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Friday, March 2, 2012

'BN supporters roughed us up at Najib function'

Kajang municipal councillor Lee Kee Hiong and several others claimed that they were assaulted outside SRJK (C) Bandar Sungai Long, Selangor, minutes before Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's arrival there for the school's groundbreaking ceremony today.

Lee, a DAP leader, said she went there with an entourage of some 20 former and current municipal councillors and residents, wearing green shirts, but were stopped by a man in a black shirt after security checks were made by police at the scene.
At the time, somebody there shouted to her group, “Boss said you may not enter,” to which a member of Lee's group said she responded that they were only there for the food.
They were then charged at by about 30 to 40 people, who she claimed were BN supporters, who surrounded and roughed up four in her group, pinning them to the ground.

Lee said police at the scene tried to break up the fight, but were "powerless to stop the large group" of attackers.

"Since (entering politics in) 1993, this is the first time I felt protected by the police," Lee told Malaysiakini when contacted after the incident.

She feared that the situation could have been a lot worse had the police not stepped in.
NONELee (in green T-shirt) said that when the thugs she described as "BN supporters" started their attack, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Noh Omar appeared and shouted, "Why are you here to cause trouble?"

One in her group replied, “We received a brochure. It says, 'all are invited.' We just want to eat, why not?"

Five bruised

An individual, who Lee alleged was an aide of Noh's, pushed her, causing her to lose her balance and injuring herself in the process.

Police eventually escorted Lee and her group, some of whom suffered bruises from the attack, out of the venue.
One member of the group, Lee said, lost a pair of spectacles while another lost a shoe in the fracas, but both of these were later recovered.

She said the five only suffered bruises, but the group was in a state of shock.

"They will undergo a medical examination and a press conference on the matter will be held tomorrow," she added.
Lee added they wore green shirts simply to show their support for Himpunan Hijau 2.0.

"However, we didn't plan to do anything at the ceremony. We just wanted to eat and then leave," she said.

Lee further explained that they received a brochure at their house that said all were invited to attended the ground-breaking ceremony.

Malaysiakini tried to contact Noh tonight but failed to reach him.

NONESpeaking at the function later, Najib announced that two toll booths along the Grand Saga Highway would be taken off, effectively halving the charges for commuting in both directions.

Beginning midnight tonight, the Batu 9 toll booth on the Kuala Lumpur-bound route and the Batu 11 toll booth on the Kajang-bound route would cease operations, he said.

Najib also handed over a RM4.5 million cheque to the school for the construction of 36 classrooms, which will accommodate 1,500 pupils.
He also said that the 5.9-acre piece of land that the school would be built on, was worth RM20 million.

Grim fate of Hindu minorities in Pakistan: Hindu Girls Abducted and Forced into Muslim Marriages. Who Cares?

PAKISTAN: Abducted and forced into a Muslim marriage – IRIN Report.

KARACHI, 27 February 2012 (IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Networks) – Sixteen-year-old Ameena Ahmed*, now living in the town of Rahim Yar Khan in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, does not always respond when her mother-in-law calls out to her.

“Even after a year of `marriage’ I am not used to my new name. I was called Radha before,” she told IRIN on a rare occasion when she was allowed to go to the corner shop on her own to buy vegetables.

Ameena, or Radha as she still calls herself, was abducted from Karachi about 13 months ago by a group of young men who offered her ice-cream and a ride in their car. Before she knew what was happening, she was dragged into a larger van, and driven to an area she did not know.

She was then pressured into signing forms which she later found meant she was married to Ahmed Salim,
Hindus marking a ritual occasion feel increasingly threatened in Pakistan. Perhaps performing the last rituals for Hindus in Pakistan. Photo: Tariq Saeed/IRIN.
25; she was converted to a Muslim after being asked to recite some verses in front of a cleric. She was obliged to wear a veil. Seven months ago, Ameena, who has not seen her parents or three siblings since then and “misses them a lot”, moved with her new family to southern Punjab.

“The abduction and kidnapping of Hindu girls is becoming more and more common,” Amarnath Motumal, a lawyer and leader of Karachi’s Hindu community, told IRIN. “This trend has been growing over the past four or five years, and it is getting worse day by day.”

He said there were at least 15-20 forced abductions and conversions of young girls from Karachi each month, mainly from the multi-ethnic Lyari area. The fact that more and more people were moving to Karachi from the interior of Sindh Province added to the dangers, as there were now more Hindus in Karachi, he said.

