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Friday, April 6, 2012

PAS kerah ahli sertai Bersih 3.0

PSM-DAP clash likely in Jelapang

Police say Bendigo mother raped 14 times

POLICE allege a Bendigo mother of two was subjected to repeated sexual assault at the hands of six youths who dragged her into a laundry and took turns raping her, a court has heard.

Mohammed Elnour, 19, Akoak Manon, 19, and Mohammed Zaoli, 22, all appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday charged with a long list of sex offences stemming from the alleged gang rape in January last year.

All three men are contesting the charges and the first day of a committal hearing began yesterday.

The court heard Manon and Zaoli both faced 17 charges, including 14 counts of rape and single counts of indecent assault, unlawful assault and false imprisonment.

Elnour also faces these 17 charges as well as charges of using a carriage service to harass and harassing a witness. Police allege Elnour contacted the complainant five days after the alleged rape.

In court yesterday, footage taken on the night of the alleged attack – retrieved from Zaoli’s phone – was shown to Magistrate Richard Wright.

The sound was muffled, the recorded voices were mostly unintelligible, but at times a woman’s voice could be heard saying “no” and “stop”.

Prosecuting Alex Albert said the footage showed part of the incident in the complainant’s home, including Zaoli “grabbing” at her, the incident from which the charges of indecent assault and unlawful assault arose.

Informant Detective Senior Constable Chris Reed tendered photographs of the defendants taken by police at the complainant’s house shortly after the incident allegedly took place.

Senior Detective Reed said six men, three under 18, were arrested soon after.

Running through the charges yesterday, Mr Albert explained that each count of rape related to one of the six youths assaulting the complainant while the other five “acted in concert or aided and abetted” the attack.

He detailed 14 separate charges of digital and penile rape committed by the men.

Mr Albert said that at times the youths pinned the complainant against the wall while another raped her.

Turkey: An Untold Love Story and Islamic Barbarism

A Turkish Muslim woman tells the tragic "love story" of her sister, who, upon advice from local Imams, was stoned to death along with her unborn child.

My name is Yagmur (it means "rain"). I was born in rural Turkey, in a village. Generally Turkish women enjoy many freedoms, which our Arab sisters can't even think of. Rural Turkey is a different story. Honour killings take place every day, women don't have much say (if any) in household matters and female employment is out of question. However, much hard work is done by women because men don't want to strain themselves; women are like cattle or slaves. If husband tells you to do something, you have to obey.

My mother was a fairly educated woman, she taught me at home and I even went to school. My hobby was reading books. Through them I learnt different languages and acquired a lot of knowledge.

I was a disciplined and obedient girl, unlike my sister who was somewhat uppity. When she was 18, she fell in love with a young man. They both loved each other but he was meant for another girl, thus his parents had decided. Dating is utterly forbidden in Islam, marriages are arranged and often young people meet on their wedding day.

My sister was rebellious. She "dated" that young man. Every night she would go to see him. They even kissed and actually their relationship went too far. She got pregnant. At first they planned to run away to a big city where they would be safe. They knew in villages, religion rules and they could be in trouble. Authorities don't care what's going on in rural Turkey. Sometimes imams, mullahs and elders who try to practice Sharia and break the secular state law are punished but usually authorities are more interested in big cities full of tourists and turn a blind eye to what happens in villages.

I remember their young faces. I didn't understand the whole situation; I was a little girl. But when I looked at them I could see they were happy. Their happiness made me happy too and I wanted to smile.

Instead of eloping, they decided to speak to my father. "Pregnancy is a very good reason to get permission for marriage", or so they thought.
Iran: a woman being prepared for stoning to death

Alas, my sister had miscalculated my father's love for her and his obsession with his religion. He became furious. Instead of letting the two young lovers marry and build their nest of love, he took her to the religious elders and they ruled that she had committed adultery. She was sentenced to death by stoning. They showed no mercy even for her unborn child. She had stained the "honour" of the family and the only way to remove that stain was to nip her life in the bud. Her unborn baby was a stain too and that little creature had to be destroyed as well, so my family could live honorably.

In the evening before her execution, she came to my room and told me that she would miss me. She was crying and hugged me to her bosom. Then she smiled and said that soon she would see her unborn baby. I was blissfully unaware of her fate, but I felt that something bad was about to happen. I was so scared!

