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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time to stop running, Najib: Stand your ground and answer to Altantuya's dad!

Time to stop running, Najib: Stand your ground and answer to Altantuya's dad!
In the wake of the late Altantuya Shaariibuu's father's trip to Malaysia, and what has been reported in the on-line media, Malaysians need to respond and respond real big.

Here is a case that is not like any common murders we witness in this imperfect world. There is far more to the brutal annihilation of a woman, mother and daughter. It has brought the dignity and honor of all Malaysians into question by the sheer fact that we have not acted decisively enough to get the truth out into the open despite all these past six years and so much of court time.

If we claim to love this nation; if we claim to remain loyal to this nation; if we claim to be the true defenders of this nation and its Rulers, we must also protect the reputation, dignity and honour of this nation.

Malaysians need to force out the truth

And on that premise, it s about time that all Malaysians - irrespective of which political party they belong to; irrespective of which organisation or NGO they uphold; irrespective of what professional stature they are in; and irrespective of what race, religion and social class they belong to -- all Malaysians should demand and make sure that justice is dispensed to save the country from the persisting shame and disgrace.

The sooner we can force bring the truth to the surface the better for the reputation of this nation. The sooner we can resolve the case, the better for the aggrieved parents and relatives of the late Altantuya. The sooner we can finally pin the crook - so to speak, the better for every Malaysian and their revered Rulers.

Now there is only one person who can take up this cause and champion the truth to the fore and that is none other than our prime minister, Najib Razak.

He cannot any longer operate as if this case has nothing to do with him. He must accept universal opinion, that is, for as long as this case affects the country's reputation, image and dignity in the global arena, he must act to resolve. It is the basic tenet of prime ministership - being the vanguard of a nation and its reputation and honor.

Najib must respond

The prime minister needs to respond by ensuring that there are acceptable and proven answers to the following questions:

1. Who gave the orders for the C4 explosives to be taken out and to be used on poor Altantuya?

2. Who gave the orders to delete all ingress and egress records of the late Altantuya in the Immigration system?

3. Who gave the instructions to the bodyguards of the PM and his spouse to carry out the brutal, ghastly killing?

4. Why did the prime minister so eagerly get involved with wanting to assist Razak Baginda but at the same time does not seem to want to eagerly show respect and compassion for the grieving father nor to give assurances that as prime minister he will personally look into the matter and ensure no stone is left unturned?

5. Now that the father of the dead soul Altantuya claims that he saw the photo of the prime minster with his daughter, what has the leader of Malaysia got to say? Or will he remain tight-lipped? We need to know because if it is sheer fabrication we the rakyat will do everything to save the reputation and integrity of our prime minister. If it is otherwise, we will also ensure that the prime minister resigns immediately because he did swear that he had nothing to do with her and did not know her (remember?).

6. The prime minister also needs to get to the bottom of the claim that our government did not reply nor respond to any of the communication from the Mongolian counterpart. If there have been officers and leaders who have been negligent on the job they must be removed by the PM to protect the international reputation and maintain foreign relations at its peak.

Lawyers, Bar Council and all professionals must take up cause - murder trial was a mockery

Having said all that 'Must-Do' list for the prime minister of Malaysia, let us Malaysians not forget that we must fight to save the dignity and pride of Malaysia. Therefore all lawyers, the Bar Council and all other honorable professionals must rise to make their position known on this Altantuya matter. This is no ordinary murder folks. Our nation's name, dignity and honor is at stake. In fact it is not paranoid to state that even our national security is being breached.

And so too all religious leaders must get their flock to stand up for justice, honor and demonstrate their patriotism for the nation's dignity and honor. They must demand for the answers to the above 'Must-Do' list for the prime minister. The prime mister must be held accountable and supportive of the rakyat;s determination to salvage and save the country's honor.

Malaysians must show they are an honorable and reasonable people

Hopefully, we will not forget this concern until the father of Altantuya re-appears next few years later. Let us show the world that Malaysians are accountable, reasonable, honourable and will not stop at no for an answer and do not have fear or favour in punishing the guilty.

Let us also show our Conference of Rulers and with thier Majesties' support that the rakyat will and ensure that Malaysia's reputation is not jeopordized by criminals. We will with the support and enthusiasm of our revered Rulers bring the culprit to book.

Resolving this Altantuya case is true national service. The prime minster must act. Hopefully the main stream media will have that same sense of moral and social responsibility and champion the rakyat's quest to save the country's damaged reputation and tattered dignity.

And the prime minister must not wait for another nationwide protest march before he ensures that prompt and spotless justice is dispensed.

Malaysia Chronicle

Couple injected baby-sitter with heroin, had sex with her before dumping body

Couple injected baby-sitter with heroin, had sex with her before dumping bodyThe woman charged with helping her husband dispose of their teenage babysitter’s dead body revealed the extent of their relationship with the girl before her death, including their varied drug use and group sex sessions.

Dea Millerberg testified in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Monday about the death of 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen, the girl that she and her husband Eric had used as a babysitter but then became friends with, involving her in drugs and underage sex.

Months after the September 10 death of Alexis, the Millerbergs were charged for their involvement in her death and Mrs Millerberg testified against her husband in court on Monday after receiving immunity for any direct involvement with the girl’s death.

Mrs Millerberg faces one third-degree felony charge relating to the disposal of Alexis’ body, but prosecutors have called her overall involvement ‘minimal’ as compared to Mr Millerberg’s, as he faces charges of child abuse homicide, unlawful sex with a minor, the disposal of the body and obstruction of justice.

The 39-year-old, who filed for divorce from her husband after they were charged with the death of Alexis, told the torrid story of how the couple befriended and corrupted the young girl in the months leading up to her death.

Mrs Millerberg said that they started using Alexis- or Lexi as she called her- as a babysitter for their two daughters in the spring of 2011.

They became friends and started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the teen before Alexis began requesting that they try harder drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.

Eventually they began paying Alexis in meth, and 36-year-old Mr Millerberg even showed her how to smoke it out of a lightbulb.

