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Monday, December 31, 2012

‘Endorse our blueprint if you want our support’

Hindraf is not prepared to give any political block free lunch as it did in 2008 general election.

JURU: Hindraf Makkal Sakti will only support a political coalition that gives written pre-election agreement to implement the movement’s five-year blueprint for ethnic Indian community.

Either Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional must pen down written assurances on Hindraf blueprint agreement that they would implement its demands if they come to power in the forthcoming general election.

“That’s the condition if either political block wants our backing to canvass Indian votes,” Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy made it clear at a gathering here last night.

He stressed that the civil rights movement was not prepared to give any political block free lunch as it did in 2008 general election.

“We will throw our support to any party that gives written endorsement that if they come to power they will implement our blueprint for the betterment of much marginalised working class Indians.

“We will not compromise on this,” insisted the Hindraf supremo.

Those present in the Juru community hall raised their arms to give unanimous support to Hindraf’s stand.

They also displayed banners and placards in support of Hindraf and its blueprint, and calling PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan to endorse it.

They also give unanimous endorsement to Hindraf’s decision to contest in the next election.

Speculations already rife that Waythamoorthy was contemplating to take on MIC president G Palanivel in the next polls, probably in Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency.

He declined comment when asked about it.

Hindraf’s blueprint was launched last month to mark 5th anniversary of the movement’s mammoth rally held in KLCC on Nov 25, 2007.

It generally demands for comprehensive and constructive Felda-type socio-economic programmes, such as community re-settlement, quality housing and equal education opportunities, for displaced ethnic Indian plantation workers and their families.

It wants the government to eradicate stateless status of Malaysian-born Indians and issue them proper citizenry documents such as birth certificates and blue identity cards.

Hindraf blueprint also demands for state governments to give provide land to all Hindu temples of 100 years old and above, all Tamil schools and Hindu burial grounds.

It also wants the federal government to include all Tamil schools under the national fully aided school scheme, and expand all government education schemes, including tertiary scholarships and soft loans to more Indian students.
Hindraf also demanded for more jobs for ethnic Indians in civil service and government-link companies (GLCs).

The human rights group wants the federal government to allot some RM4.5 billion annually, or less than two per cent of its national budget, to implement all demands in its five-year blueprint.

The blueprint demanded a stop to police brutality and violation of human rights, including killings, on ethnic Indians on grounds criminal suspicion.

Gobind: Show CCTV tapes in Nagarajan's death

(Malaysiakini) Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has been urged to produce the CCTV recordings of the Dang Wangi police headquarters lock-up following the sudden death of odd-job worker K Nagarajan while in police custody.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said last month, Hishammuddin's deputy Abu Seman Yusof reported that all police stations are now fully equipped with the cameras.

This came about when the deputy minister was responding to questions over measures taken by the government to reduce incidents at police stations after an Indonesian woman was raped at the Butterworth police station.

Gobind, in a statement, said that in death custody cases like Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamad, (while being detained under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and A Kugan had seen lengthy inquiries and public discontent over efforts taken to determine what actually took place.

Following Nagarajan's sudden death, Gobind said now is probably the best time for the Home Minister to produce the recordings in the lock-up.

“If the police have done nothing wrong, then clear them immediately. If the evidence shows otherwise, then those responsible should be charged without any further delay,” the Puchong MP said.

It was reported yesterday that Nagarajan, who was arrested for alleged drug-related offence, died under mysterious circumstances when he fell in the lock-up, leading to family members to cry foul and seeking answers.

He was picked up on Dec 21, and died last Monday before his scheduled court appearance. Nagarajan's uncle, M Krishna Murthie, had said the family was unable to accept the police’s version of events, as there were also mysterious wounds - a deep gash above the left eye, a coin-sized bruise above the right eyebrow and a wound on the right leg.

“There were no explanations on how Nagarajan could have sustained those wounds,” said Krishna Murthie.

Purpose of camera

Gobind said that while the family of the deceased are clamouring for answers, they are finding it difficult to find out the actual reasons behind their deaths.

“The purpose of the camera is to deal with problems like these. Apart from reducing opportunities on part of officers to abuse detainees in police stations, it also serves the all-equally important purpose of capturing events on tape so as to reveal the actual events which led to the deaths.

“We have criticised the police so many times over incidents like these. We have demanded measures be taken to ensure incidents like these stop. We have had the Royal Commission of Enquiry making recommendations for change. We have demanded that cameras be put up so as to ensure that all cases involving assault and deaths in custody are made easier to solve with video recordings.”

Hence, he said, now is the opportune time for the Home Minister to produce the evidence.

Man dies from 'fall' in lock up, family in disbelief

Family members of a man who was found dead after spending three nights in a police lock up said they do not believe the police's claim that he died from a fall.

death in custody nagarajan 301212Odd job worker K Nagarajan, 32, was arrested on Dec 21 for alleged drug related offenses and was placed in the Dang Wangi district police headquarters lock-up.

He was found dead on Monday before his scheduled court appearance.

According to his uncle M Krishna Murthie, the family was unable to accept the police version of events.

"How could someone die by falling in the lock-up? How is that even possible?" he told a press conference, organised by Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee today.

Krishna Murthie said that there were also mysterious wounds - a deep gash above the left eye, a coin sized bruise above the right eye brow and a wound on the right leg - found on Nagarajan.

He said that no explanation was provided by the authorities on how Nagarajan could have sustained those wounds.
Autopsy report not out
He also complained that the family was not informed of Nagarajan's arrest and that the police took several hours to send the body  for an autopsy.

death in custody nagarajan 301212Nagarajan's mother M Nagamah, 58, said she wanted the police to explain, in detail, how her son had died.

"I don't want the same to happen to other people, this should stop," she said.

Lee said that the authorities owe the family a proper explanation to provide them with closure.

"It's been a week and the autopsy report is still not out. This is not fair to the family. They want to know why he went in the lock-up alive and came out dead.

"Even after the Kugan case, death in custody is still happening," she said.