“They come to search for better schooling, for work and to escape growing extremism,” said Motumal who believes Muslim religious schools are involved in the conversion business.

“Hindus are non-believers. They believe in many gods, not one, and are heretics. So they should be converted,” said Abdul Mannan, 20, a Muslim student. He said he would be willing to marry a Hindu girl, if asked to by his teachers, “because conversions brought big rewards from Allah [God]. But later I will marry a `real’ Muslim girl as my second wife,” he said.

According to local law, a Muslim man can take more than one wife, but rights activists argue that the law infringes the rights of women and needs to be altered.

Motumal says Hindu organizations are concerned only with the “forced conversion” of girls under 18. “Adult women are of course free to choose,” he said.

“Lured away”

Sunil Sushmt, 40, who lives in a village close to the city of Mirpurkhas in central Sindh Province, said his 14-year-old daughter was “lured away” by an older neighbour and, her parents believe, forcibly converted after marriage to a Muslim. “She was a child. What choice did she have?” her father asked. He said her mother still cries for her “almost daily” a year after the event.

Sushmat is also concerned about how his daughter is being treated. “We know many converts are treated like slaves, not wives,” he said.

According to official figures, Hindus based mainly in Sindh make up 2 percent of Pakistan’s total population of 165 million. “We believe this figure could be higher,” Motumal said.

According to media reports, a growing number of Hindus have been fleeing Pakistan, mainly for neighbouring India. The kidnapping of girls and other forms of persecution is a factor in this, according to those who have decided not to stay in the country any longer.

“My family has lived in Sindh for generations,” Parvati Devi, 70, told IRIN. “But now I worry for the future of my granddaughters and their children. Maybe we too should leave,” she said. “The entire family is seriously considering this.”

*not her real name

Courtesy: IRIN. (updated on 02/03/2012).

How many Hindus are grasping in Pakistan in front our vacant look? SHAME.

Minority MPA says young Hindu girls subjected to gross injustice in Pakistan

Islamabad, Mar 1(ANI): A minority Member of the Sindh Provincial Assembly (MPA) Pitanber Sewani has said that the Hindu girls are subjected to gross injustice in the country, and reminded the government not to force Hindus in Sindh to follow the course of Baloch nationalists who are fighting "a war for their rights".

In a fiery speech Sewani said the Hindu girls are first kidnapped and then converted to Islam after being subjected to forced marriages with Muslim boys.

Sewani moved a resolution against the post-marriage conversion of Hindu girls. He urged the government to take concrete steps to end forced marriages.

Pointing to a recent incident in Mirpur Mathelo, he said a Muslim boy going by the name of Naveed Shah had allegedly kidnapped a 16-year-old Hindu girl Rinki Kumari at gunpoint and forcibly married her.

"These people kidnapped her at gunpoint a few days ago and presented her in a lower court after her marriage with Naveed Shah. We have no objection if a Hindu girl marries a Muslim boy of her free will. But Hindus will not tolerate forced marriages," The Express Tribune quoted Sewani, as saying.

Sewani said that he dreaded a situation where Hindus might decide to leave Sindh.

"Around 20 to 25 forced conversions take place every month in Sindh. If this situation continues, the Hindus will have no choice, but to resist," he said.

"Today, we are fed up with the Baloch resistance movement, tomorrow we may be irritated by Hindus as well," he added.

Sewani also urged the chief justice to take sou motu action on forced marriages, killings and kidnappings of Hindus in Sindh." (ANI)

Court upholds police ban on gay festival in Malaysia

Gay pride parades in Asia becoming more commonplace, except Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – A Malaysian court on Thursday rejected a petition by gay rights activists to review a police ban on its arts and music festival in Kuala Lumpur.

High Court Judge Rohana Yusuf said the police were entitled to order the ban on the festival called Seksualiti Merdeka, meaning sexuality independence, which was to have been held in November.

The police banned the festival on safety grounds after Muslim groups threatened to disrupt the event which aimed to promote dialogue about gay issues.

The organizers challenged the ban in the court in January.

Pang Kee Teik, one of the organizers of the event, lamented the decision of the court.

“When the police’s arbitrary powers cannot be reviewed in court, we are allowing the police to get away with abuse of power,” he said in a statement.

He said he would continue to fight for the rights of homosexuals, transgenders and bisexuals.

