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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scores killed in India transport accidents

At least 60 people were killed in two major rail and road accidents in the south and north of the country.

(Al Jazeera) At least 60 people were killed in two major rail and road accidents in India on Monday.

While at least 32 passengers were killed by a fire on a train in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, 29 pilgrims were killed in a collision between two trucks in the northern state of Haryana.

The pilgrims were killed when they were returning home after visiting a Hindu temple in the nearby Bhiwani district of Rajasthan state, about 120km west of the capital New Delhi.

The passengers on the train bound for the city of Chennai were killed when one of its carriages caught fire while it was moving.

The fire was discovered at a railway station in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. The coach was completely gutted, with rescuers forced to use gas cutters to access parts of it. At least 22 injured people have been hospitalised.

'Horrifying' accounts

Local official B. Sridhar said the fire was believed to have been caused by a short circuit in the coach, although a railway spokesman said it may have been caused by "someone carrying in flammable materials on the train".

Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri, reporting from New Delhi, said that survivors had shared some "horrifying" accounts of the fire.

"They say that since this accident happened at 4:30am local time (23:00 GMT on Sunday), most passengers were asleep, and so when the fire broke out, most did not have much time to escape. Some are saying that the doors were also jammed, literally trapping a few people inside," she reported.

Sreedhar said that identifying the dead was a difficult task.

"Some of the bodies are charred beyond recognition,'' he said, adding that officials had made preliminary identifications based on the reservations chart from the train's records.

Images of the site showed thick, black smoke still pouring out of the charred carriage, as dawn broke over the accident scene. Dozens of rescuers, survivors and crowds of onlookers milled around the burned carriage, as the blackened bodies of victims were pulled out of the wreckage and laid in rows alongside the railway line.

Family members of the victims wailed and screamed, while other dazed survivors sat quietly with their belongings.

"I woke up when people were rushing into our compartment, I was in S-10 which was attached to the S-11 coach that caught fire," passenger Shantanu, who gave only one name, told the NDTV news channel. "There was smoke all around. We tried to open the emergency window, people jumped out of it."

The carriage was designed to carry around 70 people, and was travelling at about 110km per hour when it passed through Nellore station.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy said an investigation was under way.

"Nothing can be excluded and nothing can be said without an investigation," Roy told reporters shortly before rescue officials wrapped up their nearly 12-hour search for bodies.

'Sedia kaunter polis supaya pengunjung rasa selamat'

Alevi family's home stoned, stable torched in southeastern Turkey

Evli family's home was attacked. DHA photo
Evli family's home was attacked. DHA photo
The home of an Alevi family was stoned and their stables burned down by an angry mob yesterday after the family allegedly told a Ramadan drummer not to wake them for sahur, the meal before sunrise.

Members of the Evli family in the Sürgü village of the southeastern Malatya province allegedly asked a Ramadan drummer not to drum in front of their home the night of July 28 as they were not fasting and had work early in the morning. The two sides quarreled after the drummer rejected the family’s request.

News of the incident was heard throughout the village and a mob of around 60 people gathered in front of the Evli family’s house yesterday. The group hurled stones at the family's home and said the family members were “Kurds and Alevis.” The small contingent of gendarmerie soldiers in the villlage was unable to contain the crowd so reinforcements were called in from the Doğanşehir district.

The group reportedly chanted slogans, yelled “Allahu ekber,” meaning God is great, sang the Turkish national anthem and said “this family will leave this place.” Evli family members turned off their lights and hid in their homes in terror. The group also set a stable belonging to the Evli family on fire, which prompted the gendarmerie to fire shots into the air.

Security forces were able to disperse the crowd after reinforcements arrived.

Hasan Hüseyin Evli, whose home was attacked, said his family had wanted to live in peace together as Alevis and Sunnis. “We do not want such incidents, we have never hurt anyone,” he said.

Leyla Evli showed journalists the stones hurled at her home by the mob. “They came to lynch us. They shouted ‘death to Kurds, death to Alevis.’ They told us to leave and threatened to kill us if we did not,” she said.

Calm was restored in Sürgü after gendarmerie forces took measures in the village to increase security and placed officers on patrol around the Evli family’s house today.

Couple stoned to death over 'illegal' affair

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A spokesman for the radical Islamic group controlling northern Mali says a couple who had an adulterous relationship was stoned to death this weekend in the town of Aguelhok.

Sanda Abou Mohamed, a spokesman for the group Ansar Dine, told The Associated Press by telephone on Sunday that the couple was executed according to Shariah law.

A resident of the northern city of Kidal, who had spoken to witnesses in nearby Aguelhok, said the man and woman were buried up to their necks, then pelted with stones until they died earlier Sunday. The resident requested anonymity because he feared for his safety.

The northern half of Mali was overrun by the rebels, including the Islamic group, in early April, following a coup in Mali’s capital.

Hindraf chairman Waytha gets his passport

He was issued his travel document by the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore this morning. He will enter Malaysia through Johor on Wednesday.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian High Commission in Singapore has issued a passport to Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, allowing him to return to Malaysia as a lawful citizen as planned on Aug 1.

