Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his confidante Abdul Razak
Baginda are the “priority witnesses” in the investigation of the
Scorpene scandal, said French lawyer Apoline Cagnat.
She is representing human rights NGO Suaram in the probe by the French judiciary.
Cagnat (left in photo)
told a briefing for Malaysian parliamentarians today in Singapore that,
of the seven witnesses submitted by Suaram and accepted by the French
judiciary, Najib and Razak are the most important.
“I hope the judges manage to interrogate them,” she said.
The other five witnesses are:
- Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
- Setev Shaariibuu, the father of murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu
- private investigator P Balasubramaniam
- Boustead Holdings Bhd group managing director and deputy chairperson Lodin Wok Kamaruddin
- Jasbir Singh Chahl, said to be Razak's right-hand man
Cagnat reiterated that, should Najib (left) refuse to testify, an arrest warrant can be issued by the French judiciary.
said the recent issuance of an arrest warrant for Equatorial Guinea
Agriculture Minister Teodoro Nguema Obiang - who is also the son of the
president - in relation to a corruption case, has shown that this may
happen to Najib.
"This could definitely happen in the Scorpene case if the judges have enough evidence to issue such a warrant," she said.
There is also a possibility that the French judges could come to Malaysia to conduct their probe, said Cagnat.
can ask for cooperation (from Putrajaya). They can also come. It is up
to them. Sometimes they come, sometimes they send police. It is
Asked by the MPs to comment on Putrajaya's argument
that the submarine procurement is strictly a state-to-state deal that
does not involve the payment of commission to private companies, she
replied that the government is "trying to escape" the inquiry but that
the evidence shows otherwise. Suaram's Plan B
the recent hositility shown to Suaram by the Malaysian authorities,
Cagnat stressed that, even if it is declared illegal by the government
and loses its status as civil plaintiff, this would not stop the judges
from pursuing the case.
However, she conceded that the presence of a civil plaintiff would strengthen the case.
secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel, who hosted the briefing, said the
NGO is holding discussions with other Malaysian NGOs which are active in
fighting corruption on stepping into its role in the event it is
One of the NGOs is Transparency International-Malaysia, she revealed.
The French legal team, led by prominent human rights lawyer William Bourdon (left), had initially been invited by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to brief parliamentarians in Malaysia on the probe.
Planned to be held at Parliament House, it was moved to a hotel in Singapore after the Malaysian government failed to provide a guaranteeof security to the French lawyers.
Bourdon had been deported when he was in Malaysia last year to work on the case.
Only Cagnat was present at the two-hour briefing today.
present included seven opposition MPs, Suaram directors Cynthia and
Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, as well as reporters from Malaysia and Singapore.
lawmakers were Batu MP Tian Chua, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Petaling
Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Kuala Krai MP Hatta Ramli, Kelana Jaya MP Loh
Gwo-Burne, Subang MP R Sivarasa and Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Baharin
EXCLUSIVE Businessperson Deepak
Jaikishan regretted his involvement in getting private investigator P
Balasubramaniam to make a second statutory declaration (SD), which
reversed an earlier one linking Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to
murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
In an interview with Malaysiakini last night, Deepak (left)
said he had only become involved at the request of a "female friend"
associated with the parties who would be affected by the fallout of the
first statutory declaration.
“I was asked to help by a friend, I
agreed to help her because I could see the repercussions will affect
their entire group. It was to me - getting involved in this whole Bala
fiasco - a mistake," he said.
“I had no business being there, I
am a businessman. I regret helping a friend whom I thought was true... I
am not supposed to be involved in this James Bond movie."
Deepak declined to elaborate on the identity of the female friend.
He is, however, known to be closely linked to the premier's wife Rosmah Mansor, whom he said was like an "older sister" to him.
to elaborate on his regrets, after a long pause, Deepak replied: “Would
you not regret getting involved in something so murky, that involves
murder, that involves so many things which are so negative, would you
not regret it? Anybody would regret it.”
The carpet merchant said the fiasco had created a “negative aura” for him as a businessperson.
Balasubramaniam, who had gone public with the first SD on July 3, 2008 had abruptly withdrawn it at another press conference the following day.
Accompanied by lawyer M Arulampalam that day, Balasubramaniam had produced a second SD, claiming that he had made the first one under duress and fled the country the next day.
Balasubramaniam (left in photo) re-emerged on Nov 12, 2009 in the form of a five-part YouTube video interview
- believed to be shot in India - retracting his second SD and claiming
that he had only made it after being offered RM5 million by Deepak.
who only addressed the controversy on April 6, 2011 after whistleblower
Raja Petra Kamarudin revived the matter, dismissed his links to
Balasubramaniam as a mere clubbing mate. 'I brought everyone together for SD 2.0'
in the interview yesterday, Deepak said there was a “tinge of truth” to
what the private eye had been claiming in the SD saga.
his role, Deepak said he was responsible for facilitating the meeting
between Balasubramaniam and the party that was implicated by the first
“It was damage control to stop the problem... I was tasked -
don’t ask who tasked me - with getting him to agree to sign another SD,
not because of the (first) SD itself but because of the repercussions
that will happen the next day if that (first) SD was not reversed,” he
“For today, let’s just put it this way, we assisted, we did
not draft (the second SD)... it was not (drafted by) the same lawyer
that appeared (at the press conference) the next day, it was (by) a
completely different lawyer.
“We assisted in getting everybody
together but the first lawyer was not mine, it was sent by the people
who were in the group (implicated in the first SD) that we merely put in
the same room,” he said.
Asked if the RM5 million incentive
Balasubramaniam claimed he was offered for doing the second SD was true,
Deepak replied: “Knowing Bala, he would not have done it for nothing.”
when pressed if the money came from him or from the parties implicated
by the first SD, Deepak declined to elaborate, stating that this may be
revealed in future interviews.
In July this year, Balasubramaniam, who briefly re-emerged in Kuala Lumpur, had told Malaysiakini that Deepak had tried to bribe him a second time, this time with RM200,000 and an apartment at Times Square (right), for the private eye to produce a video recording implicating opposition figures for making him retract his second SD.
this, Balasubramaniam claimed that an intermediary by the name of
Suresh had banked in RM100,000 in advance into the account of the
former’s wife, but he later had the money transferred to his lawyer,
asking that it be returned to Deepak.
‘No one returned any money to me’
to this, Deepak said: “I read about this in the papers, about him
wanting to return money to me, but I never got any money from him or his
lawyer - that’s the truth.
“I don’t know where this RM100,000
scenario came into play, because out of the blue he came and mentioned
about this RM100,000 he wanted to return to me.
“Of course, if he has taken money from me and he wants to return (it to me), very good lah."
refused to respond further to repeated questions on Balasubramaniam’s
second round of allegations, stating that he may do so another time.
also want to get the Bala matter off my chest. I think as a
businessman, I don’t want this cloud hanging over my head and it is best
that it is resolved at the right time, (but) not tonight,” he said.
if he has decided to go public on this because of a particular business
dispute over land with the powers-that-be, he replied: “Nothing... We
have done other bigger building transactions through the same group and
the same people.”
However, asked if the “same people” meant Najib, Deepak nodded silently, and when queried for details, he replied: “Not today”.
Attacking White Girls by Asian Muslims – Love Jihad in UK – It’s a Global Problem. Check it.
