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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pakatan states U-turn over Merdeka theme

Three Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states - Penang, Kedah and Kelantan - are expected to reverse an earlier decision to use different Merdeka Day themes.
The three will join Selangor to celebrate the 55th Merdeka and 49th National Day with the theme Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa.
PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said he has been informed by Kedah menteri besar’s aide that the state exco had decided to make change today, while Kelantan had decided on the matter yesterday.

Meanwhile, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman confirmed to Malaysiakini that he will make a similar announcement tomorrow.

The dramatic reversal came just hours after Penang announced that it will stick to its own theme - Budaya Bersih, Merdekakan Rakyat - and not adopt the alternative theme proposed by Pakatan’s top leadership, which had been accepted by Selangor.

The move has come under severe criticism from Pakatan supporters while BN leaders have mocked the coalition over its lack of cohesion.
On Aug 1, a tripartite committee headed by Mustafa had announced the coalition’s alternative Merdeka Day theme - Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa - which was chosen from 250 proposals by the public.

The proposals were vetted by sub-committee headed by national laureate A Samad Said.
Democracy, Pakatan-style
Pakatan's basis for the move was to provide an alternative to Putrajaya's Janji Ditepati theme, because the same theme is being used by BN for early campaigning ahead of the next general election.
However, the three states had already agreed on its own theme before the committee began work and until this morning, they were still adamant about sticking to its decision.
Kedah's theme is Terus Berbakti, while Kelantan adopted Menerajui Perubahan.
Late this evening, Selangor confirmed that it would use Pakatan's alternative theme.
According to the Harakah Daily website, Mustafa said the latest development showed that democracy was alive in Pakatan.
Mustafa is expected to announce the alternative Merdeka Day logo and theme song theme song tomorrow.
Both the federal government logo and theme song has come under severe criticism.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim has since withdrew the logo and sought public feedback on the theme song.

Fauzi: Kurangkan SB untuk bantu CID banteras jenayah

Russia: Muslim sect members charged with abuse

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian prosecutors have brought child abuse charges against members of a reclusive Muslim sect accused of keeping some of their children in underground cells for over 10 years.

Russia's Vesti television reported Wednesday that prosecutors in Kazan, the capital of the predominantly Muslim central province of Tatarstan, have also charged Faizrakhman Satarov, the sect's 83-year-old founder, with negligence.

It said Satarov declared himself a prophet -- a claim that contradicts the principles of Islam -- and ordered some 70 of his followers to stop contact with the outside world and live in underground cells they dug under a house outside Kazan in the early 2000s.

Vesti quotes prosecutors saying some 20 children, aged between 1 and 17, lived there for years, some of whom have never seen daylight.

Utusan backing Dr M’s race theory, says DAP after ‘haram’ report

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia appears to be deliberately
Lim lashed out at Utusan for acting irresponsibly in publishing as news, a report citing one Islamic religious scholar who declared it “haram (forbidden)” for Muslims to support the DAP. — file pic
fomenting conflict by suggesting a conspiracy to prove right Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s controversial remarks that multicultural Malaysians are increasingly racial in the run-up to key national polls, the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.

The opposition federal lawmaker wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to act and rein in the widely-read Malay broadsheet for allegedly stoking religious tensions in the country, after the paper ran a controversial report on its front page today titled “Haram sokong DAP (Forbidden to support DAP)”.

“There seems to be a conspiracy to prove Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad right with regard to the former prime minister’s prediction in June that the next general election will centre on race as ‘Malaysia has become more racial than ever’!” Lim said in a statement.

Dr Mahathir, who was the country’s fourth and longest-serving prime minister, had controversially declared at a public forum here on June 28 that the 13th general elections will be about race as Malaysians were growing more polarised.

“They want to be identified by their race, even if they have lost the connection with their country of origin,” said the still-influential Dr Mahathir at a forum on politics and business, adding, “That is why there are now more racial politics than before.”

Lim lashed out at Utusan for acting irresponsibly in publishing as news, a report citing one Islamic religious scholar who declared it “haram (forbidden)” for Muslims to support the DAP but saying that MCA and MIC were acceptable because the two Barisan Nasional (BN) parties recognised Islam’s pre-eminence.

“A newspaper which could publish a front-page headline like “Haram sokong DAP” is an anti-national and anti-Malaysia newspaper,” the Ipoh-Timor MP said.

