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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Insiden Kg Kerinchi: 3 mahasiswa dipukul

France deports 2 Islamic radicals, will expel 3 more

(CNN) -- The French Interior Ministry announced Monday it has deported two Muslims and plans to expel three more in a crackdown after the killing of seven people by a suspected Islamic extremist.

A statement by Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the moves were part of "an acceleration of the deportation procedures of foreign Islamic radicals."

An Islamic militant from Algeria who was involved in 1994 attacks in Marrakech, Morocco, was sent to his home country Monday, the statement said. In addition, a Malian imam was returned to his home country for sermons that promoted anti-Semitism and rejection of the West, it said.

Deportation proceedings also have started or are planned against three others: an imam of Saudi nationality, a militant Islamist from Tunisia and an imam from Turkey, the statement said.

It cited provisions in the law governing aliens and political asylum, saying the statutes "allow this type of decision with regards the 'urgent need for state security or public safety' or 'conduct likely to harm the fundamental interests of the state.' "

According to the statement, other expulsions will occur soon.

Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told French radio that 19 people had been arrested in a series of police raids on suspected Islamists.

The raids came a week after gunman Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people, was shot dead after a long siege in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Sarkozy, who is running for re-election, said the raids were intended to "deny the entry of certain people to France" who did not share the country's values.

"It's not just linked to Toulouse. It's all over the country. It's in connection with a form of radical Islam, and it's in agreement with the law," he said.

Sarkozy suggested then that more raids would follow, saying, "There will be other operations that will continue and that will allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people who have no reason to be here."

Merah was blamed for the killings of three French paratroopers, a rabbi and three Jewish children ages 4, 5 and 7. Two other people were seriously wounded in the shootings.

Merah told police he had attended an al Qaeda training camp while visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

But his uncle, Jamal Azizi, denied statements by French authorities that Merah was an al Qaeda sympathizer and that he had traveled to Afghanistan or Pakistan to train to use arms.

Honour killings: Man shoots wife for ‘talking’ to his relative

“First I killed Habibullah. Then I killed my wife,” says husband, unaware that his wife had survived the shooting and was recovering at Rajanpur DHQ hospital.
RAJANPUR: Two people were killed and another was critically injured on Monday in ‘honour’ crimes in Rajanpur.

Basti Chachar resident Hafeezullah shot his wife, Parveen Bibi, 17, and relative, Habibullah, suspecting them of having illicit relations.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hafeezullah said, “I had been following Habibullah after I saw him leaving my home in my absence. I caught my wife, Parveen, talking to him. His relationship to me does not matter. My wife need not talk to my relatives.”

“First I killed Habibullah. Then I killed my wife,” he said, unaware that his wife had survived the shooting and was recovering at Rajanpur DHQ hospital.

DHQ hospital Medical Superintendent Sultan Laghari said, “Parveen Bibi is out of danger but we will keep her at the hospital for a week and monitor her recovery.”

He said she had been shot twice in the abdomen and once in her leg.

Habibullah’s brother Abdul Hameed filed a complaint against three people, including Hafizullah and Parveen’s father Sadiq on charges of murder.

Rajanpur SHO Talib Babar said, “The main accused has been arrested but two others are still at large. They will be arrested soon.”

Habibullah’s body was handed over to relatives after post mortem.

In another incident, Noor Bhari, 20, a resident of Shah Wali, was slaughtered by her brother-in-law Shakal Khan for having ‘loose morals.’

According to the DHQ hospital post mortem report, her legs and then her arms were chopped before she was killed. Her upper body was thrown near the canal while her limbs were buried under a shrub close by. Police recovered these when her husband Hameed Khan led them to the place.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hameed said his brother, Shakal Khan, had told him to keep his wife at home and accused her loose morals. He said that he had seen Shakal Khan leave from the place were the body was recovered.

Noor Bhari’s brother Shah Meer has filed a complaint against Shakal Khan. The accused had not been arrested by the time this report was filed.

Investigating Officer Shamsher Ali said the accused will be arrested soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.

Anwar refused to resolve Chinese school issue in 1987, says Soi Lek

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Chinese voters should not trust Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to resolve the Chinese school issue as the pact’s leader refused to fix the problem when he was education minister, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said today.

The MCA president said that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had refused to budge on the government’s appointment of non-Mandarin educated principals and senior assistants to vernacular schools in 1987, despite strident protests from Chinese educationists.

By doing so, Anwar, who now leads the opposition, caused Operasi Lalang that same year, he added.

“You must remember that in 1987, Ops Lalang was because of Anwar,” he told reporters at Wisma MCA here after a party presidential council meeting.

“He refused to do anything... So if the Chinese have so much confidence in Anwar, then we should have second thoughts.”

