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Friday, March 16, 2012


Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished
Screened at the UN in Geneva and New York and also shown to politicians at the House of Commons, the European Parliament and key figures in the US Senate, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields prompted comment from leading political figures around the world, including Prime Minister David Cameron. Yet these war crimes still have yet to be properly investigated or those responsible brought to account – despite UN sources suggesting the Sri Lankan government forces killed up to 40 thousand civilians – perhaps many more in this period.
This powerful follow-up film, also presented by Jon Snow, presents damning new video evidence of war crimes including contemporaneous documents, eye-witness accounts, photographic stills and videos relating to how exactly events unfolded during the final days of the civil war. It investigates who was responsible – the results point to the highest levels of the Sri Lankan government and complicity at the top of the army.
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished forensically examines four specific cases and investigates who was responsible. The cases are: the deliberate heavy shelling of civilians and a hospital in the ‘No Fire Zone’; the strategic denial of food and medicine to hundreds and thousands of trapped civilians – defying the legal obligation to allow humanitarian aid into a war zone; the killing of civilians during the ‘rescue mission’ and the systematic execution of naked and bound LTTE prisoners – featuring new chilling video footage of a 12-year-old boy who has been brutally executed.
Despite pressure from human rights groups and the report by a UN-appointed panel of experts which called for a thorough international investigation into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the Sri Lankan government’s internal inquiry, ‘The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ published in December last year, failed to conduct any kind of rigorous investigation into the allegations of war crimes. It specifically denied that any civilians were knowingly targeted with heavy artillery. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished explores the reasons behind the apparent international inaction at the time, in calling the government of Sri Lanka to account.
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished presents shocking new video footage and evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity which trace ultimate responsibility up the highest echelons of the chain of command. This film asks questions of those who still hold the reins of power in Sri Lanka – President Rajapaksa, commander in chief and his brother Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaska – and two former army chiefs who have landed prime diplomatic posts since the war ended and immunity from prosecution.
With the England cricket team set to tour Sri Lanka once again this month and Sri Lanka now confirmed as the venue for the next commonwealth heads of government meeting in 2013, this film is a stark reminder of the terrible suffering of a people who have been failed and forgotten by the international community.
Director: Callum Macrae
Exec Prod: Chris Shaw
Prod Co: ITN Productions
Comm Ed: Dorothy Byrn

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields War Crimes Unpunished.

Warning: This content contains disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians.
First Broadcast: Wednesday 14 Mar 2012
In 2011 Channel 4 exposed damning evidence of atrocities committed in the war in Sri Lanka. Jon Snow presents this powerful follow-up film, revealing new video evidence as well as contemporaneous documents, eye-witness accounts, photographic stills and videos relating to how exactly events unfolded during the final days of the civil war.
Discuss and read full programme synopsis
Programme available internationally as well as in the UK and Ireland.
First Broadcast: Tuesday 14 Jun 2011 Channel 4
Jon Snow presents a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.
With disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians the programme features devastating new video evidence of war crimes – some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast.
Discuss and read full programme synopsis
Programme available internationally as well as in the UK and Ireland.
Related Links to know more of the Sri Lankan Tamil Killing Field with the silent support of GOI.
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 01:38 GMT]
Even though diffusing, deviating and hijacking the need to address the crux of the crisis in Sri Lanka, the US-tabled resolution at the UNHRC and the associated diplomatic deliberations and muscle-flexing seem to be artfully fixing the onus on India, in lines with the long legacy of Indo-US competition ruining the aspirations of genocide-affected Eezham Tamils. India could seize the opportunity and could come out with alternative righteous options to counter the trap, but the guilty-filled Congress regime is incapable of them. As New Delhi’s stand has been repeatedly proved an impediment to justice in the island and at the same time New Delhi is also not doing anything on its own other than shopping there, the question comes whether removal of the Congress regime is a prerequisite to India’s progress in the region and in world affairs, writes TamilNet political commentator in Colombo. Read more…..