He had flown into Singapore late yesterday from London and went to the high commission this morning to apply for his passport.

“I have been given my passport and I will enter Malaysia through Johor on Aug 1. Of course, I am open to the possibility of the authorities arresting me as soon as I enter Malaysia,” he told FMT today.

Earlier, attempts by Malaysian High Commission in London on Friday to issue a valid passport to Waythamoorthy hit a snag when the officials discovered an international alert to prevent the Hindraf supremo from travelling to any part of the world with a Malaysian passport.

Upon checking with their Malaysian counterparts in Putrajaya, the officers then had informed Waythamoorthy that his was a special case needing personal clearance from Malaysian police force chief, the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar himself.

Waythamoorthy had then flown out of London to Singpore on his UN-issued travel documents before making a fresh application at the Malaysian High Commission in the city-state this morning.

“My UK lawyer Ram Narayanan was with me as well and when me made the application for the passport for me, the officials first wanted to issue a one-way travel document.

“We however insisted on being issued a Malaysian passport for me, which they eventually did. I think the IGP has removed the ban on the manner,” he said.

Waythamoorthy’s passport was revoked by the federal government in March 2008 after he had left the country to London following the crackdown on Hindraf following the November 27, 2007 rally.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/30/hindraf-chairman-waytha-gets-his-passport/#ixzz228SJUCMu

Pembeli rumah desak pemaju selesaikan masalah CF

Lebih 20 pembeli rumah terbabit mendakwa pemaju gagal mengotakan janji untuk menyelesaikan masalah CF selewat-lewatnya selepas sambutan Tahun Baru Cina tahun ini.

SENAWANG – Suasana sambutan Hari Raya Aidil Fitri dua minggu lagi mungkin suram kepada pembeli rumah Taman Tuanku Jaafar (Fasa 3), Senawang, apabila hasrat mereka untuk mendiami rumah baru masih tidak kesampaian apabila pemaju masih gagal memperolehi Sijil Layak Menduduki (CF).

Lebih 20 pembeli rumah terbabit mendakwa pemaju gagal mengotakan janji untuk menyelesaikan masalah CF selewat-lewatnya selepas sambutan Tahun Baru Cina tahun ini. Walaubagaimanapun sehingga kini, belum ada sebarang berita gembira buat pembeli rumah terbabit.

“Kalau ikutkan perjanjian kami dapat menduduki rumah ini selepas dua tahun. Adalah menjadi hasrat saya untuk menyambut bulan Ramadhan dan Aidil Fitri tahun ini di rumah baru ini.

“Anak saya juga mahu berkahwin dan menjadi impian saya untuk adakan majlis perkahwinan anak saya di rumah baru ini, tetapi semua impian saya ini sudah terbantut kerana rumah tidak boleh didiami tanpa CF.

“Saya ada hubungi pemaju beberapa kali dan bertanya status rumah ini, tetapi pemaju meminta saya bersabar”, kata Abu Bakar Ujang yang berusia 59 tahun.

Zurina Maxtar, 34 pula membuat keputusan drastik dengan menduduki rumah ini sejak sebulan yang lalu walaupun rumah ini masih belum memiliki CF.

`Tinggal di rumah sewa’

“Saya terpaksa mengambil keputusan ini kerana tidak mampu lagi menanggung kos perbelanjaan hidup yang tinggi dan perlu membayar sewa rumah lain.

“Saya tiada pilihan lain kerana gaji saya sudah dipotong untuk bayar ansuran rumah. Pada masa yang sama saya dan suami terpaksa membayar duit sewa rumah jika terus tinggal di rumah sewa.

“Kami sudah putus asa dan oleh sebab itu kami mengambil keputusan nekad untuk berpindah ke rumah baru ini walaupun rumah ini belum mempunyai bekalan air dan CF”, jelas Zurina.

Mehrad Sulaiman, 41, berharap ada pihak yang dapat campur tangan menyelesaikan masalah yang sudah berlarutan sekian lama.

“Kami bercadang menubuhkan satu jawatankuasa khas untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian berhubung masalah ini”.

Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Paroi, Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani (PAS) berkata beliau difahamkan bahawa pihak berkuasa tempatan masih belum mengeluarkan CF kepada pemaju kerana ada masalah lereng bukit yang pemaju perlu selesaikan terlebih dahulu di lorong 7 hingga 10.

“Walaubagaimanapun pemaju pula berkata lereng bukit yang bermasalah (hakisan tanah) itu berada di luar kawasan perumahan yang mereka bangunkan.

“Saya berharap pihak berkuasa tempatan dan pemaju dapat duduk berbincang dan selesaikan masalah ini dengan segera demi kepentingan pembeli rumah.

