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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Four activists held, donation ‘stolen’

Four Occupy Dataran activists have been arrested while a student leader claims that the cash collected from supporters has been stolen.
FULL REPORT

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officers detained three Occupy Dataran activists while another was held by an unidentified plainclothes officer.

A student leader also claimed that the DBKL officers had assaulted them and “stole” the cash donated by supporters.

Those arrested were taken to the Dang Wangi district police station. They were identified as activist Saiful, Ekhsan Bukhari from student group Aksi Mahasiswa Peduli, Muhammad Hafiz and Muhammad Karim Abdullah.

Both Ekhsan and Hafiz are students of University Selangor (Unisel).

They were part of a group who formed a human chain to protect their mini-tents from being confiscated.

Pandemonium erupted when DBKL moved in to take away the mini-tents.

“They were punched and kicked by DBKL people. They also stole the money collected from supporters,” claimed Khalid Ismat of Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia.

Earlier, the Occupy Dataran activists set up three mini-tents to protect their food supply.

DBKL enforcement officer Corporal Mazlan Sulaiman instructed the activists to dismantle the mini-tents.

“You don’t need the police. I can instruct the removal,” he said.

Malaysia Bangkit chairman Mohd Syahid Zaini however disagreed. “We want a writtten notice. They only gave us an oral instruction,” he said.

Police reports lodged

Meanwhile lawyers acting for the Dataran occupier lodged several police reports against DBKL enforcement officers who hauled up the activists earlier today

The lawyers – Afiq Mohd Noor, Murnie Hidayah Anuar and Puspawati Rosman – said the reports stated that the DBKL personnel had provoked the activists.

“They are wrongly claiming that the activists were prohibiting them from carrying out their duties,” said Afiq.

He also told FMT that the police have not decided to press charges against the four who were hauled up at noon.

Hindraf attacks newspapers for misreporting

The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has taken two mainstream English dailies to task for misreporting its Sunday gathering at Padang Chetty in Klang.

Hindraf information chief S Jayathas said that The Star and New Straits Times reported that the gathering was solely to vote BN out in the 13th general election.

padang chetty klang hindraf 220411Jayathas said that the event was also held to express the movement's disappointment with Pakatan Rakyat and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim with regard to the welfare of the Indian community in Selangor, Kedah and Penang which Pakatan controls.

Jayathas noted that the crucial 15-point analysis of Pakatan's performance for the Indian community presented by Hindraf was not mentioned by The Star and New Straits Times.

He contrasted the reports by the two dailies with the Malaysiakini report, which he said was a proper representation of what took place on Sunday.

Jayathas said Hindraf de facto leader P Uthayakumar had never said that Pakatan's banners at its conventions or its functions did not have any Indian face.

“Neither Malaysiakini nor any of the three Tamil dailies reported that. However, the two English newspapers did. We have viewed our full video recording and at no time did Uthayakumar say that.

padang chetty klang hindraf 220411“For the record, Uthayakumar has never attended any Pakatan Rakyat function and is committed to seeing the end of the Umno rule in Putrajaya, and targeting the Indian poor in the 13th general election.

“We regret to note that from the above, there appears to be a common intention in furthering the Umno-BN agenda on the part of both The Star and the New Straits Times.”

Jayathas demanded that the two newspapers make corrections to their reports.

Perkasa: Indians can rely on Umno-BN

Also yesterday, Malay rights group Perkasa said it believes Pakatan and Anwar will not entertain Hindraf's demands as only the BN headed by Umno can fight for the community.

NONEIf meeting Anwar was difficult for Hindraf, Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali said, then it was clear the opposition leader could not be depended upon to help the Indian community.

“Hindraf should not rely on any last-minute meeting with Anwar, for as the general election approaches, he will promise the moon and stars. All this will remain undelivered promises.
  
“Look at the Indian community in Pakatan-held states. Hindraf has to agree, and realise, that Indian community can only depend on BN and Umno.

“BN changed the Indian livelihood since the British times for them to become successful, as some had become doctors and BN also allows Tamil vernacular schools.” Syed Hassan said.

He said BN assisted the Indian community by providing them education and they became successful engineers, architects, lecturers, lawyers, judges, senators and others.

BN, he added, had made an Indian to be one of the richest men in Malaysia, and to own an airline and a Premier League football club.

“Hindraf has to acknowledge that BN has improved the livelihood of the Indian community. If it wants to continue trusting Pakatan Rakyat, then go ahead. If Pakatan comes to power, Hindraf will know the truth.

“With BN, there is fair sharing. Hindraf has to understand that justice can only be gained with BN. Hindraf should be cautious in supporting Pakatan as many Indians will again become labourers,” Syed Hassan added.

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7-year-old kiss lands Indian in UAE jail

Picture used by Pakistani girl’s husband to prove extra-marital affair

A romantic fling seven years ago in India has landed a 30-year old MBA graduate in an Abu Dhabi jail.

A photograph of Suhail (name changed on request) kissing his then 'girl-friend' during a party in Mumbai in 2003, is what sealed his fate.

The picture was used by the girl’s husband to prove an extra-marital affair between his wife and Suhail in the Court of First Instance in Abu Dhabi.

The court convicted Suhail and sentenced him to 18 months in jail.

However, after serving six months in prison, the High Court temporarily suspended the judgement, pending appeal.

The man has approached the Indian embassy for legal help.

According to legal sources, Suhail met the UK-based Pakistani girl when she came down to Mumbai as part of a tour group in 2004.

Cupid struck, and the duo had a great time in India, but soon lost touch with each other after she went back to UK after a few months.

A year ago, the pair met again in Abu Dhabi, as the girl had relocated to the emirate with her husband.

As per the complaint filed at the embassy, the pair had only met thrice in Abu Dhabi, and the accused claims that the girl never revealed her true identity.

He also claims that he did not have any physical relationship with the girl and did not even know that she was married.

The husband filed for divorce in the UK based on the allegations, and got a favourable verdict after Suhail was found guilty by the Abu Dhabi court.

Man pushes prostitute to death as wife walks in

A Indian man who invited a prostitute home in the absence of his wife found himself in a tricky situation, which led to the death of the call girl.

As he was with the prostitute in his third floor apartment in Parel, near Mumbai, he heard the doorbell. On discovering the person knocking at the door to be his wife, he had no choice but to ask the woman visitor to leave immediately.