One of their most raucous nights as a group came in August, a month before her death, when Alexis reportedly asked to become sexually involved with the married couple.

'Eric and I started kissing and having sex. Then Alexis jumped in,' Mrs Millerberg told the court.

On the fateful night of September 10, the couple wanted Alexis to babysit because they were going to go shopping for their daughter’s birthday. Neither babysitting nor shopping ended up happening.

As soon as Alexis arrived at the house, Mr Millerberg helped her get high by injecting her with drugs- once with heroin and twice with meth- into her arm and neck.

Then, when she was ‘as high as she had ever been’, she and her husband performed oral sex on one another. Mrs Millerberg says that she was not involved in the encounter.

A short while later, the drugs had a negative effect on the teen and she started ‘freaking out’. She reportedly felt disoriented and cold, so she asked if she could take a warm bath in the couple’s master bathroom.

After leaving her alone in the bath at her request, the Millerbergs checked on her about 45 minutes later to find that she was still cold, so Mrs Millerberg wrapped her in a blanket and told her to lie down in another bedroom.

The couple left her to go smoke some cigarettes, and returned about a half hour later to find her unresponsive.

‘She wasn't breathing. She had mucousy stuff coming out of the right side of her mouth,’ said Mrs Millerberg, who was a licensed nurse and tried to resuscitate the girl to no avail.

They then tried to figure out what to do next.

‘It really was a panic. The idea of it was, we will lose our kids and go to jail, and there was nothing we could do to bring her back,’ she told the court.

Mr Millerberg was on parole at the time for prior burglary and firearm charges, and he was also known to be part of the Silent Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist prison gang.

Mrs Millerberg, who also had outstanding court dates due to her involvement with two unrelated prescription drug fraud and child endangerment cases, says that she dressed the then-naked body of Alexis and put it into a foot locker which the couple moved into a box in the trunk of their car.

Leaving their 6-year-old daughter at home but taking their toddler with them, they 'drove all over the place' disposing of any evidence that may connect them to the crime.

They dumped her body in a remote area of Morgan County where Mr Millerberg covered it with brush and shrubs so that it was hidden. Police only found it six weeks after Alexis’ death with the help of a confidential tip from one of Mr Millerberg’s gang members.

Moving on to the remaining evidence, they left Alexis' purse in one dumpster with the box that had held the body, then drove to a different dumpster where they left the carpet from the car 'in case there was any evidence on it'.

After filing for divorce from Mr Millerberg in February, Mrs Millerberg is free on bail but police say that she will ‘not get a walk on all of (her) charges’.

So far, police officials seem to agree with Mrs Millerberg’s version of events though a full autopsy could not be completed because of the decomposition of the body. The state medical examiner did conclude that there was a serious amount of meth and heroin in the girl’s body at her time of death.

‘Drugs are dangerous and unpredictable. Every time you use drugs there is a chance of death,’ said medical examiner Dr Joseph White.

Prosecutor Chris Shaw included the other charges against Mr Millerberg in his assessment, saying: ‘After a lengthy period of drug use ... and sexual misconduct, she died.’

Hindu girls' case: Supreme Court rejects pleas of father, husband

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected two similar petitions, filed by the father and husband of two Hindu girls, for meeting them.

Both the girls had allegedly been forcibly converted to Islam and gotten married to Muslim boys.

The apex court observed that the two girls should be allowed to make a decision on whether they want to go with their parents or husbands based on free will.

The Supreme Court will again take up the matter on April 18.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took up the two applications calling for holding meetings with the Hindu girls at Panah, a shelter home in Karachi.

Naveed Shah, the husband of Rinkle Kumari, moved an application through his counsel Mujeeb Peerzada, with a request to allow him to meet his wife, who is staying at the shelter home in Karachi, contending that police was not permitting him to meet her.

Similarly, Dr Ramesh, the father of the other girl Dr Lata, also submitted a plea through his counsel Nasir Mengal, for meeting with his daughter at the shelter home.

During the hearing, Mujeeb Peerzada, the counsel for Naveed Shah, said that policemen were not allowing his client to meet with his wife (Rinkle Kumari) at the shelter home.

He said that his client had also not been allowed to give her clothes.

"You must be aware that she (Rinkle) wanted to go with her mother on the last date of hearing.

Let her think about her future till the next date of hearing," the Chief Justice urged.

The court, however, asked the learned counsel to hand over clothes and other such things to the Advocate-General of Sindh, saying that he would provide her at the shelter home.

Meanwhile, Nasir Mengal, the counsel for Dr Ramesh, also requested the court to allow his client to meet with his daughter but the court declined this plea as well.

On March 26, the court had sent the two Hindu girls to the Karachi-based shelter home, urging them to make a free will decision about their future - whether they wanted to go with parents or husbands.

The CJP had observed: "Let these girls have some free time to think over and decide about their future themselves.

Now there is pressure of the court, police, their husbands and parents on them." The atmosphere in the court was very tense on the last date of hearing, as the girls' parents demanded that their daughters be allowed to go with them.

One of the girls, Rinkle Kumari, whose new name after conversion is Faryal Bibi, cried and begged: "I want to go with my parents." Dr Lata Kumari, now Hifza Bibi, said: "Let me talk to my father." Dr Lata's father Dr Ramesh Kumar created a commotion in the courtroom when he shouted that his daughter should be allowed to go with him in accordance with her free will.

Handshake Muslim Loses Court Case

Rotterdam council was right not to offer lawyer Mohammed Enait the job of client manager after he refused to shake hands with women, a court in The Hague said on Tuesday afternoon.

Enait had applied for the job at the social services department but said he would not shake hands with women on religious grounds. However, he would greet them in another respectful fashion, he said.

When he was refused the job, Enait brought a civil case against Rotterdam council, saying the rejection was religious discrimination.

The court found the refusal to shake women's hands 'unacceptable' and that Enait is ignoring the equality between men and women, reports news website In addition, it would damage the relationship between the council and its clients.