“Rata-rata pembeli rumah yang menemui saya menghadapi kesukaran kewangan apabila terpaksa membayar pinjaman perumahan kepada pihak bank dan pada masa yang sama terpaksa juga membayar sewa rumah kerana masih tinggal di rumah sewa sementara rumah baru ini boleh diduduki”, kata Mohd Taufek.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/30/pembeli-rumah-desak-pemaju-selesaikan-masalah-cf/#ixzz228Rzd5eX

Karpal to PAS: Don’t spoil march to Putrajaya

The DAP leader tells the Islamic party’s youth chief to stop giving BN the ammunition to attack Pakatan Rakyat over the hudud issue.

PETALING JAYA: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has again warned PAS not to spoil Pakatan Rakyat’s chances in the 13th general election by continuing to make contradictory statements regarding its stand on setting up an Islamic state and instituting hudud laws.

“PAS is only scuttling Pakatan Rakyat’s march to Putrajaya in the coming elections with contradictory statements on its stand on Islamic state,” he said today.

“Hudud is not included in the Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework, Buku Jingga. Likewise, it will not be included in the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat.”

He was responding to a statement by PAS youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi that those rejecting God’s laws would be considered “kufur”, an Arabic word often translated as “disbelievers”.

According to the New Straits Times, Nasrudin, in a posting on Twitter, said: “Karpal is consistent in rejecting hudud because he is a kufur. PAS must continue with its struggle to uphold Islam.

Karpal urged PAS to “stop supplying cannon fodder to the Barisan Nasional to be aimed at Pakatan”, saying that it was “counter productive and politically naive”.

He also warned Nasrudin to “mind his language” and also questioned if Nasrudin was the “spokesman of PAS”.

“I must warn this political upstart to mind his language. No one, no party, no organisation can claim to have a monopoly on God.

“I must state with all the force at my command that I believe in God. There is only one God and all religions reflect that.”

Karpal noted that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had publicly stated on June 3 last year that the Quran mentioned a “welfare state”, not an “Islamic state”.

“This reflects beyond the pale of a doubt that PAS has given up its aim to set up an Islamic state,” he said. “PAS has, clearly, opted for a welfare state.”

He said that since hudud was a component of the Islamic state, “any attempt by PAS now to espouse introduction of hudud in the country badly reflects the bona fides of what was decided at PAS’s Muktamar last year.”

He also noted that on June 8 last year, the New Straits Times quoted PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat as saying that the party was right in shifting its focus from “Islamic state” to “welfare state”.

The hudud question has long been a thorny issue between Islamist PAS and secular DAP, and critics of Pakatan Rakyat have constantly picked on this, saying the opposition bloc had not been able to communicate a clear stance to put the issue to rest.

Misdirected arrow


In a related development, MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong said Karpal’s warning to MCA to stop bringing up the hudud issue was a “misdirected arrow”.

Rather than warning MCA, the deputy education minister said that Karpal should be warning the rakyat instead as MCA was merely addressing concerns of the rakyat, especially the Chinese and
non-Muslim community, noting that this was something “DAP has failed to do”.

“It is only right that MCA demands answers.”

“Instead of trading barbs with us, Karpal should instead be shifting his attention to why his own DAP comrades, in particular Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng are still continuing to keep silent, leaving him alone in his battle with PAS and their Islamic agenda.”

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/30/karpal-to-pas-don%e2%80%99t-spoil-march-to-putrajaya/#ixzz228Q9QCIk

Hindraf: We still have a role to play

'Look at the copy organisations that have sprouted around the Hindraf name. Does that not talk about the appeal in the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi name or significance?'
INTERVIEW

PETALING JAYA: It is going to be almost five years since Hindraf drew thousands of Indians to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to highlight their marginalised state in the country.

Since the rally on Nov 25, 2007, so many changes, especially political in nature, had taken place in Malaysia. The most important one had been, without a doubt, the political awareness of the Indian community, and their new-found willingness to fight for their rights.

According to Hindraf’s national adviser N Ganesan, the movement played David’s role in the David and Goliath parable by battling Umno head-on on Nov 25, 2007.

“This has contributed in major ways to reducing the fear among the polity, and shown the paper in the tiger of Umno. Hindraf has contributed to major shifts in public opinion vis-à-vis Umno since then. Fear has been a significant instrument of control by the Umno-led government. This has been blunted,” he told FMT in a recent interview.

He added that today Hindraf was no more a loosely banded group but instead has become a tight-knit group of activists made up of committed individuals across the country who have come forth after the rally of 2007.

“Why isn’t the government able to just kill Hindraf off? Hindraf is banned after all, is it not?” he asked.

He said the government was unable to finish off Hindraf because “Hindraf has tremendous appeal with the Indians and anything like that will be cutting off their nose to spite their face”.

He stressed that Hindraf remained more relevant than ever for the Indian community and lashed out at both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat for not being genuine and serious in handling the issues affecting the Indian community.

“Hindraf has tried through various initiatives to engage Pakatan. But it is very clear Pakatan does not want to engage with Hindraf. Their point is very clear: the ‘mandorist’ approach created by Umno seems to be a better approach than to take Hindraf on as equal partners.

