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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Muslim body slams Salman Rushdie's visit, calls him apostate

Salman RushdieExpressing displeasure over granting of visa to controversial writer Salman Rushdie by the Indian government, a Jammu and Kashmir-based Muslim body today said the author is an "apostate" and liable to be "killed".

"A meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Personal Law Board was held today to discuss the issuance of visa to Salman Rushdie and extreme displeasure and anger was expressed on the issue because Rushdie has already been found involved in apostasy and Islamic scholars have unanimously passed death edict against him as per Shariah law," JKMPLB said in a statement here.

"Rushdie's entry into India will naturally hurt the sentiments of 22 crore Muslims including those in Jammu and Kashmir," it said.

Accusing the Congress of exploiting Muslims for electoral gains, the organisation said the Centre should have been sensitive to the sentiments of the community but it is being felt that they are more interested in patronising the entry of Salman Rushdie into the country.

Several Islamic religious bodies have demanded cancellation of Rushdie's visa even as the controversial author said he does not need a visa to come here.

The 65-year-old Rushdie had earned the wrath of Muslims worldwide due to the alleged blasphemous content in his novel "The Satanic Verses", published in 1988.

Muslim Man Throws Black Ink at Baba Ramdev

Kamran Siddiqui, who threw black ink at Baba Ramdev, being held in New Delhi Jan. 14. (PTI photo)


Baba Ramdev was the target of an attack by a man who threw black ink on his face on Saturday, as the yoga guru was briefing reporters on his plans to campaign against black money in the coming assembly elections.

Seated along with Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy at the Constitution Club in the heart of the capital, Ramdev’s left eye was blackened with ink by the man, identified as Kamran Siddiqui, a resident of Delhi who is said to be running an NGO called Real Cause, which is a petitioner in the Batla House encounter case.

Ramdev’s supporters at the conference manhandled the assailant before police took him away. The man, whose shirt was torn and removed, was seen bleeding from his lips.

There was lot of jostling around when police escorted the yoga guru away from the club.

Jaideep, Ramdev’s close aide, claimed that Siddiqui had gained entry into the hall carrying a walkie-talkie, apparently posing as a security guard. He also claimed that a bottle of acid was recovered from Siddiqui.

Ramdev, who immediately ended the press conference, later said he was not deterred by such attacks and would continue his campaign with full force against corruption.

“We talked about black money, we talked about eradicating corruption and in return as a prize this is what I have got. However, by throwing ink on someone, one cannot malign his character,” he said. “One whose life has been devoted to fighting corruption cannot be deterred by black flags and ink.”

Before the incident, Siddiqui had sought Ramdev’s opinion on the 2008 Batla House encounter in which suspects of the Delhi serial blasts were killed. The yoga guru reportedly ignored the question. The attack soon after.

Prison caused husband's death, claims wife

Bringing back the real Malaysia

Umno veteran and Amanah deputy president Kadir Sheikh Fadzir isn't bothered about hiding his allegiance to civil society even if it means being critical of Barisan Nasional.

Kadir Sheikh Fadzir may be an Umno veteran and former Cabinet minister, but he has no qualms about walking the tightrope between political allegiance and civic-consciousness.

“Help the opposition,” he said within seconds of settling down for an interview at his office in Sazean Holdings.

Then, perhaps accustomed to having such requests being laughed off, he reiterated his call: “Help the opposition, they need it. Especially when they are denied coverage in the mainstream media.”

Kadir doesn’t bother hiding his allegiance, which incidentally is to civil society.

Kadir left Parliament’s circle of top echelons seven years ago after holding six ministerial positions and a successful tourism campaign that put Malaysia on the world tourism map.

The former Tourism Minister, with a penchant for bow ties, has however spent the last few years in the quiet folds of Sazean, of which he is the executive chairman.

Last July, an NGO named Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) trotted through Sazean’s doors. Kadir is now among a string of Barisan Nasional veteran politicians who make up Amanah’s central council and himself sits in the seat of deputy president.

