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Thursday, July 19, 2012

101-year-old Hindu temple given five days to vacate

Temple chairman R.A Balasubramaniam (far left), temple secretary Nalini Rani (third from right), temple committees and devotees standing outside the 101-year old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman Hindu temple in Jalan P Ramlee off Jalan Tengah which has been served DBKL notice to vacate.
The 101-year old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman Hindu temple located at Jalan P Ramlee, off Jalan Tengah in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle business district faces the threat of demolition as it has received notice issued by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) requesting the temple owner to demolish, within five days from date of notice, the structure sitting on DBKL reserve land.
It has reached an impasse as neither side would compromise.
The temple owners said they are staying put despite the notice as they wanted the temple to be saved for its heritage.
“This temple is a historical building. It is more than 100 years old with historical value and we want to stay.
We are against the demolition,” said temple chairman R.A Balasubramaniam, 47.
The DBKL notice dated July 16 was received by the temple on the same day and the five day notice given to vacate means it will expires on July 20.
The century-old temple occupying 5,199 sq feet of DBKL reserve land was set up in 1911 by the great grandfather of current owners who are the fourth generation children of the founder.
The 30-storey high office tower under construction behind the temple which is under threat of demolition.
“Our temple has been here on this same spot for 101 years, even before DBKL existed (DBKL was set up in 1971) and long before any of the surrounding buildings were up.
We conducted our prayers with peace and harmony and do not face any problem from local authorities or anybody.
A big building is being built beside us and now we are told to pack and leave to make way for the building project,” added R.A Balasubramaniam.
The 30-storey high office tower right behind the temple currently under construction requires 2,020 square feet of the temple’s DBKL land to build an 8-feet wide walkway end-to-end in order to comply with City Hall’s requirement.
“This is a government land. Why must they (the developer) take the land from the government?” he asked.
Protest banners hung outside the temple.
Several meetings had been held earlier to resolve the issue including one where the developer had offered to relocate the temple to a piece of land in Sepang.
“Our forefathers set up this temple here since Day 1 in 1911 and we have the rights to stay here,” said temple secretary Nalini Rani.
The latest meeting held on July 17, between DBKL officials, Hap Seng Land officials (the developer), Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy minister Datuk M.Saravanan, lawyers representing both parties and temple chairman and secretary remain locked in stalemate despite long discussions.
Balasubramaniam said: “At that meeting, they claimed they have a court order to vacate the place and asked us to ‘surrender’ the 2,020 square feet of the ‘temple’ land to resolve it.
If we do not, they will implement the court order once the notice expires. We told them, look, you withdraw the court order first then you give us a copy of the court order before we can revert to you after meeting our 30-man temple members.”
The temple has about 300 devotees and houses the two main deities Muneswarar and Kaliyaman, hence the temple’s name.
Other resident deities in the temple are Siva, Murugan, Ganesha (elephant-headed deity), Saraswati (Goddess of Learning), Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Buddha.
The Chitirai Pourami festival of this temple are celebrated with much religious fervour.
Temple secretary Nalini Rani showing the tree said to be more than 100 years old.
Nalini Rani said: “It would be good if they can incorporate the temple in the building project just like what the developer there did for a temple in the Mid-Valley development project instead of asking us to relocate.
“We have applied for a land title early this year and are awaiting the outcome. We will not move as the temple has historical value and is a heritage which should be saved and preserved at all cost for future generations. If we are forced to, we will go on a hunger strike to draw attention to save the temple.”
A long-time devotee Revathry, 39, who works in the office building nearby said she has been going to the temple for 15 years to pray to Mother Goddess Kaliyaman who has always answered her prayers.
She is against the demolition of the temple to make way for the new building project saying that it receives many devotees from nearby offices who come for their spiritual needs.
She said that about three years ago, a thunderstorm uprooted a big tree near the temple.
It felled on the side of the road. Devotees believed the tree did not fall on the side of the temple owing to the powerful presence of these Gods.
The Mother Goddess Kaliyaman is very powerful and devotees have personally experienced it.
A caretaker at the temple claimed that many years ago, construction workers encountered numerous problems during the construction of the former MUI Plaza (now Menara Hap Seng) and this frustrated the developer and affected schedule.
Someone informed the developer about this temple nearby and an official came to offer lime to the Goddess and after that it was reported that construction work went on smoothly without any hindrance until the building was completed on schedule.

Kuala Lumpur safe?

Top Syrian officials killed in major blow to al-Assad's regime


Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha, left, and Assef Shawkat, right, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha, left, and Assef Shawkat, right, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad.

(CNN) -- A deadly attack on top Syrian officials Wednesday delivered the harshest blow yet to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, bringing the bloodshed into his inner circle, and even his family.

Jordan's king calls Syria attack 'a tremendous blow' to al-Assad regime

Four top officials were killed in an explosion at a national security building in Damascus, and some other people were wounded, state TV reported.