“They [Pakatan] want the cake and they want to eat it too, just like Umno. They would rather create copies of us like Indraf and use that to create perceptions of dealing with the Indian issues, while getting the Indian votes on the cheap – not giving what it takes to truly resolve the Indian marginalisation issue,” he said.

He added that Hindraf found that there was no real difference in the positions of the two coalitions, and that “they just have no appetite to eliminate institutionalised racism and to create a nation based on dignity and equality”.

Ganesan said Hindraf was continuing to expose the deceptions of politicians from both BN and Pakatan.

This, he said, had resulted in the Indian voters being more aware of what politicians from BN or Pakatan represent, especially on Indian community matters.

“The Indian voters have been sensitised to their rights and interests. So both Barisan and Pakatan have to try much harder now to garner the Indian vote,” he said.

Below is the excerpt of FMT’s interview with Ganesan:

Since the November 2007 Hindraf rally, what has been the impact of Hindraf?

The impact of Hindraf has been very significant to recent Malaysian political development beginning with the November rally. By battling Umno head-on on Nov 25, 2007, Hindraf played David’s role in the David and Goliath parable and this has contributed in major ways to reducing the fear among the polity, and shown the paper in the tiger of Umno. Hindraf has contributed to major shifts in public opinion vis-à-vis Umno since then. Fear has been a significant instrument of control by the Umno led government. This has been blunted.

Hindraf has contributed and continues to contribute to the political awakening of Indians. Hindraf has made the Indians in Malaysia aware of the fact of how, through many stealth strategies, this Umno-led government has denied them their fundamental rights. In fact, the word on the ground is that Hindraf has opened the eyes of the Indians about what has really happened.

Look at the number of issues being raised spontaneously on the ground today by the Indians on the various issues of land, of religious freedom, of police brutality, of abusive civil servants, of denial of opportunities in education, in government employment and on the citizenship issue. None of this would be happening today but for the clarity Hindraf has wrought on the treachery in these areas. This is undeniable.

Because Hindraf has been focused on the human rights issues of the Indians, very focused, they have taken a non-partisan view of the way policies are framed and resources allocated by both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

The deceptions of politicians on both sides of the spectrum are constantly being exposed by Hindraf. The result has been a reduction in the confidence in facing change or party change stratagem as far as the ordinary Indian voter is concerned. They have been sensitised to their rights and interests. So both Barisan and Pakatan have to try much harder now to garner the Indian vote.

Is the movement still relevant today?

The movement’s significance is in the issues raised and the manner in which they are raised. This really defines relevance for Hindraf.

Institutionalised racism, we all know, is one of the biggest malaises in Malaysia and Hindraf hits at the centre of this racist platform – Umno, and its continuing and increasingly sophisticated contributions. All the other political parties stay clear of this fundamental malaise.

The source of this institutionalised racism is the two-tier citizenship entrenched in the Federal Constitution in Article 153. The Indian poor have been the most impacted by this racist regime. Institutionalised racism is a conspiracy of the elite serving to entrench their interests. This is Hindraf’s core message and Hindraf is entirely focused on this most relevant agenda.

The Special Indian Task Force’s MyDaftar programmes, and the subsequent championing of this same statelessness issue by Pakatan, is nothing but an indication of how relevant the issues Hindraf raised, are.

Their involvement in preventing or stopping temple demolishment, their increasing wayang kulit acts on Tamil schools, the kid-glove approach to the many Indian settlement issues, the handouts to the lower income peoples and the increasing concerns with issues Indian, speak volumes of the relevance of the issues Hindraf raises.

Think what all this will look like if Hindraf had not existed. Then look at the copy organisations that have sprouted around the Hindraf name – Indraf, Malaysian Makkal Sakthi Party. Does that not talk about the appeal in the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi name or significance?

If you try to measure relevance in terms of attendance to functions, then we must take our hats off to MIC as they have tens of thousands of Indians attending their functions – so they must be most relevant by that logic. Is that a justifiable conclusion?

Hindraf is a banned organisation. Which other operating organisation is? Why isn’t the government able to just kill Hindraf off? Hindraf is banned after all, is it not? They just cannot, as they know through their Special Branch assessment that Hindraf has tremendous appeal with the Indians and anything like that will be cutting off their nose to spite their face. So much for relevance.

What is Hindraf fighting for and how has it changed in shape or form since 2007?

What Hindraf is fighting for is twofold:

1) To bring the marginalised Indians into the mainstream of national development.

2) To eliminate all state-sponsored racist and religious supremacist policies of the government by dismantling the institutionalised racist regime.

The objectives have not changed – only they have become clearer. Hindraf is not a racist organisation as some would argue convolutedly for self-serving purpose – Hindraf is an organisation standing up for the victims of racism. This is what it started off as and this is what it stands for today.

In 2007, Hindraf was led by a group of loosely organised individuals who rallied the Indians in an open show of defiance against Umno in the watershed Hindraf rally. Today, Hindraf is no more that loosely banded group. Hindraf is now a tight-knit group of activists made up of committed individuals across the country who have come forth after the rally of 2007 and taken on the mantle boldly under the leadership of P Waythamoorthy.