The NGO is headed by another Umno veteran, Gua Musang MP, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, and aims to return Malaysians to the spirit and roots of togetherness that flourished during the early days of Independence.

Candid Kadir

And to Kadir that means taking a huge step beyond the 1Malaysia concept to create a level political playing field where the power to form a government lies solely in the hands of the people.

“People power” is a looping soundtrack played by Pakatan Rakyat and civil society groups but it is when a prominent figure from the other camp starts singing along that it takes on a whole new beat.

“Times have changed and the world is now in revolt,” Kadir said.

“The point to note in these uprisings is that the world belongs to its inhabitants and each country to its people. Many have forgotten this.”

“Our founding fathers respected the people’s rights and gave them freedom to analyse and debate before choosing their government. In those days the opposition was allowed airtime in the mainstream media, and political parties were given room for dissent and debate.”

“But over time the media fell under the ruling party’s control and only one voice was allowed to speak to the people.

“Their rights were slowly eroded to the point that there are no longer free and fair elections. So the elected government doesn’t represent the people’s true choice.”

It isn’t the first time that Kadir has been candid in his criticism of BN and commiseration for Pakatan.

His recent media statements have revolved around BN’s open secrets including media restrictions on the opposition, the use of government agencies to fish for rural votes and bribery during elections.

Najib’s aware of BN’s shortcomings

When it was pointed out that he too was once a part of this system, he readily acknowledged to having gone along with it in an effort to be a “good team player”.

“At the time it was easy because there was no viable alternative to BN.

“PAS and DAP were seen as extremists so we went along with whatever was available. But it is different today,” he said.

That difference is in the evolution of Malaysian politics into a two-party system where both sides are championing almost identical objectives.

The pertinent questions therefore are which is the better side and how can the people be given a fair system to make that decision.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) was set up for the purpose of answering the latter question and its report is expected to be ready by the end of March.

But Kadir will continue holding his breath until then for fear that talk of a general election being called before that will materialise. If that happens, he warned, it would not bode well for BN.

“The fact that (prime minister) Najib (Tun Razak) has set up the PSC shows he admits to serious shortcomings in the system.

“So if an election is held before the PSC completes its work and if BN wins, it will be a stolen election and all Najib’s efforts to form a PSC will be nothing more than a drama,” he noted.

Right now, however, the PSC has proved it is doing more than just giving lip service by pushing through the use of indelible ink for the upcoming elections.

Amanah isn’t a political entity

Bersih can now strike one demand off its list of eight but, according to Kadir, indelible ink isn’t the most important of the lot.

“What is of greater importance is fair access to the media,” he stated.

“The government should give the opposition at least 10 percent of airtime for the three to six months preceding an election.

“Then the people can give serious consideration to whom to vote for and we will be one step closer to free and fair elections.”

Kadir’s frankness is reflective of Amanah’s strife to be the voice of conscience and neutrality in Malaysian politics. But it has also given rise to various speculations of hidden political manoeuvring.

Talk is that Amanah has political aspirations despite its insistence on remaining an NGO.

Speculations are rife that it is aligned to the opposition and that its BN leadership are politicians who are struggling to remain relevant for the next election.

Kadir, however, brushed aside all three presumptions.

He agreed that a majority of Amanah members were in favour of the party shedding its NGO status, but said that no decision had been made on the matter as yet.

“We are very new and we’re unsure of where we are headed but right now we know that we have to bring the country as far as we can back to our roots,” he said.

“Tengku Razaleigh and I have gone through it all. We know that unless we bring back the people to the true spirit of independence, our country will shrink in its values.

“And we hope that more Umno members will agree to our views so that there will be change within,” he said.

Tunku’s wisdom guides Amanah

For now, Kadir claimed he has the support of many “dear Umno friends” who silently agree that the party’s “endemic” practices of corruption, nepotism and cronyism must come to an end.

