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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PRU: Nak pertahan Melayu bukan dengan tipu

Woman wanted Indian driver, got Egyptian, got raped

Kuwaiti widow says she was raped by Egyptian driver for four hours

An ill Kuwaiti widow who wanted to shuttle between her house and the hospital went to a taxi company and asked them to assign her an Indian driver. Instead, they sent her an Egyptian, who raped her at gun point for four hours.

The woman, suffering from Atherosclerosis (artery disease), recounted her ordeal with the driver, who was arrested but could be released for lack of evidence. She said the man raped her late night and left her in a deserted area after she refused to voluntarily have sex with him.
“I had gone to that company and asked for an Indian driver but they sent me an Egyptian one…when I protested, they said that was the only one available,” the unnamed woman told the Kuwaiti Al Rai newspaper.
“I had no choice because that company is the cheapest in town…one night, the Egyptian driver took me to hospital and then returned to take me back home…it was after midnight and he started to press me to have sex with him.”
The woman said she rebuked him and replied that she is suffering from serious illness, adding that he suddenly pulled a gun and aimed it at her head.
“He then put a piece of cloth on my mouth and I lost consciousness…when I woke up four hours later, I found myself naked with him…he then said to me ‘I slept with you by force….what happened has happened and you have no choice but to keep sleeping with me and keep your mouth shut.”
The woman said the driver then left her in a deserted area, adding that she waved for many cars to stop but they did not.
“They thought I was drunk because I was still swaying…finally a driver stopped and gave me a lift back home…I could not stop crying that night and on the next morning, I told my sister, who took me to the police station.”
She said she had been told that the rapist could be released soon. “I don’t know what to say…after all that he had done to me, they want to free him…I am an ill woman, who had been kidnapped and raped…I will fight for my rights."
Wife seeks divorce over dress
A newly-wed Kuwait woman told her husband in public to divorce her immediately after he refused to buy her an expensive dress while shopping in a crowded mall, a newspaper in the oil-rich Gulf emirate reported on Tuesday.
The couple, who have been married for only a few days, were shopping in Salimyya area in Kuwait City when the wife saw that dress.
“She asked her husband to buy it for her but he refused because of its high price and asked her to forget it,” Alwatan daily said.
“Suddenly, she grabbed his shoulder and screamed at him…she then said ‘why did you marry me if you can not buy a dress’….she then asked him to divorce her at once,” the Arabic language daily said.
“She also phoned her brother, who sided with her…a heated argument developed and police were called to the scene….police told them to go home and resolve their problems or they will take them to the police station.”
Two harassers to “wash the dead” for one week

A judge in Riyadh went out of the way and ordered two Saudi teen age boys caught harassing women at a busy shopping mall to serve on week at a dead washing centre, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The two were arrested harassing girls at the mall in the capital Riyadh just two weeks after authorities decided to lift a ban on the entry of bachelors to malls.
More than 20 men have been sentenced to brief jail terms and lashing over the past week for molesting and harassing women at malls.
“The judge ordered the two boys to serve one week at the capital’s dead washing centre for harassing girls,” Sabq daily said.
Two Saudi brothers beheaded for murder
Two Saudi brothers were beheaded on Monday after they were convicted of murdering another Saudi man, the official media reported on Tuesday.
Mohammed Al Muthairbi and his brother Saleem were executed in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah for using a hammer and knives to kill Saad bin Fadghoush during a fight, the Saudi press agency said.
The sentence by the general court in the city was endorsed by the Gulf Kingdom’s top judiciary and King Abdullah, the agency said without mentioning the age of the brothers and the victim.
Killers are executed in Saudi Arabia under Islamic law but they could walk free if pardoned by the victim’s relatives in return for diya (blood money).

Indonesia: Prosecutors of atheist 'have proved nothing'

Jakarta, 6 April (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Indonesian prosecutors have fouled up the indictment of Alexander Aan, the civil servant in Padang, West Sumatra accused of professing his atheism on Facebook, his lawyers say.

Alexander should have been charged under a joint regulation of the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office and the Home Ministry, Ronny Saputra, an attorney from the Padang office of the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), said.

Ronny said sections of the indictment alleging that Alexander had called on others to “embrace atheism” were unclear.

“The prosecutors have yet to describe when or where my client had done such acts,” he said.

Alexander only posted images and text from the “Minang Atheist” Facebook group on his own account, Ronny said, including such as comics titled “The Prophet Muhammad has been attracted to his own daughter-in-law” and “The Prophet Muhammad had been sleeping with his wife’s maid”.

“The article was first circulated in a forum called “Faith Freedom Indonesia 2008” and has been accessible until now. Meanwhile, the same comic was aired by Metro TV on January 20th in 2010,” Ronny said.

Alexander was merely one of the 2,602 members of the “Minang Atheist”, which he said was founded by 70-year-old Jusfiq Hadjar, a resident of Leiden, the Netherlands, according to the attorney.

“The defendant has never met or directly spoken with Jusfiq,” Ronny said, adding that Alexander had made a public apology for his mistake.

Altantuya's dad came face to face with Najib

NONESetev Shaariibuu, the father of murdered Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, came face to face with Prime Minister Najib Razak in Parliament yesterday, but failed to make any contact with him.

Shaariibuu, who is in Malaysia with two Mongolian government officers on a three-day visit, said he saw Najib while waiting for the lift at the Parliament lobby.

"At one point, the door of the lift opened and there was Najib with a few others but he did not come out and I couldn't even shake his hand," he told Malaysiakini through an interpreter.

However, Najib had made no attempt to acknowledge Shaariibuu and the latter was rather stunned to have come so close with the prime minister.

"This is the second time that I had come to see him. The other time was in 2007, when I visited Parliament for the first time, but he had left through another exit," Shaariibuu said.

Shaariibuu and his companions were in Parliament house to hold a press conference with Pakatan Rakyat MPs on his disappointment that his civil suit was yet to commence even after the two policemen accused of Altantuya's murder had been sentenced to death.

