Man had married a woman from his neighbourhood and fled to another city.
RAHIM YAR KHAN: A man was beaten up and his nose and ears chopped for marrying a woman without her family’s consent.
The incident took place on Friday, after Jameel, a resident of Basti Feeta Kata near Sadiqabad, allegedly abducted his brother-in-law, Qasim, 25, and took him to a nearby vacant dera in Ali Mardan village, where he beat him and later cut his nose and ears with the help from his accomplices Zaheer, Asif and Arif.
A passer-by, who heard Qasim scream in pain, went over to investigate and found him lying in a pool of blood.
The police were informed and Qasim was taken to Shaikh Zayed Hosptial, where doctors treating him said that he would likely survive. They said he had undergone a surgery and would take some four weeks to fully recover.
Police said Qasim, also a resident of Basti Feeta Kata, had married Jameel’s sister, Majeeda Bibi, 21, six months ago without the approval of their families. Fearing for their lives, police said, the couple had left the village and started living in Khanpur from where they later shifted to Ahmedpur East.
The woman’s family had accused Qasim of ‘abducting’ the girl in a complaint to the police. They had also approached a panchayat last week.
The panchayat ordered Qasim to send the girl back to her parents’ house. The couple was located by the girl’s family a few days ago. They handed over Qasim to the police and took Majeeda Bibi with them.
Later, they withdrew the case against Qasim after the girl reached home, following which the police released him.
On Friday, police said, Jameel took Qasim to a dera and cut his nose and ears. He also beat him with the help of his four accomplices and fled.
Asghar, a resident of the neighbourhood, told the police said he had heard a man crying while passing by the dera that had not been in use recently. When he went in, he said, he found Qasim lying on the floor.
Station House Officer Ghulam Mohiuddin of Sadiqabad police station said they had recorded Qasim’s statement.
They said Qasim had told them that Majeeda Bibi remained his wife and that he did not intend to divorce her.
The SHO said a case has been registered against Jameel, Zaheer, Asif and Arif under Section 324 (attempted murder). He said police were looking for the suspects.
MLC Pasha Patel often jokes that if the number of Muslim prison inmates in Maharashtra keep increasing at the current pace, every jail will soon have an Eidgah. Patel's black humour may be a bit exaggerated, but it cannot be denied that the number of Muslims in jail is highly disproportionate to their population. And this disturbing fact has been reconfirmed by a recent report of two scholars, Dr Vijay Raghvan and Roshni Nair of the Centre for Criminology and Justice at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Commissioned by the State Minorities Commission as a follow-up to the Sachar Committee report which lamented that "in Maharashtra Muslims account for 10.6% (2001 survey) of the general population, yet they comprise 32.4 % of the prison population" (the current prison population is 36%), the report is being hotly debated among government officials. Last week, at a meeting called by minorities affairs minister Naseem Khan, officials discussed a number of measures to not just prevent Muslim youth from committing crimes but also to provide legal aid to the imprisoned and rehabilitate them post-release. Among the plans in the pipeline are free legal aid to inmates, vocational training, sensitising the police and counselling and career guidance for Muslim youth in general.
Based on interviews with 339 Muslim inmates in 15 prisons, the TISS report unfortunately does not address the oft-raised question of alleged discrimination against Muslim offenders at the time of registering the case. "Our team's questions were first approved by the jail authorities," says Raghvan. A source reveals that at first some officials at Mantralaya were not in favour of allowing a headcount of, and interviews with, Muslim inmates. However, when the Minorities Commission and TISS team persisted, the officials relented on condition that they would vet the questionnaire. "They deleted the questions related to alleged torture and discrimination by the police," says the source.
Raghavan and senior criminal lawyer Majeed Memon point out that if offenders were aware of the Prohibition of Offenders Act, 1958, which can be invoked to avoid imprisonment if the offence is minor, many of them would not have been jailed. Memon cites the rash driving case of actor John Abraham who was let off under this Act. "An accused can give a bond of 12 or 24 months to the court, which then appoints a probation officer who monitors his behavior," explains Memon. "Only if he is found guilty of repeating an offence is he punished with imprisonment."
The report would appear to bear out the fact that some of the offences could well be minor. Raghvan says that 75.5% of the respondents were arrested for the first time and 24.5% were repeat arrestees. "This shows that majority of the respondents were not career criminals," says the report. Adds Raghavan, "We found that over 30% of the prisoners were not allowed to talk to their relatives at the time of arrest. This violates the rights of an accused."
The pertinent question remains: Why do so many Muslims join crime? The report discusses several reasons such as lack of resources and income opportunities, peer pressure and conflict with the police. An important one is the area of residence—many respondents who were involved in repeat offences came from neighbourhoods where, they said, they were witness to the flourishing of illegal activities since childhood. A considerable number were arrested for alleged forgery of documents, making fake currency notes, cheating and fraud. Since many Muslim ghettoes are blacklisted by the banks, even better educated people forge documents to get loans. "Some of them paid agents to make fake documents in order to get the loan," explains the report.
Although Dr Raghvan declines to discuss in detail the alleged police discrimination against Muslims, a few confessions do pertain to it. Sajid, a prison inmate with a criminal record, told the researchers: "I am trying to make a new beginning. Every time I start some work, the police arrest me on some charge or the other. They also demand money from me. Those who can pay are set free. The police are very powerful and can do anything."
Human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi cites the recent example of Kalyan resident Bilal Shaikh whom the police slapped with the non-bailable, cognisable Section 333 after he had a spat with traffic constables for jumping a signal. Assaulted brutally for "arguing" with the cops, Shaikh suffered a fracture to his right arm, was arrested and cooled his heels in prison for eight days while the four cops got bail on the same day since their offence, according to the FIR, was non-cognisable. "This shows the clear bias of the police against Muslim offenders," alleges Hashmi. The TISS report says that most Muslims echo these sentiments: "They view the police as an unjust system using unfair methods in the performance of their duties."
Muhyiddin today accused PR and Bersih of perpetrating “psychological warfare” to swing voter support away from BN. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — The next general election is the most crucial for Barisan Nasional (BN), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today to galvanise the ruling coalition’s rank and file ahead of national polls.
“The upcoming general election is life or death. It’s the rise or fall of BN all over the country,” the deputy prime minister told a stadium here packed with BN supporters gearing up for the 13th national polls that must be called by April next year.
“Every constituency is important,” stressed Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman.
BN has been stepping up efforts to claw back voter support after losing its traditional two-thirds majority in Election 2008.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who leads the BN bloc, is in Sarawak today for the Gawai festival to appeal to the diverse ethnic Bumiputera population there to continue their support for the 13-member ruling coalition.
The last election saw an unprecedented voter swing to the opposition parties, which led to PAS, DAP and PKR toppling BN from power in four states — economic powerhouses Selangor, Penang as well as Kedah and Perak while maintaining Kelantan.
The three parties formed the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact to rival BN shortly after the landmark elections four years ago.
The DAP has also made deeper inroads during the Sarawak election last year.
Muhyiddin today accused the opposition PR pact and electoral watchdog group, Bersih, of perpetrating “psychological warfare” to swing voter support away from BN.
Citing the recent Bersih 3.0 rally for electoral reforms, Muhyiddin said, “This is their way of conditioning people into thinking that if BN wins the election, then the process was not clean and fair.”
