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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

'DAP no hudud' stickers discovered in Selayang

Issue of Dr. Zakir Naik : Home Minister throws dust in the eyes of Hindus

Tasgaon (Dist. Sangli, Maharashtra) : A case has been filed against Dr. Zakir; he has also rendered apology in this matter; but we will not leave him and take necessary action, promised Mr. R. R. Patil, the State Home Minister to delegation of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS). (Many days have passed since Dr. Zakir insulted Shri Ganesh and devout Hindus are lodging complaints at various places against him; but police are trying to oppose lodging of complaints at some places or not taking any action despite registering many complaints. The Home Minister immediately imposed ban on screening of a film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ for insulting Prophet Mohammad. Why is he taking so long for imposing ban on the speeches of Dr. Zakir on his ‘Face book’, ‘You Tube’ accounts or on his “Peace’ TV channel ? – Editor SP)

A representation was submitted to the Home Minister in case of Dr. Zakir insulting Sri Ganesha when he gave the above promise to the delegation of HJS.

Mr. Puran Malame, an activist of HJS said, “No action has been taken against Dr. Zakir although complaints have been lodged against him at many places; therefore, the Home Minister should look into the matter.” Devout Hindus, Mr. Jeevan Patil, Jagannath Patil, Sachin Kulkarni, Vilas Pol, Kiran Jamdade etc. were present on the occasion.

Twist of fate?: Woman accuses ruling party member of selling her into marriage

For the distraught woman, what had seemed like the perfect opportunity to start over after a painful divorce quickly morphed into a nightmare. PHOTO: FURSID/FILE

SUKKUR: Early Saturday morning, S* burst into the Ahmedpur police station in Khairpur begging for shelter.

For the distraught woman, what had seemed like the perfect opportunity to start over after a painful divorce quickly morphed into a nightmare.

A couple of weeks ago, S, who hails from Vehari in Punjab, had met the vice president of the Pakistan People Party’s Kingri women wing. The ruling party member was in town to meet her relatives and bumped into S, who had been struggling to support her two children after a gruelling divorce, she claimed.

The political activist offered her a job in Khairpur, and she jumped at the opportunity. Packing her belongings, she headed south with her two children, thinking about starting a new life, S claimed. Unfortunately this is where her luck ran dry.

Soon after S arrived in Khairpur, the lady took her to a man named A, assuring her that he would give her a job. However, the man forced her to marry him and she then found out that he had paid Rs110,000 to “purchase” her from the political leader, the woman told the police.

After weeks in captivity, S managed to flee from A’s house and headed straight to the police station. After she narrated the incident to the head constable, Ghulam Nabi Narejo, the law enforcers took her to the Khairpur district and sessions court.

The court directed the police to shift her to the Darul Aman and register a case against the ruling party’s leader and the man accused of forcefully marrying her. But the head constable says they have yet to receive a written order from the court and will act when they get one.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, the political activist admitted she had gone to Vehari but refuted all other allegations.

“Recently, I visited Vehari where the woman’s maternal uncle and brother told me that S had been divorced and they wanted to find a suitable partner for her,” she said. “In my own town, [A] had been repeatedly asking me to find him a suitable wife.”

So she asked the woman’s uncle and brother to bring her to Khairpur so that S and A can be married, she added.

Refuting the allegations that she had sold off S, the politician claimed that she had spent money on her marriage instead. “These allegations are intended to ruin my reputation,” she believed.

Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, the minister for women development and the head of the ruling party’s Larkana women wing, said that the party will take action against its member if she was found guilty. “We will provide S justice,” she said. “We want to empower women not exploit them.”

*Names changed to protect privacy

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.

Madonna backs down from wearing Muslim bridal dress


Madonna backs down from wearing Muslim bridal dress

Madonna has decided against wearing a Muslim bridal dress, a combination of a traditional Iraqi bridal veil and a US soldier's uniform, in her new music video after being convinced by her advisers to give the outfit a miss for her own safety.

Madonna has decided against wearing a Muslim bridal dress in her new music video over fears for her safety.

The 54-year-old singer was planning to don a 'Terror Bride' outfit - a combination of a traditional Iraqi bridal veil and a US soldier's uniform - in the video for upcoming single 'Superstar' as a statement against oppression against women and war, but her advisers convinced her to ditch the political stunt because of the outrage it would be likely to cause.

A source said: ''Madonna had the outfit ready to go. She was really proud of it and said it was her 'Terror Bride' costume.

''She had paraded around in it and said she was going to wear it in her next music video.

''At first when people started telling her it was madness she just brushed it off.

''But when they mentioned that her actions could put her life at risk she decided to ditch it from her video and certainly won't be wearing it on stage.''

The 'Celebration' hitmaker - who is a devotee of Jewish offshoot religion Kabbalah - had already tried the costume on, and while she is said to be ''really disappointed'' about not wearing the outfit, she hasn't ruled out donning the attire in a music video at some point in the future.