The university professor had in 2007 filed a RM100 million civil suit against the government, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and the two policemen who were charged with Altantuya's murder.

He is demanding compensation for the sufferings of his family members, including two of Altantuya's sons, from sorrow and physical and mental anguish from his eldest daughter's brutal death in Malaysia.

Shaariibuu denies being bribed

At the press conference, Shaariibuu denied talk that he received money from the Malaysian government to "shut up" and said he would continue to seek full disclosure on the circumstances leading to his daughter's death in 2006.

"Many questions remain unanswered despite the fact that the two police personnel have been found guilty of murder," he told reporters.

NONEShaariibuu has also agreed to be a witness for human rights NGO Suaram, which filed a case against French shipbuilder DCNS for allegedly paying commissions, involving millions of ringgit, to top Malaysian officials. Such payment is a criminal offence in France.

At a closed door meeting with Suaram officials yesterday, Shaariibuu was briefed on the case involving the purchase of two Scorpene class submarines by Malaysia in 2002, which has begun in a Paris court.

Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel (above) said the NGO, through its lawyers, has taken a statement from Shaariibuu for submission to the French court, which would then decide if the Mongolian national is to be called as a witness.

Gabriel said she has explained to Shaariibuu that the case in France concerned illegal kickbacks to top Malaysian officials and was not centred on Altantuya's murder.

"We believe Shaariibuu has much to contribute to the case in France, and we will be forwarding his name and statement to the investigating judges," she told Malaysiakini.

"He has new information, related to the alleged corruption, which would be very useful to the trial," she added.

The paying of commissions to close business deals is illegal in France and two investigating magistrates - Roger Le Loire and Serge Tournaire - have been appointed by the Paris Tribunal de Grande, which hears corruption cases.

Shaariibuu to reveal more details in France

If he takes the stand, Shaariibuu said, he would be able to share what he knows about the deal, about which his murdered daughter informed him before she left for Malaysia in October 2006.

However, he added, through the interpreter, that "a daughter may not tell her father everything" and suggested that the person who shared the most information with Altantuya had been her good friend Burmaa Oyunchimeg.

altantuya razak baginda mongolian murder 270607 burmaa oyunchimegBurmaa (left), a Mongolian, was a witness in the murder trial of the two policemen in 2007.

"Her knowledge includes Altantuya's travel log and the payments she was promised as part of her work for "certain companies", which she told to me about, before she left for Malaysia," he added.

Altantuya, who spoke fluent Mandarin, English, French, Mongolian and Russian, worked as a translator for the procurement of the Scorpene submarines that cost Malaysia some RM7.3 billion.

She was also believed to be the jilted lover of Razak Baginda, a close ally of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who was deputy prime minister and defence minister when the deal with the French company was inked.

Two of Najib's bodyguards - Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar - have been convicted and sentenced to death for killing Altantuya with C4 military explosives at a jungle clearing in Shah Alam between Oct 19-20, 2006.

Razak was charged as well, but was acquitted without having his defence called, which prompted Suaram to file the case in Paris through lawyers William Bourdon and Joseph Brehem from Sherpa, a non-profit NGO working on legal and human rights cases.

Najib has denied that he ever knew Altantuya or was involved in her murder, and has sworn his denial on the Quran.

A lawyer for the submarine builder, Olivier Metzner, told French daily Le Parisien that "we have already demonstrated to the investigators that there was no corruption in this case".

The appeals of Azilah and Sirul Azhar against their death sentences will be heard by the Court of Appeal on Aug 27-28.

Grandson works to support family

Shaariibuu also met with veteran lawyer Karpal Singh at his office yesterday, to discuss the status of his suit, which has been delayed without any progress so far.

altantuya and son 050309Shaariibuu also expressed, through his interpreter, how sad he was with the delay in the hearing of his civil suit.

"Our sufferings continue. My 14-year-old grandson has to work part-time to support the family," he said.

"It's been six years since my daughter died so inhumanely in Malaysia, but we are still unable to get justice for her death, or see a closure to this case," he added, looking much distraught.

Karpal, who is also DAP national chairperson, explained that Shaariibuu's civil suit could only commence after the appeal by the two policemen found guilty was completed, and he vowed to continue fighting for justice for Altantuya.

Why the blame game over Samy's polls defeat?

COMMENT Not that it matters very much now, but S Samy Vellu's blaming Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his defeat in his former bailiwick of Sungai Siput in the last general election is interesting for what it discloses of the revisionist impulse.

Also, the timing of Samy's blame-fixing for his defeat draws attention to who would be the BN candidate to wrest the seat back from the clutches of the giant-slaying incumbent, Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj.

Experienced politicians do not normally engage in fault-assigning retrospectives without a motive; Samy is clearly up to something.

bagan pinang by-election 071009 samy vellu visit 02He claims that Mahathir had called on Malay voters in the constituency not to vote for the former MIC president out of resentment for Samy's objection to the entry of the Indian Progressive Front into the BN during the tail end of Mahathir's premiership.

According to the ruling coalition's rules of engagement, the objection of one component of the BN to the admission of a new applicant is a veto that cannot be overridden.

Samy now says that Mahathir's discharged his rancour over Samy's objection to the IPF's entry by publicly rooting for his defeat in Sungai Siput in the last election.

Indeed Mahathir wielded and still commands a lot of influence in Umno and BN, but to claim that such sway as he enjoyed extended to being able to influence the outcome of the ballot in Sungai Siput in March 2008 is stretching things some.

Samy's hubristic presumption

Even Samy Vellu would have felt the same way, if he has been apprised that Mahathir was signaling for his defeat, in the few days before the vote on March 8 that year.

For the MIC impresario was at the top of his showman form in the immediate prelude to the vote and had comported himself like he was stone cold certain that he would be returned to what would have been his eight-term as Sungai Siput MP.

