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Monday, April 16, 2012

Akta ganti ISA tak seperti diwar-war

Bapa mahasiswa: Saya sokong mahasiswa di sini

HAF Releases New Human Rights Report Amidst Worsening Plight of Hindus in Pakistan

Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2012) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) released its eighth annual Hindu human rights report today amidst increased concern over the worsening plight of Hindus in Pakistan. The report, Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2011, documents human rights violations against Hindus in Pakistan as well as seven other countries and regions around the world, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago. It also summarizes the situation facing the small Hindu populations in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
According to the Foundation, Hindu minorities continue to be subjected to violent attacks, restrictions on religious freedom, discriminatory laws, and economic and social marginalization in many of these nations. In Malaysia, for instance, HAF asserts that the Bumiputra (Sons of the Soil) policies, enshrined in Article 153 of the Constitution, provide economic and social benefits to the majority ethnic Muslim Malay population, while explicitly discriminating against Hindus and other minorities. Moreover, non-Muslims are increasingly compelled to adjudicate family law cases through the Islamic Sharia law court system. This past November, the Foundation sponsored a Congressional briefing, Institutionalized Racism and Religious Discrimination in Malaysia, with exiled Malaysian Hindu civil rights leader, Waytha Moorthy, in order to raise awareness on these issues.
"While we are encouraged by improvements in the condition of Hindus in countries such as Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago, the situation for Hindus continues to significantly deteriorate in other areas, particularly Pakistan and Malaysia,” said Ramesh Rao, PhD, HAF’s Human Rights Coordinator and author of its 2011 report. “It is absolutely imperative that the international community and the U.S. government urgently address the systematic and rampant denial of fundamental human rights in these countries.”
The recent kidnapping and forced conversion of a young Pakistani Hindu girl, Rinkle Kumari, is indicative of the danger faced by the Hindu community in Pakistan, allege several human rights groups. Kumari was reportedly kidnapped from her home in Sindh province, forcibly converted to Islam, and married to a Muslim man with the assistance of a leading Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) politician’s son. The case has attracted widespread media attention and has shed light on the common practice of kidnappings and forced conversions in this South Asian nation.
According to numerous sources, including the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), at least 20 - 25 Hindu girls are kidnapped and converted to Islam every month in the southern Sindh province alone. HRCP further contends that local politicians, police authorities, and the courts are frequently complicit in such kidnappings and conversions, or fail to adequately protect the victims.
Kumari's case has also garnered the interest of U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), who wrote directly to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari earlier this week, urging him to intervene on Kumari’s behalf and ensure her safe return to her family. Rep. Sherman’s letter further called on President Zardari to put an end to the kidnappings and other acts of “harassment” of the Hindu community in Pakistan.
"Rinkle Kumari’s case is a heartbreaking example of the desperate plight faced by Hindu girls and their families in Pakistan,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF’s Director and Senior Fellow for Human Rights. “Unfortunately, such kidnappings are only one of a litany of abuses Hindus confront in that country.” The Foundation’s latest report notes that Hindus and other minorities are subjected to a wide range of violence and persecution in Pakistan, including abductions for ransom, attacks on places of worship, and institutional and legal discrimination. Poor rural Hindus are also victimized by the bonded labor system, where they are unable to pay off debts to feudal landlords.
The majority of Pakistan’s remaining Hindu population reside in Sindh, with smaller concentrations in the provinces of Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkwa. Many Sindhi advocacy groups, such as World Sindhi Congress (WSC) and the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) have been active in raising awareness about the plight of Hindus in Sindh.

Saudi Arabia bans 'gays, tom-boys' from schools

Saudi Arabia has decided to bar gays and tom boys from its government schools and universities within a crackdown against the spread of this phenomenon in the conservative Moslem Gulf Kingdom, a newspaper said on Monday.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most feared law enforcement authority in the oil-rich country, has been asked to enforce the new orders, Sharq Arabic language daily said.

“Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites,” it said.

The paper did not make clear who issued those instructions but said gay and tom boy students can go back to schools and universities if they prove they have been corrected and have stopped such practices.

It said high-level orders have been issued to the Commission to immediately enforce the new rules and to step up efforts to combat this phenomenon and other “unacceptable behavior” in public places.

Rape victim says she has been forced to leave home

Local police demanded more money from the woman to get the alleged rapist arrested. 
He was later released soon illegally. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: About 50 rights activists protested on Sunday in front of the Lahore Press Club against Pak Pattan police’s for not arresting a man accused of being involved in the rape of a Christian girl.

The protesters also demanded action against the police officials responsible. The victim, who was present at the protest, said Zahid Ahmed* and his accomplices had raped her at gun point.

The girl said that after escaping from the men, she had gone with her uncle to the police. She the officials at the Chak Baidi police station had demanded Rs5,000 for registering an FIR. She said after the FIR was registered, SHO Afzal Dogar and investigation officer ASI Muhammad Akram demanded more money to conduct raids to arrest the suspects. She said she borrowed the money from some relatives to pay the police and got the accused arrested.

However, she alleged Ahmed was released the same day illegally. She said he got interim bail but it was cancelled on April 4. The police, she said, was not arresting the accused as he was an influential man in the area. She said she had also given an application to the Pakpatan DPO but no action had been taken.

She said Ahmed was threatening her and her family and had demanded that she withdraw the FIR. She said she had left her home because of the pressure of her family and her biradari on her to take back her FIR. She appealed to the inspector general of Punjab Police and the chief minister to ensure justice for her.

*The name of the alleged perpetrator has been changed to protect his identity

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.

Johor Royalty linked to assault on rapper

(Malaysian Digest) - A Johor royalty by the name of Tengku Mishal Ibrahim has been implicated in connection to last week’s assault on a hip hop entertainer outside a night club.

The incident which happened last Thursday was tweeted by many sympathizers of victim Mikhael Adam Mohd Rafae (aka SonaOne), 24, with some claiming it was not the first time Tengku Mishal had been involved in violent acts.

Among those who took up to Twitter to implicate Tengku Mishal to the incident were siblings and Fly FM radio deejays Hafiz Hatim and Hani Farhana Hatim or better known as Hunny Madu.

“If u are wondering who that is on my profile pic. It's Mika @ItsSonaOne. Beaten up at roots at 4am by Tunku Mishal Sharin Tunku Ibrahim,” Hafiz tweeted on Saturday.

“Anyone has Tunku Mishal Sharin bin Tunku Ibrahim's phone number/address? He has crossed the line way too many times. Stop him bfo he kills.

“Get ur newspapers now. Get Tunku Mishal Shahrin away from our society. He who thinks he's king of the world shud live in a cage,” he added.

Meanwhile, his sister Hani tweeted: “A year ago, same dude assisted to bash Abe (Hafiz) up. Both happened at The Rootz (the nightclub). Thank you T.Mishal.”

“This is not the first time. @cowbear (Hafiz) was also the victim last year by his kuncu-kuncu (henchmen),” she added.

According to sources, Hafiz had also been a victim of Tengku Mishal’s alleged violent conduct last year.

Hafiz on Saturday had also enquired through Tengku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibrahim on Tengku Mishal.

“kenalan Tuanku iaitu Tunku Mishal telah melakukan perkara yg melampaui batas. No one is above the law except GOD. Thnx.” Hafiz tweeted Tunku Ismail.

To which Tunku Ismail replied: “I know him. He is banned from Johor long time ago. I don't like the guy.”

“terima Kasih Tuanku. Last I heard he fled the country already. Ur time is very much appreciated. Wish us well,” said Hafiz in his reply to the Johor prince.

Hafiz also expressed concern over the likelihood that Tengku Mishal will get away with his latest alleged assault.

“his (Mikhael Adam) spirits are still up n hopefully everyone will help out when needed to coz wat the man in blue told us wasn't assuring.

“We are waiting the authorities to do SOMETHING.. But wait we shall while Mishal parties. Yday he was spotted at Lust, actions taken: Nada,” said Hafiz

He also said that “we gonna go loud” on the matter.

Hafiz could not be reached for comment when called on his cellphone by Malaysian Digest earlier.

Mikhael Adam sustained injuries on the head and face after he was assaulted in front of Lot 10 shopping complex in Jalan Bukit Bintang on early Friday morning.

In the 4am incident, Mikael Adam had got into a car with two women friends after work when he was approached by the suspect who pulled him out of the vehicle.

"I was punched repeatedly until I fell. I could only cover my head and face with my arms and hands to avoid from being more severely injured. Then, I lost consciousness after I was stomped on the head," he told reporters while being treated at a private hospital here.

Mikael Adam said he was taken to the hospital by a friend who was informed of the incident by his two women friends when he was unconscious.

He said his friend had lodged a police report on the incident at the Tun Razak Police Station not long after the assault.

Mikael Adam is a graffiti artist, music producer, songwriter, rapper and live performer who is under the Kartel Records label, headed by local hip-hop artiste Joe Flizzow.

Meanwhile, Dang Wangi police chief ACP Mohamed Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman confirmed receiving a report on the incident, saying an investigation was being carried out.