The insider added to The Sun newspaper: ''She was really disappointed as she was so adamant about it.

''And even when she said she wasn't going to go ahead she winked that it was being put aside 'for now'.''

Last month, Madonna caused controversy when she referred to US President Barack Obama - who is openly Christian - as a ''black Muslim'' at a concert in Washington, but she later clarified her comments insisting she was ''being ironic''.

She added: ''Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim, though I know that plenty of people in this country (America) think he is.''

Dr M defends PKFZ deal, says forced sale would have made him unpopular


Dr Mahathir smiles after testifying at Dr Ling’s trial in Kuala Lumpur, October 8, 2012. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the High Court here today he had not agreed to the compulsory acquisition of land for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project, even though he acknowledged such practices usually ended up saving money for the government.

The practice of compulsory acquisitions would have made him an unpopular politician, the former prime minister said when appearing as a defence witness for former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, who is on trial for deceiving the Cabinet in the government’s purchase of land for the PKFZ project.

“No. Normally when government wants to acquire land, the valuation is very low to save government money; the government officers wants to help government to save money,” said Dr Mahathir to questions from defence lawyer Wong Kian Kheong.

“As a politician who depends on my popularity to stay in office, I would not like to undervalue land acquired by government. That would make me unpopular and my status depends on my popularity,” he said.

Wong had asked Dr Mahathir if he had favoured compulsory acquisition when he was the then prime minister, minister of finance and minister of special functions.

Dr Mahathir told Wong that he had been informed the government had wanted to compulsorily acquire the land in August 2002.

The government had finally decided to purchase the land on a willing-seller-willing-buyer basis in November 2002.

Earlier, the former PM told the court that neither he nor any minister had lodged any criminal complaint about the Cabinet being deceived into approving the purchase of land for the PKFZ project.

He also testified that a policeman told him that if investigators had taken his police statement first, Dr Ling would not even have been charged with any crime.

Dr Ling was charged in 2010 but Dr Mahathir said his police statement was only recorded within these two years.

Dr Ling, who served as transport minister for 17 years from January 1986 to May 2003, is charged with deceiving the Cabinet into approving the purchase of 999.5 acres of land for the PKFZ project, which had resulted in wrongful losses for the government.

The project, initially estimated at RM1.1 billion after it was mooted by Dr Ling in 1997, more than quadrupled in cost to RM4.6 billion by 2007.

A position review by top accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed in 2009 that the total cost including interests from debt repayments could reach RM12.5 billion.

Since December 2009, six individuals have been charged in court including ex-MCA president Dr Ling, and his successor as transport minister, former MCA deputy chief Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.

Both are accused of lying to the Cabinet.

Dr Ling also faces two alternative charges of deceiving the Cabinet into believing that the terms of the purchase — at RM25 psf plus 7.5 per cent interest — were acknowledged and agreed to by the JPPH despite knowing that there was no such agreement.

He faces a possible jail term of up to seven years, or a fine, or both, if convicted on the first charge under Section 418 of the Penal Code.

Teluk Intan crematorium in limbo since 2006

Management infighting has caused the half-done project to be abandoned.

TELUK INTAN: A half-built Hindu crematorium here has been in limbo for about seven years, forcing locals to use funeral services in Bidor, 40 km away.

Drawing attention to the matter was the Teluk Intan MP, DAP’s M Manogaran, who told FMT that political rivalry and management infighting had prevented any progress in the construction since it was halted in 2006.

The project stopped because the Registrar of Societies (ROS) deregistered the committee overseeing it—the Hindu Sabha Hilir Perak—for allegedly mismanaging its funds. A pro-tem committee took over, but it too failed to get construction up and running, leading to its eventual disbanding.

Manogaran said he tried to get the project going again after he won the Teluk Intan seat in 2008, but found it “very difficult to get the factions together”.

It was not until March 2009, he said, that he finally got the groups to sit at a meeting, but only to see more feuding, bringing things to a standstill.

Progress apparently became more difficult after the Perak state government fell to Barisan Nasional later that year, causing the factions to ignore Manogaran because he represented Pakatan Rakyat.

A state of neglect

Hindu Sabha Hilir Perak had intended to build the crematorium as early as 1997. Work started two years later, after the land was gazetted.

But the site is now in a state of neglect. The grounds are strewn with building materials and the adjacent cemetery is choked with weeds, annoying the local Hindus to no end.

“I am under pressure,” Manogaran said. “People are asking me when this is going to be resolved. They are angry and disappointed that this has been going on for the past seven years.”

ROS recently recognised a new Hindu Sabha committee, apparently headed by local MIC chief P Periyasamy.

Manogaran said that the federal government gave this committee a grant of RM300,000 late last year so that the project could resume, but he said Periyasamy was reluctant to get things going because the funding fell short of the RM1.2 million needed to complete the job.

However, according to the MP, the Teluk Intan locals were more than willing to contribute to the project’s completion.