She explained that the  deceased had psychiatric problems and required medication and it was the police responsibility to see to his medical needs during his detention.

Lee added that DAP will provide legal aid and Sungkai state assemblyperson A Sivanesan will serve as their lawyer.
When contacted, Dang Wangi OCPD Zainuddin Ahmad said investigations are underway. He declined further comment.

MP: Will the police ever probe Deepak's claims?

The police has been urged to explain whether it intends to investigate allegations against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his family by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan.

NONEIn a press release today, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo (left) said that it has been more than two weeks since DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh lodge a police report against Deepak and there appears to be no action taken.

"It has been some two weeks now. The IGP should be upfront and tell us how many statements have been taken until now and from whom?

"Has anything been done? If not, why not? Will the IGP respond to my question or will he also keep silent?," he said in a statement today.

On Dec 15, Karpal had lodged a police report to accuse Deepak of having knowledge of a crime but failing to report it to law enforcers.
Serious allegations

Deepak had claimed that there was coercion involved in private investigator P Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration made on July 4, 2008 and that the premier's family had a hand in it.

Gobind said the police should not delay the matter as the claims were very serious.

"The allegations made by Deepak are to my mind and that of most rational thinking Malaysians, most serious in nature.

"The police cannot be seen to be dragging their feet in the matter. They must act and act fast," he said.

Deepak had among others, claimed that he had paid the premier's family for a land deal.

He had also implicated Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor and brother Nazim Razak in coercing Balasubraniam into withdrawing his statutory declaration linking the premier to slain Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Deepak - the man who knows an awful lot

COMMENT "I cannot be bought. I'm priceless."

So says Deepak Jaikishan, the man who appears to know a damaging lot about a murder mystery and is threatening to tell some or tell all he knows about it.

But one cannot be sure about his bona fides because the ‘now you see me, now you don't' businessman seems to have a taste for expedient disclosure: he dangles tantalising tidbits as bait, perhaps, for negotiated compromises.

It appeared that one such pact was negotiated last Friday when he abruptly withdrew a court case he had filed on grounds that he had been cheated in a land deal.

NONEHe emerged with RM30 million as the price for the withdrawal. But he says the sum was meagre compared to what he could have gained had his interlocutors not reneged on prior commitments.

He had no choice, he said, but to settle for the mere return of the costs he had initially incurred as the price for the withdrawal of his court case.

End of story?

No. It looks like the saga of the ‘Deepak Disclosures' is set to continue.

This ‘DD' saga, after flickering twice, once before the Umno general assembly and the second time after the annual confab, appeared to have guttered out with Friday's news that a cheating case he had filed was settled out of court.

The trial of the case could have opened up a Pandora's box of incriminating details.

Dramatic twists and turns

No sooner had speculation swirled that the businessman equipped with what seems to be lethal inside knowledge of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder was being bought off with the settlement of his land deal, he emerges to say that come New Year's Day he will reveal more of what he knows, with some supposedly incriminating documentary evidence in tow.

This is ominous for personalities within the fire zone. Given what forewent in past phases of this saga, intimations such as Deepak shed, after the withdrawal of his case, are the prelude for dramatic twists and turns.

NONEWitness the episode of the two conflicting statutory declarations by private eye P Balasubramaniam in July 2008.

Deepak said he knows quite a lot about the second SD that reversed the sensational contents of the first. In fact, he is on record as having facilitated the second SD.

Now he says on Jan 1 he will disclose details of his and other facilitators' roles in the reversal of Balasubramaniam's second SD.

There are some 48 hours to go before the ‘DD' saga resumes, a hiatus in which a lot can happen, notwithstanding Deepak's claim that he cannot be bought.

But we know, and he has admitted, that he had helped arrange for Balasubramaniam's provisional silence after the dramatic reversal of the investigator's first SD.

The question, in spite of Deepak's assurances to the contrary, inevitably arises: Will he opt for a Faustian bargain in reverse?

In the literary legend, Faust sold his soul to the Devil as the price of his acquisition of knowledge.

Could not Deepak be enticed into silence about what he knows for the lucre of fulfilled ambition as a real estate magnate that he obviously aspires to be?

Never a dull moment

Very little is known about Deepak the man. Thus far he appears to be a character from the novels of Graham Greene where the truth of any situation remains hidden and is riddled with ambiguities.

But with people like him haunting the corridors of power, is it any wonder that there is never a dull moment in Malaysian politics.

NONEThe situation is positively hilarious when you have characters like Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, the preternaturally sanguine Umno secretary-general, who yesterday announced that both the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police have cleared all BN candidates for the parliamentary and state assembly seats at the coming polls.

No doubt the member for Pekan has also had his credentials cleared.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time that Tengku Mansor has delivered himself of such fatuities.

Next month it will be five years since he unleashed that classic explanation for why people used his name as they please: asked by the royal commission on the Lingam videotape why the lead player in the drama had mentioned his name in connection with what seemed look a scandalous attempt at judge-fixing, Tengku Adnan said he has discovered that people were wont to use his name, even inmates in prison have been known to do so.

Little wonder some pundits concede that while the provenance of the saying - ‘May you live in interesting times' - is assuredly Chinese, its pertinence is decidedly Malaysian.

What with our political stage peopled with the likes of Deepak and Tengku Adnan, our times are not just interesting; they can be riveting.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal occupation for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent. 

Kalimah Allah: Views of Ustaz Solihin


Court is the only hope of outraged nation, says fresh plea

SEEKING ANSWERS: Protesters try to break a police barricade during a demonstration against the death of the 23-year-old gang rape victim, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday . Photo: S. SubramaniumFormer IAS officer seeks CJI’s immediate intervention for safety of women

A former IAS officer, who last week moved the Supreme Court for setting up fast track courts across the country for rape cases, has filed a fresh application seeking the intervention of the Chief Justice of India for urgent relief even as the nation is mourning the 23-year-old victim of the December 16 crime in the national capital.