NONEThis reporter happened to be in Sungai Siput on March 4 and was in the operations office of Jeyakumar (left) that afternoon when two senior local journalists arrived in a mild stupor from having witnessed an ardent performance by the then MIC titan at the latter's election headquarters.

One of the two, adept at mimicking the mannerisms of the subjects he has interviewed, proceeded to give a demonstration of Samy the impresario to the knot of journalists who had gathered around him after he disclosed he had been just been to interview the grandee himself.

To put things plainly, from the journalist's account, the MIC supremo was regally dismissive of speculation that he could lose, this despite reverberations from the polls' grapevine indicative of ominous tidings for MIC candidates not favoured by Hindraf, the pressure group that blew in like a gale into the national political stage the previous November when it organised a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur by the Indian poor that was truly impressive in size and determination.

"They (Hindraf) are only a group of 1,800 people," Samy reportedly said to the journalist who interviewed him that morning.

"All this (meaning the hubbub caused by Hindraf) would disappear by Thursday," said Samy on the Tuesday before Saturday's vote.

Pointing to the drains and roads outside his office, Samy said to the journalist, "You know who built and maintains these things?"

He refrained from giving the answer, assuming it was obvious.

All in all, it was a display of hubristic presumption that long incumbencies in power breed.

Palanivel in search for a seat

Samy Vellu, like most of the rest of the BN leadership cohort, did not anticipate that the election would result in a political tsunami.

NONESo now what gives in his attempt to find a scapegoat for his defeat?

It is now quite clear that MIC president G Palanivel's (left in photo) shopping around for a seat to contest is not going to issue in his settling on Sungai Siput.

That would make the man who doled out 7,000 hampers to residents of Sungai Siput over the Deepavali celebrations last October and followed up with a gift of 200 laptops to selected youths the favoured MIC candidate to contest the seat against Parti Sosialis Malaysia incumbent, Jeyakumar.

The glad-hander bears family ties to the former MIC kingpin - who else has the wherewithal to play sugar daddy?

Long incumbencies not only breed arrogant presumption, it also stokes dynastic aspirations.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal occupation for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent.

First Kugan, now Beng Hock

The injustice suffered by Kugan’s family and now that of Teoh’s speaks volumes about the BN government’s refusal to 'clean up it act'.

The families of the late Teoh Beng Hock and that of A Kugan are “bonded” in more ways than one – both families lost their loved ones at the hands of the authority.

Not only that, justice too failed both families, leaving them angry and disillusioned with the federal government for conspiring and allowing the culprits to walk away scot-free.

Kugan, 22, a secondhand car dealer, was nabbed by the police on Jan 14, 2009, in connection with a luxury car theft. That was the last his family heard of him as six days later he died while in police custody at the Taipan police station in USJ, Subang Jaya.

In Kugan’s case, federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Mohd Bakri Zinin had assured that there would be no police cover-up and justice would be seen to be done.

But in the end, a false post-mortem was despatched to Kugan’s family, claiming he died of breathing difficulties.

Thanks to the courage shown by his family and friends who entered the Serdang Hospital mortuary the same night, the first post-mortem was done and they took photographs and video recordings of his body.

A second post-mortem done at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) revealed that Kugan’s body had 42 marks and contusions and among the burn marks were V-shaped burn marks believed to have been caused by a hot iron. The youngster also would have suffered “blunt force trauma” from the brutal torture and beatings he had sustained on his body.

A break down in Kugan’s muscle tissues made its way to his blood stream and kidneys resulting in rhabdomyolysis – acute renal failure.

The UMMC pathologist also found Kugan’s stomach was empty, which meant he was being starved before he collapsed and died from the severe beatings.

In a typical fashion, the police denied any wrongdoing, with the Selangor police deputy chief commissioner Khalid Abu Bakar denying any foul play. As far as Khalid was concerned, Kugan died of breathing difficulties.

So much for insulting the people’s intelligence. A 22-year-old is caught by the police and six days later ended up dead with a battered body. How will the police ever explain the scars evident all over Kugan’s body?

TBH – history repeats itself

The Kugan episode, however, made no impact on the “powers-that-be”. The Sessions Court on Jan 28 last year acquitted the police constable said to have caused grievous hurt to Kugan without even calling for his defence.

So much for the promise made by Bakri of seeing to it that justice was served.

Blatant abuse of power by the authorities continued and this time the victim was a 30-year-old Teoh Beng Hock, the political aide of Selangor executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Teoh was found dead on July 16, 2009, on the fifth-floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after being questioned overnight by the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission officers on the 14th floor.

An inquest was held but could only reach an “open verdict”. An RCI was held later and the five-man RCI panel, headed by then federal court judge James Foong, singled out the three officers who were involved in Teoh’s interrogations.

However, contrary to the RCI report which named the three MACC officers, the Bar Council recommended five MACC officers be investigated for culpable homicide. No heed, however, was paid to the Bar Council recommendation.

Abuse of power –will it ever end?

On April 5 this year, it was revealed in Parliament that the Attorney-General’s Chambers has closed its case on Teoh’s death and cleared the three MACC officers named in the RCI report which had found that Teoh was driven to suicide after aggressive interrogation, of all offences.

This manhandling of justice has not gone down well with former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim. To him, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail is the real culprit.

Mat Zain had told FMT that with the amount of skeletons in Gani’s closet, the latter would be “digging his own grave” if he prosecutes anyone over Teoh’s death.

To Mat Zain, this was the reason why Gani was being cowardly and “afraid” to institute criminal proceedings against any persons recommended by the royal commission of inquiries (RCIs).

Mat Zain is not alone in his condemnation of the repeated desecration of justice. The process of justice has been tampered with, but it is of no concern to the federal government which at present is all-consumed with its general election propaganda.

Since the ruling Barisan Nasional government cannot be bothered with the abuse of power displayed by its agencies, should the rakyat not take it upon themselves to assemble in the open as a sign of protest against the country’s impotent judiciary, of the abuse of power by Gani and the unseen “blessings” given to such defilement?

