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Friday, June 15, 2012

German police launch major crackdown on Salafist Muslims

Germany salafist 2012 5 11
Salafist supporters pray as they counter-protest against a demonstration by right-wing pro NRW supporters outside the new Central Mosque (Zentralmoschee) in Ehrenfeld district, on May 8, 2012 in Cologne, Germany. (Mathis Wienand/AFP/Getty Images)

Police in Germany raided scores of homes, mosques and meeting halls across the country on Thursday as part of a major national crackdown on radical Islamic Salafists.

LONDON, UK – Police in Germany raided scores of homes, mosques and meeting halls across the country on Thursday as part of a major national crackdown on radical Islamic Salafists, whom the authorities accuses of plotting against the state.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also announced that he was banning the Millatu Ibrahim organization, which he said has been inciting Muslims to fight against the “constitutional order” in Germany, the Associated Press reported.

The minister said that a “comprehensive collection of evidence” had been found during Thursday’s raids, which saw laptops, cellphones and other items seized by 850 police officers in seven German states – including Berlin and Bavaria – according to the news agency.

More from GlobalPost: Germany’s Salafists clash with the radical right

The raids come a month after Salafists clashed with police guarding an anti-Islam rally staged by the far-right “Pro NRW” party in the city of Bonn, which led to the hospitalization of two police and the arrest of about 110 Salafists, GlobalPost reported.

The German authorities fear that the Salafists – who number about 4,000, out of a total Muslim population in Germany of around 4 million – are exploiting socially excluded young Muslims in the country and inciting them to militancy, Reuters reported.

The Salafists trace their roots to the ultra-conservative Islamic practices of Saudi Arabia and aim to bring about the establishment of Sharia law in Europe. According to the BBC, items were seized from the Cologne home of Salafist preacher Ibrahim Abu Nagie in one of the police raids.

Johor sultan says he is angry with Nizar's comments


The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, said he was angry with former Perak menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin for his recent comments on the ‘WWW1' licence plate issue, adding that it was not necessary for the ruler to publicise all he did for charity.

In addressing the opening of the Johor state legislative assembly at Nusajaya, the sultan was quoted by The Star Online as saying that people like Nizar should not comment on things he does not know about.

“Has he forgotten our Malay customs or is he indeed ignorant and shallow-minded,” the ruler asked, adding that Nizar should not act smart when he has no knowledge over what was happening.

Nizar, who is being investigated for sedition for his alleged Twitter remarks, said he had sought an audience with the Johor ruler to apologise.

He claimed Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd had been playing up the licence plate issue since early April.

Quoting Utusan Malaysia’s sister paper Kosmo!, the former Perak MB said the daily has been following up on the number-plate bid and in one of its reports on May 25, there were infographics stating that the RM520,000 could have been used to purchase a three-storey house in Bangi, Selangor, or a BMW, or a shoplot in a business district in Shah Alam or 2.777kg of 916-certified gold. 

“My tweets were misrepresented as criticism of the sultan when the tweets were not directed to anyone in particular,” said Nizar.

It was reported that the Johor ruler had successfully bid for the WWW1 plate and that the Johor sultan had in a rally over the weekend asked Nizar to apologise to the people of Johor.

Ambiga rela dipenjara demi Bersih

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 Jun – Pengerusi Bersama Bersih, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan sedia dipenjara demi mempertahankan perjuangannya menuntut pilihan raya yang adil dan bersih di negara ini.

Kenyataan itu dikeluarkan bekas Pengerusi Majlis Peguam itu sewaktu sesi “chat secara online” di laman Yahoo Malaysia hari ini sewaktu menjawab pertanyaan salah seorang pengunjung ruangan chat tersebut.

Antara soalan pengunjung itu adalah, “Adakah anda rela dipenjarakan kerana tindakan anda?” (Are you willing to be jailed for your cause?); dan Ambiga kemudiannya menjawab,”Ya”.

Kebanyakan pengunjung yang bertanyakan soalan di ruangan chat yang bermula jam tiga petang itu memberikan fokus terhadap perhimpunan duduk bantah Bersih 3.0 di Dataran Merdeka pada 28 April lalu.

Selain itu, Ambiga juga menolak untuk menjadikan Bersih sebagai parti politik, dan beliau juga tidak bercadang untuk menjadi menteri.

“Adakah anda berminat untuk menjadi menteri?” soal seorang pengunjung yang hanya dikenali sebagai Baskaran, dan Ambiga kemudiannya membalasnya dengan “Tidak, tidak sama sekali!”(No, absolutely not!).

Pengunjung lain, Howard Klein pula bertanya sama ada pemimpin perhimpunan menuntut pilihan raya adil dan bersih itu turut bercadang untuk bertanding dalam pilihan raya.

‘‘Ambiga, adakah anda berminat untuk bertanding dalam pilihan raya umum?”, Ambiga turut menjawab,”Sekali lagi, tidak!” (Again, no!)

Sesi berkenaan yang tamat sekitar jam 4.15 petang itu turut menyaksikan sebahagian peserta ruangan chat tersebut yang bertanyakan soalan yang dilihat seperti tidak bersetuju dengan penganjuran Bersih 3.0 penghujung April lalu.

“Anda seorang peguam... tetapi tindak-tanduk anda bersama BERSIH boleh disifatkan sebagai tidak menghormati undang-undang. Demontrasi jalanan hanya menyusahkan sebahagian rakyat Malaysia.. TQ,” tanya seorang peserta yang bernama Awang.