“Instead of implementing constitutional provisions and the Supreme Court’s directions/judgments towards safety of citizens, more particularly women, the political class is again trying to buy time through formation of committees. The Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, which has become a symbol of the young generation’s tryst with dignity, is closed to citizens, and frustration among the young generation may dent the foundation of democracy if the apex court fails to intervene immediately,” Promilla Shanker said in her application.

“Parliament failed to implement 10-year-old Law Commission recommendations and formed another committee to delay critical issues.”

The government also “failed to implement the Home Ministry’s 2009 guidelines and many other laws enacted for safety of women, and formed another committee as eyewash. We are sure that after the current national awakening, the accused in the present matter will be given severe punishment for rape and murder through a fast track court. But the young generation of this country wants urgent action against powerful politicians, police officials and bureaucrats which will be a true homage to the departed soul and will bring an element of action in the democratic set-up of the country.”

Ms. Shanker said: “After the ghastly rape incident, the public anger against police and an apathetic ruling class… reflects that people across all parts of the country have little faith in the Executive and the Legislature wherein many of them are charged with rape and murder. The petition has been filed for the safety of women and children of different parts of the country who are feeling unsafe.” As per data, one woman is raped every 40 minutes and rape crime has increased by 800 per cent, she said.

Ms. Shanker sought interim directions to ensure time-bound compliance by the State and Central governments which, she said, would not only bring back people’s confidence in democracy but also strengthen the judicial system.

Catholic church receives bomb threat post Christmas

The North Sumatra Police’s bomb squad on Saturday secured an alleged homemade bomb, that contained 500 grams of nails, which was found in the backyard of Salaon Toba Catholic Church in Samosir Island, located at the center of the renowned Lake Toba.

The church’s priest, Herman Nainggolan, said the package was found following a text message received by local district head Ronggur Ni Huta at 11:11 p.m. local time on Friday that read, “There is a bomb in your jurisdiction at the Salaon Church.”

The text message was promptly reported to the police, which sent a team to inspect the church.

“No one had the courage to move it. It [the bomb] was secured only after the bomb squad arrived today,” Nainggolan said on Saturday.

The suspicious package, which was packed in two drinking bottles, stirred panic among the congregation taking part in Christmas mass.

The team arrived at the church at about 11:30 a.m. and brought the package to the Samosir Police headquarters for further examination.

Samosir Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Donny Damanik said the package had been examined and it was not a bomb. It did not contain explosive material, but it was equipped with batteries connected to the nails with cables.

“The bottle that contained batteries, cables and nails did not explode because it did not contain explosives or have a detonator,” Damanik said

Donny said the police were still investigating the perpetrators of the terror act as well as the motives behind the security threat. He added that the threat was unexpected as Samosir had been secure during the Christmas holiday.

“This is the first [threat] of the year. We will investigate it thoroughly,” he said, adding that security measures would be tightened at all the churches in Samosir following the bomb threat. Samosir is home to some 100 churches, but only 60 are still used for religious activities.

He also said the police and the Samosir administration had agreed to distribute circulars to church boards asking them to call on their respective congregations to not feel threatened.

Nainggolan said some members of his congregation had indeed expressed worry over visiting the church in the aftermath of the threat.

In the past few years, a number of cities in the country have seen bomb threats addressed to worship places.

On Sept. 25, 2011, 22 people were injured when a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (GBIS) in Surakarta, Central Java.

Funeral prayers for Kasab in Kochi; IB starts probe

KOCHI: A funeral prayer was offered at a mosque in Kochi for Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the Mumbai attacks, who was hanged in Pune Jail on November 21.

No sooner had the news leaked out, than the person who led the funeral prayer was removed from the mosque committee. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has begun a probe on the funeral prayer.

It is learnt that the prayer, which was offered on a Friday soon after Kasab was hanged, was led by a native of Chelakkulam in Perumbavur. The funeral prayer was offered after the usual prayer.

The name of Ajmal Kasab was included in the list of persons to whom funeral prayers were to be offered. Besides, in the speech delivered after the prayers, the hanging of Kasab was severely criticized.

Only a very few believers remained at the mosque to attend the funeral prayer as many have left after the usual prayer. One section of believers who were present there protested against the inclusion of Kasab’s name in the list. They also demanded to take stringent action against the man who included the name of Kasab, who was part of a team of ten terrorists who killed 166 people during three days of carnage in Mumbai four years ago.

Subsequently, the person who led the funeral prayer was removed from the committee. The issue had been concealed. But it was made public when there was move to include the person back to the mosque committee. It has been said that the funeral prayer was secretly supported by some organizations.

Embrace Islam if you want to use ‘Allah’, Harussani tells non-Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria today told non-Muslims who insist on using the word “Allah” to refer to their Gods to convert to Islam if they refused to accept that the word belongs only to Muslims.

The controversial cleric also accused the Christians community of intentionally provoking Muslims by pressing on with their demand to use “Allah” in their holy book.

“The matter is already in the (Islamic) enactments of every state, they’re provoking Muslims on purpose so Muslims will melatah (over-react),” Harussani (picture) told The Malaysian Insider here.

“Christians should not interfere with Islam, they’d be better off taking care of their own religion. If they want to use Allah, convert into Islam.”

The latest polemic over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians to refer to God hit media headlines last week when Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng spoke on the issue in his Christmas message.

The DAP secretary-general triggered uproar when he urged the federal government to allow the use of the word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Christian Bible.

He pointed out that this has been allowed in Sabah and Sarawak for the last 50 years and practised in the Middle East for more than a thousand years.

Harussani reiterated today that the name should be exclusive to Islam to not confuse Muslims, a view shared by DAP’s partner PAS which insisted that Christians should not use it in the Alkitab as it does not reflect the actual meaning of “God” in the original text.

The mufti also warned Muslims to not easily play into the hands of Christians by over-reacting, despite stressing that it is important for the adherents to express their disapproval.

Malaysian Gurdwara Council (MGC) said yesterday that it is unconstitutional to ban anyone from using the word “Allah”, insisting that the National Fatwa Council’s 2010 edict on the word could not apply to non-Muslims.