The injustice suffered by Kugan’s family and now that of Teoh’s speaks volumes about the BN government’s refusal to “clean up its act”.

With such a “compromised” government, does Najib think he can misguide the rakyat through his sweet talks or “chivalry” and win big come the 13 general election?

Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.

Suhakam gets memo on rally-disrupting mobs

Suaram says the violent disruption of public gatherings is a worrying trend, as is the apparent police tolerance of such behaviour.

GEORGE TOWN: Suhakam today received a memorandum asking it to investigate recent violent disruption of public rallies as well as alleged police support for the disrupters.

The memorandum, submitted by the human rights organisation Suaram and endorsed by 14 civic groups, referred specifically to violence during the Himpunan Hijau gathering here on Feb 26, but said it was part of a worrying trend of harassment of citizens by racist political elements with apparent police collusion.

Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah received the memorandum from Suaram’s coordinator for Penang, Lee Fui Hei, during a press conference at Komtar. The commissioner ruled out a public inquiry over the Feb 26 incident, but said Suhakam would carry out an investigation.

The Feb 26 gathering at the Esplanade Speakers’ Square here was one of several held around the country to protest against Lynas Corp’s rare earth plant.

Only the Penang gathering was marred by violence, and observers have alleged that the disrupters were members of Umno and the Malay rights group Perkasa . They said the Umno-Perkasa group gate-crashed the event and that shouting, pushing, shoving and scuffles began soon after that.

The scene turned uglier when Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng arrived at the scene to show his support for Himpunan Hijau. At least two people, both newsmen, were injured in the fracas..

In the memorandum, Suaram characterised the disruption as a “clear breach of citizens’ basic human rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution”.

Suaram also said police were reluctant to question the intruders although a “mass of evidence”, including photographs and video clips, were submitted to them.

Instead, it added, the police called in the organisers of the event and several participants and threatened to charge them in court.

Suaram suggested that police could be exercising their political bias.

PM ignoring us, say Orang Asli of Chini

They are voters in Najib’s constituency, but their memorandum says the government is ignoring ecological threats they are facing.

PUTRAJAYA: The Orang Asli of Tasik Chini are upset that the government appears to be unconcerned about threats to their traditional way of life. They happen to be voters in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Pekan parliamentary constituency.

About a dozen tribesmen, together with representatives of Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) and various groups, spoke to newsmen outside the Prime Minister’s office today, complaining about logging and other polluting activities that adversely affect their traditional ways of making a living.

A spokesman for the Orang Asli, Ismail Muhammad, said the government used to listen to their complaints, but not anymore.

“In the past, we used to send letters to the government, and even if they didn’t agree with us, they would acknowledge us. Today, there is nothing. No action.

“Nowadays, when we ask JKOA (Department of Orang Asli Development) to help us, they tell us not to complain so much.”

Ismail is a former headman of Kampung Gumum Tasik Chini. He said he was speaking on behalf of nearly 5,000 indigenous people in Tasik Chini.

The group submitted to Najib’s office a memorandum stating that the Chini folk’s trouble began with the building of a dam across Sungai Chini in 1995 and had worsened through the years with rapid economic development of the area.

The memorandum mentioned water pollution from the nearby Penyor mining areas, run-off from the Jembarau palm oil plantation as well as the logging taking place there.

“If these environmental challenges are not rectified through good and sustainable governance, Tasik Chini will continue to degrade and die a slow but sure death.”

High poverty levels

TI-M Secretary-General Josie Fernandez said the environmental damage done to the lakes in the area

pointed to failures of both the Pahang and federal governments.

She said that the Orang Asli there were not only suffering from high levels of poverty, but also did not have access to clean water due to pollution.

“Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office were not aware of the seriousness of the situation,” she said.

Nevertheless, she added, Najib’s private secretary promised to give the memorandum to him tomorrow.

However, Ismail did not appear confident that the government would solve his people’s problems.

“When we make a complaint, we would call [Chini] assemblyman [Abu Bakar Harun], and he comes to see us. But what does he do? He’s only good at talking.”

He also did not appear convinced that Najib would be able to help his people, saying they had not seen him in a long time.

“The last time he came to visit us was when he was Defence Minister. I don’t remember when that was,” he said.

Ismail described himself as a loyal Barisan Nasional supporter.

“I am not disappointed with the government,” he said. “It is the administration that I am disappointed with, the bureaucracy.

Mansuh PTPTN jejas Melayu hanya mitos

Kerisauan Mohamed Khaled jika PTPTN dihapuskan, pelajar yang gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA tidak mampu menyambung pengajian di IPTS tidak bertempat.

Kenyataan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin bahawa pemansuhan pinjaman Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) yang dicadangkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat boleh menjejaskan peluang anak Melayu untuk melanjutkan pelajaran ke peringkat Universiti mengelirukan dan tidak bersandarkan fakta yang kukuh dan bernas.

Sebaliknya kenyataan Mohamed Khaled dilihat lebih kepada sentimen Melayu yang tidak bertempat dan tiada asas hujahnya.

Hujah pertama beliau ialah tempat di universiti awam adalah terhad dan berlaku persaingan yang sengit dikalangan pelajar untuk menyambung pengajian.

Sebenarnya sama ada seorang pelajar berjaya mendapat pinjaman PTPTN atau tidak, lazimnya mana-mana ibu bapa memang mensasarkan permohonan ke universiti awam atau Institut Pengajian Tinggi Awam (IPTA) sebagai pilihan pertama di atas faktor kos pengajian yang jauh lebih murah daripada Institut Pengajian Tinggi Swasta (IPTS).

Faktor kedua IPTA menjadi pilihan ibu bapa atau pelajar ialah IPTA selalunya mendapat pengiktirafan yang lebih tinggi berbanding IPTS terutama daripada sektor kerajaan.