Operasi Lalang saw the arrest of 106 opposition leaders, Umno politicians and Chinese educationists under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The crackdown — which the government has described as necessary to head-off growing racial tension between the Malays and the Chinese — also saw the printing permits for four papers revoked.

Dr Chua also pointed out that during his time as opposition leader, Anwar “has not said a word” about Chinese education, and claimed the opposition has hijacked the issue for political mileage.

He charged that Chinese education has not been given prominence in PR’s Buku Jingga manifesto, with the exception of some “motherhood statements”.

The former health minister also hit out at rival party DAP for “hijacking” a rally held on March 25 to protest the shortage of qualified Chinese school teachers in the national education system.

DAP was using the issue to create “hate politics”, he said, which ultimately led to the alleged assault of deputy education minister and MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong by a protester at the rally.

“We condemn the violence and abuse directed at Wee Ka Siong. You may not like it but Wee Ka Siong was selected by the government to head the panel to resolve this issue.

“The Chinese should not be hoodwinked into saying the Chinese education issue is because of MCA,” he said.

Dr Chua added that while education is a federal issue, state governments could still extend their help to Chinese schools by giving land and subsidies for temporary teachers as well as electricity.

He also questioned why opposition-led states have not done more in this regard.

“Why have none of them done that? They only give RM5 million, RM3 million and talk around the whole world,” he said.

“MCA has given more than the Penang government... but we didn’t shout about it because we feel it is our responsibility to do so,” he said.

Exciting, challenging for Najib

After three years in office, the prime minister believes people have more confidence in the government

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak described his three years in office as very exciting and full of challenges.

“We have come a long way in the three years. When we started, we started from a position that was full of challenges, that is the political tsunami and there were lots of sceptism and cynisms.

“But after three years, people have more trust and confidence in the government. The rakyat believed we can deliver and we have delivered,” he told the Malaysian media during a conference today.

Najib, who took office from his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is here attending the first day of the two-day, 20th Asean Summit.

He said macro figures looked very promising and the private sector had responded well.

He added that foreign direct investment had reached a record high after 10 years, and a total of RM120 billion in investments were recorded in one year alone.

He said the Gross Domestic Product had reached an all-time high and the government managed to reduce fiscal deficits.

“All these indicate, we have created a fresh momentum over the years. Our GDP has been good. The NKRAs [National Key Result Areas] have exceeded target and the challenges would be to

continue with the momentum because we have achieved much in the last three years.

“Insyaallah (God-willing), give us another five years, we will deliver more,” he said.

Najib added that he was surprised that it had been three years.

“I feel gratified because the Cabinet has been very supportive. I could not have done it alone. My colleagues have supported me all along.

“We have delivered on the promises we have made and that is important. When we promise, we deliver,” he added.

On the challenges he faced on the political front, Najib said the opposition would use every single issue possible, and they were not constructive to find solutions but to prolong issues until the next general election.

“Their mindset is not to seek solutions but to create and prolong issues,” he said.

- Bernama

VK Lingam faces contempt charge

The lawyer had accused a Federal Court panel of plagiarism in a judgment against his clients

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has decided that lawyer VK Lingam and his clients can be cited for contempt of court for alleging that an earlier panel of the court had committed plagiarism.

A five-man panel headed by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria today allowed the ex parte application after hearing submissions by Cecil Abraham, representing liquidators of the family investment company Kian Joo Holdings Sdn Bhd (KJH).

Lingam’s 12 clients were the majority contributories of KJH, which a High Court ordered to wind up in 1996. They include See Teow Chuan, the former group managing director of Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd (KJCF). Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck were appointed liquidators of KJH.

In 2009, Lingam’s clients filed an application at the High Court to stop a company called Can-One Bhd from acquiring a a 32.9% stake in KJCF. They failed, but the Court of Appeal subsequently reversed the High Court decision.

The case was then brought to the Federal Court, which on Jan 5 this year ruled that the liquidators could proceed with the sale of the shares to Can-One.

Lingam, acting for the 12, then filed a notice of motion seeking a Federal Court review of the previous panel’s decision. The applicants sought a rehearing of the appeal before a new Federal Court panel.

In the notice of motion, they claimed that the Federal Court, in its written judgment against them, substantially reproduced a written submission by Ooi and Ng without attribution. They alleged that the court did not conduct an independent and impartial review of the evidence and the law.

Today’s panel ruled that Abraham had made a prima facie case against Linggam and his clients.

Arifin said the panel would convene on April 13 to hear Lingam’s submission.

Abraham had submitted that there was no proof of actual bias on the part of the court. “It’s a serious attack on the judiciary and there is no evidence that the Federal Court was impartial in its decision,” he said.

Federal Counsel Azizah Nawawi, who acted on behalf of the Attorney-General’s office, agreed with Abraham.