According to a report in andhrawishesh, he forced her to escape through the window. In her desperate attempt she fell down and died on the spot.

Girl caught with man blames magic

A Saudi girl caught by the Gulf kingdom’s feared religious police with a man burst into crying and told them she had come to him under a magic spell.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice had watched the girl and the man, both 30, as they stepped out of his apartment in the capital Riyadh, Ajel newspaper said.

“When they rushed forward and arrested them, the woman began crying and told them that she had been unconsciously coming to his flat because he put her under a magic spell…when they searched her bag, they found talismans and other items used in magic,” it said.

Jealous man kills lover's child

A 34-year-old man killed a five-year-old boy because he was jealous of the child receiving more attention from his mother.

The man thrashed and kicked the boy while his lover was away from home.

The child suffered a broken leg and fatal injuries to parts of his body, reported 'Daily Mail'.

Doctors had alerted social service agents once previosuly when the child suffered from a broken leg, but no inquiry was initiated then.

The man has confessed to the crime.

Jail for posting nude pixs of ex-lover on Facebook

Jilted lover who took to Facebook to seek revenge has been punished.

This is the first time in Australian history when a person has been held accountable for their actions on social media.

According to a report in 'theage.com.au', Ravshan 'Ronnie' Usmanov said: "I put the photos up because she hurt me and it was the only thing [I had] to hurt her."

After posting them on Facebbook he text his ex-love. On seeing nude pictures she rushed to him and pleaded for the images to be deleted, which he refused and she informed cops.

She had ended their relationship and moved out of their shared accommodation a couple of montsh ago.

He is sentenced to six months in prison.

‘Umno should thank Khalid if S’gor falls’

A source close to Selangor PKR alleged that Khalid is 'handing the state back to BN' by not acting to get the electoral roll in the state cleaned up.

PETALING JAYA: Umno should “thank” Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim if the Barisan Nasional (BN) retakes the state in the 13th general election, said a source close to Selangor PKR.

The source, who claimed anonymity, said this after alleging that Khalid had been dragging his feet in disbursing funds to get the electoral roll in the state cleaned up.

“The objection period set by the Election Commission [EC] expired in March. So what’s the point of him allocating RM5 million to clean up the electoral roll now?” said the source.

Last week, Khalid announced that the state government had allocated RM5 million under its “democratisation programme” to clean up the roll before the 13th general election.

“This is a special initiative to allow people regardless of their political affiliations to file complaints if they find any suspicious voter,” Khalid was reported as saying.

Although another objection period to the electoral list would be in June, it is widely speculated that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak may dissolve Parliament next month.

The EC charges RM10 to investigate for every name objected in the electoral list.

The source said that even last year, Khalid had announced RM1 million to get the list cleaned up after the Mismah-gate scandal erupted.

(In August last year, opposition politicians alleged that an Indonesian permanent resident in Malaysia known as Mismah was awarded voting rights by the EC.

(She was registered as a voter in Ijok, the state seat of Khalid. Subsequently, Pakatan leaders urged the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the matter.

(However, the EC attributed the error to a technical glitch after conducting an investigation.)

“Selangor PAS and several other NGOs had estimated that there are about 150,000 dubious names in the state electoral list in 2011, but when we asked Khalid for funds to raise objections, he never entertained us,” the source said.

He said that only in March this year did Khalid disburse more than RM60,000 after much pressure but it was too late.

The source also said that Selangor executive councillor Yaakob Sapari was in charge of handling the RM5 million programme.

“But Yaakob is not too keen to be in charge of the programme in the first place. Besides, no unit in the state government had the expertise to deal with electoral fraud,” he said.

‘A mistake to trust Khalid’



The source claimed that Khalid had wanted to train the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) to report on fraudulent voters.

However, he questioned such a proposal, saying it would take months to train the JKKK to identify fraudulent voters.

“Why doesn’t Khalid just give the funds to political parties or NGOs which have experience in dealing with electoral fraud? It’s not like we are going to use the money for ourselves,” the source said.

He added that if Khalid wanted to train the JKKK to detect electoral fraud, he should have done it last year.

“We had warned Khalid of an increase in dubious voters in Selangor last year but he just refused to act,” the source said.

He cited Kelantan, where the PAS state government had consistently raised objections to dubious names on the electoral list with the EC.

“That’s how PAS had managed to rule the state for 20 years,” the source said.

He added that he regretted that he did not raise the matter earlier because he had faith in Khalid.

“If we were given the funds earlier, we could have at least got the EC to clean up 60% of the electoral roll. I think Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim made a mistake by putting his trust in Khalid to run the state,” said the source.

Best to let locals to deal

When contacted, Yaakob said cleaning up the electoral roll was only part of the “democratisation programme” mooted by Khalid.

“Among others, we are trying to get people to register as voters and get Selangor-born people outside of the state to come back and vote,” he said.

He also said that while he was in charge of the programme, the money was being handled by a state agency, Menteri Besar Incorporated.

On why the state refused to give funds to political parties and NGOs to clean up the electoral roll, Yaakob said it was best for the JKKK to handle the matter as it knows the people best.

“How can an NGO or political party know who lives in a village in Ulu Bernam? Only the locals there would know best,” he said.

When asked if it was too late to train the JKKK’s to identify fraudulent voters, Yaakob said it was easy to train JKKK for the task.

“All you need to do is go door-to-door to find out who lives in a particular village. That’s why JKKK’s is the best authority to do so,” he added.

Zaid: I don’t need Pakatan’s help

The Kita chief says he can contest Kota Baru on his own two feet, without the opposition's help.

PETALING JAYA: Kita chief Zaid Ibrahim today said he does not need Pakatan Rakyat’s help in contesting the Kota Baru parliamentary seat during the next general election.

Speaking to FMT, Zaid did not appear worried that PAS – currently holding the seat there – was against helping him to contest there.

“I don’t need endorsement [to contest] from Pakatan Rakyat. I can stand on my own. I have my own party. I only want endorsement from the people of Kota Baru,” he said.

Zaid was responding to Kota Baru PAS deputy head Takiyuddin Hassan, who said that Kota Baru and its three state seats were to be contested solely by PAS members.

In a media report today, Takiyuddin said that no one else within Pakatan Rakyat could lay claim to the constituency.