I still remember her black eyes; she stared at the sky while she was dug into the ground. She was wrapped in white sheets and her hands were tide to her body. She was buried up to her waist. The rabid mob circled her with stones in their hands and started throwing them at her while the roars of Allah-u-Akbar Allah-u-Akbar added to their frenzy. She twitched with pain as the stones hit her tender body and smashed her head. Blood gushed out from her face, cheeks, mouth, nose and eyes. All she could do was to bend to the left and to the right. Gradually the movements slowed down and finally she stopped moving even though the shower of the stones did not stop. Her head fell on her chest. Her bloodied face remained serene. All the pain had gone. The hysteric mob relented and the chant of Allah-u'Akbar stopped. Someone approached and with a big boulder in his hand smashed the scull of my sister to finish her off. There was no need for that; she was already dead. Her bright black eyes that beamed with life were shut. Her jovial laughter that filled the world around her was silenced. Her heart that beat with such a heavenly love for only a short time had stopped. Her unborn baby was not given a chance to breathe one breath of air. He (or she) accompanied his young mother in her solitary and cold tomb, or who knows, maybe to a better place where love reigns and pain and ignorance are not known. These two budding lives had to be nipped so my father could keep his honour.

She wanted to marry a man whom she loved. She dreamt wearing a white wedding dress, that there would be a big ceremony, lots of people would be invited and they all would congratulate her, chant merry songs and throw flowers and confetti at her. Yes there was a ceremony, but it was not her wedding. She was dressed in white but that was not her wedding gown. Lots of people came to the party but they came to curse her and to throw stones at her. No music was played and no merry songs were sang; only screams of Allah-u-Akbar filled the air. The only hug she got was from the cold earth in which she was half buried. The only kisses that she received were from the rocks thrown at her that tore her flesh and broke her bones. They were the kisses of death. She was not united with the man whom she loved but was wed to death.

This was a tragedy for my sister's young lover. His life lost its meaning. He got lashes but nothing more. He could well forget about the whole affair and get along with his life, but he didn't. I recall seeing him standing in front of our house every day, as if waiting for my sister to come out and meet him. I could see him crying. I can only imagine that when he was not crying in front of our house he was in the cemetery, crying over the grave of his love and his baby. One day he could no more bear his pain and hanged himself.

His death was hushed and no one talked about it. Maybe no one cared. He was reunited with his love and his baby. No one can hurt them anymore. No one can separate them from one another again.

It is a sad story. But unlike the story of Romeo and Juliet it is a story that is never told. No one talks about those young lovers. No one sheds tears for them. Not only they were buried, their memories were also buried as if they never existed - their tender love was a shame to others - a shame that had to be washed with blood.

But the saddest part is that according to Islam my sister deserved that death. The elders were sure she would be burning in Hell for eternity. No, I can't imagine that God can send someone to Hell for loving and for being happy. I can't accept a cruel God.

-------------------XXX--------------------

Now back to my life. When I turned 18, I was married off to a Turkish businessman from Germany. When I came to Germany I found out that he had another wife.

He is not a bad man at all. He is very kind, but he is a Muslim. He doesn't understand why Europeans don't like polygamy, for instance. He doesn't allow us to leave the home. He protects our honour in this strange way.

Then we moved to the UK. Here we are even more isolated than in Germany because there are fewer Turks. In Germany we at least could meet our fellow expats.

As for my relationship with my husband's first wife, we are friends. There is some rivalry between us, that's for sure. But I am alone and can't meet anyone or leave home. Her life is just as dull and empty as mine. We can't hate each other; we should be friends to overcome our troubles. My co-wife and I are like two cellmates. We only have each other. There is not much room for antagonism or hard feelings.

I have 5 children, she has 4. She occupies a more privileged position within our family because she has a son. I have given birth only to daughters so far.

We are both educated, but she is so obsessed with kids that she has given herself up. I am still trying to grasp at non-existent straws; probably one day I will be freed... I read books, keep myself informed and like to think. She is not remotely interested in reading books or thinking. I am alone.

Sometimes I think of running away, but I have 5 daughters. I can neither leave them, nor run away with them. Actually, I am stuck.

Even though I left Islam a long time ago, I cannot stop praying or fasting. My husband keeps a rod for the disobedient...

When I try to protest, my mouth is shut up with quotes from the Quran. Islam defines our lives. Isn't it stupid that people live according to a book written a long time ago?

I am not whining about my life but I do hate Islam. At least I could object to certain traditions but Islam preserved the worst in our culture, reducing women into slavery and keeping them ignorant. What can you expect from an uneducated woman?

When I look at my daughters, I pray that they may live in a free world, free from Islam and this slavery.

Ali, you promised to defeat Islam very soon, so please do it.