In a statement, MGC president Jagir Singh pointed out that the council does not have direct jurisdiction over non-Muslims and could not issue fatwas to bar the community from using a specific word.

In Penang, state Mufti Hassan Ahmad berated Lim for raising the issue and reminded him of the council’s 2010 edict, where it had banned the use of the word by non-Muslims, along with 39 others.

But DAP chairman Karpal Singh came out to defend his party comrade, reminding Muslims that those of other faiths apart from Christianity also use the word “Allah”.

As an example, Karpal said that the word “Allah” appears 37 times in the Sikh bible, while the orang aslis, the babas in Malacca and even the Bengali language uses the word.

On Friday, former council chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim was reported as saying that non-Muslims should stop demanding to use the word “Allah” as the Arabic word is fundamental to Islamic belief and therefore exclusive to Muslims.

“Enough is enough, enough with all the other policies, including the ones enshrined in the Constitution that has been claimed for equality, to be granted equal rights... therefore the right to recognise the concept of the divinity in this religion, don’t grab, challenge and manipulate so. The name ALLAH is still something basic and fundamental to Islam.

“The name Allah, from a philosophical point, its definition and concept is not equal with the name Tuhan, God, Lord and so on in the usage of other religions,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian in its front-page report.

Christians form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population, with many of them in east Malaysia using the Malay language and the word “Allah” to refer to their God.

In recent years, the Christian and Muslim religious communities have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah”, with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds that Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim God.

A legal tussle over the use of the word “Allah” remains unresolved, with the Catholic Church still barred from publishing the word in its weekly newspaper, despite winning a High Court decision on December 31, 2009.

This is due to the Home Ministry filing an appeal in January 2010 against the High Court’s decision, which have since stagnated in the courts as no date has been set for its hearing.

Last year, shipments of the Alkitab, the Malay-language Bible catering to the Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Bumiputera Christians, were blocked or confiscated at ports, before the government finally bowed to pressure and released them.

‘Hisham’s liaison officer more powerful than IGP’

MyWatch is claiming that the Home Minister's special liaison officer has powers to bypass the Inspector-General of Police himself.

KUALA LUMPUR: Anti-crime watchdog MyWatch alleged today that a police officer with a rank of deputy commissioner [DCP] appointed by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as his special liaison officer is ‘more powerful’ than the Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar himself.

The NGO’s chairman R Sri Sanjeevan claimed that this was because the officer was able to bypass the IGP to give instructions to top officers of the Royal Malaysian Police [PDRM], including state police chiefs, state CID chiefs and district police heads.

Sanjeevan said that never in the history of the police force has a liaison officer held such a high rank of DCP, which is even higher ranked than the prime minister’s aide-de-camp who is only ranked an Assistant Commissioner of Police [ACP].

The home minister’s current liaison officer is identified as DCP Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohamad.

“MyWatch urges the home minister to explain why does he need a PDRM liaison officer in his office with the rank of DCP which is equivalent to state CPO position when all the while it was only a Superintendent [Supt] position.”

Sanjeevan claimed that this “clearly shows that home minister is indeed meddling into PDRM matters without relaying orders directly to the IGP himself”.

“Since the officer advises the home minister, then I think the IGP would have to listen to him as well, right?” he added.

“MyWatch strongly believes that the home minister is having a DCP as PDRM liaison officer… is only because he can give instructions and orders directly to CPOs [state police chiefs], OCCI [state CID chiefs], and OCPD [district police chief]. This is also another form of waste of police resources and shows non-productivity,” he said in a press statement.

Sanjeevan also lamented that complaints to Hishammuddin sent to his Twitter account @HishammuddinH2O were only simply forwarded to Wan Ahmad Najmuddin’s account @tok_we, which he claimed was a “dormant account” that was hardly used.

Transferred for refusing to follow instructions

FMT understands that the liaison officer was previously a position where a Supt was placed at Bukit Aman to coordinate communications between the two agencies, and assist the Home Ministry in monitoring case files and statistics.

A police source said that the previous officer, ranked Supt, was apparently transferred out when he refused to follow instructions from the home minister. Najmuddin, according to the source, was promoted very fast when he replaced his predecessor.

Previously, MyWatch or The Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force, had claimed that it has in its possession evidence that top police officers were involved in criminal activities, including officers that were involved in money laundering, illegal gambling, prostitution, football bookies and have direct links with underworld figures and kingpins.

MyWatch said there there was a case where a top police officer was given an “all-expense paid trip overseas to play golf with an underworld kingpin” as well as one where “one senior police official’s son and daughter is working for a kingpin with special privileges”.

In recent weeks, MyWatch rose to prominence after its patron, the former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan held several press conferences and interviews alleging that politicians have been interfering with police work and that criminal elements have infiltrated the force.

Musa had also pointed out that there may have been cases of abuse of power at the top level when several senior policemen were transferred out for refusing to approve an “unsound” walkie-talkie project.

Musa also labelled Ismail a ‘Yes man’ and had urged the latter to be tough.

Following these disclosures, several quarters have hit back at the former top cop, questioning Musa’s timing and credibility. They also brought up the “copgate” issue where Musa himself was allegedly linked to underworld figures.

Musa’s detractors included Hishammuddin, businessman Robert Phang, former KL CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim, former Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Ramli Yusuff and his lawyer Rosli Dahlan.

Funds for Tamil schools: Facts and myths

These are the actual facts that MIC's Vell Paari found after rebutting claims relating to funds for Tamil schools on Friday.
COMMENT

By S Vell Paari

Facts on allegations on progress of Tamil schools infrastructure projects under Budget 2012 allocation of RM100 million.

Allegation:

MIC has handled the RM100 million allocations for SJKTs.

Fact:

The entire project, which includes selection of contractors and awarding of contracts to qualified Indian contractors is handled by the Ministry of Education.

Allegation:

RM90 million has been returned to the government because of the delay in using up the fund.