He said if the newspaper had highlighted a report with the incendiary title against BN’s main party, Umno, or any other component party within the ruling coalition, the Home Ministry immediately would have banned the paper from publishing.

“But here we have the prime minister, the home minister and the ruling coalition condoning if not endorsing such a irresponsible, despicable and seditious publication!” Lim said.

“Will Najib, who prattles about ‘moderates of the world unite’ in international forums, take action against Utusan Malaysia for another example of extremist, irresponsible, incendiary, seditious, anti-national gutter journalism calculated to foment racial ill-will, religious distrust and undermine national unity?” he challenged.

The paper had today reported an Islamic religious teacher, Abdullah Sa’amah, as saying that Muslims must not vote for DAP and its two allies PAS and PKR in the federal opposition pact of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the 13th general election that must be called by April next year.

“DAP’s fight does not accept the country’s (Federal) Constitution, they want equality (for) Islam and (other religions), temples and mosques (they) also want equality,” Abdullah was quoted as saying by Utusan.

“(It is) compulsory for the Muslims in PAS, Umno, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to reject DAP that is looking for ways to take power by voting in elections.”

“It is also sinful (berdosa) to support parties that co-operate with DAP because supporting them means we also support DAP because they are one pact (pakatan),” said the founder of the Pondok Geting religious school in Tumpat.

Lrg Hj Taib mourns death of transgender ‘matriarch’

More than 1,000 people packed the street to pay the last respects to Asha Dewi, 68, who succumbed to a heart attack yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The infamous Lorong Haji Taib in Chow Kit was enveloped in sorrow today was tears flowed to mourn the passing of Asha Dewi, 68, a transgender who was both a mentor and guardian to many.

The matriarch’s funeral was attended by more than a 1,000 people, with some returning from as far as Switzerland, Australia and Singapore to pay their respects to Asha, who was fondly known as Amma (Mother) in the transgender society.

The once notorious street, located in the heart of the capital, took on a festive mood as groups of transgenders performed an assortment of Indian folk dances in honour of their matriarch.

The blaring drums and the colourful dancers also attracted a huge crowd of onlookers and brought traffic to a standstill for nearly an hour.

Asha succumbed to a heart attack at about 8.50am yesterday. She was also chairperson of the Malaysia-Singapore Transgender Association.

A transgender, who introduced herself as Latha, said Asha had helped thousands of “orphaned” transgender people, who were abandoned by their families due to their sexual orientation, in the last 20-years.

“I was one of the transgenders who was abandoned by my family and ‘Amma’ was the one who helped me,” she said.

“Not only transgender, Amma also helped many children and the poor around Kuala Lumpur,” she added.

1,436 wanita tempatan ditipu ‘Awang Hitam’

Terjerat dengan pujukan lelaki warga Afrika yang mengakibatkan kerugian RM87.6 juta dalam tempoh tiga tahun terakhir.

PETALING JAYA: Seramai 1,436 wanita tempatan terjerat dengan pujukan lelaki warga Afrika yang mengakibatkan kerugian RM87.6 juta dalam tempoh tiga tahun terakhir, kata Ketua II Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersial (JSJK) Bukit Aman, Datuk Mohd Ridwan Mohd Yusof.

“Ia meningkat dari 514 pada 2010 menjadi 671 pada tahun lalu,” kata beliau.

Wanita berkenaan menjadi mangsa ‘Awang Hitam’ melalui laman sosial kemudian memujuk mangsa supaya mengirimkan wang.

Mohd Ridwan menambah, sepanjang Januari hingga Mei lalu, 251 orang wanita tempatan menjadi mangsa.

Kerugian yang dicatatkan mencapai RM20 juta ringgit pada 2010, RM50 juta (2011) dan dalam lima bulan pertama tahun ini ialah RM17.6 juta.

“Data JSJK juga mencatat 834 kes penipuan yang melibatkan warga Afrika itu pada 2010, 1,117 (2011) dan 417 pada Januari-Mei tahun ini,” katanya.

Menyamar sebagai mahasiswa

Menurut hasil penyelidikan, sindiket tersebut menyamar sebagai mahasiswa universiti swasta dan menjerat mangsa melalui laman sosial Facebook, Twitter, dan Tagged.

Sindikat itu juga menggunakan berbagai cara pendekatan, termasuk penipuan dengan modus penghantaran barang, serta memaparkan foto kacak bagi memperdaya mangsa.