“But I’ve been told that some people don’t want this to take off while I am still the MP. There is this long-standing issue that this shouldn’t be resolved during an opposition MP’s term.”

EGM next month

Periyasamy confirmed to FMT that his committee had received the federal government’s money and said he would call for an extraordinary general meeting next month.

“It will involve all the committees,” he said.

He denied that Manogaran was being sidelined, saying he was aware that the MP had promised his full support and would raise donations for the project.

He agreed with Manogaran that infighting in the previous committees made things difficult. He was trying to change that, he said, and was hoping that work on the crematorium would resume six months after the EGM.

Indians know the truth, says Kula

An advertisement published in Tamil dailies yesterday made comparison between allocations for the Indian community under the federal budget and Pakatan Rakyat-led states.
UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR: A DAP MP today criticised the government for attempting to hoodwink the Indian community by comparing allocation for the Indian community in Budget 2013 with Pakatan Rakyat-led state budgets.

“The people are not stupid. They know the truth,” said Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran at the Parliament during the debate on Budget 2013.

Yesterday, Tamil dailies published an advertisement comparing the allocation made for Indians in Budget 2013 as opposed to Pakatan led states’ programmes for the community.

Calling it a desperate attempt, Kulasegaran said it was ridiculous for those behind the advertisement to compare a federal budget to a state budget as the latter had lesser resources.

“Budget 2013 involves RM250 billion. Do you think state governments has that kind of money to offer? BN leaders are bankrupt of ideas,” said Kulasegaran.

Touching on allocations to Tamil schools, the DAP leader said that the federal government should not boast about it in advertisements.

“That is your responsibility. You are supposed to provide adequate allocation to all schools in Malaysia because they are all our children,” he said.

He also poured cold water on the government’s offer to give 1,000 matriculation places to bright Indians students, saying many did not receive the offer despite being qualified.

“Prove to me 1,000 places were given Indian students in recent years,” said Kulasegaran.

In June, a former MIC branch chairman VT Rajen pointed out that many bright Indian students were left out in the selection for the matriculation programmes.

“Despite the community asking for a list of students offered matriculation seats, MIC president G Palanivel had failed to disclose the information,” Rajen reportedly said.

Cheap propaganda

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president N Surendran also criticised the advertisements, calling it blatant dishonesty on Najib’s part.

“The point is most of the problems faced by the Indian community over the past several decades has been happening under BN’s rule.

“So for him to come out and pretend that he is doing better than Pakatan shows his complete dishonesty,” he told FMT.

Surendran was also confident that the Indian community would not fall for such “cheap propaganda and plain lies”.

“We can expect more such proapanda to appear in the media as the genereal election draws closer but the mainstream media will not carry advertisements from the opposition,” he added.

‘Don’t break the temple, sack the priest’

The remark by MIC vice-president M Saravan, say certain observers, may have been aimed at party president G Palanivel.

PETALING JAYA: In a cryptic statement, MIC vice-president M Saravanan said that the temple should not be torn down if devotees are unhappy with the manner in which mantras are being recited.

Instead, he added, the priest should be changed.

To some observers, Saravanan’s statement could be targetted at MIC president G Palanivel, who is known to be a religious man, but the latter’s leadership style had come under criticism.

However, Saravanan, a deputy minister, who was speaking at a book launch over the weekend, did not elaborate.

It was an open secret that many in MIC were not satisfied with Palanivel, who among others had been accused of lacking the grassroots touch and being evasive of the media.

Palanivel had succeded S Samy Vellu after the latter stepped down in December 2010.

Pampering for votes

During his speech, Saravanan also said that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat were pampering the Indian community, not out of concern, but rather to lure their votes.

According to Tamil daily, Malaysia Nanban, he said that Indians must be united especially with the rising number of Indonesians in this country.

The Tapah parliamentarian revealed that the total number of Indonesians already outnumbered the Indians.

“What would happen after 20 years if the government considers giving citizenship to them? We would lose our position, perhaps the government would overlook us then,” he added.

Citing the recent visits to the Batu Caves temple by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Selangor Mentri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Saravanan said the pair went there not to pay homage to Lord Muruga but to gain the support of the Indian community.

Anger over Perkasa’s use of state facilities

MP asks: Would another NGO—say Bersih—be given the same honour?

SEREMBAN: The Negeri Sembilan government is under fire for allowing Perkasa to hold its annual meeting yesterday at the state secretariat building and to use the state emblem on a banner publicising the event.

Seremban MP John Fernandez (DAP), state PAS commissioner Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani and political analyst Hishamuddin Rais today blasted State Secretary Mat Ali Hassan and Menteri Besar Mohamad Hassan for what they said was an insult to citizens of the state who regard the Malay rights group as extremist.

Mohamed was the guest of honour at the gathering, which was Negeri Sembilan Perkasa’s second annual general meeting.

“It’s highly unprofessional and unethical for the Menteri Besar to officiate at the AGM of an NGO,” Fernandez said. “It’s as if Perkasa is a Barisan Nasional component party.