Funnily enough, he also claimed to not have received any brickbats from those who are livid at his washing of Umno’s dirty laundry in public.

“If they want to criticise me, then they first have to criticise many of the Umno leaders,” he said.

“Najib and (deputy prime minister) Muhyiddin (Yassin) have themselves been shrieking ‘kita mesti berubah, jika tidak kita akan diubah’.”

“They are saying that the people are aware of Umno’s bad habits which is exactly what Amanah is saying. And if we are seen to be pro-opposition it is only because we support the issues that they raise.”

To further emphasise his point, Kadir launched into his favourite story of a conversation with former premier, Tunku Abdul Rahman, after the latter’s retirement.

At the time Tunku had left Umno to become a member of Semangat 46 of which Tengku Razaleigh also belonged.

Kadir, who was then deputy foreign minister, sought him out to convey a message from Umno members asking him to rejoin the party.

According to him, Tunku replied: “Kadir don’t you think I love Umno? Umno is the party that helped me gain independence for this country and made me prime minister. Surely, I love it. But if Umno has obviously gone astray and cannot perform its functions, then the country and the people should come first. Remember that, Kadir.”

Umno must do the right thing

Those words have undoubtedly burned themselves into Kadir’s memory as he uses them as a guidepost in taking Amanah forward.

He shared that the NGO’s next step is to open state and district branches so as to further spread the spirit of independence.

“In Amanah we are guided by Tunku’s saying that if we are all to live together as one family and under one roof, then we must be sincere to each other.

“The only way that Umno and BN can continue to be in power is to act sincerely and do the right thing,” he stressed.

Tags: Amanah, Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Najib Tun Razak, Parliamentary Select Committee, BN, Pakatan, Tunku Abdul Rahman

Prisoner dies, Prisons Dept blamed

Mohd Adnan Razali died due to kidney failure and it was alleged that the prison authorities had denied him treatment.

KUALA LUMPUR: A prisoner, suffering from acute kidney problem, at the Kajang prison died after the prison authorities denied him medical assistance, the Human Rights Party (HRP) alleged today.

The party said Mohd Adnan Razali died in June, 2010 due to kidney problems after the Kajang prison authorities denied him medical access despite knowing that the inmate had serious health problems.

The party lodged a police report against Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail for failing to initiate action against the prison authorities.

HRP central executive member S Thiagarajan lodged the report on behalf of the deceased’s family at the Jalan Travers police station here.

He said Mohd Adnan was initially held at the Sungai Buloh prison in 2008 and went for dialysis three times a week because of kidney problems.

He was shifted to the Kajang prison in March 2010 and the prison administration refused to facilitate his treatment.

He died in June 2010, and his death certificate states that he died due to kidney failure.

Speaking to reporters, Thiagarajan said action must be taken against both the police chief and attorney-general who had refused to investigate and prosecute the Kajang prison authorities, although it had been two years since the incident.

“We will give the police two weeks to take action. Otherwise the family will file a civil suit against the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Prisons Department director,” he said.

Meanwhile, wife of the inmate, Norlailee Hamzah said the family took a long time to file a police report because they could not find a proper channel to air their problem.

Norlailee, from Seremban, said she tried to get help from Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional leaders since June 2010 but to no avail.

“I also paid RM22,000 to a lawyer who promised to help me, but till today not a single action has been taken by him,” she said.

Pakatan akan hapuskan tol jika tawan Putrajaya

Setiausaha Agung DAP Lim Guan Eng berkata tindakan akan diambil terhadap syarikat konsesi tol dan kroni BN yang mengaut keuntungan berlebihan.

PETALING JAYA: Setiausaha Agung DAP Lim Guan Eng menegaskan Pakatan Rakyat akan  menghapuskan tol lebuh raya  yang telah memperolehi keuntungan berlebihan selepas menawan Putrajaya dalam pilihan raya ke 13.

“Kita akan ringankan beban rakyat dengan mengambil tindakan terhadap konsesi tol macam Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan.