The attack came after several days of growing violence in the capital. At least 102 people were killed across the country on Wednesday, including 34 in Damascus and 11 in suburbs of the city, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

The four officials killed in the bombing were Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha; Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat -- al-Assad's brother-in-law; Hasan Turkmani, al-Assad's security adviser and assistant vice president, and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, state TV reported.

Getting to know Syria's first family

The attack, during a meeting of ministers and security officials, was coordinated by several rebel brigades in Damascus, said the deputy head of the opposition Free Syrian Army, Col. Malek al-Kurdi.

The government described it as a suicide bombing. But al-Kurdi said a remote control was used to detonate an explosive device planted inside the meeting room.

Al-Assad quickly named Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij as defense minister, state-run news agency SANA said.

Video from a Damascus suburb showed Syrians rejoicing after news spread of the bombing.

Soon the pro-government Shabiha militia took to the streets, attacking some people with knives, shooting others and saying, "this is retribution for what you have done," according to an opposition activist in Damascus, who is going by the name Lena to protect her identity.

There were bodies in the streets around the Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp, and people were too afraid to collect the bodies, Lena said.

"The people are really scared," she said, adding that mosques were blaring the messages "stay in your homes" and "God is great."

A Damascus resident said there were clashes and shootings in the middle of Baghdad Street, a major road that includes branch offices of state security agencies.

In the neighborhood of Medan, where violence has raged in recent days, Free Syrian Army fighters "launched their biggest attack yet all over Damascus, in 17 points" said Abo Abdo, a rebel fighter. They were working to "disperse the regime's forces all over the capital," he said.

A mortar fell on a house close to him, he said.

Video showed a tank firing in what appeared to be an empty Damascus road with a couple of abandoned cars.

A teenager, going by the name Firas, said that in the Bab Musalla area, people told him the neighborhood was being closed. He said he saw a group of people in the distance carrying rifles and knives. "I then saw them attacking everyone on the street," he said.

Syria, on state-run news agency SANA, said its armed forces "chased down terrorists who infiltrated" Medan, and "killed and arrested a large number of them. The military units also chased down terrorists who terrorized some families in the neighborhoods of al-Qaboun and Tishreen and forced them to leave their homes."

With the Syrian government restricting access to the country by foreign journalists, CNN cannot independently confirm reports of violence or details about the attack.

The building where the bombing took place is in Rawda Square, near al-Assad's home and the U.S. Embassy. Security officials and government spies have had a heavy presence in the area.

The U.S. Embassy suspended operations in February.

Next for Syria: Showdown or stalemate?

The attack represents "a massive psychological blow to the regime" and will accelerate al-Assad's "demise," said Anthony Skinner, an analyst with the think tank Maplecroft, which provides risk assessments on global business.

It could suggest that, after a 16-month relentless uprising, "the regime itself is crumbling," said Rime Allaf, an analyst with Chatham House, a think tank focusing on international affairs.

Events in Syria show "a real escalation in fighting," said U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

It "tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control, and for that reason it's extremely important that the international community, working with other countries that have concerns in that area, have to bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what's right, and to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition," Panetta said.

The U.S. government announced Wednesday a new round of sanctions against members of the Syrian government. A previous round this year included Rajiha.

"It's clear that the Assad regime is losing control of Syria," said Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council.

He urged a political transition to help avert "a lengthy and bloody sectarian civil war."

"We continue to work closely with the Syrian opposition to ensure that a transition guarantees fundamental rights as well as those of minorities," he said. "... In the meantime, we continue to squeeze the regime financially. U.S. and international sanctions have had a significant effect on Assad's reserves, and are making it difficult for this regime to finance its brutality."

Timeline: How the horror has unfolded

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zubi, speaking on state TV, vowed that those behind the attack will be held accountable, even if they are outside the country.

The attackers targeted a committee that deals not only with security matters but all sorts of problems facing Syrians, he said.

He also insisted that those trying to divide the army are failing. "This army has not been divided," he said.

But increasing numbers of officials in the Syrian military have defected in recent days.

Two more brigadier generals fled to Turkey overnight, bringing the number of Syrian generals in Turkey to 20, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.

Rajiha, a member of the country's minority Christian community, was named by the United States Treasury in sanctions this year. U.S. citizens were prohibited from engaging in transactions with him and some other officials amid what the U.S. government called Syria's "continued use of violence against its people."

In 2006, the Treasury named Shawkat -- then Syria's director of military intelligence -- in an executive order, freezing his assets and prohibiting U.S. citizens from engaging in transactions with him. At the time, the U.S. government called Shawkat "a key architect of Syria's domination of Lebanon, as well as a fundamental contributor to Syria's long-standing policy to foment terrorism against Israel."

What we need to know about Syria

Days ago, Nawaf al-Fares, the former Syrian ambassador to Iraq who became the country's highest diplomatic defector, told CNN that Shawkat had run an al Qaeda in Iraq training camp.