HE International Desk | 26 Nov. 2012 :: In response to the Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz‘s (UK) interim report on child exploitation – a documentary film has been produced by the Sikh Awareness Society (UK) in conjunction with Times journalist Andrew Norfolk to highlight the targeting of White, Sikh and Hindu girls by Pakistani grooming gangs in the UK.
Though in the interim report the ‘Asian Men’ are mentioned, the points of revelation came up with other perspective and relevant inputs that the Pakistani and Indian origin Muslims, Afghan Muslim and the Kashmiri Muslims are the main offenders to carry on such premeditated target upon White Girls for Sex abuse, Islamic conversion, Jehadi activism under a recipe of ‘Radical Islam’. And this motivation of the Love Jihadists are prevalent in India and other Non-Muslim countries also.
So far Bharat is concerned and now “L-O-V-E..J-I-H-A-D” is not only a problem of Kerala or Maharashtra, Hindus and other Non-Muslims must be aware for such a global problem of capturing Hindu-Sikh-Jain-Christian-Other Non-Muslim Girls by the trained Muslim Guys under Hindu or Common Non-Muslim names, peevish allurement, sex and drug addiction and by blackmailing.………………………………….
The Sikh Awareness Society UK in conjunction with Times journalist Andrew Norfolk has produced a hard-hitting film documentary to highlight the sexual targeting of White,Sikh and Hindu girls by Pakistani grooming gangs in the UK.
We have felt compelled to produce this documentary in light of the recent interim report on child exploitation by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz, UK - which we feel totally whitewashed this issue – as well as to challenge Government/Police silence on this matter.
We intend a mass distribution of this film to raise awareness and to help counter the incompetence shown in tackling this abuse by the Government and Police.
………………………….. Please click on the below link to view the film:
We feel that there is a minority of males in particularly the Pakistani community who hold religiously-prejudiced views against non-Muslim girls whom they see as cheap sexual playthings.This has lead to cases of rape and abuse of these girls without any feelings of remorse or guilt from the perpetrators of these crimes.
Even though the numbers of Pakistani males involved are a minority when compared to the community as a whole – the damage done to community relations is vastly disproportionate and leading to communal tensions in the UK.
Many Sikhs and Hindus in the UK also feel angered when media reports quite often describe the perpetrators of these crimes as ‘Asian’ – when neither Sikhs or Hindus were involved in those particular cases.
Growing concerns within the Sikh and Hindu communities led to a joint statement released in May 2012 by the Network of Sikh Organisations UK, The Hindu Forum of Britain, and The Sikh Media Monitoring Group UK. [see report].
As a consequence of this joint statement Sue Berelowitz the Deputy Children’s Commissioner invited a delegation of Sikh and Hindu community representatives to attend a meeting at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in London in August 2012 to discuss these concerns. This meeting took place before the completion of Sue Berelowitz’s interim report and whilst we were assured that our concerns would be raised with ‘key people at the Home Office’ - the disappointment there was no mention of these issues in her interim report and three months later there has been no contact from the Home Office.
The Government and Police’s politically-correct refusal to admit to a pattern of abuse evident from recent cases we feel is directly responsible for adding to the support of far-right groups such as the BNP and the EDL. A disturbing outcome of this can be found in recent media reports highlighting the English Defence League as attempting to hijack the issue of the grooming of Sikh and Hindu girls. [See Reports from June 2012].
The Conservative MP for Keighley - Kris Hopkins and Lord Patel of Bradford have both recently echoed the concerns same with Sikh Awareness Society (UK). [see below report from November 2012].
It is also important that while the report provided evidence of 1514 perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, where the ethnicity of the perpetrator was provided, 545 were white, 415 were Asian and 244 were Black, the Berelowitzis Report is completely failed to understand why the only 4.5% Muslim population of UK produced this huge number of 415 perpetrators under the level of ‘Asian’ in most of the cases and why these so called ‘Asians’ are very much interested to victimize Non Muslims as their habitual motives coming out of the zone of victimization in their own community?
Ten Tips to get rid off Love Jihad:
1. Teach and aware the Danger and Consequences of Love Jihad to your grown up sons and daughters, specially to the teenagers from the beginning.
2. Show video to your wards exposing Radical Islam and tell them about the Danger of Jihad towards Non Muslims. How Jihad is endangering Global Peace.
3. Keep strong watch while your sons and daughters are mixing in such persons may support any form of Jihad including Love Jihad.
4. Don’t allow your daughters to recharge their mobile phones from such shops, surfing net from such cyber cafe may have slightest chance of connection with Love Jihad Network.
5. Don’t allow your wards to stay in any Late Night Party, Travel Out or any type of programmes which can give chances to make intimacy with your wards with some disguised Love Jihadis. Hindu guys must not allow their girl friends even to chat with any Muslim guys having malicious tendencies by default.
6. While your daughters and women are in Tuition or Job under any person with Arabic name, she may be a victim of Love Jihad. Sometime these Arabic name holders use non-Arabic common names or Hindu-Christian names to guard their pre-meditated Love Jihad. Check it very well.
7. Always avoid engaging carpenter, fitters, electricians, masons, labours with Arabic names (check it whether they are telling you a false Hindu-Christian names) at your homes as it is found many Love Jihadis have successfully captured our Girls-Women from these loopholes. Beware of Afghan Money lenders and Kashmiri Swal sellors. Chek whether they have right documents to stay in your locality.
8. Make counselling with great patience while your daughters or female relatives or friends under Love Jihad Trap. Lodge FIR in nearest Police Station against Love Jihad perpetrators. Consult expert physician or psychologist as your daughters/female relatives may be under the addiction of Sex or Drug in the meanwhile as made such under the nefarious design of Love Jihad.
9. Make a small action group comprising some advocates, ex-military-police personnel, rights activists and 15-20 young men (from Hindu – Sikh – Jain – Christian etc.) with good mental and physical strength as a combat force to curb Love Jihad in every locality.
10. Make available this ‘Ten Tips against Love Jihad’ in your circles even after translating it in various languages. Mail it to your friends. Circulate the Booklet on LOVE JIHAD by Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, Sri Ram Sena and the unique article by Dr Radhyasham Brahmachari in this matter. [Down load from here].
The magazine Travel and Leisure
just recently released its annual listing of the world's most dangerous
countries. The chief intent of the article was to simply warn or advise
travelers of the dangers that might exist in traveling to certain
countries or areas within countries that pose a verifiable risk.
However, while the travel and lifestyle magazine largely focuses on
the simple fact of how dangerous a particular nation is, as well as the
specific dangers that exist, we thought it might be interesting to look
at the "why's" of that danger which, more often than not, speak to the
political themes at play.
When we broke the countries down in order to analyze the connective
similarities between each, we found several variables largely belonging
in the same geopolitical category.
First up on the travel and leisure list might not surprise you:
1) Pakistan Language: English, Urdu
Form of Government: Parliamentary Federal Republic, Military Form of Judiciary: Sharia Law Life Expectancy: 66
The main danger in Pakistan is one of terrorism and extreme
militantism from those who bitterly cling to their guns and religion in
the form of fundamentalist Islam. If you are intent upon traveling
here, you might consider purchasing a bulletproof vest and some
additional life insurance with a very reputable carrier. Pakistan
continues to suffer from a tug-of-war between the military and the
leaders of the government, while also being embroiled in tensions with
its India neighbor.