“We want to remind them that they too have family members and friends who can be helped by the work that Seksualiti Merdeka does,” he said.

Exco: Pemimpin PAS akan turun ke Kedah

NIAT all set for bigger battle

After the removal of the controversial Interlok novel, the movement is now focussing on revamping the education system for the betterment of the Indian community.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Interlok Action Team (NIAT), which played a major role in forcing the government to withdraw the controversial novel from schools, is now planning to take the battle to the next level.

Speaking to FMT, the movement’s chairman Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim said NIAT would devise a new strategy to revamp the education system for the betterment of the Indian community.

In view of this, he said, the acronym NIAT would now stand for National Indian Advancement Team.

The philantrophist complained that the Malaysian education system was controlled by a single race and this was unfair to the non-Malays.

“The entire educational system has become rotten from head to toe because of a single race’s dominance and politcal stooges in high posts,” he added.

Thasleem, however, stressed that NIAT was not anti-Malay but rather opposed the racial monopoly of the education system.

“The standard of our universities has dropped because of vice-chancellors, deans and senior academic staff who are appointed due to political links and not academic excellence,” he added.

As for Tamil schools, Thasleem said despite the syllabus being the same with national and Chinese schools, Tamil schools fared poorly in the UPSR examination compared to the other two.

He said this was because Chinese schools were well financed while national schools came under the government’s care.

“So Tamil schools are the ones that are always disregarded,” he said. “Much has been said and written about the plight of Tamil schools in Malaysia. Now it’s time to start acting.”

‘NIAT will the national body’

Outlining NIAT’s immediate plans, Thasleem said the movement would collect the details of all 523 Tamil schools nationwide.

From this, NIAT would do a meticulous analysis and submit a recommendation to the Education Ministry to take action.

“NIAT will invite all the NGOs who are willing to cooperate with us on this matter,” he said adding that an official meeting would be held this evening at Wisma Tun Sambanthan here.

“We are going to focus not only on the education system, but also issues like better school buildings, better training for teachers, overcoming the shortage of teachers and increasing the enrolment of students in Tamil schools,” he added.

Thasleem said there were numerous independent organisation working on the development of Tamil schools, but there had been no significant progress.

“To overcome this, NIAT will act as the national body and all the smaller organisations can submit their reports to us, and we will send a proper paper to the ministry,” he added.

Fully-residential school needed

Meanwhile, Thasleem said that NIAT would also focus on the performance of Indian students in secondary schools.

“For the Malays, there is the Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) while the Chinese have secondary schools financed by businessmen. But what about the Indian community?” he asked.

Citing socio-economic factors as the main reason behind the poor performance of Indian secondary school students, Thasleem said a fully residential secondary school for the Indian community was the best answer.

“In 1974, MIC forwarded a memorandum to the Education Ministry calling for a special residential school. Now, 38 years have passed but nothing has happened.

“This is a clear example of institutionalised racism implemented by the past leadership of Umno,” he said, adding that he had sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak regarding this.

Ibrahim Ali tanding atas tiket Umno?

"JIka Najib pilih Tok Him (Ibrahim) bertanding atas tiket Umno, kita terima," katanya.

PASIR MAS: Umno bahagian sedia memberi laluan kepada Datuk Ibrahim Ali bertanding atas parti itu dalam pilihan raya umum ke 13, kata seorang AJKnya.

“Kalau Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak) setuju, kita akan terima. Asal calon boleh menang, kita boleh terima.

“JIka Najib pilih Tok Him (Ibrahim) bertanding atas tiket Umno, kita terima,” katanya.

Perdana Menteri akan mengadakan program bersama rakyat di Pasir Mas, petang esok.

Beliau berkata, ahli parlimen bebas Pasir Mas itu lebih sesuai bertanding di atas tiket Umno kerana presiden NGO Perkasa itu pernah menjadi ahli Parlimen Umno sebelum ini.

Pada tahun 1990, Ibrahim memenangi parlimen Pasir Mas atas tiket parti Semangat 46 pimpinan Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.


Pada tahun 2006, beliau ketika itu ketua Umno Pasir Mas dipecat dari parti ekoran tindakannya bertanding atas tiket pilihan raya kecil negeri Pengkalan Pasir.

Pada pilihan umum lalu, PAS memberi beliau peluang atas tiket parti dan mengalahkan calon BN, Datuk Abdul Rahim Rahman.