A U.S. official said al-Fares' claim was "broadly consistent with our understanding" of the Syrian regime's cooperation with al Qaeda "elements."

But the Syrian regime has repeatedly denied involvement in terrorist activities -- and in fact has blamed the violence of the past 16 months on "armed terrorist groups."

Al-Zubi, speaking Wednesday on state TV, noted that the attack that killed the four men coincided with a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

The council could vote Wednesday on the fate of 300 U.N. monitors as a Friday deadline looms.

Dark images of horror and despair smuggled out of Syria

The observers' work has been largely curtailed due to relentless violence that has surged in recent weeks and has moved into the capital, Damascus.

Western countries are pushing for a resolution that threatens sanctions against al-Assad's regime if government forces don't stop attacks. That draft also calls for renewing the U.N. observer mission for 45 days.

But throughout Syria's 16-month crisis, Russia has opposed any international effort that seeks to blame, punish or change the Syrian government. Russia -- along with China -- has vetoed two previous draft resolutions in the U.N. Security Council, leading to accusations that Russia is protecting the Syrian regime.

Syrian soldiers jump through flaming hoops as helicopters fly over city

Russia, meanwhile, has put forth its own draft, which "strongly urges all parties in Syria to cease immediately all armed violence in all its forms." The Russian draft also calls for renewing the U.N. observer mission for three months.

Kofi Annan, joint envoy to Syria for the United Nations and the Arab League, asked Wednesday that the vote on a draft resolution be postponed, the British mission to the United Nations said.

Annan earlier this year forward a peace plan that has failed to stop the violence.

He met Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Syria's al Qaeda boomerang

Since the crisis began in March 2011, the United Nations estimates, more than 10,000 people have been killed in the violence; the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria estimates that more than 16,000 have died.

Infant died five minutes after burial, autopsy shows


Autopsy report shows two-day-old girl had no physical impairments. PHOTO: FILE

MULTAN: The post-mortem report of a two-day-old girl has confirmed that she was buried alive and died five or more minutes later due to suffocation. The autopsy was conducted by Dr Muhammad Tariq and Dr Rubeena from the Kacha Khu rural health centre.

The grave of the child had been dug on the orders of the Khanewal magistrate and civil judge Justice Rehman Elahi, with the permission of the victim’s mother and in the presence of the residents of the area and the police.

The grave itself was identified by the infant’s father, who buried her alive last week claiming he did not like her looks.

Dr Tariq told The Express Tribune that the initial medical report confirmed the death was a result of the seven kilogrammes of mud which was thrown upon her. Dr Rubeena confirmed that she was physically healthy and had no impairments. The only thing unusual about the child was that her face was large. Samples have been taken from the child’s body and sent to Lahore to a forensic laboratory for a detailed autopsy report.

Earlier, the perpetrator of the horrific crime justified his act, saying that “It was my will because she was my child and every person has the right to do anything with their children.”

The man, who is in the custody of the police, has been threatened by residents who angrily demanded from the area magistrate that he be buried alive in the same grave where he buried his daughter.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.

Why am I a dictator?

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is puzzled why he has been branded a dictator and asks for proof.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who celebrated his 87th birthday recently, cannot fathom being branded a dictator and pointed to others who were more deserving of the title such as Adolf Hitler.

In his latest blog posting, the former premier lamented that such labels, given with basis or otherwise, were difficult to erase and remained with a person for a lifetime.

“So labels are essential in politics, especially those which run down an opponent. Whatever you do, the opponents will not cease using the labels,” he said.

“When I was prime minister, I was given numerous titles. ‘Mahazalim’, ‘Firaun’ and ‘dictator’ were among the titles invented by my political foes,” he added.

Mahathir had been accused of ruling with an iron fist as critics claimed that under his 22-year watch, the independence of key institutions such as the media and judiciary was shackled.

The doctor-turned-politician’s tenure was also marred by the Internal Security Act crackdown on opposition politicians and activists as well as allegations of widespread corruption.

Mahathir had denied the alleged transgressions and claimed that whatever bank balance he had, resulted from his savings.

But what dealt an indelible taint to his reputation both here and abroad was the sacking and jailing of deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

It is said that the latter’s successful smear campaign had led Mahathir to despise him.

Look at Mubarak

The former premier said that when he is interviewed now, the questions posed indicated that those fielding them believed the labels used to describe him, especially that he was a dictator.

“What have I done that equates me with the qualities and actions of a dictator?” he asked.

Travelling as far as Egypt to substantiate his argument, Mahathir cited the rule of Hosni Mubarak who was accused of massacring thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and amassing a wealth amounting to US$70 billion.

The former premier recounted that when he was in Cairo during the Mubarak era, streets were vacated for the president’s motorcade and armed troops lined the sidewalks.

“Mubarak’s enemies were not allowed to be political, they were often arrested, imprisoned without trial and eventually vanished. During the 30 years that he was president, the post was never contested by anyone else and he obtained 99% of the votes.