Fact:

The funding of RM100 million provided for under the 2012 budget goes on until 2014 and until then, there is no expiry date for this fund.

Allegation:

147 Tamil schools have been deprived of the funds from the 2012 allocation.

Fact:

The funding was distributed to cater for the urgent needs of 224 Tamil schools. Many schools that appeared in the earlier list of 369 schools had benefitted from the earlier allocation provided for in 2009, therefore priority was given to the schools that missed the allocation in 2009. Additional RM100 million has been allocated for 2013 and more schools that needs infrastructure development will be considered.

Allegation:

MIC and the government is secretive of the allocation to the schools.

Fact:

A full list of all 224 schools selected has been published in the Tamil newspapers, complete with the amount allocated and scope of work involved for each school.

Allegation:

Government is not setting up new Tamil schools

Fact:

Approvals for setting up of seven new Tamil schools have been given by the government and work on building one of the school in Lunas, Kedah started this year. As for the six new schools that was announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in January 2012, the process of acquiring identified lands by the Ministry of Education is in progress. All of these new schools are established with the approval from the Cabinet and they are not mere promise by the government.

The government is also committed to establish more Tamil schools in localities with high number of Indians based on the needs and requirements from the local community. For example, the request from Indians in Sungai Pelek for a Tamil school in their place is being reviewed by the Ministry of Education and all necessary process is taking place towards setting up a new Tamil school there.

Allegation:

PM Najib Tun Razak’s gathering with Tamil school HMs and PIBG/LPS representatives on Jan 22, 2012 is an eye wash.

Fact:

The gathering was another signature initiative of the Prime Minister and the government to reach directly to the stakeholders of Tamil schools to ensure continued growth for Tamil schools in Malaysia. With RM540 million allocated for Tamil schools within just four years, more can be done with a strong understanding and working relationship between the government and all Tamil school stakeholders.

The Prime Minister reiterated in the gathering that no Tamil schools will be closed down and schools with low enrolment will be relocated to enable more students to have access to education in Tamil schools.

The Prime Minister also called for a national conference to be convened to discuss on a blueprint for the future of Tamil schools in Malaysia. To realise this, he set up a unit called the Action Plan for the Future of Tamil schools that is responsible for developing the blueprint and jointly organise the national conference.

Allegation:

The government is cheating the people with handing out mock cheques from The Community Chest that is a profit from gambling.

Fact:

The Community Chest is another example of an innovative approach by the government through a public-private initiative to ensure vernacular education in Malaysia continues to receive the necessary aid and attention.

In November 2012 alone, 47 Tamil schools were allocated an amount of RM9.139 million for various infrastructure development projects. These supplements the various other funding provided for Tamil schools by the government.

Allegation:

The government has failed to deliver its by-election promise to allocate RM3.5 million to build SJKT Serendah.

Fact:

The government is committed towards ensuring the construction of the new school building of SJKT Serendah. RM2 million has been allocated for this school under the RM100 allocation in Budget 2012 and the Ministry of Education has committed to identify the remaining allocation of RM1.5 million to ensure the construction progresses.

PKR to block Deepak’s land deal through state govt

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli says as long as Pakatan Rakyat is holding Selangor, it will not allow the RM130 million land deal to go through.
FULL REPORT

PETALING JAYA: PKR, through the Selangor government, will block the RM130 million land deal between Lembaga Angakatan Tentera (LTAT)-linked company Bakti Wira Development Sdn Bhd and a Wanita Umno leader’s company.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli said the deal that involved some 200 acres of land in Bukit Raja, Selangor, came under final purview of the state government as it required transferring of titles.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia two days ago, Bakti Wira, a wholly-owned unit of Boustead Holdings Berhad, signed an agreement with Awan Megah, a vehicle company of Selangor Wanita Umno chief Raja Roppiaah Abdullah to acquire the freehold land at the said price.

This followed after carpet businessman Deepak Jaikishan’s company Astacanggih Sdn Bhd dropped a lawsuit against Awan Megah without clear reasons given.

Boustead subsequently agreed to purchase 80% stake in Astacanggih for RM30 million from the businessman who recently made a series of exposes on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s family.

“So long as Pakatan Rakyat holds Selangor, we would not allow the deal to go through. I would talk to the Selangor government next week. We would frustrate the deal,” Rafizi told a press conference today.

He said the deal did not make business sense and the sudden decision to acquire Deepak’s company only proved that the latter’s allegations were true.

Elaborating, he pointed out that Astacanggih did not have any assets besides the RM20 million shares, which was again shortchanged by its RM98 million debt with Kuwait Finance House.

“The RM30 million premium paid to Deepak was too high, for sure there was no independent valuation done. The only explanation is that it arose out of a willing seller and willing buyer basis. This means the transaction was made out of political considerations,” he said.

“By fair sense and fair logic, unless the allegations made by Deepak carry truth and velocity, Najib wouldn’t have reacted in that way. Because by an open transaction, it would open the duo to public scrutiny,” he added.

Rafizi suspected that Najib had tasked Defense Minister Zahid Hamidi with handling the case as the latter’s ministry oversees the LTAT, which owned the acquirer company indirectly.

The PKR leader also pointed out that the transaction was a clear act of abuse of power as Zahid had allowed some RM160 million of pensioners’ money to be put at risk.

This was because Boustead’s capitals and activities were dependent on armed forces servicemen’s contributions, he explained.

“It’s ridiculous, because you already lost RM230 million to the cow rearing project, now you want to lose another RM160 million,” he said.

‘Why on earth would you do that?’

On the plot of land in Bukit Raja, Rafizi echoed Deepak’s statement yesterday that Boustead was virtually buying a land which had yet to be transferred from the government’s account to Awan Megah.

The 200-acre of land originally belonged to the government and was supposed to be transferred to Awan Canggih in exchange for the privatisation deal.

However, the Selangor government had never approved the transfer of land title.