I know sometimes you must feel like giving up. It seems to me you've devoted yourself fully to the good cause of yours. You may feel at times that you will never succeed. I just want to say that you are fighting for women like me. When you despair, think of me and millions of women with similar tragic experiences. Never give up. You are my knight in shining armour. I just want you to know that I am your keen supporter.

______________________

Yagmur Dursun is a pen name. Some details of this story have been changed to hide the identity of the author.

(This article was first published in faithfreedom.org on 13 March 2005)

Vernacular schools to stay, says DPM

ALOR SETAR, April 5 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that the government has never called for the closing of vernacular schools, whether Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKCs) or Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKTs).

According to Bernama, Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister said that vernacular education “could not be denied” to anyone as its role was to fulfil the needs of the Chinese and Tamil communities.

No law, he said, empowered the Education Minister to close these schools.

"Only in Malaysia do we provide education opportunities to cater to the needs of minority groups," he was quoted saying at SMK Keat Hwa II during a meeting with vernacular school teachers and students.

Muhyiddin said that RM2.98 billion had been allocated annually for the upkeep of 1,200 SKCS and RM1.04 billion for SJKTs.

He presented an allocation warrant for RM14.42 million to benefit 89 SJKCs and 58 SJKTs in Kedah, besides RM500,000 for SMK Keat Hwa II.

Sindiket IC: Siasat pegawai tinggi kerajaan

PAS desak ditubuhkan RCI bagi menyiasat wujudnya sindiket pemberian kad pengenalan ekoran pendedahan naib presiden Datuk Mahfuz Omar di Parlimen semalam.

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS mendesak supaya Suruhanjaya DiRaja (RCI) ditubuhkan segera untuk menyiasat dakwaan wujudnya sindiket pemberian kad pengenalan (IC) kepada warga asing yang dilakukan oleh pegawai tertinggi kerajaan.

Tuntutan itu dibuat sejajar dengan pembongkaran dibuat ahli parlimen Pokok Sena Datuk Mahfuz Omar semalam di Parlimen.

Menurut Timbalan Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu tindakan ini serius dan perlu siasatan lanjut kerana ia mampu menjejaskan keselamatan negara.

“Jika tiada tindakan selanjutnya oleh kerajaan tentang hal ini, kita akan dedahkan nama-nama lagi.

“Kita tegaskan hari ini untuk menyokong apa yang disarankan Mahfuz tentang penglibatan pegawai-pegawai tinggi kerajaan yang mengeluarkan kad pengenalan merah kepada biru,” katanya dalam sidang media di Ibu Pejabat PAS petang tadi.

Mat Sabu turut mendakwa proses pengeluaran kad pengenalan ini dilakukan di sebuah pejabat yang bertempat di Selangor.

KDN, SPR, JPN terlibat?

Dakwa beliau, seramai 12 pegawai tertinggi terlibat daripada tiga agensi berkaitan termasuklah Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN), Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) dan Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN).

Beliau turut membidas penafian Timbalan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Wan Ahmad Wan Omar terlibat dalam ‘task force’ itu.

“Sesiapa boleh nafi, dia pegawai kerajaan. Tak perlu komen dan buat penafian. Biar Mahfuz buat kenyataan kepada suruhanjaya bebas nanti,” katanya.

Sementara itu, Mahfuz mempertahankan dakwaannya semalam malah bersedia memberi kerjasama penuh mendedahkan butiran terperinci ‘task force’ itu kepada RCI nanti.

“Saya sudah menjangka mereka yang saya sebut semalam akan menafikannya.

“Penafian mereka membuktikan dakwaan saya benar. Mereka boleh menafikan, biar RCI siasat,” katanya dalam sidang media di lobi Parlimen.

PSM: Semenyih ours if BN doesn’t cheat

However, there has been an “abnormal 28% increase” in voter numbers, says PSM secretary general Arutchelvan.

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is confident of winning the Semenyih state seat in a free and fair election, but is concerned by what it sees as evidence that Barisan Nasional is preparing to cheat in the coming polls.

There has been a 28% increase in the number of voters registered there, according to PSM secretary general S Arutchelvan.

“The election will be decided by how BN can cheat,” he told a press conference here. “A 28% voter hike is abnormal. Normally it is about 5% to 10%.”

Arutchelvan contested for the Semenyih seat in 2008 but lost to Johan Aziz of Umno. However, he said he would win in the coming election if honesty and fair play prevailed.

Support for him had grown overwhelmingly in the constituency, he said without elaborating.