“There was no press freedom nor freedom of expression… Mubarak could elect anyone to be a minister and terminate their services whenever he wanted,” Mahathir added.

The former premier also listed the names of several other dictators such as Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ferdinand Marcos, Nicolae Ceau┼čescu, Muammar Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein.

“I want to know from the visitors to my blog, what is it that I have done as prime minister which can prove that I am a dictator,” he said.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/18/why-am-i-a-dictator/#ixzz2105j1tTS

‘Laws against gays can protect marriages’

However, the opposition leader says that archaic laws must be reviewed to prevent the innocent from being penalised.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has lent his support for discriminating against homosexuals in order to protect the sanctity of heterosexual marriages.

However, the PKR leader, whose sexual preferrence had been the subject of much debate, allegations and denials, said that archaic laws must be reviewed to prevent the innocent from being penalised.

Anwar said this in response to questioning by Utusan Malaysia’s counsel Firoz Hussein during the hearing of the former’s suit against the Umno-owned daily.

Firoz: Should the laws discriminate against homosexuals?

Anwar: Yes.

Meanwhile, High Court judge VT Singham reminded Firoz not to badger Anwar with questions.

“The court does not want to interfere in your cross-examination but be fair. You keep asking on interpretations. Lawyers are here to assist the court,” he said.

Singham also reprimanded Firoz for not questioning with regard to defending Utusan.

“I don’t know the direction that you are taking. What are you trying to achieve? I am not a recording machine,” said the judge.

He said this when Firoz questioned Anwar’s interpretation regarding an Utusan report interview with former PAS man, Hasan Ali.

No questions on reputation

Singham also ruled that questions relating to Anwar’s reputation will not be allowed.

“I am not allowing it [any question] to be raised about [his] reputation because it is not mentioned in the justification… This case is related to defamation, [not reputation],” he said.

Earlier this morning, Firos cited Anwar’s sodomy case under Section 377 of the Penal Code (for carnal intercourse against order of nature) as the reason for Anwar having no reputation to defend.

Anwar had filed a RM50 million suit against Utusan and its group editor-in-chief Abdul Aziz Ishak in January following its front-page report that was published on Jan 15.

The Utusan report referred to a BBC interview with Anwar and alleged that he had said that the laws on homosexuality in Malaysia were considered “archaic” and “not relevant”.

In the said interview, the BBC reporter had reportedly asked Anwar whether he was prepared to push for the idea of anti-discrimination as far as gay rights were concerned, to which he had allegedly said: “We will have to review some of our archaic laws.”

“We Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia generally believe and are committed to support the sanctity of marriage between men and women, but we should not be seen to be punitive and consider the archaic law as relevant,” Anwar had told BBC.

Hasan’s comments were published in two articles in Utusan Malaysia entitled: “Tolak Anwar – Hasan” (Reject Anwar – Hasan) and “Parasit ancam Pas, Anwar mesti ditolak” (Parasites threatening PAS, Anwar must be rejected).

In the articles, Hasan had reportedly referred to the interview when slamming Anwar for allegedly calling for homosexuality to be made legal in the country.

Anwar was represented by N Surendran, Latheefa Koya and Murnie Hidayah Anuar. Utusan was also represented by Hafarizam Harun and Wan Azmir Wan Majid.

Umno owned

Meanwhile, Firos’ application to expunge three points in Anwar’s statement was also postponed.

All three points are related to Umno’s alleged ownership of Utusan Malaysia.

Earlier, Anwar testified that Utusan takes orders from Umno and Umno appoints its representative into Umno board of director.

In response to another question, Anwar said: “I don’t have the evidence now but I will bring it during the next hearing.

“The name of the director is not specifically stated in the Companies Commission but he is powerful.”

The hearing continues on Aug 13.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/18/discriminating-gays-can-protect-marriages/#ixzz2105SeEmv

Wan Azizah, S’gor MB in waiting?

Naming her as the candidate for the post will solve many problems in Pakatan as well as secure the support of women voters.

PETALING JAYA: In politics nothing is impossible. In recent weeks it is clear that Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim is facing stiff internal pressure from PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s camp when the latter’s supporters waged a war against Khalid’s private secretary Faekah Hussin through the Internet and social media.

Even though both Khalid and Azmin never publicly showed that they are at odds, the strained ties between the duo is an open secret.

About a year ago sources told FMT that there will be a major reshuffle in Selangor after the 13th general election. At that point of time it was said that PKR de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim, planned to field Khalid only in a parliamentary seat (Bandar Tun Razak) and make him a Cabinet minister if Pakatan Rakyat marched into Putrajaya.

Meanwhile, Azmin will contest in his Bukit Antarabangsa state seat and eventually be made the new Selangor menteri besar.

However, recent developments in Selangor PKR, including the Faekah saga and few other internal crisis, requires Anwar to act on the issue carefully in order not to hurt both Khalid and Azmin respectively.

He needs to find a strong figure to unite Selangor PKR in order to hold the state with the help of PAS and DAP as well.