Residents want 42-year-old road pledge fulfilled

Tun Abdul Razak first promised a road from Kapit to Kanowit 42 years ago. His son repeated the pledge during the last state election.

KAPIT: The calls for the construction of 71km Kapit-Song-Kanowit road are now getting louder and louder as the more than 120,000 Kapit people are waiting for the federal government to fulfil its promise made more than 40 years ago.

It was the then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak who made the promise to build the road in the presence of the Federal Minister of Sarawak Affairs (Tun) Temenggong Jugah Anak Barieng and the people of Kapit when he visited the town about 42 years ago.

Since then several promises had been made by federal leaders.

The latest promise came from Razak’s son and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak during the campaign for the last state election.

When announcing an allocation of RM90 million to construct phase two of the road, Najib said: “I want to help Kapit people. I just consulted the Finance Minister.

“I am the Finance Minister, so I must approve it. It’s not an empty promise. I will fulfil it,” Najib was quoted as saying.

“My father (Tun Razak) was in Kapit 42 years ago,” he said.

Kapit is the only town in the country that is not linked to any town in Sarawak. It depends on the mighty Rajang River as its main mode of transport where scores of high-powered express boats are plying from Sibu to Kapit, passing through towns such as Kanowit and Song and hundreds of longhouses.

After Najib had made the promise, more and more people came forward to demand for the speedy construction of the road.

Lack of development

Jugah’s grandson and the incumbent MP for Kapit Alex Nanta Linggi said in Parliament that “Kapit is one of the remote areas without road linking it to other towns in Sarawak”.

“I don’t want to paint a glowing picture of Kapit, because development is not there.

“All the development promises like the construction of a trunk road are yet to be implemented,” Nanta said, and warned that the Barisan Nasional might lose its rural constituencies which the BN regarded as its “fixed deposit” to the opposition.

State Land Development Minister and president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak James Masing also bemoaned the lack of road development in Kapit.

“We are far behind as we are not connected by road. Our aim now is for Kapit to be connected to the rest of the state by road,” he told businessmen in Kapit.

Indeed the construction of the Kapit-Song-Kanowit road has been the talk of the town following the promise made by Najib.

In fact, it is everybody’s dream to see a road connecting Kapit, Song and Kanowit being constructed, especially now when travelling along the Rajang River by express boats is no longer reliable due to the impoundment of Bakun Dam, which makes certain parts of the once mighty Rajang River shallow and are not passable by express boats.

“The government has been promising the people for the last 40 years to build the road,” said 76-year old Kapit resident Neo Eng Siew.

“I am already old. I just hope one day before I pass away Song will be connected to both Kapit and Kanowit.

Prioritise the road project

The latest to voice the people’s demand is Kapit Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KCCC) which wanted the government to prioritise the road project.

Its chairman Yong Hua Sying said: “Now or never. Strike while the iron is hot. During the walkabout by the prime minister on April 14 he announced RM90 million for the road project between Kapit and Song.

“KCCC welcomed the effort of the government to construct the road to link Kapit-Song-Kanowit and thereon to the rest of the state.

“The first phase of the tender was awarded to construct slightly less than 1.9km of road between Kapit and Sungai Yong. The tender for the second phase to construct 12km has also been called.

“Our stand is for the government to prioritise the road project so that 44km stretch between Kapit and Song could be done quickly,” Yong said.

He was concerned that the road project, if not done quickly, would affect voters who had been urged to remain loyal to the BN candidate.

The current MP for Kapit (Alexander Nanta Linggi) won the seat twice uncontested as the rakyat believed the government would do its best to fulfil their needs.

“We don’t ask for extra. Sarawak gained its independence about 50 years ago.

“On the day of independence, we have dreamt to have the road,” Yong said

Added Neo: “How long more can the people of Kapit and Song wait?”

Home Ministry rejects HRP’s registration

The Human Rights Party (HRP) will file its third application for judicial review within 40 days following yet another rejection by the authorities.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry today rejected the Human Rights Party’s (HRP) application to be registered as a political entity, more than a month after the KL High Court ordered the ministry to decide on the matter.

Last August, the Registrar of Societies (ROS) rejected HRP’s application, which was submitted in November 2010, on the grounds that the application was not in order and that the party’s constitution did not meet its requirements.

HRP objected to both these claims and took the matter to court. In objecting to ROS’s rejection, the party said that its constitution was 99% similar to the “tried-and-tested constitution” of the 46-year-old DAP and that ROS had refused to state exactly what needed to be corrected in their application.

In a press statement released today HRP pro-tem secretary-general, P Uthayakumar, described the Home Ministry’s decision to reject their application as “historic”.

He said HRP is the country’s first political party to have been rejected. He also accused the government of being politically motivated in reaching this decision.