Beliau, bagaimanapun mengisytiharkan sebagai ahli parlimen bebas selepas itu atas alasan tidak sesuai dengan dasar PAS.

Kata AJK Umno itu, jika Ibrahim sayang orang Pasir Mas, beliau perlu bertanding atas tiket Umno.

Bagaimanapun, usaha menghubungi Ibrahim gagal kerana panggilan telefonnya tidak berjawab.

Railway land controversy: Dubious land transfers

Lawyer P Uthayakumar revealed that there was 'no record' of a transaction between Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Sentul) Berhad to Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of YTL Corporation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Three land transactions involving Kampung Railway in Sentul were conducted within a span of an hour on Sept 24, 2002.

Describing the transactions as dubious, lawyer P Uthayakumar said: “The Land Office records indicated that three transactions happened within an hour on Sept 24, 2002.”

In the first transaction, Federal Land Commissioner transferred the land to Syarikat Tanah dan Harta Sdn Bhd at 10.08 am.

At 10.31 am, Syarikat Tanah dan Harta Sdn Bhd transferred the land to Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Sentul) Berhad.

The third transaction was a fund mortgage from Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd to Aseam Bankers at 10.52am.

Speaking after a case management hearing involving Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of YTL Corporation) and 100 over residents of Kampung Railway today, Uthayakumar said there was however “no record that shows the transfer from Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Sentul) Berhad to Sentul Raya.”

Uthayakumar is representing 101 residents of Kampung Railway. Sentul Raya is represented by their counsel, B Thangaraj.

Another group of 23 people are intervenors represented by Rashid Zulkifli.

Earlier during the hearing in the chambers, senior assistant registrar Norhatim Abdul Hamid said the next hearing would be on April 4 under presiding High Court judge Justice Zabariah Yusof.

On Tuesday, a group of Kampung Railway residents sent a protest memorandum to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). They said the case in court was detrimental to their ongoing negotiations with YTL Corporation and DBKL.

Malay unity at its best

Yes, it is not easy to turn the Malays against the Chinese any longer, not like in 1969. It is easier to turn the Chinese against the Malays. By doing so the Malays would merajuk (sulk). They may not take up arms like they did in 1969. That may be too much to expect from present day Malays. But the Malays suffer from an illness called cepat kecik hati (feel hurt too easily).
Raja Petra Kamarudin