Ambiga kemudiannya menjelaskan, “Demonstrasi jalanan merupakan antara hak asasi rakyat Malaysia di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia.”

Beliau juga turut menolak perhimpuan Bersih adalah salah dari segi undang-undang.

“Saya percaya anda telah tersalah lihat Akta Perhimpunan Aman, namun, anda perlu melihat pula kepada Perlembagaan, yang memberikan hak untuk berhimpun. Ia adalah undang-undang tertinggi yang kita pegang,” katanya menjawab soalan Elsie, yang bertanyakan berkenaan undang-undang hanya membenarkan perhimpunan aman dan bukannya demonstrasi.

Sesi perbualan itu turut membolehkan peserta bertanyakan soalan bukan sahaja menggunakan bahasa Inggeris, tetapi juga turut menggunakan bahasa Melayu.

Ambiga turut menjawab soalan berkenaan insiden demonstrasi yang dilakukan di perkarangan kediamannya dan menyifatkan ianya berbeza dengan perhimpunan Bersih walaupun Perlembagaan mengiktiraf kebebasan berhimpun.

“Ada perbezaan mengadakan demonstrasi di hadapan rumah seseorang dan kawasan umum. Apa gunanya Akta Perhimpunan Aman dan Perlembagaan apabila perhimpunan tidak boleh dilakukan di kawasan umum?

“Bagaimanapun, protes di rumah saya adalah tindakan mengugut dan satu ganguan,” katanya.

Perhimpuan Bersih 3.0 pada 28 April di dataran Merdeka telah menyaksikan 250,000 peserta yang mana berlangsung dengan aman, kemudiannya bertukar ganas apabila perusuh mula merempuh kawasan dataran bersejarah dan merobohkan halangan yang didirikan pihak berkuasa.

Ekoran insiden keganasan tersebut, polis kemudiannya melepaskan gas pemediah mata dan meriam air ke arah perusuh untuk menyuraikan keadaan, yang mana Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein semalam menjelaskan, polis telah melepaskan 967 butir gas pemedih mata ketika perhimpunan Bersih 3.0.

Jumlah itu lebih tiga kali ganda berbanding dalam perhimpunan Bersih 2.0, iaitu sebanyak 262 butir.

Tembakan yang dilepaskan dalam Bersih 3.0 itu termasuk 909 butir ‘shell tear smoke’ dan 58 butir ‘grenade tear smoke’.

Hishammuddin turut menjelaskan, kerajaan telah menanggung kos keseluruhan sebanyak RM1.8 juta akibat daripada penganjuran perhimpunan itu.

Not so 1Malaysia in govt education jobs

The statistics on the civil servants employment in the education sector in the country stinks of racism, according to Hindraf.

GEORGE TOWN: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should walk his talk by taking immediate steps to balance out the ethnic imbalance in the country’s education sector employment.

According to Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam, the Education Ministry’s employment statistics were so “obscene” that people would think that only one ethnic group existed in the country.

“The Prime Minister should reflect his ‘nambikkai’ campaign with Indians by addressing the issue promptly.

“He should have by now announced and implemented measures to resolve the pressing issue in line with his 1Malaysia slogan,” he told FMT here today.

Citing the statistics, Sambulingam said out of 1,445 national secondary school principals in the country, 1,270 or 87.89% are ethnic Malays.

He said ethnic Chinese only make up 149 or 10.31% while ethnic Indians have mere 26 principals or 1.8%.

From the 2,893 officers employed in district education offices across the Peninsula, he said 2,823 or 97.58% were Malays, 43 or 1.49% Chinese and 27 or 0.93% Indians.

At state departments, he said Malays comprised 2,332 or 96.6% from a total of 2,414 education officers. Chinese are 47 or 1.95%, while Indians are 35 or 1.45%.

Given that education was the fundamental foundation of a country, Sambulingam said the statistics clearly indicated non-Malays have been deliberately sidelined from nation-building.

He accused the government of systematically ignoring and isolating non-Malays from the very intellectual foundation of the country.

“If this is not racism a’la Umno, then what do we call it?” he asked.

Statistics tell all



Sambulingan also detailed the statistics of Malays and non-Malays in the government education sector.

He revealed that the Selangor education department had 479 officers, the highest in the country, and of this, 466 or 97.28% were Malays, seven or 1.47% Chinese and six or 1.25% Indians.

In Malacca, out of 405 state education officers, 396 are Malays. There were only seven Chinese and a mere two Indians employed.

In Penang, 211 out of 229 employed are ethnic Malays, followed by Chinese at 14 and Indians four.

Kedah has 226 Malays, four Chinese and two Indians among its 232 state education officers.

Even in the federal capital Kuala Lumpur, of the 206 officers, 200 are Malays with Chinese and Indians at three each.

Other states by ethnic order of Malay-Chinese-Indian were 176:4:4 of 184 in Negeri Sembilan; 203:4:5 of 212 in Perak; 220:2:5 of 227 in Johor; and 234:2:4 of 240 in Pahang

Sambulingan said the situation was the same at district levels.

He said as far as school principals were concerned the situation was no better.

In Johor, of the total of 245 principals, 219 are Malays, 23 Chinese and only three Indians.

‘Racist’ policy

In Selangor of the 228 school heads, 213 are Malays, 12 Chinese and three Indians.

Meanwhile, in Perak of the 218, the Malay, Chinese and Indian ratio stands at 179:33:6.

In Negeri Sembilan, the ratio is 106:9:2 of 117 principals while in Penang of the 125, the respective community representation stands at 93:29:3.