“This male-fide decision is aimed at stopping HRP from championing equal rights and opportunities especially for the Indian poor, and from contesting in the 13th general election.

“The decision is also in retaliation against (Hindu Rights Action Force) Hindraf for smashing a watermelon at the doorsteps of Putrajaya last week in a mockery of Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak’s ‘nambikei’, he said alluding to the party’s action’s last week.

On March 25, Hindraf smashed a watermelon with the words ‘nambikei’ written on it during a protest at the Prime Minister’s Office to emphasis how the government had broken the Indian community’s trust.

Uthayakumar pointed out that HRP has been awaiting registration for 13 years since it first applied for the registration of Parti Reformasi Insan Malaysia (the predecessor of HRP) in 2000.

But he added that this latest setback would not stop them from filing its third application for a judicial review within 40 days.

“It’s not so much a matter of belief that justice will be served by the 1Malaysia judiciary but more of a matter of principle,” Uthayakumar said.

“A total of 46,871 NGOs – the latest being Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) – have been registered with ease. Only Hindraf and HRP have been rejected. Does the government fear the resurgence of Hindraf?” he questioned.

‘Bowing to Umno’ Speaker draws flak

Pakatan Rakyat MPs blasted Pandikar Amin Mulia for not listening to them and for pushing the PSC report through without a debate.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has come under fire for approving the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) report on electoral reforms without debate.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim also condemned Pandikar for not listening to Pakatan Rakyat’s challenge with regard to attaching a minority report.

“It has been allowed in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Jamaica. He (Pandikar) does not want to allow for a discussion.

“He challenged us three times to come up with a precedent. When we raised this, he didn’t want to listen,” the PKR Permatang Pauh MP told a press conference in Parliament.

Anwar also accused Umno of having a hand in the matter, and suggested that the Speaker was following the ruling party’s demands.

“For me, it clearly shows arrogance (by the Speaker, who) doesn’t want to hear or give space for us to explain, and bows to Umno’s demands,” he said.

Earlier this morning, Pakatan MPs tried to debate a motion to attach a minority report to the PSC’s report on electoral reforms.

However, Pandikar said that there was no precedent in any Parliament within the Commonwealth that allowed for this.

At the time, he cited New Zealand parliamentary proceedings as proof for his claim but Pakatan MPs claimed that the Speaker was being selective in his examples.

The minority report contained a detailed explanation on fundamental issues, including that of a allegedly tainted electoral roll.

These included the 42,000-plus voters who were not listed in the National Registration Department and Mimos’s (Malaysian Institute of Microelectric Systems) detection of 80,000 voters with similar addresses.

Today, a clearly moody Pandikar claimed that the opposition was not interested in debating the results of the PSC. He then called for a vote, which saw Barisan Nasional MPs voting in favour.

‘Taskforce registering foreigners’

Pakatan’s three PSC members – Gombak MP (PKR) Azmin Ali, Kuala Krai MP (PAS) Hatta Ramli and Rasah MP (DAP) Anthony Loke – said that the committee was a failure because it did not meet its objectives after six months of meetings and public inquiries.

The nine-member PSC also consisted of five BN MPs and one Independent MP.

The Pakatan MPs claimed that adding the minority report was rejected by the PSC during its final meeting on March 28.

“We asked for the report [to be added], but we were not allowed to present [it]. It was rejected during the final meeting,” said Loke.

During the press conference, a disappointed Pokok Sena MP (PAS) Mahfuz Omar said that he had proof of a “taskforce” involved in registering foreigners into the electoral roll.

Adding that he was not given a chance to debate this today, he vowed to raise the matter again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, PSC chairman Maximus Johnity Ongkili said that there was no need for a minority report as Pakatan’s dissent was already recorded in the original report.

He added that EC was in the midst of cleaning its electoral roll. Postal votes, he said, was only for soldiers serving on Malaysia’s borders. Other soldiers, he said, would have earlier voting periods instead.

Indonesia's Shark Fin Trade

This is going to empty the oceans
Despite the damage to the global marine ecosystem, Indonesia has no rules on shark fishing

The lowly reef shark, it seems, is not a very dangerous beast despite its menacing appearance. It grows to be anywhere from 5 to 10 feet in length, constantly hunting squid and shellfish as well as almost any other type of fish haunting tropical reefs.

They are also extremely easy to catch, sometimes swimming curiously up to divers and fishermen. As a result, they have been easy prey for those seeking to provide China with its gigantic and growing hunger for sharks’ fins as the country grows richer and sharks’ fin soup becomes a de rigueur dish at a growing number of banquets, according to Riyanni Djangkaru, the Jakarta-based editor of Divemag Indonesia, in an interview. And 15 percent of the world’s catch of sharks, Djangkaru says – more by far than from any other nation – come from around the 17,500 islands, most of them with teeming reefs, that make up Indonesia. Few other nations, she said, supply anything more than 1 percent of the catch.

