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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nazri: Laporan AG puji Pakatan bukti k'jaan tiada niat jahat

Discard all Muslim Reservations in Bharat. Hindusthan for Hindus, not for the propagators of Shariat or for the perpetrators of another Pakistan.

No Reservation for Pro-separatist Muslims in India.

~ Upananda Brahmachari.

Under this heading: “More Muslim representation in police force, army and IB: AIMMM“, Sri Ashish Tripathi, of TNN has contributed an exploring news in Times of India (14-10-2012) about the conspiracy of Islamists in India for capturing India through administration, police, army and intelligence bureau etc. step by step. Though the report has been generated out of a Islamist-Akhilesh chemistry in the back-drop of Uttar Pradesh Islamization, but the report has been established its importance in the length and breadth of this country, whether it is in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam or Jammu and Kashmir. Religious Reservation in a shape of clear Muslim Reservation in India is being nurtured another threat to divide India again on the basis of old ”Two Nation” theory.

In this chilling report, Ashsis told, “Expressing concern over spurt in communal violence in various parts of the country, the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organisations in the country, has demanded increase in Muslim representation in the police force and Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The Central Working Committee of the AIMMM, in a recent meeting, passed a resolution stating that it is alarmed at the spurt in communal riots in various parts of the country, especially in Uttar Pradesh after Samajwadi Party government came to power in the state. ‘It has been noted that the police force either remains passive during these instances of engineered murder, loot and arson or becomes an active participant opening fire at will at Muslims with the intent to kill as happened at Masuri town near Delhi.

We caution the state and central governments to be more careful in tackling acts of violence, pay adequate compensation to the victims of police fire and take quick legal action against the killers,’ the resolution stated. It also appealed to the Muslim masses to show no unnecessary and hasty violent reaction to inflammatory situations created on purpose by communal forces whose eyes are fixed on the general elections in 2014 for which communal polarization is required so that their political party may benefit.”

The report goes further: “The AIMMM, in another resolution, welcomed the effort of the central government to raise Muslim representation in the police force which has gone down to as low as 2% in some states. ‘Muslim representation should also be raised in the Army, IB and other security agencies to regain the lost confidence of the Muslim masses,’ it stated.”

Not only that, after demanding such communal propositions, the Islamic body in question out-rightly condemned the role of present police and intelligence services and reacted that: “IB and police officers responsible for fabricating cases and implicating innocents should be punished and compensation to the victims should be deducted from the salaries and pensions of such officers.”. According to this Islamic body demanding Islamization of Police, Intelligence and Army categorically said that,”Police chiefs were recently told during their annual conference that the biggest threat faced by the country comes from the so-called “Indian Mujahidin” which many in the Muslim community think is a fictitious organization propped up by the IB to harass Muslims. Eighteen youths have been arrested recently in Bangalore and other places in a totally false and fabricated case which is clear from the changing stories dished out by Bangalore police about these youths.” [One can read the original report of TOI here].

In West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal declared 10% separate Muslim OBC reservation within the stipulated OBC quota in her state. Declared sanction for 10000 Madrasas, Rs. 2500 to Imams and Rs. 1000 to Muazins respectively, bi-cycles for Muslim Girl students of Madrasa and many other facilities to her Muslim brothers and sisters ignoring the plight of Hindu poor people.

In Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and some other states Muslims are enjoying reservation facilities upon religious grounds, which are simply violating the attracted articles of Indian Constitution. In various overt and covert processes the Shariat loving people are trying hard to divide the Indian Constitution upon Muslim and Non-Muslim basis under the proclamation of Reservation and Social Justice for Muslims in India with more than equal rights. Salman Khurshid, the secular face of Pro Islamist in the Central Cabinet Ministry of India is also trying a 5% general reservation in all the central offices, schemes and provisions. In other words, Muslims of India are now demanding more than equal rights over the majority Hindus by an distinctive instigation of Muslim sentiments to get rid off the Hindu supremacy or influence in India. The days of partition is coming back with its prominent preface as history repeats itself.

One can judge the developments of Muslim demands in India since the establishment of Muslim League in 1906 (30th Dec, 1906) and down to the partition of India in 1947 through a bloody Direct Action against Hindus initiated by the same Muslim League in 16th August, 1946. The descendants of the same Muslim League are moving freely in India with full political and financial support to fulfil their unfinished programme of a Greater Pakistan in Indian Sub-continent. The India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), All India Democratic United Front (AIDUF), Popular Front of India (PFI), People’s Democratic Conference of India (PDCI), Peace Party, Qumi Ekta, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Welfare Party of India (WPI) or such other political party or political alliance of Muslim fundamental political groups, all are the new incarnations of that Communal Muslim League who demanded and divided India upon Two Nation theory. Now, the new Muslim Leaguers in different names are heading towards another partition of India in a prolific anti-constitutional stance. On the basis of communal strength the Indian Muslims are planning to change in basic principal of Indian Constitutions first and finally to adopt Shariat upon the Indian Constitution as a law of Allah. One should not forget the Shah Bano case and the humiliation thereafter.

But the primary question is that on what authority Muslims can justify their illegal demands of reservation in India or any Muslim Leaguers or the like minded people can be permitted to stay in India. We have to discuss over this matter before entering into the next to nullify Muslim Reservation in India. [To be concluded].

Muslims Complain About Cross Symbol in Swiss Airline Adverts

I posted last year about how some Swiss companies were removing the Swiss flag from their logos in order to appease Muslims. Some Islamic apologists claimed the companies were reacting to a problem that was entirely imaginary and, in reality, Muslims were not so primitive that they would be offended by the mere display of another religion's symbols. Now we see that, in fact, they are.