In 2009, Enait was in the news for refusing to stand up in court when judges entered the room on the grounds that in Islam all men are equal.

‘Chaos’ will result from anti-Lynas mosque protests, Perkasa warns

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Unrest in the Malay community may be sparked by a series of anti-Lynas Corp protests planned to be held at mosques nationwide, Perkasa warned today.

The Malay rights group’s youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris told authorities to take the upcoming April 13 event seriously, claiming that “religious institutions” are being abused and manipulated for political gains.

“There will be chaos, this will cause national unrest. Is it not enough that Malays are already divided by different political parties, now mosques are being used to split them further?

“Police must take appropriate action. Arrest them before there is a situation where Malays are pitted against Malays for this issue,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Irwan also sought to apportion blame for the predicted “chaos” on Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, whom he attacked yesterday over the election watchdog’s upcoming rally for free and fair elections.

“Malays are now being used as pawns, tools for Ambiga... Anti-Lynas, Bersih sama sahaja, (same purpose),” he claimed.

Irwan said what Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau, the organisers of the April 13 rallies, was planning to do went against Islamic principles, adding that the protests were akin to “desecrating” the sanctity of mosques and the religion itself.

“Mosques should not be used for political purposes,” said the Wira Perkasa leader.

“I will stand by what I say...if they think the Lynas plant is hazardous, bring proof, show proof...what’s the need to go specifically to mosques and to drag Muslims on a holy Friday to do all this?”

Irwan said he will bring up the matter to Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali to decide on “how to tackle” this “threat.”

The Malaysian Insider reported this morning that anti-Lynas groups will take their campaign to mosques nationwide, hoping to break racial barriers and add support for their ongoing efforts to stop Lynas Corporation’s rare earth project in Kuantan.

The Malaysian Insider understands that a protest has been planned for “selected” mosques nationwide this April 13, to be organised by a group of non-governmental organisations called Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau.

An estimated 22 groups, including Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) and Badan Bertindak Anti-Rare Earths (Badar), will be part of this campaign.

ABU representative Haris Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider that Solidariti SeMalaysia Himpunan Hijau’s main objective is to correct the misconception that the Lynas issue only concerns the Chinese community and those living near the Gebeng Industrial Estate where the refinery is sited.

Earlier this week, Himpunan Hijau also said it will join Bersih’s rally for free and fair elections this April 28 in the hope that this would further pressure the government to stop Lynas Corp’s rare earth project in Kuantan.

This will be Himpunan Hijau’s third public protest to date, and it is expected to draw an even larger crowd than the first two, which were held in Kuantan on October 9, 2011, and February 26 this year.

Lynas Corp’s Malaysian subsidiary has said the plant will be ready to fire up operations in three weeks’ time.

The government recently formed a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to look into the Lynas issue, but critics have dismissed it as a public relations exercise by the Najib administration.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers, who are part of the anti-Lynas movement along with Kuantan residents, have decided to boycott the PSC, which has been given three months to resolve the ongoing dispute.

Many roadblocks to thwart human rights in M’sia

Too many political leaders, lawmakers and high ranking government officials lacked wisdom to accept human rights principles to be basis of the country’s policies, says a Suhakam man.

GEORGE TOWN: Lack of knowledge, information and appreciation, and religious and racial bias were main reasons thwarting human rights growth of international-standard in the country, blamed a Suhakam commissioner.

Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) member Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah noted that many political leaders, lawmakers and high ranking government officials lacked wisdom to accept human rights principles to be basis of the country’s policies.

The outspoken commissioner said these policy makers either failed or refused to embrace the international concept of human rights principles.

Hence, he said policy makers have always challenged and resisted recommendations made by Suhakam to reform and improve the country’s human rights standards.

He cited India as an example where political parties, civil rights groups and lay public would jointly pressure the government to implement recommendations made by the country’s human rights commission.

“We lack this cohesive citizenry strength to force human rights reforms in Malaysia,” lamented Muhammad Sha’ani.

He said Malaysia was now lagging behind other countries in progressive human rights policies, in line with rapidly developing global human rights values based on international covenants, conventions, laws and policies.

“If this goes on, Malaysia cannot stand equal with others in terms of human rights … it will be a loss to us,” he told FMT.

He pointed out that the country leaders must act fast to rectify the problem, especially in wake of emerging Asean Community bloc by 2015.

He noted that the world was now changing drastically into a democratic, decentralised and freer global family adopting human rights as part of universal culture.

“But in Malaysia, we still have policies blocking children from taking part in peaceful assembly and candlelight vigils,” slammed Muhammad Sha’ani.

Racial discrimination

He noted that Malaysia should not have discriminatory laws against foreign companies to protect domestic companies in accordance with World Trade Organisation policies.

He said foreign workers, although cannot be granted all citizenry rights, should also be protected by labour laws and given rights to unions.

He said religious and racial bias at lower end execution level has also undermined efforts to implement human rights policies designed to protect rights of all citizens.

He cited an example in Pahang where an Orang Asli family of Christian background, which has four members with disabilities, was deprived of any assistance by the welfare department for past 30 years.

Only yesterday, the state welfare department had taken the initiative to help the family following a complaint lodged by Muhammad Sha’ani on Sunday to the department director-general.

He admitted that Malaysians were discriminated based on race and religions on educational opportunities, scholarships, civil service employments, apart from welfare aids.

He said the government can always implement special measures and legislations to help needy, under privileged and marginalised citizens.

But, he said that too must be done regardless of their ethnic and religion backgrounds.

“It’s bad for religion and race equations to come in between human rights principles and implementation.

“We should do away with racial and religious discrimination in line with international norms. There shall not be privileges based on race and religion,” he said.

Suhakam checking on institutional racism

Muhammad Sha’ani said Suhakam has been investigating on whether race and religions bias was a reason behind the high number of deaths among ethnic Indians in hands of police.

He said Suhakam has received many complaints from civil rights movement, Hindraf Makkal Sakti, on killings during police shootings and death in custody of ethnic Indians.