“Does this mean that any NGO—let’s say the Negeri Sembilan chapter of Bersih—can now use the state emblem and the building for its AGM?”

Hishamuddin said Mohamad Hasan must take full responsibility for supporting what he called a “fringe racist group”.

“I’m a Negeri Sembilan boy and I don’t believe Perkasa’s sentiments reflect the sentiments of Negeri Sembilan people,” he said.

“The majority of Negeri people reject all forms of racism—Malay racism, Chinese racism or Indian racism.

“Mohamad’s act of officiating the meeting ran counter to the aim of 1Malaysia.”

Fernandez said that although most people were aware that BN and Perkasa were “two halves of a twin carburetor in the same engine room”, it was still atrocious for the state secretary to allow the NGO to have its meeting in the same complex of buildings in which the state legislature has its sessions.

He asked the government to clarify whether an NGO could rent a government building and use the state emblem in its publicity materials.

Mohd Taufek said he smelled something fishy. “I hope there was no political agenda in all this, especially with the general election around the corner.”

‘BN govt does not care for Sabah’

Former deputy minister Lajim Ukin told Parliament of the failures of the BN government to Sabah voters.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno deputy minister Lajim Ukin told parliament that the Barisan Nasional government has no time for Sabah. He said this was despite the state’s loyalty to the federal government all these years.

Lajim, who is Beaufort MP, also indicated his support for the opposition after he had remained quiet over his political leanings since he quit the government, applauding Pakatan Rakyat’s promise to raise oil royalty payments to 20%.

Sabah is rich in oil and contributes some RM22 billion of oil revenue annually but enjoys a mere 5% return in royalty while government allocations to the state, one of the poorest in the country, is said to be comparatively low.

Lajim’s insinuation of support for Pakatan could see BN taking on a united opposition in the Sabah.

In his speech during the 2013 Budget debate in parliament, Lajim said the ruling coalition had failed to bring development in the state.

Compared to the 85% rate of completed paved roads in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah has only 35%. Connectivity is a key issue in the state which is why Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had announced increased allocations for road projects there.

But the former deputy minister, who was among the few other Sabah leaders who recently defected following disillusionment with the Najib administration’s failure to address the problems in Sabah, said none of the promises have been fulfilled so far.

“For 55 years BN have ruled and Sabah had contributed so much to the Malaysian economy since then but still it is one of the poorest state in the country.

“This shows that Sabah and Sarawak are never the government’s priority despite us being the fixed deposit for the ruling coalition. The Sabahan people have been sidelined,” he said.

Other Sabah BN leaders had also admitted recently that more must be done to improve the socio-economic situation in the state but so far none of them have been upfront about who is to be blamed for Sabah’s underdevelopment.

A Merdeka Center survey released on Friday showed that 57% were dissatisfied with the state’s economic performance and only 56% of Sabah voters were satisfied with the state government, a 6% drop from 62% in November 2009.

The report also showed a significant drop in the state’s chief minister Musa Aman’s rating.

From 60% in November 2009, it dropped to to 45% in September. The decline was most marked among Muslim-Bumiputera voters who are the backbone of the state’s Umno support, with a drop from 72% in November 2009 to 51% last month.

Analysts believe the recent defections in the state will alter the state’s and the national political landscape there, suggesting BN will face some hurdles in its stronghold in the upcoming polls.

French lawyer: No Scorpene trial in France


The lawyer said two 'independent judges' started investigating after a complaint filed by Suaram.

(Bernama) - A prominent French government prosecutor has denied reports circulating among some Malaysian online news portals of an ongoing trial in France, on allegations of corruption by a French company over the purchase of two French-made Scorpene submarines by Malaysia in 2002.

Yves Charpenel said the media in Malaysia should be able to distinguish between rumours and facts, and between investigations and a trial.

“I am aware about all the fuss kicked up by certain media (organisations) in Malaysia over this matter but what I can say is that this is nothing more than a trial by the media,” he told Bernama here today.

Charpenel, who was a former head of prosecution in France and now a state prosecutor and an executive member of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), was here to attend the four-day IAACA conference and general meeting which ended yesterday.

Following a complaint filed in 2009 by Suaram, a Malaysian human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO), that a French company had allegedly paid bribes to a Malaysian firm for the submarine deal, he revealed that two independent “investigating judges” started their investigations earlier this year.

Charpenel said that in France, as in other countries practising the rule of law, all investigations were done in absolute secret.

He said, it was anybody’s right to file a complaint and due to the secret nature of the investigations, some resorted to complaining to the media.

He explained that for specific cases in France, the Justice Ministry would ask an independent judge, called an “investigating judge”, to investigate.

“He is just an investigator. This is an old system that started from the Napolean era. If the investigating judge wants someone to come to Malaysia, he has to ask from your government because we have what is called the Treaty of Mutual Legal Assistance. And the Malaysian government can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It has to be decided by the Malaysian authorities.