It was soon after the March 2008 general election. Umno was holding a meeting in Subang Jaya to discuss the election ‘disaster’. All the key Umno ‘activists’ were going to be there, many veterans or children of veterans of May 13.
I invited half a dozen of my Chinese and Indian friends to follow me to the meeting. ‘Why the hell would we want to attend an Umno meeting?” they asked me. “To learn, of course, to learn.”
Speaker after speaker took the rostrum. The crowd was stirred. “What happened in the March general election was exactly like what happened in May 1969,” said one renowned Umno activist, son of one of the architects of May 13. “Therefore, what happened in March 2008 also needs the May 13 solution.”
You do not need to be a standard six student to understand what that meant. However, considering that many of you who post comments in Malaysia Today do not get what is being said even when it is sticking up your arse, maybe I should spell it out lest you start huffing and puffing off tangent.
On 11 May 1969, the opposition almost toppled the ruling party and grabbed or checkmate a few states. Two days later, the ruling party counter-checkmated the opposition by triggering race riots.
On 8 March 2008, it was history being repeated, déjà vu. Hence, the same ‘solution’ will be required to ‘solve’ the 8 March 2008 disaster.
Unknown to most Malaysians, a few attempts were made to arouse the sentiments of the Malays like what they successfully did in 1969. But this time around the Malays were not aroused like in 1969 so the effort failed.
An example would be like what happened in Penang when some Indian-looking Malays held an anti-Chinese demonstration against Lim Guan Eng in front of Komtar in Penang and the white skullcap wearing Malays faced them and dared them to cross the line.
The 500 Indian-looking Malays did not dare take on the 1,000 white skullcap wearing Malays. There were no Chinese in sight. It was Indian-looking Malays versus white skullcap wearing Malays. And the white skullcap wearing Malays were there in defence of Lim Guan Eng, a Chinese.
So it looks like the race card no longer works in this day and age like it did back in 1969. A new strategy would be required. Instead of trying to turn the Malays against the Chinese, which will not work, why not let the Chinese whack the Malays? If we try to tell the Malays that the Chinese are the enemy, the Malays will not buy that. But if the Chinese whack the Malays then in time the Malays will get sick and tired and turn their back on the opposition.
The Chinese are more aggressive than the Malays. Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad thinks so when he lamented that the Malays are too passive and should be more aggressive like the Chinese. So, instead of trying to work up the Malays against the Chinese, why not work up the Chinese against the Malays?
When provoked, the Chinese react very strongly with foul language and all. Malays, being more feudalistic (another thing about the Malays which Dr Mahathir is pissed about) have been ‘trained’ since when they were toddlers to kowtow to authority. Even the Friday prayer kutbah (sermons) keep reminding the Malays that they must kowtow to authority. So the Malays are not as militant as the Chinese who kicked out their feudal lords a long time ago.
The Malays are also more forgiving. They can whack you for ten years but once you turun padang and go visit them at home, they become very honoured and immediately become your strong support. You also need to just hold the chief for the rest to follow -- again, the herd mentality, as Dr Mahathir said. Even Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s First Prime Minister, agrees with this. ‘Pegang kepala cukup. Yang lain akan ikut,” said the Tunku.
But Malays have two idiosyncrasies. One is ‘Melayu pantang di cabar’ (it is taboo to provoke a Malay). The other is the amuk syndrome. Is not the English word amok taken from the Malay word mengamuk? That’s because Malays appear to be the only race that has a penchant for doing this (the result of the legend of Hang Jebat, a Malay hero).
Malays also have a proverb that goes: biar mati anak, jangan mati adat. Malay culture and traditions must be upheld even if the child needs to be sacrificed.
And what else does the Malay hold dear and will kill or die for? What else? Islam of course! If the Malays can be made to feel that Islam is being compromised, challenged, insulted, etc., then they will rise in anger as they do even if they are not Malays like in Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. A challenge against Islam is a challenge against God and hence you must die or else I will die trying to kill you. That is my duty as a Muslim.
Take all these ingredients and mix them into a bowl and what do you get? What you get would be a fruitcake. And we need fruitcake Malays if we want to turn the Malays against the Chinese.
Yes, it is not easy to turn the Malays against the Chinese any longer, not like in 1969. It is easier to turn the Chinese against the Malays. By doing so the Malays would merajuk (sulk). They may not take up arms like they did in 1969. That may be too much to expect from present day Malays. But the Malays suffer from an illness called cepat kecik hati (feel hurt too easily).
Hey, I can believe that. I am only part Bugis, part Orang Asli and part Welsh and even I get kecik hati with many readers of Malaysia Today when I read the comments they post. Even I, who can claim to be not pure Malay, have many times considered just closing down Malaysia Today and tell the lot of you to go to hell or go screw yourselves. What more the Malays from the kampongs?
Today, PKR, PAS and Umno are united on the Erykah Badu ban. They are also united on the view that apostasy needs to be combated. So the Malays can, if they want to, set aside their political differences and unite under a common cause. You just need to find that cause. And there are enough causes out there to latch on to. The rest would be clever engineering.
And this is something the Chinese do not understand. The Chinese are prepared to compromise. They can accept a bad government in the interest of cari makan (rice bowl). They can accept ABU even if we replace a bigger devil with a smaller devil and even if both are devils but merely differ in degree. They can accept the lesser of the two evils as long as the lesser evil is to their interest.
The Malays, as Tun Dr Mahathir lamented, are too passionate, sentimental and emotional (which makes them better lovers, of course -- and am I not passionate, sentimental and emotional in the way I write?). The Malays, according to Tun Dr Mahathir, are not pragmatic like the Chinese. And this is why the Malays fail while the Chinese succeed, argued Tun Dr Mahathir.
Sun Tzu said: to win the war you need to know your enemies. Raja Petra Kamarudin wants to add to what Sun Tzu said: to win the war you also need to know your friends.
The question is: which one is your friend and which one is your enemy? Your enemy is not the 51% Malay voters who voted Barisan Nasional in March 2008. Your enemy is certainly not the 49% Malay voters who voted Pakatan Rakyat in March 2008. Your enemy are those who walk in the corridors of power in Putrajaya and the 2,500 Umno delegates who attend the Umno general assembly to elect their party President who then becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Today, many Malays already feel kecik hati. If Raja Petra can become kecik hati what more the other Malays? And this can only mean one thing: Umno is succeeding. Umno did not succeed in turning the Malays against the Chinese. Umno succeeded in making the Malays become kecik hati because they feel the Chinese have now demonstrated that they are not real friends of the Malays.
That, my friends, is called realpolitik. And would Umno be able to rule Malaysia for 55 years if they did not understand realpolitik? Can those of you who entered the scene only in 2007 be better than those who have been playing this game since 1957? I fear not, my friend.