One such figure is his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Personal touch

Wan Azizah has always been addressed as Kak Wan by PKR leaders and members even in the division and branch levels. That is the personal touch and closeness that Wan Azizah has with PKR grassroots members that not even Anwar has.

So speculation is rife that a few PKR division leaders in the state who are unhappy with both Khalid and Azmin are proposing that Wan Azizah contest in a Selangor state seat and eventually be made as the new menteri besar if Pakatan retains the state.

On July 15, Azmin was quoted by Sinar Harian as saying that Selangor PKR is willing to accept Wan Azizah if she decides to contest in a state seat in Selangor.

However, he said that she must first get the support of the PKR grassroots in the state.

Although a very democratic practice, it seems strange that a party president has to go through the state leadership and grassroots in order to secure a seat.

Imagine if Umno president Najib Tun Razak suddenly decides to contest in Negeri Sembilan and Menteri Besar Mohd Hasan says that he needs to seek the permission of his grassroots leaders first?

Yesterday, the speculation of Wan Azizah contesting in Selangor grew stronger when Kapar PKR publicly offered her to contest in the Sementa state seat.

The Sementa seat was won by Umno’s Abdul Rahman Palil uncontested during the 12th national polls when the PKR candidate failed to turn up on nomination day.

The pros and cons

Let’s start with the cons first.

If Wan Azizah contests in a state seat in Selangor, Umno may accuse PKR of practising cronyism and brand the party as a family party.

However, this strategy may not have much of an impact as by now the majority of Malaysians don’t see the Anwar and Wan Azizah combination as an element of cronyism even after their daughter Nurul Izzah was elected as the party’s vice-president.

Malaysians know why Wan Azizah is there and how the party was formed and under what scenario the party was established. Umno and several BN component parties too have the family connection in their leaderships at the national, state and division levels.

Malaysian are largely not bothered about who sits in the party but rather how the leaders run the state and country and how the people can benefit from the policymakers.

On the positive side the move to nominate Wan Azizah as Selangor menteri besar will trigger an excitement among Malaysians, especially the women not only in Selangor but also nationwide.

Wan Azizah and Pakatan will be making history as she will be the first woman menteri besar should Pakatan win back the state.

It will also boost the support of women for Pakatan as internal surveys have shown that the opposition lacks the support of this gender.

Don’t be surprised if even Umno is forced to nominate a woman for the post should Pakatan name Wan Azizah.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/18/wan-azizah-sgor-mb-in-waiting/#ixzz2104Qx5Sl

Clarify Sri Lanka fund, Rama told

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II asked to account for the estimated RM73,000 collected for war victims in 2009

GEORGE TOWN: A DAP branch leader today urged Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy to clarify the status of the party’s Sri Lanka Tamil War Victims Relief Fund 2009.

G Asoghan, chairman of Jalan Bagan Luar branch, said Ramasamy must explain what happened to the estimated RM73,000 collected from mainly Malaysian Indians for the fund.

He said his branch was indirectly involved in the issue as it organised the first meeting of the relief fund committee presided by Ramasamy.

Due to his branch’s involvement in the initial stage, Asoghan said many contributors have been questioning him on the status of the funds collected.

“The public wants to know if the money reached the Tamil war victims of Sri Lanka,” he told FMT.

He said rumours were circulating that the money had been deposited to a personal account of a London-based Sri Lankan called Patmanaban.

He said there were allegations that Patmanaban has since been detained by British authorities for having links with terrorists and for money laundering.

“There are numerous claims, allegations and queries about the fund. We can’t possibly answer for Ramasamy.

“As a responsible party deputy secretary-general and state deputy chairman, Ramasamy must come clean on the issue to safeguard party interests.

“This is not a small matter and he can’t go on being quiet. He’s got to clear the air once and for all to prevent DAP from being accused of sponsoring terrorists and terrorism,” said Asoghan.

Reports with police, MACC


Several contributors are contemplating lodging reports with the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the issue if Ramasamy fails to explain publicly soon.

Asoghan said he had openly called on Ramasamy to “clear the air” only after failing to obtain replies from the party leadership.

Penang DAP launched its Sri Lankan Tamils Relief Fund to help ethnic Tamil civilians injured in the fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

Ramasamy in a news report in 2009, said the campaign was endorsed by the state government.

“This campaign is being launched on humanitarian grounds and is not racially-motivated,” he said.

Efforts to reach Ramasamy today for comments were futile as he did not reply to calls and text messages.

DAP Penang chairman Chow Kon Yeow has claimed that he knew very little of the details of the fund, except that “it had been sent out.”

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/18/clarify-sri-lanka-fund-rama-told/#ixzz21045ttcI

Dogs put down in violation of MPAJ by-laws

Five cannies and four puppies euthanised without observing seven-day grace period.

PETALING JAYA: A police report was today lodged against the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) for euthanising homeless dogs in breach of the council’s own by-laws.

