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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Religious intolerance: Hindu temple vandalised in Peshawar

" The Hindu community will remain calm and record its protest peacefully," 
Representative of the Hindu community Haroon Sarblal.

PESHAWAR: In a brazen act of vandalism, unidentified men sneaked into a Hindu temple in the capital city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday, smashed a holy figurine and burnt down scriptures and images of deities.

“We opened the temple around 6pm and found all holy scriptures and images burnt down. A statuette of Lord Shiva was also smashed to pieces,” Ramesh Lal, a priest at Guru Gorakhnath temple, told The Express Tribune.

The temple is situated in the Gorgathri neighbourhood inside the walled city.

Peshawar, which is believed to be one of the oldest living cities of South Asia, houses dozens of monuments and structures from the Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and British eras.

The priest said that the community had reported the incident to the local police who gave them the customary cold-shoulder.

“Vandals smashed a statuette of Lord Shiva to pieces and burnt down the holy Gita as well as several images of our deities,” Lal said. The temple, according to him, did not have armed guards because the government pays scant attention to the security needs of a Hindu place of worship.

According to Lal, the 160-year-old temple was named after a Hindu pontiff Guru Goraknath. The local Hindu community had abandoned the temple following the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. For decades no ritual was undertaken within the temple ground until the Peshawar High Court handed over its custody to the Hindu community a few months ago.

“This desecration and vandalism has hurt the religious sentiments of our community. Lack of cooperation from police and administration has added insult to the injury,” Lal said and added that the police were reluctant to concede that the temple had holy images and figurines.

“When the temple was reopened [after the PHC verdict] after almost six decades, we imported a figurine from India which cost us hundreds of thousands of rupees,” Lal claimed.

Haroon Sarblal, a representative of the Hindu community, condemned the incident as ‘unacceptable’. He called upon the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government to arrest the vandals and provide security guards for the temple.

“If the government wants the Hindu community to remain calm, it should arrest the vandals and punish them accordingly,” Sarblal told The Express Tribune.

These acts of vandalism and desecration are a deliberate attempt to create communal tension in the city, he said. However, he vowed that the Hindu community would remain calm and record its protest peacefully.

No group has claimed responsibility for the vandalism – but past attacks on the shrines of Muslim Sufi saints and spiritual figures have been blamed on Taliban insurgents.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.

Kuwaiti pleads innocent in Twitter trial

(Reuters) - A 26-year-old Kuwaiti pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he insulted the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media, the first day of a high-profile and divisive court case in the Gulf state.

Charges were brought by a civil plaintiff, who called for Shi'ite Muslim Hamad al-Naqi to be put to death, saying he must be made an example of to others. The case has stoked tensions between Kuwait's Sunnis and minority Shi'ites.

Naqi's lawyer asked for his client, who has been in prison since his arrest in March, to be released on bail. The judge declined the request and adjourned the trial until next week.

Sitting in a wooden and metal cage guarded by armed guards in black balaclavas at the start of the trial, a bearded, tired-looking Naqi sat quietly clasping his hands, occasionally rubbing the back of his shaved head and looking at the floor.

Wearing a blue prison uniform and glasses, Naqi was escorted from the cage to face the judge, confirmed his personal details and entered his innocent plea.

The case has caused uproar in Kuwait, where dozens of Sunni Muslim activists and lawmakers have protested against Naqi some calling for the death penalty and accusing him of links to Shi'ite regional power Iran, something he has denied.

Shi'ites make up about one third of Kuwait's 1.1 million nationals and vocal members can be found in senior positions in parliament, media and business.

Although Kuwait has largely avoided the sectarian violence and pro-democracy uprisings seen elsewhere in the region, it is concerned its sizeable Shi'ite minority may turn restive.

Kuwaiti authorities have been closely watching Shi'ite-led protests in Bahrain and unrest in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, home to more than two million minority Shi'ites.

Kuwait's parliament, where opposition Islamists have grown in influence, endorsed a legal amendment this month that would make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad by Muslims punishable by death instead of a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

Naqi's lawyer and Amnesty International say the death penalty cannot be applied in the Naqi case because the alleged crime took place before the change in legislation.

But civil plaintiff Dowaem al-Mowazry, who is arguing the case against Naqi, said this was a special case.

"We will ask for the implementation of the death penalty for Naqi because he insulted Allah, the Prophet Mohammad and his companions," he told Reuters after the opening of the trial.

"He will be an example for anyone who thinks he can do such a thing."

Naqi has told police that he did not write the comments and that his Twitter account was hacked. His lawyer Khaled al-Shatti argued that Naqi should be granted bail because Kuwaitis charged with similar crimes had been granted it in the past.

"He denied the charges. But even if we were to imagine hypothetically that he did say something, this would be an "opinion crime", not a crime threatening state security," he told Reuters.

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Hagagy; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Suhakam to probe Bersih 3.0 for police violence

A Bersih demonstrator is surrounded by police officers near Dataran Merdeka, in Kuala Lumpur April 28, 2012. — Picture by Jack Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has agreed to conduct a public inquiry into the Bersih 3.0 rally, saying today it could “no longer wait” for Putrajaya’s independent panel to release its terms of reference.

The commission, in a brief statement here, added that its decision to conduct the inquiry was made “upon serious consideration”, following its receipt of numerous accusations that excessive police force had been used against civilians during the April 28 event.

“The commission had wanted to, but can no longer wait [for] the release of the terms of reference of the independent panel established by the government as they have yet to be finalised.

“Notwithstanding the investigations to be carried out by the said panel, the commission is obliged to carry out its own public inquiry,” it said.

The commission added that it holds the jurisdiction to conduct such an inquiry under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999.

Suhakam pointed out that its own monitors had observed the electoral reform movement’s third rally for free and fair elections in the streets of the capital. Following the event, it received numerous complaints, reports and memoranda from the public, human rights and professional groups.

Each complaint, it added, came with a call for an independent inquiry into the event.

Apart from opposition party members and Bersih 2.0, the Bar Council had also urged Suhakam to probe the incidence of violence during the rally, insisting that the panel formed by Putrajaya would return biased results.

Their contention is that Putrajaya’s panel is headed by former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar, who had, in the days following the rally, called its participants communist sympathisers and alleged that the event was meant to overthrow the government instead of push for free and fair elections.

Suhakam had conducted an inquiry into Bersih 2.0’s July 9 rally last year and found that the police had used excessive force on protesters.

This year’s probe, it said in today’s statement, would be chaired by the commission’s vice-chairman, Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, and assisted by Commissioners Professor Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid and Detta Samen.