Human rights and fundamental liberties for idiots

So you see, human rights and fundamental liberties is more than just about not being detained without trial. It is also about my right to my choices. My choice to a LGBT lifestyle, my choice to not believe in God, my choice to a religion, my choice to die if I no longer have any hope to live without extreme pain and suffering, and many, many more.
Raja Petra Kamarudin
I personally know Zamil Ibrahim. He is that joker from KITA, the party that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim started. It is because I personally know Zamil that I could not take KITA seriously, much to the chagrin of Zaid who could not understand why I was reluctant to support his new party.
How could I take KITA seriously when Zamil is the party’s ‘greatest asset’? Did I not say that I could no longer tolerate monkeys and donkeys? Did I not say we should elect only credible leaders? If we elect monkeys and donkeys to lead us what does that make us? Is it not only monkeys that follow monkeys and donkeys that follow donkeys?
I personally know Azwanddin Hamzah of Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), the man who has declared war on LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people). Once, back in the old days, I had to scold Azwanddin during a public debate between Umno Youth and PKR Youth at the PWTC because he kept booing whenever the Umno Youth debater spoke.
He was so immature and downright childish. He kept cheering whenever the PKR chap spoke and would boo whenever the Umno Youth chap spoke until you could not hear what the debaters were saying. The Umno Youth debater was very civil and polite though, as were the Umno Youth and Puteri Umno members in the audience. While Azwanddin and the rest of the PKR Youth crowd were shouting and acting like hooligans, the Umno crowd was very well behaved and the Umno Youth debaters smiled even as they were being booed. 
I personally know Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Noor Adam, Zahid Md Arip, Ruslan Kassim, Hanafiah Man, and the 15 or 20 other PKR Youth leaders who left the party to join Umno. In fact, I know most if not all the 1,000 or so founding members of PKR who launched the party (then called PKN) back on 4th April 1999 at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur (I attended the party launch).
I am not sure how many from that original group of founding members totalling about 1,000 still remain but if I had to hazard a guess I would say, after 13 years, less than 10% are still around. Not all these people left the party to join Umno though. Most just ‘retired’ quietly without a fuss. Maybe 50 or so went to Umno and are now Anwar Ibrahim’s greatest critics.
Anyway, most of these people left before the March 2008 general election and I suspect many regret doing so. They left just before or just after the 2004 general election when they thought that the opposition was finished. They never suspected that the opposition would bounce back and perform as well as it did on 8th March 2008. If they had known they would probably have stayed and contest the general election under PKR and now would all be ‘orang besar’ (big people).
I personally know Zahrain Hashim (Bayan Baru), Zulkifli Noordin (Kulim-Bandar Baharu), Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal), Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju) and Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Bagan Serai) the ‘independent’ Members of Parliament who call themselves Konsensus Bebas (Independent Consensus).
I also personally know Ibrahim Ali, another ‘independent’ MP who contested on a PAS ticket and then backstabbed the party and now heads PERKASA, as I do Hasan Ali, one-time PAS leader and Selangor EXCO member and now the party’s greatest critic.
Let me make one thing very clear. All those names I have mentioned are not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, if you know what I mean. They are the opposite of intellectualism. If you have any opportunity to personally interact with them you will come to the conclusion that they are country bumpkins. They are very narrow-minded and shallow in thinking.
What irritates me most is not the fact that these people are idiots but the fact that Zaid Ibrahim, Anwar Ibrahim, PKR, PAS, etc., selected them as party leaders, candidates in the elections, and so on, and expected us to ‘show loyalty to the opposition’ by supporting these monkeys and donkeys. And when we refuse they get angry and call us all sorts of foul names.
Today, many of these people who used to be in Anwar’s ‘inner circle’, Anwar’s so-called ‘advisors’, those party leaders whom the opposition demanded we support, the ‘hope and glory’ of Malaysia’s future, the people who are supposed to lead us and bring changes to Malaysia, the people we are supposed to send to Putrajaya, and all other forms of nonsense and bullshit, are the same people who are whacking Anwar and the opposition.
Now I can say: I told you so. Now I can say: was I right or was I wrong? Now that these people have shown us what they really are what does Anwar, PKR and the opposition have to say?
Okay, those I have mentioned above are people who have removed their sheep’s clothing and have revealed that they are actually wolves. But what about those wolves that are still in the opposition and are still wearing sheep’s clothing? Am I expected to keep quiet and not speak out against them as well?
At one time Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Noor Adam, Zahid Md Arip, Ruslan Kassim, Hanafiah Man, Zamil Ibrahim, Ibrahim Ali, Zahrain Hashim, Zulkifli Noordin, Tan Tee Beng, Wee Choo Keong, Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri, Azwanddin Hamzah, Hasan Ali, and the 50 to 100 more party leaders, Anwar’s inner circle, advisors, and whatnot, were the darling of the opposition and could do no wrong and must not be criticised. Today, they are considered traitors and turncoats.
Well, there are still many more people still in the opposition who are just like Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Noor Adam, Zahid Md Arip, Ruslan Kassim, Hanafiah Man, Zamil Ibrahim, Ibrahim Ali, Zahrain Hashim, Zulkifli Noordin, Tan Tee Beng, Wee Choo Keong, Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri, Azwanddin Hamzah, Hasan Ali and the 50 to 100 more party leaders, Anwar’s inner circle, advisors, and whatnot.
The only thing is, if we were to whack them then WE would be considered traitors and turncoats. So we need to keep quiet and not whack them until one day when they do really become traitors and turncoats. Only then can we whack them like, today, we whack Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Noor Adam, Zahid Md Arip, Ruslan Kassim, Hanafiah Man, Zamil Ibrahim, Ibrahim Ali, Zahrain Hashim, Zulkifli Noordin, Tan Tee Beng, Wee Choo Keong, Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri, Azwanddin Hamzah, Hasan Ali and the 50 to 100 more party leaders, Anwar’s inner circle, advisors, and whatnot.
Those who once could do no wrong and must not be criticised, but now must be whacked because they are traitors and turncoats, have declared war on LGBTs. Okay, is this war declared against practising LGBTs or is it against those with LGBT tendencies? Those practicing LGBTs are only a small percentage of those with LGBT tendencies. So who is the ‘enemy’ here?
For every person who is a practising LGBT there are ten or twenty who are LGBT at heart. How do we get into the minds of every single of the 28 million Malaysians to find out whether they are ‘straight’ or otherwise? How would you know what is in the mind of these people unless they openly demonstrate a LGBT lifestyle?
As I said, I already knew that these people were idiots back in the days then they were opposition or PKR leaders. They did not just suddenly become idiots because they left the opposition to join Umno. They were born as idiots. They grew up as idiots. They were idiots before 4th April 1999. They were idiots when they joined PKR on 4th April 1999. They were idiots, dulu, kini dan selama-lamanya, as Umno would say.
Why declare war only on LGBTs? How would you know who has LGBT tendencies when maybe only one in ten or one in twenty would reveal themselves as practising LGBTs? Why are we not declaring war on corruption, on abuse of power, on those who use religion for political purposes, on racism, on those who have sex with their own daughters, on those who abandon their wives and children, on police officers who work for the underground Chinese crime syndicate, on Election Commission officers who rig the elections, and many, many more such heinous activities worse than having LGBT tendencies? 
As I said, idiots, the whole lot of them, and once upon a time all leaders in PKR and the opposition. Sigh….
Okay, let’s now talk about the Internal Security Act (ISA), the reason why I now live in the UK. Today, Anwar Ibrahim insisted that the newly proposed security law to replace the ISA still contravenes human rights and fundamental liberties and he has demanded that it be referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for review.
The Opposition Leader, when debating the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill in Parliament this morning, argued that the law now transfers the power to make arbitrary arrests to the judiciary instead of the executive arm of government.
Way to go! That is what being the Opposition Leader in Parliament is all about. Yes, ISA or whatever, any detention without trial is a violation of your human rights and fundamental liberties. And that is what we must oppose and fight against.
But the fight should not be confined to just the ISA or any replacement detention without trial law. It should cover many other things as well. LGBTs have rights as well. Who are you to tell LGBTs what they can and cannot do? That is a violation of their human rights and fundamental liberties. 
What about your human right and fundamental liberty to believe or not believe in God? It is your choice whether to believe in God or not. Why must you be forced to be a Muslim just because your father happens to also be a Muslim? Did you ask to be born from Muslim parents? Was it your choice to be born from Muslim parents?
You had no say in the matter. You were not given a choice. Hence, once you reach the age of 18, you should be allowed to choose whether to be a Muslim or maybe become an Atheist, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever.
Thus, as Opposition Leader, Anwar has to be brave enough to fight for the entire spectrum of human rights and fundamental liberties. The fight should not just be about detention without trial. There is more to human rights and fundamental liberties than just detention without trial. 
For example, if I have been diagnosed with cancer, is it my right or not my right to refuse treatment? Can the doctor force me to undergo treatment or can I choose to just go home and prepare myself for death?
The doctor will say that it is my right to refuse treatment. If I would rather die than undergo treatment then no one can do anything about that. That comes under human rights and fundamental liberties.
Okay, next question. I not only refuse treatment and would rather die but I also want to accelerate my death. The doctor tells me that if I undergo treatment I might have a few more years to live (but only insha-Allah, no guarantees) but if I do not undergo treatment then I for sure will not live beyond six months. However, my final few months are going to be a time of great suffering and excruciating pain. I would, in fact, wish I were already dead.
Why would I want to linger for another few months of great suffering and excruciating pain? If that is the case, why not end my suffering now? Can the doctor do what a vet would normally do to cats and dogs that no longer have any hope to live and are suffering and in great pain? Can the doctor give me an injection and ‘put me to sleep’?
Of course the doctor cannot. And if he or she does, then that doctor would be charged for murder. But why? What about my human right and fundamental liberty? What about my human right and fundamental liberty to a quality life and if I can no longer have quality of life then it is my human right and fundamental liberty to end my pain and suffering?
So you see, human rights and fundamental liberties is more than just about not being detained without trial. It is also about my right to my choices. My choice to a LGBT lifestyle, my choice to not believe in God, my choice to a religion, my choice to die if I no longer have any hope to live without extreme pain and suffering, and many, many more.
Oh yes, and one more thing, human rights and fundamental liberties is also about my choice to criticise politicians on whichever side of the political divide who are idiots and crooks. That too comes under human rights and fundamental liberties. However, apparently, that is not a choice that is open to me. I only have a choice to say nice things about politicians. I am not allowed the choice to say otherwise.