He also claimed that there had been a 35% rise in voter numbers in the Kota Damansara state constituency, now held by PSM chairman Nasir Hashim.

These dramatic increases follow a trend that opposition parties have been highlighting for several weeks. They suspect something fishy, but Barisan Nasional has shrugged off allegations that it is counting on phantom voters to win in certain areas.

Arutchelvan said this was one of the “dirty BN tactics” that gave PSM reason to participate in the Bersih rally scheduled for April 28.

Answering a reporter’s question, he said he did not foresee any trouble at the rally “unless the government does not allow it to go on”.

The public would blame the authorities if anything untoward were to happen, he added.

The press conference was held at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, where Selangor state and town legislators from PSM declared their incomes in the wake of recent salary increases.

All legislators from PSM contribute 40% of their salaries to the party.

Curi tanah sekolah Effingham, penduduk mahu dialog

Satu memorandum diserahkan kepada Perdana Menteri, antara lain mendesak MIC memulangkan semula sebahagian dari enam ekar tanah rizab pendidikan.

Sekitar Dewan Rakyat

KUALA LUMPUR: Kesal dengan tindakan MIC mencuri tiga ekar tanah Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (T) Effingham, badan bertindak Return Effingham Land Action Team (Reflax) dan Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru (PIBG) sekolah itu hari ini menyerahkan memorandum kepada Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di Parlimen.

Memorandum yang diserahkan kepada pegawai Jabatan Perdana Menteri bagi menuntut satu dialog antara lain bagi mendesak parti itu memulangkan semula sebahagian daripada enam ekar tanah rizab pendidikan yang sepatutnya milik sekolah itu di Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.

Difahamkan, lot 28814 seluas enam ekar dipecah dua kepada lot 50222 yang dimiliki Sekolah Effingham, manakala bakinya dirampas atas nama Presidennya ketika itu, Samy Vellu untuk membina bangunan Ibu Pejabat MIC.

Pengerusi Reflax G Manivanan berkata pihaknya telah pun mengemukakan surat kepada Presiden MIC Datuk Seri G Palanivel pada 22 Mac lalu namun gagal mendapat respon.

“Sekolah Effingham hanya ada padang 75m, bilik guru yang sempit, kantin yang kecil sehingga terpaksa adakan waktu rehat dua sesi, tiada gelanggang sukan kerana kawasan sekolah tak cukup luas.

“Kita minta MIC tolong pulangkan semula tanah untuk masa depan anak-anak kami,” katanya dalam sidang media di Parlimen semalam.

Katanya, pihaknya juga pernah mengemukakan aduan kepada Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) namun tiada sebarang tindakan dibuat.

Sementara itu, Ahli Parlimen Subang R Sivarasa berkata mengikut peraturan kementerian pelajaran sekolah rendah sepatutnya mempunyai keluasan sekurang-kurangnya enam ekar, manakala sembilan ekar bagi sekolah menengah.

“Kami sedia beli tanah yang diambil MIC dengan harga premium kerana tanah ini sangat penting untuk penduduk mendapat pendidikan,” katanya.

Hindraf ‘holds back’ support for Bersih 3.0

Perkasa meanwhile has no immediate plans to hold a counter rally to Bersih 3.0 gathering on April 28.

PETALING JAYA: Hindraf’s participation in the upcoming Bersih 3.0 rally will depend on the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat’s response to an invitation it extended yesterday.

Hindraf had yesterday invited Opposition Leader and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to outline plans for Indian poor in the first 100 days if Pakatan Rakyat forms the next federal government.

Hindraf’s de facto leader P Uthayakumar today said the group has put a caveat on its participation in the Bersih rally on April 28 pending Pakatan’s decision.

“It depends on whether they accept our invitation or not,” said Uthayakumar.

Meanwhile PKR it appears is not in favour of kow-towing to Hindraf’s demands.

PKR vice president N Surendran in a reaction to Hindraf’s reported invitation, yesterday twittered: “We believe in development based on need and not race.”

Surendran said Pakatan’s common policy as outlined in Buku Jingga had nothing specific for any race.

The Bersih 3.0 rally is efforts of a 62-member strong coalition of NGOs. It is led by former Bar Council chairman S Ambiga and National Laureate A Samad Said.

Last year’s rally saw some 50,000 participants.

Perkasa holds back

When asked why Hindraf was linking Pakatan to the Bersih rally, Uthayakumar said: “Everyone knows that Pakatan is behind it even though they don’t say it.”

But Ambiga when contacted brushed off Uthayakumar’s allegations.

“Please note we are critical of the PSC which also consisted of Pakatan members,” she said.