Its terms of reference include determining if there were violations of human rights during and after the April 28 event, and if such violations had occurred, to determine how they transpired, what directives or procedures had contributed to them and which agencies were responsible.

The commission will also recommend measures to be taken to ensure such violations, if any, do not recur.

Suhakam is also calling for public submission of evidence and information regarding claims of excessive use of force during the assembly.

“Members of the public and the media who had witnessed any acts or incidents relating to the allegations of human rights violations, or who believe that they may be able to give relevant information and/or documents and other evidence including video/photo recordings pertaining to these or other such allegations are invited to contact the commission as soon as possible,” it said.

The deadline for public submissions is by 12pm on Monday, June 4.

The commission can also be contacted by telephone (03-26125600), facsimile (06-26125694/5620), email ( or in person at its premises on the 11th floor of Menara TH Perdana, on Jalan Sultan Ismail here.

The April 28 rally, which saw tens of thousands gather at six different locations before heading to Dataran Merdeka, was peaceful until about 2.30pm when Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asked the crown to disperse.

But the former Bar Council president’s call was not heard by most of the crowd who persisted around the historic square which the court had already barred to the public over the weekend.

Just before 3pm, some protestors breached the barricade surrounding the landmark, leading police to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons.

Police then continued to pursue the rally-goers down several streets amid chaotic scenes which saw violence from both sides over the next four hours.

Several dozen demonstrators have claimed that they were assaulted by groups of over 10 policemen at a time and visual evidence appears to back their claim, but police also point to violence from rally-goers who also attacked a police car.

The police car then crashed into a building before some protestors flipped it on its side.

Was the 2007 Hindraf rally wrong?

Going by points raised by two Hindu NGOs in condemning Bersih 3.0, the Hindraf rally is wrong. Or did the NGOs get it wrong?

In 2007, over 50,0000 Malaysian Indians took to the streets due to the marginalisation of the Indian poor. The demonstration was a success under the flagship of what was then known as the Hindraf 5.

The Indians who rallied were emotionally charged and angered by the demolition of Hindu temples and body-snatching cases.

Were their actions of organising rallies also against Hinduism?

This is the question that came to my mind after two Hindu NGOs came out to condemn the Bersih 3.0 rally that took place on April 28 in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysia Hindu Dharma Mamandram (MHDM) and Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) claimed that Hinduism strictly prohibits its followers from participating in rallies which can spark violence and cause damage to public property, reported Bernama.

The report states that such awareness was a factor that contributed to fewer Indian participation.

MHDM president Professor NS Rajendran said: “Such rallies are not encouraged by any religion, including Hinduism. Any demand should be channelled through peaceful means for amicable discussion.”

MHS president RS Mohan Shan, meanwhile, said: “Hinduism prohibits followers from acting on emotion and damaging public property and burdening others.”

Weak arguments

Going by the arguments presented by Rajendran and Mohan Shan, why did they not come forward to

criticise the Hindraf rally participants in 2007?

The two NGOs also were not at the forefront in raising issues concerning the Hindu community when there were disputes over the faith of the deceased.

My next counter-argument is their claim that Hinduism prohibited its followers from joining rallies that can spark violence.

Two epics central to the Hindus seem to say otherwise.

In the “Ramayana”, Lord Rama kills King Valee while the latter is battling Sugreeva (Valee’s brother) over their kingdom.

Rama does so by hiding up a tree. This action is justified by the dharma of the just against injustice.

In the “Bhagavad Gita”, Lord Krishna advises Prince Arjuna to battle against his cousins and relatives to uphold truth and justice.

The advice forms an essential part of the Mahabharata.

So pray, tell, how does a rally for free and fair elections go against Hinduism?

Both Rajendran and Mohan Shan also touched on the number of Indians who were present on April 28.

Having been in the thick of action on April 28, I would rather say that the number of Indians were small as it reflected the population of the Indian community in Malaysia, not because of their so- called “awarenesss”.

Oddly enough, both Rajendran and Mohan Shan appear to be in the dark about Bersih steering committee’s various negotiations with the Election Commission to raise and resolve various electoral issues before deciding on the two Bersih rallies.

The negotiations are peaceful means that failed to arrest the issues such as dirty electoral roll but the rally raised awareness among the people.

‘Uthayakumar could be doing BN a favour’

His intention to contest in Sri Andalas state seat and Kota Raja parliamentary seat is likely to split the Indian votes in favour of BN.

PETALING JAYA: Human Rights Party’s pro-tem secretary general P Uthayakumar had always professed that his heart was with Pakatan Rakyat. But now he could play the spoiler’s role in the Sri Andalas state seat and Kota Raja parliamentary seat .

His entry is likely to split the Indian votes in favour of Barisan Nasional.

Uthayakumar will be contesting as an independent as the Human Rights Party is not registered as a political party.

The Hindraf de facto leader announced yesterday that he would contest both seats in the coming general election and for the Sri Andalas seat, his entry is expected to make the fight five-cornered.

Sri Andalas state representative Dr Xavier Jayakumar, from PKR, said that he was expecting at least a five way contest.

“There are rumours that a Malay candidate would be fielded as an independent.

“Kita is also eyeing this seat,” said Jayakumar when asked to comment on Uthayakumar decision.

Jayakumar however is confident of retaining his seat. In 2008 he defeated MIC’s A Kamalam with a majority of 10,203 votes.

“I have served my constituency well. My record speaks for itself. The people are matured and will make wise decisions,” said Jayakumar who is also Selangor exco for health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government.

PAS’ Kota Raja MP Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud feels that Uthayakumar’s plan to contest in Kota Raja would only split the votes in favour of BN.

In the last election she defeated SA Vigneswaran (MIC) by a majority of 20,751 votes.

“Uthayakumar and Hindraf would only get votes from the Indians. He would split the votes in favour of BN,” said Siti Mariah.

She added that it would be impossible for Uthayakumar to win the seat even if the entire Indian community in Kota Raja voted for him.

Indians make up 28% of voters in Kota Raja. Prior to 2008, both the seats were held by MIC.

Former Kota Raja MP and BN’s Sri Andalas constituency coordinator Vigneswaran meanwhile dismissed Uthayakumar’s foray in the election.

“The battle will be BN against Pakatan,” he said.

Vigneswaran also added that Uthayakumar had contradicted himself

“He allowed Pakatan to take advantage of the Indians and now claims that Pakatan is not performing,” said Vigneswaran who is a former MIC Youth leader.

DBKL: No burger stall when we visited

While an array of photos and videos show some traders operating a burger stall in front of Ambiga's house two weeks ago, DBKL says the stall did not exist when its officers came calling...three days later.