“A French investigating judge cannot take his luggage, take a plane and go to Malaysia and ask someone to answer his questions. It is impossible, it is against the French law and it is also against international law,” stressed Charpenel.

In April this year, local opposition politicians here had even called for Malaysian officials to testify in Paris or risk being ostracised in the European Union.

“A trial is a trial with all the rules. Investigation is another thing,” said Charpenel of the misinformation generated by certain news portals over allegations that a trial was already underway.

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also said over the weekend that the Auditor-General had declared the Scorpene deal was done in accordance with legal procedures.

China, Pakistan, Destabilizing India's Northeast?

China, Pakistan, Destabilizing India's Northeast?
(Asia Sentinel) Intelligence officials charge India bankrolls terrorist activities

An upward spiral in terrorist incidents in India’s northeast has become a growing cause of worry for Indian intelligence agencies, who blame India and Pakistan for fomenting the violence. Five blasts have ripped through different northeastern states in the last two months. In Assam, more than 80 people lost their lives in August due to violent clashes between Muslims and tribal Bodo people.

The unrest triggered a panicked exodus of over 400,000 people, mostly of Mongol stock, from their homes all across the country. Hordes boarded trains in alarm, catapulting the region to global headlines.

Rumors were rife that it was the doing of Islamic extremists in Pakistan. However, India’s premier intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing, has charged that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence is at least partly responsible, conspiring with China to foment trouble. Chinese agencies, according to a new report that received widespread notice recently at a conference of the Director Generals of Police in New Delhi, are using the ISI as a surrogate to bankroll Indian terrorist groups.

“In the mid-1970s, the Chinese were directly involved in creating trouble in the northeast,” Ved Marwah, a former police officer who also served as governor of Manipur and Mizoram, told Mail Today, the newspaper which broke the story. “Later the ISI started building a network. Now what we have is a deadly mix of Chinese motivation and ISI hostility that is supporting insurgent groups. The situation is getting from bad to worse and senior politicians in these states are also linked,” he told the newspaper.

Too often, Indian authorities charge both the Chinese and Pakistanis with meddling in violence-prone areas when the real causes are government neglect, corruption and usurpation of tribal lands by vested interests. The report provides no direct evidence of involvement, such as through captured insurgents or document intercepts. However, in this case the allegation gained credibility by the fact that last year Pakistan’s former ISI Chief Assad Durani made an astonishing admission before the Pakistan Supreme Court by stating that the ISI had indeed been “meddling” with India’s North East.

The proximity of the ISI – particularly well-entrenched in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur – to Chinese agencies is hardly surprising, intelligence analysts say, as it serves the agenda of both countries quite well.

“The ISI doesn't have to dip into its own meager resources to destabilize India,” a home ministry source who declined to be named told Asia Sentinel. “Beijing is the moneybags here. And it can simultaneously maintain its non-involvement as there is no direct evidence against it,” said the official.

For decades, India’s northeast, comprising the `seven sisters’ (or the seven states) of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland – has been a hotbed of communal strife, ethnic insurgencies and illegal immigration. Since 1980, the region has also been a fertile ground for a Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, an ongoing conflict between Maoist groups (known as Naxalites or Naxals) and the Indian government described by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country."

According to the BBC, more than 6,000 people have died during the rebels' 20-year fight between 1990 and 2010 in the northeast. Overall, 11,500 people have been victims of insurgency violence since its start in 1980, of which more than half died in the last ten years. The year 2012 has seen 22 civilian deaths so far.

Last year, the Indian police accused the Chinese government of providing sanctuary to leaders of the Naxal movement, and Pakistani ISI of providing financial support. Home Ministry sources acknowledge anonymously that both countries have been leveraging the Naxalites’ disenchantment with the Indian government for not developing the region adequately and failing to provide for its people.

“The insurgents follow a strategy of folk rebellion targeting tribal, police and government workers in what they say is a fight for territorial rights, more employment for neglected agricultural laborers and the poor. Their crusade naturally makes them vulnerable to the nefarious designs of foreign powers,” said a former Maoist rebel.

Security analysts say Pakistan and China are bound by a commonality of interest. They are keen that the North East continue to remain chaotic to thwart Delhi’s ambitions to become a regional heavyweight. “Towards that end, Pakistan’s protracted battle over Kashmir with India, by fomenting terrorist activities through cross-border infiltration, is being bolstered by China,” adds the Maoist.

“As most of the terror strikes in the northeast are carried out by homegrown elements, this serves as a perfect alibi for the ISI,” argued Pradeep Khanna, a Mumbai-based security analyst who is working on a book on the 26/11 attacks. “Infighting is far more deadly and causes more instability than an external attack. Besides, an external attack carries global and diplomatic ramifications.”