He added that if Zaid wanted to contest there, he had to do it without Pakatan’s help.

Formerly the Kota Baru MP from 2004 to 2008, Zaid did not appear surprised that PAS wanted to hold on to the seat.

He also clarified that he never intended to get Pakatan’s help in standing there during the 13th general election.

“I never said that I wanted to contest there with Pakatan’s endorsement,” he said, adding that it would have been a straight fight if he had been allowed to contest under PAS’ banner.

In early March, Zaid announced that he would contest in Kota Baru. With Umno expected to contest there as well, the fight for Kota Baru is expected to split three ways.

PAS however did not appear worried with Zaid’s intention to do so, despite the latter’s claims of grassroots support there.

In a previous FMT report, Kota Baru MP (PAS) Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah said that Zaid’s entry would hurt Umno more than it would hurt PAS.

The PAS MP also sarcastically hinted that Zaid was not in touch with the people there, adding: “Well, he’s (Zaid) not staying in Kota Baru. He’s staying in Kuala Lumpur.”

A former Umno strongman, Zaid quit the Cabinet in 2008 to join PKR. He then left the party in 2010 to form Kita.

Stateless Indians: PKR veep strikes back

N Surendran takes a swipe at both the government as well as the 'powerless and pathetic' MIC for not resolving a problem which is much bigger than what the government claims.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president N Surendran has hit back at his detractors over the issue of stateless Indians in the country, calling MIC “powerless and pathetic.”

He said the Barisan Nasional component party failed to resolve a problem which was much bigger than what the government would like to admit.

“We do not wish to debate this issue with the powerless and pathetic MIC. We want to know why the deafening silence from (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) and (Home Minister) Hishammuddin (Hussein)?” Surendran told FMT.

“We want the home minister to answer why there are tens of thousands of Malaysian Indians who are still without documents,” said the lawyer.

Surendran said that previously the government itself admitted that there were about 40,000 stateless Indians, though MIC claimed that it was 15,000.

Even former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said in 2008 that there were 40,000 Indian children without birth certificates in the state, he added.

“Whatever the figure is, I am saying that we should not even have a single Malaysian, whether Indian, Malay or Chinese who is born in the country and not have any documents.

“The real figure is obviously huge and the government is in no position to say that 40,000 is correct, have they done a comprehensive survey and documented everyone without ICs?” he asked.

Justifying his 300,000 figure, Surendran said it was not only derived from “ground reports, evidence from the work of activists and political parties” but was also consistent with population studies.

“Now, according to the population study by the legendary R Chander, who was the chief statistician in the country in the 70s, the Indian population should be much higher than what it is today.

“This is very accurate (and it shows that) there are about 300,000 who are living in the country but are unaccounted for. They are the missing 300,000. And I believe this too is an underestimation.

“The real figure could be much higher. This is certainly not something I pulled out of thin air,” he added.

‘BN should locate them’

Responding to calls that PKR bring the 300,000 forward so that MIC could help register them, Surendran said:”The 300,000 are all over the country, the duty to find them and get them registered is in the hands of the federal government.”

“We demand that the government don’t try to wash its hands off the problem,” he added.

Surendran said the government had enough resources to locate each and every one of these undocumented Indians.

“Until now, they have totally failed, maybe deliberately. MIC’s MyDaftar campaign to register Indians without proper documents is a complete and utter failure,” he said.

“Going by anecdotal evidence, the people you encounter in the estates, rural ares, and housing areas, everywhere you can come across people with red ICs, and without birth certificates. I know because I have been going across the country for the past one year. Everytime I go to an Indian area for a ceramah, I come across five… 10… 15 of these people in just one area,” he added.

Surendran said that MyDaftar was just a “ploy” by the government to “pretend that they were solving the problem.”

“I believe the government is deliberately hiding the real fact of stateless Indians. They came up with the MyDaftar in response to political pressure after the 2008 election in order to silence the Indians. They are doing that just to win, because its an important issue,” he said.

“BN has neither the political will nor real interest in resolving the problem. They are indifferent and they have complete lack of concern for the suffering of the poor and the oppressed. They are more interested in big business, cronyism and mega projects. And anyway, these are not voters, they (BN) are not interested,” he added.

Surendran repeated his claim that the country was now in a “crisis situation” and said that these 300,000 or more Indians were now shut out of the economic output.

“You have 300,000 who can’t contribute to the economy. No education, no employment, no healthcare, nothing. They are in limbo, they are cut off from society.

“Just last week, I met a 70-year-old Indian born in Sg Petani, he has been carrying a red IC all these while. He asked me ‘do you know how much I have suffered in my life?’

“I feel angered about this the most when I see the utter indifference of BN, the behavior of MIC is totally disgraceful. They have come to betray these people and trying desperately to justify the actions of the BN government,” he added.

‘Systematic neglect’

Surendran said the root causes of the problem were factors such as the social economic situation of the Indians, their illiteracy, and how many, until the mid 70s, had still lived in estates.

“The biggest contributor was the systematic neglect of the Indian community by the government,” he added.

On why he had taken up this issue now, Surendran said: “Why have I taken up this issue? I have been going around the country for the past one year or so, I have come across so much of suffering among Indians who are victims of this. And it has sunk into me, the extent of the problem. Anyone who has gone down, walked the mile, will understand what I am talking about.”

“These are people living in limbo and its a horrible thing to do to people with the rights to citizenship,” he added.

“The government can’t blame anyone, because they have ruled for 50 over years. I tell you now, concede the next general election, and let Pakatan Rakyat take Putrajaya, then we will it. That is our resolve,” he stressed.

Last Thursday, Surendran had led a protest at the Parliament gates, urging the government to issue MyKads to those who do not have proper identification.

Subsequently, Surendran’s claim of 300,000 stateless Indians was attacked by several MIC leaders.

In February this year, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had hailed the MyDaftar campaign, which at that point had approved 5,593 applications out of 9,529 applied, as a success.

Hindraf to give Indraf 2.0 a miss

It says Pakatan state governments should first meet the demands in the memorandum to be submitted to Putrajaya at the conclusion of the proposed May 27 rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf has decided to stay out of the rally dubbed Indraf 2.0, saying it would not endorse the distillation of its demands into the 10 points that the rally organisers intend to submit to the federal government at the end of the May 27 march.