He said Suhakam was probing on whether such incidents were prevalent among Indians only or also involved other communities as much.

He cited legislation such as Printing Presses and Publications Act and Societies Act were also against international doctrines of freedom of association and media.

He chided the discretionary power given solely to minister-in-charge to accept or reject an application to commence a publication or organisation as undemocratic.

Stressing that ministerial power shall not be the final authority, he said rejected applicants should be given another legal avenue to appeal and challenge the ministerial decision.

He called for the formation of an independent panel, compromising current and former judges, lawmakers and civil rights activitists, to review and decide such appeals.

“The minister must explain before the panel reasons for his decision. The panel should have power to overrule the ministerial decision.

“It should decide on whether to accept or dismiss an appeal,” he said.

Pendidikan percuma mampu direalisasikan

Beberapa pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat mendakwa kos purata PTPTN setiap tahun untuk membiayai pengajian mahasiswa adalah sebanyak RM3 billion sahaja.
Bahagian Akhir

Sejak dua minggu isu panas perbualan orang ramai, yang didebatkan oleh pemimpin parti politik dan menjadi liputan utama media massa ialah isu memansuhkan Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN).

Walaupun cadangan memansuhkan PTPTN adalah cadangan bersama kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat; pemimpin Umno dan media kawalan Umno mensasarkan serangan ke atas Ketua Pembangkang, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Hujah yang dimainkan oleh pemimpin Umno ialah negara akan bankrap jika PTPTN dimansuhkan.

Perdana Menteri Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak memberikan gambaran bahawa PTPTN mustahil dimansuhkan oleh Pakatan kerana membabitkan perbelanjaan sebanyak RM43 billion.

Sekali dengar memang seperti mustahil. Walaubagaimanapun Najib tidak menyatakan adakah RM43 billion itu adalah tunggakan setakat hari ini iaitu sejak pinjaman PTPTN mula dilancarkan atau kos pinjaman PTPTN setiap tahun adalah RM43 billion.

Walaubagaimanapun kelmarin seorang pemimpin PKR, R Suresh Kumar mendakwa RM43 billion itu bukan kos PTPTN untuk setahun sebaliknya kos tertunggak selama 15 tahun.

Semalam Naib Presiden PAS, Dato’ Husam Musa pula berkata bahawa jumlah mpinjaman PTPTN sejak mula dikeluarkan sehingga ke hari ini adalah RM28 billion dan membidas Najib kerana cuba mengelirukan dan menakutkan rakyat dengan angka yang jauh lebih besar.

Suresh Kumar dan beberapa pemimpin Pakatan mendakwa kos purata PTPTN untuk setiap tahun untuk membiayai pengajian mahasiswa adalah sebanyak RM3 billion.

Ini bermakna jika Pakatan berjaya mengambil alih Putrajaya, jika mereka tidak menghapuskan PTPTN yang tertunggak sejak 15 tahun sekaligus pun, sekurang-kurangnya mereka boleh memansuhkan pinjaman PTPTN serta merta untuk pengambilan akan datang dan digantikan dengan biasiswa 100 peratus kepada penuntut yang layak menerima biasiswa (istilah asal PTPTN).

Pakatan mampu serap kos pengajian

Dengan pendapatan RM150 billion setahun adalah tidak mustahil kerajaanm Pakatan mampu menyerap kos RM3 billion setahun.

Walaubagaimanapun ada banyak kaedah penjimatan untuk menampung kos pengajian percuma tanpa mengusik pendapatan tahunan negara.

Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Isu PTPTN PAS Pusat, Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani berkata dengan memetik kenyataan Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi baru-baru ini bahawa seramai 629,052 pelatih Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN) direkodkan sehingga 29 Februari dan sebanyak RM4.36 billion telah dibelanjakan untuk PLKN sejak program itu dilaksanakan.

“Berdasarkan angka tersebut kos seorang pelatih PLKN selama tiga bulan adalah bersamaan dengan kos pembiayaan pinjaman PTPTN seorang mahasiswa peringkat Ijazah selama satu tahun.

“Jumlah RM4.36 bilion itu boleh menampung kos pinjaman PTPTN untuk seramai 622,857 orang mahasiswa Ijazah pertama di IPTA selama setahun.

“Ini ialah kerana kerajaan membelanjakan RM6,931 bagi seorang pelatih yang menamatkan kursus selama tiga bulan di PLKN.

“Sedangkan untuk Ijazah pertama, PTPTN hanya memberikan pinjaman RM7,000 setahun manakala untuk Diploma hanya RM5,000 setahun,” kata Mohd Taufek.

Mansuh program PLKN

Mohd Taufek yang juga Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Paroi berkata dengan memansuhkan program PLKN yang setakat ini sudah meragut 18 nyawa pelajar sama ada ketika menjalani latihan di pusat latihan atau selepas pulang ke rumah selepas latihan tamat; kos PLKN sebanyak RM4.36 billion itu sudah cukup untuk menampung kos pengajian mahasiswa di IPTA.

“Walaupun hanya RM3 billion sahaja yang diperlukan tetapi dengan menambah satu billion lagi, ia mampu menampung pengajian pelajar cemerlang yang gagal mendapat tempat di IPTA untuk meneruskan pengajian di IPTS.

“Malah dengan peruntukan tambahan RM1 billion yang dijimatkan daripada kos PLKN itu mampu membiayai pelajar bukan Melayu yang sering merungut apabila nama mereka tercicir daripada senarai pelajar yang berjaya mendapat biasiswa.

“Maka isu pelajar bukan Melayu yang tidak mendapat biasiswa juga dapat diatasi apabila kos PLKN ini digunakan untuk menampung biasiswa”, ujar Mohd Taufek lagi.

Mohd Taufek juga mempertikaikan sikap Najib dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang melatah kononnya negara akan bankrap jika Pakatan menghapuskan PTPTN.