Meanwhile, Rafizi also claimed that Boustead via another subsidiary company Jendela Hikmat Sdn Bhd had acquired an adjacent plot of land, which is 236 hectares, for RM230 million in 2005.

He said this meant that Boustead last bought a plot of land around that area at RM390,000 per acre and now it wanted to acquire the one from Awan Megah at RM650,000 per acre.

“So far I have not met any land that can appreciate twice the value just by being idle.

“Why would you want to add your land bank since you did not develop the land (which you already own), unless it is cheaper. Why on earth would you do that?” he asked.

Trust your PM

Everyone must understand that BN MPs are already disclosing their assets to the prime minister who is the keeper of the gate. If you cannot trust your own PM, who else can you trust?
COMMENT

I am shocked! I am shocked, dumbfounded and flabbergasted that anyone could suggest that election candidates from Barisan Nasional should make public declaration of their assets.

How can they be asked to do anything that could jeopardise their safety or endanger their lives?

Several BN MPs have said that a public declaration of assets by potential election candidates may jeopardise their safety, ahead of what is expected to be the country’s most intensely-fought polls.

Some have gone so far as to suggest that BN members of parliament would look more credible if they disclose their assets publicly.

Can you imagine what could happen to a BN MP if it became public knowledge that he had millions and millions of ringgit stashed at home or in his local or overseas banks or even in parts unknown?

That YB will become the target of every samseng who will not only proceed forthwith to the MP’s gated mansion to rob him blind, but more worrying they will track his wife, girlfriend or mistress on their shopping trips to Milan, London or New York and then have the wife, girlfriend or mistress kidnapped for ransom.

Aiyah sure die one lah – not only got to pay out but also if the wife hears about the girlfriend or mistress, sure die twice!

BN MPs have already done enough untuk bangsa, negara, ugama dan lain lain……more of the lain lain than anything else.

Some of them have braved the wraths of their first wives by marrying another one or two other wives on the sly – an actress, a model or perhaps even a singer. Call it love, call it libido, call it anything you like. I call it the stupidity of aged fat lothario whose only attraction to the opposite sex is a fat bank balance.

One of them was ‘brave’ enough to confront the authoritative Malacca Custom and Excise Office and demanded that they ‘close one eye’ while he himself would probably be closing both his eyes in this game of dare.

That was brave of that MP because who can deny that the one eye is more at an advantage than the man with two eyes closed.

What about the “courage” of that BN MP caught with his pants down? Not only did he admit to the act after DVDs of the said act were distributed in Muar (well what else can he do when faced with such evidence already seen by the good people of Muar and elsewhere!) but he also courageously resigned from all his political post.

His supporters were so impressed with his ‘berani mati’ act that they soon elected him to be their party president. That just goes to prove that this really is Bolehland.

Being arrogant and obnoxious

BN members of parliament are not frighten to call a spade a spade and damm the consequences.

Nazri Aziz knows why he is being attacked all the time. It is not because he is arrogant nor was it because he is such an obnoxious character…no…as he said it:

“Don’t you think that I am an asset, that there’s an attack on me now? If I’m just an ordinary MP or I’m not important to Umno, you think they’ll attack me? They won’t, right?”

I guess being arrogant and obnoxious is part and parcel of being a valuable asset to Umno and BN.

These BN MPs will leave no stone unturned, will climb any mountain and will swim through shark infested waters in their tireless efforts to serve bangsa, negara, ugama dan lain lain.

Even if they fail time and time again in trying to serve bangsa, negara dan ugama, and even if they have never done their duty towards their electorates – what matters is that they did try. Give them credit for lying, cheating…… I mean trying!

Who suggested to Najib Tun Razak that his coalition candidates should be screened by MACC? Aisehman, as if the MACC are not flat out investigating the corrupt practices in Selangor, Kedah, Penang and in Kelantan.

Thank god BN was able to take back Perak and give some breathing space to MACC. MACC knows that states under Barisan Nasional are free from graft, plenty of corruption but no graft.

It has been suggested by some anti-national elements (well Pakatan Rakyat MPs actually – are they not one and the same thing?) that all this asset declaration exercise is an attempt by Najib to ensure that no candidates from Muhyiddin’s camp will be allowed to stand as candidate for BN.

It is mischevious of anyone to suggest that Najib would do something underhand to rid himself of any political threats from within Umno.

There is nothing underhand in all this. If any hand is involved, it would be Najib’s hand and its ability to hand over say…. RM5 million…. to the people of Sibu and others who might have need of a hand out.

The rakyat should know because they have been getting so many handouts from him this year.

Some of you might dismiss this out of hand because you think Najib had no hand in these kind of handouts but you have to hand it to Najib when these kind of things need to be done – he is usually the first to raise his hand!

If you cannot trust a BN MP, whom can you trust? As some MPs have pointed out, the MACC’s job is to fight corruption and not to filter election candidates with dubious financial records.

Let the people decide. If they want to elect MPs with dubious financial records, then how can you blame these MPs? Blame the poeple!

Trust your PM

The people must understand that BN MPs are already disclosing their assets to the Prime Minister. Najib is the keeper of the gate and if you cannot trust your own PM, who else can you trust?

And do not tell me that you would rather trust Botak Chin more than you trust your own PM.

Anyway that was a rhetorical question, so don’t tell me who you trust more! Confused? What is a rhetorical question you ask me? Okay here are some examples of rhetorical questions:

· Are you telling me that Umno is corrupt?

· Has Mahathir retired?

· Are Muhyiddin and Najib buddies?

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

Could Malaysia elect an Islamist prime minister?

Author: Farish M. Noor, RSIS
The recent general assembly of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) was notable for less talk of theology or doctrine and an increased focus on PAS’ upcoming campaign for the 13th general election, scheduled to be held anytime between December this year and next April.

PAS, which ranked third for the number of parliamentary seats won at the federal-level general election of March 2008, will be aiming to gain more parliamentary seats at the coming polls. Discussion at the general assembly was directed toward that goal.