“Hindraf still sticks to its original plan of asking the government to implement the 18-point demands raised during the 2007 protest,” the organisation’s national coordinator, W Sambulingam, told FMT.

“If we participate in the upcoming rally, then all the struggles since 2007 will become meaningless,” he added.

The 18 demands for action to improve the lot of Malaysian Indians were the subject of the massive Hindraf rally of Nov 25, 2007, which many observers believe played a major role in the unprecedented opposition victories in the 2008 general election. The 18 points have been summarised to 10 by the Indraf 2.0 organisers.

Indraf, which stands for Indian Rights Action Force, is a project of the NGO Malaysian Indian Voice (MIV). Spearheading the rally are Penang Deputy Chief Minister (II) P Ramasamy, NIAT president Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim and former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees V Ganabatirao and R Kengadharan, both incarcerated for their activism as Hindraf members. Ganabatirao is also the president of MIV.

Sambulingam said it would be better for Ramasamy to use his influence in Pakatan Rakyat to ensure that the Pakatan-ruled states meet Indraf’s 10 demands first before asking Barisan Nasional to do so.

“The time has come for Pakatan to emphasise how it is going to cater to the community instead of demanding the BN to implement the 10-point resolution,” he said.

“We are not taking BN’s side, but the Indian community should understand that the current political scenario is different from 2007. ” he added.

“In 2007, Pakatan had not even been formed yet; so naturally we could only take our demands to BN.

“But now, Pakatan controls a few states and it has one Indian as deputy chief minister, two as state executive councillors and nine as members of parliament.”

‘18 points intact’

Contacted later, Ganabatirao rejected the insinuation that MIV was attempting to water down Hindraf’s struggle.

Referring to the 18 demands, he said they were in fact drafted by Kengadharan, who is a lawyer.

“However, MIV decided to shorten the 18 demands into a 10-point resolution,” he said, adding that all the original 18 points were intact. “This is a more reasonable way to approach the government.”

He also noted that the 10 points were tabled last year in Shah Alam at a gathering of Indians. He claimed that 10,000 people attended the gathering and that they adopted the resolution unanimously.

Thasleem, in a separate interview, said that Indraf was independent of Pakatan.

“Our protest is not against BN, but the federal government,” he said, adding that Indraf would not hesitate to protest against Pakatan if it were to capture Putrajaya and ignore the plight of Indians.

He said he had already submitted a memorandum to both BN and Pakatan, urging them to respect the resolution.

“However, only Pakatan responded to our voice,” he said.

He said he sent the memorandum to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and he pledged to ensure that Indians get their fundamental rights to education, employment and economic and social welfare if Pakatan wins in the coming election.

Thasleem also said no single person or group of Indians could claim ownership of Hindraf.

“Hindraf belongs to every Indian in Malaysia who took part in the 2007 protest,” he said.

Waytha to return home from London exile

The Hindraf supremo plans to hand over reins of the movement on Nov 25 in Kuala Lumpur.
EXCLUSIVE

PETALING JAYA: Kelantan-born Hindraf Makkal Sakthi supremo P Waythamoorthy will return home from political asylum in London and hand over the reins of his controversial movement on Nov 25 in Kuala Lumpur.

The likely venue is the Chinese Assembly Hall.

“Hindraf, at the end of the day, does not belong to me or my brother Uthayakumar – Hindraf’s legal adviser – as people are fond of saying,” Waythamoorthy, Hindraf chairman, said in a telephone call this afternoon from exile in London.

“It’s a people’s movement. It’s time for us to move on.”

However, he added that he was not quitting the leadership of Hindraf but handing it over.

He said he doesn’t want to use the word “quit” since “it may carry some negative connotations”.

The planned handover will take place during the Hindraf national convention to be held on that date in Kuala Lumpur.

Hindraf stands for Hindu Rights Action Force. Makkal Sakthi – people power in Tamil – is the movement’s battle-cry which helped unleash the political tsunami in 2008.

The handover date also marks the fifth anniversary of the “Indian uprising” masterminded by Waythamoorthy and Uthayakumar when about thousands of people poured onto the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

The occasion coincided with the handover of a memorandum to the British High Commission. The memorandum, addressed to Queen Elizabeth, sought legal aid from London for a class action suit – still “a work in progress” – against the British and Malaysian governments.

‘I am definitely handing over’

Waythamoorthy said that he doesn’t want to speak on behalf of his brother but added that “there’s a real possibility that Uthayakumar won’t have any role in Hindraf whatsoever once I am no longer holding the reins”.

“However, it will be entirely up to him if he wants to continue to offer his services to the movement,” he said. “ He may want to continue as its legal adviser.”

Uthayakumar sometimes filled in as the movement’s de facto chief, given his younger brother’s absence, especially during his frequent trips around the world to drum up international support against the Umno government.

Uthayakumar could not be immediately contacted.

Asked who will take over Hindraf, he said “hasn’t the faintest idea”.

“The leadership issue will be determined during the Hindraf national convention,” Waythamoorthy said.

“The movement will throw up new leaders from among the people. We don’t know who is out there. We – Uthayakumar and Waythamoorthy – have been around long enough.”

He also said that the possibility that the movement’s delegates might urge him to stay on “hasn’t crossed his mind”.

“I am definitely handing over,” he said. “This is not a sandiwara. I am saying what I mean and I mean what I say.”

“I don’t want to overstay my welcome. It’s better I go now rather than leave at a time when people can’t wait to see me go.”

UN-sanctioned travel

However, he said he may be persuaded to consider some sort of advisory role in Hindraf if offered.

Waythamoorthy denied that his return had anything to do with the forthcoming 13th general election.

“We want to focus on the handover. We are not into politics,” he said.

Waythamoorthy does not have a Malaysian passport at the moment but plans to return home regardless.

At present, he travels on a United Nations-sanctioned travel document issued by the British government. The document gives him the right to travel to any country in the world, except Malaysia.

“I will return home with or without a passport,” he said. “If the Malaysian government gives me a valid passport, I may return home before Nov 25.”

Waythamoorthy’s international passport was cancelled by the government just before he flew into Britain on April 21, 2008, from Geneva where he briefed the UN Human Rights Commissioner on Malaysia.

His passport was seized by British Immigration as it had been blacklisted in the system and throughout Europe.