The last advertising campaign of the Swiss transporter has not gone unnoticed. On large-format advertising hoards in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the Swiss flag appears accompanied by the slogan "Kreuz ist Trumpf". This means literally "The cross is an advantage", or "clubs are trumps" for aficionados of jass, the traditional card game. A double meaning that not everyone has been able to grasp.

The Muslims of Switzerland have reacted sharply to this image. On some forums, the internet users are indignant about the fact that Swiss is thus making reference to the "cross" and not the "Swiss cross", reports "Der Sonntag". The vehemence of the internet users is not a surprise to the Turkish journalist Cemil Baysal. Not long after the emotion caused in the Muslim world by the film "Innocence of Muslims", "many Muslims feel this slogan is a provocation and an attack against Islam".

Swiss, for its part, has given an assurance that its campaign contains no religious or political message.

Terrorists planned to target Buddhist site, Hindu festivals

An inexperienced new group of IM extremists was plotting a series of brazen attacks when they were arrested in Delhi, police say.

By Udayan Namboodiri for Khabar South Asia in New Delhi

The ineptness of three arrested terror suspects saved Pune from serious casualties during an attack in August, but officials warn that new recruits are being trained and continue to pose a threat. [Punit Paranjpe/Reuters]
Potentially lethal attacks by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist network have been thwarted with the arrests Thursday (October 12th) of three suspected operatives. The bust, carried out by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, is the second of its kind in as many months.

Asad Khan, Imran Khan and Syed Feroz, all hailing from Maharashtra state, were allegedly involved in bomb blasts targeting Pune last August, and were plotting a series of brazen attacks in the future – including one against a Buddhist place of pilgrimage.

"These three were IM operatives, all members of a new module. There are four others of this module who are still at large," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told reporters at a news conference. "They have dangerous plans of carrying out more blasts in Delhi, Mumbai and Bodh Gaya."

Bodh Gaya, believed to be the site where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, is one of four major destinations for Buddhist pilgrims, attracting thousands of visitors each year. A terror attack there would have come at a time of heightened religious tensions sparked by the Rohingya crisis in Burma as well as mob attacks against Buddhists in southern Bangladesh.

The Hindu festival month, which begins in the second half of October, had also been singled out for attacks by the group, Kumar indicated. The men were arrested in Delhi, where they had apparently gathered to finalise their plot.

According to police, intelligence provided by an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba "handler" was crucial to busting the cell.

"We were helped in the cracking of this module by Abu Jundal [also known as Abu Hamza], the conspirator of the November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai who is now in Delhi Police's custody after his extradition by Saudi Arabia," Kumar said. "It was [Jundal] who indoctrinated the members of this module," Kumar said.

According to Home Secretary R.K. Singh, the potential danger has not been extinguished and there is no room for complacency.

"The threat to the public during the festive season has not passed. What the Delhi Police have revealed (Thursday) is only the tip of the iceberg. This is a bigger conspiracy than we had imagined," Singh told Khabar South Asia, praising the police for their efforts.

The backgrounds of the three suspects appear to confirm that IM is now recruiting middle class professionals, in contrast to the disgruntled and poorly educated young males who were drawn to the group in the past. Khan is a computer professional, Feroz is a prosperous shop owner and Imran Khan is a school graduate.

In the last week of August, Bangalore Police stumbled upon a big module that included journalists, IT professionals and scientists. To date, 18 men have been arrested from Bangalore, Hubli and Hyderabad. "This Pune module is threatening to be bigger," Kumar said.

Amateurs with big plans

The blasts linked to the trio show them to be a newly emerging organisation that has not yet become adept at carrying out attacks, police said.

Four bombs went off within a couple of minutes on a busy road during the evening rush hour. But unlike the 2010 German Bakery bombing in Pune, which killed nine people, the August 1st attack caused only minor injuries to one person.

"It was obvious that the people who executed it were not well-experienced. Two of their bombs did not go off. They did not take the muggy monsoon weather into consideration. But we were forewarned that they will return with better training because their determination was very evident in the planning and execution," Singh said.

IM is widely believed to have assisted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in carrying out the 2010 attack, and it may be returning the favour by helping to build and train the new cell. According to Kumar, evidence has surfaced of a "definite IM- LeT linkage" through the Pune module.

"The name of Fayyaz Kagzi, a Pakistani LeT operative has come up during the investigation into this case," Kumar told reporters. "Abu Salem has confirmed that he had a role in the development of this module. Now we are certain that LeT has penetrated IM."

Costs for faulty military quarters soared to RM3.2b, audit shows

An image in the Auditor-General’s Report depicts raw sewage flowing from leaking pipes at a military housing unit.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― Military family quarters built by the Defence Ministry saw costs nearly double to RM3.2 billion amid a litany of defects including collapsed ceilings and leaking sewer pipes, according to revelations in the Auditor-General’s Report 2011.

Among others, the report found that the majority of the military quarters projects audited were awarded by direct negotiation and that the government waived penalties worth RM87.12 million for failure to meet contractual obligations.

“The waiver that was approved by the Ministry of Finance to the respective contractors caused losses and compromised the interests of the government,” said the report.

The audit team said that the financial performance of the military quarters projects was “unsatisfactory” as costs has shot up 84.1 per cent from the original allocation of RM1.74 billion.