We would further recommend against making inquiries into touring the
now-pillaged Bin Laden compound. The terrorist mastermind was quite the
hero among local Pakistanis'.
It might also be wise to watch out for those wallop packing US drones
overhead as well.....unless, of course, you are part of a US Embassy
2) The Sudan Language: Arabic, English Form of Government: Authoritarian Form of Judiciary: English Common Law and Sharia Life Expectancy: 62
A northern Africa country, the Sudan has been in a prolonged war
between Christians and Muslims for quite some time now. It was only in
2011 that the state of Sudan finally split apart due to civil war and a
new state, the Southern Sudan, was established.
If you expect on traveling here, might want to include an Abrams tank
as the safest form of transportation, at least for the foreseeable
3) Georgia Language: Georgian Form of Government: Parliamentarian Presidential Republic Form of Judiciary: Evolving Life Expectancy: 81
Still smarting from the five day war with Russia in 2008, and as a
former Soviet bloc country, Georgia boasts a beyond exhilarating
landscape featuring still-unexploded Russian shells of the highest
Indeed, those Russians can really build them.
A nation beset all around by Islamic extremists, the mostly
Christian Georgian people have been under what might seem as a prolonged
assault by Islamic Separatists since the Soviet Union dissolved in the
early nineties. Still evolving as A Democratic Parliamentarian Republic,
many authoritarian style forms of repression appear to still exist,
however, since the 2003 Rose Revolution, the nation has been making
If you expect on traveling here, try obtaining diplomatic immunity
first and be diligent in maintaining constant contact with the Embassy,
in the form of staying within the embassy and not moving about in front
of windows at all times.
However, for those people with a still-lingering bout of extreme
depression from the US main election, traveling to Georgia might be the
best way to get away from all, and for an eternity
4) Lebanon Language: Arabic, French Form of Government: Confessionalist Parliamentary Republic Authoritarian Form of Judiciary: Civil System including Christian, Jewish and Sharia law (as needed) Life Expectancy: 75
Located between a proverbial rock (of Israel) and the hard place (of
Syria), the US State department recommends against all travel here,
unless one has in his or her possession a colorful suit of
modern-technology iron with weapons integrated profusely throughout.
Islamic Hezbollah militants and Al Qaeda are frequently encountered at
numerous road-blocked locations throughout the nation.
If you're an extreme traveler in the same mold as extreme skiers,
this might be your most dangerous bet, however prudence would also
suggest that ANR (Against Natural Selection) rescues are pretty much
non-existent in this particular neck of the international woods.
5) North Korea Language: Korean Form of Government: Communist Authoritarian Form of Judiciary: Do As We Say Or Else... Life Expectancy: 69
In order to go to North Korea, you first must go through Communist
China, which largely entails frequent tag-along apparatchiks to ensure
that you stay out of trouble. A nation consistently at odds with its
neighbor to the South, North Korea is probably not your first choice of
vacation relaxation destinations unless you're with the Reverend
Franklin Graham, who purportedly enjoys a league of Angelic protection.
A communist nation teetering on the edge of starvation, bring your
own food and enough for at least several thousand others if you want to
be the American equivalent of 'North Korean Idol.'
6) Syria Language: Arabic Form of Government: Authoritarian Form of Judiciary: Sharia Life Expectancy: 75
A country led by a secularly murderous dictator whose party is
officially known as the Arab Socialist Bath Party is probably not your
first choice of destination for travel, especially if you're a liberty
loving Protestant. Embroiled in a civil war since the Muslim Spring
movement which occurred shortly after President Obama's election, a
visit to this nation might only be laudable if you're a big fan of
However, if you or your loved one harbors affection for Car bombs,
assassinations and violent anti-western protests, this might be your
Utopia. Seeming to be populated by a group of humans collectively
suffering from Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Syria might be destination numero uno for you, if your thing is heart-stopping, pulse-pounding adventure, literally.
7) Yemen Language: Arabic Form of Government: Unitary Presidential Republic, i.e. authoritarian dictatorship Form of Judiciary: Sharia Life Expectancy: 64
Yemen is considered to be the poorest nation in the Arabian world
which should tell you pretty much everything you need to know as a
tourist. Here again, the US State department states of this colorful
nation "stay clear" unless, of course you frequently daydream about
being tortured and then group-slain by traveling droves of al Qaeda
The major religious factions that exist in this impoverished nation
are mostly split between the Islamic Sunni's and Shia's, an explosive
combination if ever there were one. In fact, the mixing of these two
Islamic belief systems might be no less potent than the intermixing for
human consumption of red beans and cabbage, which often results in an
8) Uzbekistan Language: Uzbek Form of Government: Presidential Republic, authoritarian Form of Judiciary: Civil law
Once a Soviet satellite nation, there are plenty of ancient mosques
to visit here, while noting the US State Department's warning of
cautionary travel. Here also, the threat of Islamic terrorism exists in a nation dominated by Islamic fundamentalism.
A foundering Republic dominated by an authoritarian government,
Uzbekistan's leadership is largely hostile to allowing any significant
business activities due to a fear of the government becoming
marginalized by private economic development. Islam is the dominant
religion in the nation and its Mullahs largely frowns upon any
religious activity unapproved by the state.
Two notable points of interest feature the extremes of temperature,
which range from -9 F degrees in the winter to upwards of 104 F in the
summer and the gradual killing by Communistic over-consumption of the
Aral Sea under the Soviets, ostensibly for the growth of cotton.
A post-modern authoritarian state dominated by Islam, Uzbekistan
might be the nation of choice to visit for environmentalist whackos and
Capitalism-hating Socialists who enjoy pointing out how economic
activity can decimate the environment and a nation. That is, as long as
these same Leftist travelers abstain from digging to deeply into the
true causes of the decimation and its prevailing political environment.
Just don't protest whatever you do....
9) Iran Language: Persian Form of Government: Unitary Islamic Republic Form of Judiciary: Sharia Law Life Expectancy: 73
Despite numerous instances of the hostage-taking of Americans, by
the State of Iran, the US State Department's take on travel to Iran
could be characterized as "tepid" at best, in this case. The hostage
crisis of the early 80's along with subsequent instances of US citizen
detention means that your visit to Iran could end much later than
originally anticipated and could also include a state mandated ransom
fee which could easily drain all resources back home.
Add to that your possible execution, if you're a practicing Christian and are found with a Holy Bible.
If you do intend to travel to this destination, your tour ensemble
should probably also include a detail of Seal Team 6 members along with a
range of easily concealed weaponry of the James Bond variety.
Culturally, you might consider watching for the much anticipated
appearance of the legendary 12th Imam while there, however don't tarry
too long if he does appear.
You'll definitely want to get home and watch the end of the world on
your flatscreen HD-TV rather than some antique Iranian throw-off.
10) Algeria Language: Arabic Form of Government: Authoritarian Semi-Presidential Republic Form of Judiciary: French Civil Law and Sharia Life Expectancy: 74
Another Northern Africa country, Algeria could be considered the
creme de' la creme of car-bomb destinations, not to mention the
kidnappings and assassinations frequently aimed at foreign tourists. In
other words, if you like old creaky old roller coasters in extreme
disrepair or high-stakes games of solitary Russian roulette, as a US
citizen, your chances of meeting an untimely demise could be in jackpot
The US State Department indicates that even embassy personnel are
highly restricted on where they can go and urges US travelers to follow
"prudent security practices avoiding predictable travel patterns."