Other shoe drops for footwear-hurling imam

Hoslan had previously thrown his shoes at three Federal Court judges after they dismissed his case. — File pic

PUTRAJAYA, April 16 — Former Imam Hoslan Husin will have to serve out a full one-year jail sentence for throwing his shoes at a Federal Court bench, the country’s apex court ruled today.

Federal Court judges Tan Sri Panglima Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Datuk Ahmad Haji Maarop, Datuk Zainun Ali and Datuk Seri Panglima Sulong Matjeraie today unanimously dismissed Hoslan’s application for a review of the one-year jail term.

The judges ruled that Hoslan’s case contained no exceptional circumstance and, therefore, did not “cross the threshold” to warrant a review.

“This is difficult for us, but after having considered (the facts)... it is unanimous that the threshold has not been crossed, since it had not been crossed by the appellant, we have no choice but to dismiss the application accordingly,” said Malanjum to Hoslan, whose hands were cupped in prayer when the decision was read.

Hoslan’s familly members who were present today broke into silent tears, hugging the former imam before leaving the courtroom.

“It’s the end... the court ruled the threshold was not crossed as there were no exceptional circumstances,” Hoslan’s lawyer, Karpal Singh, told reporters here.

The veteran lawyer earlier made a submission for the Federal Court to lower the jail term for his client, and pointed out that there were provisions within the Penal Code that provide for a lesser sentence for such an offence.

“There is obvious injustice if the court does not interfere with that sentence.

“This is a proper case for the courts to exercise powers of review,” Karpal had argued.

Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, in turn, said there were no “exceptional circumstances” in the matter or any “abuse of process” by the apex court.

“It cannot be said the court acted beyond jurisdiction. The court exercised its power judiciously,” she said.

The former imam received a one-year jail term for contempt of court after throwing his shoes at a Federal Court bench presided by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, as well as Justices Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari on February 22 this year.

The incident occurred after the bench dismissed his application for leave to appeal his eviction from Ar-Rahimah mosque in Kampung Pandan for disciplinary problems.

He has been serving his term at Kajang Prison since March 8.

Traffic cop denies assaulting wireman

The policeman who allegedly assaulted and called a 30-year-old wireman "Cina babi"(Chinese pig) has denied the charge.

PETALING JAYA: The traffic policeman accused of assaulting and insulting a 30-year-old wireman has denied the allegation, said Shah Alam district police chief ACP Zahedi Ayob.

However, he told FMT that the matter would be investigated “without prejudice.”

Zahedi said that a police inquiry paper had been opened, as opposed to an investigation paper, as the complainant had yet to come forward to provide more details.

“So far we can’t even classify the case. We’ll need to talk to him first. We will investigate it without prejudice to any parties. We’ve spoken to the other side, and as expected, there was a complete denial (from the policeman),” he said.

“That is the reason why we opened an inquiry, we don’t want to jump to conclusions. To give all parties involved a fair chance (to be heard),” he added.

Zahedi said the complainant, after lodging a report on April 13, had yet to turn up for questioning despite repeated calls from the police.

“So without his statement, it’s very difficult for us to investigate. The whole thing is hanging. We need his side of the story, how it happened, why it happened, so on,” he added.

Asked if he would consider using the video “evidence” taken by the complainant’s friend during the incident, Zahedi said the police had yet to ascertain if the video was even related.

Zahedi confirmed that a summons was issued to the complainant on that day for using a private vehicle to carry commercial items and failing to produce a GDL (Goods Driver’s Lience).

On Saturday, the wireman, Aw Yuen Wei, held a press conference and claimed that he was assaulted by a traffic policeman last Thursday at a roadblock in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam.

Aw said he was told by the policeman that it was illegal to load commercial items in his Perodua Rusa. However, he informed the policeman that the items in question, electrical wires, was for personal use only.

The policeman, he claimed, was angry at his explanation and started hurling vulgarities at him, even calling him “Cina babi” (Chinese pig). Aw lost his temper and started scolding the officer, accusing him of trying to find fault with him to get bribe.

According to Aw, he was punched by the policeman on his right shoulder when he re-entered his van.

Meanwhile, Aw’s lawyer Keppy Wong said that an interview with Aw had been scheduled for this afternoon. He said he hoped that the police would not cover up the case.

High Court to decide on stay application

Kampung Boundary Lima residents’ application for a stay of execution against an eviction order from their own properties will be known tomorrow

GEORGE TOWN: The High Court will decide tomorrow on Kampung Boundary Lima residents’ application for a stay of execution against an eviction order from their own properties.

Judge Chew Soo Ho is scheduled to announce his decision at 9am.

The village residents’ association president Santok Singh and two others, who are facing the eviction order tomorrow, filed the application for stay order this morning through their lawyers Harcharan Singh and Hardeep Singh Jessy.

Harcharan explained that the application for stay was filed on the grounds that there was a pending appeal at the Court of Appeal against the summary judgment for vacant possession obtained by Bersatu Stabil Sdn Bhd.

“We are applying for stay pending the appeal,” said Harcharan.

Bersatu Stabil, which is claiming rights over the 16-acre village land, obtained the summary judgment at the Sessions Court last Dec 15.

Following the High Court’s dismissal of their appeal against the summary judgment, the villagers have filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Under the eviction order issued on April 4, Santok and two others have to give vacant possession of their properties to Bersatu Stabil on April 17.

The villagers have also filed a separate High Court suit to restore their land rights, claiming fraudulent action to steal their land.

The case is up for hearing next month.

Sandwiched between Jalan Boundary and Jalan Air Putih, the village comes under Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s state constituency of Air Putih.

Naturally, the villagers are calling on the chief minister’s good office (CMO) to directly intervene and stop the eviction.

Meanwhile, the state government-initiated meeting between villagers and developer at the CMO in Komtar this morning to reach an amicable solution has not been conclusive.

Komtar assemblyman and Lim’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik said that Bersatu Stabil representative could not decide on whether to put the eviction order on hold.

“The rep said she needed to talk to her bosses first tomorrow,” said Ng, who chaired the meeting.

Besides Ng and Bersatu Stabil representative, seven villagers, led by Santok, and an officer from Penang island municipality (MPPP) attended the one-hour meeting.

Yesterday the affected families held a peaceful demonstration at their village against what they called a “potential travesty of justice and fraudulent action to steal their rightful landed properties.”

May 27: ‘Indraf’ 2.0 rally

Since the previous 'Hindraf' rally in 2007 failed to resolve the Indian community's woes, a NGO is organising the 'Indraf' 2.0 rally to send a message to the powers-that-be.

KUALA LUMPUR: In 2007, the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) held a mammoth street protest to highlight the woes of the Indian community. Now, comes the Indian Rights Action Force (Indraf) 2.0 rally.

Organised by NGO Malaysian Indian-Voice (MI-V), the rally would be held on May 27.

Announcing this in Parliament today, Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy said it would be an avenue to express the community’s disenchantment with the Barisan Nasional government.

“For 54 years, Indians have been isolated from mainstream development. In 2007, we had Hindraf but still the community is marginalised politically, economically, socially and religion,” he added.

Also present at the press conference were Indraf pro-tem committee members – V Ganabatirao, R Kengadharan and Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim.

Ganabatirao and Kengadharan were part of the Hindraf five who were arrested under the Internal Security Act in the aftermath of the 2007 rally.

Whereas Thasleem was a key figure in galvanising NGOs to oppose the usage of the Interlok novel in secondary schools as the book contained offensive terms against the Indians.

10-point resolution

Kengadharan underlined three objectives that led to the coming rally, themed “Unity – Road to Putrajaya.”

“Malaysian Indians have no competitive edge. They have no influence in policy making and they don’t want piecemeal measures but want pro-active measures to uplift society that are done genuinely in the best interest of the country,” he said.