“That is why they hold demonstrations, they hope to rally like the Arab Spring and overthrow the government,” he said.
Muhyiddin repeated the Najib administration’s stand that it had addressed seven of the eight demands by Bersih and said he was perplexed ”why they had to hold a Bersih 3.0 rally” referring to the April 28 gathering which resulted in widespread chaos in the national capital despite peaceful assemblies elsewhere around the country.
“The government and the EC (Election Commission) have been working to clean the electoral roll. The EC is now looking into the last demand — overseas voting,” he said.
Muhyiddin said there is no need for demonstrations “like those overseas” as Malaysia is fairing well economically and there is “full employment in the country”.
Economists have warned that Malaysia’s economic growth may slow due to China’s cooling economy and the Euro-debt crisis.
“Many countries hold demonstrations because they do not have enough food and income. This unseen in Malaysia,” he said.
He ended by asserting BN still is confident of a win in the polls.
Post GE, the establishment will be decidedly Malay and the opposition Chinese-dominated. So it is the third wheel – the Indians – now facing the crossroad.
Indraf is not only a poor copycat of Hindraf but caterwauling that insofar as counterfeits go, it ‘purr’fectly reflects the hypocrisy of its backyard breeder Pakatan Rakyat.
Detractors of Hindraf have labeled the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) as “racist”. But to this same
bunch of people, its imitator Indian Rights Action Front (Indraf) is somehow not racist. Quite amazing what the circumcision of a single alphabet ‘h’ can do.
While on one hand the Indraf camouflage may convince ‘colour blind’ Malaysian Firsters, on the other hand Hindraf would be correct to anticipate the demise of its latest clone in short order. Just like the other breakaway factions such as Parti Makkal Sakti whose president RS Thanenthiran today carries a Datuk title.
P Uthayakumar must have felt vindicated last Sunday to see the Pakatan motley crew, who call themselves Indraf (‘little Hindraf’?), holding their little gathering in a little hall in Little India.
Uthaya has been machine-gunned at regular intervals by the Pakatan militia – the online mob characterized as “stormtroopers” by Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim in his Star interview (May 30). The most recent hail of bullets followed Uthaya’s decision to stand in Selangor the coming polls.
In the course of the DAP vice chairman’s spectacular exit, he fell victim to the “populism and fanaticism” of the party and its cadres, wrote Sin Chew Daily deputy chief news editor Tay Tian Yan.
Uthaya makes the same complaint with regard to the burst of gunfire that greeted the announcement of his candidacy. We live in a democracy, he says, yet the opposition supporters will not allow him to stand for election.
With Tunku Aziz’s departure, DAP has no Malay leaders left with any heft. Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Zairil Khir Johari is seen by the Malays as being more of a Chinese while Ariff Sabri Aziz (Sakmongkol) and Aspan Alias are Umno murtads.
The inability of DAP to gain traction with the Malay electorate, coupled with the likely general election (GE) outcome where PKR is expected to suffer a reversal of fortune and PAS to backslide, will make a two-race political system inevitable in the aftermath of GE 13.
PKR does not have strong grassroots support. In GE 2008, the party only won 40 state seats nationwide compared to PAS’s 83 seats and DAP’s 73. PKR’s dismal showing in the Sarawak 2011 state election bolsters this reading.
In 2008, PAS more than doubled its 2004 GE haul of 36 state seats – the gains coming mostly at the expense of Umno. Hence if Umno makes a successful comeback, what it recoups will be the seats lost to PAS earlier.
Simply put: If Umno recovers, PAS weakens, and vice versa, because their sphere of influence is in direct competition. This formula is identical to the MCA-DAP inverse correlation.
Post GE, the establishment will be decidedly Malay and the opposition Chinese-dominated. So it is the third wheel – the Indians – now facing the crossroad.
Siding with Malay or Chinese?
The Chinese-Malay dichotomy is illustrated in Perak where the state government is made up of 31 assemblymen of which 29 are Malay (27 Umno and two independents). The sole Chinese representative is the MCA Chenderiang Adun and the sole Indian is the ‘BN-friendly’ Malim Nawar Adun, formerly of DAP.
Meanwhile, the opposition has 28 Adun, out of whom 17 are Chinese.
Looking into the future, the Indians will necessarily have to pick sides and their choice will boil down to siding either with the Malays or the Chinese, the latter dominated politically by Christian Anglophiles.
Uthaya notes that according to the 2008 electoral roll, Sabah had 802,683 voters spread over 25 Parliament and 60 state seats. Thus Sabahans possess a strong legislative voice.
There were 715,099 registered Indian voters throughout the country but zero Indian-majority Parliament and state seats. To Uthaya, this result of gerrymandering and mal-apportionment rendered the Indians voiceless.
Because Indian candidates in any constituency would have to depend on Malays and Chinese to obtain votes, they pander to Malays and Chinese at the expense of the Indian minority.
Politicians such Subang’s R Sivarasa – who admits to not speaking proper Tamil and never holding himself out as an ‘Indian leader’ but rather a Malaysian leader “for all” – does not equate Indian representation. The word ‘Indian representative’ describes ethnicity; ‘Indian representation’ describes safeguarding Indian community interests.
One example of mal-apportionment is the Putrajaya parliamentary seat which had 6,608 voters (94.6% Malay) according to the 2008 electoral roll. It’s got fewer voters than a state seat.
In fact, the largest parliamentary constituency Kapar has 112,224 voters, i.e. 17 times more than Putrajaya. In other words, Kapar can be carved up to have 17 MPs, or at least to make an Indian-majority seat. (The sitting MP is S. Manikavasagam of PKR.)
Uthaya’s further analysis found that about 70% of the Malaysian-Indian population resides in the five states (inclusive of Perak) won by Pakatan in GE12.
Abacus on Indian calculus
According to the Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2010, Indians make up 7.3% of the national population. However, Indians make up a higher percentage of inhabitants along the west coast. They comprise 10.4% of Penang’s 1.47 million Malaysian citizens, 12.3% of Perak’s 2.28 million and 13.5% of Selangor’s 5.04 million.
These numbers indicate that the Indian vote will have twice the impact in Selangor that it does overall in the country. This is the reason Uthaya selected the Kota Raja parliament (28.3%) and Seri Andalas state (32.3%) constituencies to contest, both of which have the highest percentage of Indians.
The Hindraf demography is clear-cut. Examining the list of 111 individuals charged in the Jalan Duta and Shah Alam courts for taking part in the 25 Nov 2007 rally, you find a number of them bearing the names Guna, Loga, Raja and Ravi. Interestingly, nine of them are called Ramesh.
None of the 111 Indian participants in the ‘illegal’ assembly (they pleaded guilty to the police charges) had names that resembled Charles Santiago or John Fernandez, to cite two Indian DAP Parliamentarians as examples.
The state seat of Seri Andalas lies within the parliamentary constituency of Kota Raja. So who are the 20,344 Indian voters in Kota Raja and the 12,814 in Seri Andalas?
Given the number of Hindu temples in these areas, it is logical to infer that the Indian voters belong to the Hindraf demography of Raju a/l Kuppusamy rather than the ‘Saints Xavier’ who form the bulk of the Pakatan Indian cheerleaders.