Meanwhile in a related development, Malay rights group, Perkasa secretary general Syed Hasan Syed Ali told FMT that presently it had no plans to hold a counter rally.

Gobind upset A-G ‘vindicated’ MACC

The Attorney-General's decision is inconsistent with the findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, says the DAP lawyer.

PETALING JAYA: DAP lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said today that he felt “very upset” that the Attorney-General’s (A-G) Chambers has cleared the three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers implicated in the death of former political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

“I think this decision flies squarely in the face of the Royal Commission of Inquiry [RCI] report. The findings by the RCI were clear: there was sufficient basis for action to be taken, including disciplinary action as well as criminal charges,” said Gobind, the Puchong MP, who has been the Teoh family’s main legal representative.

Earlier in Parliament today, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said in a written reply to Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye that the A-G had found that the MACC officers had not committed any offence either under the Penal Code or the MACC Act.

Gobind said that this latest announcement shows that the government does not respect the findings of the RCI at all.

“What the A-G has done clearly reflects very badly on the RCI proceedings. If we have spent time and effort in establishing a RCI, which investigated the matter and made certain findings based on evidence and sworn witness statements, it should have been acted upon,” he said.

He also criticised the A-G for not supplying any concrete reasons for the case to be closed.

“There is no reason for the three persons named [in the RCI findings] to be cleared. All we have is a very general statement stating say there was no evidence. I have asked but they could not tell me who was being investigated or what was being investigated,” Gobind said.

He said he had previously suggested that the A-G could use Section 330 of the Penal Code for the offence of “voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession…” to charge those men with driving Teoh to suicide.

When contacted, Teoh’s fiancĂ©e Soh Cher Wei, who married Teoh posthumously in 2009, only said: “No comment. I’m so sorry.”

Open verdict

Teoh, 30, was the political aide of Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah. He was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by the MACC officers on the 14th floor.

Teoh was a witness into investigations of alleged abuse of state funds by Ean Yong, who had since been cleared of any wrongdoing by the MACC.

The RCI, which was set up after a coroner’s court returned an “open verdict”, found that excessive aggression in interrogation methods drove Teoh to commit suicide.

Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar had said that there are no laws to charge the three MACC officers, while the MACC said it would deal with them internally by setting up a special investigative team.

The five-man RCI panel, headed by then federal court judge James Foong, had singled out the three officers who were involved in the interrogations. They were Selangor MACC deputy director Hishamuddin Hashim and his subordinates Mohd Anuar Ismail and Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus.

Contrary to the RCI report which named the three men, the Bar Council – which actively participated in the RCI – had recommended that five MACC officers be investigated for culpable homicide.

The five officers include Hishamuddin, Mohd Anuar and Mohd Ashraf as well as Selangor MACC investigations chief, Hairul Ilham Hamzah, and Klang MACC assistant enforcement officer Zulkefly Aziz.

The Bar had recommended that the five be investigated under Section 304A of the Penal Code for causing the death of Teoh via negligence.

On Oct 24 last year, Nazri said that Attorney-General “was not compelled” to pursue the case, due to lack of evidence and witness accounts, but will do so if new evidence surfaces.

500k too ambitious, say pundits

However they agree that massive numbers at the Bersih 3.0 rally could see the postponement of the general election.

PETALING JAYA: Political observers have voiced doubt over Bersih 3.0′s anticipated turnout for its rally on April 28, cautioning that the target is both “ambitious” and “unrealistic”.

Following its announcement of the rally yesterday, Bersih’s co-chairperson and national laureate A Samad Said, declared that Bersih expected a 500,000 strong crowd.

“When I am walking on the streets, on Facebook, in emails, so many people have been asking me, ‘When is the next one?’ Based on this, we can estimate that 500,000 will turn up,” he had said.

However, Ong Kian Ming of UCSI University believed that a more realistic number would be double that of the Bersih 2.0 crowd last July which drew 15,000 people to the streets.

“Perhaps (Samad Said) was trying to set a big number in order to capture the headlines or he may be including people from other parts of the country as well.

“But even if it was the entire country, this number is still too high since these kinds of public gatherings tend to be more well attended in KL and have not breached 50,000 in nearly all cases,” he said.

He stated that even a repeat of Bersih 2.0 would be an accomplishment since the Bersih 3.0 momentum was not as strong given that the govermment and the Election Commission (EC) had yet to formally respond to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms.

Big number is bad news for Najib

Former journalist and author of “No More Bullshit Please We are Malaysians” Kee Thuan Chye shared Ong’s skepticism and added that even a target of 100,000 was a stretch.