Indeed, if you're a creature who loves a routine here, it could wind up
So that winds up our Top Ten most dangerous travel destinations. In
looking back at the numbers a few rather curious similarities come into
play. First, Sharia law is present in almost every one of these
countries to one degree or another. Second, authoritarian Socialism
appears to be present in almost every one of these countries as well,
and third, poverty appears to also be operative as a by-product of these
politically germinated dangers.
A few of the other facets of similarity should be quite obvious,
however, as a Westerner, the dangers of traveling into largely
anti-western, Islamic nations should be quite obvious.
Four out of the eight accused have been identified. PHOTO: FILE
LAHORE: A family of farmers in Punjab had to pay a heavy price upon asking for their wages – five of their teenage girls were allegedly gang raped by eight local landlords in Kitro, Sheikhupura district.
According to B*, a resident of Noon village, his daughter and nieces – all between 14 and 18 years – were abducted by the landlords and taken into the fields, where they were gang raped.
The girls are all unmarried, police officials said.
B and his family, who had two weeks ago temporarily moved to Kitro to work in the fields, had demanded their two-week salary from their employers – Zaheer and Tassadaq, alias Mara Jutt.
In turn, the two ‘infuriated’ landlords and their accomplices warned them of ‘dire’ consequences. Their threats materialised later that night when they attacked B’s dera and tied up his family with ropes, before taking off with the girls.
According to contents of the FIR, B said they managed to set themselves free and set off on a search for the girls and the men. They found the girls in the field, while the accused managed to escape.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the residence of B, the complainant in the case, and directed the police to immediately arrest all the accused.
He also presented cheques to the victim’s family, and assured them that the accused would be brought to justice.
Four out of the eight accused have been identified as Tassadaq alias Mara Jutt, Noor Ahmad alias Noori, Aqeel, Zaheer Ahmad, while the identities of the other four is yet to be ascertained.
The victims were shifted to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital in Sheikhupura.
Narang Mandi Police Station SHO Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal while talking to The Express Tribune said that initial medical reports confirmed that the girls were raped.
A case has been registered with the Narang Mandi police station against the eight accused men, the SHO said.
He added that three of the main accused have been arrested, while the remaining would be arrested soon. *name has been concealed to protect The VICTIMS’ privacy
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin fired Umno’s first salvo against Pakatan Rakyat (PR) at the launch of his party’s general assembly tonight, whipping out the same racial and religious card in Umno’s political playbook to highlight what he said were ideological differences that parties in the opposition pact were unlikely to resolve.
PAS earned most of Muhyiddin’s attention, however, as the Umno deputy president repeated lines that the Islamist party, seen as Umno’s toughest opponent in the coming polls, would never achieve its Islamic state goal.
He labelled DAP “racists” and “chauvinists”, called PKR “damaged” and “harmful” and told PAS that if was “daydreaming” if it believed that either of its PR partners would support its struggle for Islam.
“Don’t lie to voters. Enough. It’s enough that for 12 elections, PAS has lied 12 times that it supposedly fights to uphold Islam.
“Let us not allow PAS to lie for the 13th time,” Muhyiddin (picture) said in his speech at the opening of Umno’s Youth, Wanita and Puteri general assemblies tonight.
The Umno leader’s words tonight, and the ensuing debates and addresses by party leaders during their final huddle before national polls, will set the stage for the 13th general election, which is expected to be the country’s most closely-fought electoral battle to date.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin is fighting hard to recapture the pact’s lost parliamentary majority and must make sure its over three million members are ready for the stiff contest.
In recent months, PAS has found itself the target of attacks from BN and Umno leaders as the former is viewed as the ruling pact’s greatest contender for the Malay vote, which is crucial for either side to determine the outcome of the polls.
The coming days in the Umno assembly will likely witness more harsh criticisms against PAS as members strive to drive an even deeper wedge between the Islamist party and its non-Muslim allies in PR.
Setting the tone today, Muhyiddin said that PAS “has no place” in the opposition pact, adding that this purported weakness would manifest itself if the opposition were granted polls victory and has to form a government.“
Ironically, even if PAS wins in all the seats it plans to contest, it cannot form an Islamic state as planned.
“Perhaps PAS would tell us that it does not matter that it is not contesting a large number of seats because later, PKR and DAP would support their plans.
“Don’t daydream,” he told PAS.
Muhyiddin added that the lack of cooperation within PR was only made clearer recently when delegates at PAS’ muktamar mooted their party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s name as prime minister-designate instead of PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said that this showed that PAS’ grassroots do not have confidence in PKR’s or DAP’s leaders to lead the country.
“They do not believe in (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng.
“They do not believe in (DAP adviser) Lim Kit Siang.
“They also do not believe in (DAP chairman) Karpal Singh.
“They do not believe in Anwar Ibrahim at all,” Muhyiddin thundered to the over 3,000 delegates at Dewan Merdeka here.
“This is PAS’ greatest failure in forging cooperation and power-sharing with DAP and PKR,” he declared.
Muhyiddin later contrasted PR and PAS with Umno, saying that unlike its foes, his party has never strayed from its Islamic principles.
In the same breath, the deputy prime minister said that although Umno has fought for the Malays and Islam for 66 years, it has never ignored or victimised those of other religious faiths.
“This is Umno’s justice. This is Umno’s inclusiveness.
“Umno does not need to feel guilty and wrong while fighting on its own platform.
“Umno promises to continue defending the Malay race and Malaysians at large,” he said.
Umno’s 66th general assembly will kick off with the Youth, Wanita and Puteri meets tomorrow.
MIC is heading for a major internal conflict which could see the party change its president after the next general election, say insiders.
KUALA LUMPUR: Two Saturdays ago, MIC president G Palanivel made the startling announcement that his predecessor, S Samy Vellu, would be the coordinator for Barisan Nasional’s election campaign in Sungai Siput.
The announcement came at the tail end of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s visit to the constituency and was reported only by Tamil Nesan, a daily run by the family of the former MIC strongman. It gave no details.
What would Samy Vellu’s role be in Sungai Siput? How is he going to play a part in winning back the constituency, which he held for 34 years until Dr Michael Jeyakumar of Parti Sosialis Malaysia beat him in the 2008 election? Will the appointment increase support for the ruling coalition?
These are among the many questions needing answers from Palanivel. But none has been forthcoming from the media shy party president. Samy Vellu, too, has been silent on the matter.
Sources say the former president will call a press conference to clear the air on the appointment as soon as he sorts out some groundwork in Sungai Siput. So, for the time being, observers are left to wonder and speculate.
On the surface, the reason for Samy Vellu’s re-entry into the party mainstream seems to be that his influence in Sungai Siput is needed for MIC to win back the seat. However, talk on the ground says there is more than meets the eye.
The theory offered by grassroots leaders is that Samy Vellu has been brought back in order to bring about the ouster of Palanivel, whom some see as a lacklustre politician.
A MIC division leader said the decision to let Samy Vellu run the Sungai Siput show indicated that support for Palanivel was going downhill and that Najib did not think he could deliver the constituency to BN.
He said it was part of a “greater plan to kick out Palanivel” and inject new vigour into the party, which many see as having become lethargic of late.