In Pahang, the numbers are 178:12:3 of a total of 193 principals and in Kedah it stands at 145:6:2 of 153.

In the Federal Territory, of the 97 principals, 80 are Malays, 14 Chinese and only three are Indians.

Slamming the BN goverment’s “racist” policy, Sambulingam called on MIC to stop dancing to Umno’s tune by frequently claiming that Indians were fairly recruited into the public sector.

“The statistics have shown Umno is racist.

“Is Umno suggesting that non-Malays are incapable of becoming education officers and headmasters?” he asked.

He reminded that the Barisan Nasional government’s goal was for the country to become a developed nation by 2020.

‘What are your plans, Pakatan’

Sambulingan also aimed his arrows at Pakatan Rakyat, urging the coalition to reveal its blueprint to correct the wrongs.

He asked if Pakatan would, after capturing Putrajaya, make civil service recruitment transparent and give equal chance to all communities to be equally represented.

He said Indians were fed up with the standard routine reply of “Putrajaya first, announce later” because it only indicated Pakatan did not want to address the issue.

“Racial discrimination should stop. We want to know whether Pakatan has serious plans to stop it.

“Or is Pakatan, like BN, manipulating the issue for votes? Hindraf is surely not for it,” said Sambulingam.

Minimum wage for all workers

Contract workers, cleaners and gardeners are also eligible to receive minimum wage, clarifies the Human Resources Ministry.

PUTRAJAYA: All workers, including contract workers, cleaners and gardeners are eligible to receive minimum wage.

Human Resources Ministry’s human resources policy division secretary Kua Abun clarified this during a meeting with members from a NGO, Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit), and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

Earlier this morning Jerit and PSM held a demonstration involving 30 people. A closed door discussion with the ministry was then held for about an hour.

On May 1, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that minimum wage was fixed at RM900 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak.

It would be gazetted on July 1 and would come into effect in January 2013.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Jerit coordinator M Sivaranjani said: “The information department in the Human Resources Ministry had erred by stating that cleaners and contract workers are not eligible for minimum wage.”

“Only domestic maids and those who are self employed are not eligible for minimum wage,” she added.

She said that only companies which had less than five employees were allowed to implement the minimum wage system in July 2013.

“The list of those companies with less than five staff will be released next year,” she added.

Sivaranjani also said that the government would assist companies that were unable to implement minimum wage.

In addition to that, she said that the ministry would be reviewing minimum wage every two years.

Sivaranjani said the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) was also guilty of issuing a circular which claimed that allowance were included in the minimum wage.

“The circular is invalid. Discussion between MEF and the Human Resources Ministry is ongoing.

“If there are employers implementing what is stated in the circular, complaints can be lodged against them at the labour department,” she added.

Penang MIC gets backing from unlikely quarter

An anti-BN group says it supports MIC’s demand for two exco seats if BN retakes the state.

KUALA LUMPUR: A NGO that is normally critical of Barisan Nasional has given unexpected support to MIC, at least in the latter’s call for two exco seats to be reserved to it if BN recaptures Penang in the coming election.

A Kalaimughilan, secretary general of the Malaysian Tamil Students Progressive Association, said MIC’s proposal was appropriate in view of the “hundreds of problems plaguing the Penang Indians”.

He was commenting on a statement issued yesterday by Penang MIC information chief NG Senthelnathan, who said the proposal had been conveyed to Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow.

“However,” Kalaimughilan told FMT, “I would like to stress that whoever get the posts must perform and not just warm their seats.”

He also urged Penang BN to allocate five state seats for Indian candidates to contest.

“BN is saying that Indian support has returned to it,” he said. “So if it is sincerely grateful, it should reward the Indians for their support by having more members of their community in the state assembly. Two from MIC, two from Gerakan and one from PPP would be ideal.”

But he said he doubted that Penang BN, led by Gerakan, would go that far. “I don’t think Penang Gerakan is ready for that even though Indians form the second largest group among its members.”

He criticised Gerakan for its reluctance to field Indian and Malay election candidates while claiming to be a multi-racial party and an ardent supporter of the 1Malaysia programme.

Kalaimughilan (photo) also urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to appoint another Indian state assemblyman to the exco if Pakatan Rakyat retains the state after the 13th general election.

There are five Indian assemblyman from Pakatan Rakyat in the current legislature, but only Deputy Chief Minister (II) P Ramasamy of DAP is in the exco.

Kertas undi PRU13, bukan garam dan botol air

Nazri kini sudah tidak boleh berfikir dengan waras sehingga sanggup berimaginasi dengan sesuatu yang diluar kotak pemikiran.

PETALING JAYA: Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz tidak perlu menuduh ‘botol air dan garam’ sebagai faktor sesebuah kerajaan boleh tumbang.

Sebaliknya akan ditentukan rakyat melalui kertas undi dalam Pilihan Raya Umum 13 (PRU13), demikian menurut Timbalan Ketua Dewan Pemuda PAS Wilayah Persekutuan Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Aziz.

Suhaimi berkata, Nazri kini sudah tidak boleh berfikir dengan waras sehingga sanggup berimaginasi dengan sesuatu yang diluar kotak pemikiran.

Malah menurutnya alasan Nazri itu adalah jawapan ‘paling tidak cerdik’ yang pernah diucapkan oleh seorang menteri Kabinet dalam menilai perhimpunan Bersih 3.0.