Conference on International Protection of Human Rights in the 21st Century –Case Study on Sri Lanka


Tuesday, 13 March 2012 09:28
Conference Review
Feb 22,2012
Conference on International Protection of Human Rights in the 21st Century – Case Study on Sri Lanka organized by Center for War Victims and Human Rights was held on Feb 21, 2012 at Pearson Conference Center, Toronto, Canada. Bracing the cold weather academics, lawyers, activists, MPs, and the public filled the conference center to capacity. The conference began with the speech from CWVHR president Anton Philip who outlined the history and development of human rights instruments such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Convention Against Torture and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The panel speaker Ms. Deridre McConnell from Tamil Centre for Human Rights (London, UK) explained the historical, political and social conditions that resulted in the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. She showed that the conditions Tamil face in Sri Lanka is worse than apartheid in South Africa.
Danilo Reyes program officer from Asian Human Rights Commission (Hong Kong) spoke on the topic of “Accountability in constitutionally entrenched impunity”. He explored whether is it possible to find accountability in a country where violations find impunity from the constitution.   He urged that this has to be combated and addressed if we are to make any progress with respect to accountability in Sri Lanka.
Rev Dr. S J Emmanuel from Global Tamil Forum (London, UK) provided an activist point of view of the Tamils struggle in Sri Lanka. Read more….
War Without Witness in Sri Lanka…
Sri Lankan Defence Ministry White Van Abduction leader identified as Major Gen. Jagath Alwis
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:11
It has now come to light that the Rajapakse regime criminals with the white van who were for the first time caught by the people and handed over to the Wellampitiya police comprised two Captains, a Lieutenant and a Corporal. These criminals associated with the raging white van murder syndrome had been freed from the police custody unlawfully and taken away by Western zone seiner DIG Anura Senanayake who had arrived at the police station early morning at about 4.40 yesterday. Anything of this most lawless Idi Amin style operation had not been recorded in the police registers. read more…
Sri Lanka War Crime – Execution of 12 year old boy
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 12:07
Photograph of the body of Balachandran Prabhakaran the 12 year old son of guerilla leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He was captured with his bodyguards on 18 May 2009, the final day of battle. The five men were trussed and blindfolded, and shot while the boy watched. He was then neatly executed, a final few bullets pumped into him as he lay on the ground. read more…

Dubai housemaid gets jail for sex out of wedlock

Housemaid admitted absconding from sponsor and having an affair with a man in Dubai

Dubai: An absconded housemaid has been given a jail sentence after a court convicted her of having sex while unmarried that resulted in an illegitimate baby.

The Dubai Misdemeanour Court jailed the 31-year-old Filipina housemaid, J.J, a mother of a two-year-old boy, to 14 months in jail.

Prosecution records said J.B. admitted absconding from her Emirati sponsor in Fujairah. She came to Dubai and indulged in a love affair with a man named James.

She claimed she had unprotected sex with James, a fellow Filipino, who ditched her as soon as she informed him that she was pregnant.

UN vote against Sri Lanka: India's moral dilemma?

Compel Bestino to resolve issue, BNM urged

Investors in the failed gold investment scheme want bank officials to call for a tripartite meeting and pressure the company to refund their monies

KUALA LUMPUR: Investors in the nation’s largest gold invest scheme today urged Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to compel the company’s director Chong Yuk Ming to refund their monies.

“We want BNM officials to make a trip to Ipoh, where the company is based and meet Bestino directors and investors to resolve the matter,” said M Saraswathy.

Saraswathy, who leads Bestino Action Committee, said this after a meeting with the central bank’s assistant governor Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya.

Saraswathy said that investors were upset after Chong ignored a letter, dated Feb 14, from BNM asking for a tripartite meeting involving the bank, Bestino directors and the investors.

It is learnt that Chong failed to respond to the letter and had also refused to attend the meeting. “It is so weird that Chong, an individual, can be so defiant,” said Saraswathy.

Bestino, which is based in Ipoh, stopped taking in investments after BNM raided the company for illegal deposit-taking activities last year.

Four of its directors were charged in the Sessions Court in Ipoh on Feb 23, 2011, with illegal deposit taking under section 25(1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 and section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.

More than 6,700 people who had invested RM411 million in the scheme are demanding that BNM and Bestino return their investments.

‘Something fishy going on’

Chong, on Feb 13, told the media that the Bestino was prepared to return the money to the investors on April 30, provided BNM gave its approval.

Following the statement, BNM issued an official clarification, saying Bestino need not wait for a green light from it and the company could go ahead and refund investors their money.

The Bestino action committee last week sent a letter to Chong demanding Bestino pay back the investors monies after the clarification by BNM.

They also urged Chong to show the proof of the US$146 million (RM438 million), he claimed was in HSBC Bank in Hong Kong and which will be used to refund investors.

Chong declined, and said that BNM clarification on their website cannot be taken as an official approval to bring in the money into Malaysia.

“Something is fishy in this case,” said Saraswathy.

She added that the best way to sort out the ongoing issue is for tripartite meeting among the directors, investors and BNM.