He was detained at Gatwick Airport for several hours but was allowed to enter London temporarily for three days after Immigration found only human rights materials on him and no “terrorist literature” as they had initially been led to believe.

He was allowed to apply for political asylum after three days on the grounds of being a human rights advocate, and succeeded in winning his present legal status within two months.

Peaceful transition of power: Open letter to all political parties


Dr Lim Teck Ghee

With the general election imminent, one key question remains yet unanswered: Will the Barisan Nasional respect the outcome of the polls and ensure a peaceful transition of power?
This is the sixty four thousand dollar sensitive question – unasked in our repressed mass media, largely unexplored by political analysts, never-to-be-publicly wondered but lurking in the mind of many concerned Malaysians.

One exception to the unwritten rule of never posing such a politically incorrect question took place in a private lunch talk organized by the Royal Selangor Club (RSC) for its members early this year. The January 12 event featuring Prime Minister Najib Razak as speaker had attracted an audience of more than 200.

An RSC member (who identified himself as the son of a former long-serving staff of Najib’s father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein) asked the following towards the end of the talk:

“Mr Prime Minister, would you make the transition of the government for Pakatan a smooth one if the opposition wins the next general election?”

According to some of those present, after some hesitation the prime minister responded: “I do not have to answer that question” or words to that effect; following which he abruptly left, ostensibly for another function.

Why did the Prime Minister not respond?

The PM may have felt that he was not able to answer the question for several reasons.

One, he may have lost his wits after being completely taken off guard.

Two, he may not be able to guarantee a peaceful transition of power despite being personally willing to concede should the electoral outcome favour the opposition.

Three, he himself may not be inclined to permit a peaceful transition of power.

Historical record on power transition

Most people are aware that the BN, and earlier, the Alliance parties, have a long, unblemished and unsurpassed record of manipulating the election results through constitutional and other means.  This is why they have remained in power for over 50 years.

Aficionados of the prowess of the ruling coalition in cooking the election results are often rapturous recalling the systematic manipulation of the electoral rolls, malapportionment and gerrymandering of constituency boundaries, control of the media, and a long list of other unfair and exploitative practices, including tampering with the constitution.

Even Dr Mahathir Mohamed in 1970 before he became prime minister was moved to write in The Malay Dilemma: “The manner, the frequency and the trivial reasons for altering the constitution reduced this supreme law of the nation to a useless scrap of paper”.

During several periods of our history of state and federal elections, we have also seen how the Alliance and BN parties have resorted to their trump card of using dubious ‘constitutional’ means to remain in power.

PM’s public assurance needed

Several months after that disconcerting encounter at the RSC, Najib and his senior Barisan colleagues again have the opportunity to answer that question and put to rest any doubts about a peaceful transition of power and regime change.

We have seen that the latest electoral reform initiative for fair and clean elections has been hijacked for the purpose of scoring political points for the incumbents ahead of the coming elections so that true electoral reform still remains a mirage.

Although the odds are in favour of a BN victory, it is important that the ruling coalition provides the assurance – before Malaysians go to the polls – that if the unthinkable happens and they are defeated, Najib and his Umno men will respect the outcome and ensure a peaceful transition of power.

In 1971 following his assumption of power through emergency rule, Tun Razak noted that “So long as the form [of democracy] is preserved, the substance can be changed to suit conditions of a particular country…”

Whether Najib could possibly tread in his father’s footsteps and we might see history repeat itself in the imposition of some form of emergency rule following (or even preceding) the 13th general election is one which needs to be clarified publicly and unequivocally.

Respecting the Constitution

It needs to be stressed that our Federal Constitution is clear on the right of Malaysians to elect a government of their choice in a free and fair election. Upon the dissolution of Parliament, it becomes the fundamental, legal and constitutional duty of the caretaker prime minister, Najib Razak, to respect and obey the supreme law of the land.

Not providing an answer to assure the public that the supreme law of the land will be respected may be construed as a serious constitutional offence.

Should the reassurance not be provided before the election takes place, Malaysians have the right to question the moral and constitutional fitness of the serving PM and his party.

Finally, it would be doubly reassuring if the head of the military and the police can reinforce the prime minister’s statement on the peaceful transition of power and pledge that they will serve the country regardless of which political party is at the helm.

AMERICA’S BLOCKADE OF IRAN

1. I have been criticising America’s blockade of Iran.

2. America’s action is said to be due to Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.

3. Israel has 200 nuclear warheads and obviously poses a greater threat to Iran than Iran’s threat against its neighbours.


4. Am I being unnecessarily critical of the United States?
 Below is part of an article by Brian A Burchill of Global Research E-Newsletter, Canada which seems to validate my stand. For the full article please see the URL

IRAN: THE TERRORISM TRUMP CARD
By Brian A. Burchill
Global Research, April 3, 2012
The UK’s Guardian recently interviewed “current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran,” and concluded that the United States, its European allies, and even Israel, agree that Tehran is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.
Twice in recent weeks, CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge has closely questioned two leaders who hold a different view.
In a January 18th interview, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Mansbridge that he thinks that “the evidence is…overwhelming” and that it “is just beyond dispute at this point” that Iran’s purpose is to develop nuclear weapons. When pressed about Iran’s insistence that it has no intention to build nuclear weapons, Harper said “I think there is absolutely no doubt they are lying”.
Harper’s claims are all-too-reminiscent of US Former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February, 2003, statement at the UN that, with “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence”.
There was no doubt in his mind that Saddam Hussein was working to obtain key components to produce nuclear weapons.
That intelligence has since been exposed as lies. In fact, the Iraqi chemical engineer who perpetrated the false intelligence, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, confessed his lies on British television April 3rd.
Also troubling is that Harper cited the International Atomic Energy Commission, but in the March 22nd Guardian, the agency’s former director-general, Hans Blix, raised concerns about its recent credibility. The IAEC has been charged with over-reliance on unverified intelligence, and pro-Western bias, since the 2009 arrival of its new chief, Yukiya Amano.
More recently, Harper’s conclusion was thrown into question during a CBC News One on One interview with US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, aired last weekend.
Panetta first stated that the best US intelligence has concluded that Iran has not made the decision to build a nuclear weapon. He went on to say that Iran is involved in providing non-nuclear weapons to terrorist-associated groups outside the country.
However, when Mansbridge queried whether containment was an effective policy (sealing off the country to prevent weapons exports to outsiders), Panetta then contradicted his own intelligence claim by saying the US was going to apply economic and diplomatic sanctions because “we cannot allow a country that supports terrorism to have a nuclear weapon.”
When pushed to justify the sanctions, Panetta played the debate-ending trump card – the supposed threat of Muslim terrorism – the card spawned by 9/11.
Thus ended the Panetta news segment – Mansbridge did not challenge whether hidden, ubiquitous, amorphous terrorism was a factor in the case of Iran.
Brian A. Burchill is Mechanical Engineer based in British Columbia