M Siva, 33, lodged the report at the Pandan Indah police station at about 7pm yesterday. He was accompanied by his wife T Uma.

Siva said that there were five homeless dogs that used to loiter around his apartment at Bukit Pandan Bestari that went missing last Thursday.

“The dogs are friendly and many of us feed them ,including the security guards at my apartment. I was attached to one particular dog that looked like a Golden Retriever,” said Siva.

When asked about the dogs disappearance, Siva said that the security guards informed him that the canines were caught by local council officers.

Siva, an executive in a multi-national company, called up the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) the following day as he wanted to adopt the dogs and found out that that it was not City Hall that caught them.

“I realised that if it was not DBKL it must have been MPAJ. So I called up the office on Saturday morning but they were closed,” he said.

On Monday, Siva said that he called up MPAJ again and was attended to by an officer who went by the name Amy Fadhil.

“He told me that he’ll call me back but he didn’t. I called once more and insisted on some information. He transferred my call to another officer by the name of Vijay.

“He confirmed that they caught the five dogs together with four puppies. And to my horror, Vijay told me that all the dogs were put down on Saturday, the day I first called,” he said.

Outsourced to third party

Angered by the news, Siva and his wife went to MPAJ in the afternoon and checked with the local council’s legal department on their regulations in dealing with stray animals.

Siva claimed that he found out that MPAJ by-laws stipulate that dogs caught by the council must be kept for at least seven working days before deciding the next course of action.

He later confronted Amy and Vijay but claimed that the duo ended up blaming each other. The officers even accused a doctor employed by the MPAJ for the killings.

Siva was also livid when the officers refused to reveal details on how and where the dogs and puppies were to sleep, citing confidentiality.

“The officers simply told me that they outsourced the matter to third party, meaning they engaged private dog catchers to deal with strays,” said Siva.

Unhappy with the outcome, Siva said that he will consult his lawyers to get a court order to get the dogs’ carcasses.

“I may try get the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to conduct a post-mortem on the carcasses to find out how they were put down,” he said.

Selangor DVS deputy director Dr Fadzillah Radan, when contacted, said that she had not heard of the case but added that MPAJ should have followed its own by-laws in dealing with the dogs.

“Even then, the dogs must be put to sleep under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian,” she said.

FMT could not reach Selangor exco for local council affairs, Ronnie Liu for comments.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/frontpage/2012/07/18/dogs-put-down-in-violation-of-mpaj-by-laws/#ixzz2103cfTvV

MIC may ‘lose’ state seats

It is the prime minister's direct influence with the NGOs in the Indian community that has helped regain their loyalty to BN.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC, touted to be the largest Indian-based political party in the country, may have less seats to contest in the 13th general election.

Political pundits and party loyalists are predicting that the party, which claims to have some 630,000 members, will see its parliamentary and state seats slashed by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

In the 2008 general election, the party was allocated nine parliamentary and 19 state seats under the Barisan Nasional banner.

But it only managed to win three parliamentary and seven state seats. MIC later won another parliamentary seat through a by-election in Hulu Selangor in 2010.

A party veteran whom FMT recently spoke to said MIC has lost its “vibrancy and visibility”.

“The MIC is not as vibrant as before… whatever said and done S Samy Vellu [former MIC president] made the party vibrant and visible.

“Now the party looks to be in a slumber. They need a wake-up call.”

He said the “wake up call’ would be in the form of a “seats slash”.

“I expect to see Najib reducing the number of seats the party will contest.

“MIC is assured of the three seats it won [in 2008]. Hulu Selangor will also be given back to the party… but the other seats are still questionable,” said the leader who declined to be named.

‘Best formula for BN’

At the 2008 general election, MIC won in Segamat (Johor), Cameron Highlands (Pahang) and Tapah (Perak) parliamentary seats.

The Segamat incumbent is party deputy president Dr S Subramaniam while Cameron Highlands and Tapah are held by party vice-presidents S K Devamany and M Saravanan respectively.

The Hulu Selangor seat was won by P Kamalanathan, who is a member of the party’s central working committee member.

Currently, MIC president G Palanivel is “seatless”. He lost his Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat in the 2008 polls by a mere 198 votes.

According to the veteran leader, who has been a party member for the past 40 years, Najib’s recent statements and moves point towards a “restructuring” of the seats-allotment.

“Don’t forget the BN president [Najib] has insisted [in the last BN supreme council meeting] that it is not necessary that all seats are allocated to components parties.

“He also declared at the last Umno general assembly that he only wanted winnable candidates.

“Also, don’t forget he has been engaging the NGO leaders and BN-friendly parties who are seen as dedicated and will help the coalition in achieving its ‘people first’ policy.

“The prime minister in finding the best formula to remain in power is considering fielding candidates who are not politicians,” he said.

During last month’s BN supreme council meeting, Najib had warned all component parties not to claim any right of seat or demand it belongs to them.