The Raju, Ravi and Ramesh cohorts in semi-rural Kota Raja are more liable to be persuaded by the Tamil-speaking Hindraf or MIC election canvassers than they are by the “English is my mother tongue” armchair critics … quite useless, by the way, for you to be ranting and name-calling in cyberspace as you change nothing on the ground.
Earth has moved
What are the chances for BN and Pakatan in the two seats Uthaya is eyeing?
The BN power-sharing convention dictates that Kota Raja will be given to MIC.
The party’s S Vigneswaran collected 24,376 votes to Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud’s 8,239 votes and winning in 2004 with a comfortable majority of 16,137. However PAS’s Dr Siti Mariah turned the tables in 2008 to breast the tape by a sizeable margin too.
Hindraf credits these unprecedented wins by PAS and PKR – in areas that the two Malay-majority parties had never prevailed before – to the Indian vote swing. It estimates that BN’s share of the Indian vote shrunk massively in 2008, down from 72.4% in 2004 to 8.3%.
Uthaya highlights Ipoh Barat won by DAP’s M. Kulasegaran to illustrate how Pakatan benefitted from the phenomenon. In 2004, Kula defeated a MCA candidate by 598 votes. The 2008 turnaround saw Kula winning on a majority of 15,534.
It is thanks to Hindraf that Indian votes dropped into Pakatan laps.
Umno is confident that they will be able to regain the two seats. Some days ago, FMT reported the former assemblyman for Sri Muda (a state constituency under Kota Raja) as saying that Dr Siti Mariah is keener on the environment and human rights. These are not issues that resonate with her constituents who are more concerned with the condition of the drains and roads, said the Umno man.
Aside from mismatched priorities, the ground has shifted not only metaphorically but in a literal sense as Kota Raja has reportedly experienced a surge of new voters.
New bottling, that’s all
DAP’s tagline is ‘Jom Ubah’ while that of PKR is ‘Reformasi’. Uthaya is recommending that “not voting is an option”.
His recurrent criticism of the MIC had been that the interests of the Indian working class, including those dislocated by the fragmentation of the estates, were compromised by the MIC “mandores”.
But he sees the opposition parties to be no different. “The current two coalitions really do not represent the poor and the marginalized. That is why they have similar policies and methods in spite of their avowed differences,” says Uthaya.
He observes that while the Indians had placed a lot of hope in Pakatan, “much to their disappointment what they got was merely more of the same – old wine, just new bottle”.
He gives examples of the demolishment of the Sri Muneswarar temple in Kubang Pasu, Kedah and the Sri Maha Kaliaman temple in Jalan Ulu Langat, Ampang as well as the eviction of the Sri Batrakali Amman temple in Penang as examples of the Pakatan state governments behaving no differently from BN.
Since the Nov 25 Hindraf rally, Umno seems to have stopped demolishing Hindu temples but it is now Pakatan doing so, exclaims Uthaya.
Whether or not Umno has genuinely learned to be more considerate, it is for sure that Pakatan has very quickly become arrogant.
Assessing Umno’s strength
Umno was never weak in 2008, the BN setback notwithstanding. In Penang, the party had held 14 seats in 2004 and lost only three of them in 2008. Thus Umno, in retaining its 11 seats out of 14, scored marks of 78.6% and meriting a B+ grade.
In Perak 2008, Umno similarly turned out a B+ performance in successfully defending 27 out of its 34 seats – a success rate of 79.4%.
It was only in Selangor that Umno faltered and that was largely due to the taint of Mohd Khir Toyo and internal dissent by the state civil service due to the menteri besar’s high-handedness. By GE13, Khir as an irritant will have been removed.
Umno has closed ranks under its popular president Najib Tun Razak who has been diligently working the Malay ground, as has his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, in addition to their wooing the Indians by attending Thaipusam, Ponggal and other Indian celebrations.
Comparatively, Hindraf has been treated most shoddily by Pakatan. The callousness shown by the federal opposition is hardly surprising given Uthaya’s no-holds-barred critiques of their mendacity.
Even when the supplicant asks ‘nicely’ – such as Parti Sosialis Malaysia in appealing Jelapang for its deputy chairman M Saraswathy to contest – still, PSM was flatly told off by Perak DAP whose Hee Yit Foong won the seat.
There was no gratitude from Pakatan in return for PSM’s pivotal role in making a success of Bersih 2.0, or any spirit of give and take.
If Pakatan refused to make way in even one state seat (one that DAP technically no longer holds after Hee’s defection) to accommodate a supportive ally, it is thus no surprise that Hindraf has been given the cold shoulder.
Face it, we’re communal
Uthaya sees Hindraf’s achievement as taking pressing Indian issues to the national level through the Nov 25, 2007 mammoth mobilization. He attributes the lack of a similar mass appeal among earlier Indian activists to their predilection of “playing to the majoritarian gallery”.
He says “they do not want to risk being labeled as an Indian or Hindu communalist, racist, extremist, what more terrorist as the Hindraf lawyers have been.”
For all the multiracial preening by Pakatan, the reality of Malaysian life is indeed race-laced.
In his exclusive interview with FMT on May 28, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek revealed that both his party and Umno had carried out separate surveys which indicated that “At the end of the day, [Malaysian youngsters still] turned back into their own ethnic cocoons”.
Needless to say, the FMT article on Dr Chua was greeted with an avalanche of ‘Angry’ thumbs down by syok sendiri readers who are in denial.
Unlike Pakatan’s deceitful dream pedlars, Hindraf are realists.
Let the GE13 chips fall where they may, the real battle for Hindraf begins at GE14 after the Chinese have politically isolated themselves in their last redoubt of the Penang island.
Uthaya maps out a political empowerment plan as the way forward for the Indian poor but it is a long-term strategy. It is not the instant gratification of pounding ‘A-B-U, A-B-U!’ on the keyboard only to lepas geram.
Hindraf sees its path ahead clearly without delusions and Uthaya’s warm-up run is a stepping stone. The real question for the Indians is who they will chose to walk with – the Malaysian Firsters or the Malay?
There are many fold problems facing the Indian community and no substantial economic progress percolated to the poorer sections of the community.
By R Kengadharan
Is it true that the fate of Malaysian Indians lies in the hands of Pakatan Rakyat? The most infamous statement ‘you help me I help you’ appears more like a barter trade. Neither the community require a wishlist.
What we require is a comprehensive plan placing the community into mainstream economic development and social progress, acquiring the competitive edge and the ability to face present and future daunting challenges.
Pakatan Rakyat no doubt is working extremely hard in this direction with limited resources. For instance ‘Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor’ is a reflection of their sincerity.
Having said that the Indian community in general must stop bickering and must learn to change with the times. We must avoid fragmentation and division at all cost and we as a community must do what is right and no one individual should be excluded in this exercise.
Any shortcomings must be rectified. Pakatan Rakyat can only deliver and meet the needs and expectations of the community satisfactorily if it changes with the times.
Political parties regardless of their political beliefs must stop hoodwinking the Indian community. They must never pursue purported Indian interest merely to gain political mileage and for their personal interest. It is time for the Indians to be focussed and carefully determine what they want and find ways to achieve it.
Malaysian Indians must never greet piecemeal announcements with thunderous applause. It is now ever more necessary for the Indian community to rehabilitate their thinking skills and make carefully well measured political assessments.
They must support any effort undertaken to genuinely defend the welfare of the community and the announcement of another cabinet post has given rise to contrary opinions.