“Having Samy Vellu run the BN machinery in Sungai Siput has its significance,” said the source. “It gives him
a chance to rub shoulders again with the MIC grassroots. He is still very influential in the party, especially among grassroots leaders.
“He says he is out of the party; so he will not issue any statements regarding the party, but he still maintains close relations with branch and division leaders. They are the ones who will vote to pick national leaders at the party election next year.
“Almost all MIC leaders are waiting for the general election to finish. After that, it’s going to be a free-for-all. We predict contests for all positions at the national level, including the president’s post.”
But some insiders say Samy Vellu will not make a comeback into MIC mainstream. They believe he would back a group of candidates to fight for party positions at the party elections scheduled for the middle of next year.
MIC is unique among Malaysian political parties in that it holds its presidential election three months ahead of elections for other party posts—that of deputy president, three vice presidents and 23 central working committee members.
“Samy Vellu will nominate his own candidates and back them during the election,” said one insider. “This will apply to all posts, including the presidency.”
He said Samy Vellu had several reasons to be unhappy with Palanivel, who once was his press secretary.
“Firstly, Samy Vellu wanted Palanivel to stand out as a political leader, which the current president has failed to do.
“He also wanted Palanivel to continue with his policies. Again, the incumbent failed. The former president is still sore that members he expelled have been brought back into the party.
“These reasons form just the tip of the iceberg. There are more.”
According to the insider, the undercurrent of bad feelings is strong. MIC leaders, especially at the grassroots have been constantly complaining to the former president about Palanivel.
The former president also knows Palanivel has promised many people that they would be nominated as candidates in the coming general election but is not likely to be able to deliver on all of the promises.
“When you as the president promise something, it has to be carried out,” said the insider. “When those who are promised seats do not get them, then they will sabotage or pull out. They will not be actively canvassing for votes. This is damaging.”
Another matter annoying Samy Vellu, some quarters claim, is Palanivel’s choice of candidates, especially for state seats.
“He wants to give seats to his supporters no matter how bad they are,” said one party source. “Some can’t even converse properly in English or Bahasa Malaysia, much less write properly in the two languages. We even hear of a leader from Kajang being promised a seat in Batu Caves.”
A well-connected source told FMT that the drive “to push Palanivel out” had been endorsed by the top BN leadership. “They are now finding ways to do it,” he said. “All will be known after the general election.”
FMT has also learnt that several members of the MIC top brass had been told to be ready for a change at the top after the general election.
“Palanivel is supposed to be helping Najib win back Indian votes, but it looks like Najib is doing this on his own,” said a source.
“Samy Vellu is now appearing at functions attended by Najib more frequently. Instead of Palanivel or his deputy Dr S Subramaniam taking the limelight, it is now being hogged by the former president.
“If Palanivel stays the way he is, then he will drown. I can confidently say Palanivel’s end as president is near. Someone strong will take him on and he will lose the party election.”
Wouldn’t it be plain daydreaming to expect Najib to suddenly transform himself to be the poor man’s champion?
COMMENT By M Manoharan
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s privileged background hinders his understanding of the needs of poor and disadvantaged Indians.
Apart from a brief stint at Petronas, Najib has always enjoyed privileged positions as the PM’s eldest son, Menteri Besar, Deputy Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and currently, Prime Minister.
His has been an aristocratic role within an Umno regime whose rule has reduced Indians to an impoverished and marginalised community. Wouldn’t it be plain daydreaming to expect him to suddenly transform himself to be the poor man’s champion?
Najib and other Umno leaders’ speeches are tailor-made according to the audience. Ketuanan Melayu and the Malay chauvinistic agenda is a favourite subject of Najib to Malay audiences. However, when he faces an Indian crowd, he transforms himself into the Messiah for the marginalised Indian.
However, Najib is known for encouraging the proliferation of Indian-based parties. Recently, at a meeting with KIMMA, he said that the appointment of the new Chief Secretary takes care of the welfare of Muslim Indians and that they should not clamour for KIMMA’s membership in BN.
In an indirect manner, he was relaying the message that Muslim Indians who consider themselves Malays cannot afford to be disunited but Indians can.
Short on delivery
Najib is also consistently big on pronouncements but short on delivery. Examples include his announcement of a 1,000 matriculation/ pre-university places for high achieving SPM students, but it required sustained pressure from NGOs, politicians and community leaders before the places were ready and even then doubts persist as to whether the number ever reached the promised 1,000.
Another announcement was the RM180 million fund offered ostensibly solely for Indian SMEs. Again this turned out to be a ruse because it was just a small portion of a pre-existing loans portfolio in the banking network. Moreover, applicants had to meet standard stringent documentation and other criteria.
Similarly, grandiose figures were dished out on the allocation of funds to Tamil schools post-April 2009. Recently, a colossal figure of RM500 million was bandied about but experts agree that the real disbursement is likely to be a tiny fraction of the publicised amount.
‘The Cabinet Committee on Indian Issues’ and the ‘Task Force on Indians in the PM’s Department’ are two very high profile teams to be established under the Najib administration, designed to tackle the broad spectrum of problems affecting the Indians.
Both teams have proven to be a public relations exercise, more than anything else, with hundreds of thousands of ringgit poured into print, radio and television advertisements with otherwise very little to show for it.
Najib comes out tops in sloganeering with terms like ‘Nambikei’ but there were just mere slogans!
There are close to 300 000 ‘stateless’ Indians in the country. ‘Stateless’ because of the absence of birth registration and MyKad documents. Sadly, Najib chooses to trumpet the miniscule 4,000 odd numbers who have gained citizenship recently, many in their advance years, where a Malaysian citizenship arrives too late and is of little use to them. Again, he chooses publicity over actual delivery/achievement.
Perhaps the biggest indication that a future Najib premiership would see Indians falling further behind is his close ties to former PM Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir’s policies shamelessly neglected and discriminated against the Indian community. For instance, at the start of the Mahathir premiership, about 29% of the civil service consisted of non Malays (Indians are part of this figure) but by the end of his tenure, the number had been whittled down to a measly 8%.
Many retiring senior Indian civil service members were replaced by Malays at the higher echelons. It is sad to note that the majority of the high ranking Indian civil servants are in the obituary columns of the newspapers.
Numerous problems that plague the Indians had its origin in the Mahathir years and we will see more of the same in a re-elected Najib premiership.
There is ample evidence of greater sensitivity to Indian problems in the Pakatan-ruled states. There has been increased financial allocation to Tamil schools, Hindu temples and Indian NGOs.
More Indians have found employment at the state level and the local councils. Much more needs to be done, for sure, but we have seen a good start as compared to the miserable status quo in the states on Najib’s side.
Anwar has promised comprehensive and clearly defined affirmative action for all poor Malaysians and deservedly, Malays will be the biggest beneficiaries. However, Indians who form a sizeable part of the poor will definitely benefit as well.
In contrast, Najib has offered little in the way of fresh initiatives as to how he plans to overcome the abject poverty afflicting a large section of the Indian community.
Najib also paid scant attention to the atrocities that were inflicted on the Tamil civilians in the Sri Lanka armed conflict. Malaysia had the audacity to abstain on the resolution at the UN to condemn the massacre of the Tamil people.
He was also conspicuously silent on Interlok school text issue which savaged the dignity of the Indian race.