Malaysia Ponders What to Do with a White Elephant

Bakun fills up
Bakun fills up
Cancellation of an aluminum smelter leaves the Bakun Dam with no reason to exist

The recent decision recently by Rio Tinto Alcan to pull out of a US$2 billion aluminum smelter project next to the Bakun Dam in Sarawak ends a five-year campaign to find something – anything – to do with the 2,400 megawatts of power generated by the mammoth dam, one of the cherished mega-projects of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The cancellation, over how much to charge for the dam's power, leaves both the Malaysian government and the state government in Sarawak stumbling around with vast amounts of generated power and nothing to use it for.
Negotiations had been underway since 2007 for the construction of the smelter. In a prepared news release, Rio Tinto Alcan chief executive officer Jacynthe Côté said that “while a great deal of progress was made in negotiations with Sarawak Energy Berhad, agreement on a long- term competitive power supply contract could not be reached.”

“We have built solid relationships with the government and our stakeholders in Sarawak and more broadly in Malaysia and we thank them for their support. Looking into the future, we remain interested in development opportunities that may arise within the state and the country,” Côté said.

The decision by the Australia-based mining company to pull out is the latest blow in a saga that has gone on since the early 1980s, over a facility that Transparency International has called a “monument to corruption.”

The dam, said to be the largest rock-and-gravel filled dam on earth, blocks the upper reaches of the Rajang River, standing as a white elephant on a global scale. The common wisdom is that it was developed so that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud could use it as an excuse to log the 23,000 hectares of virgin rainforest in the dam watershed and deliver the timber into the hands of timber barons. The Sarawak government is said to be planning another half-dozen dams to create even more unusable power. Environmentalists say the only reason for the dams is to provide an excuse to log off the watershed.

As there was no competitive bidding for the RM15 billion contract to build the dam in the first place, there was no competitive bidding over the plan to build the smelter. Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS), a company connected to the Taib famly and which owns 40 percent of the Sarawak Aluminium Company (SALCO) smelter development, announced the termination in late March in a filing with the Malaysian stock exchange, to the jubilation of environmentalists.

“There is no market for the power,” Ame Trandem, the regional head of the International Rivers NGO, told Asia Sentinel. “They have resettled 10,000 people, it has had a devastating impact on the area and the people who live there. There is no market for the electricity.”

Former Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi tried to cancel the project when he followed Mahathir into office, but was unable to do so, part of the eternal enmity he earned from Mahathir, who worked tirelessly to drive him from office. When Badawi came to power in 2003 as Malaysia’s prime minister, he told delegates to the 57th United Malays National Organization’s 57th general assembly that he would turn away from Mahathir’s economic strategies. “That era is over,” he told the delegates. It was soon Badawi’s era that was over.

Barry Wain. In his definitive history of Mahathr’s political career, “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times (Palgrave McMillan, US$88 from Amazon), estimated that Mahathir may well have wasted or burned up as much as RM100 billion (US$40 billion at earlier exchange rates when the projects were active) on grandiose projects and the corruption that that the projects engendered as he sought to turn Malaysia into an industrialized state. That includes the ill-fated Perwaja Steel project, which is estimated to have lost US$800 million before it was shut down; the Proton national car, which continues to bleed money, and many more.

In addition to allegedly serving as a forest plantation for Taib, the dam itself was part of a grandiose plan to meet electricity demand in peninsular Malaysia, nearly 700 km away, via a high voltage direct current cable, since the entire island of Borneo, where the dam is situated, including the Indonesian state of Kalimantan, is unlikely to be able to use the amount of electricity it was projected to produce in the foreseeable future.

In addition to the 700 km of underwater conduit, an additional 300km line was also envisioned to feed the power throughout peninsular Malaysia. Because of the distance of transmission, the underwater cables would have leaked more than half of the wattage before the power reached peninsular Malaysia. Even without Bakun, Sarawak’s installed electricity reserve capacity was estimated at 25 percent in 2005 and it hasn’t changed much since. At one point, the operation was projected to tie up the world’s entire cable-laying capability. No cable, however, has ever been laid and the power remains sequestered in Sarawak.

Approved by Mahathir after 14 years of off-and-on again studies, ridiculed by economists and environmentalists, the dam was halted repeatedly when companies connected with it went broke. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, for instance, brought the dam project to a halt and forced the government to assume control from the consortium at an estimated cost of 1.6 billion ringgit to Malaysian taxpayers.

It was revived in 2000 through a wholly owned-government company, Sarawak Hidro, along with the Malaysia-China Hydro JV consortium. (This also isn‘t Bakun’s first flirtation with an aluminum smelter. One was previously proposed for Similajau, to be funded by the international financier Mohamed Ali Alabbar as a joint venture between Dubai Aluminum Co. Ltd and Gulf International Investment Group. Those plans collapsed due to construction delays and squabbles over contractual terms. By 2004 most of the minor partners to the consortium posted losses or substantially decreased profits.)

Taib Mahmud himself has faced numerous corruption allegations by critics over his 30-year career as chief minister, most recently when the NGO Sarawak Report linked his family to billions of dollars of properties in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Siapa akan menentang kezaliman UMNO / BN?



“Dan apakah yang menghalang kamu daripada berjuang atas jalan Tuhan dan untuk orang-orang lelaki, perempuan dan kanak-kanak yang tertindas, iaitu mereka yang selalu berdoa : “Ya Tuhan kami, Keluarkanlah kami dari negeri ini, yang penduduknya zalim, dan utuskanlah bagi kami dari pihakMu seorang pelindung, dan utuskanlah bagi kami dari pihakMu seorang pembela”Surah An-Nisa Ayat 75, Kitab Suci Al-Qur’an
____________________
Ya Tuhanku, saya dengar dan saya patuh.