Hujah kedua Mohamed Khaled ialah pengajian percuma di universiti akan menyebabkan IPTS terpaksa ditutup kerana para pelajar lebih tertumpu kepada institusi pengajian tinggi IPTA.

Kenyataan ini benar-benar mengelirukan. Sekali tidak timbul soal sama ada pelajar itu berjaya menerima pinjaman PTPTN atau tidak, IPTA tetap menjadi pilihan pertama pelajar dan setiap tahun berpuluh ribu atau mungkin ratus ribu pelajar yang kecewa kerana gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA.

Malah setiap tahun pasti ratusan pelajar (sering kali pelajar bukan Melayu) yang mendapat kelulusan cemerlang di dalam peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) atau Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) sering menjadikan media sebagai tempat mengadu kerana gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA.

Tidak kurang pemimpin parti politik juga sering membawa isu pelajar cemerlang tidak mendapat tempat di IPTA ke pengetahuan media dan kerajaan.

Persoalan pelajar ini mendapat pinjaman PTPTN atau tidak menjadi perkara kedua sebaliknya apa yang pelajar ini mahukan adalah jaminan menyambung pengajian di IPTA.

Tiada pilihan

Dan biasanya jika mereka tetap gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA selepas membuat rayuan atau menunggu pengambilan seterusnya, pelajar ini biasanya tidak mempunyai pilihan melainkan melanjutkan pengajian di IPTS.

Hujah ketiga Mohamed Khaled bahawa jika tiada pembiayaan (pinjaman PTPTN) maka pelajar ini tidak mampu melanjutkan pengajian ke IPTS adalah satu alasan semata-mata.

Agenda yang dicadangkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat ialah memberikan pendidikan percuma jika berjaya mengambil Putrajaya.

Penulis tidak bercadang membincangkan sama ada cadangan tersebut realistik atau tidak pada penulisan kali ini. Tetapi apa yang ingin diketengahkan ialah apabila disebut pendidikan percuma ia bukan sahaja menghapuskan pinjaman PTPTN kepada pelajar yang telah pun berhutang dengan kerajaan; tetapi ia juga bermaksud memberikan biasiswa kepada pelajar IPTA untuk pengambilan seterusnya.

Agak aneh masih ramai orang tidak memahami apakah itu konsep pendidikan percuma.

Kerisauan Mohamed Khaled bahawa jika PTPTN dihapuskan, maka pelajar yang gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA tidak mampu menyambung pengajian di IPTS adalah satu kerisauan yang tidak bertempat.

Seandainya cadangan Pakatan Rakyat ini direalisasikan, apa masalahnya jika kerajaan terus memberikan PTPTN kepada pelajar yang melanjutkan pengajian di IPTS? Bermakna pelajar yang melanjutkan pengajian di IPTS tetap perlu membayar semula pinjaman apabila sudah mula bekerja.

Pilihan kedua ialah jika kerajaan benar-benar bermurah hati dan ingin berlaku adil kepada pelajar IPTS yang juga merupakan rakyat Malaysia, kerajaan boleh sahaja memansuhkan PTPTN dan menggantikan dengan istilah biasiswa dan memberikan biasiswa yang juga merupakan pendidikan percuma sama ada kepada pelajar IPTA mahu pun IPTS.

Kenyataan Mohamed Khaled bahawa jika keadaan itu berlaku pengambilan pelajar universiti awam berasaskan meritokrasi iaitu hanya pelajar terbaik sahaja akan diberi tempat.

”Ia sama seperti mana permohonan biasiswa akan berlaku perebutan, timbul tidak puas hati dan bila kita guna ini (meritokrasi), bila kita tidak dapat mengimbangi orang Melayu akan berlakunya jurang,” katanya dalam satu wawancara dengan akhbar Utusan Malaysia semalam.

Kenyataan yang keliru

Kenyataan Mohamed Khaled sekali lagi mengelirukan dan tidak faham apa yang hendak beliau sampaikan melainkan mencemaskan orang Melayu.

Apa kena mengena dengan pinjaman PTPTN dan tempat untuk pelajar Melayu belajar di IPTA? Ini dua perkara yang berbeza dan tidak kena mengena.

Apa yang berlaku ialah seseorang pelajar akan memohon tempat untuk pengajian di IPTA. Selepas berjaya mendapat tempat di IPTA atau IPTS, barulah pelajar ini memohon pinjaman PTPTN.

Tidak faham apa masalahnya dengan PTPTN dengan pengambilan pelajar mengikut sistem meritokrasi atau bukan meritokrasi.

Pengambilan pelajar sama ada mengikut sistem kuota atau meritokrasi tidak ada kena mengena dengan pelaksanaan PTPTN atau pemansuhan PTPTN.

Sekarang pun dengan sistem PTPTN sudah timbul perasaan tidak puas hati di kalangan ibu bapa bukan Melayu apabila anak mereka tidak mendapat tempat di IPTA walaupun mendapat keputusan cemerlang di dalam peperiksaan SPM atau STPM.

Persoalan jika PTPTN dimansuhkan maka peluang pelajar Melayu melanjutkan pengajian di IPTA mahu pun IPTS tidak timbul sama sekali jika kerajaan benar-benar menangani pendekatan itu dengan bijak dan ikhlas.

Kenyataan Mohamed Khaled juga membuka satu ruang untuk menimbulkan persoalan apakah sistem yang diguna pakai oleh Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi ketika ini untuk pengambilan pelajar di IPTA.

Apakah sistem kuota atau meritokrasi atau gabungan kedua-duanya sekali.

Govt won’t stop Bersih 3.0 but Dataran…

The home minister has asked the organisers to be realistic about finding a venue that will not disrupt the public.

KUALA LUMPUR: With the previous high-handed actions against the Bersih 2.0 rally bruising the Najib administration’s public image, the government now appears to be taking a more softer stance with regard to the electoral watchdog’s next rally slated for April 28.

Commenting on the issue, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government would not prevent the upcoming rally but remained coy on whether it could be held at Dataran Merdeka.