“Walaubagaimanapun Najib dan Muhyiddin menikus apabila Laporan Audit Negara sebelum ini mengesahkan kerajaan kerugian sebanyak RM28 billion akibat ketirisan.

Mereka tidak kisah dalam isu “write off” hutang RM589 juta bekas Pengerusi MAS, Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli. Mereka juga tidak kisah memberikan dana besar RM250 juta kepada kroni Umno dalam projek NFC, tetapi dalam isu kebajikan pelajar dan rakyat terbanyak, bukan main berkira pemimpin Umno.

“RM28 billion itu boleh melangsaikan pinjaman PTPTN setakat hari ini iaitu sebanyak RM28 billion.

“Jika RM28 billion itu tidak digunakan untuk “write off” pinjaman tertunggak PTPTN sekaligus sekali pun, RM28 billion itu boleh membiayai pinjaman PTPTN dalan bentuk biasiswa untuk sembilan tahun dengan kos RM3 billion setahun.

“Penjimatan daripada ketirisan dan kos PLKN hanyalah sedikit contoh bagaimana kita boleh mencari sumber kewangan untuk memberikan pendidikan percuma (biasiswa).

Tutup kelemahan

“Alasan yang diberikan oleh Najib dan Muhyiddin hanyalah alasan semata-mata untuk menutup kelemahan masing-masing,” kata Mohd Taufek lagi.

Mohd Taufek yang juga merupakan Pesuruhjaya PAS Negeri Sembilan, berkata alasan yang diberikan oleh Najib dan Muhyidin langsung tidak dibeli dengan mudah oleh golongan mahasiswa dan mahasiswi.

“Mereka tahu apa yang berlaku dalam negara dan bagaimana kekayaan negara tidak diuruskan dengan baik dan telus. Mahasiswa juga tahu soal ekonomi dan jangan fikir mereka tidak tahu langsung soal pengurusan kewangan.

“Kenyataan Najib dan Muhyiddin bahawa negara akan bankrap jika PTPTN dihapuskan dan jika Pakatan memberikan pendidikan percuma adalah mengarut sama sekali. Kenyataan yang mengelirukan tanpa fakta sebenar,” ulas Mohd Taufek lagi.

Justeru itu idea Pakatan untuk memansuhkan PTPTN dan menawarkan pendidikan percuma dari pra sekolah sehingga peringkat universiti mampu dilaksanakan dan logik.

Hanya orang yang tidak tahu soal pengurusan ekonomi, kewangan dan tidak mengambil tahu tentang ketirisan dalam pentadbiran negara sahaja yang akan berkata bahawa idea tersebut adalah tidak logik dan tidak boleh dilaksanakan.

Bersih 3.0 insists on Dataran Merdeka

The venue was selected because of its historical revelance to the people’s struggle for independence, says the electoral watchdog.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 3.0 does not see a necessity to change the Dataran Merdeka venue for its sit-in gathering planned on April 28, despite Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s plea for the electoral watchdog to be “realistic” yesterday.

“We do not agree that there is a necessity to change the venue to other places,” Bersih 3.0 steering committee chairperson S Ambiga said in a statement today.

She said Dataran Merdeka was selected as the venue for Bersih 3.0 due to its historical relevance to the people’s struggle for independence and a democratic Malaysia.

“We certainly do not see any reason why Dataran Merdeka is unsuitable in the light of the many events that have recently been held there, including 205th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Police [PDRM],” she added.

Ambiga also said the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) is not yet in force, adding that “Bersih 3.0 is of the view that the PAA violates the constitutional guarantee of freedom of assembly”.

She said the electoral watchdog will be writing to the police in due course “once plans are firmed up”.

“We sincerely hope that the police will assist in facilitating the traffic flow on April 28 for Bersih 3.0 as they have recently done so in several public gatherings.

Yesterday, Hishammuddin said the government does not regard the planned Bersih 3.0 rally as a security issue, adding that a gathering would be allowed if it does not break the laws.

However, he wanted the organisers to discuss with the police to determine an appropriate place so that there is a guarantee that the rally will not interfere with the daily lives of the public.

He urged the organisers to be “sincere” and “realistic” and be prepared to compromise on a location.

Later yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz called on the Bersih 3.0 organisers to get consent from the owners of Dataran Merdeka.

M’sians ready to enter new era

The prime minister says the three emergency proclamations were rescinded because Malaysians have reached a high level of maturity.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the government rescinded three emergency proclamations because it is confident that Malaysians are ready to enter a new era.

“The government believes that after more than half a century since Independence and practising democracy, Malaysians have reached a high level of maturity.

“And in view of this, we are now ready to enter a new era where the function of government is no longer seen as limiting freedom of the individual, but instead, ensures that basic rights protected by the [Federal] Constitution for each individual is assured,” he said in his speech at the installation of Sultan Kedah Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara here today.

“Pursuant to this, after giving due consideration, a balance could be reached between freedom of the individual and national security,” he said.

Najib added that in line with this aspiration, the government through Parliament rescinded the three emergency proclamations and would allow all the ordinances under them to lapse in June except for three which will be tabled as new bills that are related to the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela), Rukun Tetangga and Regional Maritime Laws.

He said said the government had also taken steps to repeal the Restricted Residence Act 1933, Banishment Act 1959, formulate the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011 and amend the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) 1971.

Najib said on Monday he would be tabling for second reading the bill to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) at the Dewan Rakyat.

“Although the ISA has served the nation well, it has outlived its purpose. We need a new framework of national security legislation in the increasingly complex contemporary era.

Najib also said under the new law, the government had decided to get rid of the power of detention without trial possessed by the home minister while the detention by the authorities for the purpose of investigation would now be shortened.

“The power of judicial review will be fully returned to the courts. The bill also guarantees that no Malaysian can be detained because of his political beliefs and activities,” he added.

Najib said the Security Offences Bill (Special Measures) 2011, which was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, would not only ensure the authorities had adequate legal weaponry to combat global terrorism and defend parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, but also to protect the freedom of the citizens.