Four activists and one Special Branch operative were arrested and detained under the ISA for their roles in the Nov 25, 2007 rally. Except for P Uthayakumar, all the rest have gone on to find their futures with PKR and DAP – a move Hindraf thinks reflects their personal political motives and ambitions.

That move is more an expression of their personal intentions rather than any loss of direction of Hindraf. For Umno’s part, one of Umno’s plans to kill Hindraf off was to buy out the leadership of Hindraf when the other key players were in detention or out of the country.

They succeeded in getting the renegade N Thanenthiran and created the BN-friendly Makkal Sakthi Party for him.

Waythamoorthy has remained completely bound to the original motive and plan of Hindraf while being in exile. So, effectively the chaff has been separated from the wheat – what we have now in Hindraf are activists who are truly bound to the original objectives of Hindraf.

What is Hindraf’s political leaning?

Hindraf’s short-term plans are to attain the18-point demands. Changing social values and creating fundamental politico-legal change is Hindraf’s long-term plan. And it is Hindraf’s considered opinion that there is not enough political will across the entire Malaysian political spectrum today to address this fundamental issue of institutionalised racism and denial of equality for all within the country.

Umno initiated the process and kept it going for 50-odd years, but Pakatan does not appear to have the will to touch any of these provisions in the Federal Constitution. Change cannot therefore be expected to happen from within any time soon.

As far as Hindraf’s short-term plans are concerned, Hindraf has tried through various initiatives to engage Pakatan. But it is very clear Pakatan does not want to engage with Hindraf. Their point is very clear: the Mandorist approach created by Umno seems to be a better approach than to take Hindraf on as equal partners.

They want the cake and they want to eat it too, just like Umno. They would rather create copies of us like Indraf and use that to create perceptions of dealing with the Indian issues, while getting the Indian votes on the cheap – not giving what it takes to truly resolve the Indian marginalisation issue.

Dong Zong has indicated they will be talking to both BN and Pakatan on their issue of vernacular education. That is also the path Hindraf is now forced to take on the 18-point demands – especially after the unwillingness of the Pakatan leadership to engage with Hindraf.

Hindraf’s short-term political leaning will be decided by who will have a better deal to offer on the 18-point demands. This will be openly and clearly presented to the Indian marginalised for them to decide.

Determination of Hindraf’s short-term position is going to be based now on pragmatism and not on some abstract dogma of change or on emotions as in the last general election. Whoever is willing to sign up to a binding agreement on specifics, not on general principles, on their offer to Hindraf’s 18-point demands will be presented to our constituency – the marginalised Indians – and this will essentially determine our position. The agreements will have to be made in a binding way, so that Hindraf in 2012 will not be outdone as was Suqui in 1999 by Umno.

Hindraf’s political leaning will therefore be decided on what benefits the Indian marginalised and the poor best.

As for the long-term change Hindraf seeks, it is again Hindraf’s considered opinion that it can only come from naming and shaming Malaysia as an operator of an institutional racist regime in the wider community of nations, to create the political will among the elite – the true masters of national policy – for change.

Therefore, Hindraf now believes there is no real difference in the positions of the two coalitions, and they just have no appetite to eliminate institutionalised racism and to create a nation based on dignity and equality. Change of that nature will not come from a change of political parties in Putrajaya.

It cannot come from within the country, so it makes very little difference between the two coalitions on that count to the marginalised Indians. Only positive and concrete efforts to redress the ills they face today as expressed in the 18-point demand of Hindraf will make a difference to them. That will determine the political leaning of Hindraf from here onwards.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/30/hindraf-we-still-have-a-role-to-play/#ixzz228PJSFQI

Rajannan destroying NESA

nadaraja
Monday, July 30, 2012 The half-dead Nesa co-operative is further getting into shithole. While the President S Subramaniam is in coma ever since he underwent a brain surgery on 11/11/11, the Chief Executive officer Rajannan is all out to consolidate his position with the help of newly elected directors.
Having majority directors on his side, Rajannan successfully dismissed his rivals V Nadaraja from the vice presidency and Shell Bala from the management EXCO. Earlier in the Nesa AGM, Subramaniam’s supporter K P Samy and his team were defeated.
 “Rajannan is using Subra (in coma) as a dummy to destroy Nesa”, Nadaraja vented his frustration in a press conference, throwing several serious allegations against Nesa and its CEO Rajannan.
The allegations are:
1. Padang Serai Land
This land worth around RM 10 million went out of Nesa’s hand after a court order, two years ago. The judgment papers were never shown to the Nesa’s board.
2. Banting Land
The 20 acres land was sold to a Chinese without the Boards approval.
3. Malacca Oil palm Land
The 68 acres land leased to Rajannan’s brother-in-law for six years with no returns except for a payement of RM 15,000.
4. Sg. Siput Land
Again Nesa Board is unaware of the group scheme for this 10 acre land.
Nadaraja contend that all these issues were brought up in the Board meetings but were dismissed without proper explanation.
Interestingly, Nadaraja was unable to produce any documentary evidences for whatever mismanagements of Nesa land.
Secondly, question can be raised why Nadaraja is digging Nesa dirts only after Subramaniam went into coma, nine months ago.
Why did he not expose these earlier?
Did Nadaraja query the Board when Subramaniam was well and in control of Nesa?