Mereka biasanya memperkenalkan diri sebagai lelaki tampan berkulit putih serta berpangkat tinggi dan berasal dari England.

Mohd Ridwan berkata, 504 dari 653 tertuduh yang ditahan dalam kes-kes penipuan tersebut adalah warga Nigeria.

Menurutnya, mereka sudah memiliki skrip rayuan cinta yang dikarang secara standard untuk memperdaya para wanita.

Katanya, anggota sindiket dalam sehari mengirim ratusan email dan pesanan melalui laman sosial kepada mangsa secara rambang.

When did Razak meet PI Bala?

A document submitted to the French courts by the police there indicates that the relationship went fiurther than 2004.

PETALING JAYA: The controversial submarine contract and the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu continue to be an albatross around the neck of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Despite his denials and swearing upon the Quran, the opposition never ceases to exploit the issue while a significant number of Malaysians believe that the prime minister’s hands are stained both with corruption and the blood of the Mongolian national.

And now, the French courts have launched an inquest into the submarine deal.

However, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin pointed out that certain claims don’t add up and also reveals that the relationship between private investigator P Balasubramaniam and Najib’s confidant Abdul Razak Baginda can be traced back as far as 2000.

Razak Baginda was involved in an extra-marital affair with Altantuya, who apparently served as a translator for the submarine deal. The former was charged with abeting her murder but the court later acquitted him.

He was said to have met Balasubramaniam in 2006 when he needed help to end his relationship with the Mongolian woman.

Citing one of the documents submitted to the French courts, Raja Petra in an article published in Malaysia Today today said the two knew each other even prior to that.

In the document, defence firm DCN’s regional director Didier Arnaud stated that he had met Balasubramaniam in 2000 and identified him as one of the members of the Razak Baginda-linked Perimekar company.

“There is something very wrong with this story. But which story is the wrong one? Did Didier lie to the French national police? Or are the others lying instead?” asked Raja Petra.

“On page 4 of document 146, one of the 153 documents submitted to the French court, the French police said: In the chapter entitled ‘Commercial Partners’, Didier Arnaud said, ‘On Aug 1, 2000, we signed a cooperation business contract with Thomsom International Asia defining our respective responsibilities. Whatever one may think about the appropriateness of such an agreement, it seems certain that this must be made for the success of the operation. The Perimekar team has evolved over the past year, and with the eviction of Tan Sri Razali and Pintar group, Suhaidi Sulaiman, Rosli Rahman and Balasubramaniam took charge of Perimekar, also supported by Ismail Noor who had sidelined Jasbir Chahl’.”

However, it could not be ascertained if the “Subramaniam” mentioned by Didier in his statement was the same person as it was a common name.

The ‘right hand man’

Raja Petra also noted that Suaram’s Cynthia Gabriel had revealed Jasbir Singh Chahl’s name on June 16 this year.

During a fund raising dinner for the Scorpene inquest which was initated by Suaram, Gabriel had described Jasbir as the right-hand man of Razak Baginda.

“Jasbir is a central figure in the negotiation and procurement process. He is the first person to be served with a subpoena,” she had said.

Raja Petra said Jasbir was supposed to be the initiator of the submarine idea back in 1999 when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, Daim Zainuddin the finance minister, and Najib the defence minister.

“However, Jasbir was kicked out of Perimekar not long after that. He then sued Perimekar for a couple of millions and the case was settled out of court. According to the reports, he was paid an undisclosed sum of money to settle this case out of court.

“Now, it was then when Razak Baginda was supposed to have appeared onto the scene, after Jasbir was ousted (the word the French used was ‘sidelined’). And the French national police quoted Didier as saying that the Perimekar team had ‘evolved over the last one year since 1999, which means, Perimekar had ‘changed hands’,” he said.

‘Something is wrong’

Raja Petra claimed that there was something amiss with this version.

“First of all, Razak was supposed to have appeared onto the scene after Jasbir was kicked out. Hence, in what way was Jasbir considered Razak’s ‘right hand man’? Secondly, Jasbir was pissed off that he was kicked out and he sued the company. The company then settled the suit out of court, which means there is a basis for Jasbir’s claim — that he was the initiator of the submarine deal.

“This whole episode appears more like a ‘hostile takeover’ than anything else. And this hostile takeover resulted in a suit, which was settled out of court. In what way, then, would Jasbir be considered Razak’s right hand man? There seems to be something wrong here,” he added.