“All these initiatives and programmes are to ensure that Tuanku’s rule, God willing, will herald a golden democratic age in Malaysia,” Najib said.

Feeling of pride

Touching on the relationship betweem the Ruler and the people, he said history had proven that when the relations were enriched by harmony and fertilised by deep emotions and spirituality, any crisis could be tackled successfully.

“Even though the coalescence of the King and people has been in existence since the outset, it remains relevant with the current realities,” he said.

Najib, who also represented the government and Malaysians as a whole, also recorded a feeling of pride because the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the head of the nation was now being held again by Tuanku Abdul Halim, who is very experienced and renowned for his love of the people.

He said the historic installation ceremony today where Tuanku Abdul Halim was crowned as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the second time also symbolised how the national institution was firmly rooted since five decades ago.

“This is a reflection of an unbroken stream of administrative wisdom of our beloved founding fathers since the late Tunku Abdul Rahman till today in blending and weaving the fabric of historical heritage and future needs in order to build national stability,” Najib said.

Tuanku Abdul Halim was appointed the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1970 at the age of 42 and now four decades later, he has been installed once again as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the age of 84.

Najib said he and his family were fortunate and privileged to serve Tuanku Abdul Halim as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong as his father (Najib’s), the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was Malaysia’s second prime minister, had served under Tuanku Abdul Halim when he ascended to the throne in 1970.

“After my late father had the opportunity to serve Tuanku, it is now destined to be my turn to be at your service. It is God’s will, and may God’s assistance and inayah (concern) guide all of us,” he said.


Beijing Behind Eastern India Separatists?

ULFA rebels ready for action
ULFA rebels ready for action
India alleges China funding, arming United Liberation Front of Asom
China allegedly is funding support for a banned separatist organization and its leader, Paresh Baruah, along the Northeat Indian mountainous region of Assam that abuts Tibet, say sources who have visited Buruah in Burma.

China has for decades assailed the border established as the McMahon Line in 1914 by the British colonial government, alleging that the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing calls Southern Tibet, is illegally occupied by India. The two countries fought a border war in 1962, with China invadng well inside India before withdrawing.

Nearly cut off from the rest of India by a spur of Bangladesh that juts up almost to Nepal, Assam is one of five eastern states that lie close to the confluence of Myanmar, China, Nepal and Bhutan. Cut off economically as well from the rest of the country, the five states have often been the site of unrest and criticism of the central government for ignoring their economic needs.

GK Pillai, the former Indian home secretary, said during a public meeting at the Assamese capital of Guwahati on Feb.13 that many insurgents in northeast India maintain relationships with Chinese intelligence officials. He also claimed that Beijing was directly or indirectly supporting militant leaders including Paresh Baruah, who heads a militant faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom. Pillai also revealed that Baruah’s wife and two sons, who were still hiding in Bangladesh, had expressed their interest to come back to Assam.

The elusive ULFA leader was quick to reject the allegation, saying in a statement a week later that ‘GK Pillai’s comment on the ULFA is baseless and an outcome of frustration.” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin also dismissed the charges saying that Beijing upholds the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

But Indian intelligence agencies stick to the report that Baruah has established a comfortable relationship with some levels of officers of Beijing administration. The leader, equipped with Chinese weapons, security guards and a satellite communication system, has been traced to the jungles of northern Myanmar to Ruili of Yunnan, where the arms deals are struck with various small groups of northeast India.

The intelligence source also disclosed that the Chinese Army has recently modernized their arms and ammunition, offloading old and used weapons to arm dealers and ultimately to militants in Myanmar and northeast India.

While the Indian government’s assertion could be dismissed as propaganda, Rajib Bhattacharya, the execuitive editor of the Seven Sisters Post English-language daily and Pradip Gogoi, a cameraman from Prime News, went into Myanmar recently to meet the ULFA leader, reported that a Chinese security cordon surrounded the encampment, and that no Assamese cadres were with him.

ULFA was born in 1979 with the aim to make Assam a sovereign nation although the organization is split today, with one faction comprising all senior leaders including its chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, engaged in talks with the Indian Union government.

Baruah, however, continues to maintain the armed struggle. He was driven out of Bhutan in 2003 when the Bhutanese flushed out its ULFA hideouts, shifting his operations to Bangladesh during the regime of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia in Dhaka. However, when the Awami League government of Sheikh Hasina Wajed took the reins in 2009, most of the militant leaders and their families from northeast India, including those of ULFA, were arrested and secretly handed over to Indian authorities.

But Baruah escaped. After being declared a wanted criminal by a Bangladeshi court, he returned to his jungle bases in northern Myanmar, bordering the northeast Indian States like Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. The Myanmar region, also bordering China’s Yunnan province, has increasingly emerged as a safe haven for many other militant groups from Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Assam.

The banned groups reportedly run camps in the hilly, heavily jungled terrain where they are comparatively safe from both Burmese and Indian forces. They train new recruits, extorting money from the wealthy in their respective states, and issue press statements on various occasions.

Two recent e-mails drew the attention of the mainstream Assamese, arguing on behalf of China’s sovereignty over the region. In the 1962 border incursion, the Chinese captured the state of Arunchal Pradesh, even venturing westward as far as the city of Tezpur in Assam on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. However, they withdrew after the United States and France warned Beijing following pleas from the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The region has been disputed for nearly two centuries, with Burmese staging a series of attacks between 1820 and 1826 until they were defeated by the British, which brought the region under colonial rule in the Yandaboo Agreement signed in 1826.

The ULFA statement issued on March 31 insisted that Assam ‘should build bridges with China’ for its own prosperity. A friend like China is crucial for the people of Assam, it added.

Referring to the ‘Indo-China war of 1962’, the statement asserted that India had fallen backward from the war front in Arunachal, that the People’s Liberation Army had reached the border of Assam and did not occupy an inch of Assam’s land, proving “who our friend is, it stressed. “So there is no logic for any anti-China movement in Assam,” the statement asserted.