PETALING JAYA: The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has done it again.

Despite news of a burger protest in front of S Ambiga’s house on May 10 splashed across news pages and websites, the City Hall has denied that there was ever a burger stall set up in front of her residence.

Responding to an e-mail query by FMT on action to be taken against the stall operator, DBKL enforcement division spokesperson Abdul Syatar Abdul Halim said :”Based on a complaint received on May 14, this department conducted an investigation at the location in Bukit Damansara only to find no burger hawkers operating in front of Ambiga’s house.

“According to Ambiga’s personal body guard, the hawkers left on May 10,” said Syatar.

On May 10, by a group of burger stall operators from an NGO called Malaysia Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) set up their stalls in front of Ambiga’s home and distributed free burgers.

They resorted to this action because they claimed that the Bersih rally for free and fair elections in the federal capital on April 28 had disrupted their livelihood.

The police, on their part, had said that they were powerless to act against the burger protesters as these hawkers did not break any laws that was criminal in nature.

The attention then turned towards DBKL, which enacts and enforces local council by-laws in Kuala Lumpur.

On Wednesday, lawyer K Shanmuga pointed out that the protesters flouted by-laws 11(1) and 22(2) of the Licensing of Hawkers and Stalls (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) 1989 which was enacted under the Local Government Act.

With the DBKL’s reply today, it is very unlikely that the burger protesters in front of Ambiga’s house would face the law.

‘Why the haste in wanting to investigate me?’

Tenaganita chief Irene Fernandez lambasts police for wasting taxpayers money investigating her for comments in the Jakarta Post.

PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita chief Irene Fernandez today lambasted the police for wanting to investigate her over comments she made in the Jakarta Post on migrant workers in Malaysia.

The speed in which the police responded to reports lodged against her by several groups on Thursday has Fernandez perplexed. The police said she may probed for sedition on Friday.

Fernandez said it seemed that the police are deflecting attention from the real issue of abuse of migrant workers rights by going for her.

“We have made 15 police reports thus far this year. An additional 10 reports were made by the migrants themselves but the police are slow to act on these reports.

“Why are they wasting their time investigating me when they should be out there investigating these cases. This is a waste of taxpayer’s money,” said Fernandez.

She said that in the past five months, the reports made involved employers or agents holding back migrant’s passports and reports of abuse and violence.

“Thirty-five percent of 43 cases registered with us revealed that the maids were denied proper food and 36% of the same number of cases showed alleged sexual assaults.

“These are serious cases which needed to be investigated in order for justice to be served,” she said, adding that there were more reports of abuse not recorded by Tenaganita.

The Sedition Act, she said, was an archaic law which has been used in the past to intimidate people. “Why is the government targeting whistleblowers?” asked the veteran activist.

Investigating officers unknown

Abdul Aziz Ismail of the Anti Human Trafficking Council Selangor, said that he was puzzled as to why Fernandez was targeted by the authorities.

“We have lodged 30 police reports on matters relating to human trafficking but no action has been taken.

“When I approached Bukit Aman to get an update, the Investigating Officers (IO) in some of these cases were not known,” he said.

He added that he had approached the MACC on alleged corruption involving officials from government departments pertaining to human trafficking, but these reports were ignored.

The MACC is also investigating Fernandez over the interview in the Indonesian daily.

It is investigating her for saying that several Malaysia employers have resorted to “paying the police” or “buying court verdicts” to ensure no action is taken against them.

Fernandez, however, clarified that she was misquoted and that the Jakarta Post has agreed to publish corrections.

She said that it was shameful for Malaysia to sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) without a proper framework to deal with discrimination faced by migrant workers.

“You have a seat in UNHRC and you silence human rights defenders. That is what is contradictory with the government of the day,” she said.

To Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s reported comment that she was immoral in criticising government policies, Fernandez said that the government should learn to value constructive criticisms.

‘Racist’ teacher transferred

The teacher in the alleged racist row is likely to be transferred to her hometown in Kuala Terengannu.

GEORGE TOWN: The secondary school teacher embroiled in an alleged racial row with Form five students of the George Town school is all set for a transfer to another school.

This morning the teacher, Sabariah Ramli, 29, packed her belongings in SMK George Town and drove out of the school at 11am.

Last week the state education department said that Sabariah has agreed to a transfer to another school probably in her hometown Kuala Terengganu.

Previously the department claimed Sabariah requested for a transfer because she could not face the same students, who accused her of uttering the words “Hindu Pariah” at them.

Sabariah apparently uttered the term, considered offensive and sensitive by the Indian community, against Form Five “Tabah” students after an examination on May 9.

But the department claimed Sabariah had only uttered the word “India” and had duly apologised for it.

Meanwhile, this morning, school principal Farah Syikh Abd Rahman refused to accept a five-point memorandum from a group of former George Town school students.

An ex-student R Revinthiran said that Farah told them to handover the memorandum to the education department instead.

“She was more interested to know who incited them to submit a memorandum.She was not interested to look into out grouses,” Revinthiran told FMT.

In the memorandum, the ex-students have criticised Farah’s “mishandling” of the whole affair and demanded for Sabariah to be suspended immediately.

They ticked off the school’s senior assistant in charge of students’ affairs, Lau Siew Ho for not investigating students’ complaints against Sabariah.

The memorandum called on the state education department to probe the students complaints .

Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh, Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer, Hindraf Makkal Sakti’s P Waythamoorthy and several Indian NGOs all have criticised Sabariah for the alleged racist remarks.

Although they demanded for Sabariah to be suspended pending an investigation, the department did not take any disciplinary action against her.

Karpal and Waythamoorthy have also called on the police and Attorney General to charge the teacher for sedition.

Gerakan objects to stalls outside Ambiga's house

Gerakan has urged petty traders to shelve their plan to set up stalls in front of Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan's house on Thursday and Friday to protest alleged loss of trade during the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on April 28.

NONERaising concern in a statement today, vice-president Mah Siew Keong (left) said holding demonstrations in front of private residences "should be stopped as it is not part of Malaysian culture".

“I am happy to note that the ‘thosai protest’ outside the house of the deputy inspector-general of police (has been cancelled). If such practices continue, then we  may have protests throughout the country in front of somebody’s house every week,” Mah said.

All similar protests, including the 'butt exercises' in front of Ambiga's house and mock funeral in front of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's house,"should be condemned", he said.
Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council chairperson Jamal Md Yunus said yesterday they were calling the protest 'Bersih 4.0 - mencucikan Bersih 1,2,3' (Bersih 4.0 - cleaning up Bersih 1,2,3).