Another point, said the blogger, was that Razak Baginda’s name did not appear in the list of names as reported by the French national police but Balasubramaniam’s does.

And what is interesting is that the French national police listed Balasubramaniam’s name in bold and capital letters.

“Why was his named bolded and capitalised while the others were not? Is the French national police trying to draw the court’s attention to this particular name? Yes, that is certainly a most interesting point and one that needs further investigation,” he said.

Another interesting point, Raja Petra said, was that Didier told the French national police that Balasubramaniam was one of the members of the Perimekar negotiation team since back in 2000.

“But back in 2000 Altantuya and Razak Baginda had not met yet. They did not meet until a few years later, at the end of 2004.

“Then, in 2006, Razak Baginda tried to break off his relationship with Altantuya but she would not let him go. And that was supposed to be when Razak Baginda first met Balasubramaniam in 2006 when he needed Balasubramaniam to help solve his ‘problem’ with Altantuya,” he added.

Will India's Reluctant Prince Turn King?

Can the prince turn into a king?
Can the prince turn into a king?
Lackluster performance handicaps a Gandhi scion
Rahul Gandhi, 42, the reluctant crown prince of Indian politics, is coming under the microscope of almost every Indian political analyst over speculation that he may finally be about to seek a defining role in the country’s governing apparatus.

The Gandhi scion, son of the late former premier Rajiv Gandhi and ruling United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi, recently acknowledged that he is ready for a “larger role” in politics, which analysts interpreted as possibly a plum cabinet position or even a leading role in 2014 national elections.

However, despite being in the hurly-burly of politics for eight years as Congress party General Secretary and then a Member of Parliament from the traditional Gandhi bastion of Amethi in northern Uttar Pradesh, Rahul’s performance has been underwhelming. He eschewed a ministerial post offered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2009) and has also shied away from being the party vice president, the official number two position after Sonia.

Instead, he appears content to be a fringe player, putting up carefully orchestrated “spontaneous” appearances at farmers’ rallies and dinners at Dalit (formerly known as untouchables) huts.

By trying to establish a connect with the common man, Gandhi appears to have been hoping to avoid being straitjacketed as a quintessential Indian politician. But the ploy has apparently not worked and only triggered rancor. People are impatient that if he won’t accept any position of authority, and eternally appears to be the party’s premier-in-waiting, how will his political and administrative acumen be assessed?

A public comment last week by a senior Congress minister -- Salman Khurshid – that it was time Rahul stopped playing “cameos” to take charge of the party, sent shockwaves down the 135-year-old party’s rank and file. Notorious for their obsequiousness to the first family, party stalwarts were taken aback that a minister had the gumption to criticize the heir apparent in public.

One positive factor came out of it though. It galvanized the Congress enough to urge Rahul to step up his game although no one quite knows what “larger role” he is talking about. Is he taking over a ministry? Leadership of a specific state? Or a special post in the organizational hierarchy?

“His ratings are so low, that the only way he can go is up,” cracked a functionary of the rightwing BJP, the country’s principal opposition party.

Indeed Rahul has little tangible political accomplishments to date. He is an MP, but rarely speaks in Parliament. He has never aired his views on matters of national importance either, like the country’s foreign policy, relations with Pakistan, economic management or the defense budget.

Nevertheless, the sense of entitlement has propelled him thus far into the turbulent waters of the polity. Rahul’s great grandfather, Motilal Nehru was Congress president in the 1920s, as a leader of India’s struggle for freedom. Motilal’s son, Jawaharlal Nehru, succeeded him as party chief in 1929 and later became the country’s first prime minister after Independence, remaining so until his death in 1964.

Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, became prime minister in 1966 and, except for a brief hiatus of two years, remained so until she was assassinated in 1984. Her son, Rahul’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, then became PM for five years until he too was assassinated.

With such lineage, the clamor for Gandhi to lead the Congress campaign in 2014 is intense. No doubt, he is a national brand, comes with the redoubtable Gandhi charisma, has studied at elite institutes (Harvard, Cambridge) and is good looking to boot. In a political landscape peppered with geriatric politicians, not exactly known for their sartorial finesse, Gandhi stands out with his demeanor and deportment.

However at 42, he isn’t exactly a youth icon, a handicap in a country defined by demographics of nearly 70 percent voters under age 35. Besides, Rahul’s lackluster political performance has diminished his stature. His high-decibel campaign in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections this March, for instance, was a debacle.