The faction claimed on Mar. 26 that New Delhi is ‘secretly setting up nuclear missile bases in northeast India, because of its growing conflict with China.’ Baruah asserted in a press statement that ‘the Indian government has already completed surveys for setting up bases for Brahmos cruise missile (Indo-Russian Technology) and Akash nuclear missiles in Nagaland and Assam’.

ULFA’s awakened interest appears to coincide with growing activity on the part of Tibetan refugees in Guwahati, including street demonstrations and press conferences, with the cause for a free Tibet suddenly gaining momentum, which has caught the attention of the Chinese. Hundreds of Tibetans observed the Tibetan National Uprising Day in Guwahati on March 10, commemorating Tibetans’ first massive uprising against the Chinese occupation in 1959. Clad in traditional dress and holding Tibetan national flags along with the Indian Tricolor, nearly 300 Tibetan exiles moved through the streets of Guwahati, also organizing a candlelight procession at the heart of the city in the evening.

Attending a public meeting in Guwahati on March 26, Gyari Dolma, the home minister of the Tibetan government in exile, appealed for help, saying ‘Tibet is closer to northeast India than China.”

The hardliner ULFA faction countered by criticizing the Dalai Lama for “not being sensitive to the suffering of Assamese under Indian rule.”

“We are not aware of any voices raised by the Dalai Lama (or any Tibetan refugee taking shelter in India since 1951) against New Delhi’s oppressive action in Assam, especially in the period of Assam movement (1979 to 1985), when 855 students were shot dead by the government forces,” the militant group claimed in a statement. “ Even later also, the exiled Tibetan establishment has not expressed its concern on the atrocities and human rights violations going on in Assam in the last three decades of armed movement.

Remember Guna?

By Bodhiman
Do you?
Gunasegaran a/l Raja Sundram? ( )
“Who…..?”, you might well ask.
Well this poor chap died sometime in the evening of 16th July, 2009.
Read THIS if no bells are ringing in your head right now.
Yup that’s right!
He died the very same day the late Teoh Beng Hock died.
Unlike the late Teoh, though, Guna was a nobody.
He was no politician, tycoon or scholar.
In fact, some might be tempted to call Guna a drug addict, a vagrant … heck even a bum!
However you choose to describe Guna, one fact must never be forgotten.
Guna died in the lock up of Balai Polis Sentul on that fateful evening.
The family of the late Guna, after enduring a long inquest process in the Magistrate’s court, was devastated when the coroner delivered her open verdict and stated that she was unable to decide as to what caused the death of Guna.
Was it the physical blows inflicted by the police officers as per eye witness testimonies?
Was it a drug related death as certified by the experts?
What about the injuries found on the body of Guna?
Experts say it was due to resuscitation efforts.
Wait a minute, didn’t the attending Doctor at KL Hospital say he DID NOT  make any efforts to resuscitate Guna?
Then why the injuries?
Ah…. So many questions and no honest answers forthcoming.
By the way, why was the body of Guna left to rot in the KL Hospital mortuary ?
Ah….. questions and more questions!
Anyway the application by the family of the late Mr Gunasegaran a/l Raja sundram for a revision of the coroner’s verdict is due to be heard in the KL High Court (Jenayah 1) before YA Datuk Su Geok Yiam  at the Duta courts on 16th April, 2012.
As I write this, the celebrated case of Oh Keng Seng v Public Prosecutor [1976] 1 MLJ 143 comes to mind. In this case the court had said :-
“Justice must not only be done but must also be manifestly seen to be done. This is a cardinal principle in the administration of justice and it must override all other considerations. The judiciary in our country is independent of the executive and the honesty and integrity of the officers who preside over the courts are of a high order. Let us not on any occasion therefore dispense justice in a manner which may undermine public confidence in the judiciary”.

Security Bill has been tabled

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The first step has been taken to do away with the Internal Security Act introduced in 1960 to counter armed communist insurgency but has since become a source of controversy.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz tabled the first reading of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 to repeal and replace the ISA.

While seeking to broaden civil liberties, the proposed Act recognises the grave threat of terrorism, sabotage and espionage.

In contrast to the ISA that allows detention without trial, the Bill stipulates that all security offences be tried by the High Court.

Security offences include waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or aiding the escape of a prisoner of the State as listed under Chapter VI and VIA of the Penal Code.

Under clause 4 of the Bill, a police officer may, without warrant, arrest any person whom he has reason to believe is involved in security offences. However, no person should be arrested solely for his or her political belief or political activity.

A person arrested under the proposed Act may be held for 24 hours but the detention may be extended up to 28 days by a police officer of the rank of Superintendent or above to facilitate investigations.

If the police officer believes that further detention is not necessary, the person may be released but an electronic monitoring device will be attached to the person until the 28-day period is up. Any person convicted of tampering with or destroying the device faces a maximum jail term of three years and is liable to pay for damages.

In most circumstances, no bail will be granted to a person charged with a security offence. However, a person below 18, a woman or a sick or infirm person charged with a security offence may be released on bail, subject to an application by the Public Prosecutor that the person be attached with an electronic monitoring device.

The investigation officer will notify the next-of-kin of an arrested person of the detention and allow that person to consult a lawyer.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the repeal of the ISA in his Malaysia Day message in September last year as part of government efforts for political transformation.

Putrajaya dropping proposed race relations law, says Nazri

Malaysian Insider
by Clara Chooi

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Putrajaya has abandoned plans for a Race Relations Act, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz has confirmed, saying current laws could adequately regulate racial extremism.

The de facto law minister pointed out yesterday that other preventive laws like the Sedition Act and the Criminal Procedure Code already provide for occurrences that include offensive behaviour from one individual to another that could affect race relations.

“I think we can manage our race relations well. Anyway, an offence related to race would be things like seditious speech and this is covered by the Sedition Act.

“On offences like assault, it is covered by the CPC so we do not need a specific race relations law — all (offences) are covered,” he told reporters when approached at his office in Parliament.

“Whatever offences you may think may affect race relations have been covered.”