What he deemed of greater importance was that all major cities in the country, including Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, hold simultaneous rallies in a show of solidarity.

“The coming rally goes beyond political reforms to the heart of what people really feel about the government,” he said. “And if the numbers are strong it will spell bad news for (prime minister) Najib (Tun Razak) and Barisan Nasional.”

“But if the numbers falter then Bersih 3.0 will be just another rally involving the same hardcore anti-BN group. The numbers are crucial and hinge on whether Bersih’s three new demands resonate with the people,” he added.

The three key demands that would form the focus of the rally were the EC’s resignation, the cleaning up of the electoral roll before the next general election and the inclusion of international observers to monitor the polls.

The crowd size would inevitably also have an impact on the date of the next general election which is speculated to be held in June.

Ong said that a turnout of 500,000 would definitely cause Najib to rethink a June date since he would not have anticipated such a huge local groundswell of dissatisfaction for his administration.

James Chin of Monash University had said in a earlier interview that even a crowd of 100,000 would push Najib to postpone a June election lest the public thinks he was “running scared.”

“And in Malaysia if the people smell your fear, you are done for,” he had stated.

Ong added that if a lesser crowd showed up, however, the more important question would be how the police would respond to this gathering.

“If 50,000 show up and the police respond like what they did during Bersih 2.0, there will be negative political repercussions for the government,” he said.

“But if the march goes on peacefully with 50,000, I think the political impact will be less,” he added.

Gun Begins to Smoke in Malaysian Sub Scandal

The Tunku Abdul Rahman ties up in Penang
Money may have been funneled to UMNO officials through Hong Kong incorporated company

French investigating magistrates probing the US$1.2 billion sale of submarines to the Malaysian Defense Ministry are targeting, among other things, a Hong Kong-based company called Terasasi (Hong Kong) Ltd., whose principal officers are Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s close friend and the friend’s father.

Investigators believe that at least some of the €36 million funneled through Terasasi ended up in the pockets of Najib, who was Malaysia’s defense minister and deputy prime minister when the two Scorpene submarines were purchased from Thales International or Thint Asia. The state-owned defense giant DCN, later known as DCNS, and Thales established a joint company named Armaris to manufacture the submarines in 2002.

The two Armaris Scorpenes, named for the first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and Najib’s father, Tun Abdul Razak, are on duty in Malaysian waters.

Abdul Razak Baginda, the former head of a Malaysian think tank who was at the center of a 2006 investigation into the death of Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu, is listed as one of the two directors of the company, which was previously incorporated on June 28, 2002 as Kinabalu Advisory and Support Services Ltd according to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. The other director is Abdul Malim Baginda, Baginda’s father.

The Terasasi offices are located on the 19th floor of an office at 3 Lockhart Road in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. There is no indication in Hong Kong government records of what Terasasi’s business is. It is only listed as a “local company.” However, French authorities say Terasasi apparently received regular payments from Thint Asia. One payment was for €360,000 accompanied with a handwritten note saying “Razak wants it to be paid quickly.”

The magistrates have documents that show that the money was funneled from Thint Asia to Terasasi -- €3 million of it when Terasasi was still domiciled in Malaysia, and €33 million after it was incorporated in Hong Kong. There is no indication at this point where the money went. French investigators, however, theorize that it was part of €146 million that may have been funneled to officials of the United Malays National Organization and Najib, who traveled with Abdul Razak Baginda several times to France as defense minister at the time the Malaysians purchased the submarines from DCNS.

On at least one trip in 2004, Altantuya, then Razak Baginda’s lover, accompanied him to France as a translator. He later jilted her, impelling her to come to Kuala Lumpur to demand US$500,000 from him. In a handwritten letter found after her death, she wrote that she was attempting to blackmail him, although she didn’t say why. Two of Najib’s bodyguards were convicted of shooting her in the head and blowing up her body with plastic explosives in September 2006, possibly to hide the fact that she was pregnant when she was killed.
Because her killing does not appear to be connected to the scandal, French investigators are not looking into the causes of her death or the reasons behind it.

Although Razak Baginda was charged with abetting her murder, he was released without having to put up a defense and fled to the UK, where he remains. Najib’s former bodyguards remain on death row in Malaysia. Their appeal against the death penalty has been delayed, presumably until after national elections expected in May or June this year.

It was previously revealed on the floor of the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s parliament, that Perimekar received another €114 as a commission on the sale of the vessels. Perimekar at the time was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was also controlled by Razak Baginda and Mazalinda. Perimekar is now 20 percent each owned by the military retirement system LTAT and Boustead Holdings.