Bumi / non-Bumi? Or one people, one nation, all equal? You decide

by Haris Ibrahim,

I started this blog on 14th April, 2007.

And this blog bears testimony that my politics has, during this time, been about striving to end the inequalities and consequent injustice inflicted on almost 40% of our people by reason of UMNO / BN’s race-based, ethnocentric divide and rule of the country.

This includes the bumi / non-bumi classification.

UMNO / BN will not give up on these divides.

And I’m not just talking about the leaders in UMNO.

In late 2010, I attended a talk by Bernard Dompok in Assumption Church, PJ.

In the course of his presentation, he mentioned the word ‘bumiputra’ twice.

During Q&A, I asked him whether, given Najib’s 1Malaysia, he would not lead the way in dsimantling the bumi / non-bumi divide by pronouncing his refusal to be categorised as a bumi?

I do not remember his exact words, but he responded to the effect that Malaysians by far and large may not as yet be ready to abandon the benefits that go with being classified as bumi.

In reality, it is the BN leaders, their cronies, and bumis who have benefited from this classification that wish to see this divide continue.

The majority of those classified as bumi have only had crumbs tossed from the BN banquet table, for which they are expected to be eternally grateful.

What of the non-BN political party leaders?

Through all of 2007 and the better part of 2008, I blogged that I wished Anwar would give me a reason to trust him enough to run this country.

Then, in August 2008, in my ‘Dear Anwar’ post, I had written that whilst I still did not trust Anwar, 3 things had moved me to ‘take a chance’ with him.

I want to reproduce here what I had said in that post of the third thing that had moved me to take a chance with Anwar leading this nation.

“…on 5th August, I heard you deliver your ceramah in Bentong, Pahang.

I have attended many of your ceramah but, quite frankly, this was the first time that I heard you speak with humility, particularly your appeal to any who might feel inclined to go to Permatang Pauh to help in your election campaign.

What particularly touched me and my family who were present, something that has also got the mention of G. Krishnan in his blog today, was when you said :

‘Anak Melayu, anak kita, anak Cina anak kita, anak India, pun anak kita. Mengapa harus kita bezakan?”

Succinctly, you had articulated that which I have felt for such a long, long time and which, without more, sums up the spirit of anak Bangsa Malaysia that I hope one day will be definitive of us as a people of this nation.

It is this last matter that I have mentioned, irrational as it may seem to many, that has most moved me to ‘take a chance”.

I will hold Anwar to this.

In the last few weeks, speaking at several ABU ceramah, I have time and again denounced UMNO’s claim to defend the special rights of the Malays.

There is no such thing as special rights of the Malays.

There is no such creature called bumiputra known to our constitution.

These are concepts and statures contrived by UMNO to divide us, rule us, and then bleed us to death.

Again and again, I have asked at these ceramah, how it is that, without this privilege that UMNO calls ‘hak keistimewaan Melayu’, the Malays in Singapore and Brunei fare better than the Malays here?

The answer : the Malays in Singapore and Brunei have not had to suffer 50 years of UMNO rule, rape and plunder.

I expect the non-BN political parties who look to us to send them to Putrajaya even as we work to bury UMNO / BN come the 13th GE, or through our own Tahrir Square, as the case may be, to have the moral courage to go to ground and tell the rakyat that we were intended to be and are a nation of equals.

Without mentioning names, I want to say that I am quite tired of non-BN politicians telling me, as did Bernard Dompok, that whilst they agree that we are all equal, the general populace are not ready to hear this.

Again, without mentioning names, I am quite fed up of listening to non-BN politicians assuring the Malays that their special rights will not be affected if there is a regime change in Putrajaya.

The reality is that politicians, on both sides of the divide, would rather leave this thorny issue to be dealt with on another day.

Another day, about 50 years from now, if they had their way.

And if you let them have their way, get ready to live with this bumi / non-bumi divide for a long time yet.

Home Biodata Publication « Ex-CCID chief blasts Gani for ‘fixing’ him Not all of us are still blind, are we?