“We already requested the assistant governor for an official meeting in Ipoh. I hope BNM can accede to our request soon as possible.”

“If BNM fail to do so then the investors will siege again the central bank,” she added.

Azmin: Tuduh PKR guna khidmat agensi Yahudi bohong

Ahli Parlimen Gombak mahu Umno mengemukakan bukti lanjut.

Sekitar Dewan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR: Timbalan Presiden PKR, Azmin Ali menyifatkan tuduhan yang dilemparkan Umno Selangor dengan mendakwa parti itu menggunakan khidmat agensi Yahudi untuk merancang kempen dan jentera Pilihan Raya (PRU12) lalu, adalah tidak berasas sama sekali.

Azmin, ahli Parlimen Gombak berkata jika tuduhan itu benar, beliau mahu Umno mengemukakan bukti lanjut.

“Jika benar mengapa tiada tindakan sehingga hari ini…kemukakan bukti. Sebab itu dalam perbahasan saya, saya minta Umno hentikan budaya fitnah, samseng dan tumpukan kepada soal rakyat, dasar dan program untuk mengangkat martabat rakyat,” katanya yang ditemui pemberita di lobi parlimen hari ini.

Umno Selangor baru-baru ini mendakwa Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim menggunakan khidmat agensi Yahudi membantu PKR merancang kempen dan jentera dalam PRU12.

Setiausaha Badan Perhubungan Umno Selangor Datuk Seri Ir Mohd Zin Mohamed berkata agensi itu, Yayasan Konrad Adeneur (KAF) membantu Anwar dari segi dana dan latihan modal insan, selain menyerap masuk badan pemikir (think tank) melalui Institut Kajian Dasar (IKD).

Mohd Zin dalam pendedahannya mendakwa berdasarkan sumber dalaman maklumat PKR sendiri, KAF turut memainkan peranan penting dalam memberikan dana pembangunan teknologi dan latihan kepada PKR.

Budaya fitnah

Azmin berkata, Umno kini tidak mampu mendepani isu rakyat sehingga membudayakan fitnah dan samseng tanpa sebarang asas untuk dilemparkan kepada pihak pembangkang.

Sementara itu, ketika diminta mengulas pengunduran Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil sebagai Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat beliau berkata ia hanya sandiwara untuk memperbodohkan rakyat.

Ini ujar beliau, perletakan jawatan itu dibuat memandangkan ia tempoh akhir jawatannya pada 8 April depan.

“Ini hanyalah sandiwara dan usaha bodohkan rakyat. Namun rakyat hari ini matang dan tidak boleh diperbodohkan oleh Umno.

“Jika beliau bertanggungjawab, maka perlu letak jawatan lebih awal supaya proses perundangan dapat berjalan dengan telus tanpa sebarang campurtangan eksekutif,” katanya.

There is evidence and there is evidence

Those who thought that the Third Reich’s cause was futile and spoke up were labelled as traitors, cowards, Trojan horses, turncoats, agents of the Allies, and whatnot and were sent to the firing squad. So it was most advisable to just nod and agree and tell the Fuhrer that it was a brilliant plan. Of course, behind the Fuhrer’s back they will mutter and say that the Fuhrer is mad. But you do not tell this to the Fuhrer’s face.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

