understanding" at the historic Sheldonian Theatre, in Oxford, England.

"In May, I attended the Invest Malaysia New York 2011 in New York, USA. The event secured Malaysia between RM5 billion and RM6 billion new investments for the next two to three years," he said.

He also spoke about a Digital Malaysia Masterplan in development at the Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting at the New York Academy of Sciences which he chaired.

"I was also in Japan for the 17th International Nikkei Conference in Tokyo where I received confirmation that some RM3.8 billion worth of investments will be coming in from Japanese firms," he said.

This year also saw the Prime Minister attending several international conferences such as CHOGM in Perth, Australia, APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii and the 19th Asean Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

In Hawaii, I was given the honour to give my insight on the Global Movement of the Moderates (GMM) at the prestigious East-West Center.

"At the end of year, it always feels as though the year had gone by too quickly. I'd like to think that it is because it was filled with many positive developments and achievements," he said in his blog.