“Pemuda PAS tidak boleh membayangkan tahap ketakutan Nazri dan pemimpin Umno yang lainnya berada dalam darjah tertinggi sehingga
boleh menafsirkan botol air mineral dan garam sebagai faktor tumbangnya kerajaan.

Umno-BN gawat

“Jika ini gambaran mereka, ini bermakna kerajaan pimpinan Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) berada dalam keadaan gawat dan amat goyah sehingga botol air dan garam mampu menggoncang kerajaan,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan.

Katanya, Nazri sepatutntya sedar kerajaan mempunyai segala agensi kerajaan seperti polis, tentera, RELA, dengan jumlah anggota yang ramai dan patuh dengan segala arahan pemimpin negara.

“Mustahil botol dan garam boleh menumbangkan kerajaan jika pasukan keselamatan ini dikerah menjaga keselamatan pentadbiran negara,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, perhimpunan yang diadakan pada waktu tengahari dan disertai ratusan ribu rakyat, sudah pasti air botol menjadi bekalan
utama bagi menghilangkan dahaga, selain digunakan untuk rawatan apabila terkena gas pemedih mata atau air kimia yang dipancutkan trak FRU.

Manakala garam pula dibawa untuk dikemam bagi mengurangkan kepedihan akibat ditembak gas pemedih mata.

“Kami yakin rakyat tidak terfikir pun bagaimana air mineral dan garam boleh dijadikan senjata untuk menumbangkan kerajaan yang gagah disebalik segala kuasa yang mereka miliki,” katanya.

Nazri dalam Dewan Rakyat semalam berkata air mineral dan garam tidak boleh dipandang ringan kerana ia mampu menggulingkan sesebuah kerajaan.

Ketika menjawab soalan tambahan Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor), Nazri berkata situasi di Mesir, Tunisia dan Libya menjadi bukti apabila kerajaan terbabit ditumbangkan hanya melalui telefon bimbit.

Malaysia Agreement: Don’t rewrite history

One fact stands out in Sabah and Sarawak – grassroots politicians on both sides of the political divide are united on the issue of the Malaysia Agreement.

KUCHING: In the run-up to what is likely to be a highly charged 13th general election, political mischieve-makers abound, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, on which both Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim are dependent on for a victorious run to Putrajaya.

It was only a short while ago that Sabah State Legislative Speaker Salleh Keruak came in for a shelling for dismissing the state’s 20-point agreement. Now, Sabahans and Sarawakians have to contend with former Sabah Archives director Tigabelas Zainal Abidin’s equally disconcerting views.

Both Sarawakians and Sabahans believe that the 18-20 points in the Malaysia Agreement were the foundation on which the two states agreed to form the federation of Malaysia together with Malaya and Singapore.

It was to guarantee and safeguard their interests and rights in the federation.

But Tigabelas, in his latest comment, said that the “20-point” document was “just a memorandum” and not an “actual agreement” that was signed during the formation of Malaysia.

He called the “agreement” a “memorandum of conditions”.

His views have sparked another round of angry rebuttals from Sarawakians and Sabahans from both sides of the political divide.

While Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has accused Tigabelas of telling “half truths and half lies”, his college in Barisan Nasional, Assistant Minister of Youth Development Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, said “nobody” should trivialise or reduce the strength, terms and conditions of the 18-20 point documents.

He said these points had been “agreed upon” by Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the Federated Malaya States before they entered into the Malaysia Agreement.

Incomplete argument

Explaining his “half truth, half lie” accusation levelled against Tigabelas, Bian said: “Tigabelas was correct to say that it was a memorandum.

“But it is only half a truth and half a lie. He did not go further to explain that the 18-20 points recommendations were eventually incorporated in the Malaysia Agreement, especially from Articles 1 to11.

“The Malaysia Agreement was agreed to by the Federated Malay States, Britain, Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

“These points were later incorporated into the Malaysian Constitution. As such, the 18-20 points are legally binding.”

Bian said most people did not understand that the 18-20 points were the recommendation of the various committees such as the Cobbold Commission, the Inter-Governmental Report of North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore, and the Malaysian Solidarity Consultative Committee of North Borneo and Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Karim said history must not be “rewritten” based on Tigabelas’ opinion. He pointed out that it was important to see the “intention” of the parties when they discussed and finally agreed to “merge” and formed what is today’s Malaysia.

“Sarawakians will always regard the 18-point agreement as legally binding despite arguments to the contrary.

“The terms and conditions are crucial and formed an integral part and foundation for the formation of Malaysia and must be respected by the respective parties that inherit the respective governments of the two states and the federal government,” he said.

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker and the MP for Santubong, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, echoed Bian and Karim’s views, pointing out that the 18-20 points were the products of negotiations between all parties for the formation of Malaysia and a study made by the Cobbold Commission.

He said that looking at the interests of the two states, the leaders of the country should observe the terms of the agreements where they are not in conflict with the constitution.

‘Conditions’ equally important

The observation of Tigabelas as the “custodian of the country’s historic records for almost 13 years”, has further underlined growing resentment against the ruling Umno-Barisan Nasional which is seen has having stripped the state of its political dignity.

State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chairman Jeffrey Kitingan said that while it is true that the Malaysia Agreement was a “memorandum of conditions”, it was equally “important” to note that it was a “milestone in the creation of Malaysia”.

“While it [the 20-point agreenment] is a memorandum of conditions … it is important to understand that the 20 points, being a list of conditions submitted by leaders of five political parties in Sabah, are an important milestone in the creation of Malaysia.