The winner was the regional socialist Samajwadi Party, led by the young Akhilesh Yadav. The contrast between two dynasties -- Yadav is a second generation politician -- was stark. While Yadav, who has a master's degree in environmental engineering from Sydney, was humble and came across as a son of the soil, Rahul’s combative posturing and theatrics didn’t go down well with the electorate. At one stage in his campaign, he even tore up SP’s election promises list while speaking at a rally.

The result? Samajwadi Party romped home with a whopping 224 seats in the 403-member UP legislative assembly while Congress trailed in fourth place with 28. The voters gave a thumbs up to the local bicycle-riding Akhilesh Yadav and booed the Gandhi heir with his security entourage and sophisticated choppers.

“People like to identify with their leaders,” says Ram Pyare, a local farmer. “They don’t like being patronized even if it is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.”

Winning Uttar Pradesh, observers say, was vital for Rahul because the state has enormous historical significance for the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. During the past hundred years, six generations from the family have fought and won elections in the state, with three ruling India as prime minister, including Rajiv Gandhi.

Besides, the country’s most populous state sends 80 MPs to the 544-member Lok Sabha, or lower house, and is regarded as a bellwether for national polls. “The route to New Delhi’s throne,’ says a Congress party worker, “lies through UP.”

A more sagacious choice than Rahul for Uttar Pradesh, say the locals, would have been his younger sister, Priyanka, 40. An eloquent speaker, she has a positive way with people and is known for her formidable organizational skills. But unfortunately for the Congress, she is a reluctant politician.

Analysts have now begun to predict that the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty might have to wait beyond 2014 for its next prime minister. With Rahul’s political competence questioned in Uttar Pradesh, a creaky organizational structure on the ground, ideological disarray and a virulent anti-incumbency wave against the ruling UPA government there’s little going for the PM hopeful at the moment.

The fact that Sonia Gandhi – regarded as her son’s chief mentor -- is also not in good health (according to rumors she is suffering from abdominal cancer), is of no help either.

To declare Rahul a prime ministerial nominee for the Congress campaign in such fraught circumstances would be foolhardy, analysts say. “Mark my words,” says a member of the BJP core committee, “Rahul will himself pull out of the race. People are not rooting for him because he doesn’t seem confident. He is more like an apprentice who is still learning the ropes of administration and the nitty-gritty of government functioning.”

Joining the government as, say as a Cabinet minister, wouldn’t cut much ice either. It would only end up undermining the authority of an already embattled PM Manmohan Singh and endanger governance. Rahul, say insiders, will likely emerge as an “alternate power center” with every minister trying to cozy up to the man who carries the imprimatur of the future premier of the country.

As these theories circulate, the Gandhi family is doing what it does best – continue to be an enigma wrapped tightly in a mystery. Ironically, a politically weak Rahul has endowed Manmohan Singh with more power. The PM has more wriggle room for decision making without the Gandhi scion’s shadow looming over the Cabinet’s horizon. He will also be able to better execute policies that can augment his administration and revive India's moribund economy.

"The Congress should stop badgering the Congress to make Rahul prime minister," says a senior Uttar Pradesh Congress functionary. "His absence will fortify Singh’s position and at this juncture this is what’s best for the country."

Moral of the story: what’s good for the Gandhis, clearly ain’t good for the country.

(Email the author at neetalal@hotmail.com)