The action council will be visiting the site opposite Ambiga’s house in Damansara today to mark out the trading zones.

It also expected to seek a trading permit from Kuala Lumpur City Hall tomorrow and Jamal said the traders would carry out their planned protest even if the permit is denied.

According to Jamal, the traders would be operating stalls selling household goods, food and drinks from 3.30pm to 8pm on both days.

However, Mah urged the police and local authorities to ensure tight security to avoid any “untoward” incidents.

There were “other more constructive and positive ways” to display their dissatisfaction, he added.

United by hate for Barisan Nasional

As I said, this is not about personalities. It is about the cause. Today, by chance, we have Anwar as the Opposition Leader. And that happened only because Dr Mahathir’s speech in the 2nd September 1998 Umno Supreme Council meeting was more convincing than Anwar’s. The majority of the Supreme Council members, although on Anwar’s side, accepted Dr Mahathir’s version of the story more than Anwar’s.
Anwar: PR parties share common goal
(Borneo Post) - BINTULU: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said all coalition partners of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) may have different ideologies, but they are united because of policy.
“We have different backgrounds and races, but we fight for mutual objectives. We want to change our current system,” he said at a PKR Bintulu pre-Gawai dinner here on Saturday.
The de facto leader of PKR said PR was confident of altering the political landscape of Malaysia in the coming 13th general election because BN had gone too arrogant.
“First major fundamental difference between PR and BN is there is time for Malaysia to accept that we are a great Malaysian family of all races, religion and culture.”
“The sooner Umno understands this the better it is for Malaysia.”
“Currently Umno is not able to understand this, and BN component parties are also weak to say anything. It’s time we defeat BN in the next general election.”
Also present at the function were Selangor exco member Elizabeth Wong, state PKR chief Baru Bian, PKR Bintulu chief Paul Raja, Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, Krian assemblyman Ali Biju, and Kemena PKR chief Ribi Rayang.
Before I talk about the news item above, I would like to first close the debate on Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim. I think we have argued about this man long enough -- a man who did not and will not cause too much impact on DAP either way.
For all intents and purposes, the whole matter has been overrated. When Tunku Aziz joined DAP back in 2008, I did not sing his praises or hail him as the Malay version of Gandhi, like many of you did. Hence, when he decided to leave, I took it as cool as when he joined more than three years ago. I did not get my panties all twisted into knots, like many of you did.
Anyway, I enjoyed tickling all of you over the last few weeks and see you foam at the mouth. Most of you who were suffering from diarrhoea of the mouth when Tunku left, and then he endorsed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, were the same people who suffered from diarrhoea of the mouth when Tunku joined. If you had been cool when Tunku joined then you could probably remain cool now that he has left.
I suppose this is your guilt working on you. You went overboard when Tunku joined. So now you go overboard when he leaves.
Two Umno Bloggers have resigned from Umno to join DAP. Then, a couple of retired senior police officers are joining PAS. One retired Special Branch officer has joined the opposition in Sarawak. And, again, you are all excited about it, as excited as when Zaid Ibrahim first joined PKR and Tunku Aziz joined DAP.
Cool lah brader and sista! Don’t get too excited. It is good, no doubt, that the opposition is attracting ex-Umno people or retired police and army officers. That is a good endorsement of what the opposition stands for. But if you start getting too excited about it then, if anything happens, you will, again, start foaming at the mouth and start cursing them, the Malays, Islam, Raja Petra and Malaysia Today all in the same breath.
People come, people go. People even die. But life goes on. It is what lies ahead of us and whether we are able to face these challenges that matter. You talk about focus. You keep telling me to focus. But are you yourself focused? Do you understand what our perjuangan is all about? Is it about personalities or is it about the cause? And what is that cause?
Okay, I admit that I have been very naughty. But I did say some time ago that my ‘job’ is to throw the cat amongst the pigeons and watch the feathers fly. And, boy, have the feathers been flying over the last couple of weeks!
Hell, it is so easy to manipulate you people. All I need to do is to throw cats all over the place and you pigeons will fly in all directions. I suppose pigeon brains will always act like pigeons. Now you know why Barisan Nasional is able to play you for suckers. It is because many of you are suckers.
Okay, enough of my gloating for one day -- although it is nice to be able to gloat. Let’s get to the business of the day, which is the news report above and what Anwar Ibrahim said: all coalition partners of Pakatan Rakyat may have different ideologies, but they are united because of policy.
Now, what does this mean? For those of you who have a poor command of English, look at the definition of those various words below.
PKR, DAP and PAS have different ideologies, like what Anwar said. Nevertheless, they are united because of their common policy.
I want you all to note this point and remember it well. This is so that we can avoid further arguments, which are mainly the result of not being able to understand this point and not sharing the same view on what these various words mean.
Allow me to illustrate this point by referring to the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST). No, this is not a discussion on religion but just an example I have plucked from the top of my head.
The MCCBCHST members have different ideologies. I mean: the Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Taoists do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God or accept the doctrine of the Trinity. Nevertheless, the members of the MCCBCHST are united because of a common policy. And that was why the MCCBCHST was formed, because they share the same policy although they differ on ideology.
Is this not the same argument that Anwar raised: all coalition partners of Pakatan Rakyat may have different ideologies, but they are united because of policy?
If we can understand this then we can avoid unnecessary quarrels that are mainly the result of not understanding the concept of how we unite and how to disagree even though we may be united.
PKR, DAP and PAS are united by common purpose. And this unity is based on wanting to kick out Barisan Nasional and take over the federal government. But just because they are united by purpose it does not mean they are also united by ideology. And this we must accept. If we can’t then we will end up quarrelling, as we always do.
Notwithstanding that, although PKR, DAP and PAS are united by purpose, meaning that they all want to kick out Barisan Nasional and take over the federal government, it does not mean that they are also united in the reason for wanting this.
For example, the reason why PAS wants a change of federal government is to be able to see the adeen of Islam implemented, which Umno is resisting. If Umno no longer resists the adeen of Islam but instead embraces it, is there any longer any reason for PAS to oppose Umno? I really don’t know but maybe the top PAS leadership can answer this question. However, if Malaysia implements the adeen of Islam, then I suppose there is no longer any reason for PAS to oppose Umno.
Now, what is the reason why DAP wants a change of federal government? I suppose it would be to see an end to racism, discrimination, corruption, etc. But the adeen of Islam is not on the list of DAP’s wants. That does mean, however, that DAP cannot unite with PKR and PAS under the umbrella of Pakatan Rakyat.
PKR, on the other hand, wants to see Anwar as the new Prime Minister. DAP and PAS have no objections to that although they treat it more as a bonus than the main perjuangan like PKR does.
The bottom line is: we can still be friends and unite under a common cause. But note that we may not share the same ideology, only the same purpose. And if I express an ideology that differs from yours, this does not mean we are enemies.
The US is opposed to Communism. Russia, during WWII, was Communist. The US and Russia were, in fact, enemies who never trusted each other. But they shared a common purpose, and that was to defeat Nazi Germany. So they worked together to defeat Nazi Germany although they opposed each other’s ideology. Of course, once Germany lost the war, the US and Russia reverted to becoming enemies and took the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This is the concept of an enemy of my enemy is my friend. Hence we need Barisan Nasional to be in power for Pakatan Rakyat to exist. If Barisan Nasional did not exist would Pakatan Rakyat exist? I am not gungho about Pakatan Rakyat. I just want Barisan Nasional ousted. Hence Pakatan Rakyat presents itself as the platform in achieving this. That is all.
In fact, PKR exists only because Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad defeated Anwar in the 2nd September 1998 Umno Supreme Council meeting. Say, the opposite happened. Say, Anwar defeated Dr Mahathir instead and Anwar had taken over as the new Umno President on that historic day of 2nd September 1998.
Then Anwar would also have taken over as the new Prime Minister of Malaysia. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would have never become the Prime Minister with Najib as his Deputy Prime Minister. And, today, Anwar would be the Fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia, and 14 years in office this September.
And what would you and I be doing today? Today, you will all be cursing Anwar and I will be writing articles whacking the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim. There would be no Altantuya, Rosmah, Khairy, submarine, NFC, etc., issues. Instead, there would be other issues we will be talking about involving the Umno and Barisan Nasional administration of Anwar Ibrahim.
I would probably still have been detained many times because I would still be vocal like I used to be when Anwar was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Only that, this time, it would be Anwar’s government that detained me.
So, can you see what has happened here? One meeting, the Umno Supreme Council meeting of 2nd September 1998, changed all that.
2nd September 1998 was the day the Umno Supreme Council met to sack Anwar Ibrahim from Umno, a day after being removed as the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia. Before the meeting started, the majority of the Supreme Council members were on Anwar’s side -- except for just five members, Ibrahim Ali included. However, when Dr Mahathir delivered his “friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…yada, yada, yada…it is not that I love Anwar less, but I love Umno more” speech, the tables turned. Dr Mahathir brilliantly went into the meeting as the hunted and emerged the hunter -- and Anwar’s fate was sealed.
Now, if all that had not happened, today, you and I would all be talking about different things and will be aiming our bullets at different people. Even Karpal Singh, who initially was supposed to represent ‘the other side’ in the Sodomy 1 case, ended up representing Anwar instead, against ‘the other side’. Hence, even Karpal ‘changed sides’ after 2nd September 1998, so to speak. Even Mat Sabu, who used to go round the country to whack Anwar and call him a sodomist, ‘changed sides’ and defended Anwar after 2nd September 1998.
As I said, this is not about personalities. It is about the cause. Today, by chance, we have Anwar as the Opposition Leader. And that happened only because Dr Mahathir’s speech in the 2nd September 1998 Umno Supreme Council meeting was more convincing than Anwar’s. The majority of the Supreme Council members, although on Anwar’s side, accepted Dr Mahathir’s version of the story more than Anwar’s.
In short, we are saying what we are all saying today mainly because both Dr Mahathir and Anwar played ‘last man standing’ and Dr Mahathir won. If not, we will all be saying about Anwar exactly what we are saying today about Najib. Hence, do we want to get emotional about personalities who are what they are mainly because of an accident of history?
I, too, would not be doing what I am doing if not because of an accident of history that fateful day, 2nd September 1998. Because of 2nd September 1998, my whole life changed as well. And, because of 2nd September 1998, I now live in exile in Manchester and have lost everything that I own, my home included, which the government ‘seized’.
Yes, I bet you did not know that, those of you who say I have sold out while the government takes away the only home I own in Malaysia.
Policy: rules, procedure, guidelines, guiding principle, course of action, plan, strategy.
Aspiration: ambition, goal, objective, aim, target, hope, desire, want, wish.
Ideology: philosophy, dogma, doctrine, beliefs, principles, thought, ideas, creed.
Objective: purpose, aim, point, intention, reason.