“Without these conditions being agreed and discussed, one can conclude that there would have been no Malaysia. It is that important,” said Jeffrey, who is the foremost proponent for the full reinstatement of the terms of the Malaysia Agreement for Sabah and Sarawak.

“Therefore, people including politicians and the former state archives director should not be quick to dismiss the 20-point memorandum merely at its face value but for what they represent – the desires and concerns of the people of Sabah,” he said.

Tigabelas reportedly said that many individuals debating the 20-point Malaysia Agreement had based their arguments on misinterpretations derived from secondary or even tertiary sources “without referring the actual records”, which are available in the state archives.

“As the custodian of the country’s historic records for almost 13 years, I have inspected and studied various materials pertaining to the 20 points including reports, memorandums, letters, minutes of meeting, books, films, photographs, news reports, articles and translations related to the document and its contents apart from the 20-point agreement itself,” he said, adding that recent statements by leaders and politicians arguing the validity of the 20 points were confusing the people.

Cashing in on Malay votes

'Allocations' was the major concern raised by Malay NGOs in a dialogue with the deputy prime minister.

KUALA LUMPUR: More money! This was the recurring phrase during a dialogue between Malay NGO representatives and government leaders here, underscoring the fact that cash remains a major factor in influencing voters.

The sentiment gauged from today’s dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin strengthened the possibility of more spending by Putrajaya similar to the BR1M project that factored Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s increased popularity.

Most of them, representing NGOs from the city, took the chance to ask for more financial aid for social programmes while at the same time pledging support for the ruling coalition.

“We have been supporting the ruling coalition since the start… but we need more money for our social programmes,” said one leader representing the DBKL residents association.

Muhyiddin replied that the government often provided allocations for them and would consider increasing the amount.

And in his speech prior to the dialogue, the Umno leader warned that the NGOs must maintain support for the current administration to enjoy such benefits.

Key constituents


These NGOs represent a huge voter pool. The one mentioned above had close to one million members. Appeasing them was key to Najib’s aim to recapture seats in the city, most of which were now held by the federal opposition bloc Pakatan Rakyat.

The PM’s RM500 cash aid to the poor – majority of them being Malays – under the BR1M project was among the many policies observers said that was drafted to win their support.

It is understood that the Najib administration was considering a second round of cash handouts under a similar project to bolster support which was still weak.

A news portal’s compilation of projections by the opposition pact’s three component parties largely matched BN’s intelligence reports which saw the ruling coalition assured of 80 seats with up to a possible further 50 wins.

“Although the BN surveys show it could place up to 146 lawmakers in Parliament, just two short of a two-third super majority, sources say this prognosis came immediately after the RM500 cash handouts to low-income families under the BR1M scheme,” it said further.

A Special Branch survey was more unfavourable with its report showing a BN win in only 118 federal seats, worse than its current tally of 140 seats.

This was likely the major cause behind Najib’s decision to delay calling for national polls.

Game changer

Surveys and analysis conducted by Pakatan purportedly showed it could win over 100 federal seats if polls were called soon but Najib was expected to use next year’s budget as the “game changer”.

The BN chief recently announced that next year’s budget would be tabled on Sept 28 and was expected to include a repeat of BR1M which the Umno president had admitted was in the pipeline.

Najib’s political future depended on his ability to redeem BN’s dismal performance in the 2008 elections and was unlikely to hold the general election due by mid-2013 unless he was confident of improving on BN’s standing.

The haj pilgrimage on Oct 26, Deepavali on Nov 13 and BN’s efforts to court the youth and Chinese vote could see Najib delay calling for elections till November.

BN would see itself facing what had been described as a “do-or-die” elections especially with some 2.2 million voters casting their ballots for the first time.

Convert 180 million loans into grants for Indian businessman

Senator S. Ramakrishnan,

Premier Datuk Najib Tun Razak’s offer of RM180 million as loan to Indian community must be another vote buying gimmick. He and all the UMNO leaders know that non Malays who are born and bred in Malaysia are alienated from all government and GLC’s procurement. The BN government has set up so many restrictions and conditions on non Malays to carry out businesses. Bakeries selling bread must have Halal certificate. To apply for halal certificate the applicant must have bumiputra partners and bumiputra employees at manager levels The BN government has completely marginalized non Malays from selling anything to Malay market in the name of Halal certificate. Yet MIC/UMNO leaders can pretend all is fine and that BN really cares for Indians.

One of my cousins wanted to import goats from Myanmar somewhere is 2006. When he went to customs and agriculture department for permits to import, he was told that he can only import under a bumiputra name. My cousin then went looking for a trusted bumiputra partner to import goat or at least lend his name for the purpose. He managed to find one from the same business. He imported goat and sold in Malaysia. After the first import the bumiputra partner went to Myanmar and started importing himself. My cousin lost a reliable source of supply. This is how many small time Indian businessmen incur losses and face difficulty to doing business in Malaysia. My cousin was so frustrated that he brought many friends to the Hindraf rally on 25th November 2007. He also has buses trafficking workers. He has to get bumiputra to get permit and pay a monthly fee. With all the limitations and difficulties our Indian brothers and sisters have to do business. No other country in the world has this kind of cunning and malicious restrictions on its own citizens to do business. UMNO has and the stupid MIC/PPP can’t see that for obvious reasons. Local councils (majlis tempatan) issues licenses generously to Malays but impose quotas and limits to non Malay stalls even in non Malay areas. Mr Prime Minister despite your 1Malaysia campaign, UMNO is racial and hypocritical in its policies.