A 10-point resolution was also expected to be submitted to the government. These are:

1) Fundamental liberties

2) Freedom to profess religion

3) Right to education

4) Automatic citizenship for post-Merdeka babies

5) A replica of the NEP for Indians

6) Equitable approach to employment recruitment

7) Ration card system to eradicate poverty

8) All Tamil schools to be made fully aided schools

9) Pension scheme for the private sector

10) Enacting a Minority Protection Act and Inter Race Relations Act

Asked if other key leaders of the Hindraf 2007 rally would be invited, Kengadharan confirmed that an invitation would be extended to all.

HRP mocks hoopla over Tamil school rebuild

Uthayakumar says it would take Pakatan 480 years to rebuild all Tamil schools in Selangor.

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Party (HRP) today sought to dampen the Selangor government’s sense of achievement in rebuilding the Midlands Tamil school, saying Pakatan Rakyat had performed a “feat” in taking nearly five years to do so.

The arithmetic would show that Pakatan would need 480 years to rebuild the remaining 96 Tamil schools in Selangor to be on par with Midlands, said HRP pro-tem secretary general P Uthayakumar in a media statement that maintained a mocking tone throughout.

The school now sits on a four-acre plot in Shah Alam. The facilities are three storeys high, accommodating 24 classrooms, a computer and science laboratory and a convention centre. The state is reported to have footed RM3 million of the RM4.9 million cost.

Uthayakumar also claimed that the convention centre, which is said to be able to accommodate up to 3,000 people, was not under the school’s exclusive control and that it would receive only 30% of profits from private functions.

He poured scorn on the publicity blitz leading up to the unveiling of the upgraded school, calling it “full-blown pomp-and-grandeur propaganda”. Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s administration took out full-page colour advertisements in all four Tamil dailies on April 14, “the eve of the grand finale,” he said.

“We appreciate this good effort. But how come we have never heard or seen this magnitude of propaganda during the opening of a Malay, Chinese, Islamic or even Orang Asli school?”

Uthayakumar said he had never before seen such grandeur in the launching of a school, not even when his two-storey primary English school was built in the 1950s in his fishing village in Tumpat, Kelantan.

He said it was not necessary for Pakatan to hold such an exaggerated celebration just because it had provided the public with a basic need.

“Article 12 of the Federal Constitution states that there should be no discrimination in providing education out of the funds of a public authority,” he said.

“So why a celebration over this a la Umno/BN one-off Tamil school? It’s like in the Malay proverb, ayam telor sebiji rioh sekampung (a chicken lays one egg and the entire village gets into a frenzy of excitement).”

He asked the state government to explain why it had not decided to rebuild all the state’s 97 Tamil schools simultaneously and thereby have no more “pathetic cowshed-like” facilities.

“Is this a 13th general election political gimmick? We would have had reason to join in the front rows of this celebration – if we had been invited – had the rest of the schools been similarly rebuilt during Pakatan’s five-year rule.”

Chinese education: MCA KO’d a long time ago

The problem of teacher shortage has been outstanding for three decades, and Wee Ka Siong deserves more than a phantom punch

Like the race card for Umno, Chinese education is one of the trump cards MCA keeps in its sleeves—to be used in desperate political situations.

Hence, it did not surprise observers when the party’s youth chief, Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong, went to face the wrath of the Chinese at last month’s Dong Zong rally.

Some politicians may think they have managed to raise deception and hypocrisy to a fine art, but the truth of history cannot be easily erased or distorted and manipulated. And the truth is that MCA, in its impotence before Umno’s bullying, has failed to resolve the decades-old problems surrounding Chinese education.

Wee’s claim of being punched might win him some sympathy from sentimental sections of the public, but it does nothing to exonerate MCA, whose past and present leadership have been incompetent in dealing with the issue of Chinese primary schools being staffed with hundreds of teachers without Chinese language qualifications.

Neither has the party been able to overcome the problem of acute teacher shortage that has been haunting these schools for more than three decades.

Wee has not been able to prove that the punch he allegedly received was more than imaginary, but if his claim was meant to provide a side-show to deflect the public’s attention away from MCA’s failures, then he has failed miserably, at least in the eyes of those in possession of the historical facts.

“The sincerity of MCA support for the Chinese educationists was put to a most conclusive test in July 1959,” Singapore University’s Chan Heng Chee wrote in 1965 in a thesis for which she interviewed MCA leaders and examined minutes of party meetings and other documents.

The educationists had been raising a range of grouses following the Razak Report of 1956, which recommended a single system of national education and recognised the eventual objective of making Bahasa Melayu the main medium of instruction.

To try to placate them, MCA organised a conference to consider the report, attracting some 200 delegates who, almost in unison, demanded a revision of the proposals.

It soon turned out that the conference was no more than a perfunctory show of concern on MCA’s part.

“The MCA members in the Legislative Council voted without dissent for the Razak Report,” Chan wrote. The party had decided not to oppose Umno’s stand on language and education.

15 demands

Party president Tan Siew Sin said that if MCA chose to back the Chinese demands on the language issue, “we may well have to part company with Umno. This the MCA cannot afford to do.”

Matters came to a head in March 1959 at a gathering of the Federation of Chinese Guilds and Associations, the Malayan Chinese School Management Committees (MCSMC) and the United Chinese School Teachers Association (UCSTA).

The participants numbered more than a thousand. They resolved to put up 15 demands, including the following:

· The medium of examination should be the same language as the medium of instruction.

· The various communities should get fair and equitable treatment in education.

· Chinese schools should get a fair share of the education budget

· Remuneration for Chinese school teachers should be equal with remuneration for other teachers

· The government should increase the existing grant to the Chinese schools by 100%

Chan wrote: “Lim Lian Geok, representing the 7,000-strong UCSTA, and Chin Chee Meow of MCSMC warned MCA that, unless the Alliance government heeded their demands, they would call on the Chinese in the country to boycott the MCA.

“For the first time, the MCA faced a power the party could not sneeze at.”

Yet, as it turned out, MCA refused to give in to the “uncompromising” demands, as the leadership called them. The reason, according to Chan, was simple: “In order to save its relationship with Umno.”

Many members left the party, convinced that MCA had “sold out” the Chinese community.

From July 1959 onwards, it became increasingly difficult for MCA to persuade the Chinese that it was a sincere spokesman for their community.

The stigma remains today. Gone are the good old days when MCA was able to count on every existing Chinese association to give it electoral support.

The shortage of teachers qualified to teach in Chinese has not been resolved for some three decades, ridiculous as this may seem. And the problem will remain as long as BN kingpin Umno persists with its supremacist policies.

If MCA has any self respect left at all, it should tell Wee to resign his position as Deputy Education Minister, for on Sept 29, 1987, the party’s presidential council endorsed the following view: “The party cannot justify having a deputy minister in the Education Ministry when policies cannot be defended by the party in the face of criticisms from the Chinese community.”

That is the real punch that should knock Wee out.

Stanley Koh is a former head of MCA’s research unit. He is also a FMT columnist.

We’re clean, squeaks EC

The Election Commission reiterates its claim that it is not a dirty organisation.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission has repeated its claim that it is not a dirty organisation.

EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said this after having a closed-door meeting with several MPs in Parliament.

“I told these MPs: Where in the world is there an electoral roll that is 100% correct?” he told reporters in the briefing room.

He added that it was unfair for certain parties to slam the EC of being dirty, especially with the 42,000 “doubtful voters”.

“In Malaysia, we have 12.6 million voters to check. For doubtful voters, it is only 42,000…that is 0.3%…is that dirty? You have to be fair to the EC,” he said.

Abdul Aziz said that there were 42,051 “doubtful voters” who could not be verified by the National Registration Department (NRD).

He said that the NRD had tried to contact these people, and was unable to get a response from them.

“We are afraid that if we were to remove some of these names, these people might still be alive!” Abdul Aziz said.

He later added that this number had been reduced to 41,750.

The EC chairman also cleared the air over 19,342 people affected by “boundary change”.

He said that there was no boundary change for these people, and that they were really affected by “locality correction”.

Using Bandar Tun Razak MP Khalid Ibrahim as an example, he said that the MP’s address used to be in Selangor.

After checking with their Electoral Geographical Information System, the EC found that Khalid was really in Kuala Lumpur, and corrected it accordingly.

Did Malaysian Atty. Gen. Block ICAC into Sabah Timber Corruption?

Musa Anam at work
Musa Anam at work
Sarawak NGO charges Sabah chief minister with funneling money to Swiss bank accounts
Although Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption traced millions of dollars in nominee accounts in a UBS Hong Kong branch to the chief minister of Sabah in 2007 and forwarded the information to authorities in Kuala Lumpur, the probe was allegedly blocked by Malaysia Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, according to a Sarawak NGO.

The Sarawak Report, in an investigation made public Sunday, alleged that the money was passed by Sabah lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes from Chief Minister Musa Aman into the Hong Kong account before it was forwarded in turn to a UBS Zurich account in the chief minister's own name, the report charged.

The entire Sarawak Report document can be found here. It details a long list of transactions between Musa, a UBS Bank official and two of Musa’s associates, with documentation allegedly obtained from officials to back up the story.

Asked to verify the mass of transactions and documents presented by the Sarawak Report, Cecily Chik, senior press information officer at the ICAC in Hong Kong, simply said "We would not comment on questions on operational matters."