Najib just does not have the moral fibre or the intellectual honesty to redress the wrongs that have been inflicted on the Indians in last 55 years of Umno’s rule. All he does is election sloganeering to win the Indian vote.
Najib’s messages are carefully crafted by scriptwriters. The sole purpose this is to win Indian voters over to the BN. They are mirages of the solutions desperately needed by Indians.
But in reality, he lacks the courage, empathy and the sensitivity to genuinely understand and resolve the community’s woes. Indians who choose to believe in Najib do so at their own peril.
Lawyer M Manoharan is DAP’s Kota Alam Shah state representative. He was arrested under the Internal Security Act for his involvement with Hindraf.
(Bernama) - A kindergarten teacher will have custody over her three children who were converted to Islam by her Muslim-convert former husband.
This is because Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah, or K. Patmanathan as he was known before conversion, has lost his chance to appeal to the Federal Court the decision of an Ipoh High Court which granted custody of the children to M. Indira Gandhi.
A five-member panel led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria dismissed Muhammad Ridzuan’s application for leave to appeal.
Ridzuan, 43, had sought leave to appeal to the Federal Court as his appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision was thrown out by the Court of Appeal on April 17 this year following failure by his previous lawyer to file the records of appeal on time.
The Court of Appeal had struck out his (Muhammad Ridzuan’s) appeal against the decision of the High Court granting custody to Indira, after it (the Court of Appeal) refused to grant him extension of time to file in the records of appeal.
Muhammad Ridzuan filed his notice of appeal on March 11, 2010 and was required to file in the records of appeal within eight weeks from the filing of the notice of appeal but his previous lawyer did not do so. The records of appeal were filed a year later.
Justice Arifin also ordered Muhammad Ridzuan to pay RM10,000 in legal costs.
The other judges on the panel were Federal Court judges Datuk Hashim Yusoff, Datuk Ahmad Maarop, Datuk Hasan Lah and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
On March 11, 2010, the Ipoh High Court granted Indira the custody of Tevi Darsiny (Ummu Salamah), 15, Karan Dinish (Abu Bakar), 14 and Prasana Diksa (Ummu Habibah), four, but allowed Ridzuan to visit his children once a week.
The court ordered that Prasana Diksa, who was with Ridzuan, be returned to Indira while the other two children, who were with Indira, remain in the 37-year old mother’s (Indira) custody.
Ridzuan embraced Islam in April 2009 and subsequently converted his children to Islam without Indira’s consent.
On April 24, the same year, Indira obtained an interim custody order from the Ipoh High Court for temporary custody of her children.
On October 29 the same year, Ridzuan, who was represented by lawyer Anas Fauzi, obtained a court order from the Syariah Court giving him custody of the children.
Lawyer K.Shanmuga, one of the lawyers in Indira’s legal team, told reporters that the Ipoh High Court would mention tomorrow Indira’s judicial review application to quash the conversion certificate.
He added that contempt proceedings against Ridzuan would be initiated for not adhering the High Court order to return Prasana Diksa to the mother.
Highly doubtful that is going to happen, though
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his onetime close
friend Abdul Razak Baginda are the “priority witnesses” in an
investigation into bribes and kickbacks amounting to about €150 million
in the sale of Scorpene submarines to the Malaysian Ministry of Defense,
French lawyer Apoline Cagnat told a press conference in Singapore
Cagnat is a member of the Paris-based firm headed by William Bourdon,
which has been retained by the Malaysian human rights NGO Suaram in a
probe by the French judiciary.
Cagnat told a briefing for Malaysian parliamentarians in Singapore that,
of the seven witnesses submitted by Suaram and accepted by the French
judiciary, Najib and Razak are the most important.
It is highly unlikely, however, that the French authorities probing the
scandal would be able to persuade the head of a sovereign state,
especially one who is suspected of helping to facilitate the transfer of
kickbacks to the United Malays National Organization, the biggest party
in the ruling national coalition, to testify. It is also difficult to
imagine what they would be willing to add to the dialogue about the case
if indeed they were called to testify. And, although threats of
subpoenas have been made in the past, there was no indication in
Cagnat’s comments that they are being issued.
Nonetheless, “I hope the judges manage to interrogate them,” Cagnat told
reporters. Cagnat gave her press conference in Singapore after Suaram
said it was unable to obtain an assurance from the government that it
would guarantee the security of the French lawyers, who had been asked
by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to brief parliament on the case. The
speaker of the parliament, Amin Mulia, said he wouldn’t allow the
briefing to take place in Parliament's compound.
The other five witnesses are the current Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi , Setev Shaariibuu, the father of murdered Mongolian national
Altantuya Shaariibuu, private investigator P Balasubramaniam, Boustead
Holdings Bhd group managing director and deputy chairperson Lodin Wok
Kamaruddin, and Jasbir Singh Chahl, said to be Razak's right-hand man
but who fell out with the onetime security consultant and threatened
suit because he reportedly didn’t get a big enough share of the
commission paid on the submarines.
Bourdon himself was bundled out of Malaysia by immigration authorities
in July of 2011 after giving details of the alleged scandal in a speech
in Penang to hundreds of people at a fundraiser to continue his
investigation. Scheduled to give two more speeches in Malaysia, Bourdon
was taken off a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and was put
on another plane out of the country over his protests.
Bourdon and Suaram have been battered by both the mainstream press,
which is largely government-owned, and an army of bloggers who say the
scandal has been overblown and that no trial had been ordered by French
authorities. Neither Bourdon, Suaram nor Asia Sentinel, which has
reported extensively on the case, have ever said a trial was imminent.
But the investigation is continuing and investigating magistrates have
been appointed by the French courts. Two investigating judges, Serge
Tournaire and Roger Le Loire, were appointed in March to investigate the
case. They have broad powers to investigate independently and can call
witnesses and conduct international surveys.
French police acting on a request from Bourdon’s legal team raided the
headquarters of the state-owned defense giant DCN and its subsidiaries
and came up with a wealth of detail that enmeshed former French Foreign
Minister Alain Juppe, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad,
current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and a host of others in the
scandal, as well as top officials with DCN.
On June 25, Asia Sentinel published 133 confidential documents from the
French court giving exhaustive details on the scandal and uploaded them here. An accompanying story explaining the documents, which were written in French, can be found here.
In the succeeding weeks, and with what is expected to be an extremely
close election, the United Malays National Organization and media
aligned with it have initiated an unprecedented attack on Suaram, its
director Cynthia Gabriel, and independent news organizations that have
carried the story, particularly the popular website Malaysiakini, which
has 300,000 daily unique viewers. Suaram has been investigated under the
companies act, allegedly because its funding is suspect. Malaysiakini
editor Steven Gan and publisher Premesh Chandran have both faced police
questioning over Malaysiakini’s funding. At one point 15 policemen were
sent to the website’s offices to investigate the writer of a letter that
the government found objectionable.
The allegations of kickbacks have surrounded the sale of the submarines
virtually since the transaction was completed in 2002. However, the case
has been kept under wraps by a government apparently anxious to protect
the man who engineered the transaction – then-Defense Minister Najib.
The case involves the payment of €114 million in “commissions” to
Perimekar Sdn. Bhd., a company wholly owned by Abdul Razak Baginda as
well as additional payments to a Hong Kong-based company called Terasasi
HK Ltd, which was wholly owned by Razak Baginda and his father.