Quarters examined by the audit showed that costs per unit ranged from RM260,000 at TUDM Subang and RM287,000 at Kinabatangan camp, to RM391,000 at Kementah camp and as much as RM1 million at TUDM Butterworth.

Explicit photos provided in the report showed sewage flowing on the floor due to leaky pipes at the Kementah camp quarters, a collapsed ceiling at the Subang TUDM quarters, and cupboard doors that cannot fully open due to a faulty design at Kementah camp.

One photo also showed quarters in the Kinabatangan camp in Sandakan being used by foreign workers and their families.

The report also said that stricter monitoring was required and contractors that failed to deliver should be blacklisted.

“In the audit’s opinion, the Defence Ministry should not accept family quarters that have defects and damaged construction that is so high that it causes members of the armed forces to live in premises that are not of quality,” said the report.

The audit also found that contractors failed to meet construction deadlines and were given extensions ranging from 94-1240 days.

According to the report, family quarters that were completed also had high levels of defects and contractors failed to rectify the defects within the warranty period.

Umno fears Nurul, not Azmin

Umno knows that Azmin will self-destruct and take Anwar Ibrahim and PKR down with him. It is Nurul that Umno is now battling against.

Nurul Izzah Anwar lives in a man’s world but is still a lady. She does not seek to be the equal of these men. She seeks to do better!

She tells us that she is the proud mother of two cuties and that she is the defection-proof member of parliament for Lembah Pantai.

I like that description of herself on her Facebook “defection-proof MP of Lembah Pantai”. Huh, what pizzazz!

Tell me, Anwar (Ibrahim), how many other defection-proof MPs do you have within PKR? How comforting is it not to have to watch your back constantly? How good does it feel to know that come what may, this Lembah Pantai MP will be on your team unconditionally?

Not for money, not for the menteri besar’s post or any other post anywhere in your party at state or federal level. But on past performances, she certainly is worthy and deserving of consideration for same.

People will ask if her father had prepared her for Lembah Pantai. I know that Anwar prepared her for Lembah Pantai long before she was ready for it. Like Benazir Bhutto and Aung San Suu Kyi, Nurul learnt about politics from an early age simply because it was all around her.

She grew up in politics, lived it, she endured it through the darkest hours of her father’s political persecution and incarceration and more, and when given the opportunity, she triumphed in Lembah Pantai against all odds. We all have great expectations of her future.

But did her father prepare her for what was to come after Lembah Pantai? What is he doing to ensure that she will be able to survive the onslaught Umno now throws her way in its attempts to retake Lembah Pantai at all costs?

In a constituency where all of Umno’s available resources, manpower and considerable financial leverage are now being used to woo the voters?

Can she keep her hold on a constituency that Umno had decreed “they must win” because winning in Lembah Pantai will take away from PKR and Pakatan Rakyat the jewel in their crown – Nurul.

Umno’s main concern

Umno has no real interest in taking down Azmin Ali (PKR deputy president), save for a token slap on his wrist whenever he strays too far.

Umno knows that given enough rope, Azmin will hang himself. Azmin will self-destruct and take Anwar and PKR down with him. It is Nurul that Umno is now battling against.

And how will Umno do battle against Nurul? You cannot fault her work as MP of Lembah Pantai despite having all of Umno’s arsenal arrayed against her to make her work among her constituents almost impossible.

There is not a hint of the scandals and innuendos that plague Barisan Nasional MPs in her. She has no money to speak and lives a life within her means. She is the incumbent MP BN fears most – fearless because she has no blemish on her character, honest, accountable, responsible, open and that most perplexing for Umno to deal with – “defection-proof!”

However, this general election will be more daunting than the last for Nurul.

We have all endured past family “dynasties” that promised much but delivered naught.

Najib Tun Razak started with a bang by becoming the youngest MP at 23, then on to being menteri besar of Pahang riding on the coat-tails of Tun Razak’s legacy. But his ascend to ignominy was swift and expected.

A failed marriage, now a domineering wife, and he allowed politics to serve his personal agenda rather than have himself served politics. Soon he will end his days in politics with a whimper.

Najib, Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaludin are all lessons for other aspiring scions that seek to perpetuate lasting political dynasties for no other reasons than that they think they can – and later, much later, we will have to tell them that they can’t.

Now we have Nurul. If I could fault her, it is because I believe that she loves her father too much to do what she has to do now for herself and for PKR.

Too many times in the past PKR has faltered at a time when it should not. Its near-death experience at the 2010 party elections has not been helped by the aftershocks of Azmin’s inept attempts to consolidate his personal power base within PKR at the expense of Khalid Ibrahim (Selangor Menteri Besar), Nurul and Dr Azizah Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR president) – because only these three people stand in his way to greater personal glory in PKR.

What is good for Azmin does not equate to what is good for PKR or Pakatan. That much the leaders within DAP and PAS have made known to us. But Anwar prefers to maintain an elegant silence that speaks too loudly to us all of a PKR that is in crisis.

If the problems within PKR stay within PKR, good. Unfortunately that problem has begun to affect the battle for Lembah Pantai even as Umno gears up to offer its final solution to the people of Lembah Pantai – vote for RNC – Raja Nong Chik (Zainal Abidin).

The challenge for Nurul

Let me be precise. RNC has done enough to win nomination from BN to challenge Nurul Izzah in Lembah Pantai. RNC has done enough work among the people in Lembah Pantai to give Nurul Izzah a run for her money.

Yes, he has all the resources he needed from Umno to do this. Yes, he is the minister most able to assist the people in Lembah Pantai and yes, he has done whatever he humanely could do to assist them.