Khanna suggests that the Indian government tackle the root of the problem by equipping Indian intelligence agencies, anti-insurgent forces and the troops stationed on the borders with sufficient resources to take on the threat of foreign-backed rebels. “The government must expedite the development of the region which will bring lasting peace and dissuade people from joining or supporting insurgencies in future,” he said.

While China may not be interested in reigniting any large-scale insurgency in India’s northeast, it certainly doesn’t hold back from inciting trouble in an area where it has substantial territorial claims. China continues to occupy 14,600 sq miles of Indian territory annexed during the Sino-Indian War and shows no intention of returning it.

However, China scholars like Dr Rakesh Datta are of the opinion that in the India-Pak-China dynamic, the feasibility of Pakistan being used as a “stooge” by China is far higher. The logic is simple: the possibility of a politically and economically unstable country carrying out operations of such magnitude on a sustained basis with its own meager resources is limited.

“Keeping in view Pakistan’s socio-economic perspective,” Datta wrote in his thesis Beijing, Mind Behind Pak Terrorism, “the country is hard-pressed in terms of economic growth, high inflation, rising debt, increasing poverty, growing unemployment and low literacy. It is, therefore, hard to accept that Pakistan is managing the confrontationist posture against India exclusively, without getting help from outside.”

China and India fought an armed war in 1962. But Beijing has since refrained from launching a frontal attack on its Asian neighbor. However, given India’s geo-strategic primacy and its position as a formidable neighbor and a security threat, Beijing has never failed to maintain a posture as a strategic adversary to its arch rival. Teaming up with Pakistan has further helped it create the synergy to keep India on edge.

STOP THE THEATRICS: M'sia has become CORRUPT TO THE CORE under BN


STOP THE THEATRICS: M'sia has become CORRUPT TO THE CORE under BNIt was so kind of Prime Minister Najib Razak to contribute RM1 million to the Vienna-based International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA). But to some critics, this move was just to “pull wool over the people’s eyes”.

To the critics, corruption must first be mopped up at home. They feel that some local NGOs deserve the money more when they are making serious efforts to rein in corruption in the country.

There is certainly something wrong when a leader blames everyone else and yet does not observe the corrupt behaviour of his own team.

The people’s perception is that there is a mass-scale corruption at all levels in the country. The people cannot anymore be oblivious to the effects of corruption, as its impacts have become obvious on their everyday life.

Corrupt to the core

People are leaving the Barisan coalition and their reason, among others, is that they just cannot tolerate the level of corruption in the government anymore. Their view seems to be that the government of today is corrupt to the core.

This opinion has hurt Barisan most in the past 30 years – right from the day Mahathir Muhamad took over as prime minister.

Corruption is today seen as corroding the country. The people see the abuse of power by leaders more for their personal advantage. This is disconcerting the minds of voters who depend on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index of 2011, Malaysia ranked number 60 out of 183 countries with a score of 4.3/10 (hovering at 4 to 5 in the past 10 years).

The country’s one time partner – Singapore that left Malaysia in 1965 – was ranked number 5 with a score of 9.2/10 (hovering at 9 to 9.5 in the past 10 years).

Singapore’s success

Singapore does not make “theology “an overt precept in governance, though. But the administration is based more on the moral foundation of humanity – sturdy principles, integrity, transparency and accountability. This is their recipe for success in bringing down corruption.

The top 10 – the world's least corrupt countries – has remained virtually unchanged for the past 10 years with Finland, Iceland and New Zealand tied for the lead, followed closely by Denmark, Singapore and Sweden.

Malaysia on the other hand seems to be evasive when it comes to taking efforts to appraise the degree of control they have on corruption such as the Transparency Index, the Open Budget Index, Financial Secrecy Index and their Bribe Payers’ Index.

The people are totally blurry on the country’s indexes on Global Competitiveness, Judicial Independence, Human Development, the Rule of Law, Press Freedom, Accountability and the Election Processes.

The government-controlled media and Barisan politicians have failed to sincerely appraise these crucial realms for people’s consumption. What the people merely hear are political rhetoric, dubious statistics given by politicians and all these being spun by the media to sound that “all is well” with the country.

They are leaving Barisan

George Washington said in 1789, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favours”.

Those “fearing God” feel that corruption is a plague to the people. Uninhibited corruption which has not abated but increased – in their opinion – is fermenting their hatred for the government. This is one of the many reasons why many former government servants, artistes, academicians, students are today giving their support to PAS and the Opposition.

Even the non-Muslims have no qualms whatsoever about supporting PAS. The simple reason is that they are against corruption. They too have the view that a God-fearing government can help rein in corruption better in the country.

The fervour for religion is becoming more important in the psyche of many Malaysians today. DAP and PKR are not religion-based parties but they are allies to PAS and share the common views that there must be social justice for the people and that corruption is immoral and can destabilise the nation.

When leaders are corrupt the people tend to resort to more religious awareness. The voters are not oblivious to the fact that corruption affects the poorest the most.

“Untouchables”

In fact all elements of society are affected in some way as corruption undermines political development, democracy, economic development, the environment, people’s health, education and so forth.