KPN diminta komited bendung jenayah, jaga keamanan negara

LEMBAH PANTAI 8 Ogos: Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah Izzah Anwar mempersoal apa sebenarnya tangungjawab Ketua Polis Negara (KPN) kerana beliau sering dilihat membantu Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan dan Kesejahteraan Bandar mengedarkan bubur lambuk.
Menurutnya, perkara tersebut diadu penduduk yang menyaksikan tiga kali Tan Sri Ismail Omar bersama-sama Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin menyampaikan juadah berbuka puasa itu kepada masyarakat di sekitar Lembah Pantai baru-baru ini.
“Memang pelik, sejak bila Ketua Polis Negara mendapat tugas baru mengedar bubur lambuk sedangkan banyak lagi tugas lebih penting perlu dilaksanakan.
“Apakah ini transformasi yang dibawa Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam usaha menjaga keamanan negara,” soalnya.
Beliau mengulas demikian pada sidang media selepas menyampaikan bantuan zakat beserta barangan keperluan dapur kepada 200 golongan yang memerlukan termasuk dua buah kerusi roda kepada warga emas dalam Majlis Iftar Ramadhan Jasamu Dikenang semalam.
Tegas Naib Presiden KEADILAN itu lagi, tugas utama KPN adalah memastikan semua anggota polis menjalankan tanggungjawab menjaga keselamatan negara.
Kata Izzah, peningkatan kes jenayah di kawasan jagaannya semakin membimbangkan dan ia perlu diambil perhatian serius.
“Masyarakat terutamanya di Brickfields rasa keselamatan mereka tergugat sejak balai polis di sini dirobohkan tahun lepas. Berbagai rungutan penduduk saya terima dan mereka mahukan balai polis baru dibina seperti yang dijanjikan oleh Nong Chik. Malangnya hingga hari ini, janji manis itu tidak dilunaskan.
“Justeru saya mendesak Menteri Wilayah menepati janjinya untuk bina balai polis baru dengan mencari lokasi strategik sebelum penduduk mengadakan protes bantahan. Begitu juga Tan Sri Ismail Omar perlu kembali menjalankan tugasnya sebagai KPN,” tegas Izzah.

Apa masalahnya kalau DAP menang bersama PAS, PKR? — Aspan Alias



8 OGOS — Kali ini saya kembali menyebut satu isu yang pada saya sepatutnya menjadi satu isu basi dan tidak lagi diperbesarkan. Isunya ialah isu penyertaan saya dan beberapa orang Melayu dalam Parti Tindakan Demokratik, DAP.

Saya tahu ini merupakan isu yang tidak berapa laku lagi sekarang kerana orang ramai tahu yang momokan Umno dan penyokongnya dalam isu ini semakin hari semakin pudar dan sudah tidak diterima oleh rakyat yang ramai.

Saya tidak berminat untuk melayan momokan ini, tetapi terlalu ramai sahabat dan rakan-rakan yang menyokong saya menyertai DAP ini meminta saya menyebutnya sekali lagi, setidak-tidaknya buat kali terakhir. Mereka yang menyokong saya meliputi penyokong-penyokong saya dari seluruh negara dan ramai di antara mereka meminta saya menulisnya lagi.

“Penyokong Umno ini malas berfikir. You mesti beritahu mereka selalu, kalau tidak mereka lupa. Orang yang malas berfikir mesti diperingati selalu sebab mereka payah untuk memahami isu-isu penting ini. Mereka ini tidak pernah dilatih untuk berfikir sebaliknya dilatih untuk mengangguk sahaja,” kata beberapa orang yang menyokong saya menyertai DAP walaupun mereka ini hanya sekadar penyokong yang akan memberikan undi kepada DAP.

Sebenarnya apa yang hendak saya sebutkan lagi kerana semuanya sudah disebut banyak kali. Apakah benar yang DAP itu adalah parti Cina? Mungkin DAP itu disertai oleh ramai orang Cina tetapi ia bukan parti Cina.

DAP adalah parti berbilang kaum yang memperjuangkan nasib semua bangsa. Parti ini memperjuangkan kebersihan dalam pentadbiran kerajaan yang sangat kotor pada masa kini. DAP memperjuangkan ketelusan dan menolak isu rasuah yang banyak berlaku dalam kerajaan dan pimpinan BN sekarang ini.

Di mana-mana saya pergi, dari utara ke selatan, dari timur ke barat saya berjumpa dengan ribuan orang dan tidak ramai yang membangkang saya setelah saya berikan “rationale” kenapa kita tidak perlu takut untuk memberi sokongan kepada DAP yang merupakan salah satu komponen dalam Pakatan Rakyat ini.

Saya bukannya duduk di rumah berdiam diri. Saya selalu meninggalkan rumah untuk pergi ke merata-rata daerah dan tempat dalam negara ini. Saya dijemput untuk berceramah dan memberikan penerangan kenapa kita tidak perlu gusar untuk memberikan sokongan kepada DAP.

Barisan Nasional khususnya Umno memang begitu takut dengan pengaruh DAP tetapi sebesar mana pun pengaruh DAP itu ia tidak akan menguasai kerajaan dan Putrajaya jika Pakatan menduduki Putrajaya itu. DAP akan menurunkan hanya seramai lebih kurang 50 kerusi sahaja dalam pilihanraya yang akan datang.