No, he has not been nominated to stand in Lembah Pantai but he will be come nomination day for the 13th general election.

So whither goes Nurul? What help have she had from within PKR for her battle against RNC? Or more to the point, is PKR in any condition to extend any assistance to Nurul given the open sores we see of the continuing attempts by Azmin to tell all and sundry that in a blind PKR, he has one eye.

And the one eye is king in the land of the blind! So he thinks!

Is it not time that Anwar put his house of cards in order? Or does he think there is still time? Time to allow Azmin to organise PKR into what Azmin wants it to be. He has succeeded in having a PKR without Zaid Ibrahim. Now he wants a PKR without Khalid, Azizah and Nurul?

Enough is enough, Anwar. Again I want to tell you of the dangers posed by Azmin. Yes, Azmin sees Nurul as a tigress with the capacity and the will to stand up to him but, at the same time, he sees that this tigress sits and awaits patiently while her father dithers.

Azmin, do not think that the tigress is showing respect to you when she sits patiently while you go about the odious business of consolidating your own political interest within PKR at her expense.

This is not a family dynasty hungry for power and position that Anwar heads within PKR but nevertheless they are a family – a family with enough talents within them to carry PKR and Pakatan through the 13th general election if required. Do not forget that.

I did not hear Nurul urging the people to storm the prison walls when her father was incarcerated. I did not hear Nurul suggesting that anyone is deserving of any post in PKR or Pakatan, what more in the Cabinet if Pakatan takes Putrajaya – not even that her father should be prime minister.

I did not hear Nurul talking of reforms within PKR or refocusing PKR’s political agenda. What I see is that she has become what we want PKR to be – by the things she does as MP and the example she sets in her work for PKR.

Yes, she is a tigress but do not make the mistake to think that she is showing you respect just because she chooses to sit quietly by her father’s side.

CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.

Palani ‘sacks’ aide Dr Vijay

An NGO says the MIC president was reacting to questions about the aide’s right to call himself a political secretary or even a private secretary.

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president G Palanivel has told Dr Vijendran Shanmugam, who allegedly claimed he was the former’s political secretary, to quit within a week, according to a local NGO.

S Gobi Krishnan, chairman of the People’s Welfare and Rights Organisation (Power), said he received the news by text message from Palanivel himself.

Dr Vijendran, who is often referred to as Dr Vijay, is alleged to have distributed call cards describing himself as political secretary to the MIC president, who is also a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

A Tamil daily recently questioned his appointment to the post, saying he was a bankrupt. According to documents shown to FMT, the Department of Insolvency declared Dr Vijendran a bankrupt last March 1.

Subsequent to the report in the Tamil paper, he clarified that he was a private secretary to Palanivel, not his political secretary. He also denied that he was a bankrupt.

Observers of MIC politics are questioning his right to distribute name cards indicating his position as political secretary when he has not taken the oath of secrecy before the Prime Minister.

Gobi Krishnan said he recently raised this question in a text message to Palanivel and urged him to call for Dr Vijendran’s resignation within 48 hours, threatening to lodge reports with the police and MACC.

It was in reply to the message that the MIC president said he had told Dr Vijendran to resign within a week, Gobi Krishnan added.

He said Power checked Dr Vijendran’s status on Oct 4 and found that he was still a bankrupt.

“It seems like Dr Vijay has given false reports to media,” he added.

“Palanivel is the boss. He should be the one clearing the air. Even if Dr Vijay is the private secretary, it is still not right. A declared bankrupt cannot hold any government position”.

Gobi Krishnan also said that by saying he was only a private secretary, Dr Vijay had dug his own grave.

“There is evidence to show that he is a declared bankrupt. Now Dr Vijay has to dispute that. But it is Palanivel’s duty to clear the air.”

FMT has been unable to obtain a clarification from Dr Vijay.

Sisters in Islam call for Syariah law review

They say the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment and its record of enforcement is questionable and can lead to abuse.

PETALING JAYA: The Seremban High Court judgment on four Muslim transgenders last week has prompted NGO Sisters In Islam (SIS) to call for a comprehensive review on the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment.

SIS manager Suri Kempe said this when commenting on the court’s dismissal of the transgenders’ application to seek for the right to dress in women clothes under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.

Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad, when delivering the judgment, had said that the applicants are Muslims and hence are subjected to Section 66 of Syariah Criminal Enactment 1992, that bars Muslim men from dressing or posing as women.

Suri said the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment and its record of enforcement is questionable as it can be abused.

“Is it the duty of the state, under the name of bringing about a moral society, to turn what it considers ‘sins’ into ‘crimes against the state’?

“Should the state extend the long arm of the law to what should be best left to the religious conscience of the individual?” she asked.

She said the reality is that sexual minorities in Malaysia, especially Muslims, are vulnerable to numerous abuses by the state,

“We urge the government to form a committee which includes representation from women’s groups, human rights groups, progressive Islamic scholars and constitutional experts,” she said.

She said the government needed to adopt a more humane way that embraces the Islamic spirit of justice, equality and compassion.

“We need one that is not punitive in nature, and does not subject Muslims to discrimination and persecution in the name of Islam,” she said.

Lawyers for Liberty adviser Latheefa Koya labelled the verdict as “a dangerous trend” as the Federal Constitution now seemed to be subservient to Syariah law.

“It’s a problem if the court just makes assumption and did not take into account the differences between Syariah law and the Federal Constitution.”

She stressed that the Federal Constitution is supposed to be applied to everyone irrespective of race or religion.