“Indonesian sharks are mostly reef sharks, they are not aggressive,” Djangkaru said. “That is why Indonesia has the biggest shark-fin production in the world.” She swims with the animals regularly, she said. They play an important role at the top of the reef food chain pyramid, removing sick and weakened fish from the habitat, playing a vital part in the ecological balance of the reef. The world Wildlife Fund has called reef sharks one of the world’s most important species.

For a decade or more, the world has increasingly caught on to the devastation from shark-finning and made it a cause celebre, partly because of the gruesome practice by some fishermen who catch the animals, cut off their fins and drop them back into the sea to drown, although far more are caught in nets or on hooks.

Campaigns have been mounted in many countries to seek to stop the practice, which is regarded as not only cruel to the sharks but a real environmental danger. But not in Indonesia. At Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, one stall in fact sells sharks’ fin to travelers on their way out of the country. In the western Java city of Bandung, according to Djangkaru, the mayor, Dada Rosada, suggested publicly that Indonesians supplement their diets with shark meat According to a study for the Oceana Foundation, titled, Predators as Prey: Why Healthy Oceans Need Sharks: “As top predators, sharks help to manage healthy ocean ecosystems. And as the number of large sharks declines, the oceans will suffer unpredictable and devastating consequences. Sharks help maintain the health of ocean ecosystems, including seagrass beds and coral reefs. Healthy oceans undoubtedly depend on sharks.”

And so far, although across the world other countries are increasingly outlawing shark-finning in their waters and restaurants and hotels have begun to drop sharks’ fin soup, Indonesia at this point isn’t paying any attention. In addition to supplying China and the Chinese diaspora, Djangkaru says, it has become fashionable to eat shark in Indonesia itself, with warungs, or small outdoor family-run restaurants, have begun serving shark steaks although shark is neither very tasty nor particularly edible.

“In Indonesian culture, they like something fashionable,” Djangkaru said. “In a lot of Indonesian cities, it’s trendy. You can also find grilled sharks, there are shark restaurants, in the rural communities, the little warung across the street, those kinds of habits, it is a trend that is now threatening our sharks.”

Djangkaru and her diving colleagues in Indonesia have become increasingly worried about the devastation to the country’s shark population. The diving industry in Indonesia is growing in numbers and clout because of the country’s vast numbers of island, which make it a divers’ paradise. Diving tourism is growing as well. Divemag has been leading a campaign to try to educate Indonesians on the depredation to the environment that shark finning is producing – and, she says, to point out that sharks’ fin is basically tasteless. It is in fact questionable, she says, why sharks’ fin has become a delicacy, other than because of the taste of the broth, which has nothing to do with the shark’s fin. One Chinese friend posited that because the shark is regarded as the most powerful figure in the ocean, and because it is the fin that provides the power, Chinese believe eating the fin can confer strength and power.

According to a report by Mary O’Malley on the Birya Masr website, the Indonesian shark catch increased from 1,000 metric tons in 1950 to 117,000 metric tons in 2003. The value has skyrocketed as well. Of the 10 most-endangered species of sharks, Djangkaru and a colleague, Priska Ruharjo, recently told an Indonesian television talk show, every one swims in Indonesian waters. Across the planet, Ruharjo said, 99 percent of the world population has been wiped out, a figure that has been disputed by other authorities. Nonetheless, Ruharjo said, 32 percent of all shark species are endangered.

Others dispute these figures, saying the number of sharks killed for their fins is far smaller than advocates of outlawing shark finning say they are, and that banning the shark fin trade isn’t going to help much, since many countries such as Germany, France, Island and Australia have long killed the fish for their meat. The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies held a symposium in Singapore in February at which detractors said claims that 73 million sharks a year are killed for their fins are wildly exaggerated. Some put the figure at as low as 25 million – still a huge number of death sharks.

“Let’s put the blame on Stephen Spielberg,” Djangkaro said, because of the popular producer’s 1975 blockbuster movie Jaws, which stirred revulsion against the animals. “People think sharks are dangerous, if you meet one you have to kill it before they kill you. All over the world, fishermen are fishing for shark fin.”

Although the biggest decline in sharks was found in shark species that tended to stay close to the shoreline, all sharks are at risk, according to O’Malley’s report, which says the Thresher, a deep ocean shark, has fallen in numbers by 80 percent since 1986, Great Whites by 79 percent and that Hammerheads face the worst calamity with an 89 percent drop from 1986 to 2000.

Shark fin exports actually peaked in the mid-1990s, and by 2006 had declined to about half the mid-1990s level, according to O’Malley’s study. That, she said, “certainly suggests a serious decline in shark populations.” As sharks have been depleted in the traditional fishing grounds in the western and central portion of the Indonesian archipelago, the pressure has moved to the east, including the waters of Raja Ampat, which she calls the richest and most bio-diverse marine environment on Earth.