The minister had said last December that the government would table a Race Relations Bill during the current parliamentary session to regulate interracial interaction and foster mutual respect.

Nazri had told Sin Chew Daily in an interview that the proposed law, to be used to combat racial extremism, was among one of two replacement laws for the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).

The government tabled yesterday the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill as a replacement to the ISA, removing the government’s option to indefinitely detain individuals without trial and providing a maximum detention of 28 days for the purpose of investigation.

Under the ISA, an individual believed to have committed a security offence can be detained for investigation for up to 60 days before being recommended for a further two-year detention without trial, on orders from the home minister.

Nazri said that the newly-proposed Bill would be the sole piece of legislation to replace the ISA, saying he was not aware of the “hate laws” that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said was in the pipeline.

“I’ve not seen that yet,” Nazri said.

Speaking on the new Bill, the veteran politician said it was timely as the current political and social scenario is Malaysia was vastly different to what it was in 1960 when the ISA was passed.

He said that society has matured and incidents that would have caused racial riots in the past now no longer trigger such acts from citizens.

“Malaysians are more tolerant. In fact, I’d like to say it’s not question of being tolerant, it’s accepting that we do have differences but it doesn’t mean that we should be divisive.

“It should unite us more because we have not only accepted each others’ differences but we are one and because of all this, that is the reason why the government decided now to repeal the ISA,” he said.

 Nazri, however, stressed on the need for the new Act specifically to handle offences deemed a threat to national security or terrorism, adding that such provisions must be provided for as a security measure.

He said it was easier to enact a fresh law instead of suggest amendments to existing preventive laws to help specifically touch on these offences.

“It is best to have one Act that is exhaustive... and then we don’t have a law at the moment that is related specifically to terrorism,” he said.

Muhyiddin To Meet 1,000 SRJK Chinese, Tamil School Teachers In Selangor

SHAH ALAM, April 12 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will meet 1,000 Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (SRJK) Chinese and Tamil schools teachers during a one day working visit to Selangor Thursday.

The Deputy Prime Minister's visit is a follow up to the "Nurani Rakyat" programme said Selangor Barisan Nasional Coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed.

During his visit, Muhyiddin who is also the Education Minister will have breakfast with the teachers and give out assistance to Chinese and Tamil schools in Selangor at the De Palma Hotel at Section 19, Shah Alam, he said in a statement.

Muhyiddin is also scheduled to meet about 5,000 members of hawkers and petty trader associations from Selangor at Kompleks Belia Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, said the statement.

Tsunami watch area reduced after 8.6 quake off Aceh

High-rise apartments in Penang swayed for around a minute late this afternoon when an 8.6 strong quake struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra, triggering a tsunami watch.
This was followed by an 8.2 after-shock a couple of hours later. But the watch area has since been reduced and Malaysia is off the list.
Source: USGS Earthquake Hazards Programme
In Penang, the main Tanjung Bunga road was choked with traffic, as many hastily left their homes along the sea front.
One Taiping resident said the chair he was seated on at home rattled during the quake.
Does the Najib administration still think it is a great idea to build the 100-storey Menara Warisan in Kuala Lumpur? Are our high-rise buildings capable of withstanding strong quakes?
Incidentally, some time ago, one of the senior engineers from China Harbour Engineering Company told me that the second Penang bridge is being built to withstand quakes of up to 8.0. CHEC has been laying the sub-structure for the new 23km bridge.
WEIO21 PHEB 111151
ISSUED AT 1151Z 11 APR 2012
ORIGIN TIME – 0839Z 11 APR 2012
——————- —– —— —– ————— —–
TRINCONMALEE LK 8.6N 81.2E 1116Z 0.04M / 0.1FT 18MIN
COCOS ISLAND AU 12.1S 96.9E 1102Z 0.08M / 0.3FT 18MIN
TELUKDALAM ID 0.6N 97.8E 1045Z 0.19M / 0.6FT 10MIN
SABANG ID 5.8N 95.3E 1010Z 0.36M / 1.2FT 06MIN
MEULABOH ID 4.1N 96.1E 1007Z 1.06M / 3.5FT 12MIN
DART 23401 8.9N 88.5E 0956Z 0.03M / 0.1FT 06MIN
——————————– ———— ————
BANDA_ACEH 5.5N 95.1E 0933Z 11 APR
SIBERUT 1.5S 98.7E 0944Z 11 APR
PADANG 0.9S 100.1E 1025Z 11 APR
BENGKULU 3.9S 102.0E 1037Z 11 APR
CILACAP 7.8S 108.9E 1150Z 11 APR
BANDAR_LAMPUNG 5.7S 105.3E 1200Z 11 APR
BALI 8.7S 115.3E 1234Z 11 APR
BELAWAN 3.8N 98.8E 1326Z 11 APR
KUPANG 10.0S 123.4E 1333Z 11 APR
BALI 8.7S 115.3E 1234Z 11 APR
LITTLE_ANDAMAN 10.7N 92.3E 1015Z 11 APR
NORTH_ANDAMAN 13.3N 92.6E 1045Z 11 APR
PORT_BLAIR 11.9N 92.7E 1050Z 11 APR
CHENNAI 13.4N 80.4E 1134Z 11 APR
TRIVANDRUM 8.3N 76.9E 1204Z 11 APR
KAKINADA 17.2N 82.7E 1204Z 11 APR
MANGALORE 13.3N 74.4E 1339Z 11 APR
BOMBAY 18.8N 72.6E 1605Z 11 APR
GULF_OF_KUTCH 22.7N 68.9E 1636Z 11 APR
DONDRA_HEAD 5.9N 80.6E 1054Z 11 APR
COLOMBO 6.9N 79.8E 1121Z 11 APR
JAFFNA 9.9N 80.0E 1235Z 11 APR
MALDIVES GAN 0.6S 73.2E 1144Z 11 APR
MALE 4.2N 73.6E 1149Z 11 APR
MINICOV 8.3N 73.0E 1214Z 11 APR