Jika DAP menang kesemuanya, parti yang saya anggotai ini tidak akan terjadi apa yang dikhuatiri oleh segelintiran orang Melayu. Takkanlah nak buat kiraan yang senang ini pun mereka (penyokong BN totok) tidak mampu?

Tetapi jika DAP menang semua kerusi, ia memang penting untuk perjuangan rakyat berbilang kaum di negara ini. Pertamanya, parti ini mempunyai rekod ketelusan dalam pentadbiran, Pulau Pinang misalnya.

Jika DAP bersama-sama dengan PAS dan PKR menguruskan Putrajaya itu sudah pasti DAP akan memainkan peranan untuk keadilan ini. Yang pentingnya kita mempunyai kerajaan yang bersih daripada noda rasuah yang menggila dan menjadi benteng kepada perompak harta rakyat seperti yang lazim berlaku sekarang ini.

Saya menjadi ahli Umno selama 40 tahun dan di dalamnya saya telah menjerit dan berbuat segala-galanya untuk mengingatkan parti itu supaya berbuat yang baik dan jauhi segala kemungkaran terhadap politik dan ekonomi negara.

Tetapi saya siapa? Tidak ada siapa yang mendengarnya kerana saya hanya seorang picisan dalam Umno yang begitu kuat budaya mengampu dan membodek ini. Saya yakin dengan sebenar-benarnya yang kebaikan itu tidak akan datang malahan hanya kerosakan sahaja yang akan wujud, “from bad to worse”.

Maka saya bertindak untuk bersama DAP dan, “I want to grow old with this party”. Saya merasakan bahawa parti ini juga boleh memperbaiki diri saya kerana saya telah begitu lama dalam Umno dan saya memerlukan parti yang boleh memperbaiki sikap dan nilai dalaman saya dalam perjuangan politik negara ini.

Bunyinya besar tetapi saya tetap seperti dahulu, bukannya orang yang mempunyai apa-apa kedudukan dan tidak bergelar serta bernama seperti rakan-rakan yang lain yang mengampu ke hulu dan ke hilir itu.

Saya sebutkan kita mesti menyertai parti yang boleh memperbaiki diri kita dan saya merasakan DAP telah pun sedikit sebanyak memperbaiki kelemahan-kelemahan yang ada sedikit sebanyak di dalam diri saya.

Kalau saya masih berada di dalam Umno saya tidak akan memperbaiki diri saya kerana Umno tidak terjumpa nilai-nilai kemanusiaan yang baik dalam perjuangan selain daripada memperjuangkan nasib peribadi mereka semata-mata.

Bermacam-macam yang saya alami sejak menyertai DAP. Ada sahabat karib yang meninggalkan saya terus kerana marah-marah kerana mereka percaya pada momokan Umno dan BN. Tetapi saya mendapat penyokong baru yang begitu ramai dan mereka tidak putus-putus menghubungi saya dan bertukar-tukar fikiran sesama kita.

Alhamdulillah, usaha saya itu berbaloi dan ramai orang Melayu yang akan bersama saya untuk mendokong DAP sebagai sebuah komponen dalam Pakatan Rakyat.

Saya sekarang yakin bahawa PAS, DAP serta PKR akan mendapat dokongan rakyat dalam pilihanraya kali ini dan saya tidak sabar juga untuk melihat perubahan untuk kebaikan itu dalam pilihanraya kali ini. Saya akan bergembira melihat perubahan untuk kebaikan ini berlaku semasa saya masih hidup dan bernyawa ini.

Kepada rakan-rakan saya yang berada jauh dan dekat, ayuh kita teruskan usaha kita dan kepada mereka yang tidak gemar oleh kerana momokan Umno itu, biarkan sahaja mereka di sana. Kita wajar memandang ke hadapan tanpa menoleh kebelakang lagi. Yang penting negara kita ini kita ubah untuk kebaikan bersama.

Sekarang apa masalahnya lagi? Pemimpin yang rasuah sekarang mungkin bermasalah, tetapi rakyat tidak ada masalah. — aspanaliasnet.blogspot.com

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

Ambiga and Bar invited to ‘exchange notes’ with advisory committee

The Star 
by LEE YEN MUN

PUTRAJAYA: Bersih 3.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga and the Bar Council have been invited to “exchange notes” with the independent advisory panel on the April 28 rally.