A friend from Liverpool dropped in a couple of days ago and our discussion touched on the subject of ‘Malaysian mentality’. “How do we change the mentality of Malaysians?” he asked me. “Do you think you should write simpler? But you are already writing in very simple English. I don’t know how simpler you can write. But still most people can’t seem to get the simple message you are trying to convey.”
They say if the message is lost then it is the conveyor and not the receiver of the message who must be blamed. It is the job of the conveyor to ensure that the receiver understands the message. If not then the conveyor is at fault.
I suppose this would be true to a certain extent. But how far should and can you go to ensure that the receiver gets the message? I mean, have you noticed that English-speaking people when talking to, say, an Italian who does not speak English, will shout and speak slowly? They feel that if they pronounce word-by-word in a very loud tone then the non-English speaking person would understand what you are saying.
Suddenly the Italian-speaking person is supposed to understand what you are saying.
The chap would reply, in Italian of course, and would probably say: I…CAN’T…SPEAK…ENGLISH….THAT….DOES…NOT…MEAN…I…AM…DEAF!
That reminds me of an incident my wife and I had in Paris many years ago. We walked up to two policemen to ask for directions to the Eiffel Tower. In perfect Queen’s English one of the policemen asked me: Do you speak English?
I replied with a broad smile on my face that I did and he responded, again in perfect Queen’s English: Well, we do not speak English.
I got the message. We then walked over to another policeman further down the road and asked: boleh tolong tak? Eiffel Tower di mana?
The baffled policeman then asked me: Do you speak English?
And I replied, “No!...ah…little, little,” and showed two fingers clasped tightly to demonstrate the ‘little, little’. The pleased policeman then rattled away in English and was most helpful -- but of course I had to scratch my head and give him a very puzzled look as if I understood only part of what he said.
Malays call that ‘main wayang’.
Anyway, people will believe what they want to believe. There is just so much you can do in delivering a message. However, the job of a messenger is very dangerous. Have you heard how they used to kill bringers of bad tidings in the old days?
If the receiver of the news likes the news, they will gleefully accept it. If they don’t, then the messenger must be put to death. That has been happening for more than 2,000 years if you believe in the Greek Mythology of Proetus, his protégé Bellerophon and his father-in-law Iobates, or stories about the Trojan War.
Hence, we have to live with the occupational hazard of being the bringer of bad tidings. More than 2,000 years of history has taught us that you must always tell the King what he likes to hear. To do otherwise would result in your death.
Who dared wake Hitler from his sleep to inform him that the Allies had landed on Normandy? Waking the Fuhrer was bad enough. But to wake him up to such bad news would mean you would get sent to the firing squad. So they allowed the Fuhrer to continue sleeping while they pondered on what to do. By the time the Fuhrer found out, the Allied forces were already halfway to Berlin.
And should you be the mouse to bell the cat? Napoleon proved that engaging the Allied forces on two fronts and invading Russia was suicidal. If the Russians do not kill you, the cold and starvation will. Napoleon lost 600,000 soldiers. It is estimated that Hitler lost the same number of soldiers although 20 million died in total if Russian soldiers and civilians were included in the death toll. But then the European population in 1800 was only 200 million compared to one billion or so in 1940.
Those who thought that the Third Reich’s cause was futile and spoke up were labelled as traitors, cowards, Trojan horses, turncoats, agents of the Allies, and whatnot and were sent to the firing squad. So it was most advisable to just nod and agree and tell the Fuhrer that it was a brilliant plan. Of course, behind the Fuhrer’s back they would mutter and say that the Fuhrer is mad. But you do not tell this to the Fuhrer’s face.
Anyway, people will always believe what they want to believe. And it is very difficult to change their viewpoint even how simple your English may be. Take religion as one example. Probably more than 90% of the people believe that there is a God or at least some form of higher power. They will kill and die to defend this belief.
But can they prove all this? What is the basis of this belief? Some will quote verses from the Quran or the Hadith. Others will quote from the Bible or whatever Holy Book they believe in. Every single person will swear that this ‘fact’ came from God Himself.
Can you rebut this? Of course, if you use reasoning, you can. But the believers will not accept reasoning. Their belief is based on handed-down stories. And based on these handed-down stories they will argue that this is all the ‘proof’ that they need.
Hence, when humankind has been conditioned and brainwashed into accepting what they like to believe and rejecting what they don’t like to believe, it works in a vicious circle. Beliefs are what are comfortable to you to believe. And if you do not feel comfortable then you will not believe it.
That is the bottom line. And that is how humankind has been programmed. So, should I bother about trying to change these beliefs? If people can accept the belief that killing those who do not believe in what you believe is what God wants you to do and you will be rewarded for all those women and children you have killed, then my chances of changing beliefs would be very slim.

MAS – AirAsia Swap Deal Was a Mistake

The Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto/ Policy Committee thinks that the share swap deal between Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and AirAsia was a mistake and Najib as the chairman of Khazanah should be responsible for this mess.

From the onset, the justification of this collaboration is of suspect. If the intention is for MAS ti focus on premier services while AirAsia on no-frills services, no exchange of equity is needed.

Since the collaboration took place, a lot of aggressive route and capacity cuts have been undertaken, mostly involving MAS. Furthermore, it has killed Firefly’s (MAS’ low cost carrier) lucrative budget services that were giving AirAsia a run for its money.

Clearly, this is a form anti-competitive behaviour displayed by MAS-AirAsia. Having AirAsia’s chief executive, Tony Fernandes, and his deputy Kamarudin Meranun on the board of MAS only serves the interest of AirAsia at the expense of consumers.

Additionally, The Edge has also reported that the share swap deal faced resistance from the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union (MASEU). It is understood that MASEU’s representative had met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to air the union’s unhappiness.