He added that the rally was not considered a security issue but urged the organisers to hold a discussion with the police to determine an appropriate venue so that it would not interfere with the daily lives of the public.

“We want to give freedom for them to gather but do not jeopardise the status of peace. We’re allowing them to have it but don’t affect people at large,” he told reporters in Parliament.

“Since Bersih 2.0 (held in last July) we have already tabled the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) and based on the spirit of the Act, the government will not stop Bersih 3.0.

“But make sure you don’t cause a nuisance to the public and jeopordise public peace. Whether it is Dataran Merdeka or some other place, I think the police are reasonable,” he added.

Hishammuddin said if Bersih was sincere in wanting to gather and not affect others, then the organisers should be realistic in finding an appropriate location.

No street protest

Asked about Himpunan Hijau 2.0′s plan to march from KLCC on the same day, the minister said that a street protest cannot be allowed as it would disrupt the public.

“What’s the use of having the Act if we allow street protests, that is a basic thing. If that is their purpose, eventhough we suggset a proper and reasonable location, then it means that their reason is to cause chaos. The rakyat will punish them,” he said.

“Please negotiate with the police. If they insist and there is no compromise, then people will question why they are so adamant,” he added.

Himpunan Hijau is protesting against the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin confirmed that the PAA had yet to be gazetted but said that the spirit of the Act was enforced during the Anwar Ibrahim rally at the Jalan Duta courts in January.

“In that instance, we were very reasonable even though people said it was a security risk to allow them to gather in front of the court,” he added, referring to the judgment date for the opposition leader’s sodomy case.


1. Oil drives the world. Ever since the invention of the internal combustion engine, the demand for oil has been increasing by leaps and bounds.

2. Today the estimated total consumption of oil per day amounts to 70,000,000 plus barrels. Engines has been made more efficient i.e. consume less oil for a given power. But still the demand for oil continues to rise.

3. In 1973 the price of one barrel of crude oil was just 3.50 USD. The oil producing countries were being robbed. They remained poor and at the mercy of the Seven Sisters – the biggest and richest petroleum companies of the world. They dictated the price. And they paid royalty amounting to only 20% or so of the price of crude to the poor countries.

4. The producing countries would have remained poor but for the anger over the state of Israel being supported by the West. Following the Yom Kippur War, the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries, decided to cut oil supply to the West.

5. Suddenly the producer countries got the upper hand. They could deny supply and therefore they could dictate prices.

6. Within one year the price shot up to 12 USD. From then on the price went up higher and higher.

7. Today the price is USD 120 per barrel. The producing countries had accordingly become extremely wealthy from their production sharing contracts.

8. But it is not just the producers who are pushing up oil price. The Western consumer countries are even more guilty. Their profligate ways and their policy of dominating the world has resulted in sanctions and wars against the Muslim oil producers which invariably affected the supply of oil to the world. The war against terror initiated by the United States has resulted in blockades against many Muslim oil producing countries.

9. In total disregard for international law and the United Nations, the United States is currently blockading Iran, a major oil exporter. In order to make the sanctions effective the United States need other countries to do the same.

10. But countries which source their oil from Iran are naturally unwilling to join in the blockade. To get them to apply sanction the United States is now doing a lot of arm-twisting, making threats against the total trade of these countries. Countries like Malaysia are very susceptible.

11. This great advocate of free trade, of globalisation, of a borderless world seems ever ready to renege on its undertaking on free trade. You get to trade freely if you do as you are told.

12. But the United States cannot force China, Russia and India. No attempt is made against European countries either because without Iranian oil their economies would grind to a stop.

13. This great country which is so dedicated to promoting free trade picks and choose the countries to bully. But then it is also not so committed to the freedoms of democracy.

14. Faced with the threat of terrorism the United States did not hesitate to curtail freedom even for its own people. Having passed the equivalence of the ISA on foreign terror suspects, Obama recently extended detention without trial to American citizens as well.

15. But the United States Congress has done better. It also legalised torture. So there is no need to send prisoners to countries which permits torture.

16. Malaysia should be proud of having the United States and Britain copy its legal system. But while Malaysia rids itself of the ISA, don’t expect the United States to do the same. Guantanamo is now 10 years old. It is set to go on forever.

17. There will be no trial for the detainees. Homeland security means no security for others. At any time they can be bombed and rocketed out of existence, starved through sanctions and failure to cooperate in applying sanctions against Iran will result in denial of free trade.

International Investors Start to Sour On India

Manmohan says sorry
Manmohan says sorry
Arbitrary tax treatment, retroactive claims cutting into investment enthusiasm
India’s recent federal budget measures, including anti-tax-avoidance proposals and others which allow for retroactive tax claims on overseas deals are coming home to haunt the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and poisoning the climate for badly needed foreign direct investment.

FDI soared upward in 2011 by 31 percent, from US$21 billion to US$27.5 billion, giving an upper hand to officials who advocate tightening tax regulations on multinationals and Indian companies doing business overseas. Nonetheless, the latest moves have exasperated the US-based Business Roundtable, the Confederation of British Industry, the Japan Foreign Trade Council and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, which together represent more than 250,000 companies. They have written the prime minister saying the measures are prompting a widespread rethink “of the costs and benefits of investing in India."

"The sudden and unprecedented move...has undermined confidence in the policies of the Government of India towards foreign investment and taxation and has called into question the very rule of law, due process, and fair treatment in India," the groups said in the communique.

The letter is the most direct warning yet of global corporate frustration, adding to the groundswell of negative opinion building up against India in terms of its viability as an investment destination. After years of assiduously wooing foreign investors, companies are baffled as to how Singh, the architect of India’s globalization drive in the 1990s could allow things to come to such a pass.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that discouraging foreign investment after spending decades to build credibility in the international market would whittle down tax collection over the long term, worsening the fiscal scenario. While amendments in tax laws can be made applicable for the future, inserting retrospective clauses is tantamount to committing economic hara-kiri. Amendments and clarifications that apply retrospectively would undermine the credibility of the legal framework and discourage investors.