Enmeshed inextricably in the case – and playing a major role in keeping
it alive -- is the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006, the
jilted lover of Razak Baginda, by two of Najib’s bodyguards. According
to a confession by one of the two, they were to be paid RM50,000 to
RM100,000 to kill the woman and two friends who had accompanied her from
Mongolia to confront the security consultant.
Altantuya had acted as a translator on latter element of the deal,
according to documents seized by the French police. According to a
letter found in her Kuala Lumpur hotel room after her death, she was
asking Razak Baginda for US$500,000. In the letter, she expressed regret
for attempting to blackmail Razak Baginda. Razak Baginda, immediately
after being cleared without having to put on a defense of complicity in
the 28-year-old woman’s murder, fled to the UK, where he has remained
SINGAPURA 27 NOV: Daripada tujuh senarai saksi yang diberi Suaram, nama Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan Abdul Razak Baginda menjadi fokus utama untuk disepina, kata peguam Scorpene, Apoline Cagnat.
Beliau juga menegaskan tiada siapa termasuk Perdana Menteri Malaysia itu memiliki imuniti penuh dari sebarang pendakwaan atau sepina dalam kes berkenaan.
Bagaimanapun, Apoline tidak dapat memastikan tempoh sepina itu diberi kerana proses sedemikian mengambil masa tetapi tidak menolak kemungkinan kedua-dua individu itu bakal disepina.
Peguam itu juga sepanjang taklimat menyebut ‘Najib Razak’ sebanyak dua kali termasuk menyatakan Perdana Menteri itu adalah antara nama yang diberi tumpuan dalam senarai saksi cadangan.
Apoline adalah rakan sejawat kepada William Bourdon yang pernah dihalau kerajaan Malaysia sebelum ini.
Selain Najib dan Razak Baginda, mereka yang dalam senarai Suaram untuk disepina ialah Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi; bapa Altantuya, Dr Shaariibu Setev, penyiasat persendirian, Balasubramaniam dan seorang korporat, Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
Taklimat itu yang sepatutnya diadakan di Parlimen Malaysia hari ini, ditukar lokasi ke Changi, Singapura berikutan halangan daripada kerajaan Malaysia.
Terdahulu, Apoline juga menyatakan rekod kes pembunuhan Altantuya juga akan diteliti Hakim Siasatan Mahkamah Perancis.
NOV 26 — “Education is the most powerful weapon, we can use it to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela.
The country needs to change for the better and whoever leads the government that will be determined by the results of the coming 13th general election (GE13) must make change happen as soon as possible and not just continue with rhetoric only.
Given the political situation in the country now, and with the “help” of the Internet, regardless of whether it is spreading nuisance or pleasantries, I do not think it is possible for any coalition of political parties, either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, or individual political parties to win by a two-thirds majority anymore.
Those days are already gone as hinted in the last general election when a political tsunami favouring the opposition happened. In the coming GE13, I think it is more realistic to believe that it will return results such as a simple majority, split votes or even a result that will culminate in a hung Parliament and there will be individuals who contest as independents or candidates who represent smaller political parties in selected constituencies to play the role of “kingmaker” after winning their respective contests in those constituencies.
It is therefore “smart” for all political parties to think about how to handle the many fence-sitters all over the country; their number is perhaps more than the total number of voters with set minds, who will determine the outcome of GE13.
In order to win, I suggest, all contestants in GE13, either coalition of political parties like Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, individual political parties or independent candidates to consider the following factors very seriously:
(Since I am discussing education here, I shall confine this discussion to education only.).
Education may not be the “cure-all pill” to solve all diseases (problems) but it will definitely be able to solve many of the country’s existing and future problems.
Many countries have proven that they are what they are today because of education, giving their citizens proper, high quality and the right education. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea are excellent examples.
Education helps in national development, it is in fact a catalyst for national development, nation building, building solidarity especially in a multi-racial, multi religious country like ours; it helps in the development of our human capital to make them able to compete globally and they can also be independent and not depend on the government all the time.
Whilst the Ministry of Education has made a policy decision to stop the use of the English language in national schools since 1982 when Bahasa Malaysia fully replaced English as the main language used, it seemed to be unsure whether to actually stop the use or to continue the use of the language. As such, from time to time flip-flop policies were introduced and implemented, confusing students and angering parents and teachers. To complicate matters and realising the lack of mastery in English among our students, from primary to university levels, several stop-gap measures were introduced and implemented by the ministry, and after spending a lot of money on them the result or outcome is still zero, zilch!
Even as recent as two weeks ago the deputy prime minister, who is also the education minister, and his team were still evaluating programmes in Australia on the use of the English language in national schools.
Our country’s education policy was changed in the early ‘70s and the one major change was to switch the use of the main language from English to Bahasa Malaysia. Fast forward to the 21st century, about 40 years or so later, the Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) latest report places our country’s education level at 55 out of 77 countries, i.e. in the bottom third, and in the report prepared by Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2012-13, our universities are not even listed in the top 400 in the world. If these are not the consequences of the policy change that the country has made in education, what are they then?
Every progressive nation knows that the way to economic success and global prowess starts with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
The perpetual discussion to increase the number of STEM students needs more than incentives offered to make it successful. Inevitably, a transformation of the science and mathematics curriculum is essential to revive interest in STEM.
The improved teaching pedagogy must also be flexible and be able to evolve with the times. It needs to be more proactive to the fast changing world of science.
Improvements for transformation must address the current method of learning science and teaching by rote, as this is no longer effective in this day and age. Science must be taught in a more enriching and interesting manner to keep the curiosity going.
If we are to transform the way we do science, we must begin to transform the STEM teaching pedagogy, the continuous teacher-training programmes, and also the teachers.
The current batch of science and mathematics teachers have the advantage in their ability to function in scientific English, making them more receptive and adaptable to learning at the same pace with the rest of the world.
The seven years we have left to achieve Vision 2020 is a blink in time. We don’t just need a transformation but a revolution to jolt STEM education to get it up to the OECD average. This is why we need to do it in English. There are more enriching experiences and up-to-date information available and we need not spend unnecessarily.
Countries like Serbia have opted to renew their STEM curriculum with La main à la pâte in stages in 2001 after their bad performance in the PISA test.
This method encourages students to ask questions, experiment, make mistakes, and use their own resources to discover how and why things work.
The latest science PISA 2010 result, although lower than the average Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, saw Serbia placed at 46th position, which is slightly higher than Malaysia at 55 out of 77 countries. The OECD average ranks at position 28.
Our country, in spite of being placed lower, instead of doing something to improve the situation, just does not seem to care at all and insist on continuing to stick to a policy which has been in use for the last 30 years or so that has proven to be a failure. Many suggestions, ideas, proposals, all supported by proper studies, to improve the policy submitted by people from all walks of life, ranging from parents, students, practitioners, educationists, professionals, etc have all fallen on deaf ears.
The majority of the people here recommend and support the use of more than one languages, or at least two with equal emphasis, for use in national schools but the authority concerned, and especially politicians from both sides of the divide, insist on sticking to just one, which is Bahasa Malaysia (BM), with only a token attention given to English and vernacular languages. What is so wrong in making our people bilingual?