“There is no article that says it is selective except when it comes to the position of religion and Bahasa Malaysia,” she said.

Hindraf to back Pakatan, provided…

A blueprint for the resolution of the Indian dilemma will be tabled at upcoming Anwar-Waytha talks.

BATU KAWAN: Hindraf will support Pakatan Rakyat if the bloc agrees to implement the pressure group’s blueprint for the wellbeing of Indians in the country, which it will present at an upcoming meeting with PKR.

Hindraf deputy chairman W Sambulingam said his organisation was keen to forge an alliance with Pakatan to face the next general election but would not give it or any other political group a free ride.

“We are not going to give anyone a free lunch like in 2008,” Sambulingam told some 500 supporters at a fund-raising dinner here last night.

The blueprint will be tabled during a second round of Hindraf-PKR talks, which could be held at the end of this month or early next month. PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy are expected to attend.

The Anwar-Waythamoorthy meet-up was agreed upon last month at a meeting between PKR and Hindraf officials. Neither Anwar nor Waythamoorthy was present at that meeting.

Since his return from exile, Waythamoorthy has had meetings with top PAS leaders, including Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Sambulingam said Hindraf would prepare a “comprehensive and constructive” blueprint containing recommendations and proposals for “permanent, practical, applicable and effective” solutions to resolve problems faced by the Indian community, including those unresolved since colonial days.

Hindraf has written to both BN and Pakatan to propose talks on the blueprint. Unlike PKR and PAS, BN has yet to respond.

Sambulingam said he regarded BN’s silence as a “rejection of Hindraf’s olive branch”.

He said Hindraf would call on Indians to support Pakatan only if the bloc agreed to implement the blueprint.

Issues regarding education, land, and settlement areas for Indians are expected to feature heavily in the blueprint. Sambulingam said these were not commercial issues, but were matters that bore heavily on fundamental principles of human rights.

“The government of the day is duty bound to fulfil these rights for rightful citizens, not to illegal immigrants,” he said at last night’s dinner.

Penan resettlement sites: ‘Why notify only now’?

A 'first' notification on resettlement sites issued by the state government to Penans affected by the Murum dam which is 75% complete has raised more questions.

KUCHING: Save Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) has ridiculed the first notification of the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) Report for the proposed resettlement sites and service centre for the Penans affected by the Murum dam project.

The notification was released on Oct 11 by the State Planning Unit (SPU) and involved the Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement sites as well as the Murum service centre.

“However, the question on why the SEIA report has only just been released when about 75% of works on the Murum dam have been completed begs to be asked,” said Peter Kallang , chairman of SAVE Rivers.

“We have heard that earthwork for the two proposed resettlement sites has already begun. Therefore, does it make sense to ask for public comments on the SEIA report now?

“This sounds like a last-minute public relations exercise to me, and not a genuine effort to get proper feedback from the public,” he said.

Kallang noted that a statement made in March 2010, by the SPU principal assistant director (environment and natural resources) Andrew Tukau stated that “the state government will conduct social and environmental impact assessment studies on all future hydroelectric dam projects in Sarawak, starting with the Murum Dam”.

“Despite promises made by the SPU about two and half years ago, we are still waiting for the SEIA report for the construction of the Murum dam itself.

“We were told that the Murum dam would be the model to correct mistakes previously made in the Bakun mega dam, and other dams in Sarawak.

“Sadly, it appears that the government is making the same mistakes all over again, and the Penan communities of Murum are now paying the price,” Kallang said.

He wants to know what had happened to the government’s earlier promises.

He said the government had promised that there would be “no involuntary resettlement as was done in previous dam projects” and that the resettlement action plan would have a new monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanism.

The failure of the state government to release the SEIA report earlier and the promises that have not been fulfilled have made the Penans from eight villages angry.

Since Sept 26, the Penans have blocked the roads leading to the dam construction sites resulting in scores of trucks and lorries loaded with building materials abandoned near the sites of the blockades.

Animal lovers slam local councils’ move to enter houses and remove dogs

(The Star) - Animal rights groups here are upset with local councils for engaging private companies that apparently trespass homes to catch pets.

The discussion among representatives from about 15 groups, including PAWS, KL Pooch Rescue and SPCA, became animated when they voiced their displeasure against such actions, usually instigated by complaints from neighbours of dog owners.

“This is a disturbing trend,” said Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) founder Wani Muthiah during a press conference here.

“When you're not at home, the local councils' dog-catchers, as well as those from private companies employed by them, cannot remove your dogs,” she pointed out.

“Now, owners have become paranoid. They have to lock their dogs inside their houses when they go out to work,” she said.

Wani said the authorities should instead take up the complaints with the house owner, and not capture the dogs. “And, certainly not when the owners aren't home.”

Shown at the conference was a YouTube clip that was uploaded on Sept 27, showing several men, believed to be dog-catchers subcontracted by the Ampang City Council (MPAJ), entering a house compound and removing several dogs there.

Wani said she had compiled about 50 police reports made after the video went online since Wednesday. It can be viewed at

However, MPAJ deputy president Abd Hamid Hussain said it was all a misunderstanding.

“In the video, the contractors were actually trying to remove stray dogs which had wandered into the house,” he said.

“We had permission from the owner to remove them.”

Yesterday, G. Darwin, 27, and his wife Cynthia Moey, 26, from Kota Kemuning, related how the local authority had removed their dogs.

“I returned from work at about 8pm, and found my porch in a mess,” said Moey.

“I thought someone had broken into my home. I found my dogs missing,” she said. “My neighbour told me that she had called the council to come and take away my dogs.