Demo di rumah Ambiga: Penganjur lelong petak penjaja

(Bernama) - Sixty petty traders are planning to open up stalls in front of Bersih 3.0 co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga's house in Bukit Damansara here on Thursday and Friday.

Their spokesman, Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council chairman Datuk Jamal Md Yunus, said they were calling the action as "Bersih 4.0-Mencucikan Bersih 1,2,3" (Bersih 4.0 - Cleaning up Bersih 1,2.3).

They hoped to recoup the losses they suffered during the Bersih 3.0 rally in the city on April 28.

Speaking at a press conference here, he said the traders would be operating stalls selling household goods, food and drinks from 3.30pm to 8pm on both the days.

"Each of the traders can expect a turnover of between RM300 and RM500 a day by trading there," he said.

He added that they would be applying for the needed permits from the authorities to do business there but would would still go ahead if denied.
Also present at the press conference were representatives from Malay right-wing movement Perkasa and the Malay Legal Council.

Prosecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, YB Azmin Ali And Badrul Hisham – A Desperate, Politically Motivated Act By BN

The Attorney-General acting on the behest of Barisan Nasional is at it again. Having failed to stop Anwar Ibrahim with trumped-up sodomy charges, they are now trying again.

This afternoon, Anwar Ibrahim ( the Leader of the Opposition) , Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham received summonses to appear in the Jalan Duta Court tomorrow morning to be charged in relation to purported offences connected with the Bersih 3.0 rally on 28th April 2012.

One charge alleges a breach of the Court order dated 26.4.2012 issued by Magistrate Zaki Ashraf. The charge Anwar and the other will face is allegedly causing a breach of the barricades to take place. Parti Keadilan Rakyat views this charge as ludicrous and frivolous bearing in mind that the ample video evidence that he had directed the crowd to go down Jalan Tengku Abdul Rahman. Furthermore, the legal validity of the Court order is itself suspect for non-compliance with the Peaceful Assembly Act itself. It is also now clear that the police barricades themselves were not in compliance with the order.

The second charge is that of being present in a street protest contrary to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. This prosecution of Anwar and the others under this Act shows up the complete hypocrisy in Prime Minister Najib’s so-called “political transformation” or “liberalisation” programme. Pakatan’s portentious warnings in Parliament in December 2011 that this Act was regressive compared to the older section 27 of the Police Act and would be abused are now vindicated.