The most important deterrent to the killing appears to be people who actually get into the water with sharks and discover that they aren’t killers, and that in fact when sharks attack people, Spielberg aside, they usually mistake them for seals or sea lions.

Today, eco resorts have started to appear, overcoming the reef shark destruction. According to O’Malley, blacktip reef sharks can be seen cruising across the lagoon in Raja Lampat, and recently were seen mating as tourists spent lots of money to watch. There is world class diving and many of the top sites in Raja Ampat are within a short boat trip. Misool Eco Resort, for instance, is now a luxury dive resort in a tropical paradise. But it’s also much, much more. The resort, she wrote, represents a model of conservation, sustainability and service to its host community. Perhaps shark-watching eventually will catch up with whale watching as a tourist pastime.

Are we Bangsa Malaysia enough?

By Haris Ibrahim,

Pakatan Rakyat does not believe in BN’s racial politics emphasising an old agenda of “a Malay leader taking care of a Malay, a Chinese leader taking care of a Chinese and an Indian leader taking care of an Indian.”"Time has arrived for everyone to take care of everyone, regardless of race, religion and colour,” – YB Lim Guan Eng as reported in Malaysiakini.


On 14th May, 2007, I wrote this in my post ‘Bangsa Malaysia : Cyber Dream?’

Until ‘sons and daughters of Malaysia’ can truly mean each is a brother and sister one to the other who look out for each other at all times and not only when it is ‘safe’, those who continue to dominate us by the ‘divide and rule’, ‘Malays must have political power cos the Chinese hold the economy’ and ‘don’t you dare question our rights’ rethoric will continue to rule the day.

Until you are unable to sleep because there are brothers and sisters languishing as ISA detainees, poor and the impoverished, religiously persecuted, know then that your own desire for Bangsa Malaysia is only skin deep.

Until you are prepared to purge the racist and the apathy in you, Bangsa Malaysia will always remain a dream for you.


For a long time, I have agonised over writing this piece to challenge my fellow Malaysians. Finally I said to myself – “what the heck? If I don’t do it now, I may not live long enough to see if they really care about the future of this beloved land”.

What better time to challenge my fellow citizens if not the approaching 50th year of nationhood. So here goes.

For too long, we have allowed to our own detriment a “cartel” of self-serving politicians and their coterie of entrepreneur buddies to set the agenda for this nation. They have moulded our thinking and controlled our thoughts, behaviour, responses and actions using the time-tested symbols of manipulation – race and religion!

We readily succumb to their clarion call to defend the race and religion and have fallen victims to our own comfort zone of categorising and stereotyping our fellow Malaysians along these lines. We, without a thought, consciously and sublimely succumb to grand generalisations and condemn our fellow beings based on these categories.

“All Malays are stupid, lazy and dependent on government handouts!”

“All Chinese are greedy, uncouth and are prone to using any means to accumulate wealth!”

“All Indians are dirty, untrustworthy and are prone to alcoholism and criminal activities!”

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your worldview very little is heard by way of generalisations on Kadazans, Ibans, Dayaks, Melanaus and other minority Malaysians because we ,especially in Peninsular Malaysia, have rarely taken the trouble to know about, let alone understand our East Malaysian brethren.

God forbid, if and when we do so, I am sure some equally ridiculous generalisations will spew forth from our warped minds! And we will spew it with relative impunity with nary a thought!

Just for a moment reflect on these generalisations…..better still say it out aloud!

Can you honestly with a clear conscience say that you have no family member, relation, friend or associate of your so called “racial-religious tribe” that is not stupid, lazy, greedy, uncouth, dirty or untrustworthy? If you can I would really like to meet you and your pure tribe! You really must be specially selected by the Creator.

Have you not ever come across Malays that are intelligent and industrious and self-reliant; Chinese that are generous, civilised and not wealthy; or Indians that are clean, trustworthy and “teetotallers”?

What about the Malay cardiac surgeon who did a triple by-pass on your father and saved his life? What about the Chinese hawker who donated his day’s entire earnings for the tsunami disaster victims? What about the Indian who donated his kidney to save your cousin?

Have you not ever come across, heard of, or befriended a fellow citizen of the “other” tribe who was kind, considerate, generous, moderate, rational and objective etc.

Surely you have but you would in all probability have rationalised it as he or she is “different” because….. You would have subconsciously enumerated a host of reasons not to “upset” your comfortable worldview.

So why do you do it? Because it is so easy when you stereotype and rationalise your way through life using tribal categories. You don’t have to think and waste your precious brain cells. It makes you feel secure. It gives you a warm feeling of oneness, ownership and identity with the ilk of your tribe.