Two years of police investigation at the behest of the Malaysian NGO Suaram into the sale of the submarines culminated recently with the appointment of investigating magistrates Roger Le Loire and Serge Tournaire at the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance, according to Agence France Press, which said the probe involves three contracts for the submarines which were signed on June 5, 2002.

According to the documents, the contracts had two components: the sale of two submarines built by Thint and the Spanish shipbuilding firm Izar, for €920 million; and the delivery of “logistical support” from Perimekar Bhd – the €114 million -- to train the first 200 Royal Malaysian Navy personnel although there is no indication that the company had the wherewithal to train them.

Under the bribery conventions of the 32-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the French defense contractors could be liable for criminal sanctions if it is proven that no real services were delivered by the companies. Under French law, violators are liable for up to 10 years in prison.

Joseph Breham, a lawyer with Solicitors International Human Rights Group which was engaged by Suaram, said in October last year that DCNS often budgeted as much as 8 to 12 percent of its total receipts as "commissions" to grease sales of armaments in third-world countries. Breham said Perimekar had received the commission for "supporting the contract," which he said was a euphemism for unexplained costs, and also for "housing the crew" of the submarines in France.

In France, before 2002, any money used to bribe foreign officials was tax deductible. When the former finance director of DCN made a claim for €31 million allegedly used to bribe the Malaysians for the purchase of the Scorpenes, Breham said, the Minister of Budget questioned such a large bribe, although he did eventually authorize the tax break.

The contracts cited by AFP included the €114 million one paid by the Malaysian government to Perimekar. The second, called “C5 contract of engineering business,” was concluded in August 2000 between DCNI, a subsidiary of DCN, and Thales International Asia worth some €30 million. The third was the “consulting agreement” signed in October 2000 between Thint Asia and Terasasi.

The French investigators are also studying one of the invoices issued by Terasasi in August 2004 for €359,450 sent to Thint Asia. For investigators, “it appears that… the amounts paid to Terasasi ultimately benefited Najib, the defense minister, or his adviser Razak Baginda.”

Olivier Metzner, a lawyer for Thales, told the French daily Le Parisien that “we have already demonstrated to investigators that there was no corruption in this case.” However, a confidential memorandum made available to Asia Sentinel and the Malaysian website Free Malaysia Today states that: “The beneficiaries of these funds are not difficult to imagine: the family clan and Razak Baginda relations. In addition, these funds will find their way to the dominant political party (Umno).”

‘Duduk means sit, Bantah means protest’, so let’s ‘Jom Duduk Bantah, Malaysians’

May Chee Chook Ying - The Malaysian Insider

APRIL 5 — I must apologise for such a weird title for my write-up this time. I’m doing it for the benefit of some upstart whose tweet went like this: “…jumping like Monkeys in d street not going to solve anything in Malaysia….we r not Planet of the Apes. Be civilized Pakatan #Bersih3…”

Our Twitter friend above, firstly, has a very poor command of the national language. Go, take some tuition, it helps to understand the national language better for some politician wannabe like you.

Secondly, for calling your paymasters “Monkeys”, you ought to be sacked!

Thirdly, what have you solved, so far?

I used to think that Gerakan were notches above the MCA. They were the lean ones, you see. Till today, I feel kind of sorry for Koh Tsu Koon. Still believe he’s a good man, may not be the right man for the job, nevertheless, don’t see any evil in him. (Will keep you in my prayers, KTK.)

Looks like the GE13 will be the dirtiest yet. If what we hear is true, the incumbent government is pulling no stops to be voted in. That means the plundering will not stop. Neither will we see an independent judiciary, MACC, and what-nots. Justice will not see the light of day for many. The education system will go to the pits. Idiots will use the name of the Almighty in vain. The poor will become poorer, the thieves will become richer. We will die because with 1 Care, we will be robbed blind and not have the means to seek proper treatment. We can’t help our neighbour without being accused of proselytising! Murderers, thieves and criminals can still roam free! Malaysia will go bankrupt in no time! I’d better stop before I throw up!

Don’t think our young friend mentioned above can solve the problems listed. So, no use going to him! Panels come and go to give their two-sen’s worth on the reforms the nation should undertake for the good of all. Precious time, honest efforts and loads of goodwill to make Malaysia a better place and what does this government do? Window-dressed, then canned them!

What does this tell you about our present government? It cares for you? It wants the best for our nation? It’s honest? It’s democratic? Malaysia, a democracy?