Operasi Cegah Jenayah Wajib Diperluas Ke Seluruh WP Kuala Lumpur

Pakatan Rakyat Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (PR KL) menyambut baik usaha Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) untuk mencegah jenayah melalui operasi yang dimulakan di Bangsar sejak hari pertama Ramadhan tahun ini.
PR KL turut difahamkan operasi di Lembah Pantai ini melibatkan 90 anggota PDRM dari Bukit Aman dan Pasukan Simpanan Persekutuan (FRU) yang dikerah untuk menjaga keselamatan penduduk, dan akan diluaskan ke Desa Seri Hartamas dan Taman Tun Dr Ismail yang terletak dalam kawasan parlimen Segambut.
Walaupun dilaporkan kadar jenayah makin menurun, penduduk Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur sudah letih dan jemu mendengar khabar kejadian rompakan, penculikan, dan lain-lain kejadian jenayah yang seakan-akan tidak berkurangan langsung.
Oleh itu, PR KL berpendirian PDRM serta Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) wajib memperluas operasi cegah jenayah ini ke seluruh kawasan Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, dan bukannya menumpukan usaha di dua kawasan parlimen ini sahaja.
Seperti yang dibangkitkan YB Liew Chin Tong (Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bendera), hingga Januari 2011 kurang dari 14% dari 105,929 orang anggota PDRM ditugaskan untuk siasatan jenayah (8% di Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah, 4% di Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Narkotik, 1.3% di Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil). Dari sudut ini, tindakan PDRM mengerah anggota polis dari Bukit Aman dan FRU dalam operasi cegah jenayah ini adalah satu langkah yang positif dan harus diperluas.
Maka PR KL turut menggesa PDRM untuk meningkatkan jumlah anggota polis yang ditugaskan untuk siasatan jenayah bukan dengan menambah lagi jumlah anggota polis secara keseluruhannya tetapi dengan melatih semula (retrain) dan memasukkan anggota polis dari jabatan lain ke jabatan siasatan jenayah.
PR KL berpendapat gerak kerja PDRM di lapangan sebegini adalah langkah positif yang seharusnya dilaksanakan dpd peringkat awal. Malangnya, kontroversi penurunan statistik telah dijadikan alasan oleh kerajaan BN untuk berlengah-lengah sebelum bertindak.
Apapun, diharapkan tindakan objektif dan tidak dipengaruhi arahan politik menjadi prinsip utama gerak kerja seterusnya.
YB Nurul Izzah Anwar – Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai
YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim – Ahli Parlimen Bandar Tun Razak
YB Dr Tan Seng Giaw – Ahli Parlimen Kepong
YB Tian Chua – Ahli Parlimen Batu
YB Tan Kok Wai – Ahli Parlimen Cheras
YB Teresa Kok – Ahli Parlimen Seputeh
YB Fong Kui Lun – Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bintang
YB Lim Lip Eng – Ahli Parlimen Segambut
Pejabat Ahli Parlimen Titiwangsa

Formation of 1 Malaysia national culture in the ‘new regime’ — Norani Abu Bakar


JULY 30 — As we conceive of a new regime in Malaysia, there are various ideas for a new political structure which must be articulated further. One of these, that of a two-party political system having great potential for transforming Malaysia’s current democracy into a means to national character and human flourishing.

Malaysians are the nation’s stakeholders, and thus this maturation of this new regime has the potential to define their national culture in terms of holistic values. This national culture is a powerful “soft force” that can form, support and move a nation — building and rebuilding it especially in severe conditions such as war, epidemic, natural disaster, collapse of governance, and regional economic melt-down. Can the two-party regime support their collective aspirations for a holistic, rich and cohesive 1 Malaysia culture or will the regime further fragment this community, leaving any newly developed or reformed policies on paper only?

The post-colonial governance, in all of its strengths and weaknesses since 1957, has persevered to secure the physiological needs of Malaysians. However, as Professor AR Embong wrote in “The Role of Social Sciences in Malaysian National Development,” the implementation of Vision 2020 was, as Joseph Stiglitz called the roaring 1990s, “a decade of clutching over wealth and profit.” There is some truth in this, and so for good reason, some Malaysians doubt the efficacy of this new vision. Hence, progressive efforts to revitalise the nation’s soul and identity through 1 Malaysia, and its reorientation towards the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, are perceived with great suspicion.

Unfortunately, as political scientists like Dr Farish A. Noor have articulately explained, there is a gap between the vision and the reality. The state’s narrative of 1 Malaysia is incompatible with the reality at the grassroots levels. Of course some of the barriers also arise from collective memories and psychology against the “other”. This gap cannot be simply narrowed down by policies but must be addressed with a genuine determination to champion sustainable human values as the economy develops. Whose responsibility is this?