Negara Bankrap Modal Baru BN

Idris Ahmad

BANKRAP adalah satu modal baru Umno-BN untuk menakutkan rakyat supaya jangan pilih Pakatan Rakyat. Sebelumnya mereka menggunakan isu agama, bangsa dan raja. Oleh kerana ketiga-tiga isu ini sudah menjadi basi dan tidak laku kerana Umno mempunyai rekod yang buruk terhadap tiga perkara yang diperkatakan. Maka Umno mengalih pemikiran rakyat dengan menakutkan isu bankrap jika Pakatan Rakyat memerintah. Semua tawaran Pakatan Rakyat akan dilabelkan bankrap dengan harapan rakyat tidak beralih sokongan dan meninggalkan Umno.

Apabila Pakatan Rakyat menjanjikan untuk menghapuskan PTPTN, hapuskan tol, gaji minimum RM1,100.00, menurun harga minyak, mengekalkan subsidi. Maka terdapat suara-suara sumbang mengatakan negara akan bankrap, termasuklah dari kalangan pensyarah. Apa yang pelik semua yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan BN tidak berani ditegur walaupun memudaratkan ekonomi negara dan membankrapkan negara walaupun mengenepikan prinsip ketelusan.

Sebenarnya taktik pemimpin BN bermodalkan bankrap supaya rakyat lupa bahawa negara akan menjadi bankrap, kerana rekod pemerintahan Umno seperti barah di peringkat empat. Apa tidaknya, hutang negara 53 peratus, paras bahaya ialah 55 peratus. Hutang negara melonjak dari RM146 bilion pada tahun 2002, RM242 bilion (2006) dan RM456.1 bilion pada penghujung 2011. Wang Felda susut daripada RM4.08 bilion (2004) kepada RM1.35 bilion (2009). Saham Bumiputera RM52 bilion lesap, Stadium Terengganu berharga RM292 juta runtuh, walaupun hanya setahun dibina, upah Apco Yahudi Israel RM77 juta setahun, RM589 juta hutang bekas Pengerusi Eksekutif MAS Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli dihapus kira, projek NFC RM250 juta, Laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2008 menyatakan berlaku ketirisan RM28 bilion, laporan Ketua Audit Negara 2006 melaporkan Kementerian Pertahanan membayar kepada kontraktor sebanyak RM943.46 juta (hampir RM1 bilion) tanpa ada baucar.

Ini bukti bahawa negara akan bankrap jika BN terus berkuasa. Sedangkan tawaran PR untuk membantu rakyat dengan kita memerangi rasuah, perbelanjaan berhemah insya-Allah negara selamat, rakyat mendapat rahmat.

Idris Ahmad, Ahli Jawatankuasa Pas Pusat

How do you discern?

May Chee Chook Ying - The Malaysian Insider


APRIL 24 — What do you pray for when you pray, as when you speak to God? I was educated in a convent. So, from young I was “exposed” to the Catholic faith. So, I learnt how to pray, at least I think I know how to pray. Apart from the set prayers, I learnt how to talk to God.

My first and only gift I’ve asked from God since my primary years has been this — a conscience. A heavy conscience can be so inconvenient but that was what I asked for and that was what I got. I asked for it, so to speak!

So, what’s a conscience? The Oxford dictionary defines a conscience as a moral sense of right and wrong. I guess it means that when you have a conscience, simply put, you do know when you are doing right or wrong. When it’s right, you feel good and liberated. When it’s wrong, you feel lousy and imprisoned by guilt, fear, doubts, etc.

Please bear with me when I speak of conscience from the viewpoint of a Catholic. The size of the world depends on your conscience. Conscience can make the world bigger or smaller. It was the Lord Himself who said this: Two men can look at the “lily in the field” and the one sees more than the other. The first sees the stem and the petals of the flower. The second sees this and something beyond: the Providence of the Father who clothes it more magnificently than “Solomon in all his regalia”.

For the second man, his conscience is something more than a “still, small voice” at the back of his head. His world is bigger and he is too big a person to be crippled by the chilling fear of punishment when he does wrong or a feeling of guilt when he dares to be unconventional. Such a man can see the whole stage and not just part of the scenery. His conscience is what we, Catholics, call “the Vision of the Whole”.

In today’s “specialist” world, one is cautioned not to be a Jack of all trades and master of none. Contemporary man is, therefore, forced to be small-minded. And this, because we are men of our time, can constitute a real danger to our quality of life. When we begin to look at the world through a microscope, we soon become prey to childish fears and anxieties. We become too scared to step out of line, to stand up and be counted, because we imagine ourselves to be alone.

But we are not alone. We are a far cry from being alone! As long as it is the right thing to do, we are never alone. I know it’s always easier to chicken out and it’s really hard to do the right thing and take the road less travelled. But I believe there are many people out there with a conscience. People who want to do the right thing. People who know right from wrong. People who can discern.

So, how do you discern? Discernment is said to be the ability to distinguish the contradictory desires prompted by the spirit and the flesh. It is the capacity in the changing circumstances of daily life to distinguish between the two paths or modes of living, and to choose the path that leads to life. So, if you can discern, it’s a good thing. Because you would be free to live the life you can; the life you should, with dignity.

I’m not writing this for those who can already discern. I’m appealing to those who are ignoring their conscience; perhaps those who still want to stay captive under their “tempurungs”. Or perhaps for those who have so far lived their life according to a disordered vanity and self-centred desire to achieve only for himself and his own good. Such achievements are only short-lived delights. How much can you wear? How much can you eat? How many bling-blings do you need to adorn yourself? How comfortable should your home be? How many places do you want to visit? To climb every mountain? To cross every ocean? To have it all and yet, nothing really, at all?

How do you sleep at night, knowing that either you are part of the injustice being perpetrated or ignoring the fact that there’s gross injustice happening before your eyes? Burying your head in the sand is not a solution!

There are good people and there are bad people everywhere. I believe there are good people, too, in the ruling party, in the government and in the civil service. And among you who have been shielding your eyes from the glare of injustice. You know what’s happening. Do you know what’s going to happen to your children, soon enough? Do you know what kind of a country you will leave behind for your children? What do you say when you pray? How do you make an account of what you have done or for what you have failed to do? Can you look into your children’s eyes and say, “My conscience is clear?”