Turbulence in global markets has already pulled down India’s FDI flows to less than half their previous levels in relative terms. Further, the ruling UPA combine is buffeted by a raft of scams leading to a policy paralysis. Its flip-flop on FDI in retail and endless roadblocks that delay major investments, including that of South Korean giant Posco’s 12-billion steel plant in the eastern state of Odisha, have badly shaken investor confidence.

The latest global outcry follows close on the heels of a protracted tax struggle between London-listed Vodafone Group Plc, India's largest overseas investor, and the Indian government, and underlines the risks and ambiguity foreign investors are exposed to. Vodafone was subjected to a protracted five-year legal battle that finally ended in January when India's Supreme Court dismissed a US$2.2 billion tax demand over the British company's acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's Indian mobile assets in 2007.

Policy confusion in India's telecom sector over the tainted allocation of mobile licenses in 2008 recently saw Abu Dhabi's Etisalat announce the winding down of its Indian operations. Norway's Telenor has also been embroiled in a dispute with its Indian partner, Unitech Ltd, and has said it would seek to migrate the business to a fresh pasture with a new partner.

As pointed out by Reuters, the freshly proposed tax measures could also adversely impact Kraft Foods Inc's 2010 acquisition of Cadbury's Indian business and deals involving Indian assets sold by AT&T Inc and SAB Miller Plc's purchase of Fosters.

The measures are likely to be challenged in court as the trade bodies’ letter has elevated the issue from a bilateral dispute between Vodafone and the Indian government to a multilateral row that could end up in international courts. Following industry protests, the Indian government has decided to set up an advisory panel on international taxation and transfer pricing, which would include discussions with industry representatives. The trade groups have welcomed this step and said they want an ICC nominee to be included in this group as well.

What was the reason behind this desperate move? Possibly India’s current struggle to close a whopping Rp4.94 trillion budget deficit and the general ominous fiscal scenario with GDP growth at a three-year low of 6.1 percent.

Responding to the strong reaction by the foreign lobby, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has emphasized that the legislative intent behind the recent tax measures is “not vengeful.” The law, in fact, does not allow reopening of corporate tax cases older than six years, he said.

“Perhaps his intent was to target the most high-profile deal in this league to convey the message that foreign capital is welcome provided it comes through regular channels,” says an industry source.

However, despite the drumbeat of anti-India sentiments, many analysts take the view that India needn’t be defensive about its tax measures as it has all the rights to get choosy about inbound investments and craft rules which vet overseas candidates rigorously. Besides, India is the market of the future, they say. Global businesses are tired of the prolonged drought in western markets and are keen to shift operations to India. Industry surveys point out that FDI will climb to an estimated US$2 trillion in 2012 in emerging Asian markets and India will be a primary gainer from this windfall.

“India can afford to insist that foreign capital be subject to a suitable tax regime,” said Shriram Desai, formerly with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). “Britain recently plugged its own tax-haven loopholes. China has also been wary of foreign businesses in the high-end manufacturing sector. Several other Asian economies similarly employ safeguards to protect their national interests. So why should India’s move attract such an adverse reaction?” he added.

Vested interests, say industry sources, are loathe to any additional form of scrutiny from Indian authorities, more so as India is one of the few frontiers of high growth left in today’s age of economic gloom.

However, this is not to discount the discomfiture foreign investment firms have been lately facing in India. Since January the government has been served a raft of legal notices by multinational companies in the telecom and coal sectors. Telenor of Norway and Russia’s Sistema have already moved gone to court. The Children’s Investment Fund, a UK-based hedge fund, too has asked its lawyers to move against public sector Coal India.

India has also recently lost a case involving White Industries of Australia against Coal India in the International Court of Arbitration. All of these are under one or other of the 50-odd bilateral investment treaties that India has signed with its major trading partners.

Perturbed by threats from these foreign companies to drag India to international courts over breach of investment promises, the commerce ministry is now scrambling to erase a key clause in bilateral investment treaties that allows for international arbitration in order to protect itself. Currently, India has treaties with Singapore and South Korea, among others, that allow companies coming under their jurisdiction to challenge any adverse policy action by New Delhi as a breach of investment promise in international tribunals.

The government is also in direct talks with several countries to amend the investment treaties so that any supposed violation of an investment promise through Indian government action can be challenged only in Indian courts.

But will these preemptive measures be enough to gloss over the UPA’s poor governance and shoddy business administration record? Only time will tell.

(Neeta Lal is a New Delhi-based senior journalist;

Not surprising that Bersih 3.0 is allowed to go on

Pak Man - The Malaysian Insider

APRIL 10 — Are you surprised that the Najib government has agreed to allow the Bersih 3.0 sit-in to go on? I am not. You shouldn’t either.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his aides have learnt their lesson from Bersih 2.0. They have also instructed their pro-government newspaper editors in the mainstream media to treat Bersih 3.0 differently from Bersih 2.0. That it is not a security threat that Bersih 2.0 was deemed by the security agencies.

Bersih 2.0 on July 9 was a seen as a security threat at the same level as Tahrir Square. That explains why Kuala Lumpur was locked down with phalanxes of policemen ringing the city. Police said only 5,000 turned up but they held nearly 1,700 people. How’s that for efficiency and effectiveness?

Despite all that, the Najib government’s handling of Bersih 2.0 was seen as a failure. He flip-flopped on giving them a stadium. He allowed his security advisors to get the upper hand but not this time. Najib cannot afford the fallout that Bersih 2.0 generated back then.

The repercussions even went as far as England where Najib visited a week after Bersih 2.0. The Anglophile prime minister was the first ever Malaysian leader to be boo-ed by Malaysians abroad. In a twist of events, this week British prime minister David Cameron visits Kuala Lumpur. I hope he will reinforce the need for Najib to ease off on Bersih 3.0.