However, according to the Sarawak Report, the money in the Hong Kong accounts was ordered frozen when ICAC investigators moved in, but when the three-year statute of limitations lapsed in Malaysia, the funds are believed to have been passed on to the Zurich account and to Musa.

“Those involved blame Malaysia’s refusal to sign a cooperation agreement on the investigation for the collapse of the case and the subsequent release of all the money back to Musa and his collaborators,” Sarawak Report alleged. “That refusal was the responsibility of Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, a close relative of Musa’s.”

According to the report by the NGO, the ICAC became involved after another associate of Musa’s, Chia Tien Foh, or Michael Chia, was arrested while attempting to smuggle SG$16 million in cash to Malaysia, sparking the money-laundering investigation, which discovered money flowing in and out of a wide variety of other accounts as well.

A May 25, 2007 letter obtained by the ICAC stated that the UBS account no. 231117 should “hold [the money] on trust for Aman,” the NGO said. Investigators noted that on May 31 2008 the account contained US$29.6 million. The NGO alleged that Musa was paid the money for illegal timber sales.

“A parallel investigation was undertaken by Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). However we have learned that inter-country cooperation was blocked by Musa’s close family contact, the Attorney General, Abdul Gani,” the Sarawak Report alleged.

“The ICAC flow chart (below) illustrates how money was coming into Chia’s accounts from companies related to timber production in Sabah and flowing out to accounts being managed on behalf of Chief Minister, Musa Aman, including the one in the name of Richard Christopher.

The ICAC flow chart follows:

The final destination of the funds, according to the ICAC, was Musa's Zurich UBS account. The flow chart tracks money from Chia's accounts into Barnes' holding account and then on into Aman's UBS Zurich account in his own name.

The flow chart shows how money coming in from certain companies into accounts, managed by Michael Chia and his nominees in Hong Kong, was then passed on to a number of British Virgin Island companies including CTF International, Zenique Investment and Blisstop Corp. then back to the UBS Hong Kong account managed by Barnes.

The chart demonstrates that the accumulated money was then passed straight from Barnes into UBS Account No. 230-75069201 in Zurich in the name of Musa Aman.

Investigators noted that on 31st May 2008 the Barnes accounts contained US$29.6 million for account 231117, US$37 million for account 280777 and SG$9.5 million for account 280666. The Hong Kong Account 231117, which had been in existence since 2006, received a US$22.4 million injection of money from another Barnes account, between April 28th and May 31st.

Sarawak Report said the transactions were managed by a UBS client manager who had originally worked at the Singapore branch for HSBC Hong Kong, where he managed Chia’s account until 2006. However, after the client manager moved to UBS, HSBC “reviewed the Chia accounts and requested that they be closed down, owing to the irregularity of such huge sums being channeled through it,” the report noted.

It is unclear whether or not HSBC notified the authorities as they closed the account, the Sarawak Report said. However, the report said, they proceeded authorize the release of the contents of the account, which totaled S$13.4 million and US$7.19 million.

HSBC was reported to have provided a series of cashiers’ orders for millions of dollars made out to Chia, which he was then able to present for payment into his new account at UBS. The cash orders were accepted by UBS, the report notes.

According to the report, much of the money coming into the Chia accounts was linked to Sabah timber traders connected to listed companies in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, with Musa directly authorizing the concessions. Some of the transactions obtained by Sarawak Report name the reason for telegraphic transfers “Deposit For Concession.”

In return, loggers are said to have denuded two large areas of forest supposedly protected by a Heart of Borneo Treaty between the Sabah government and the World Wildlife Fund -- before Musa signed the Heart of Borneo Treaty.

The Chief Minister was accused in the report of “maximizing the squeeze” on Sabah’s remaining forest areas to get as much logging done as possible. Numerous examples of formerly protected areas appear to have been handed out in concessions. One such area was the Protected Forest Reserve in Kuamat Forest, designated to be left untouched until the state slipped through a change in its status in 2007, the report notes.

The Sarawak Report alleges there are numerous further examples of concessions in virgin forest and protected areas that were handed out to cronies. Most of the areas have been clear cut and very little of the wood has been declared through the official channels and therefore properly taxed, the report says.

Akta PTPTN 1997 Digubal Ketika Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak Menerajui Kementerian Pendidikan

Angkatan Muda KEADILAN (AMK) merujuk kepada kenyataan YABhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, bekas Perdana Menteri yang dilaporkan oleh agensi berita BERNAMA semalam yang mendakwa bahawa Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) diwujudkan ketika YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim memegang jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri.

Berdasarkan fakta, kenyataan YABhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir itu adalah tepat namun demikian adalah mustahil bagi beliau untuk menafikan kenyataan bahawa ketika PTPTN ditubuhkan, beliau sendiri memegang jawatan Perdana Menteri dan YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak (kini Perdana Menteri) pula merupakan Menteri Pendidikan yang bertanggungjawab membentangkan Rang Undang-Undang Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional 1997 di Dewan Rakyat pada ketika itu.

Jika merujuk kepada handsard Parlimen Kesembilan, Penggal Ketiga, Mesyuarat Pertama (Jilid III, Bil. 26) bertarikh 13 Mei 1997 [dilampirkan], Rang Undang-Undang Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional 1997 telah dibentangkan untuk bacaan kali kedua dan ketiga oleh YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib (ketika itu Menteri Pendidikan) pada jam 9.06 malam.

Rang undang-undang ini kemudiannya telah diluluskan dan dimaktubkan menjadi Akta Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional 1997 dan seterusnya PTPTN telah ditubuhkan di bawah akta ini yang mula berkuatkuasa pada 1 Julai 1997.

Justeru, kenyataan YABhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir yang dilaporkan oleh media semalam tidak akan sekali-kali menafikan fakta bahawa inisiatif penubuhan PTPTN adalah dilaksanakan di bawah pentadbiran beliau yang ketika itu merupakan Perdana Menteri dan juga YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak yang ketika itu menjawat Menteri Pendidikan dan merupakan menteri yang bertanggungjawab membentangkan Rang Undang-Undang Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional pada 1997.

Timbalan Ketua Penerangan
Angkatan Muda KEADILAN

Guan Eng: BN apology needed for ISA closure

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Lim Guan Eng today pushed the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to issue a public apology to all “victims of the ISA (Internal Security Act)”, insisting that this was the only way to prove the government’s sincerity in repealing the controversial preventive law.

Lim, who was himself an ISA detainee during Operasi Lalang in 1987, told the Dewan Rakyat today that so long as BN refuses to apologise, its proposed repeal of the Act would be merely be a “evil ploy” to continue wielding the law’s powers under a different guise and form.

The DAP secretary-general noted that many provisions in the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill still infringe basic human rights although the element of “detention without trial” is scrapped.

“Is BN ready to openly apologise to all victims of the ISA?

“As long as it refuses to do so to seek closure, it raises doubt that abolishing the ISA today is merely a game and an evil ploy to continue using the Act but in a different guise and form,” he told the House when debating the Bill.

“This black mark of the ISA in our history must be buried forever and this cannot be done if the government does not apologise and guarantee that such iron-fisted laws like the ISA will not be repeated,” he added.

Lim related to the House his personal experience under the 1960 law that was enacted to fight the communist insurgency, noting that he had only been 26-years old and just elected as the Kota Melaka MP during his 1987 detention.

“Even at this raw age, I was accused of threatening national security… at my age of 52 today, am I not a greater threat then?” he asked.

During his detention, Lim continued, he was interrogated repeatedly and pushed to admit that he was involved in “subversive” activities.

“The 60-day solitary confinement process is difficult to endure because our lives are placed in the hands of just a few police officers who could do whatever they want with me,” he said.

“I was placed in a small blue room without mirrors and a fan that did not move.

“I was not allowed to sleep for more than 24 hours and made to sit on a bench. A police officer would shout in my ear every time I [was] about to fall asleep, forcing me to repent,” he related.

“But I was among the lucky ones because I was not beaten violently like what was done to our Opposition Leader (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) and many others,” he said.

The Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill, proposed to replace the ISA, removes the government’s power to detain a person indefinitely without trial and reduces the maximum detention period from two years to 28 days.

The newly-proposed Bill is among the slew of legislative reforms mooted by the Najib administration as a part of its promise to increase civil freedom.

Sedition Act Will Be Reviewed Comprehensively, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the government would review comprehensively the Sedition Act 1948, without leaving out any options.

The prime minister said the tabling of the Security Offence 2012 Bill to replace the Internal Security Act 1960, did not mean the end of (political transformation) efforts that began seven months ago.

"Definitely the government will continue with the noble transformation and renewal efforts," he said when tabling the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

On Sept 16, last year in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration, Najib announced three initiatives, namely the Political Transformation Programme involving the repeal of the Emergency Declaration, Internal Security Act 1960, Restricted Residence Act 1933 and Banishment Act 1959, formulation of the Peaceful Assembly Act, and amending the Publications and Printing Presses Act 1984.

Najib said foremost, three principles must remain in any evolution of the new legal framework, that is, tackling actions and deeds that could create hatred, contempt or disaffection towards the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any of the rulers.

He said it was also to deal with seditious acts or words that could promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between the different races or classes of the Malaysian population.