“Kos pembinaan PLUS ialah RM6 bilion. Kutipan tol dan ganti rugi dari kerajaan 24.3 bilion. Untung buta 18 bilion,” katanya.

Lim yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang bagaimanapun berkata tindakan tidak akan diambil terhadap syarikat konsesi yang tidak memperoleh keuntungan.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika berucap dalam Konvensyen Pakatan Rakyat di Alor Setar petang ini.
Beliau menambah Pakatan Rakyat akan turut mengambil tindakan terhadap syarikat kroni Barisan Nasional sebagai salah satu usaha untuk mengurangkan beban ekonomi kepada rakyat.

Lim menambah bahawa tindakan terhadap konsesi yang merupakan kroni BN telah pun dibincangkan bersama Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Setiausaha Agung PAS, Datuk Mustafa Ali.

`Jasad dan nyawa’

Sementara itu Ketua Parlimen DAP, Lim Kit Siang mencabar Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak untuk benar – benar menjadi wakil majoriti suara kesederhanaan.

“Jika benar Umno dan BN mewakili suara kesederhanaan, tarik balik kata-kata “walau bercerai jasad dan nyawa, kita akan pertahankan kuasa di Putrajaya.”

Najib dilaporkan berkata demikian dua tahun lalu semasa perhimpunan agung Umno.

“Ini bukan kesederhanaan. Jika sederhana, terimalah keputusan rakyat,” kata tokoh veteran DAP tersebut.
Beliau turut mencabar Najib menjalankan proses transformasi terhadap akhbar Utusan Malaysia.

Anwar answers gay rights question

(Bernama) - Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said that there is a need to review Malaysia's archaic law so as not to be seen as punitive and considered as relevant.

Answering a question about gay rights and whether he was prepared to take "the idea of anti-discrimination as far as gay rights" are concerned, Anwar said in an interview with BBC on Thursday, that "we will have to review some of our archaic laws."

"We Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia generally believe and committed to support the sanctity of marriage between men and women but we should not be seen to be punitive and consider the archaic law as relevant."

The four minutes 39 seconds interview can be viewed at

Anwar also called for a free and fair election and for the goverment to take "necessary measures to free the country" from what he called discriminatory policies.

The government has set up the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform to address concerns raised over the country's electoral process.


1. Malaysian politics of today is frequently punctuated with court actions. In particular there are now a lot of litigation cases. And the amounts sued for invariably run into millions of Ringgit.

2. Despite the efforts of the learned judges there are still huge backlogs of cases of all kinds, civil and criminal, which probably will never be heard, much less adjudged. This is because the hearings take such a long time that the parties to the cases would have forgotten the facts or they would have died.

3. And, as they say, “justice delayed is justice denied”.

4. The litigations by politicians may be justified. But politicians must accept that as politicians they would be bad-mouthed by their opponents. It is up to them to counter the allegations made. They should not always be suing in court.

5. For Muslims they should be willing to swear properly that there is no truth to the allegations.

6. Often the litigation is intended to shut the mouths of their opponents. In Malaysia when a case is being heard in a court, it becomes sub-judice and comments outside can constitute “contempt of court”. By suing the matter becomes sub-judice and the opponents’ mouths would be shut. Through repeated appeals the case can be prolonged and the defendants’ mouths would remain shut to the advantage of the litigant for years.

7. For the person sued, much money would have to be spent on lawyers. For years he would be assailed with anxiety that he might be found guilty and if he is unable to pay he may be bankrupted.

8. Yet when the defendant wins, the litigant may need to pay cost only, which the court will fix. Often the amount would be a minute fraction of the amount he is sued for.

9. Because the cost to the litigant is so very little, the tendency is to sue for millions. This is grossly unfair to the defendants. If the law is intended to promote justice then the litigant should also suffer from the same anxieties for the length of time of the hearing and if his allegation is baseless he should pay his victim the same amount he sued for.