It is ironic that the first prosecution of the Peaceful Assembly Act is directed against Anwar Ibrahim, the Leader of the Opposition. The political motivation of this new charge is clear. Having failed to stop Anwar with the trumped up sodomy charge, the Attorney General Gani Patail, at the behest of his political masters, is now trying again in desperation to stop Anwar’s unrelenting march to Putrajaya.

PKR warns Prime Minister Najib that this prosecution makes again a mockery of his claim to making Malaysia the “best democracy in the world”. We will rally the people of Malaysia to oppose yet another blatant misuse and manipulation of our institutions.

Sivarasa Rasiah
Majis Pimpinan Pusat Parti Keadilan Rakyat,
Ahli Parlimen Subang

Najib jangan takut keluar dari Putrajaya

Aspan Alias - The Malaysian Insider

21 MEI — Apa yang dikatakan oleh Dr Mahathir Mohamad di Jitra semalam mendapat perhatian saya. Beliau meminta supaya pemimpin Umno serta ahli-ahli partinya tidak sabotaj Umno dalam pilihanraya nanti. Beliau berkata yang beliau yakin Barisan Nasional akan menang jika semua pihak dalam Umno membuang sikap suka mensabotaj parti.

Kenyataan Dr Mahathir ini membuktikan yang apa yang saya katakan selalu yang pada PRU yang lalu lebih dari 1.5 juta ahli Umno telah mengundi parti-parti pembangkang dan telah menunjukkan kepada semua yang Umno sudah tidak lagi boleh mengaku yang parti itu adalah parti yang mewakili orang Melayu dalam politik negara.

Beliau pastinya memahami keadaan sabotaj menyabotaj dalam Umno itu adalah satu kenyataan yang hakiki. Ini ialah kerana beliau sendiri merupakan penyabo kepada Umno dalam pilihanraya dahulu ketika Umno sedang membuat persiapan untuk menghadapi pilihanraya ke-12 pada tahun 2008 dahulu.

Sabotaj yang dilakukan oleh Dr Mahathir sendiri merupakan salah satu dari banyak sebab kenapa ramai calon-calon Umno jatuh tersembam dalam pilihanraya umum itu. Dr Mahathir telah keluar dari Umno di saat Umno memerlukan penyatuan di antara semua ahli-ahli dan pemimpinnya.

Tetapi Dr Mahathir telah bertindak keluar kerana yang lebih di utamakan oleh beliau ialah untuk merudumkan kepimpinan Umno semasa itu yang dipimpin oleh Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir tidak peduli dengan segala-galanya terhadap parti. Yang terpenting bagi beliau Abdullah Badawi mesti dijatuhkan walaupun ia membawa risiko yang amat tinggi kepada Umno dan BN. Sekarang ini beliau pula yang meminta supaya ahli-ahli dan pemimpin Umno tidak menyabo mana-mana calon yang diturunkan walaupun calon-calon itu datangnya dari langit atau dari rimba.

Tetapi yang lebih jelas dalam kenyataan Dr Mahathir ini, ialah tindakan mensabotaj calon BN sendiri itu sudah menjadi budaya dalam BN teraju Umno ini. Ini lebih dijelaskan pada Perhimpunan Agong Umno yang lepas dalam mana setiap perwakilan telah berdiri membaca baiah perwakilan untuk tidak mensabotaj calon-calon Umno dalam pilihanraya yang bakal diadakan nanti.

Itulah sebabnya saya selalu meminta supaya Umno menjaga parti mereka sendiri dan janganlah menyibuk hendak memberikan komen terhadap parti-parti lain dan membuat fitnah jahat semata-mata untuk mengalihkan pandangan ahli-ahli Umno dan rakyat dari kelemahan mereka sendiri.

Bagi saya, tindakan sabotaj mensabotaj parti dalam Umno semasa pilihanraya nanti merupakan isu yang besar bagi BN. Yang penting sekali ialah kerja sabotaj mensabotaj ini tidak mungkin dapat dihindarkan lagi kerana tidak ada tindakan disiplin bagaimana ketat sekali pun akan mampu membaiki keadaan. Tidak salah jika saya katakan yang Umno sudah menghadapi penyakit dalaman yang terlalu teruk dan sudah terlalu “advanced” dan tidak mungkin boleh diperbaiki lagi.

Yang menjadi persoalan sekarang ini ialah samada pimpinan Umno dan BN bersedia untuk menghadapi proses pengambil alihan kuasa oleh rakyat dari mereka. Sampai kehari ini Najib Razak atau kepimpinan tertinggi parti masih belum ada membuat kenyataan yang mereka bersedia utuk menyerahkan kuasa jika itu yang dikehendaki oleh rakyat dalam pilihanraya nanti. Yang kita dengar selama ini hanyalah kenyataan Najib yang Umno akan melakukan apa sahaja untuk mempertahankan Putrajaya.

Banyak parti-parti yang memerintah dinegara-negara maju menerima kekalahan dengan “gentleman” dan menyerahkan kuasa secepat mugkin setelah rakyat memberikan mandat kepada phak lain. Gordon Brown tahu yang parti Buruhnya akan kalah dalam pilihanraya yang lalu.

Tetapi oleh kerana menghormati sistem demokrasi yang tulin, pimpinan parti Buruh tidak pula bertindak dengan melakukan tektik kotor terhadap parti Conservative atau parti Liberal Demokrat sebelum menghadapi pilihanraya negara Britain awal tahun lepas.

Tidak ada penyokong-penyokong parti Buruh menonggengkan punggung mereka dihadapan rumah pemimpin parti pembangkang dan pemimpin NGO di Britain. Tidak ada pula “function” parti pembangkang diganggu oleh gangster-gangster parti Buruh malahan parti Buruh tidak mempunyai gangster-gangster upahan untuk mengganggu program parti Liberal Demokrat.

Walaupun parti Buruh tahu yang mereka akan kalah, tidak ada pula kita mendengar penyokong parti itu mengambil video pemimpin-pemimpin Conservative semasa mereka berada di dalam bilik air atau tandas.

Yang penting Najib dan Umno patut belajar ialah untuk melalui pengalaman kekalahan dalam pilihanraya kerana Umno terlalu angkuh seolah-olah kemenangan pilihanraya itu hanyalah hak Umno sahaja. Umno tidak pernah diduga dan merasakan pahit maungnya berada dipihak pembangkang kerana hasil kerja buruk mereka sendiri.

Saya tidak mahu mendahului Tuhan, tetapi hukum mengatakan yang Umno kali ini seperti juga makhluk-makhluk kejadian Tuhan itu tetap akan merasa giliran untuk menerima dugaannya kali ini.