The third principle, he said, was dealing with deeds or words that questioned any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.

Najib said the government would also be formulating a new law to replace the Publications and Printing Presses Act 1984, and would keep its promise of doing away with the need to renew the publishing licence annually.

He said a Media Council would be established for the media industry to be self-regulatory.

"We are not scared or afraid to compete in the arena of democracy, and we are not afraid to compare ideas and policies with anyone. We believe we have done the best for the people of Malaysia. And we will continue to do the best for them," he said.

Najib said it was clear that the tasks had not yet been completed and the government needed to strive harder to ensure generations of Malaysians would continue to live in a peaceful and prosperous nation that was free of fear, tension and uneasiness.

"The important thing is, we are building a nation where the supremacy of the constitution and sovereignty of the law are the protection for each individual so that he or she is free to voice opinions, criticise, support, hold differing views, be involved in politics and be a member of any association.

"In short, no one will be punished for exercising his or her rights as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and the country's laws," he said.

Students’ Occupy Dataran protest enters Day 3

A group of some 30 students are determined to continue their Occupy Dataran Merdeka protest against burdensome study loans.

The students are insisting on their constitutional right to freedom of assembly, which they believe trumps KL City Hall regulations, to carry on the sit-in.

The tent protest began on Saturday and has seen KL City Hall enforcement officers scuffling with the students, who are determined to continue their protest against the PTPTN tertiary education study loan scheme.

High study loans are contributing to mounting household debt in the country. The students are insisting that higher education should be free. In a sense, the students’ protest is a critique of the neoliberal approach of curbing government spending on essential services like education and health care and getting users (students and patients) to bear the financial burden.

PTPTN study loans were introduced in 1997 following moves to ‘corporatise’ institutions of tertiary education in the country. This has seen the gradual removal of subsidies in higher education, thus shifting the burden of financing higher education from the government to the students/public.

For a typical three-year arts degree course in a public university, a student now has to take a RM19500 study loan (RM21000 for a science degree). Loans are repayable six months after the course is completed. Typically, the loan has to be repaid in 120 monthly instalments over 10 years.

All study loans are charged an administrative cost of 3 per cent based on the outstanding principal balance. (That works out to a total admin charge of RM3000-plus.)

If a borrower is unemployed or if his or her finances are unstable after the course has been completed, the borrower may apply for a deferment of the repayment. But the 3 per cent annual administrative cost will still be charged for the entire duration of the deferment.

Aggravating the problem is the rising number of unemployed graduates and diploma holders. The number has doubled to around 100000 since 2008.

Just for ‘fun’, let’s compare the above with the ‘cow’ loan scheme:

Loan from the government for NFC signed in 2007 (The Star)

Total loan: RM250m

Repayment period: 20 years

Grace period for repayments: 3 years

(First drawdown: RM7m in January 2008; therefore, first repayment due in 2012)

Interest payable: 2% p.a.

No prizes for figuring out which is the more attractive proposition: investing in cows and condos OR embarking on a three-year undergraduate degree course.

No wonder the country is in the state it is in!

Islamic terrorists issue threat against Jedward ahead of Eurovision

TERRORISTS have threatened to target Jedward and other Eurovision participants at the annual music competition in May.

The Azeri terrorists, an Islamic group, have said they will target the participants of the Eurovision song contest in Azerbaijan as they are “European scum”. It has threatened the use of “knives and chemical weapons” at the contest.

The terror group said in a statement yesterday “Blood of the European scum must be shed by the will of Allah.”

The annual musical contest has attracted entries from 42 countries from eastern and western Europe this year, but the group said the Eurovision is “a nightmare for all Muslims.”

The statement comes after a widespread crackdown by Azeri authorities on the group in preparation for the contest - 17 members were arrested and one blew up himself and a policeman in recent raids.

Jedward and other travelling participants will now have additional security measures introduced for their protection. 42 Countries will send delegations to Baku, while thousands of fans are expected to travel to the Caucus nation for the event.

New figures have shown the 2012 Eurovision will be the most expensive ever staged, with organisers spending €50m on the competition, dwarfing the previous record of €27m spent in Moscow in 2009.

The Azeri government is keen to put on a good show for the international media, and has spent over €500m on Eurovision related infrastructure projects, including the construction of the Crystal Hall, the arena which will play host to the event. It is the largest international event ever staged in the country.

Meanwhile Jedward continue their pre-contest chart success in Europe, securing the number one spot in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.

- Brian O'Reilly

Hubby watching porn online finds film starring his wife

An Egyptian man who went online to watch a porno film for the first time got the shock of his life when he found that the woman in the film was his own wife.

The man, identified as Ramadan, instantly collapsed in disbelief on the floor at an internet shop before coming round and rushing home to face his unfaithful wife.

The woman first denied his allegations and started to swear at him, prompting her husband to face her with the film.

Unable to deny it any more, she confessed to have betrayed him with her pre-marriage boy friend, telling him she had never loved him although they had four children during their 16-year marriage.

“I found 11 films showing my wife in indecent scenes with her lover….it was the first time I watched a porno film and I did this just out of curiosity,” Ramadan told Egyptian newspapers at his house in the northeastern province of Dakhalia.

“She first denied it and accused me of being insane before I faced her with the films…she then confessed to be still in love with her boyfriend, saying he is as young as her and that I am an old man.”

Ramadan said he had been happy during his marriage life until he logged on to that website. Newspapers did not say whether he decided to divorce her.

Indian investigators seek financial papers for Maxis-Aircel probe

NEW DELHI, April 15 — Four countries including Malaysia were sent letters of requests by India asking them to provide financial documents related to Maxis Berhad’s acquisition of Indian telco Aircel, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported today.

The formal requests were made by a special Indian court following an application by the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). These were also sent out to Bermuda, Mauritius, and the United Kingdom.

Indian investigators are probing the acquisition of Aircel by Maxis for elements of graft, after former telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran was accused of receiving illegal gratification in return for causing Aircel’s owner, C. Sivasankaran, to sell a 74 per cent stake to Maxis.

The CBI previously said that “undue favours” were given following the acquisition.

“An illegal gratification of Rs549,96,01,793 (RM328 million) was accepted as a quid pro quo through his brother Kalanithi Maran in the garb of share premium invested in Sun Direct TV by South Asia Entertainment Holdings (a fully-owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks Plc.),” it reportedly said.

Maxis previously insisted its RM2.5 billion purchase of 74 per cent of Aircel from Sivasankaran was on a willing-buyer, willing seller basis and said Sivasankaran retained 26 per cent of Aircel to gain “upside benefits” should Aircel be floated.

The telecommunications giant said that Sivasankaran only complained to the CBI after his claims were dismissed by international arbitrators earlier this year, more than five years after the deal was done on December 30, 2005.

Astro told the CBI that its purchase of 20 per cent of Sun TV was a legitimate transaction between two long-standing business partners who have had dealings since 1996.

Bersih to rally at Dataran Merdeka even without DBKL nod

Wong said Bersih 3.0 will be held at or as close to Dataran Merdeka as possible. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Bersih 2.0 will “soon” inform Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) of its April 28 rally plan at Dataran Merdeka but added that it would proceed to use the venue even if refused permission.

“If they do not allow us to use Dataran Merdeka, we will still gather there, or try to get as close as possible to the area,” Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Wong Chin Huat told The Malaysian Insider today.

But Wong remained optimistic that they would receive approval from the city hall, adding that anything otherwise was a sign that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was a “hypocrite” who had “lost control of DBKL”.

“Let’s put it this way — DBKL is part of the federal government, and we’re counting on Najib to be a responsible leader who is responsive to the wants of the public,” he said.

He added that he was sure DBKL was already aware of Bersih 2.0’s plans to use Dataran Merdeka for its coming April 28 rally, and the application would merely be a formality.

The Malaysian Insider reported previously that Bersih 2.0 had acknowledged Putrajaya’s advice for it to seek permission from DBKL for its rally.

But the election watchdog’s co-chair, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, stressed to The Malaysian Insider that the permit application should merely be a matter of formality as Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has already said the rally could proceed.

The group said it selected Dataran Merdeka as a venue for Bersih 3.0 due to its historical relevance to the people’s struggle for Independence and a democratic Malaysia.

The iconic Dataran Merdeka, or “independence square”, where the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time after independence, had long belonged to the Royal Selangor Club before it was taken back by DBKL in 1987.

According the City Hall’s website, DBKL is the authority responsible for managing and maintaining the square.

Bersih 2.0’s July 9 rally last year had saw thousands throng the capital city’s streets to march for free and fair elections during a time when gatherings were still deemed illegal without permit from the authorities.

At about midday, riot police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water to disperse protesters who had assembled for an otherwise peaceful event calling for electoral reform.

The clampdown drew negative publicity for the Najib administration in the foreign media, and was seen as the catalyst for a series of reforms announced by the government.

Activists sue police for false imprisonment

Two activists are seeking hundreds of thousands in general, exemplary and aggravated damages for the trauma and shame inflicted on them by the Simunjan police.

KUCHING: Two activists, Numpang Suntai (file picture) and Nicholas Mujah Ason, have jointly filed a RM280,000 legal suit at the Kuching High Court against Deputy Superindent of Police (DSP) Choo Yin Kok, Sargeant A Ramlee and OKK Binsin for false imprisonment.