NGOs support for Najib

Najib had reportedly said that the seats will be allocated based on ground performance and that he will decide on a suitable candidate.

According to Najib, a BN internal analysis showed MIC as one of the weakest links in BN, having failed to regain the Indian support it lost in the 2008 national polls.

The analysis also indicated that BN had regained its “clout” among Indians but this was through Najib’s direct contact with the community.

“The time has changed now. MIC was once the ‘sole spokesman’ for the Indian community. It’s now lost that right.

“The community now has a multitude of representatives. The Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry [MAICCI] led by Kenneth Eswaran has played a major role in Najib’s Indian Economic Transformation Programme.

“MyNadi, chaired by Dr S Jeyaindran, is focused on Tamil schools through ‘Project Ilmu’ and other Indian-based parties like PPP, IPF, MIUP and MMP have done a wonderful job of taking up Indian issues to the relevant authorities.

“Now the community has various channels to help them fulfil their demands and expectations.

“Based on this fact alone, I strongly believed that MIC may lose several of its seats.

“I foresee Najib giving a chance to others to contest in the general election,” he added.

Palanivel a ‘wrong leader’

The veteran leader was also of the opinion that MIC might work out a compromise with the BN leadership.

“I think they will surrender most of the 19 state seats and ask to keep the nine parliamentary seats.

“I won’t be surprised if Najib granted state seats to language-based bodies like Telugu association, Malayali associations and other smaller Indian-based parties.

“By allocating seats directly to them, Najib can enjoy and draw more support from the Indian community without the intervention of MIC,” he added.

When asked to explain the current leadership, the veteran leader described Palanivel as a “wrong president in a right time”.

“What has he done since taking over the party leadership?

“Palanivel is just blowing his own trumpet by claiming that MIC is gaining the trust of the Indian voters when the ground feeling is totally different.

“The community has benefited from Najib’s direct influence. Palanivel did nothing. He is always silent.

“Compared to the former prime ministers, Najib is the best prime minister the Indian community has had todate,” he said.

‘MIC counting its days’

The leader also said the 13th general election was “the best chance ever” to convert all partially aided Tamil schools into fully-aided schools.

“But, until today Palanivel has not voiced out about the issue. He can claim that he raised the matter in Cabinet meetings but it is a public interest matter.

“So, he should make the demand in public,” added the leader.

MIC, he said, is running out of time, now that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had indicated that the general election will likely be held this year.

“It seems like the party is now counting its days to doomsday,” he said

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/18/mic-may-lose-all-state-seats/#ixzz2103Hibe6

Indian debate debacle


The Traveler, Sunday,
Politics find strange bed fellows. In July 2010, K P Samy organized an anti-Samy Vellu gathering, during the height of MIC deputy president Palanivel’s conspiracy to depose Samy Vellu, at Klang Dewan Hamzah. Sensing a huge turnout, Samy Vellu sent his attack dogs led by the Selangor MIC Information chief Subramaniam who successfully completed the mission to disrupt the meeting at any cost.

On July 14, 2012, K P Samy and very same attack dog Subramaniam who spewed vulgarities and flexed his mussel, joined hands to debate Klang MP Charles Santiago and Senator Ramakrishnan at same Klang Dewan Hamzah venue.
debate
K P Samy & MIC Attack dog Subramaniam
However, the debate did not take place as planned. MIC secretary Murugesan earlier has sent a letter stating the MIC disinterest in the debate, PKR wanted to debate only with UMNO and MP Kulasegaran only wanted to debate with Palanivel.

Apparently, the organizer’s of the debate disallowed MIC’s unsanctioned representatives K P Samy and attack dog Subramaniam to participate resulting both of them to walkout, according Malaysia Nanban Tamil daily.

Furthermore, the DAP duo only interested to take on MP’s, Senators, Deputy Ministers, Ministers and not political underlings.

By the same logic, why should Palanivel take on Kulasegaran? Who is Kulasegaran? Why this Kulasegaran specifically calling Palanivel to debate? Why not Human Resources Minister Subramaniam? Why not deputy minister Saravanan? Why not deputy minister Devamani?

debate
The obvious reason is Palanivel’s Tamil sucks. Those who watch Tamil news can see how Palanivel wobbles to complete a sentence in Tamil.  He has to mix Tamil, English and BM. How is he going to reach the Tamil masses?

Unlike Palanivel, the rest are quite proficient in Tamil and can easily swallow Kulasegaran.
Both Penang Chief Minister Lim Eng Guan and MCA president Chua Soi Lek must be commended for facing each other in two debates, English and Mandarin, affecting Chinese community.