That PAS would want to expand on its gains at the next general election is understandable, considering that the party — which was formed in 1951 — is the oldest opposition party in the country. In 2008, however, PAS joined the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which also comprises the People’s Justice Party (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP). The coalition is headed by Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the much smaller PKR, who is touted to be prime minister of any future Pakatan government.

An interesting development at the general assembly was the idea that PAS’ president, Abdul Hadi Awang, should instead be the preferred candidate for prime minister if the Pakatan Rakyat coalition were to defeat the ruling Barisan Nasional government. This was met by strong approval by delegates at the general assembly, and signalled a shift in PAS’ posturing within the opposition coalition.

Thus far, PAS has been willing to take the backseat in Pakatan’s campaign for power on the assumption that Anwar would be the most likely candidate for prime minister. This stance was developed on the grounds that he is best positioned to bridge the differences between the Malay-Muslim-dominated PAS and the Malaysian-Chinese-dominated DAP.

The prospect of an Islamist prime minister, in the form of Abdul Hadi Awang, is a possibility that has never been seriously contemplated until now (although a similar proposal was raised at the 2008 PAS general assembly). Just why PAS members were keen to propose their leader as the next prime minister is an interesting question, coming as it does so close to the general election.

Firstly, there is the question of whether PAS’ membership of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has cost PAS some of its votes and support from its traditional Malay-Muslim vote bank. Over the past five years the coalition has had to address issues ranging from environmental politics to the welfare state, which have not traditionally been the party’s focus. Some PAS members feel the party has veered off its Islamist path by its engagement with other issues. This was reflected in criticism by PAS’ youth wing that the party’s newspaper, Harakah, ought to serve the interests of the party first and foremost rather than focusing on broader concerns.

Secondly, there is the question of simple arithmetic: if PAS was and remains the biggest party in the PAS-PKR-DAP coalition, then why should the leader come from one of the smaller parties? PAS members may feel that as the oldest and biggest party in the coalition they should have the right to lead Pakatan and any government formed in its name.

However, this is all contingent upon PAS winning its share of 40 parliamentary seats at the election. Some PAS leaders have confided that while party members may be enthusiastic about an Islamist prime minister, the rest of the country may not be as excited by the prospect. This view is supported by UMNO leaders like Saifuddin Abdullah, who noted that ‘PAS has so far campaigned on things like the welfare state, and the DAP keeps saying that Anwar is their choice for prime minister. To have a PAS leader as prime minister is another matter’.

Talk of PAS members trying to push for an Islamist prime minister has so far been divisive. The opposition coalition has tried to maintain its cohesion by campaigning on broad-based issues such as a minimum wage program and the welfare state, but many suspect that non-Malay support for the opposition will erode if there is a real prospect of the country coming under the leadership of an Islamist prime minister.

Beyond the shores of Malaysia, the country’s neighbours, which have never had to deal with the prospect of a Malaysia under the leadership of Islamists, may be prompted to ask whether Malaysia’s foreign or defence policies will change significantly. In the 2000s PAS leaders were mostly known for their fiery anti-Western rhetoric and their protests against American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. A decade on, the party seems to be closer to realising its domestic political goal, which may have implications for Malaysia’s regional standing and bilateral ties with other states. Much, therefore, depends on whether PAS manages to improve its parliamentary representation at the next general election, and whether it ends up being the party with the most parliamentary seats in the opposition coalition.

Dr Farish A Noor is Senior Fellow at the Contemporary Islam Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

A version of this article was first published here as RSIS Commentary No. 212/2012

END OF THE ROAD FOR NAJIB & ROSMAH: PKR to block RM160mil Deepak-Ropiaah deal

END OF THE ROAD FOR NAJIB & ROSMAH: PKR to block RM160mil Deepak-Ropiaah dealVowing to defend the Armed Forces pension fund from being pilfered by top government leaders, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party has demanded that the Najib administration come clean on a RM160million deal to buy back land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.

The PKR response follows news a day ago that a unit of the Armed Forces' pension fund (LTAT) had agreed to pay RM30 million to a controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan and RM130 million to a firm controlled by Raja Ropiaah, the Selangor Umno Women's chief.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli accused Prime Minister Najib Razak and Defense Minister Zahid Hamidi of "gross abuse of power", describing the latest transaction involving 223 hectares of Defense ministry land in Bukit Raja, Selangor as "outright bribery" and the "worst-ever case of bad investment I have seen".

"It is plain and simple that the RM30million to acquire 80% of Astacanggih (Deepak's firm) and the RM130 million paid (to Raja Ropiaah's firm) for almost non-existent land is clear abuse of power by Zahid Hamidi. I dare say that Najib had tasked Zahid to handle this by whatever means necessary," Rafizi, a UK-trained auditor, told a press conference on Saturday.

"You can ask any investment or research analysts and they will tell you this is not good investment practise. So why does the federal government enter into such a bad investment. One can only conclude this is meant to silence Deepak and to close the entire issue."

Outright bribery?




Deepak, once a close friend of Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, had in 2007 bought the land from Raja Ropiaah's firm Awan Megah for about RM120mil at RM12psf. But the deal has been "stuck" and the titles still not released to Astacanggih unit Cebur Megah.

This resulted in Deepak suing Ropiaah and Awan Megah for specific performance and "criminal intent", the Defense ministry as well as the land and mining office Pejabat Tanah dan Galian for not releasing the land titles to Cebur Megah.

Deepak also accused Ropiaah of 'stealing' and on-selling one of the three parcels of land to GuppyUnip Sdn Bhd at RM16psf. The case was heard at the Kuala Lumpur High Court late last month, with Deepak personally taking the stand. It was adjourned to December 14 but deferred pending a settlement that Deepak has since insisted was "forced" on him and his firm.

“It is true that my shareholders and me have sold our shares in Asta Canggih for RM30 million which is our actual cost price of RM13 million for Raja Ropiaah, RM8 million in political contributions, RM7 million of financial costs and RM2 million in legal and miscellaneous costs. This was an ultimatum that was forced upon us,” Deepak said in a text message on Friday.