All three are from the Simunjan police station

Numpang is also suing the police officers for malicious prosecution.

The government is also named as the third defendant in the suit.

Apart from the RM280,000 claim, the duo are also seeking general, exemplary and aggravated damages to be assessed by the court and interest thereon at the rate of 8% from Oct 22, 2010, to the date of judgment and thereafter at of 8% per annum to date of full payment and realisation.

They are also claiming damages, costs and other relief as the court deems just.

Numpang, from Kaumpung Bajong Ili, is a retiree, while Mujah who comes from Kampung Ensika, Sebangan, is the secretary-general of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association.

On or about Oct 20, 2010, Numpang was summoned to the Simunjan police station for a discussion.

Imprisoned for ‘mischief by fire’

As he was having medical treatment in Kuching at that time, Numpang agreed to go to the Simunjan police station on Oct 22.

When he arrived at the police station, he was informed that he was being arrested on suspicion of causing ‘mischief by fire’ in connection with an incident that occurred at a logging camp owned by timber companies – Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd and Loyal Billion Sdn Bhd.

He was detained in the lock-up.

The next day (Oct 23) Numpang was taken before the district officer of Simunjan for a further remand and again sent to the lock-up. He remained imprisoned until he was released on Oct 25 at about 10.20am.

He was released without making any plea or any charge proffered against him. Nor was he ordered to appear before the magistrate.

Numpang claimed that his arrest and detention were without reasonable or probable cause and therefore illegal.

He alleged that his arrest and detention were tainted with malice.

Numpang was never charged with “mischief by fire” as was informed by Choo.

No valid reason

Choo or his officers did not have any discussion with Mumpang or failed to interview him.

Instead he was put in the lock-up without any valid reasons or grounds or reasonable or probable cause.

Numpang said he had suffered shame and damages as a result of the illegal arrest and detention or false imprisonment and was traumatised by his experience.

On the malicious prosecution against him, Numpang was asked to appear before a magistrate’s court in Serian on Dec 15, 2010, and was charged by the public prosecutor with “criminal intimidation”.

He had allegedly uttered intimidating words to the representatives of the timber companies on Oct 18 at the logging camp in Rantau, Sebangan.

The case was heard before the magistrate’s court in Simunjan on Feb 16, 2011.

On March 10, 2011 the magistrate ruled that the public prosecutor had failed to establish any prima facie case against him.

Numpang was discharged and acquitted.

Similar charges

The public prosecutor appealed but after a number of postponements, the prosecutor withdrew the case.

As for Mujah, he was also summoned to the police station on Oct 22 for a discussion.

When Mijah presented himself on Oct 23, he was arrested also on suspicion of causing “mischief by fire” in connection with the fire that occurred at the logging camp of the two companies at Sebuyau, Sebangan.

He was detained in a lock-up and released on Oct 25 without any charge proffered against him nor was he ordered to appear before the magistrate.

Mujah claimed that he had suffered shame, damages and was traumatised as a result of the illegal arrest and detention.

‘Cop punched me, hurled racist insult’

The businessman managed to record the melee on his video camera.

KUALA LUMPUR: A wireman claimed that he was assaulted by a traffic policeman on Thursday at a roadblock in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, and managed to record the scuffle on his digital video camera.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Aw Yuen Wei, 30, said his van was stopped at the roadblock near Jalan Kota Kemuning, and he gave his driver’s licence for inspection.

“One of the policemen told me that it was illegal to load commercial items in my Perodua Rusa. I told him the items were my personal stuff and not for commercial use,” Aw said.

He said the items in his car were electrical wires.

But Aw claimed the policeman was angry at his explanation and started hurling vulgarities at him, even calling him “Cina babi” ( Chinese pig).

Hearing the racist slur, Aw said he lost his temper and started scolding the officer, accusing him of trying to find fault with him to get bribe.

He then re-entered his van when the policeman punched his right shoulder.

Unknown to the officer, Aw’s video recorder was switched on and the entire melee was recorded.

Four-minute clip

Aw claimed that he pushed the officer away and when the latter tried to hurl another blow, Aw took out his camera and told the officer that he got everything recorded.

“The officer immediately backed off,” said Aw, who failed to get the name of the errant cop.

He also claimed that none of the other policemen tried to stop the scuffle.

“One officer came later and told me to settle the matter. However, I refused and ended up with a summons,” he said.

The officer summoned Aw for “salah guna lori dengan membawa barang-barang pendawaian elektrik dan mangga” (misusing his lorry by loading electrical wires and padlocks).

Aw managed to take a picture of his assailant.

When FMT viewed the recording later, the video showed some minor differences.

The four-minute clip showed the traffic officer telling Aw that he should not use a van registered as a private vehicle for commercial purposes.

‘Take disciplinary action’

Aw is seen telling the officer that even the Road Transport Department did not reprimand him for it, but the officer told Aw that does not make an offence legal.

Aw was then seen getting down his van at 1.09 minute and returned at 2.06 minutes, telling the officer not to “make a living like this”. The officer was seen hurling abuses at Aw.

An irate Aw then banged the van’s windscreen, entered his vehicle and shouted “barua punya polis”.

He later opened the van door and shouted “Rasuah punya Malaysia” before slamming it shut again. That was when the officer returned and punched Aw on the right shoulder, asking, “Apa you cakap sama saya?” ( What you said to me).

Aw was then seen pushing away the officer and showed him the video camera indicating that he had the melee recorded.

The wireman lodged a report on the matter yesterday at the Pandan Indah police station.

On a related matter, Aw’s lawyer Keppy Wong said that he would write to the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar and the Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail on the matter.

Wong, who is also the Kampung Cheras Baru branch DAP chairman, said that the authorities must take disciplinary action against the officer.

“The officer must also be investigated not only under the Penal Code for assault but also under the Sedition Act for hurling racist insults,” Wong said.

He added that it was unbecoming of public officials to hurl racist insults against fellow citizens and the matter must be dealt sternly.

“Previously we had racist teachers and principals but now we have racist policemen,” he said.

‘We won’t cower to BN’s scare tactics’

Twelve windscreens of cars belonging to DAP members were smashed in Mas Gading constituency whilst the owners were attending a campaign dinner.

BAU: Sarawak DAP’s launch last night of its campaign to wrest the Mas Gading parliamentary seat, which is a Bidayuh-majority constituency, was marred by a group of motorcyclists who smashed the windscreens of 12 cars while the owners were attending a party dinner at Kampung Sg. Pinang.

Local and national DAP leaders were addressing more than 1,000 people at the dinner when a group of motor cyclists were seen smashing the windscreens of the cars which were parked quite a distance from the venue.

Commenting on the incident, visibly upset Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen said: “Obviously it was a sabotage work by BN members or their supporters.

“Such behaviour only goes to show they are afraid of us. Only cowards do that sort of thing; only someone who is in fear will do a dirty tactic trying to scare the people,” he said.

Chong added that neither the car owners nor the crowd were perturbed by the attacks, as they had come to terms with such ‘scare tactics’ by the ruling regime.

“The people are not scared, and from their response when we made the announcement, no body rushed out to check their cars. This is something like crisis management.

“I was afraid that the people would start to rush out and look at their cars. The response from the people was very calm and the scare tactic of BN does not have any intended effect of what they want,” said Chong, who is the MP for Bandar Kuching and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

“To us in DAP, it is a form of encouragement as it means that DAP has an impact. Otherwise, if it has no impact, nobody will bother to disturb our function,” Chong added.

Party to subsidise cost

He said that one of DAP supporters, who is in the car accessories business had offered to replace the windscreens of affected owners for a special rate.

Chong said, DAP on its part would meet half of the costs of the smashed windscreens.

Mordi Bimol, who is the potential DAP candidate for Mas Gading, said that he would not be cowed by this dirty tactic.

“I will organise more dinners. In fact there would be another dinner at Kpg Paun, Sematan on Sunday night.

“Every day I visit the various villages in the constituency. The response is good, and it is a good sign.

“The people who smashed the windscreens of the cars are scared of us, and at least they realise our presence here,” Bimol added.

Earlier in his speech, Bimol urged people to vote for change saying the the BN government had failed to look after the people’s interest.

“They were more concerned in looking after their own interests and in enriching themselves by getting timber licences, involving themselves in government contracts and taking away native customary rights land from you.

“They never raised issues that affect the people in the State Assembly; in fact some even slept in the state assembly,” he said.

DAP targets 12 seats

He said that a large number of the about 100 villages in the Mas Gading constituency have no tar-sealed roads, no clean water supply and no electricity.

“How can the BN representatives speak on your behalf when they consider themselves as the ‘towkay’ (boss) and they will not allow you to fight the boss (jangan lawan towkay).

“They have forgotten about you who have voted for them. Before the election, they promised to give the people this and that and they also promised various projects.

“But after the election, they regarded themselves as your masters and treated the voters as their servants.

“Not only that, they took away your land.

“We need to change and I beg all of you to support me, and support DAP. Today I apply for a job from you all. Give me a chance to work for you,” Bimol said.