There are many fold problems facing the Indian community and no substantial economic progress percolated to the poorer sections of the community. As a result a greater part of the community continues to remain impoverished and politically marginalised.
MIC failed the Indians
In the last 55 years the MIC has not been successful in protecting and fostering the Indian community at large. Factional struggle and disunity has been the greatest bane.
Fighting for power, politicking and mudslinging has been the order of the day. Disenchanted with the policies and the fate that has befallen the MIC the current younger generation is joining opposition parties like the DAP, PKR and PAS.
Fifty-five years were nothing but wasted years with the MIC. This is very tragic. There has been no significant community progress and upliftment during this period which resulted in colossal failures.
There is no doubt we are at the crossroads today, disenchanted and frustrated. There is now an urgent need to implement an affirmative action plan so as to salvage seriously the ailing Indian community.
Any such implementation of such affirmative plans must be vigorous. We no longer desire to be a disadvantaged community in Malaysia. We no longer want sympathy.
In this context let us remind ourselves what Dr Ambedkar the architect of the Indian constitution says ‘if a mother has 4 children, and 1 among them is handicapped, the handicapped child should be given greater care and attention’.
Note perfect equality in societies, where there are handicaps, will only perpetuate inequality.
In the last 55 years very strange public policies and political ideologies served to regulate and politicise identities in Malaysia. These deplorable policies and political ideologies must crumble and fall and Pakatan Rakyat must be responsible for it.
Pakatan must take the lead
Malaysian Indians are no longer in favour of ethnic based affirmative action initiatives. We must never forget the present overt and covert forms of racial and religious politics have occurred purely at the expense of the minority communities which have undermined national cohesion.
To this date ethnic interactions has remained largely superficial. We therefore invite Pakatan Rakyat to demonstrate and avoid the politicization of religion and essentialism of ethnicity and genuinely encourage community interaction with one another as social equals.
There is an urgent need to forge a stronger national identity that transcends ethnicity and religion. In this context we urge Pakatan Rakyat to announce affirmative action initiatives that would be more inclusive by targeting other minorities like the Indian community.
There is a need to divorce from communal style politics which will certainly post a major challenge and such a radical restructuring of those public policies would no doubt require a major overhaul in thinking.
Finally, the test of whether a society is truly democratic and equitable is the way in which minorities and other vulnerable members in the communities are treated.
R Kengadharan is an ex-ISA detainee, practising lawyer and a senior advisor to the Malaysian Indian Voice.
One factor driving Chinese voters from the ruling coalition is they now have a viable alternative following the opposition alliance's unprecedented takeover of five state governments in 2008.
By Stuart Grudgings and Siva Sithraputhran
KUALA LUMPUR: Ethnic Chinese voters, upset over policies that favor majority Malays, have become increasingly alienated from Malaysia’s ruling coalition, raising the risk of racial polarization and a slowdown in the pace of reforms.
Support for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak among Chinese voters plunged to 37 percent in May from 56 percent in February, a survey by the independent Merdeka Center showed on Friday. It found 56 percent of Chinese were dissatisfied with the government, compared to 30 percent of Indians and 23 percent of Malays.
Recent state and by-elections underline the trend. The main Chinese party allied with the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in eastern Sarawak state lost 13 of 19 seats it contested in local elections last year and the opposition won a by-election in the same state in 2010 largely thanks to Chinese backing.
The Southeast Asian nation’s 6.5 million ethnic Chinese turned heavily to the opposition in 2008 polls, handing the National Front, which has ruled uninterrupted since independence from Britain in 1957, its worst election showing.
Malaysia has seen ethnic Chinese voting with their feet, leaving the country for better prospects aboard including to neighbour and rival Singapore, in a troubling brain drain of talent and capital. “Malaysia needs talent to meet its goal of becoming a high-income country,” the World Bank noted in a report last year. “But the problem is that talent is leaving.”
With elections likely later this year, the government has failed to reverse the tide with voters such as Jack Gan, who complains he had to study much harder than his ethnic Malay peers to get into one of the country’s top universities.
“I’m used to the lifestyle here but I don’t like the government and the policies,” said the 24-year-old law student, referring to decades-old affirmative action policies that favor Malays in education, business and employment.
Government efforts to appeal to minority Chinese and Indians were “just propaganda, not a policy,” he added.
Chinese disillusionment is straining relations within the ruling coalition, complicating Najib’s efforts to reverse the shocking losses four years ago. Najib has rolled back some repressive security laws in an effort to appeal to middle-class, urban voters but his reforms have not gone far enough for many Chinese.
The main ethnic Chinese party in the ruling coalition, whose parliamentary seats were halved to 15 in 2008, says it won’t accept any cabinet posts if it does worse this time, raising the prospect of a government dominated by ethnic Malays.
The trend risks deepening racial fault lines if, as some analysts expect, the lead party in the coalition, the Umno effectively “gives up” on the Chinese vote and focuses on championing Malay rights to secure support in rural areas.
Some analysts think Chinese voters could be shooting themselves in the foot if a weak showing by Najib in the election hands power back to right-wingers within Umno and puts the brakes on his reform program. The three-party opposition alliance is seen as unlikely to win enough seats to form a government.
“The concern I have is that it is going to be a coalition of one (party) plus a few others who are not as strong as they are,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the head of Malaysia’s Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “It’s going to be a very imbalanced mix in the new coalition that will be formed.”
The prime minister is stuck on the horns of a Malaysian dilemma: He has promised to reform the 40-year-old affirmative action program for majority Malays that has long upset Malaysia’s minorities; yet to do that he needs Chinese electoral support to strengthen his hand against Malay chauvinists in his party.
Middle income trap
In the past, the BN could rely on sizeable support from the Chinese community, who control most of the country’s wealth despite making up only about a quarter of Malaysia’s 28 million people. But that support – forged through cozy business ties and strong government support for a separate, Mandarin language school system – has frayed in recent years as Chinese frustration with slow progress on reform has grown.
Malaysia’s Chinese, many of whose ancestors came to the country in British colonial times, increasingly lead separate lives from Malays, attending separate schools, speaking Mandarin and socializing with friends from the same race.
“We are not integrated, sadly, and I think it’s going to take a long time before we can integrate because economically we are compartmentalized,” said Razaleigh Hamzah, a long-serving Umno member of parliament and former finance minister.
The Chinese account for many of an estimated one million people who emigrate annually, a “brain drain” driven by a lack of education and job prospects that is eroding Malaysia’s competitiveness.
Malaysia had been among the best performing economies in the world over the past 50 years under the BN , which transformed a poor, colonial plantation economy into a modern, middle-income country. Per capita GDP has reached $8,100, almost doubling each decade.
But economists now warn Malaysia has fallen into a “middle-income trap”, in which a country is unable to make the next leap to developed nation status — Malaysia’s stated goal by 2020.
Domestic investment has struggled to recover since the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis. Foreign investment, which powered the earlier decades of growth, has stagnated. And the affirmative action policies, aimed at helping Malays better compete in the economy through educational and ownership quotas, have become an impediment to growth by not fully exploiting the human resource potential of the Indian and Chinese minorities.
Critics say the privileges, which include requiring companies to employ at least 30 percent Malays, have also scared off some foreign investors who think it represents too much government interference in the economy.