10. Then there would be justice and frivolous cases would not be brought before the courts. The judges would then have time for their other cases.

11. Incidentally I was sued for 100 million Ringgit. When after almost five years I won, I was awarded cost at 70 thousand Ringgit, which of course go to my lawyers.

Rakyat Mahu Malaysia Tanpa UMNO


ALOR SETAR, 14 Jan: Negara sedang berdepan dengan krisis keyakinan terhadap pentadbiran Datuk Seri Najib yang gagal melaksanakan transformasi politik dan ekonomi.

“Justeru itu, rakyat mahu ‘Malaysia Tanpa Umno’,” ujar Timbalan Presiden PKR, Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Sehubungan itu, tegasnya Pakatan Rakyat bersedia untuk menggalas amanah itu melalui Dasar Bersama Pakatan Rakyat dan Buku Jingga.

“Insya Allah rakyat Malaysia yang cintakan kebebasan akan mengusir Umno dan Barisan Nasional dari Putrajaya,” katanya ketika berucap pada Konvensyen Pakatan Rakyat ke-3 di sini, pagi tadi.

Jelasnya, reformasi adalah agenda pembebasan rakyat yang juga agenda memartabatkan ekonomi, pendidikan, kebudayaan dan pemikiran rakyat.

Katanya, agenda reformasi akan memecahkan mitos kononnya hanya Umno sahaja yang boleh memerintah dan memberikan kesejahteraan untuk rakyat.

“Insya Allah, di bawah pentadbiran Pakatan Rakyat nanti, kita akan kembali memartabatkan Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara yang disegani oleh negara serantau dan antarabangsa,” jelasnya.

Beliau menambah, Pakatan Rakyat sudah ada Dasar Bersama yang menjadi teras perjuangan, Buku Jingga dan Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat yang akan menjadi agenda Malaysia baru milik rakyat.

Pakatan Rakyat juga, ujarnya sudah ada kepimpinan yang dinamik, berdaya saing serta teruji kesetiaan dan kebolehannya untuk mentadbir negara serta beramanah seperti Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz, Tuan Guru Hadi Awang dan YAB Datuk Seri Azizan Razak.

“Kita mempunyai pemimpin yang berkaliber seperti Lim Guan Eng dan Lim Kit Siang. Malah, sudah pasti kita mempunyai Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang mempunyai karisma dan pengalaman serta telah dibersihkan dari fitnah dan konspirasi jahat,” ujarnya yang juga Ahli Parlimen Gombak.

Beliau berkata, Pakatan Rakyat berkonvensyen buat kali ketiga hari ini di saat suara rakyat menuntut reformasi dan perubahan menyeluruh semakin nyaring.

Katanya, konvensyen ini menghimpunkan anggota dan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat yang komited dan mewakili aspirasi rakyat yang mahu melihat muafakat ini terus dipertahankan dan diperkukuhkan atas prinsip dan Dasar Bersama yang telah disepakati dalam kerangka besar agenda perjuangan Pakatan Rakyat.

“Konvensyen ini membuktikan perpaduan Pakatan Rakyat semakin kukuh dan mantap. Pakatan Rakyat semakin kebal dengan asakan parti ekstrimis Umno yang kini berada di ambang senjakala,” katanya lagi.

Konvensyen ini, katanya adalah pecutan terakhir menjelang Pilihan Raya Umum ke 13. Pakatan Rakyat perlu bersedia untuk menggalas aspirasi rakyat yang menuntut sebuah negara Malaysia yang adil dan sejahtera untuk semua rakyat.

“Justeru itu, kita bertanggungjawab untuk bersihkan Malaysia daripada gutter politics dan amalan kronisme serta amalan membudayakan rasuah yang diterajui oleh Umno,” ujarnya.

Tegasnya, Pakatan Rakyat perlu memimpin rakyat maju ke hadapan dengan persaingan dasar kepedulian rakyat dan mengangkat martabat rakyat Malaysia.