Subjects in the fields of science, medicine, technology, engineering, mathematics, for example, are best taught in English at the higher levels. Many local dons, scientists, doctors, engineers and mathematicians disagree and believe that they can be taught in BM but they forgot that they all mastered those subjects learning and researching them at overseas universities in the English language and I do not think they can be as good as they are if they did all that in Malay. Are there enough books and references written in BM for them to use and refer to at that level and are the people responsible to write or translate books and references in BM keeping abreast with the rapid development in the areas of study mentioned. So, why deprive the young people who are keen to study and carry out research to be as good as or even better than the best in the world from learning those subjects in English like what their seniors went through before?
The US, with a population of 311 million people, needs 280,000 science and mathematics teachers by 2015 to ensure its global competitiveness. Malaysia, with a population of 27 million, has 400,000 teachers. On the basis of per capita population of science teachers’ equivalent to the US, we need 21,600 science and mathematics teachers or only 5 per cent of the total teacher population for our country.
The Education Ministry should look at the syllabus and curriculum to teach and train our young to be educated and be smart. They must be taught and trained to be globally competitive as for them to get jobs or do business in a relatively small country like ours will not be easy anymore. They have no choice but to look elsewhere for jobs or do business. This makes learning in English very important and necessary.
Many, including me, have criticised the Malaysian Education Blueprint, saying that the blueprint does not touch the basic issues and is not offering any progressive change at all.
However, looking at the resolution prepared by Yayasan Selangor on behalf of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and comparing it the Blueprint, their six-statement resolution stated in their “Mereformasikan Pendidikan Negara” is totally hopeless. While the Education Ministry in its blueprint is at least still willing to extend PPSMI until 2016 so that all students who started Form One using this policy can complete Form Five using the same policy, PKR wants to scrap PPSMI immediately and start the 2013 school year using Bahasa Malaysia, much to the chagrin of the majority of parents and students who have been, for the last three years, arguing for PPSMI to be retained or at least, increase the English language content to enhance MBMMBI.
While it took the ministry from April this year starting with the countrywide National Education Dialogue involving thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life and culminating with the launching of the Blueprint on September 11 this year by the PM, PKR through Yayasan Selangor just took one Sunday at an event called “Konvensyen Halatuju Pendidikan Negara — Mereformasikan Pendidikan Negara”.
The convention held at Unisel, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam discussed some papers presented by some retired professors, who have mostly passed their prime, and some disgruntled teachers and a school principal from Sabah and Sarawak in an attempt to show that the whole country is involved. It was attended by some 200 participants who predominantly came from just one community and only one state, i.e. Selangor, and came out with their resolution in the evening. This only shows how little emphasis they give to education in the country. The impression many people and I get is that (PKR) is either not interested in education or their way of treating important matters is just wishy-washy, at best.
It looks like only the DAP in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition seems to support PPSMI and the use of the English language in national schools and a senior party member told me recently that his party members will keep adding the pressure to see how they can gather consensus in the group.
Nonetheless, I believe BN is able to change the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 overnight and to make it people friendly, progressive and effective as they already have more than 2,500 ideas, suggestions and proposals that was collected by the ministry from the three-month town hall series of the National Education Dialogue that they organised.
BN can always direct the ministry to make the necessary change. PR has none. In drawing up a better, a more progressive and a more effective people-friendly education policy, that is the advantage BN has over PR (Pakatan Rakyat).
Education is also able to:
Address and cure social ills
The social ills include corruption at all levels, Mat Rempit, snatch thefts, drug addiction, baby dumping, wife beating, single mothers, child abuse, school bullies, playing truant, vandalism, reckless drivers, road bullies, cheating, rudeness, no ethics, selfish, racism, etc.
Create law-abiding citizens
Education can build civic-minded citizens, a caring society, good, loyal and responsible citizens and who are able to contribute to the nation’s development, build solidarity (perpaduan) in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like ours regardless of race, language or religion and instil in our young integrity and confidence, etc.
Touching a bit on non-educational matters, please stop this nonsense of cash handouts, shops selling cheap goods and issuing discount cards to selected groups. Doing all that isn’t the way to a high-income nation. Our currency has low purchasing power and the subsidies are not directed to the relevant groups. Change that.
Change incapable ministers, there are many of them. There are many good, qualified and capable individuals that BN can pick and choose as candidates to contest in GE13 and they may not necessarily be members of the parties in the coalition. Scrap the AES piratisation and also stop nepotism, cronyism and favouritism, the bane of our country’s progress and move towards being a high-income nation and First World status, which also gives us a very bad image in the international scene.
Finally, practise meritocracy to the letter.
If BN wants to retain power, please listen to us the people and make the necessary changes.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered
the Umno machinery to map out a strategy to win the hearts of voters and
strengthen unity as the keys for the Barisan Nasional (BN) to win the
next general election.
Speaking when opening the delegates meeting of the Wanita, Youth and
Puteri wings simultaneously at the Putra World Trade Centre here Tuesday
night, the deputy prime minister wanted the three wings, which he
described as the frontliners, to step up their groundwork in an effort
to win the next general election.
"Go down to the nook and corner of the country, traverse the valleys,
the ridges and the trails from Kangar to Semporna, raise the banner of
the struggle, God willing, we will carry the torch of victory," said the
Umno deputy president.
Delivering a speech entitled 'Together Shaping the Victory', he reminded
Umno fighters that they were now in the midst of a political battle
that would determine the survival of the party, and the race and the
Muhyiddin, who is also the BN director of election, said upon choosing
Umno as the platform of their struggle, party members should realise
that they could not do it on their own or for themselves.
"We need the support and input of our political colleagues. Work in the
spirit of one heart, one mind, one objective, and one endeavour to
continue the agenda of the party's holy struggle," said Muhyiddin, who
is clad in a bright red baju Melayu.
He also called on Umno fighters to be confident that they were right for
the holy struggle would enable the party to continue to defend Islam,
fight for the Malays, uphold national sovereignty of the country, and
enhance the prosperity of the race and religion.
"With the onslaughts of devious scheme in twisting the foundation of the
religion, challenging the dignity of the race, threatening the
sovereignty of the nation, the foundation of Umno's holy struggle must
be strengthened," he said before nearly 3,000 delegates at the Merdeka
He also called on Umno members to continue to support the leadership of
Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is
leading a major transformation for the country.
He said through the government, economic and political transformation
programmes, Umno's renewals were being felt at every level of the
society from farmers, fishermen, taxi drivers, teenagers,
undergraduates, professionals and civil servants.
"For the past 66 years, Umno has fought for the Malays and Islam, Umno
had never harmed any race. This is justice and equality to Umno.
"Umno fighters should not feel guilty for advancing the party's struggle
for it has promised to continue to defend the Malays and Malaysians,"
he said, adding this was Umno and the BN's promise.
Muhyiddin said Umno had never forsaken the principle of its Islamic struggle, instead it upheld the sanctity of Islam.
"We uphold the Islamic education system, we defend the Islamic legal system, we develop the Islamic economic system," he said.
He said Malaysia was held in high regard by the world as the best
example of an Islamic country, and it had helped Muslims under siege
worldwide, including in Bosnia, Gaza and Myanmar.
"Thank God, due to the wisdom of the leadership of our country, Malaysia
has just helped solved the Bangsamoro conflict in the Philippines. All
this is the result of Umno's struggle to uphold Islam," he said.