Protecting pension fund of Armed Forces



The business bickering culminated in Deepak squealing on the 'dark hands' behind the deal. He accused Najib's family of accepting millions of ringgit for Najib's abusing his authority in approving the deal.

Najib, who was then the Defense minister, has still not made any response to the series of damning allegations despite mounting public disgust and pressure from his own political party.

Rafizi slammed Najib for refusing to account to the public and accused him of quietly conspiring with Zahid to enter into "such a dubious" deal that would clearly place the Defense Ministry's pension fund in a disadvantaged position.

"The fact that behind the silence, such a transaction has been sewn up to silence Deepak indicates there must have been some truth in his accusations. Deepak's disclosures must have frightened Najib so much that he has got Boustead to enter into this deal," said Rafizi.

"It is very cheeky for the prime minister to instruct the Defense minister to do such a deal. In any other country, a public inquiry would have been called. PKR will do all it can to frustrate the deal as this involves the LTAT, the pension fund of the Defense ministry. It has become ridiculous. You have already lost RM250mil to one minister and now you are going to lose RM160 mil of pensioners' money to another minister."

Rafizi was referring to the RM250mil NFC cattle-breeding fiasco that the family of Umno Women's chief Shahrizat Jalil has been accused of being involved in.

Najib will have to win back S'gor for the deal to go through



In the Deepak-Ropiaah case, Rafizi pointed out that the land had never changed hands in the first place and questioned why the Defense ministry was buying back its own land.

"PKR will write to the Selangor state government to stop this deal. Previously we kept quiet because we weren't sure how true Deepak's allegations were. But now, after the Boustand announcement to the Bursa, all the pieces are starting to fit together.At the recent Umno assembly, Zahid said he would look into the matter and find a way to resolve it. After that, there was silence. We thought it was just Najib up to his usual ways of refusing to answer to the public. Then Boustead made their announcement yesterday," said Rafizi.

"This is clearly a deal pulled together deliberately to keep Deepak quiet. But it doesn't seem to be working. How can Zahid imagine such a deal can work? It will require the green light from the state government because the land is in Selangor. Deepak is now saying he is not going to shut up because he got only RM30 mil and Ropiaah received RM130 mil. We say to Deepak, don't worry. We will do our utmost to frustrate this deal because the pensioners' money is involved. In fact, we need to thank Tan Sri Khalid for insisting on checking all the details and not allowing the transfer to go through."

Rafizi agreed the title to the land would probably have changed hands by now if not for the Opposition winning control of the Selangor state government in the 2008 general election. According to Rafizi, if Najib wanted the deal to go through the only way was if "he wins back Selangor".

The state is the richest and has the biggest economy of Malaysia's 13 states. Najib has previously vowed to take back Selangor "at all costs". The state is now led by PKR chief minister Khalid Ibrahim.

Mindef unit paying RM160 million for land that still belongs to it



In a filing to the stock exchange, Boustead Holdings Bhd, a unit of LTAT, announced that its wholly-owned unit Bakti Wira Development Sdn Bhd had acquired an 80 per cent stake in Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million.

Bakti Wira Development and Astacanggih also signed an agreement with Awan Megah earlier on Friday to acquire 80.94ha of freehold land in Klang, Selangor, for RM130 million. Describing the deal as an opportunity to expand its land bank, Boustead said the share purchase and land acquisition would be funded via bank borrowings and internally-generated funds.

“Moreover, the land was adjacent to 283.28ha of development land held under Jendela Hikmat Sdn Bhd, a company which the group and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera jointly holds 60 per cent equity interest. The demand for industrial land in this location has been on the uptrend with the completion of UMW’s latest storage and testing plant in Bukit Raja, Klang,” said Boustead.

Rafizi and Selangor Pakatan representatives will be scrutinizing the deal's fine-print over the weekend and plan to hold another press conference on Monday.

"In the afternoon, we will go with some of the pensioners to Bakti Wira's office to inspect the documents. The pensioners have a right to know what happens to their money," said Rafizi.

The Black Rose



So far, Ropiaah has not commented on the transaction. Previously, when contacted by Malaysia Chronicle, she had said she would refer Deepak's allegations to her lawyers.

In his response to the Boustead announcement on Friday, Deepak vowed he would continue with his "revelations". Deepak has not only exposed Najib's hand in the Bukit Raja land deal but has revealed that both the PM and his wife Rosmah had asked him to "facilitate" the withdrawal of a damning statutory declaration made by a private investigator implicating Najib in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and the Scorpenes corruption case.

Apparently, more and "hotter" scandals are due to be exposed to test the already embattled Najib, who has been facing tremendous pressure from within his own Umno party to step down and pass the reins to his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin before calling for general elections.

“The irony is that Raja Ropiaah who ‘stole’ the land from us was paid RM130 million, guess that is real power, isn’t it?” said Deepak, who in a text message to Malaysia Chronicle promised to push on with his tell-all book on Rosmah - 'The Black Rose'.
Malaysia Chronicle

Foreign interference in Malaysian politics? — Clive Kessler

DEC 30 — The New Straits Times (Sunday December 30) contains a long analysis and commentary entitled “Dubious Backers of Regime Change”.

Its author, Nile Bowie, warns of the menace of foreign interference and covert involvement and influence in Malaysian politics.

As well he might.

This lengthy article, now recycled in the BN government’s leading newspaper here, made its first appearance in RT.

RT? What is that?

RT, in its own self-description, is “the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news.”

RT, on its own say-so, “delivers latest news and current events from around the world including special reports, entertainment news and exclusive video.”

You would think that somebody in a position of editorial responsibility might have mentioned those originating auspices when proffering that item to the readers of the NST.

One would have thought so.

But perhaps Utusan’s now “celebrated” notions of journalistic and editorial ethics have now become the national “default mode” and have accordingly spread to the NST.

Foreign influence and interference?

Of all sorts, it would seem.

Some more bruited and officially trumpeted than others.

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