You reinforce your ignorance with equally ignoramus tribe members and everything is honky-dory! The bonding feels good! You feel great wallowing in your misplaced tribal pride.

And of course the cartel has ensured that you continue to muddle along this way because they will always benefit from this tribal mindset. Ah! But have you for a moment reflected on what the cartel does to control and reinforce your thoughts and actions.

Consider these “symbols” of thought control and manipulation so creatively used by the cartel:-

“Bangsa Malaysia versus Ketuanan Melayu”

“Perpaduan Negara versus Perpaduan Ummah”

“Malaysian Malaysia versus NEP”

“Secular State versus Islamic State”

“Bahasa Malaysia versus Bahasa Melayu”

“Bumiputra versus Non-Bumiputra”

“Constitutional Liberties versus Social Contract”

Think! How many times have you fallen for these Machiavellian machinations?

Worse still how many times have you used them to achieve your own ends?

Did you really feel good about yourself?

Did not an “inner voice” say something to prick you?

Of course it did, but you rationalised it anyway!

So my fellow citizens the buck stops with you!

You and only you, can do something about breaking the shackles of tribal group think!

And this 50th Merdeka will be truly meaningful if you take the first step to liberate your mind from the insidious control of the cartel and your respective tribes.

I challenge you not to meekly accept your tribe’s group think and let the cartel’s agenda hijack your mind! Pledge that from this day on – to rephrase Martin Luther King – “I will not judge my fellow Malaysians by the colour of their skin or their religious affiliation but by the strength of their character and the courage of their conviction”.

This Merdeka Day commit to beginning the process to really take charge of your thought processes. Once you have sorted out the obvious “inequities” in your mind, move out of your comfort zone and go forth to “liberate” your family, relatives, friends and tribal members.

And Oh Yes! – don’t forget your fellow Malaysians. They are waiting to bond with you and discover the true meaning of nationhood! – Jayanath Appudurai

BERSIH 2.0: Penipuan pilihan raya akan berterusan

Gabungan pendesak reformasi pilihan raya BERSIH 2.0 kecewa kerana laporan jawatankuasa pilihan parlimen untuk menambahbaik proses pilihan raya (PSC) tidak membawa lima isu utama yang dipertikaikan.

Menurut BERSIH 2.0, lima isu berkenaan ialah:

Manipulasi dalam daftar pemilih;
Skanda undi-untuk-kewarganegaraan di semenanjung Malaysia;
Penguatkuasaan Akta Kesalahan Pilihan Raya 1954 dan mengukuhkan takrid kesalahan pilihan raya;
Rancangan untuk menghentikan ‘politik kotor’; dan
Pemerhati undangan antarabangsa

Sehubungan itu, jawatankuasa pemandu BERSIH 2.0 menyatakan kebimbangannya bahawa penipuan pilihan raya dan perkara lain yang tidak kena “berkemungkinan tinggi” akan berterusan tanpa dibendung.

“Peluang keemasan untuk membetulkan kesilapan dan untuk berbakti kepada rakyat Malaysia buat masa kini dan masa depan, dengan dukacitanya telah berlalu,” kata jawatankuasa itu dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

BERSIH 2.0 merupakan jawatankuasa yang bertanggungjawab menganjurkan perhimpunan untuk menuntut reformasi dalam proses pilihan raya pada 9 Julai tahun lalu.

Perhimpunan raksasa itu antara lainnya menyebabkan pentadbiran Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menubuhkan PSC yang disasarkan untuk memberi cadangan bagi menambahbaik proses pilihan raya.

Parliament debate on PSC report on electoral reform – most disgraceful episode and worst blot on Malaysian Parliament in nation’s 55 years

What happened today is the most disgraceful episode and worst blot on the Malaysian Parliament in the nation’s 55 year history.

It all stemmed from the mistake made by the Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin who had rejected an amendment motion by the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reform, Loke Siew Fook (Rasah), Mohamed Azmin (Gombak) and Dr. Mohd Hatta (Kuala Krai) seeking to incorporate a minority report into the PSC final report tabled in Parliament yesterday.

After the PSC Chairman Datuk Maximus Ongkili moved the motion on the PSC report after question time, Loke stood up to object to the Speaker’s rejection in chambers of the amendment motion by the three PR MPs.

Pandikar quoted Parliamentary precedents from New Zealand and the United Kingdom and said there is no such thing as a “minority report”.

When PR MPs responded to Pandikar’s invitation to quote precedents and pointed out that the Speaker had been wrongly advised when he claimed that there is no such thing as “minority reports” in Commonwealth Parliaments, Pandikar refused to review his decision.