Those of you who have enough of the above, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who think your hard-earned money should be in better hands, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who want to profess your religion freely, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!”. Those of you who can’t stand the sight of policemen pulling cars over to the side, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who think you or your children can be educated better, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who have insubordinate political servants, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who want a stop to senseless killings, muggings, burglaries, robberies, etc, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who think that you have to pay tolls like forever, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who are paying through your nose to educate your children, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” Those of you who can talk like there’s no tomorrow, finding fault with everything, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!”

What’s more important, those of you who are truly Malaysians who do not have it in you to see your fellows Malaysia sit alone in protest, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” It does not matter which side of the political divide you favour, you just have to be true, blue-blooded Malaysia, “Jom, Duduk Bantah!”. You only have to care for your country and want the best for her. It’s about time you walked with your fellow Malaysians. You will see for yourself how united we can be for the love of our country and fellowmen when you are here, at “Duduk Bantah”. You will see that those whom you were taught to fear will take the fall for you even before you trip, here at “Duduk Bantah”. You will see how brave and courageous our fellow Malaysians can be, irrespective of creed and colour, here at “Duduk Bantah”. You will see how in our diversity, we truly become united as one, here at “Duduk Bantah”. We can truly say we are proud to be Malaysians, here at “Duduk Bantah”. Believe me, you will not regret this, we will have a picnic, here at “Duduk Bantah”!

Last but not least, dear Gerakan. I still think you are notches above the MCA. However, lately, some of you have been behaving strangely, unlike what you have been noted for in the past. You used to walk the talk. You were lean but not mean! Be what you were known for, courageous and hardworking. Show your love for your country. Don’t turn a blind eye to what some of your “sleeping-partners” have been up to. Don’t go down in history for having been party to those who were hell-bent on destroying our beloved country. You know you are better than them. So, let’s “Jom, Duduk Bantah!” See, you guys there!

Bersih 3.0 to stage sit-in protest on April 28

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 will hold a sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka from 2pm to 4pm on April 28, its co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said said here.

The protest, called Bersih 3.0 Duduk Bantah (sit-in protest), will be carried out nationwide and worldwide to register the disappointment over the authorities’ alleged lack of commitment towards electoral reforms.

Samad, who is the co-chairman, said the protest would be a time for reflection for all Malaysians on the kind of legacy and future they want for the next generation.

Meanwhile, group co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga said the demands were for the Election Commission (EC) to resign, clean up the electoral process and allow international observers to monitor the polls.

On the Parliamentary Select Committee’s (PSC) report on electoral reforms, she said some of their recommendations were good but they did not look into electoral fraud.

She said election offences and postal voting were not adequately addressed in the report.

Ambiga said the organisers will discuss with the police to ensure that the protest would run smoothly.

“We will be the first to hand anyone who misbehaves to the police,” she said.

Opposition Should Accept PSC Report On Electoral Reforms - DPM

GURUN, April 5 (Bernama) -- Opposition parties should accept the report by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reforms passed by parliament two days as they are represented in the committee.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the committee was formed to find solutions to several matters on the electoral system as demanded by the opposition.

"This was properly done via the formation of a parliamentary select committee and not a normal committee. It was formed on the power of parliament," he told reporters after a special meeting with Kedah farmers at NPK Fertilizer Sdn Bhd factory here today.

Muhyiddin was surprised by the commotion caused by the opposition during tabling of the report as their representatives were in the committee which agreed on 22 items.

"But when the report went before parliament, they wanted a minority report. Never in our history that we follow the British system of having a minority report. There is only one report and the report is made on consensus."

"They were in the committee and when the report was tabled they went back on their own words and want to hold rallies. Its just political maneouvering."

He said the tabling by committee chairman Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili involved 22 items covering a variety of things and not confined to the demands of the opposition.

"It is more extensive and designed to improve the system. The people can see who are sincere in wanting improvement.

"Previously, several recommendations were made and received by EC ( Election Commission). We are open and sincere."

On the opposition plan to hold a rally called Berish 3 on April 28, he said the government would discuss the implications of the rally based on the law.

"The people can make their own judgement. Perhaps there will be Bersih 4, Bersih 5 and Bersih 6," he added.

How to become a successful politician

Note: This blog will resume updates and comment moderation on 9 April 2012
From across the causeway, a light-hearted look at what it takes to become a successful politician with more than a grain of truth to it. 

 Just pick up a few stock phrases and choice responses and use liberally to fool the people whenever the need arises to protect vested interests.