Unfortunately, all this confirmed the predictions made by independent, not-for-profit research institute REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) on 12 Aug 2011, soon after the swap was announced. REFSA said that this collaboration would result in less frequent flights, reduced job prospects for airline staff and fewer opportunities for all Malaysians due to less connectivity.

Speculations are now abounding on the possibility of the Prime Minister asking Khazanah to buy back the stake exchanged with Tune Air.

In light of this development, we hope that Khazanah will not be bailing out Tune Air. Considering the fact that MAS reported RM2.52 billion net loss for 2011, its largest loss in history, Khazanah must buy back the stake at a lower price to reflect MAS’ terrible performance since the deal was made.

At the same time, advisory fees paid to the GLC that advised on the deal – CIMB Bank – should be clawed back since the deal was obviously flawed. In less than 6 months after the deal MAS reported this massive loss.

Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto/ Policy Committee

Rafizi Ramli
Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad
Liew Chin Tong

Mr Prime Minister, debate this!

by Praba Ganesan - The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 15 — So Najib does not like to debate. But why not?

Some people don’t like to eat oranges, we let them be.

So I suppose if some have the right to not like round juicy objects which are hard-going — peeling with your hands and all (so prole!) — you can equally extend this right to Datuk Seri Najib Razak in other arbitrary matters, such as refusing to debate publicly about our country’s current path and how to raise the bar as a progressive society.

However, the prime minister has to keep some consistency, just so the historians characterise him right later.

He should start by closing down Parliament. This is an institution intended to encourage our finest political minds to have laborious, unyielding and rarely funny discussions about the country, mostly by disagreeing.

The idea was, I hope it still is, that by getting people to argue their own side or opinion or position and putting them up against others who do not quite agree with them, then more equitable, meaningful ideas are given life. That by talking about something with great discipline we discover better ways to do the things we already do or even things we should be doing. They debate, so our lives become better.

But this is dangerous, since debate is not part of Malaysian culture or Malaysians are not ready for it.

So since Parliament exists for debate, then the prime minister has to stop it. For eventually things like the Prime Minister’s Question Time will lead to, hold on, yes, oh yes, debate.

Second, he might want to explain if he does genuinely dislike debates, then why is it that he is talking through our TV sets everyday of our lives. More so, lining up with him there’s a whole bevy of people — his deputy and a motley crew of ministers — all nudging each other aside so they get more airtime on TV stations.

They clearly like to talk, and talk a lot, just like Najib. And it does seems, Najib has so much to say, all the time.

So what’s missing here, between these talking engagements and loathing this debate thing — where, surprise, surprise, people are also speaking.

This is most ponderous. Most mystifying. Almost worthy of hiring consultants with jargon guns.

Ah, they talk back. In this debate thing, people talk back to what the prime minister says. They would say in these debates “that will never happen while they are in power” other nasty things like enquire about Najib’s ideas and thoughts. Horror, grief, shame, people asking Najib about the contentious bits in his policies.

Najib must go awhirl at the mere mention of such a reality. Fleeting thoughts pass him, he wonders, what happened to those good old days when feudal lords spoke and the rest listened?

I say, you say

The deputy prime minister does point out that leaders don’t need to engage those in power, they just need to service the people.

On the face of it, it has some merit, but let’s take a step back and consider it. Why do we debate?

This is what I used to tell my students, pardon if it sounds patronising.

A long time ago, when human societies were shaping up — living in caves, clubbing animals and chasing their partners — might was right. Primacy was established by brute strength. Scoring on a date back then took a completely different dimension.

At this point, the students would look at me puzzled.

It dawned through trial and error, or more apt — hit and miss — that all the violence was starting to wear everyone down.

There must have been this enormously dramatic moment, when someone screamed, “Hey, can we stop? I’m tired of waking up sore. Why don’t we just talk about it and decide?”

Thus the first debate probably started. Two individuals or groups wanting the same thing having to talk about which or what should prevail, that reason should be the guiding light since interests are at odds.

Through a series of discourses, societies find their communal reason or purpose.

Communal reason or purpose is not inherited, it is conversed. Which is why great societies are associated with traditions of speech, debate and engagement. Conversely, when those societies forcibly remove speech, debate and engagement, decay sets in.

They derive their purpose from the intellectual stimuli produced by contrasting ideas.

Summary: A beating is not the only solution. Sometimes you can just talk about it.

But things don’t just resolve themselves because a different way has emerged. Human society, as advanced as it seemingly is, has without fail is confronted with the choice of reason or force.