The answer is obvious: all Malaysians — especially political and religious leaders, scholars and civil activists, media and parents. If the new regime fervently advocates that every citizen at private and public spaces be responsible for living according to common principle such as, “Do unto others, what you want others to do unto you,” then the flourishing of 1 Malaysia’s culture is more hopeful. Shaping a national culture with engrained humanistic and ethical values will produce well-rounded citizens that can powerfully drive politics, economics and social performance. Values shape human progress, and Malaysia’s historical inability to grasp this foundational concept has hindered Malaysia from optimising its achievements.

Politics cannot enrich human souls but good values can. Politics cannot directly alter one’s ethnic or genetic makeup, but it can strategically transform a national culture by decoding self-image and by innovatively reshaping the citizens’ mental models and sentiment. This discussion will focus on the cultural dynamic of the new regime and political leaders’ roles in transforming Malaysia’s ethno-centric politics.

Many leaders fostered inclusivism in political parties, including Onn Jaafar, Lee Kuan Yew, Professor Hussein Alatas and Lim Kit Siang. Unfortunately, cross-cultural and faith engagement is still limited to macro-level collaboration. Thomas Pepinsky predicts that in the new regime, these features of racial and faith-based coalitions will remain. At the micro-level, all parties are still racially-based. None have the vibrant spirit of 1 Malaysia yet. Dr Diana Eck of Harvard University expounded that surface-level relationships in diverse communities amount to “mere tolerance,” a deceptive virtue and active hostility which enables co-existence but is not genuinely an “engaging relationship.”

Engagement happens when mutual, respectful and co-dependent relations are founded on common values that each faith tradition and/or cultural background cherish in order to produce cohesiveness, bonding, trust and deeper understanding with one another while maintaining some cultural and faith particularity. The regime will not be able to bring the 1 Malaysia vision to fruition if it fails to address this deeply rooted national problem. Ruling parties come and go, but good can continuously fuel healthy human progress if they are lived from generation to generation.

It is important to note that racially or faith-based political parties, regardless of which demographic they represent, too often end up with sovereign authority and discriminate against those ethnicities or faith traditions not in power. Relevant examples are apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994) and prejudice against the Kurds in Turkey. And although Singapore is rightly admired for its economic exponential growth during Lee Kuan Yew’s 50 years of leadership (from US$400/year per capita income to nearly US$40,000), there are worrisome reports that Singaporean Malays experience discrimination there. Xenophobia and xenophobic government policies further polarise ethnic populations which to further segregation or make segregation permanent. It is urgent and important, especially in the early stages of a regime, to create appropriate conditions and to develop strategies that can overcome these geographic and demographic difficulties.

Hopefully in the new regime, parties will avoid dividing Malaysians; e.g. Kaum Tua (the old faction), Kaum Muda (the new faction), Melayu Baru (the New Malays) and Melayu Lama (the Old Malays), or splintering their memberships according to economic status, education, culture, faith, gender and age. Engaging all Malaysians can lead to an unprecedented reformation that can put healthy pressure on all parties to liberalise beyond these boundaries. In advocating that Malaysians vote for Malaysian parties, irrespective of historical ethnic groupings, political leaders will have to persevere in the face of suspicion. At first, there may be some backlash as some people will feel that such unity entails “selling out” on their race’s or faith’s honour, but this sentiment will gradually diminish as trust is established. Changes take time and demand patience.

Just as a political system takes a long time to develop, so a holistic cultural and national identity only comes about through trial and adjustment. Dr John Keane in his book “The Life and Death of Democracy” writes that, since Athens, democracy has come a long way in shaping and reshaping itself. Australia itself used to be called a laboratory for democracy. In the US, racial segregation was the norm for a long time before the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People was founded, a full 133 years after the country’s independence from Britain in 1776. Rosa Park (1956), Martin Luther King Jr (1968), Ku Klux Klan and post-9/11 Sikh murders are among names and events that evidence that a fluidly democratic two-party country cannot eliminate racism. It should be no surprise, then, that multi-ethnic and multi-faith based political parties also struggle to accomplish this. However, they can reduce division by intentionally creating and wisely facilitating a secure space for coexistence. Do Malaysians have the ability to develop this secure space and to cultivate mutually respectful conversations and relations? Malaysians have assimilated and done well abroad in many various situations. Clearly, then, Malaysians’ pattern of ethnically-based political parties is not due to some low Cultural Quotient (CQ). Malaysians can be liberated from the “epistemological captivity” that colonial stereotypes often create — stereotypes in the vein of ‘Ali, Ah Chong and Ramasamy,’ and other reductionistic tropes of ethno-nationalist’s protectionist ideology. Malaysia’s struggle is not that some people groups have inherently inferior genes, but rather that Malaysia’s social science management and engineering that need greater emphasis in developing the citizens’ character and critical thinking. Failure to address these elements increases the possibility of democracy placing a tyranny ruler in power.