Najib has tried to unite the country with a highly touted program called “1Malaysia”. His efforts, however, have often been undercut by his own party, whose conservative wing has dug in its heels over protecting Malay privileges.
The government says it has reached out to Chinese under Najib, increasing funding for Mandarin schools and for lower-to-middle income Chinese communities.
“The government is continuing to implement measures under the transformation agenda and all Malaysians – including the Chinese community – stand to benefit,” a government spokesperson said.
Nevertheless, the MCA, the main Chinese party in the coalition, could see its seats slashed again in the coming election as it pays the price for corruption scandals in the ruling coalition and perceptions it has failed to defend Chinese interests, analysts say.
Penang pull factor
One factor driving Chinese voters from the ruling coalition is they now have a viable alternative following the opposition alliance’s unprecedented takeover of five state governments in 2008, including the northwestern coastal state of Penang, one of Malaysia’s biggest manufacturing hubs.
“A major pull factor is that the DAP is a much stronger party now – it is able to capture the imagination of Chinese voters,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming, referring to the Democratic Action Party, the opposition’s ethnic Chinese party.
Penang’s Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is a veteran of Malaysia’s hardball politics: He spent 18 months in detention from 1986 under the draconian Internal Security Act (which Najib had repealed) and a year in prison for sedition for making allegations against an Umno state leader.
He is credited with cutting debt and attracting a flood of high-tech investments into Penang. Ethnic Malay businesses still get the lion’s share of state contracts, Lim says, but his move to make all public tenders open through a computerized system has cut down on the cronyism that annoys Malaysians of all races.
“We have broken the myth that Malay contractors cannot compete on the open market,” said the 51-year-old Lim, whose father Lim Kit Siang has been a party leader since its beginnings in the 1960s. “It goes to show that Malay contractors can compete. It is only Umno cronies who cannot compete,” Lim told Reuters.
After taking over in 2009, Najib signaled he would take a bolder approach on dismantling affirmative action. In 2010 he introduced the “New Economic Model”, with poverty and income, not race, as the main criteria for getting help, and calling for less government interference in the economy. But so far the model has been short on policy implementation with little change to the core privileges that often benefit well-connected Malays more than the poor and have been blamed for fuelling cronyism.
Najib’s defenders say he is hoping a strong electoral mandate will strengthen the reformist wing of Umno — but he will need Chinese support to make that case.
MCA leader Dr Chua Soi Lek acknowledged the party leadership had been too “low profile.” But he told Reuters Chinese voters risked losing influence over policy and ushering in a less business-friendly government if they turned their backs on his party.
“The message to the Chinese community is to choose wisely. We are a business community. The wrong choice of government and everybody suffers but it will affect the business community … more than everybody else.”
Hindraf also called on the Perak government to give more land to and gazette all Hindu cemeteries and crematoriums in the state.
IPOH: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has demanded the Perak government to issue immediate directive to all local authorities to execute their statutory duty to maintain and upgrade all Hindu cemeteries and crematoriums in the state.
In a memorandum submitted to Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir last week, Hindraf noted that city, municipal and rural councils were all legally required to do so under Section 94 of the Local Government 1976.
Since the local authorities come under the state government, the memorandum called on the MB office to issue the directive.
The memorandum rapped the Perak government for unlawfully passing on the legal duty of local authorities to maintain Hindu burial grounds to MIC, Hindu organisations and temples.
The memorandum slammed the local authorities for abandoning their legal duties to Hindu ratepayers over the years.
“For decades, the authorities have neglected and shirked their statutory responsibility to upkeep Hindu cemeteries and crematoriums.
“Hindus need not beg for funds every time to carry out maintenance and upgrading for their burial grounds.
“By right, the local authorities should allot the funds automatically,” blasted Hindraf in the memorandum
signed by its Perak secretary J Vijayalingam.
Some 10 Hindraf activists led by the civil rights movement Perak coordinator P Ramesh submitted the memorandum at the MB’s office.
The memorandum stressed that it was time for the authorities to recommence their rightful duties to the people in line with the 1Malaysia motto of “People First, Performance Now,”
Hindraf called on the Perak government to lead the way for other states in maintaining and upgrading Hindu cemeteries and crematoriums in the country.
In the memorandum, Hindraf said Muslim cemeteries were well maintained by the state Islamic religious council via steady funds from the state government.
Comparatively, he said many Hindu cemeteries could not be well maintained, developed and beautified, at times looking like burial woods, mainly due to lack of funds.
Hindraf also called on the state government to give more land to and gazette all Hindu cemeteries and crematoriums in the state.
Modern crematoriums The memorandum noted that under Articles 8 and 11 of the Federal Constitution, all Malaysians were equal and shall be protected before the law and granted freedom to practice their own religious beliefs.
Hindraf also wants the state government to immediately build the promised two modern crematoriums in Buntong and Taiping Hindu cemeteries.
Menteri Besar’s special advisor on Indian affairs, S Veerasingam told FMT in April that a RM1.5 million crematorium will be built in Ipoh’s largest Hindu burial ground in Buntong.
The remaining RM500,000 will be used to build the Taiping cremation structure.
He said the fund was set aside under the state Budget 2012 and last January the state executive council has approved the project to be implemented by this year.
Hindraf reminded the state government not to use the projects as baits to fish Hindu votes in the next general election.
“We want the crematoriums to be constructed before the polls to safeguard the rights, interests and benefits of Hindus in Ipoh and Taiping.
“It should not be mere empty election promise,” stressed the memorandum.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 1, 2012 (IPS) - Despite a wave of reforms washing over the country, the Malaysian government- controlled media remains muzzled, mostly because ruling elites fear a free press will erode their iron grip on society.
All print, electronic and radio media are, in one form or another, controlled by the ruling National Front, which buttresses its hold with a repressive publication law that activists say should be repealed.
Online and social media and blogs, on the other hand, are thriving, as people reject mainstream news sources as biased mouthpieces of the regime.
As a result, the new government proposal to set up a Media Council, designed to monitor online and offline media and its practitioners, has run into stiff opposition.
There is deep suspicion that the proposed Council, over which the Attorney General has held several rounds of discussions with selected editors, would simply add another layer of control in an already heavily regulated industry, where the government is omnipresent and single-handedly directs the national news agenda.
"The proposed Media Council would only curtail media freedom further instead of liberating it," said Masjaliza Hamzah, executive director of the Centre for Independent Journalism.
"As long as the PPPA (the Printing Presses and Publications Act) is not repealed, journalism here will not be free or independent," she told a press forum here on Jun. 1
Prime Minister Najib Razak has proposed an amendment to the PPPA that will remove the Home Minister’s absolute authority to grant and withhold printing licenses, but only in return for the formation of the self-regulatory Media Council to oversee the industry.
Editors and leading journalist are wary of any such initiative coming from the government, which, they see as the primary threat to press freedom.
Though real social reforms have recently taken root – like the repeal of laws allowing for detention without trial, the arrest and jailing of political opponents and the banning of public protest – activists say only "cosmetic changes" to media laws have been introduced thus far.
The PPPA, first introduced to counter a communist insurgency, has, for years, required all newspapers and printing presses to obtain an annual publishing licence.
The law was revised in 1971, after the race riots of 1969, to ensure that ‘racial sensitivities’ would not be provoked by inflammatory reporting.
The government was handed sweeping powers to revoke licences of newspapers that were seen to be aggravating national sensitivities or publishing material considered ‘detrimental to national development goals’.