Obviously, those with force, power, resource or whatever you may call it shudder when they face reason. Even if they fear not reason, they realise if reason is excluded their superior force will always the day.

They seek ways to reduce the need for discourse and increase the focus on force-resource. Relying on their monopoly over carrot and stick to douse our collective will to argue our case.

Hey, us on the other side of the track

I’ve known guys like Najib all my life. They like to win by not competing. Why compete when you can declare yourself the winner, over and over?

But do people like Najib know the rest of us? They think everything is about managing the masses. Sure, we want food on our tables and our healthy children having a place to sleep.

However we have ideas, just like the prime minister or even his personal driver. In a democracy where there is universal education, people without ideas will be scarce. In abundance are those who disagree, and here’s the news Tengku Adnan, if you are unwilling to deal with a Malaysia that disagrees with you more often than not, then your political viability has already expired years ago.

All that is denying a full-on, nationwide debate of everything is the state’s physical might. But every day that is becoming less and less relevant. The debate, this conscious discussion on this country’s conscience will continue on, general election or not.

A general election is not “the end all and be all” of a country, its people are.

I refuse to live in a country where the privileged shut me out of the discussion because we did not go to the same school or play hop-scotch in the same gated community.

This doggedness is not just in me, it is in many of my countryman, which is why by the day it is becoming far more uncomfortable for the elitist community always thinking their resources will keep them above the law, and certainly above any need to defend their positions.

Najib can choose to eat oranges but not debate, but the time to choose is slowly drawing to a close in Malaysia.

He must know that trying to win on his terms, without needing to intellectually defend his positions under pressure, is a fubar.

He may keep some votes and stop the bleeding by staying away from debates, but he must know the votes he loses from now on will never return.

So Najib, care to debate now?

A-G called to seek views on new laws replacing ISA

ImageThe New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has urged the Attorney-General to engage more with stakeholders regarding the two new laws to replace the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA).

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday engaging with stakeholders, including the Malaysian Bar Council, human rights groups and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), was vital in obtaining views on what the new laws should entail.

He said although it had not been determined who would be engaging with the stakeholders, he felt it would be best for the A-G to organise such sessions.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the ISA would be abolished and replaced with two new laws on the eve of Malaysia Day last year.

The new laws will deal with anti-terrorism measures and maintaining public order.

On another matter, Hishammuddin said his ministry was looking into ways to improve the living standards of enforcement officials in the country.

"We want to improve the conditions of police stations, barracks for Immigration officers, mobile police stations and living quarters.

"I will be visiting the Immigration officers in Johor to seek their views on the changes that we can make."

He said the ministry was drawing up the list of police stations around the country that urgently needed to be upgraded.

Indonesian Maids Undergoing Four Skill-training To Get RM700 A Month

By Ahmad Fuad Yahya

JAKARTA, March 15 (Bernama) -- The first batch of 106 Indonesian maids bound for Malaysia are undergoing four skill-training courses for 21 days starting Thursday and they will be paid at least RM700 a month.

This was concluded at the Malaysia-Indonesian Joint Task Force for Deployment, Placement and Protection of Indonesian Maids' meeting Thursday, said Director-General of Indonesia's Labour Placement Development Dr Reyna Usman.

He said the task force concluded that the maids would be employed to do only one of the four household tasks for which they were being trained for -- cooks, baby sitters, caretakers of elderly people or housekeepers.

"If a maid is employed as a cook, she will only be tasked with chores related to cooking and will not be doing any other duties such as babysitting or washing clothes," he said after attending the task force's meeting at the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration here.

Reyna said that the deal concluded by the joint task force was expected to prevent recurrence of problems affecting maids and employers.

Indonesia will eventually send between 4,000 and 5,000 skilled maids a month to Malaysia, he said, adding most of them were currently being trained for specific skills in Surabaya, East Java and Bekasi, West Java.

He said during initial stages, the maids would be trained by 12 of 176 Indonesian employment agencies while their placement with employers would be taken care of by five of 221 employment agencies in Malaysia.

The deployment of maids from Indonesia was resumed after the Indonesian government withdrew its moratorium on sending maids to Malaysia on Dec 1, 2011.

Indonesia imposed a freeze on the supply of Indonesian maids to Malaysia on June 26, 2009 following reports of cases of abuse by employers.

Mat Sabu peppers serious message with cow jokes

After milking the cattle-condo scandal for laughs, Mat Sabu urges Malaysians to vote for change to avert the possibility of the nation plunging into bankruptcy.