Parliament spent close to an hour before lunch recess on the Speaker’s refusal to allow the amendment to the motion on the PSC report so to append a minority report addressing the fundamental issue of a clean and comprehensive electoral roll and this issue continued to dominate Parliament when the House resumed proceedings after lunch with Deputy Speaker Datuk Robert Kiandee in the chair.

Shortly after the post-lunch exchanges, Pandikar made a surprise entry into Parliament and took over from Robert Kiandee and proceeded to suspend three PR MPs Azmin, R. Sivarasa (Subang) and Dzulkefly Ahmad (Kuala Selangor) for questioning the Speaker’s ruling.

This reduced the House to pandemonium with all the PR MPs standing up in protest. This created a din in the House with PR and Barisan Nasional MPs as well as the Speaker shouting at the top of their voices.

Pandikar lost control of the House and hurriedly put Maximum’s motion to a vote without debate, which was allegedly passed with the majority of MPs not knowing what was happening! The House was then precipitately adjourned.

A sad day indeed when many MPs had wanted to debate the PSC report on electoral reform.

Pakatan Rakyat MPs from all the three parties, DAP, PKR and PAS, were prepared for a full debate on the PSC report on electoral reforms, zeroing in particularly on the Election Commission’s failure to ensure a clean and comprehensive electoral roll – the prerequisite for a clean, free and fair elections in the 13th GE.

In fact, only one of the eight Bersih 2.0 demands for clean, free and fair elections is being implemented – on the use of indelible ink.

Even on the 10 recommendations of the PSC interim report, only two have been fully accepted while the others have either been accepted only in part or rejected totally like the Election Commission’s rejection of the PSC interim report proposal for a reconfirmation of voters’ roll in Sabah and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the serious problem of illegals becoming voters in Sabah.

Under these circumstances, can Malaysians expect the 13th GE to be clean, free and fair in keeping with Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim of Malaysia as “the best democracy in the world”?

Disband Rela, Bar Council urges

Malay Mail - by The Malay Mail Team

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council has reiterated its stand that the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) be disbanded and its financial resources are allocated towards strengthening the police force.

Its president Lim Chee Wee said the government should reconsider Rela’s relevance following the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance in December last year.

“The Malaysian Bar has consistently been calling for Rela to be disbanded because its services are no longer needed in the modern era of professional policing and community-based policing, and its abuses arising from poor recruitment, screening and training — the problems of which are too difficult to overcome short of disbanding it,” he said.

Lim said there were currently three million Rela members out of 27 million Malaysians.

“This effectively means that one out of 10 Malaysians are involved in Rela. This number is too big to manage,” he said.

The Bar’s call came in light of the death of 32-year-old Nigerian student Onochie Martins Nwanko, who was allegedly beaten up at a condominium on Saturday morning in Kajang by several Rela men after he had allegedly molested a female cleaner.

Lim also questioned the new National Key Results Area initiative enabling Rela members to wear police uniforms on joint patrols with policemen.

He said there was no need to boost Rela’s power when they were not even a recognised enforcing body.

“It would be difficult for regular Malaysians to differentiate between a real policeman and another with a Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) badge,” he said.

Lim stressed that if a new law governing Rela isn’t passed by June 30, the government should disband it.

Under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, laws enacted under the Emergency Ordinance are deemed to cease six months after the ordinance is repealed.

Deputy Home Minister Lee Chee Leong was recently quoted as saying that a new law governing Rela would be tabled in the next parliament session.

The Malay Mail had last week highlighted concerns over the decision to allow Rela and JPAM officers to wear police uniforms as part of joint patrols with the police under the PVR scheme.

Under the scheme, the Rela and JPAM members would have to go through a threeweek standard operating procedure training before donning police uniforms while maintaining their badges.

The joint patrols, comprising a team of four, would be headed by at least one policeman.

Senior police officers, as well as community leaders had expressed worries over the decision, claiming that apart from “cheapening” the police uniform, it could lead to abuse of power as well as complicate enforcement work.

Among the critics were former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who had said the move would devalue the police force and that a common uniform system would only confuse the public.

Kuala Nerang Assemblyman Announces That He Is A Bankrupt

ALOR SETAR, April 4 (Bernama) -- Kuala Nerang state assemblyman Datuk Syed Sobri Syed Hashim made an announcement tonight that he was declared a bankrupt after failing to settle an RM8 million debt with a local bank.

Syed Sobri, who is also Umno Padang Terap division vice chief, said the debt was part of a RM50 million loan taken in 1998 to list his company Kulim Enterprise Sdn Bhd on the second board of Bursa Saham Malaysia, at the time.

Explaining the situation to about 300 party members and leaders at his house here Tuesday night, he said due to the economic crisis then, the company failed to be listed and he had to shoulder the debt.

He added that he was declared a bankrupt by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in December last year.

He said he had met with Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak today on the matter and Umno leaders had also been informed.