Datuk Najib, enough of election sweeties and goodies for Indians. Urban Indians have woken up and our rural cousins are waking up. Get real and come down to the crux of the matter. Indians need genuine opportunities and level playing field in government and GLC procurements. At least remove all malicious restrictions created purposely to alienate non Malays from supplying Malay and government sector. We are not begging but we want the BN government to be fair and don’t use religion to hinder our businesses. Even the Arabs are more liberal and they don’t bring in halal issues to restrict us.

Mr. Prime Minister the least you can do now is convert the RM180 million loan offer into grants for indian Businessmen.

MACC studying reports on Anwar over 20 statutory accounts


http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae159/Malaysia-Today/anwar_ibrahim2.jpg(Bernama) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is studying reports lodged against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, claiming he had control over 20 statutory accounts worth RM3 billion.
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed however, declined to comment further on the issue when met by reporters after attending a roundtable presentation and discussion on the national key result area (NKRA) on prevention of corruption, with foreign investors, here today.

He was asked to comment on the statement by Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia(Perkasa) president Datuk Ibrahim Ali who requested to know the status of the MACC's investigation into a claim allegedly made by Bank Negara former assistant governor Datuk Abdul Murad Khalid.

"Whatever complaint that has elements of corruption, we can investigate, regardless of who made the complaints and who were being implicated. But I cannot say anything more because I am bound by MACC's policy to refrain from divulging information on the investigation," he explained.

Murad had allegedly claimed that Anwar, as finance minister in the 90s, controlled 20 master accounts involving assets, shares and funds worth more than RM3 billion.

Meanwhile, Abu Kassim said MACC would open an investigation paper on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Azmin Ali if it receives new evidence on claims that he had assets amounting to more than RM30 million.

Dont worry, s/o Mohamed Kutty. I’ll be fair to you

By Haris Ibrahim,
Early this year, over dinner, a Pakatan leader said that many of them could not understand me.
“You don’t want to contest in the elections. When you were offered a senatorship after the 12th GE you declined. So what do you want?”, he asked.
“When we remove BN from Putrajaya, I would like the new AG to give me a fiat to prosecute Mahathir for all his wrongdoings. I have a legal team that is ready to do this without fee, and without fear and favour. That is all I want.”, I replied.
Harakah reports that Kutty is worried that he will be wrongly jailed after Pakatan takes over Putrajaya.
Don’t worry, Kutty.
I’m not interested in seeing you rot in jail. It would mean having to feed you and wasting more of the rakyat’s money, what little that has been left by you.
No, we don’t want that.
What we want is to get you to sing like a canary and divulge details of where you and your cronies have squirreled away the wealth of the nation.
And I know of just the trick to get you to sing.
Looking forward to our date, Kutty.

'Trias politica' dalam satu Mahathir

ULASAN Demokrasi, selalu diberi ragam makna. Bergantung kepada fahamnya.

Faham demokrasi Mahathir Mohamad selalu mudah: demokrasi harus ada batasannya, harus diiringi dengan tanggungjawab, dan berfungsi untuk tujuan pembangunan. Inilah "acuan demokrasi yang ideal" yang Mahathir sampaikan sewaktu syarahan utama di University of Santo Tomas (UST) di Manila seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Malaysiakini pada 11 Jun 2012.

Lebih lanjut di Filipina tersebut, Mahathir turut menegaskan bahawa sekiranya mahu mengubah pemerintahan, cukuplah dengan kotak undi. Ini dapat dilakukan lima tahun sekali. Selain itu, nilai pemimpin, bagi Mahathir, ialah idea dan strategi yang dimilikinya. Sesuai dengan faham ini, maka Mahathir sama sekali tidak melihat Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara demokrasi liberal. Anehnya, Mahathir tidak pula memaklumkan jenis apakah demokrasi di Malaysia ini.

NONEBagaimanapun - terlepas dari semua ini - kita harus menelaah kembali apakah sebenarnya tujuan dari hidup bernegara ini. Sebab, tampaknya Mahathir cuba menyelewengkan makna demokrasi kepada sebuah faham kenegaraan yang kabur. Justeru, untuk memahami persoalan ini, maka adalah lebih baik kita mengungkapkan lima persoalan kepadanya.

Pertama, Mahathir berkata bahawa demokrasi mestilah difahami bersama batasannya. Persoalannya: sejak bilakah demokrasi tidak pernah dikaitkan dengan batasannya? Hanya Mahathir saja yang tidak pernah lelah mengulangi batasan demokrasi.

Sebelumnya, Mahathir begitu bimbang dengan kebebasan mutlak. Padahal, tidak ada siapa pun yang mempertikaikan. Memang, kita semua tahu bahawa takkan ada kebebasan mutlak. Dalam sebuah negara hukum, perlembagaan (undang-undang) adalah pembatasnya. Masalahnya ialah, bagaimana perlembagaan itu digubal: Lewat deliberatif atau lewat autokratik? Persoalan inilah yang lebih berfaedah untuk Mahathir risaukan, berbanding dengan tidak habis-habis meratibkan batasan demokrasi.

'Komuniti hukum'
Kedua, mengapa Mahathir lagi-lagi bercakap soal tanggungjawab? Kenapa tidak bercakap soal hak? Walhal, dalam konsep hak yang sifatnya sangat universal, itu sebenarnya sudah tertanam konsep tanggungjawab. Misalnya, dalam konsep hak, itu terdapat konsep tanggungjawab untuk dalam menghormati hak-hak warga lain, yang harus dipatuhi secara bersama. Konsep hak ini yang lebih kuat premisnya berbanding dengan konsep tanggungjawab.