“The council had actually trespassed my home using my neighbour's house to jump inside.”

The Death of Cambodia's Nimble Prince

Even princes can only do so much
(Asia Sentinel) In the end, even God-kings die

People mourn, especially the little people in the kleptocracy that Cambodia has become under the clique of mainly former Khmer Rouge apparatchiks who control the state these days, and push the poorer people off their lands to sell 99-year leases to grasping Chinese, Russian and South Korean concerns.

King Norodom Sihanouk, the irrepressible descendant of the god-kings of Angkor, and for decades one of the world's most resilient – and some would say most exasperating - politicians, died Monday, the day of the dead in Cambodia, and just two weeks short of his 90th birthday.

Never again will a correspondent sit, as I did several times, in the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, and listen to the former monarch, father of the reigning King Sihamoni, while sipping lukewarm champagne served by granite-faced North Korean bodyguards, as one attempted to avoid the attentions of the king's pet lap-dog, Mickie, who sometimes got irritated at visitors.

Who else in the world could recall such conversations as King Sihanouk did in my last interview with him: "Chairman Mao looked at me and said: 'My dear Prince Sihanouk, please read this Little Red Book of mine.'"

He also told me of the waspish exchanges he had had with Henry Kissinger, the then US Secretary of State. No love was lost between the two men. It was Kissinger and Nixon, after all, who orchestrated the secret bombing of Cambodia, which helped, in my mind, to turn the Khmer Rouge into the murdering automatons that they became.

When I last sat in the palace for such an exclusive interview – it lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes of hilarious mirth, fury, good sense and potted history – he told me about an earlier period of medical treatment in China. "Now I am fine, and if we were in Haiti, we would say it was voodoo."

"Maybe you really are a God-king," I ventured in jest. "No, no," the king insisted. Yet he recalled that Queen Monineath, his elegant consort and fifth wife, had visited a benighted province stricken by drought. "Please ask the king to send us rain," villagers beseeched her.

The king sighed: "I am not a god, I cannot persuade the sky to give us rain. It's not good to be thought a God-king: it's terrible, terrible."

Still, two days later it rained on that village.

One British ambassador told me he felt privileged to attend such sessions of royal wit and wisdom. "I hold the king in high esteem,” he told me. He talks a lot of sense. I get a huge buzz just sitting listening to him. He's living history.

Sihanouk was also always a royal 'press groupie' who enjoyed the company of journalists. The late king had been one of the last survivors among luminaries like Jawaharlal Nehru, Josip Broz Tito, Gamel Abdel Nasser and Sukarno, who co-founded the Non-aligned Movement in the mid-50s at Bandung, Indonesia.

He had known four generations of Chinese leaders and would soon have been getting ready to know a fifth, if mortality had not interceded.

He became king at age 18 because France thought this plump, chortling youth would be easy to manipulate. The French were part of a long line of states and people who under-estimated him. It was the French who had to leave quietly with their tails between their legs in 1953, the year before neighboring Vietnam won independence at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

Sihanouk had the foresight to leave behind a good king to succeed him. He is King Sihamoni, now 58, the only son Sihanouk and Queen Monineath, who studied ballet dancing in the former Czechoslovakia.

Sihamoni, a former Cambodian ambassador to UNESCO, was reluctant to take the post, enjoying his life and friends in Paris. Sihamoni is unmarried, and Sihanouk once told the Cambodian population that his son, one of 14 offspring, 'regards women as his sisters.'

Sihanouk himself supported same sex marriage. I am not gay, but I respect the rights of gays and lesbians,"he said. It's not their fault if God makes them born that way."

In a later interview with the new King Sihamoni, the monarch told me: "The reality is that I don't feel in the least like a king, far less a god-king."

"I feel just like an ordinary human being, at most a fonctionaire, whose duty is to serve all the people Inside I haven't changed. I am still me."

These days, the hardline prime minister Hun Sen, installed in power by the Vietnamese army, rules the roost, and he has forbidden Sihamoni to give interviews, as he also latterly forbade the late Sihanouk.

Hun Sen belongs to the former 'Soviet-Vietnamese' faction of the Khmer Rouge, while the pro-Chinese faction, headed by former Khmer Rouge leaders Noun Chea and Khieu Samphan' has been under trial at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh.

It remains to be seen how Sihamoni manages, though he has the assistance of his mother, Queen Monineath, Sihanouk's bereaved wife.

Sihanouk has critics who say that he ran an autocratic one-man show in the 1960s, while his backing of the Khmer Rouge from exile in Beijing, after his 1970 overthrow, brought 1.7 million deaths.

But older Cambodians recalled a "golden age" under Sihanouk before American bombing, Khmer Rouge mass murder and Vietnamese invasion devastated Cambodia.

The opposition politician Sam Rainsy says Sihanouk will 'probably be the last of Cambodia's great kings."

In his last interview with me, Sihanouk spoke of his legacy. "I have no remorse. I always did everything in the highest interests of my nation. My conscience is clear."

(James Pringle covered Cambodia and the Vietnam war for Reuters, Newsweek, and the Times of London)

Lagu Anwar Khas Untuk Najib

Malaysia’s elections: Should the international community care?— Ambiga Sreenevasan

OCT 15 — Those in the international community may be forgiven for saying, “Is there a problem with the democratic process in Malaysia?”

In the international arena, our leaders portray Malaysia as a moderate Islamic nation that is built on the democratic principles that are enshrined in our Federal Constitution. The fundamental rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly, the right to life and a fair electoral process, are indeed guaranteed under our Federal Constitution.