May Chee Chook Ying - The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 1 — Not too long ago in a land not so far-away, in the kingdom of the blind, a one-eyed led. The kingdom didn’t start out as having only blind citizens. The truth was; those seeing ones were incarcerated for precisely, having seen the light. As soon as anyone with a well-formed conscience saw it his duty to illuminate others, this one-eyed jack would throw him behind bars, using draconian laws and spineless institutions as his side-kicks.

Along the way, he promised the blind he would lead them to the Promised Land. That he would liberate them. That they would be blind, no more. That they would neither thirst nor hunger anymore. Today, he has seemingly succeeded in making only a handful free, see and who neither have to thirst or hunger anymore. Today, he stands, guilty of nepotism, cronyism and worst of all; he has made more gone not only blind, but totally dependent on “crutches”. All these were by design. His design, so that till the day he died, and maybe even beyond the grave, others would be beholden to him and all that he holds dear.

Is there no God that a mortal could play with our lives so wantonly? So irresponsibly? So cruelly? Our beloved country has been plundered to feed his ego and greed. Our people have been maimed to allow him control. And we can’t stop him?

We, live, purportedly, in the best democratic country on earth and all the above can happen here, so easily? Who are we fooling?

“No man loses his freedom, unless, it is through his own weakness,” said Gandhi. Some of us here in Malaysia, have been “incarcerated” through our own making. That, I believe, is only a minority. He can’t be having a dossier on each and every one of us, can he? So, why let him continue to mess up our lives and our beloved country, Malaysia?

Every day, the headlines, of course not the mainstream media, scream out one scandal or another. There are days I wish I wasn’t a Malaysian. There are days I wish I had left long ago. I’m really paying a lot more to remain a Malaysian, forgoing a lot more to remain in these shores. Some days, I really cry when I pray for my country, Malaysia. Dear God, is there no stop to all these heinous “crimes” (for want of a better word), past and present? And someone got sent back to stare death in the face over a tweet? And some to have their liberty denied for a good many months, for having shoplifted milk for their young? And billions of dollars to be written off just like that, to erase an old lion’s wrongdoing? (That, too, came with shameless taunting!) Is there no sense of balance anymore in my beloved country, Malaysia? Didn’t we all have to slog for those billions?

Friends have asked, “Why didn’t you leave?” I used to say, “How can I leave my mum behind?” My mum died three months back. Do I still have any excuse? I do. I, really do. How can I leave the country I love so much behind?

I’m appealing to all Malaysians; I know the majority of you are right-minded. Please, you can put a stop to this “prevalent doom”. We are Malaysians, we can do this. We love our country, Malaysia and because of this, we shouldn’t allow her to be annihilated like this. She doesn’t deserve this. The majority of us, work night and day, to build up Malaysia. Our forefathers did, too, with their blood, sweat and tears! How can we let her go to the dogs like this? We are all Malaysians. Please, unite behind the truth. Please, do not be divided by the cowards who still take us for fools. Please, do not let those one-eyed ones lead us astray anymore. We are “seeing” people. We can take them on. We don’t need crutches. There is enough for everyone. For that, the plundering has got to stop! Period.

I would not say that I’m deeply religious but I believe that there’s a God. All these wonderful creations of God are meant to be shared by all mankind. One is not to plunder and deny his neighbour of his rightful stake. We are put on earth temporarily to care for God’s beautiful creations. In denying our neighbour, we do not do justice to the God we love. In denying Malaysia her rightful place in history, we, all but deny our very own existence and God’s wonderful creation. (What can I say; I’m a coward for I live my life in fear of God!)

I do not want to be responsible for a Malaysia with a blighted history. Do you?

Malay Vote Split Can't Be A Good Thing: Puteri Umno

KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 (Bernama) -- Puteri Umno today rejected the statement made by PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who reportedly said that Malay vote split could be good for the people in the country.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the statement showed that Dr Dzulkefly favoured disunity among Muslims in Malaysia.

"Puteri Umno is appalled at the actions of PAS leaders who prefer disunity and hostility; in fact in many cases, they are more willing to cooperate with non-Muslims to the extent of disregarding the need to unite Malays who are Muslims in the country," she said in a statement.