The Act was amended in 1984 to grant more power to the government to seize or revoke printing press or publication licences at will.
In its current form today, the law gives the Home Minister absolute authority to grant and refuse licences. The amended Act not only regulates the press and local publications, but also books, pamphlets and the import of publications from abroad.
The possible reasons for a ban are extensive but vaguely defined, covering any publication going against so-called ‘national interests’.
Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) professor Ahmad Murad Merican said a Media Council to regulate the industry is a good idea, but it should not have been initiated by the government.
"It is best if the idea comes from the press fraternity and not the government," said Ahmad Murad, a senior lecturer in communications.
It should be established as a statutory body through a Private Members Bill and funded by Parliament; furthermore the PPPA should be repealed, he said.
He added such a council should be led by a retired judge and should consist of eminent members of society who are also independent of the authorities.
The idea for the Media Council was first mooted in the 1970s but had always been rejected by industry players who saw it as a government initiative to further choke press freedom.
Malaysiakini, a successful online news website with a large following, has already opened a court case to force the government to issue a publishing licence for a newspaper that it intends to publish.
Members of the political opposition and the election monitoring group Bersih also want equal access to media in the run-up to general elections, that many expect to take place at the end of the year.
In a last desperate attempt to expose the extent of government suppression of the media here, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim pointed out that even the repressive regime in Myanmar allowed democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi equal access to address the country on national television.
"Why not in Malaysia?" he asked. "We less claim we are less repressive but we don’t allow equal access," he said.
Gobind Rudra, a correspondent with the news website Free Malaysia Today, declared on May 29 that the embryonic idea for the Media Council is actually a government plan to restrict press freedom.
"A new regime of media control is taking shape and journalists are being co-opted into this process by being part of the government’s consultations…on how to control, whom to control, and (whom) to punish," he said.
HUB OF DISCOURSE: Will the Internet make as big an impact in the next general election as it did the last time? Arman Ahmad speaks to three experts
However, Azizuddin said: "Traditional media still has a significant impact in influencing people's voting trend in the general election, especially for rural folk who have less access to the new media."
Arman Ahmad, New Straits Times
AS the 13th general election draws closer, the battle for the hearts and minds of voters is heating up. The ruling party and opposition blogs and websites are abuzz with activity, working hard at spreading their ideas.
The Internet is widely credited for the opposition's gains during the last general election. This time around, however, both sides seem equally matched in terms of online presence.
But how far will the Internet affect the outcome of the next election?
Experts said what people saw and read on the Internet would influence their opinions. However, they added, people would still vote based on other factors.
"People don't vote based on what they read on the Internet," said Julian Hopkins, communications lecturer at Monash University. Instead, he said, people voted based on what they experienced in life.
The election results will be mostly influenced by what people think about the government, and the direction the country is going.
Issues about corruption, inequality and trust in the government are determining factors.
People vote, firstly, based on what they experience, and secondly, on what they read.
However, Hopkins said, the Internet could reinforce voters' perception formed from experiences.
"The Internet may help amplify their feelings."
This sentiment was echoed by Dr Abubakar Eby Hara, senior lecturer at the School of International Studies, College of Law, Government and International studies, at Universiti Utara Malaysia.
He said the Internet was not a game- changer in politics.
"It is only a medium to promote change or maintain the status quo."
Hopkins said this time around, blogs would be less influential as social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, had become more prominent.
"People see their friends talk about the same issue, for example, (the) Bersih (gathering).
"People will link videos (of the event) to their friends. They talk there and they can see other people's opinions.
"They have an information source and discussion there."
These sites have become the hub of social discourse and opinion, and are powerful mediums for change.
"By referring to the Arab Spring, the Internet has transformed people's perceptions and opinions quickly," said Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, dean of International Studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia.
"It is the same all over the world. The Internet is trendy; cheap, sometimes free; available; and easy to access.
"Actually, the technology of smartphones has transformed global society. Access to information becomes crucial and easy.
"(French philosopher) Michel Foucault says knowledge is power. For me, information is power, nowadays."
He said the Internet was becoming a tool for democratisation.
"Everywhere, including China, the Internet is seen as the tool for democratisation, even though the reality is that it can also create anarchy and can be dangerous for national security if a state depends too much on information technology."
Today, politicians are more Internet savvy than ever before, and the Internet has become a prerequisite for many aspiring politicians to reach their audience.
Azizuddin said United States President Barack Obama was the best example of a leader who engaged people via the Internet.
"In fact, he garnered support and funds via the Internet for his 2008 election. The same approach was taken by the Malaysian opposition to reach out to youths and urbanites during the last general election."
Closer to home, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has a strong online presence as well.
Abubakar said Najib had became more liked because of his online presence, and his efforts to engage people via Twitter and Facebook had shown results.
"It is a good effort to inform people about his programmes and I think it is effective and he is popular."
Azizuddin said it would be great if Najib could have an online debate with his supporters and critics, similar to US presidential debates.
Hopkins said under Najib's leadership, the government had tried to increase its voice online through direct and indirect means.
The New Media Unit of Umno Youth said it had trained more than 1,800 people in the use of social media.
However, Hopkins said they should not overestimate results.
However, Azizuddin said: "Traditional media still has a significant impact in influencing people's voting trend in the general election, especially for rural folk who have less access to the new media."
He added that traditional media would survive and would continue to be the source of information for people.
He said traditional or mainstream media should adopt a new approach in terms of reporting and editing to stay relevant.
"The issue is about credibility. Malaysians now are mature and intelligent enough to analyse news."
The plus point for new media, he said, was that news on the Internet was convenient and easy to access.
"It is not so much about balanced news reporting but also about access to a variety of news and information.
"The Internet or new media has opened the public sphere for people to get, spread and debate the information.
"All this information will influence their decision on which party they will vote, for instance."
Abubakar said while the traditional media was important, it had become less important in the face of news that could be obtained via the Internet.
He said people also used the Internet to compare news.
Hopkins said what was most important was that people should get unbiased stories from both sides and decide for themselves.
Abubakar said people often said Malaysians were immature and did not understand (what was in their best interest).
"That is just a way to dismiss expectations.
"Malaysians are just as able as anyone else to understand what is in their best interest."
"They have very high online presence on Facebook and Twitter. They are educated and have good access to the Internet."
3 JUN — Dr Mahathir menyalahkan Pak Lah lagi. “sendiri punya salah, dia salahkan orang lain pulak” kata beberapa orang yang berhubung dengan saya dan orang-orang yang berhubung dengan saya itu adalah dikalangan yang hadir semasa perjumpaan dengan Dr Mahathir di Johor dulu semalam. Sebagaimana yang saya dan ramai yang lain berkata, Dr Mahathir dihujung-hujung hayatnya asyik menyalahkan orang lain terutamanya Pak Lah diatas segala kelemahan BN dan Umno Baru itu.
Beliau tidak pernah membuat salah dan segala yang baik itu adalah dibuat oleh Dr Mahathir dan semua yang buruk itu adalah kesilapan dan kesalahan orang lain. ‘Yang baik itu semuanya datang dari Mahathir dan yang buruk itu adalah diatas kelemahan orang lain terutamanya Pak Lah. Mahathir seolah-olah ada benda yang hendak beliau bersihkan dari diri beliau sehinggakan Pak Lah tidak terlepas dari bibir dan ingatan beliau. Disebaliknya Pak Lah yang tahu apa yang Mahathir lakukan terhadap segala sistem kerajaan, tidak berkata apa-apa dan berdiam diri sahaja. Itulah perbezaan di antara kedua-dua bekas pemimpin negara kita itu.