Because he can’t have advisers like Jalil Hamid, who is now the NST chief editor, to demonise the Bersih participants and activists.

Do you remember what he said in the leaked letter? Let me refresh you in the note titled “GUIDANCE ON KEY ISSUES No 8/2011″.

“By most accounts, the Bersih 2.0 protest on July 9 could turn out to be massive and will certainly go beyond issues of fair and free elections. With over 100 political, NGO and right groups could be joining the “March for Democracy”, we expect them to champion a slew of issues ranging from inflation to Teoh Beng Hock and Lynas. The protest, if not countered, could undermine the government, the economy and national security. This note sets out the policy guidance and the do’s and don’ts in managing the issue,” he wrote.

Jalil then recommended the following as “the process of mind-conditioning will continue in the run-up to July 9″.

The process included, among others, to “discredit the organisation and itts key leaders. Bersih is neither registered with ROS nor ROC. It is NOT an election watchdog but a group of politicians and politically inclined individuals who lack credibility.”

He also said the government should “label the rally as “perhimpunan haram” or “illegal assembly”, and that the people behind Bersih are trouble shooters and going against the Constitution and the law to gain political mileage” and “that they are just a front for the opposition.”

There are also references to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was allegedly using Bersih 2.0 to shift attention from his “legal and moral woes” and to remind people about his “Sept 16 bluff”.

Jalil also said the process was also to “create anxiety that Bersih is working for the interests of foreign elements, who are out to destabilise the country” and “that Bersih is not bersih (clean) after all as it is an illegal group out to create havoc”.

You don’t see this today, do you? Those advisors are gone and Najib has learnt his lesson. He set up a parliamentary select committee (PSC) after that and they have submitted 22 recommendations with four more left behind.

Najib is allowing Bersih 3.0 because the elections are near. He wants to be seen as a democratic leader.Who can allow dissent that even Pak Lah or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wouldn’t dream of doing.

Because he needs to win the general elections and remain as prime minister and Umno president. If that wasn’t the case, Bersih 3.0 will end up like Bersih 2.0. Call Najib’s bluff. Sit in on April 28 to show you want a better Malaysia free from electoral fraud. Don’t sit in and allow Malaysia to rot.

New Bill to replace ISA

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill to repeal and replace the Internal Security Act 1960 is to be tabled for its first reading today.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said he would comment further on the Bill after it was tabled.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced his intention to abolish the ISA and make major changes to several security laws in his Malaysia Day address on Sept 15 last year.

Najib also announced the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance and the removal of the requirement for annual renewal of printing presses and publication permits.

It is learnt that the Bill will drastically cut the period a suspect can be held and will allow for detailed judicial review of any arrest or detention under the new law.

Sources said the new law would focus on dealing with terrorism, espionage and threats to national security with police being given less than a month to hold a suspect without trial.

At the end of the period, the suspect must be charged in court or released.

They said the new law would also state specifically that no one is to be detained for his or her political beliefs as was promised by Najib in his Sept 15 speech.

Malaysia also looked at the security laws of several other countries including Britain's Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and the Patriot Act of the United States, both of which were drawn up after the Sept 11 attacks in New York and Washington DC.

The ISA, introduced in 1960 in the wake of an armed insurgency by the Communist Party of Malaya, gives police wide-ranging powers to detain suspects indefinitely.

Under the ISA, police can detain a suspect for up to two years after obtaining the consent of the Home Minister. Keeping to his promise, Najib got Parliament to approve a motion last November to lift three emergency proclamations, two of which had been in place for over 40 years.

With that, the powers granted to police under the Emergency Ordinance are withdrawn.

The motion sought to lift the emergency proclamation that was issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on May 15, 1969 following the May 13 racial riots.

It was also to lift the emergency proclamations issued by the King on Sept 14, 1966 and Nov 8, 1977 aimed at resolving political disputes in Sarawak and Kelantan respectively.

The Government also pushed through the Peaceful Assembly Bill, which allows the people to gather and prohibits the police from stopping a peaceful assembly without proper cause.

Survival Of Rulers Institution Will Depend On Peoples Support For Constitutional Monarchy - Rais

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) -- Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the survival of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and rulers will depend on the support for the constitutional monarchy.

Rais who is also a legal practitioner said though the King would not be involved in politics, at a point of time he would have to assume the role of the leader to ensure the survival of the monarchy.

"For a Sultan who need to think of how to enhance his peoples' economy, there is no need to afraid of any political inclination.

"For example the country's Constitution under article 153, says that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is responsible for safeguarding the special position of the Malays, natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interest of other communities.

"The King must therefore hold on to the provisions of the constitution like a golden rule," he said when interviewed in the Hello Malaysia programme aired live by BERNAMA TV here Tuesday night.

Rais said that as a head of a nation or state, he should play a role in ensuring the survival of the race and country, which could become political issues in practice.

Commenting on Sultan of Kedah Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah's installation as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara, Jalan Duta tomorrow, he said the event would ensure Malaysia's practice of the Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy is strengthened, in line with the practice of social justice.

He further remarked that the social justice propounded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his administration would be complemented perfectly by Tuanku Abdul Halim.

To ensure such an environment is maintained, he said the royalty should also be able to accept changes to its structure, in order to be well accepted by the community.

"If this can be maintained, then the people would respect the monarchy, not just for tradition sake, but because it is something to be proud of and to sustain the nation's sovereignty," he said.

Tuanku Abdul Halim has created history by his installation as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the second time.

He was first proclaimed as the 5th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1970 at the age of 42 and was elected as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 2012 at the age of 84.

PPP Submits List Of Candidates For General Election To PM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Bernama) -- The People's Progressive Party (PPP) has submitted its list of candidates for the 13th general election (GE) to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

PPP president Datuk Seri M. Kayveas said the party was interested in contesting in Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur which consist of four parliamentary and 12 state assembly seats.

"Our selection of seats were based on field studies carried out by the party," he told reporters after PPP's 59th anniversary celebrations here.