As in the old sayings, "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it". Being too long in power breeds complacency and corruption. The powerful, wealthy leaders who have been serving long in government could inevitably become corrupt.

Many can be seen living a debauched lifestyle when the poor are getting poorer.

Some have their wealth and interests conveniently stashed overseas and become the “untouchables” in their own country because of their strong political connection.

Corruption is going to cause a decline in morals, affecting both the rich upper classes and the poor, and this is becoming a continuous threat to the country. Corruption is going to cost of defending the country spiral out of control, the economy falling, taxation heavy and inflation high. These will be the symptoms for early bankruptcy for the country.

The majority of the rich are not sharing their “inconceivable” wealth and prosperity with the have-nots in the country and this is widening the gap between the poor and the rich, especially in states like Sarawak and Sabah.

Not perceived as “clean”

Corruption started to rear its ugly head right during Mahathir’s days as prime minister. His infamous description that corruption is “a lubricant that can get things done faster” must have been the wrong dose he prescribed that has made corruption opportunely “acceptable”.

Abdullah Badawi who took over as prime minister from Mahathir in 2003 could not do much in battling corruption just because this immoral habit had already become ingrained in the Malaysian culture. And today Najib is too weak to steer the country out of this baggage.

The present government and its leaders are not perceived as “clean” either when it comes to corruption. It has become an unceasing baggage that has affected almost all those in power.

Thus corruption apparently has become a way of life in the Malaysian society. People are dealing with societies where corruption filters into their everyday life. This culture no doubt is corroding the nation.

A change of government

A change of government may not be the ultimate solution to some voters but many feel that this is the only viable way to stop the menace of corruption from continuing unabated. It’s never too late though to have a new government in the two-party system the country now has.

Corruption is both a major cause and a result of poverty in most countries with unscrupulous leadership. It occurs at all levels of society, from local and national governments, civil society, judiciary functions, businesses, military and other services and so forth.

It is not only in the government that corruption is found. It’s now pervading the society in most countries with poor and ineffective leadership.

Negotiated tenders, for instance, can create conditions whereby corruption can flourish and aggravate the conditions of people. It habitually involves diversion of a percentage of funds from critical projects into the pockets of political parties, politicians, senior government officials or their families.

But the media and haughty politicians would irresponsibly stop effective participation and representation of people in society such as the NGOs from voicing out their displeasures and this has further helped encourage corruption and the collapse of nations.

Corrupt government

Those who are leaving Barisan among them are those who do not believe in the credibility, integrity, professionalism and independence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

It was mentioned in a recently released report by Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund, that the Taib (Sarawak Chief Minister) family's total assets to be worth US$21 billion (RM64 billion), with a personal wealth of US$15 billion (RM46 billion), making him Malaysia’s richest man.

The people only want to know the truth but as reported, Najib was trying to be evasive about the whole thing.

The people also want to know the truth about other prominent leaders and those in high positions in the administration who are perceived to be highly corrupted. But unfortunately, the present incumbent government lacks the political will to face the bull by its horns.

Corruption will destroy the nation

It looks like corruption is not getting much better and, indeed, is intensifying – affecting virtually every aspect of life among peoples in the country.

They perceive that corruption is taking on a host of different forms. It involves the police and judicial systems, including disputed enforcement of business contracts and other commercial litigation.

A leader must show his abhorrence of corruption by example not just by telling others to stay away from this evil when the government he leads is amassed with alleged corruption.

A corrupt nation usually has an extremely weak institutional setting and this is due to political parties and their leaders holding on to power for too long causing smugness to set in.

The droves of people leaving Barisan to be with PAS and the Opposition today is clear sign that they want to see a change in government to curb corruption – the thorn in the flesh – that is corroding the nation.

Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Malaysia Chronicle

'Utusan lied about church ticking off Penang CM'

(Malaysiakini) Two Christian leaders quoted by Utusan Malaysia as having criticised the Penang chief minister, have slammed the report as a “complete lie”.

NONELutheran Evangelical Church bishop Solomon Rajah and former Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) president Thomas Philips (right) said their words had been taken out of context in the report headlined ‘Church is not a place for politics’.

They have demanded a retraction of the report published in the Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, and a public apology from the Umno-owned Utusan in its next edition.

At a press conference today, at which CCM secretary general Hermen Shastri was present, the two explained that the reporter concerned had only contacted them for their general views on “the church and politics”.

“It was never a reaction or response to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s dialogue with pastors in Penang,” said Solomon.

“Never was I aware that I would be misquoted (or that what I said would be) misconstrued. I never knew that my views would be used to serve Utusan’s own purpose and agenda. This is sad.”

Solomon, who sees himself as an ardent supporter of Lim, stressed that he would not have consented to the interview had he known that Utusan would misquote him.

Among others, the Mingguan report had quoted Solomon as saying "I'm sure (Lim) knows that the church need not be urged to stand up for justice for political purposes.”