The good news is that the birth of a two-party regime indicates that a democratic system does exist in Malaysia. This is also an achievement of the past ruling party which prepared the nation to democratically vote out a less-performing party, even if that be the ruling party itself. Both the ruling and opposition parties deserve credit in toiling for decades to produce upper-middle-income citizens who can think so critically. Acknowledging the government’s strength, while diplomatically and objectively analysing its weaknesses, is the best way to encourage it to do better.

In evaluating any political regime, early thinker Syed Shaykh Al-Hady (1867-1934), who in his time found independence as unthinkable, set a good example on partiality by affirming the “genuine contributions of the Malay elites, and observed that it was these contributions, and not the luxurious lifestyle, that brought them honour”. This speaks to leaders of other ethnic backgrounds too. A new regime is not about, “sudah menyeberang, tongkat tidak berguna lagi” (having crossed over to the other side, the walking stick is discarded). It is about greater competitiveness, self-correction and adaptation to new challenges.

Every change of regime involves a reorganisation of power which is, for a time, chaotic.

As the old ruling party’s power declines, the institutions, organisations and individuals that it once supported also experience temporal disorder and disruption of performance. Slight ethnic tension could escalate until the dust settles. In the meantime, the citizens may critique the new ruling party’s inability to lead in harmony, their preference lingering nostalgically on the previous ruling party’s ability to keep Malaysia together since independence. This is the risk of undertaking a new regime.

A healthy democratic Malaysia lies in the hands of charismatic, courageous and competent leaders with integrity who can transform all political parties with a genuine 1 Malaysia spirit: embracing the values of reciprocity, love, care and respect for others. If the new regime fails to transform the underserved intellects that cling tightly onto the racially based political party model, then there isn’t much different between the old and the new. It is simply an old book with a new cover.

Since 1511, generations in the region called Malaysia today grieved under the ruling of colonial powers: the Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and British. And yet they persevered in striving for 446 years towards independence in 1957. It is this bottomless spirit of hope and love for the motherland that inspires citizens to compromise, modify and adapt. This spirit holds people together throughout the continuous formation of their national culture, spirituality and style of modernity. This burning vision keeps a Malaysian a Malaysian. By this spirit of faith, the formation of 1 Malaysia is possible.

In conclusion, a ruling party that strives for cognitive empowerment and cultivation of ethical values, held dearly by all cultures and faiths, will not only remain competitive and relevant but also have a higher chance of continued public support. A national culture that is rich with good values sustains the enrichment of its human growth, which translates into strong national development. At the end of the day, it is the people — the citizens — whose desire for excellence drives a nation to develop, who enrich its soul, and select good leaders. — New Mandala

* Norani Abu Bakar is a post-graduate fellow at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and is the Asia director for Pathways for Mutual Respect. She is the founder of Home Sweet Home — an organisation that cares for the unsheltered, parentless and differently-abled in Shanghai. A Malaysian, Norani is a process engineer. She blogs at Loving God and Loving Neighbors.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Ex-Bar Council chairman: Public assembly compatible with public order

The Star 
by WANI MUTHIAH

KUALA LUMPUR: It is important to have public order but it is equally important to recognise public assemblies, freedom of expression and other fundamental rights.

Public order that does not encompass these values is incomplete and not compatible with democratic principles, said former Bar Council chairman Datuk Yeo Yang Poh.

Yeo, who was speaking at a forum organised by the Bar Council titled “Public Assembly Laws The Jurisprudence and the Operation”, said that apart from having a change in the law, it was also crucial to have a change of mindset.

“The government should not look at peaceful assemblies as enemies of the state and certain segments of society must also not continue to be under the misconception that peaceful assemblies are done by troublemakers.

“They are not. They are citizens who have views on certain matters and need to express them,” added Yeo.

Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, who also spoke at the forum, said he hoped the government would have a provision in the Peaceful Assembly Act to deal with people who hijacked peaceful assemblies and turned them into violent street demonstrations.

He likened their actions to hijacking a plane and flying it through a building.

“They are just as bad as terrorists. Because of these people, Bersih, which intended to fight for good things, got a bad name,” said Tan, a lawyer by profession.

He also said peaceful assemblies should not be allowed on the streets but held in appropriate venues, such as stadiums.

Departure Of Two Sabah BN MPs A Personal Problem - Ahmad Maslan

PUTRAJAYA, July 30 (Bernama) -- Umno Information Chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan ton Monday described the departure of two Sabah MPs from the Barisan Nasional (BN) as more of a personal problem.

He said people not loyal to the coalition were not needed because they would be regarded as the enemy within and it would be better for them to leave the party.

Ahmad was referring to Beaufort MP Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin and Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing.

Lajim announced on Saturday that he was quitting as an Umno Supreme Council member, Beaufort Umno Division chief and Beaufort BN chairman but remaining as an Umno member and as the federal deputy housing and local government minister.

Bumburing announced on Sunday that he was resigning from the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) of which he had been the deputy president.