In extending the invitation, panel chairman Tun Hanif Omar said its report on the rally would not be complete without hearing from them.

A letter of invitation would be sent to both Ambiga and the Bar, who would then decide on the date of the meeting, said Hanif.

“The panel hopes to meet them face-to-face since they are key participants to what had occurred.

“The (panel's) terms of reference were very much based on the resolutions of the Bar so it's important that we exchange notes because our assignment is to just get the truth of what happened that day and how we can recommend to make the policing of assemblies better,” Hanif said after chairing the panel's 10th meeting here yesterday.

The Bar had released an interim report on the rally immediately after the event, citing instances of police brutality.

Since June 18, the panel had heard testimonies from about 50 witnesses in its investigation into allegations of police brutality during the rally.

Four witnesses testified before the panel yesterday, including two media personnel, a photography undergraduate and a policeman on duty as the ground commander during the rally.

The media personnel involved had suggested that some members of the police had acted on emotions after hearing initial reports that some of their men had died in the rally, said Hanif.

“We are getting closer to understanding the scenario of the day,” said the former Inspector-General of Police.

Hanif said he also hoped to convene a round-table discussion with security experts from Pakistan, Britain, Canada and the United States within a month's time to discuss crowd control measures which could be adopted by Malaysia as a standard operating procedure.

Opposition Rule Will Lead To Anarchy - Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 (Bernama) - The use of separate Merdeka Day themes by state governments ruled by opposition parties proves that they disagree in many areas.

Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin said the opposition failure to agree to such a simple thing will only lead to anarchy.

"If they win, we may see different policies and laws in certain states. Kelantan and Kedah may have hudud law while Penang may not," he told reporters after launching BN Youth Cyber Team (BNYCT) here Wednesday.

The Umno Youth chief slammed Kelantan, Kedah and Penang governments for adopting the themes and likened them to the three headed giant in Greek mythology.

The Merdeka Day theme for the Kelantan government is 'Menerajui Perubahan' (Leading Change) while Kedah chose the theme 'Terus Berbakti' (Continue To Serve).

Hindraf to fight for non-Indians too

Waythamoorthy pledges to champion the causes of all marginalised minority groups.

wayhin.jpgBy Athi Sankar - FMT
GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti has expanded its sphere of activism to include non-Indian marginalised communities in Malaysia, its leader P Waythamoorthy announced today.

He said his group would lend its full support to the human rights claims of such communities as the Orang Asli of the peninsula, the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, and Eurasians.

“Although our primary focus remains on marginalised working class ethnic Indians, Hindraf would not just sit back and watch human rights violations on these marginalised minority groups,” he told FMT today.

“We will also champion their causes to ensure that all minority groups are granted their birth right to live with equality in rights and dignity.

“We will fight to ensure that all marginalised, sidelined and isolated groups are included equally in nation building.”

Waythamoorthy, who returned to Malaysia on Aug 1 after over four years of self-imposed exile in Britain, alleged that violations of human rights in Malaysia were now worse than they were during the colonial period.

He cited the known cases of deaths in police custody, saying if any these had happened during the colonial days, the British administrators would have swiftly carried out an investigation and punished the culprits.

In contemporary Malaysia, however, the authorities would typically drag their feet before finally agreeing to an inquest, he said. Even if an inquest were to be held, it would be conducted by an inexperienced magistrate, he added.

Waythamoorthy also spoke about the displacement of estate workers without compensation in cash and alternative housing, saying this was a form of human rights violation that mostly affected Indians.

Displaced estate workers

He said a recent Hindraf study revealed that some 800,000 estate workers had been displaced over the years.

“These workers were abandoned and left stranded when giant companies took over the plantations.”

He said the poor treatment of estate workers was in stark contrast with the coddling of mostly Malay settlers in the Felda and Felcra rural development schemes.

“The first and foremost human right is the right to live with equality in rights and dignity,” he said.

“Why can’t the Umno government implement a permanent policy like Felda and Felcra to assist displaced Indian estate workers?

“It’s clear that the Putrajaya administration does not take human rights seriously.”

He said Hindraf would also campaign for equal representation of minority groups in Parliament and state legislatures.

“We want constituencies to be set aside solely for the marginalised minority communities to contest and elect their representatives,” he said. “This happens in many democracy-based countries.

“This would give them a strong voice in the government’s decision making process and in nation building.”