‘Reporter should apologise, too’

Philips said the report “is a complete lie” that has jeopardised his reputation, insisting that his actual views had not been reported.

“It is an act of defamation. I am shocked and outraged by the journalist’s lack of competency,” he said.

“What I said was not what was reported, and stands against everything I personally believe in. I would like the reporter herself to apologise for this inaccurate and misleading report.”

However, both said they are not interested in pursuing legal action.

Philips said they just wanted to point out that Utusan “is lying”, explaining that he does not think the church “has time to go into legal action”.

Echoing him, Solomon said it would be enough for the daily to apologise.

“I’m not taking any legal action. I don’t have time for this because I have other things to do,” he added.

Corruption: The more things change… — Qiu Yaofeng

OCT 8 — The deputy prime minister said at the weekend that Malaysia’s gains in the Corruption Barometer (CB) over the previous two years showed Putrajaya’s fight against graft was paying off.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin noted that 49 per cent of Malaysians polled in 2011 by Transparency International (TI) thought that the government’s efforts to stamp out corruption were “effective”, up from 28 per cent in 2009.

But the Umno No. 2 conveniently forgot to mention that the proportion of those who responded positively rose by only one percentage point from 2010 to 2011.

So even if the poll were accepted at face value, this suggests Barisan Nasional’s (BN) anti-graft campaign has hit a brick wall, at least as far as the voting public is concerned.

But what is even more underwhelming is the fact that getting 49 per cent of the respondents to say the government has made the right moves is actually not an improvement at all.

That’s because in 2006 that proportion was almost the same at 45 per cent. The year after that, it was markedly higher — 53 per cent.

Only 2009’s outlier result of 28 per cent makes it seem as though Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration has made great strides in tackling graft. But really, we’ve just been spinning our wheels.

Hardly something for BN to crow about, especially this close to elections.

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

Court of Appeal dismisses application by transsexual for MyKad change

The Sun Daily
by Tan Yi Liang


As published in The Sun Daily on 5 Oct 2012

PUTRAJAYA (Oct 5, 2012): The Court of Appeal today dismissed without costs an application by Miss C, a 35-year old transsexual to review a High Court decision rejecting her application to have her gender changed from male to female on her MyKad.

In delivering the unanimous decision of the three member bench, quorum chairman Justice Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail said Malaysian medical reports were needed to support the Malaysian application.

"Although the applicant brought medical reports from Hong Kong and Thailand, the application for a sex change is for Malaysia. Therefore, medical reports from a local expert is needed," said Abdul Wahab, who also said the court has the jurisdiction to hear and decide on this matter.

The reports referred to are medical and psychiatric reports.

Abdul Wahab added that certain factors have to be considered, such as the medical and psychiatric evidence, and society's recognition of the person's gender.

The other two members of the bench are Justices Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad and Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim.

Miss C, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand in Dec 2006 had filed an application with the Taiping High Court in 2010 to have the particulars in her MyKad changed from male to female.

However in January 2011, Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim ruled that the court had no jurisdiction over such matters, adding that the court was of the view that there were no laws empowering it to make decisions on this matter.

At a press conference outside the courtroom today, counsel for Miss C, Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh said the decision by the three-man bench that the court has the jurisdiction to hear and decide on Miss C's application made it a landmark case.

"Any lower court will be bound by the decision of this court and will have the jurisdiction to hear such matters," said Wong.

Wong, who is acting pro-bono for Miss C, said his client had filed the application in the Taiping High Court on the recommendation of the National Registration Department (NRD).

"There was a letter from the NRD saying that they do not have the power to change the gender on the MyKad. The NRD said my client had to go to court, and furnish them with a court order," said Wong.

The NRD was represented by Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail.

Banks Urged To Go Easy On CTOS, CCRIS Flagging To Help The Young Buy Houses

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 (Bernama) -- Banking institutions were today urged to be flexible to the young whose names are listed on Credit Tip-Off Sdn Bhd (CTOS) and Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) to enable them to get housing loans.

Datuk Idris Haron (BN-Tangga Batu) suggested that the CTOS and CCRIS conditions should not be imposed on them.

"They might have made a wrong move in managing their finances at the outset, as a result their names are listed in CTOS and CCRIS and they are facing problems to secure housing loans. So, I propose the Finance Ministry and banks be flexible with them," he said.

Idris, who is also Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) chairman, said in this manner it would not affect the opportunity of the young to invest in a home.

"A house is an immobile property, not mobile property like a car or a motorcycle. It can also be used as collateral. So, if the applicant runs away, the bank can auction the house to recover the amount it lost," he said when debating the 2013 Supply Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

Furthermore, Idris also suggested that the government introduce a ceiling price to high end housing projects specifically in urban areas to control house prices and prevent speculation on property.

Idris also suggested that the real property gains tax period imposed be raised to 10 years from five to avoid resale of property in a short period of time.

The Dewan sits again Tuesday.