The reality is, however, far less idyllic. There are serious questions whether these rights are respected and upheld by those in power.

Since before the 1990’s, Malaysians have been pushing for a reform of the system of governance. There has been growing discontent over issues like rampant corruption, abuse of power, deaths in custody and selective prosecution (or persecution), to name but a few of the grouses.

We are increasingly alarmed by the use of race and religion by politicians to divide the people for political gain, with no regard whatsoever for the possible long term consequences of this conduct.

We note with disgust our mainstream media descending to the lowest depths of junk journalism. We are appalled at the growing instances of political violence.

In the clearest example of how low we have sunk, human rights defenders and civil society who are seen as opposing the government are facing ruthless attacks by the government of the day. SUARAM, established in 1989 and who has in the past year been exposing possible corruption by Malaysians in high places in the purchase of Scorpene submarines from France, is suddenly facing investigation by several government agencies.

The mainstream media is once again playing its role in showing no regard whatsoever for presenting the whole truth. In a front page news story, preposterous claims were made that NGOs like SUARAM and BERSIH were funded by organisations like National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) for the purpose of overthrowing the government. Directors of SUARAM have been hauled up by enforcement agencies for their expose on the corruption, yet our anti- corruption agency fails to even begin to investigate the claims of SUARAM that a huge commission of RM500 million had been received by a Malaysian entity in the Scorpene deal.

Civil society is now continuously portrayed in the media as the enemy who is seeking to overthrow the government at the behest of foreign powers. These accusations have also been hurled at BERSIH, more so since July last year when we had a successful rally of more than 50,000 people on the streets of KL, clamouring for clean and fair elections. Another rally was held in April this year when more than 200,000 people were on the streets, again asking for electoral reform.

Malaysians do not easily take to the streets. The numbers must mean that there were good reasons why they did.

I will not go into more details of the attacks that human rights defenders have had to face by those in authority or those who had the tacit approval of the authorities. Suffice it to say they have been sustained and relentless.

When asked, our leaders will say that this government is reforming because of the replacement of many oppressive laws, and the apparent move to greater democracy. They will say that after the BERSIH rally last year, a parliamentary select committee for electoral reform was set up and a report issued.

What they don’t go on to explain is what replaces these oppressive laws and what they are doing to effectively implement the PSC recommendations. In my view, the new legislation just does not go far enough, and the important recommendations of the PSC report are largely ignored or poorly implemented.

BERSIH also continues to receive reports of electoral malpractices and the integrity of the electoral roll leaves much to be desired. Our Election Commission does not enjoy public confidence and is not seen by many as independent. This together with all the other issues that plague our system of governance leads to the inevitable conclusion that the next crucial general elections will be seriously flawed.

All the so-called reforms are like attempting to varnish a table that is ridden with termites. It is difficult to fix a system that is fundamentally flawed by building on the same rotten foundation. That is, even if there is real political will to reform.

The Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security which is headed by Mr. Kofi Annan and which has many distinguished members including H.E Dr Ernesto Zedillo former President of Mexico, Dr Madeleine K. Albright and Professor Amartya Sen, issued a ground-breaking report on clean and fair elections dated September 2012.

In his foreword, Kofi Annan states, “The spread of democracy across the world has been one of the most dramatic changes I have witnessed over the course of my career. In country after country, people have risked their lives to call for free elections, democratic accountability, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Elections are the indispensable root of democracy…..”

I make no apologies for quoting from this report at length for I cannot say it better. The report clearly outlines that clean and fair elections are not just about choosing leaders, but are about building a solid framework for a democracy that works for the people. After studies, the following were some of the conclusions arrived at:

1. “Elections with integrity are important to values that we hold dear — human rights and democratic principles. Elections give life to rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the right to take part in the government of one’s country through freely elected representatives, the right of equal access to public service in one’s country, and the recognition that the authority of government derives from the will of the people, expressed in “genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot.

2. Elections are fundamental to the ethos and principles of democracy…..

3. Citizens lose confidence in democratic processes when elections are not inclusive, transparent, and accountable. When elections have integrity, they bolster democracy, respect fundamental rights, and produce elected officials who are more likely to represent their citizens’ interests.

4. But in addition to promoting democratic values and human rights, elections with integrity can also yield other tangible benefits for citizens. Evidence from around the world suggests that elections with integrity matter for empowering women, fighting corruption, delivering services to the poor, improving governance, and ending civil wars…….

5. Electoral accountability, in turn, is associated with lessening government corruption…….

6. Electoral accountability, in turn, has direct benefits for improving representation of the poor……..

7. Even in countries emerging from civil wars — the most difficult of contexts for building democracy — research now shows that when the termination of the war is accompanied by elections in which former combatants run for office and campaign for votes, countries are less likely to revert to civil war. At the same time, however, other studies note that fraudulent elections are correlated with societal violence and political instability…….”

In an interview after the presentation of the report, Stephen Stedman, director of the Global Commission and a political scientist from Stanford was asked what the motivation was for the report.

In speaking of the chairman Kofi Annan, he said that Annan was “driven by his experience of having to deal with several elections in Africa that had become violent and had gone off the rails. And there is a frustration he feels about how little attention had been paid to those places before they blew up”. (The emphasis is mine)

Let us be clear. Malaysia is not facing the problems or the hopelessness that gave rise to the Arab Spring. We are blessed with an abundance of resources and talent. But to assume that all is well and that there is no need to scrutinise the democratic processes, would be a mistake.