Selama ini Umno hanya diduga dengan kemewahan dan kesenangan tetapi belum pernah merasakan dugaan melalui kesusahan. Umno perlu melalui proses ini untuk mematangkan lagi perjuangannya dan kembali kepada “basic” iaitu untuk melakukan kerja dan ubudiah baik bagi rakyat yang ramai ini.

Rakyat sekarang dalam kerinduan untuk melihat pimpinan kerajaan memberikan fokus kepada rakyat yang ramai dan berhenti menjadi satu parti yang menjaga “exclusivity” bagi kumpulan kecil sahaja. Rakyat tidak mahu lagi melihat Umno itu sebagai sebuah kelab ekslusif semata-mata.

Rakyat sudah tidak menerima lagi laungan “acronym” besar-besar seperti NKRA, ETP, TTP, KETIAK, RTM, SPRM, KTM, TDM, dan banyak lagi acronym yang menjadi laungan yang entah apa-apa itu. Rakyat mahukan “substance” bukannya “form” yang terlalu lazim digambarkan oleh pimpinan negara kita.

Umno, seperti yang saya sebut dalam posting yang lepas sepatutnya berehat dan membuat “introspeksi” mendalam dan menilai kembali apakah mereka telah berjaya berjuang selama ini terutamanya dalam menentukan nasib orang Melayu sebagai yang dilaungkan sejak lebih dari lima dekad yang lalu.

Pilihanraya kali ini adalah pilihanraya diantara rakyat dengan pimpinan BN sebenarnya. Jika rakyat yang menang, mereka akan menang melalui mandat yang akan diberikan kepada parti-parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat, PAS, DAP dan PKR. Jika Pemimpin-pemimpin BN yang menang maka itu adalah kemenangan bagi segelintiran “warlords” dalam Umno yang telah menenggek diatas kuasa rakyat yang dimandatkan kepada BN.

Tetapi seperti yang saya nyatakan diatas tadi jauh di sudut sanubari saya, PR akan mendapatkan mandat itu dari rakyat dalam PRU yang akan datang ini.

Itulah sebabnya saya cuba untuk mengingatkan pemimpin-pemimpin BN khususnya Umno supaya menerima kekalahan itu dengan “gentleman” dan bersama-sama melakukan penyerahan kuasa itu dengan baik dan bertertib.

Kalau Gordon Brown telah menyerahkan kuasa kepada parti Conservative hanya dalam tempoh 6 jam selepas kekalahanya dalam pilihanraya umum Britain, kita tidak nampak kenapa BN harus menyusahkan proses peralihan kuasa itu dalam pilihanraya yang akan datang.

Barulah demokrasi terlaksana dalam erta kata yang sebenarnya. Najib dan pimpinan BN jangan merasa marah dengan penolakan rakyat terhadap kepimpinan mereka. Kita perlu ingat yang Adam Alaihissalam pun dikeluarkan dari syurga bersama Hawa.

Apa yang lebih enak selain dari berada di dalam syurga. Itu pun Adam telah menerimanya dengan senang penuh takzim dan terus melakukan tanggungjawabnya walau pun telah dikeluarkan dari syurga.

Apa nak dihairankan jika Najib keluar dari Putrajaya jika dibandingkan dengan Adam yang telah keluar dari syurga itu…

Apakah yang lebih enak dari syurga? Ia lebih enak dari berada di Putrajaya. —

Press Release: The Malaysian Bar is a partner in the administration of justice

ImageThe Malaysian Bar welcomes the clarification made by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the Government is not proposing to establish an alternative body to take over the functions of the Bar Council.  We trust that this puts an end to the recent attacks on the position of the Malaysian Bar and the role of the Bar Council.

The Malaysian Bar has always taken seriously its responsibilities under section 42(1)(a) of the Legal Profession Act 1976.  It is a three-fold task: (1) to uphold the cause of justice; (2) without regard to its own interests or that of its members; and (3) uninfluenced by fear or favour.  

Article 14 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers reinforces this role that lawyers must play: 

14.  Lawyers, in protecting the rights of their clients and in promoting the cause of justice, shall seek to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law and shall at all times act freely and diligently in accordance with the law and recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession.

Calls for the Malaysian Bar not to stray into the political arena ignore the first part of the three-fold task — to uphold the cause of justice.  Justice is so intertwined with governance that in order to uphold the cause of justice the Malaysian Bar expresses its views on laws and policies, and works with Government, opposition and civil society in order to help shape laws and structure policies that honour the Malaysian people and serve the common good.  We criticise Government and opposition if the need arises, and collaborate with civil society when appropriate.  We are neither anti-Government nor pro-opposition, but merely doing what we should and must do: upholding the cause of justice.  In so doing the Malaysian Bar engages in activities associated with the governance of the nation.  However, the Bar is not involved in any contestation over political power  — namely activities aimed at getting or maintaining power — hence any allegation that the Bar engages in this sphere of politics is wholly unfounded.

Criticisms that the Malaysian Bar as a professional body should focus purely on professional or internal issues fail to understand that the Malaysian Bar is charged with looking beyond its own parochial and pecuniary self-interests, and to act in the name, and for the greater good, of society at large.  We are partners together with the Judiciary and other officers of the court to uphold justice and the rule of law.

But the rule of law does not mean that we must not criticise or go against existing laws.  That is too simplistic.  There are good laws, and bad laws, and society must distinguish between the two. Like a voice in the wilderness, the Malaysian Bar has repeatedly spoken out against bad laws, such as the Internal Security Act 1960 for example, which the Malaysian Government finally abolished earlier this year.

As for the third element, comments that the Malaysian Bar is partisan ignore the fact that the Malaysian Bar must act “uninfluenced by fear or favour”.  We do not curry favour, but nor do we pander to public opinion.  We speak up for truth and justice, regardless whether it is popular or convenient with Government, or opposition, or rakyat.  We acknowledge that this will sometimes pit us against Government (as in our denunciation of all preventive detention legislation) or against contemporary thinking (as in our opposition to the use of the death penalty), but speak up we must.  And so we have, in regard to the excessive police force our observers witnessed on 28 April 2012 during the BERSIH 3.0 public assembly.

The Malaysian Bar will continue to live up to its responsibilities as a partner in the administration of justice in this country.  Our statements, reports, memoranda and resolutions should be embraced as efforts to assist the Government to improve its governance, for the betterment of the nation and the rakyat.  We will disagree with the Government at times, but we trust that we can choose to disagree agreeably and without having our existence and functions called into question each and every time the Government does not like what we say. 