Mas Gading has about 19,472 voters (according to the 2011 electoral rolls), more than 80% of them are Bidayuh voters.

The incumbent is Tiki Lafe who is now partyless after being expelled from Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party.

It is one of the Dayak seats that DAP is eyeing in the coming election. Another confirmed Dayak seat is Serian.

Other seats like Mambong and Sri Aman are still under discussions with its partner PKR.

DAP is expected to contest between 10 and 12 seats in the coming election.

Open Letter to Dr M: Is The Tun Hallucinating?

Malaysia Chronicle

My dear Tun Dr Mahathir

I’m at a loss as to whether you are hallucinating or failing to see the reality.

Your views on Penang and Selangor are misconceived and misplaced. You come across as a dishonest politician determined to score political points and mislead Malaysian voters. You do no credit to yourself nor do you live up to your reputation as an elder statesman (Bernama, 29 January 2012).

Your statement, “They have already been given a lot of chances. A lot of unhappy things have happened in Penang, the same (is happening) in Selangor,” does not make any sense at all. “They have been given a lot of chances”, you unreasonably claim.

Pakatan only came to power on March 8, 2008. They have been in office only for four short years. What chances were given to them and who gave them those chances? What are you talking about? What miracles were you expecting them to perform in this short period of time?

Compare their short term of office to the Barisan Nasional’s nearly 55 years of tenure – truthfully and honestly. We can justifiably throw back at the BN the very words you had uttered: “They (BN) have already been given a lot of chances. A lot of unhappy things have happened in Penang, the same (is happening) in Selangor.” This is indeed a valid observation requiring an honest answer from you, dear Tun.

More than half a century

Indeed, 55 years is a very long time. It is more than half a century. The BN have been given all the chances it wanted and needed. But what have the BN achieved during their long tenure in office except undermining our unity and keeping the people apart? Our unity has been destroyed by senseless and thoughtless policies and statements without a care for the welfare of the majority of Malaysians who are peace-loving and poor.

Yes, Tun, if anybody had been given too much chance it is the BN. Indeed, what more can the BN do which they had failed to do during these 55 years? What miracles can the BN now perform to transform this country into a haven for all citizens and provide them with a dignified livelihood?

What do you actually mean by claiming, “They have been given the chance. What’s there left to try. If we allow the situation to deteriorate badly, it will be difficult to repair.”

Your rambling statement, “If we allow the situation to deteriorate badly, it will be difficult to repair” comes across as ridiculous and garrulous. What has the Pakatan done that has brought about the deterioration? What is that they are doing that would render the problem beyond repair? Please be specific and enumerate the wrongdoings of the Pakatan.

Don’t make statements you can’t back up

Tun, you should not make sweeping claims that are without merit. Many Malaysians are truly disappointed and disillusioned with you and justifiably feel that you have out-lived your usefulness as a political leader. You had your time and you did things the way you wanted to. That period is over and done with. There is nothing more for you to do.

Both Penang and Selangor have attracted the biggest FDI totalling more than RM15bn, which is unmatched by the BN-controlled states. Doesn’t this indicate positively that the Pakatan-controlled states are performing very much better in spite of their short term of tenure and lack of administrative experience and expertise? Honestly, dear Tun, doesn’t that deserve some praise?

You kept everything under wraps and resorted to the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to deny citizens their right to be informed. A lot of scandals and corruption prevailed because they are kept from the purview of public scrutiny and guarded as state secrets.

The Pakatan-controlled states in Selangor and Penang, on the other hand, have promulgated a Freedom of Information Act in order to be transparent and accountable. Tun, isn’t this something that has to be complimented?

Cronies and corruption

Under your tenure for 22 years, many crony politicians became wealthy beyond imagination and without being accountable for their wealth. Elected representatives and cabinet ministers declared their assets only to you and, according to certain well-informed circles, you had used this information to secure their unquestioning loyalty. That was how you had your way – it was your way and no other way!

We are reminded of the episode concerning the removal of Osman Aroff, the then Menteri Besar of Kedah, who had enjoyed the support of the majority of assembly members in Kedah. These assembly members went to see you, dear Tun, to plead for the retention of their MB. You, reportedly saw them individually and after that they all returned to Kedah abandoning Osman Aroff. Rumour had it then that you had a file on each of them and that forced them to fall in line behind you.

Dear Tun, Pakatan-controlled states of Selangor and Penang did something that you wouldn’t dare dream of doing. All their Exco members declared their assets publically. This is something that civil society of Malaysia has been campaigning for, for a very long time, claiming that this would curb corruption and check abuse of governance.

But you would not be persuaded. You wanted to be the sole privy to the corruption and abuse so that you would have absolute control over politicians holding public positions.

Many Malaysians, in the past, have worked loyally and faithfully and had contributed to the progress of this country. These old timers who retired many years ago are forced to struggle to live a hard life with their meagre pensions in these times of hardships. Their counterparts of modern times, on the other hand, draw reasonable pensions to lead a decent life. The hardships suffered by these senior citizens have not been addressed. Their contributions were not even acknowledged.

But the Pakatan government in Penang has been giving out RM100 once a year for the last three years to express their appreciation to these senior citizens. Admittedly, this isn’t very much but the very thought of appreciation really warms the hearts of these people. With the vast resources available to the BN, they are placed in a far better situation to do more to help these unfortunate people. But why, dear Tun, did the BN government not bother doing this? They could have shown a generous face and given more to these people with all the wealth at their disposal. But they did nothing!

Corruption has become so rampant that so much of our wealth is either lost or stolen to the detriment of the nation. Contracts given to crony companies with inflated costs have drained our wealth. Highway toll agreements, the Tajuddin-Malaysia Airlines out-of-court settlement, the rescue of Bank Rakyat and Bank Bumiputra, the reckless forex fiasco in the UK, the bungling Maminco tin-buying spree, to name a few – they have all resulted in the loss of billions of ringgit that could have alleviated the plight of the poor. These are, unfortunately, dear Tun, your legacies that brought terrible hardships for the homeless and the helpless.

Uplifting the people

You wouldn’t have open tenders for projects that would have saved billions of ringgit and secured the services of contractors with ability and proven expertise. That would have prevented some contractors from running away without completing their projects and ensured that buildings wouldn’t collapse because of poor workmanship and inferior materials. But repeated episodes of cheating contractors and uncompleted projects did not seem to disturb the conscience of those in charge. It was business as usual and billions of ringgit were regularly squandered without a care in the world.

On the other hand, now we have open tenders in the Pakatan states and Class F contractors are very happy and contented with this arrangement. According to these contractors, under the previous BN government, one had to have connections to get a contract and one had to give inducements to be considered favourably. Otherwise, getting contracts would have been impossible. But now, with open tenders, the deserving have been rewarded with contracts and they have delivered the completed projects on time. Isn’t this something that has to be appreciated, dear Tun?

Malaysian workers have been struggling for years for a minimum wage policy. The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has been championing this issue for decades. But it was opposed vehemently by the Malaysian Employers Federation, which wanted to reap hefty profits from the sweat of the workers. And the Malaysian government did not have the political will to implement the minimum wage policy. Thus we lost our local skilled workers and builders who left the country to work elsewhere. But the exploitation continues to this day with the employment of foreign workers.

Isn’t it praiseworthy that the Pakatan government in Selangor has implemented a minimum wage policy for all its employees in GLCs as from January this year? They are paid a minimum salary of RM1,500. Shouldn’t the employees enjoy the fruit of their labour, dear Tun?

Farmers in the new villages of Perak who have been tilling the land and growing vegetables and fruit for the country for generations were exploited and kept in a state of uncertainty as to their livelihood as they did not own the land. Every election this became a moot point for the farmers. Whether their TOL would be extended or cancelled was a worrying experience for these farmers. And when the BN wins the election in Perak, the TOL of these farmers would be renewed. The message was very clear. Vote for the BN or your TOL would not be renewed. They were beholden to the BN for the extension of their TOL.

The Pakatan government gave them the land titles and their dignity and freed them from their unnecessary anxiety. The rational was these farmers have been on the land for generations and have been serving the nation with their produce and they deserved the land titles. Isn’t this something wonderful that deserves to be congratulated, dear Tun?

Every voter who dies in Penang and Selangor is given RM1,000 and RM2,500 respectively for funeral expenses. This assistance is greatly appreciated, especially by the poor. For the first time a voter receives something very specific and substantial when he or she dies. This had never happened under BN rule. They bribe the living for their vote and forget them when they are dead. Under the Pakatan rule they take care of the living and the dead! Don’t they deserve a pat on their back, dear Tun?

All this caring and giving must make a great impact on the people. If given more time there will be other good policies that will benefit the people and perhaps make it difficult for the BN to make any headway in the future. Is that what is worrying you, dear Tun? Is this what you meant when you sounded the warning to the BN, “If we allow the situation to deteriorate, it will be difficult to repair”?

You have correctly foreseen the inevitable doom for the BN. You have realised that it will be difficult to undo the good deeds of the Pakatan. In comparison, the BN will be cast in poor light and cursed for neglecting the majority of the deserving Malaysians who are poor. You are seeing what is impending and you have the right to fear the inevitable, dear Tun!

By P Ramakrishnan Former president of Aliran