Tapi, dengan beria-ia berbicara soal tanggungjawab, maka apakah niat terselindung Mahathir ini? Jangan-jangan, laungan tanggungjawab (yang garisnya ditentukan pemerintah secara sepihak) tersebut berniat untuk mengawasi dan mengawal segala tingkah-laku (malah, fikiran!) rakyatnya. Tidak demikian, Mahathir?

azlanKetiga, Mahathir meletakkan makna kehidupan bernegara adalah pembangunan semata. Bukan demokrasi. Benarkah demikian? Persoalannya, apakah makna pembangunan menurut Mahathir ini? Dan, persoalan berikutnya, adakah dengan melakukan pembangunan, maka sempurnalah makna negara? Apakah sebegini dangkal makna negara menurut Mahathir?

Padahal, kata negara itu adalah terbitan dari pemaknaan kepada sebuah "komuniti hukum". Dalam komuniti ini, yang menjadi tujuannya bukannya pembangunan (yang telah disempitkan oleh Mahathir). Sebaliknya, bagaimana melibatkan warganegara dalam setiap keputusan-dasar negara. Inilah roh hidup bernegara. Malangnya, yang terlintas dalam fikiran Mahathir tatkala berfikir mengenai negara ialah pembangunan. Betapa dangkalnya.

Keempat, Mahathir menekankan bahawa yang terpenting dari kualiti pemimpin adalah kemampuannya dalam merangka strategi dan idea untuk kemakmuran negara. Lagi-lagi, benarkah yang terpenting ialah kualiti pemimpin, bukannya kualiti sistem (demokrasi)? Jadi, individu lebih penting dari sistem, begitu Mahathir? Ini logik bernegara apa yang dipakai Mahathir? Lagi pula, kualiti pemimpin bukanlah diukur dari kecerdasan dan kebernasannya. Tapi, diukur dari kemampuannya untuk memastikan tatacara demokrasi terus mengalir dengan baik. Inilah tugas hakiki pemimpin.

Di samping itu, Mahathir selalu berfikir bahawa kemakmuran - yang sering disempitkan secara instrumental - adalah segala-galanya. Padahal, negara itu bukanlah sebuah syarikat perusahaan. Malah, kedudukan perdana menteri juga bukanlah seperti kedudukan seorang ketua pengarah eksekutif (CEO).

Machiavelli hormati aspirasi rakyat
Kelima, Mahathir, beranggapan bahawa cukuplah untuk mengubah pemerintah saat pilihan raya umum. Bermakna, menurut Mahathir, proses mengubah pemerintah hanya boleh dilakukan setiap lima tahun, lewat kotak undi. Lalu, pertanyaannya: apakah yang warga harus lakukan di antara dua pilihan raya, atau dalam tempoh lima tahun tersebut? Hanya patuh saya semua titah pemimpin?

Maka, ke mana perginya konsep "masyarakat warga" (civil society), ketakpatuhan warga (civil disobedient), kewarganegaraan aktif (active citizenship) dan ruang awam (public sphere) yang menjadi sendi demokrasi? Mahathir, percaya atau tidak, tidak pernah menyebutnya. Sekalipun tidak pernah. Padanya, demokrasi ialah pilihan raya umum. Selain dari hari mengundi, rakyat mestilah pasif.

NONEJusteru, berdasarkan kepada lima persoalan ini, cukuplah untuk kita melukiskan bagaimana faham demokrasi Mahathir ini. Demokrasi, menurut Mahathir, selalu dimomokkan sebagai sebuah "kebebasan mutlak", "tidak bertanggungjawab", "antipembangunan", "menghambat idea pemimpin" dan "hanya pilihanraya." Setohor ini saja makna demokrasi Mahathir. Tentunya, makna tumpul seperti ini dengan mudah dapat kita temukan dalam negara totalitarian.

Sebab itu, usah hairan, ciri-ciri totalitarianisme ini turut terlekat sepanjang 22 tahun Mahathir sebagai perdana menteri Malaysia. Demokrasi di Malaysia, pada waktu Mahathir, berada pada titik terendah dalam sejarah. Seluruh trias politica (eksekutif, judikatif dan legislatif) telah dimuatkan ke dalam satu individu: bernama Mahathir. Inilah Mahathirisme, nama lain kepada Machiavellianisme. Sementara, rakyat di mata Mahathir tidak lain adalah sebuah objek, yang sekadar berfungsi lima tahun sekali. Padahal, Niccolò Machiavelli sendiri bukan begitu.

Andai kata Machiavelli masih hidup sekalipun, tentunya takkan bersependapat dengan Mahathir ini. Kerana, Machiavelli bukanlah seorang Machiavellian, seperti Mahathir. Sebaliknya, Machiavelli adalah seorang republikan, yang menghargai aspirasi rakyat.

Manakala, Mahathir pula dalam diam-diam adalah seorang diktator, yang selalu mencipta pemujanya yang fanatik, sepanjang waktu, selagi mana faham totalitarianisme terus saja bermaharajalela.

AQIL FITHRI, penerima zamil Intelektual Awam Asia (API) 2009-2010 daripada Yayasan Nippon, Jepun dan kolumnis JalanTelawi. Beliau boleh dihubungi menerusi aqilfithri@gmail.com. Artikel ini pandangan peribadi penulis dan tidak semestinya melambangkang pendirian rasmi Malaysiakini.