Mahathir sentiasa mencari alasan untuk mengalihkan kesalahan besar beliau terhadap negara kepada orang lain tetapi satu perkara yang kita mesti ingat yang sejarah akan menghakimkan Dr Mahathir Mohamad ini dari rasuah dan salahguna kuasa. Segala kata-kata dan tindakan beliau tercatat di dalam buku nota sejarawan dan akan sampai masanya ia akan tertulis dalam sebuah buku sejarah khas untuk beliau suatu ketika nanti.
Bak kata perpatah, ‘masakan bangkai gajah boleh ditutupi dengan nyiru’. Suatu ketika nanti akan terbongkar juga. Saya tidak mempertahankan Pak Lah, tetapi kita mesti berlaku adil terhadap beliau kerana beliau yang lemah itu dilantik oleh Mahathir juga. Beliau sebagai orang yang saya kenali, tidak pernah tergila-gila hendak menjadi PM walaupun pun beliau mengharapkan untuk mendapatkan kedudukan itu.
Mahathir sendiri yang telah mewariskan pimpinan negara yang mana semua sistem pentadbiran demokrasi telah diruntuh dan dikorbankan oleh beliau (Mahathir). Semasa Pak Lah mengambil tempat beliau, segala institusi dalam negara kita telah dibinasakan oleh Mahathir. Kehakiman, perundangan, polis, institusi raja-raja dan banyak yang lain sudah diranapkan oleh Mahathir. Beliau tahu yang Pak Lah tidak mampu untuk membetulkan keruntuhan yang telah beliau (Mahathir) lakukan tetapi beliau mahukan juga Pak Lah untuk mewarisi kepimpinan dari beliau.
Jika Mahathir teruskan memegang jawatan itu sehingga sekarang, beliau sendiri akan menghadapi krisis keyakinan ini seperti yang dihadapi oleh Pak Lah dan Najib sekarang ini. Tetapi oleh kerana Mahathir bersara tepat pada masa masalah yang beliau wujudkan itu hampir terlambak, maka lambakkan masalah-masalah itu terpaksa dipikul oleh semua pewaris kepada kepimpinannya dan yang terawal mewarisi keruntuhan semua sistem ini adalah Pak Lah.
Lain-lain perkataan keruntuhan moral demokrasi dan tatacara kepimpinan negara telah dilakukan oleh Mahathir dan masalah-masalah yang kita lihat sekarang tidak akan dapat diperbetulkan lagi oleh pemimpin-pemimpin yang telah terbentuk dengan acuan Dr Mahathir itu.
Sesiapa pun boleh menyangkal pendapat saya ini, tetapi saya memilih untuk tidak menghiraukannya kerana ia adalah kebenaran dan Umno Baru tidak mungkin mampu memberikan penyelesaiannya sampai bila-bila. Manusia yang boleh menyelesaikannya ialah pemimpin yang tidak berada atau terbentuk dalam satu acuan dengan Mahathir.
Semua yang berada didalam barisan kepimpinan hari ini adalah dari acuan yang sama dan tidak ada seorang pun dikalangan ahli-ahli Jemaah Kabinet dan MT Umno Baru akan berjaya melakukan pembaharuan dalam politik negara kita. Mahathirlah yang perlu dipersalahkan kerana acuan kepimpinan hari ini adalah acuan beliau sendiri.
Mungkin Pak Lah adalah orang yang ‘responsible’ terhadap kelemahan BN pada hari ini dalam skala yang kecil, tetapi yang mesti mengambil ‘accountability’ sepenuhnya ialah Dr Mahathir sendiri yang suatu ketika dahulu dijunjung sebagai pemimpin yang mengalihkan paradigma kepimpinan negara dan kerajaan. Sekarang segala paradigma-paradigma itu telah banyak menyebabkan kerosakkan dari kebaikan.
Menyalahkan segala-gala kesalahan kepada Pak Lah seorang merupakan satu tindakan yang sangat tidak berhati perut. Hanya dendam kesumat sahaja yang boleh menyalahkan Pak Lah seratus peratus. Mahathir mesti faham yang rakyat khususnya yang berminat untuk menulis sejarah akan menulis segala apa yang dilakukan oleh Dr Mahathir itu. Memoir Mahathir yang ditulisnya itu tidak akan lengkap sampai bila-bila selagi beberapa orang yang sebarisan dengan beliau tidak menulis memoir-memoir mereka masing-masing.
Segala sistem pemerintahan yang ada telah dipunahkan oleh Mahathir kerana beliau mahu mewujudkan sistem beliau sendiri. Sesiapa juga yang mengambilalih kepimpinan beliau akan ketiadaan sistem pemerintahan yang betul kerana kerajaan dan rakyat telah dibudayakan dengan sistem acuan peribadi beliau, bukannya sistem pentadbiran sebuah negara yang baik yang boleh digunapakai buat selama-lamanya.
Saya tidak dapat menerima yang kesalahan semuanya dilambakkan kepada Pak Lah semata-mata. Takkanlah wang rakyat sebanyak RM1.8 billion yang digunakan oleh Mirzan Mahathir untuk menyelamatkan perniagaannya pun kesalahan Pak Lah. Takkanlah pembuangan lima orang hakim mahkamah agung pada tahun 1998 dahulu kesalahan Pak Lah Badawi.
Membariskan pemimpin-pemimpin lemah yang gunanya untuk mengangguk dalam kabinet itu adalah kesalahan Mahathir. Pak Lah itu sendiri yang tidak sepatutnya berada didalam kabinet itu pun diambil oleh Mahathir juga dan itu yang dikehendaki oleh Mahathir. Apabila Pak Lah tidak mahu mengangguk kepadanya apabila mengambilalih kuasa, itulah kesalahan Pak Lah kepada Mahathir yang sebenarnya.
Mahathir sanggup meninggalkan parti kerana tidak sebulu dengan Pak Lah dan beriya-iya ingin melihat Umno Baru dan BN itu hancur dalam pilihanraya yang lalu. Apabila Pak Lah meninggalkan Putrajaya, Mahathir kembali kepada Umno Baru dan kembali bercakap tentang Umno dan menyalahkan semua orang di atas kelemahan Umno Baru itu.
Adalah tidak munasabah yang segala-gala kesalahan ditolak kepada Pak Lah seorang sedangkan Pak Lah itu hanya melakukan lebih kurang sama dengan apa yang Mahathir lakukan semasa memegang kuasa.
Jika Najib tercari-cari formula untuk melakukan perubahan kepada negara, beliau tidak akan jumpa formula yang terbaik selain dari semua kepimpinan yang terbentuk dengan acuan Dr Mahathir, termasuk beliau sendiri (Najib) tidak bersedia untuk berkorban dengan meletakkan jawatan dan memberikan tugas menyusun semula negara ini kepada sesiapa yang berpengalaman dan boleh mendapat sokongan dan rasa hormat dari semua kaum dan pemimpin-pemimpin mereka.