I know I’m being lofty. Only because I’m hopeful that among you people out there, there’s still an iota of decency left in you. That you still have a conscience. That you still can discern. Please do the right thing and push for change. Malaysia needs a change. Malaysia needs a chance. A chance to be true to herself. To king, country and God.

Last but not least, “Happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear.” Happiness is yours for the taking. Push for change. See you at Dataran, let’s “Jom, Duduk Bantah”.

False hope in Security Offences Act

ImageThe Nut Graph 
 Holding Court by Ding Jo-Ann

THE Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill (Sosma), passed by the Dewan Rakyat on 18 April 2012, will repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA) once it comes into effect. The ISA has long been criticised for allowing preventive detention for indefinite periods without trial.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the reform, including the rescinding of three emergency proclamations, ushers in a “new era” for Malaysia. He said the government would no longer limit individuals’ freedom but instead ensure their basic constitutional rights were protected. He also hoped other promised reforms, including the introduction of the Peaceful Assembly Act and amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act, would herald a “golden democratic age in Malaysia”.

The prime minister’s grand pronouncements however seem a little divorced from reality. For while Sosma may be somewhat of a step up from the ISA, it is in no way a guarantee that Malaysians’ basic rights will be protected, as he seems to suggest. There are real issues with the new law, the implications of which demonstrate just how insincere our government is in their professed aim of making Malaysia a more open democracy.

What’s better

Let’s start with the positive aspects of the new law before dealing with its problems.

The ISA allowed police to detain individuals for 60 days. Under Sosma, this has been shortened to 28 days.

The ISA also gave the home minister the discretion to place individuals under detention without trial for two years, renewable indefinitely. This power has been taken away, something which apparently was “not easy” for Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to do.

The ISA allowed police broad scope under which they could detain anyone acting in a manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia, or to the maintenance of the country’s essential services or economic life. Under Sosma, only those suspected of “security offences” may be detained by the police.

What’s not

So far so good, right? But Sosma is only slightly better and nowhere near ensuring that citizens’ basic constitutional rights are adequately protected, Najib’s promises notwithstanding. And let’s not even talk about a “golden democratic age”.

Many have already raised valid criticisms of the new law and I’ll just highlight a few key points.

Firstly, the definition for who may be arrested under Sosma remains too broad. The definition of “security offence” includes committing acts “prejudicial to national security and public safety”. This is no better than the ISA definition. Such a broad definition allows our government to deem, for example, the Bersih 2.0 rally, possession of Che Guevera T-shirts and Seksualiti Merdeka, a sexuality rights festival; as national security threats.

There are options instead of this broad definition. The Malaysian Bar has recommended using the definition of the United Nations (UN) Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The UN definition confines terrorist acts to those specifically intended to cause death or serious bodily injury for the purpose of influencing government actions.

Secondly, the power to detain suspects for 28 days is given to the police, without judicial oversight. Persons arrested under Sosma need not be produced before a magistrate. A superintendent of police or officer of higher rank may extend the detention for 28 days “for the purposes of investigation”. Ordinarily, persons arrested by the police can only be detained for up to 24 hours. After that, the person must be released unless produced before a magistrate who may order further detention for the police to complete their investigation. The maximum period a person can be held under remand is seven or 14 days, depending on the seriousness of the offence.

This begs the question: If the government truly cares about protecting basic constitutional rights, what’s keeping them from instituting judicial oversight? Does the government not trust the judges with the country’s national security? Or, more likely, does it not trust the judges to agree with them on who exactly is a national security threat?

Thirdly, Sosma compels the court to imprison suspects after acquittal upon the public prosecutor’s application. If an acquittal is appealed and the public prosecutor applies for imprisonment of the accused, the law states that the court shall commit the accused to prison pending the appeal’s disposal.

The length of time it takes for appeals to be heard varies in this country. The Home Ministry’s appeal against the Dec 2009 High Court decision on The Herald’s use of “Allah” has yet to be heard. A person acquitted under Sosma can therefore be imprisoned for an indefinite time pending appeal.

False hope

A government genuinely wanting to respect constitutional rights would not introduce a security law with so many loopholes. It would institute tighter safeguards with judicial oversight and not leave citizens open to abuse of police power. It would sign the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to ensure no suspect is subject to police abuse while in custody.

And while we’re at it, it wouldn’t repeal provisions requiring peaceful assemblies to obtain police permits only to introduce another law allowing police to set more onerous conditions. Or purport to “give” university students freedom to join political parties, but maintain control over the appointment of vice-chancellors and allowing the university board to deem any organisation unsuitable for students.

The reforms so far are grudging, piecemeal and at the heart of it, insincere. There is no “new era”, no “golden democratic age” to come. The government has merely made as few changes as possible to make it look as if genuine reform has taken place while ensuring it has left enough powers in reserve to continue maintaining control over citizens.

With all their grandiose pronouncements, it seems to me that the government is trying to drum up hope. Hope that things are changing. Hope that there is more to come. Hope that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government truly intends to relinquish its tight control over citizens. For hope, said the manipulative president in the movie The Hunger Games, is the only thing more powerful than fear. And hope may just return the BN into power with its two-thirds parliamentary majority and help them regain their lost states.

I, for one, am not hoping. The gap between the big words and the measly offerings of reform is just too wide for me to take any of this seriously. If Najib had in fact come clean and admitted that things are changing, but in tiny baby steps, then I may have started hoping. For that would be more honest, more sincere and more believable.


Ding Jo-Ann hopes that Malaysians will not accept the government’s “reforms” but push for true reform so no Malaysian government will have the power to control and restrict citizens’ basic constitutional rights.

Moderate Earthquake Hits Nicobar Island

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) -- A moderate earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale hit the Nicobar Islands, India region at 10.57pm Tuesday, the Malaysian Meteorological Department said.

The quake's epicentre was located at 134km southeast of Car Nicobar Island, India and 726km northwest of Langkawi, Kedah.

It did not pose any tsunami threat, the department said in a statement.

Penang Bersih 3.0 on track

It’s been a busy day for the Aliran team preparing for Penang Bersih 3.0. They had two separate meetings today with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kok Meng over the Bersih 3.0 assembly in Penang.
To find out what transpired, read the full statement on the Aliran website.
I wish there were fewer obstacles in the way of the main event in KL and the solidarity event in JB.