Maintenance challege for low-income housing

The biggest challenge for low-cost housing in the country – apart from actually building enough low-cost homes – is the maintenance of these blocks.
The effectiveness of the maintenance depends on:
  • the level of community solidarity (including an accountable residents committee),
  • income levels (the pressure of contributing to maintenance when wages can barely keep up with the cost of living) and
  • household debt (which has been rising).
This article from theSun:
HDB flair for our public housing
Posted on 1 March 2012 – 04:57am
Himanshu Bhatt
IN October 2009, I had penned in this column my impressions about the state of public housing, citing the foul and decrepit conditions of most residential estates meant for low-income earners.
I had pointed to the Pekeliling flats whose shabby high-rise blocks had stood in ugly contradiction to the modern Kuala Lumpur skyline. There were others like the Kampung Melayu and Rifle Range flats in Ayer Itam, and the Bagan Dalam flats in Butterworth. Most were in such deplorable condition that they required immense physical overhauls – from paint jobs, to pipe and tile replacements, to complete wiring changes.
In particular, maintenance was wanting. Garbage chutes were filthy, lifts commonly in disrepair, clogged drains, rotten pipes and strewn litter. The designs of the buildings seem to have catered more for volume than for healthy living conditions. Natural lighting and air circulation within public passageways were usually poor, and there were far too little recreational facilities and sites.
Is it any wonder that there has been a stigma associated with low-cost housing in Malaysia? And I had wondered aloud how our public housing could have fallen to such shameful levels when, in contrast, Singapore’s mass housing system has been made to work so well.
Indeed, with public housing under the purview of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), low-cost houses in Singapore are characterised by a high degree of cleanliness, community programmes, regular planting and pruning of trees, and meticulous infrastructure.
Well, the Penang government raised some eyebrows last month when it announced that a former division of the HDB had been enlisted to design and help maintain the state’s most ambitious public housing programme yet – the RM2.7 billion Bandar Cassia Affordable Housing Scheme.
Targeted to house a population of 250,000 on what is now sprawling virgin land in Batu Kawan, the project will use the services of Surbana Corporation Pte Ltd, the former building and development division of the HDB.
It would adopt the same eco-friendly and sustainable living features used for acclaimed HDB projects in Singapore. Boasting an impressive man-made river, it would have recreational facilities and amenities never before included in low-cost and low-medium-cost projects in Malaysia.
Indeed, the HDB is said to have the best record for affordable housing in the world. “Why imitate the best when we can bring in the very best?” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said during the ground-breaking ceremony and unveiling of the designs.
The Batu Kawan project is centred around a 2km “Community Green Spine” with some 40 acres of land with parks and lakes. Bus stops and amenities would be within three minutes walking distance from any residential block.
There will also be sports facilities like badminton courts, swimming pools, football fields and tennis courts. And each phase will be gated and guarded with smart card access systems and secured lift lobbies.
It may sound like a luxury condominium project, and deservedly so. Why should our citizens be deprived of essential facilities, cleanliness and services, just because they are from a lower strata of society?
There was of course expected criticism that the state had entrusted a foreign neighbour. But why should this be a problem when Singaporean companies are being welcomed to invest in the Iskandar region in Johor?
In fact the state government has drawn up a five-year master plan to repair and revitalise its existing 42 public housing estates. But as it was doing this, it hit a rut when it was unable to implement the newly gazetted State Housing Board which would be crucial for its plans to promote and spawn affordable housing.
The board was set up through an enactment passed by the state assembly in 2010. But a special committee to study higher level posts in the federal government decided to postpone appointing any civil service positions in the board, effectively putting it in limbo.
So the advent of a Singaporean HDB-style system and vision must serve as a bold, fresh shake-up of our public housing sector. For in Lim’s own words, “we don’t want to give our people boxes, we want to give them homes.”
Himanshu is theSun’s Penang bureau chief. Comments:
Apart from the problem of mainteance, we should think twice about introducing gated communities for public housing on what is former public or state-owned land.
Gated communities manifest a number of tensions: between exclusionary tensions rooted in fear and protection of privilege and the values of civic responsibility; between the trend toward the privatisation of public services and the ideals of the public good and general welfare; and between the need for personal and community control of the environment and the dangers of making outsiders of fellow citizens. (Snyder and Blakely, 1999:3″
City, Society, and Planning: City
By Ashok K. Dutt, Baleshwar Thakur, University of Akron. Dept. of Geography & Planning, Association of American Geographers. Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group

Gated communities promote the idea of separation and insecurity. In an egalitarian and just world, which we must work towards, there would be little need for such segregation.
We need to identify the root causes fuelling a sense of alienation, deprivation and marginalisation (income inequality being one of them).