Our fellows in MIC, DAP and PKR are good only in giving all kind of lame excuses.
A Tamil proverb come to my mind, “Aada theriyathaval aRangam kONal endralzam” which translated can be “Blame the stage, when you don’t know dancing”.
That’s the case with Indian Politian’s.
debate
Malaysia Nanban 15072012
debate

Akhbar didakwa fitnah Kit Siang isu raja Melayu

oleh Malaysiakini
Lim Kit Siang showing untruthful article on SelangorKita (Picture by MalaysiaKini)
DAP hari ini mendedahkan pengedaran sebuah akhbar anti Pakatan Rakyat tidak berdaftar yang didakwa mereka-reka kenyataan penasihatnya Lim Kit Siang berhubung isu raja-raja Melayu.
Akhbar dengan nama Selangor Kita itu dengan memetik “sumber DAP” antaranya memetik Lim sebagai berkata, tidak perlu menghormati pemimpin tertinggi negara Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Lim Kit Siang exposing SelangorKita fitnah article (Picture by MalaysiaKini)
“Ia tidak benar. Saya tidak pernah berkata demikian.
“Pemimpin-pemimpin DAP lain juga tidak pernah berkata demikian,” kata Kit Siang merujuk kepada petikan kenyataan dalam halaman kedua edisi Mei 2012 akhbar tersebut.
Bercakap dalam sidang akhbar di Petaling Jaya pagi tadi, Lim berkata, penerbitan itu bersifat menghasut dan memberikan gambaran yang salah tentang dirinya.

“Ini adalah penerbitan yang sangat tidak bertanggungjawab untuk mewujudkan rasa tidak percaya dan kurang senang antara kaum.
“Ia juga bertujuan memberikan gambaran seolah-olah saya ini menentang sistem kesultanan Melayu dan seolah-olah saya ini tidak hormat kepada Raja-raja Melayu,” katanya.
Akhbar dengan reka letak ala Selangor Kini – penerbitan rasmi kerajaan Selangor pimpinan Pakatan – tanpa nama penerbit, pengedar dan penulis itu mempunyai hanya lapan halaman dan didakwa dikesan sekitar Puchong.
Picture of SelangorKita paper (Picture by MalaysiaKini) 
Antara tajuk beritanya “PKR Selangor PENAKUT!”, “Politik dendam Khalid Ibrahim tiada batasan”, dan “PTPTN: Pemuda Umno bidas kerajaan Selangor”.
Turut dimuatkan kenyataan dan gambar Timbalan Ketua Perhubungan BN Selangor Datuk Noh Omar yang mengkritik pentadbiran Selangor.
Sementara itu ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San yang mendakwa menerima akhbar itu berkata akan membuat laporan polis petang ini.

Guidelines will be out soon, says IGP

Malay Mail 
by Thasha Jayamanogaran

THE standard operating procedure (SOP) for police handling of media personnel during mass gatherings will be implemented soon, says Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Ismail Omar (pic).

He said the police were drafting the SOP.

“Immediately after the chaos at the recent Bersih 3.0 rally, we addressed this issue and it (the SOP) is in the process of being analysed and studied,” he said when commenting on the findings of the Bersih 3.0 independent investigative panel that police had no SOP on how to handle the media during crises.

Panel chairman Tun Hanif Omar had said the lack of such an SOP could have caused the alleged violence against media personnel covering the rally by some lower rank police officers.

Said Ismail: “We also learn from experience. I will be receiving the full report from the panel today (Monday). If there is any weakness from our side, we will definitely look into it.”

On allegations that recent criminal activities were the work of former Emergency Ordinance (EO) detainees released following its repeal, Ismail said that while it was a challenge for the police, he would not agree it had contributed to an increase in crime.

“They do not have figures or proof. It is our job and we are here to stay and deal with the new challenges. We are not running away from anything. The ex-EO detainees also have moral obligations and we do not look at them as criminals,” he said.

Ismail reiterated his statement last week that one of the police’s main goals now was to meet public expectations in their handling of crime.

He said police were studying the changing methods used criminals and adopt the necessary counter-measures.

It was reported that at a closed-door meeting between Ismail and his men last Friday, police agreed they must ensure that the public felt safe following the recent series of violent mall and street crimes.

Yesteryear Bollywood Superstar Rajesh Khanna Dies

NEW DELHI, July 18 (Bernama) -- Yesteryear Bollywood superstar, Rajesh Khanna, has died at the age of 69 in Mumbai.

Indian media reported that the actor suffered from cancer.

Rajesh Khanna, who was married to "Bobby" heroin Dimple Kapadia had appeared in more than 160 films, including hits such as Kati Patang, Aaradhana, Andaz, Haathi Mere Saathi and Amar Prem.

Khanna and his ex-wife, Dimple had two daughters, Twinkle Khanna, who is married to actor Akshay Kumar, and Rinke Khanna, who is married to a businessman, Sameer Saran.

The BBC made a film on him, titled 'Bombay Superstar' in 1974. A textbook prescribed by Bombay University contains an essay, 'The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna'.

Anti-Lynas protesters gathered in Sydney

Anti-Lynas protesters gathered in Sydney on 14 July to express solidarity with their Malaysian counterparts who cast their ballots in a mock referendum on the rare earth refinery in towns across Malaysia.