It is regrettable that the full extent of the Malaysian Bar’s message and work are not more widely known.  In this regard we remind media professionals of their responsibility to engage in fair, accurate, honest, balanced and responsible journalism, particularly in their treatment of controversial subjects and dissenting viewpoints.

It is axiomatic that lawyers are vital cogs in the machinery of justice, and unless there is an independent Bar ready and willing to defend rights that are guaranteed in society, there cannot truly be said to be freedom and rule of law.  
Lim Chee Wee
Malaysian Bar

22,270 Participants At April 28 Rally, Says Rais

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- The total number of people who joined the public rally in the federal capital last month was 22,270 and not hundreds of thousands as claimed by the opposition, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

He said the figure on the attendance at the April 28 rally was arrived at by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) by using the photographic blocking system.

"It was 22,270, quite near to the BBC configuration (25,000) but it was certainly way off (the mark) from what (PKR advisor and Opposition Leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced to the rest of the world.

"In that regard, we would like to say this: be truthful on the strength of a crowd that attends any function.

"And the idea of glamourising it to be in the hundreds of thousands is not only a little bit mischievous but also a big misrepresentation to Malaysians and to the rest of the world," he said after launching a basic course on the new media to members of Mubarak (Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives) and Umno veterans, here Monday.

Dr Rais welcomed those who were anxious to know how the figure was arrived at to have a look at the way Bernama did it.

"We could actually count the heads on every centimetre of the graph on the photograph.

"We are more inclined to accept that kind of estimate rather than the glamourising type which we have been receiving from the PKR quarters," he said.

Asked whether it was the government official's figure, he said the figure which Bernama came up with was more logical and reliable and close to the estimate given by the BBC.

Dr Rais also said that he would be happy to have an independent body certify it if anyone was interested because it could be the yardstick for the future.

"I would strongly suggest that every time there is a big crowd, this method is applied so that the public actually gets a fair idea of the crowd size," he said.

The ‘Petty Trader’ and ‘his Ferrari’

The so-called Kuala Lumpur Petty Traders Action Council, representing 60 traders, is organising an anti-Bersih bazaar outside Ambiga’s house. The group’s leader is pictured leaning against ‘his Ferrari’ (according to Utusan) – or is it a Lamborghini? (I’m hopeless with cars.) Some petty trader.
Jamal Md Yunos with 'his Ferrari' - Photograph: Utusan
Apart from the Sekinchan Ikan Bakar Restaurant, Jamal is involved with IBM Automobiles Sdn Bhd, which deals in foreign cars.

Have a look at these flashy (in more ways than one) 2010 birthday photos here. Not bad for a petty trader.

From Utusan on 3 September 2011:
KUALA LUMPUR 2 Sept. – “Semakin susah sesuatu itu untuk diperolehi, semakin teruja saya untuk berusaha mendapatkannya”.
Itulah ungkapan yang sering menjadi dorongan kepada Pengasas Restoran Sekinchan Ikan Bakar (RSIB), Datuk Jamal Md. Yunos untuk menjadi salah seorang usahawan muda berjaya di Malaysia.

Walaupun pernah merasai detik hitam apabila gagal dalam peperiksaan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) satu masa dahulu, namun ianya sama sekali tidak pernah mematahkan semangat anak kelahiran Sekinchan di Kuala Selangor tersebut.
“Saya dilahirkan dalam keluarga susah dan naluri untuk berniaga lahir dengan sendiri tanpa didorong oleh sesiapa.
“Siapa sangka bermula dengan perniagaan pertama iaitu menjual buah mangga yang diperoleh dari pohon di hadapan rumah ketika berusia lapan tahun, saya mampu mempunyai 25 buah syarikat pada usia 40 tahun,’’ katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia baru-baru ini.
Namun begitu, katanya, kejayaan tersebut bukan datang bergolek tetapi diuji terlebih dahulu dengan pelbagai dugaan yang banyak mematangkan pemikiran sehingga melangkaui usianya yang baru menjangkau 17 tahun ketika berhijrah ke Kuala Lumpur pada 1987.
Katanya, setelah gagal menyesuaikan diri dengan pekerjaan makan gaji, beliau memberanikan diri untuk menjalankan perniagaan sendiri dengan menjual burger di pasar malam walaupun ketika itu kawasan tersebut dikuasai peniaga asing khususnya dari Indonesia sehingga rakyat tempatan terpaksa mengalah.
“Saya pernah dibelasah oleh sekumpulan perniaga asing kerana berebut tapak pasar malam di Kuala Lumpur dan parutnya masih kekal di kening sebelah kanan hingga hari ini.
“Bagi saya tempat yang strategik untuk berniaga adalah tempat yang paling susah untuk diperolehi, oleh itu saya mempertaruhkan nyawa saya untuk memperolehnya dan akhirnya berjaya berkat sokongan rakan-rakan,” katanya.
Jamal berkata, prinsip perniagaan saya adalah tidak akan pernah berpuas hati dengan apa yang sudah diperolehi dan berusaha untuk meningkatkannya walaupun dianggap mustahil oleh orang lain.
“Jika kita dapat RM100 pada minggu ini, kita perlu berusaha untuk mendapatkan RM200 kemudian RM300 sehingga RM1,000 pada minggu-minggu berikutnya,” ujarnya.
Jamal berkata, pengalaman bergelut untuk hidup sendiri di bandar raya Kuala Lumpur telah banyak memberi pengalaman yang berguna dan banyak mempengaruhi setiap keputusan perniagaan yang dibuat.
Katanya, hidup di Kuala Lumpur kita perlu peka menghidu peluang dan pantas membuat sebarang keputusan kerana persaingan yang sangat kuat.
“Jika hati kita berkata ya kepada sesuatu, teruskan. Pasti ada hikmah di sebaliknya. Jangan takut untuk gagal kerana tiada kejayaan tanpa disulam kegagalan,” nasihatnya kepada usahawan muda yang ingin mengecapi kejayaan.
Sementara itu, matlamat terakhir beliau sebelum mengundurkan diri daripada dunia perniagaan pada masa depan adalah memastikan nama Sekinchan terkenal seperti Langkawi di peta Malaysia dan dunia.
Katanya, untuk merealisasikan idea tersebut, nama Sekinchan perlu menjadi sebutan ramai dan tertera di merata tempat meliputi industri makanan dan minuman, pelancongan dan pelbagai lagi.
“Mewujudkan label Sekinchan dan mempromosikan namanya di seluruh dunia adalah impian saya dan ianya bukan angan-angan kosong. Saya akan buktikan!” tegasnya ketika mengakhiri perbualan.