No need for Mahathir to fear he will end up like Gadaffi or Mubarak. I do not even want to see him in jail but he must not block full investigations into the host of financial and political scandals under his 22 years as PM

It is quite unworthy and dishonourable for Tun Dr. Mahathir to imply in his blog “My Fears” yesterday that I am “inspired by what happened to Gadaffi and Mubarak” and that I would “love” to see him “dragged to the courts and sentenced to death or to at least a life sentence” and “Maybe like Gadaffi I would be murdered”!
I do not know whether Mahathir is becoming a victim of a very fevered imagination, to the extent that he could imagine and blog that I would want him to end up like Gadaffi or Mubarak.
Nothing is furthest from my mind but I forgive Mahathir these wild and preposterous imaginings.
Mahathir started his blog yesterday: “ Lim Kit Siang is reported to have said that I am working hard to ensure the Opposition will not win because I am afraid when the Opposition Government is in place, it will act against all my ‘misdeeds’ when I was Prime Minister.”
Let me state that I stand by every word of my statement of 3rd June 2012, where I said that the former Prime Minister “has been more than his hyper-active self in the past fortnight, not only making preposterous statements about the political situation in the country but doing his utmost to fob off any possibility that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak might stick to his earlier timetable to hold 13th General Election in June/July”.
I had referred to three such preposterous statements in the previous two weeks, viz:. when Mahathir
• Made the wild and preposterous statement that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan Rakyat for violent demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election should the opposition fail to win it.
• Made another wild and preposterous statement when warning that the defeat of UMNO would be akin to the Malays losing power in their own country, when the coalition that would replace UMNO/Barisan Nasional would be Pakatan Rakyat comprising PKR, PAS and DAP;
• Returned again and again to the theme that because of the Abdullah premiership, the Najib government is still weak and not ready for the 13th General Election which he wants to be held off until after the fasting month which ends in August.
In my statement, I said:
“However, the real reason why Mahathir is so hyper-active in the past fortnight and making so many wild and preposterous statements is because the former Prime Minister is worried that the truth will be out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if Pakatan Rakyat forms the national government in next polls.”
In my statement, I not only supported a proposal that Pakatan Rakyat, if were to capture Putrajaya, should re-open investigation on the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex scandal of 1992, I went a step further and said:
“If Pakatan Rakyat forms the federal government in the next general election, there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal in 1992, as well as into all the other financial scandals during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership.”
I referred to Barry Wain’s book on Mahathir, “Malaysian Maverick”, where Barry estimated that Malaysia lost RM100 billion just in four financial scandals during Mahathir’s premiership.
I said Mahathir would not want and would be most afraid of full investigations into these financial scandals.
In ending my statement, I said:
“Yesterday, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment for complicity in the killing of protesters during last year’s uprising.
“I am not suggesting that Mahathir should face jail sentences for the financial scandals in his 22-year premiership but at minimum, Malaysians are entitled to know the truth about these financial scandals which would serve as painful national lessons to prevent their recurrence.
“But clearly, this is what Mahathir would not want and would do his utmost to prevent, including outclassing himself in the wild and preposterous statements about Pakatan Rakyat in the run-up to the next general election.”
Let me assure the fourth Malaysian Prime Minister that there is no need for him to fear he will end up like Gadaffi or Mubarak.
I do not even want to see him in jail but he must not block full investigations into the host of financial and political scandals during his 22 years as Prime Minister – not only into infamous financial scandals under his watch but also how the key national institutions in the country like the Judiciary, the civil service, Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Police, the Anti-Corruption Agency , the Election Commission were compromised and subverted to serve the behests of one man, the Prime Minister.
Mahathir has claimed innocence to any abuse of power in his 22 years as Prime Minister. It is for him to prove his case to the nation, future generations and history.

Allow visit by UN reps: Suhakam

The Sun Daily
by TAN YI LIANG


PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian government should allow three UN special rapporteurs on human rights to make an official visit to Malaysia, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam). 

In an sms sent to theSun yesterday, Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said Suhakam always recommends that the government allows all outstanding invitations to UN special rapporteurs on human rights as part of the UN human rights compliance mechanism.

“As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, it is incumbent upon Malaysia to respect and comply with UN human rights monitoring mechanisms, including visits by UN special rapporteurs on human rights.”

Muhammad Sha’ani was asked to comment on the recent call by the Bersih 2.0 steering committee for the government to heed requests by three UN special rapporteurs to make an official visit over the Bersih 3.0 rally. The three are Maina Kiai, Margaret Sekaggya and Frank La Rue.

On June 7,  Sekaggya urged the government to protect Bersih 2.0 steering committee chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Bersih members from harassment, investigate the allegations made against her thoroughly and punish the perpetrators.

Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said any proposed visit by the three special rapporteurs would be beneficial to Malaysia.

“It provides them an opportunity to engage on the ground with the various state and non-state actors on the exercise of the constitutional right of assembly,” said Lim, adding that the visit would be a two-way learning experience.

“We trust and are confident that the government will welcome their visit, engage them and facilitate access by them to the relevant state actors, including the police,” said Lim. 

At a press conference on May 11,  Lim had said a UN special rapporteur would have been appropriate on the independent panel formed to probe incidents of brutality during the rally.

Lawyer: MACC detains NFC whistle-blower

MACC has detained NFC whistleblower Shamsubahrin at his home, lawyer N Surendran tweeted at 11.39pm.
He said that Shamsubahrin has been taken to the MACC office in Putrajaya and he has been told that he will be slapped with further charges on Monday at the Jalan Duta court.