Pakatan Rakyat, katanya tidak lagi membicara persoalan untuk menafikan majoriti dua pertiga.

“Hari ini kita yakin bahawa Pakatan Rakyat berpotensi untuk membentuk kerajaan pusat yang baru selepas PRU ke 13. Cita-cita ini bukan lagi diluar pencapaian Pakatan Rakyat,” katanya.

Pakatan Rakyat, tambah beliau merupakan parti yang mempunyai substance, punyai kekuatan dan keupayaan untuk mentadbir di Putrajaya.

Rakyat, katanya sudah tidak sabar lagi untuk melihat pemerintahan demokrasi tulen di Putrajaya berteraskan rule of law dan Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Menurutnya lagi, rakyat mahu Putrajaya diterajui oleh pemimpin yang bersih dan menyayangi rakyat tanpa mengira ras, agama atau warna kulit.

Tambahnya, rakyat mahu Pakatan Rakyat segera membanteras rasuah, menghapuskan keborosan dan ketirisan yang akan memufliskan Malaysia menjelang 2020.

“Hutang negara telah mencecah lebih RM450 billion atau 54% daripada KDNK. Hutang ini akan dibebankan kepada rakyat dan generasi akan datang,” katanya.

Setelah itu, ujarnya rakyat tambah derita dengan kenaikan harga barang dan dasar cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan yang bakal diperkenalkan oleh Umno.

Menurutnya lagi, 40% daripada rakyat Malaysia masih hidup dengan pendapatan isi rumah di bawah RM1,500 sebulan.

Beliau menambah, anak muda memerlukan pekerjaan dan kadar upah yang manusiawi manakala mahasiswa menuntut kualiti pendidikan yang menjamin kebebasan akademik.

Perkhidmatan awam, ujarnya perlu pemerkasaan melalui latihan dan struktur gaji yang setimpal.

“Kita menolak Skim Baru Perkhidmatan Awam yang tidak menjaga kebajikan majoriti penjawat awam,” katanya.

Opposition will devise plan to make country graft free

Himanshu Bhatt - The Sun

ALOR SETAR (Jan 14, 2012): The Pakatan Rakyat will come up with an action plan to combat corruption, should they win the next general elections.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said leaders of the three member parties – PKR, PAS and DAP – will discuss the matter and come with the plan prior the general elections, which must be held by April 2013.

“We will discuss the matter. And probably before the 13th general elections, we will come out with a proposal,” he at the PR’s 3rd annual convention at the Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim here.

“We want a graft free country,” he added in response to a query by guest speaker Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is also Bersih 2.0 chairman,

Also present were Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP vice-president Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Abdul Hadi Awang and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Ambiga, who was invited to address the gathering as an NGO leader, had asked for the opposition’s plan on corruption.

“I want to know if PR is looking at setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission For Corruption,” she said, stressing that such commissions had been set up in countries like South Africa and Hong Kong.

Ambiga also said the country should have a policy to pardon those who had committed minor graft offences, to help facilitate transformation in the government administration.

She noted that Malaysia’s ranking in the world Corruption Perception Index dropped to 60th place (out of 182 countries) in 2011, from 56th in 2009 and 2010.

She also asked what PR plans to do to have assets that have been lost due to corruption to be returned.

She said more than RM1 trillion has been reported to have flowed out of the country. “What are PR’s plans to bring back the money?” she said adding “This is the people’s money.”

Asked by reporters later, Anwar said the PR leaders were open to ideas about formulating an anti-corruption plan.

“I will meet her (Ambiga) and listen for suggestions,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hadi expressed hope that the freeing of Anwar through the recent judicial decision pronouncing him not guilty in his sodomy trial, was a turning point for the independence of the judiciary, as well as the separation of powers between the political and executive segments.

PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar explained that the coalition partners will gather pertinent points and important issues that are also raised in the convention, to formulate a single manifesto dereved from the Orange Book which highlighted the opposition’s plan and aspirations if they take over government.