We want change before things do blow up in our faces. We do not want an Arab Spring. We want to choose our leaders in clean and fair elections. If there is to be change, we want to do it through the ballot box.

If the government is willing to overlook, and in fact tacitly support, corruption and abuse of power, and promote racism and religious bigotry for its own ends, how can we trust that the elections will be clean and fair?

There is even an admission of malpractices in the past. A Royal Commission of Inquiry has been set up by the government in the state of Sabah in respect of a large number of foreigners having been given citizenships in exchange for votes for more than 20 years. BERSIH has received reports that this practice continues and even in West Malaysia.

Why is this happening? It is because the party that has been in power for 55 years is now feeling vulnerable. As Aung Sang Suu Kyi has famously said, “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

So why should one country be bothered about electoral processes in another?

We know that if any such suggestion is made, the immediate diplomatic response is that there will be no interference by one country into such domestic matters of another country. Not that this is entirely true in fact.

As observed of the international community in the commission report “While their rhetorical support for elections with integrity may be constant, their record of responding to flawed elections is not. In some cases, their interest lies in bolstering a preferred candidate, not in an election with integrity per se.

Too often, democratic governments have turned a blind eye to electoral malpractice by regimes and incumbents with whom they have friendly relations”.

And the best answer to why everyone should be interested in clean and fair elections everywhere is stated in the report thus:

“We still live in a world in which states act on their strategic interests. The key lies in reminding democratic governments that their strategic interest is best served by supporting elections with integrity. Not only do democratic governments share an interest in the spread of democracy as a bulwark for international peace, but they must also learn that their bilateral relations are strengthened when their partners have democratic legitimacy earned through genuine elections.”

Malaysia is a member of many important regional and international organisations and appears to enjoy the confidence of its neighbours. We can set valuable examples in the region. We have what it takes to be a role model.

But we can only be that if the example we set is one of a truly democratic system of governance borne out of clean and fair elections. And if we are to be valuable contributors to the global community, then it is in everyone’s interests that our elections are clean and fair.

* Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is co-chair of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (BERSIH).

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

'No leniency' Bill planned to disallow light sentences for statutory rape

The Star

PADANG RENGGAS: A Bill is to be tabled to disallow judges from handing down lenient sentences to statutory rapists even if they are first offenders.

The Bill adds a provision to Section 376 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years and whipping for statutory rape.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the provision would state that Section 294(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which gives judges discretionary powers to give a lighter sentence to first-time offenders would not apply to statutory rape cases.

“I have spoken to the Attorney-General on the provision and he has agreed, therefore, it will be tabled in the next session of Parliament,” he said here yesterday.

He had also listened to the views of women's groups and other non-governmental organisations which were upset by what they regarded as very lenient sentences passed on former national youth squad bowler Noor Afizal Azizan and electrician Chuah Guan Jiu for statutory rape.

The two were bound over for RM25,000 for good behaviour for five years and three years respectively after being found guilty of statutory rape in August this year.

They were 19 and 21 respectively when they committed the offences while their victims were 13 and 12.

Nazri said the additional provision was important to protect minors, who could be easily influenced.

Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie, who was present, had also given her input to the memorandum that the NGOs presented to Nazri.

Heng said the move showed that the Government heeded feedback from the rakyat.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, in a statement on Sept 5, noted that Section 294 of the CPC allowed courts the discretion to bind the offender on a good behaviour bond if he was a first-time offender and had committed the offence under extenuating circumstances.

He said offences involving child victims could not be regarded as having been committed under extenuating circumstances.

Gani added that his chambers had on Aug 29 filed an appeal against the decision made by the Penang Sessions Court in Chuah's case.

As for the Appeal Court's decision on Noor Afizal, he said he might propose the use of the court's inherent power to review its decision.

As of July this year, 859 cases of statutory rape have been reported, 109 of them involving children under 12, and 750 victims aged between 13 and 15.

Attorney-General Gives Green Light To Amend Section 376 Of Penal Code - Nazri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (Bernama) -- The government has given the green light to the Attorney General's Chambers to amend Section 376 of the Penal Code to ensure that those convicted of raping underage girls receive the mandatory jail term without liberty to resort to other legal provisions to mitigate the sentence.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said today the amendment was proposed to maintain the mandatory imprisonment under Section 376 and judges could not invoke Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593) to impose a sentence based on their discretion.

"This includes meting out a good behaviour bond order if the accused is a first offender or if there are extenuating circumstances to show that the law has not been adhered too," he said when winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2013 for his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat.

Mohamed Nazri said the decision was made to address the high incidence of rape involving underage girls and to protect them against such vulnerability.

"From 2007 to August 2012, a total of 5,976 rape cases were recorded involving girls aged below 16. In the same period, 5,119 people were charged for the offence," he said.

Ushering in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival

Taoists ushered in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival at the Butterworth seafront last night, kicking off a nine-day celebration marked by a strict vegetarian diet.
Devotees in a trance ushering in the spirit of the nine emperor gods at the Butterworth seafront last night.
All set to usher in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival
All set to usher in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival
A few devotees waded into the sea to welcome what they believe to be the spirit of the nine emperors as hundreds of others, many of them dressed in white to symbolise purity, looked on along the beach.
Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth will be transformed into a hive of celebration over the coming nine days. Some believe that the area along the road has been prosperous because of its association with the festival.
At the end of the nine days, the spirit will be escorted on a vessel from the sea front and then once it is farther out, the vessel will be set ablaze. Devotees believe the spirit of the nine emperors will then return to the heavens.