Selagi itu tidak dilakukan selagi itulah negara tidak akan mendapat sebuah kerajaan dan kepimpinan yang dihormati rakyat.
Jika dikaji betul-betul, itulah sebabnya rakyat sendiri yang mahu melakukan perubahan ini kerana terlalu lama tertunggu-tunggu perubahan sikap dan cara Umno Baru mentadbir negara.
Kepada pemimpin-pemimpin bahagian-bahagian di Johor yang mendengar kata-kata Dr Mahathir dulu semalam, boleh memilih untuk mendengar nasihat Mahathir itu. Anda semua tidak boleh mengikut jejak langkah Mahathir untuk menyalahkan Pak Lah semata-mata, kerana kesalahan yang besarnya datang dari Mahathir sendiri. Kalau benar Pak Lah yang bersalah ingat kepada satu perbilangan, ‘there must be a cause for a cause’. Tidak mungkin kesalahan Pak Lah tidak disebabkan oleh kesalahan Dr Mahathir. Ingat itu.
Sesungguhnya Dr Mahathir mempunyai banyak lubang-lubang yang belum beliau kambus lagi. Jika beliau dan penyokong-penyokongnya tidak mahu mengaku pun tak mengapa, asalkan beliau mengakuinya kepada diri beliau sendiri sudah memadai.
Orang lain tidak payah mendengar pengakuannya. Kita pun hendak juga menjaga air muka beliau itu. Mahathir tidak perlu takut dengan apa yang beliau telah lakukan kerana yang mengambilalih tidak akan berdendam seperti sikap yang ada kepada beliau itu. — aspanaliasnet.blogspot.com
government must explain the role of Terasasi (Hong Kong) Sdn Bhd that
has allegedly sold Malaysian state secrets to a French company in the
RM4 billion Scorpene deal, said Suaram.
"So far, the role of Terasasi has not been explained in the Malaysian Parliament.
Malaysian government must explain this and the role played by Abdul
Razak Baginda in this transaction (related to the Scorpene evaluation
papers)," said Suaram director Kua Kia Soong (right).
Razak and his father are directors of Terasasi, a company whose name
has surfaced in a French corruption investigation filed by Suaram
against Paris-based shipbuilder DCNS into its sale of two Scorpene
submarines to Malaysia.
Terasasi is alleged to have received 36 million euro
(RM142 million) from DCNS for among others, the ‘sale’ of a highly
confidential report comprising the Malaysian Navy's evaluation for the
order of the submarines.
Kua, in an email to Malaysiakini yesterday,
said this allegation is an "elephant in Parliament" that warrants a
full inquiry into such a "serious lapse in national security".
officials from the Defence Ministry and the navy’s top brass must also
be questioned in a full inquiry into this leak," he said, adding that
these top officers are the ones who would normally have access to the
Kua added that the possession of such
documents by a private company is in itself a serious offense under the
Official Secrets Act (OSA), and the allegation of selling it to foreign
companies could well earn the maximum penalty of life imprisonment if
He said that while many documents in Malaysia are
classified as secret under the OSA, military secrets would rank at the
top of the list, thus the heavy penalty.
"This is surely an
allegation that our MACC must also act on. So, if these allegations are
proven, the directors of Terasasi should be arrested not only for
treason but also for corruption," he said.
‘Evaluation a prized document’
evaluation document, he said, is highly sought after by arms dealers in
US, UK, Russia, France and Italy who may bid for it to "get into the
minds of the Malaysian military" to set their sales pitch accordingly.
recent example is the keen competition for the 126 jet fighters India
wanted between the British company Eurocopter's Typhoons and the
“In the end, the French won the deal to the great disappointment of the British.
you imagine the size of the deal? Now if Eurocopter had access to
Indian military secrets regarding their air defence thinking, they could
have set their sales pitch and prices differently," he said.
on the gravity of the allegation, Kua said the government had in the
past detained thousands of Malaysians including himself for being
"threats to national security" but has yet to lift a finger on the
alleged sale of military secrets to a foreign company.
payment made to Terasasi is said to be for "commercial engineering"
works in the Scorpene deal, but attempts to uncover the true nature of
the operations of the company - that an Asia Sentinel report had described as a “mysterious company” - by tracing it back to Hong Kong could not shed light on it.
the mystery surrounding Terasasi is that the government had in 2007
told Parliament that another company, Malaysian-based Perimekar, also
indirectly owned by Abdul Razak Baginda (above) - a close
associate of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak - had been granted a
six-year contract worth 114 million euro (RM450 million) for
"coordination services" in the Scorpene deal.
Abdul Razak Baginda
was in 2007 charged for abetting in the murder of Mongolian national
Altantuya Shaariibuu, believed to be an interpreter for the submarine
deal as she she was fluent in French.
However, he was cleared by the courts without having to call his defence and is now residing in UK.
police officers Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar from the force's
elite section Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) who also served as bodyguards to
then deputy prime minister and defense minister Najib were eventually
convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for Shaariibuu’s murder.
Update (3 June): Sarawak Report informs us that DJ Peter John
Jaban has now made contact with his colleagues at RFS. He called early
today and admitted to running away, because he feared he would be hurt
for his safety. The three people who whisked him away were people
familiar with him. 31 May: The abduction of Radio Free Sarawak presenter Peter John
Jaban raises serious concerns. Taken together with recent political
violence … are we descending into a state of lawlessness?
Does the Prime Minister know what he is talking about or just reading blindly from script prepared by his advisers? Does he mean what he says or is he conniving what is happening right in front of his eyes with his own dangerous speech?
This was what Najib said in his Umno Presidential Address at the UMNO General Assembly in 2010
“Walau berkecai tulang dan juga badan, walau bercerai jasad dari nyawa. Saudara dan saudari, walau apa pun yang gerjadi, Putrajaya mesti kita pertahankan!”
Translated and reported in major online news portal:
“Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya,”
And what he said over weekend as reported by The Malaysian Insider
The government will continue to act firmly without compromise to quash any threat bent on disrupting public order, said the prime minister.
“Although this might be despised by certain groups, including foreign powers, we will never bow to any pressure.
“We will take appropriate measures to ensure the rights of the majority to live peacefully will continue to be preserved,” said Datuk Seri Najib Razak
“The welfare and prosperity of the people is the highest goal of the government of the people and for the people, which was given the mandate to rule the country, and democratically-elected leaders.
“This means, we cannot afford to let the most important foundation of democracy, that is, the superiority of majority, be destroyed by those who want to uphold the misplaced law of the jungle by thinking that the loudest, most cunning and most violent as the most capable and truthful."
So will Najib uphold the wishes of the majority if Pakatan wins GE-13
A very confused PM, is he not? Or has he just woke up from slumber.?
Will he be calling upon the Home Minister and PDRM and without compromise to squash his own threat of 'crushed bodies, lives lost to defend Putrajaya?
Will he be calling upon the Home Minister and PDRM to take immediate action against the spate of gangsterism, hooliganism and attacks on the opposition, NGOs and individuals?
Is he now saying that he will hand over power peacefully to Pakatan Rakyat should the MAJORITY voted in favor of PR forming the next government?
Is PM the kind of leader who will honor his own words? We will have to wait and see what action he is taking against the gangsterism and hooliganism acts that are disrupting public order on a daily basis!
Did he said something about DEMOCRACY? Talk is cheap Mr Prime Minister, we want to see it put into action!