The PR leaders also agreed to hold the coalition’s next convention in 2013 in Putrajaya.

Family sues Govt, cops for RM100mil

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The mother of A. Kugan, the suspected car thief who died in police custody two years ago, is suing the police and the Government for more than RM100mil in damages over his death.

N. Indra, 44, is seeking damages arising from alleged negligence, breach of statutory duties on the part of the defendants, assault and battery, false imprisonment and misfeasance (wrong use) of public office.

She filed the suit through her counsel N. Surendran at the High Court civil registry here yesterday. Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam accompanied them.

Kugan, from Puchong, was arrested on Jan 14, 2009, to help in investigation into a luxury car theft syndicate. He died six days later.

His family has named Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar as the first defendant. He was the Selangor police chief when the incident happened.

The family named constable V. Navindran, who had been charged and acquitted over the case, as second defendant.

The third defendant is the late ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar, who was the former Subang Jaya District Police Chief. The suit is against the third defendant’s estate.

The fourth defendant is Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar while the Government is named fifth defendant.

Surendran told reporters the family was filing the suit as nobody was convicted during the trial of Kugan’s case and neither had the Government apologised to the family although the death happened while in police custody.

Navindran had faced two counts of causing grievous hurt to Kugan at an interrogation room at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya at 7am on Jan 16, 2009.

However, the constable was discharged and acquitted on Jan 27 last year after the prose­cution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.

Be Fair To All BN Supporters - PRS President

BINTULU, Jan 14 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional elected representatives must be fair to all supporters in their constituencies, even if they are not members of their political parties, advised Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.

He has received complaints from his party members who said they have been treated unfairly, he told reporters after chairing the PRS Supreme Council meeting here.

Masing said such attitudes could be dangerous as these supporters could turn hostile towards BN during the election.

"If you do not marginalise them, they'll be strong supporters of BN and will always be happy to help you," he said.

Meanwhile he felt that BN would face major challenges in infrastructure development in rural areas saying, "I hope all promises made by the government will be delivered and must be delivered."

"The usual Native Customary Right land issue might be played up again by the opposition. But I believe, the perimeter survey initiative by the government has eroded its importance and potency," he said.

In this regard, Masing called on the federal government to honour its promises made to the Orang Ulu affected by the implementation of the RM7billon Bakun Dam.

He said it had promised to bear half of the cost of their new longhouses in the Sungai Asap Resettlement Scheme.

"The state government has done its part to pay the other 50 per cent. I hope the payment can be made before the coming election," he said.

On another issue, Masing said a suitable payment mechanism must be thought of by the government in paying the 1Malaysia People's Aid especially to folks living in the interior.

Saying that cash was a more appropriate form of payment, he said even then folks living in Long Busang, deep in the Belaga interiors, will have to pay RM600 in transport charges alone to collect the aid.

Anwar Ibrahim: After the Trial

As the Malaysian opposition leader gets acquitted of sodomy, will his coalition mount its strongest political challenge?

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader, has been unexpectedly cleared of sodomy charges.

Government critics believe the trial was politically motivated to stem the growing popularity of an opposition alliance which Anwar led to unprecedented success in the 2008 general election.

Many expected a guilty verdict to end the 64-year-old’s political career, as it would have prevented him from contesting in the general election expected to be held this year.

This is the second time Anwar has faced charges for sodomy, a criminal offence in Malaysia. The first time, it was overturned by the country's Federal Court in 2004 after he had served six years in jail for corruption.

With the acquittal boosting the opposition ahead of the polls, 101 East asks what impact will this have on Malaysia’s political landscape?

Anwar addresses crowd in Alor Star

Anwar has spoken at a large gathering last night in Alor Star, where the Pakatan national convention was held.

I wrote a piece for Asia Times on the impact of Anwar’s acquittal and what Pakatan has to do.

What do you think? Is Pakatan ready to face the electorate? Or does it need more