Selasa, 18 Jun 2013

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Beware of Hitler juniors

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:30 PM PDT

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It seems that the more extreme one's discourse is, the more it mesmerises and excites others. 

Lim Mun Fah, Sin Chew Daily 

The word sedition gets on many people's nerves as it equates a jail term if convicted.

There was no lack of instigators historically, the most notorious one is the great dictator Adolf Hitler.

The common characteristic of an instigator is always under the guise of a patriot or nationalist, holding the fulcrum of morality and is adept at seditious discourses.

Take Adolf Hitler for instance, his charms, to a great extent derive from his volubility. His eloquence was even once analogised as a deadly excitant.

Adolf Hitler's oratory is highly personalised. His refined language was dynamic. A ten minute speech of his is as inciting as a long one. It all attributed to his fomenting tongue. His tone is always aspirational, bringing his audience to a longing trance, mesmerizing them further to a restive abyss of total submission.

Most people are deeply interested not only in Hitler's moustache that he wears above his mouth which is like a black sticking plaster the size of his nose, but also his unique delivery style inclusively which can be found from his biographical movies and documentaries. For example, he would not speak in full spate once he stepped on the stage but would play a trick of silence, letting his audience to quieten from unchecked nosiness. When the audience began to calm down and exchange murmurs, he would strike the chatterbox, from a monotonous tone to a haranguing one, building up a climax with hysterical effect.

The contents of Hitler's talks prevail with his personal aspirations, calling others' as well. "Country", "nation", "revitalisation" and "righteousness" are the key words of all his speeches.

"Our struggle has only two possible outcomes: it is either our enemy march on stepping our corpses or vice versa." Most Germans were boiling with hot blood agitated by Hitler's "quotations" and subsequently a historical havoc known as the Second World War was triggered.

Luckily, German is a nation who is ready to admit mistakes and start afresh. Eyeing the German's rationality and self abstention redolent of the predominant Hitlerism in history, we cannot help but to wonder disbelievingly when the erstwhile Germans acted fanatically, in bigotry and stupidity abetted by an agitator.

We might sigh and carry grave misgivings knowing that an agitator like Hitler will have followers everywhere. Hitlerian discourses, given any time and context, will be marketable. Unfortunately, in Malaysia, similar instigators and market for instigators do exist.

Immediately after the general elections, reconciliation and rational calling is comparatively bleak. Aggressive and provoking discourses are justified and going strong. It seems that the more extreme one's discourse is, the more it mesmerises and excites others. Though these Hitler juniors are no match for the authentic Adolf Hitler in terms of charms and dexterity, they are like waiting tiny sparks, ever ready to kindle any fire anywhere to run their capers. Should we not beware?

Fresh clash breaks out between Malaysia, Sultan followers

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:24 PM PDT

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(Phil Star) - Some 400 fighters and volunteers in the Royal Security Force (RSF) of the Sultanate of Sulu have engaged Malaysian security forces in a firefight in Kampung Dengan Tungku in Lahad Datu, Sabah on Monday afternoon, Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sulu sultanate, said the fresh fighting was reported to him by Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III and commander of the RSF.

Agbimuddin reported that the RSF fighters were moving through Dengan Tungku at about 1 p.m. when they encountered the Malaysian troops.

"There was a rather long exchange of fire. The RSF later was forced back into their base in Lahad Datu," Idjirani told the STAR.

Idjirani said the RSF did not sustain any casualty during the firefight. There was no information about casualties on the Malaysian side.

"The size of the RSF force involved in the fight would also give you an idea how large was the Malaysian force they had encountered. This only shows that Malaysia is really bent not to give up its hold on Sabah," said Idjirani.

Idjirani added that the clash in Dengan Tungku was also confirmed by Hajib Mujaha Hashim, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front's Islamic Command Council.

Meanwhile, the sultanate of Sulu met with representatives of the Bayan Muna party list led by Satur Ocampo to tap the party's help in pushing for the Sabah issue at the House of Representatives. 

Idjirani said the Sulu sultanate handed over to Ocampo several legal and historical documents detailing the sultanate's claim over Sabah.

"We handed these documents for them to study. Ka Satur has promised that the Sabah issue will be pushed by Bayan Muna and seven other allied representatives at the House of Representatives," said Idjirani. 

Lahad Datu: Tiada Pertempuran Dengan Kumpulan Bersenjata Sulu

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:22 PM PDT

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(mStar) - Malaysia menyangkal dakwaan media Filipina mengenai berlaku pertempuran di antara pasukan keselamatan dengan kira-kira 400 tentera Sulu di daerah Lahad Datu.

Ketua Pengarah Kawasan Keselamatan Khas Pantai Timur (Esscom), Datuk Mohamad Mantek memberitahu The Star pada selasa bahawa dakwaan berlaku pertempuran itu adalah tidak masuk akal.

"Tiada insiden seperti itu berlaku.

"Tiada berlaku sebarang pencerobohan atau pergerakan sesiapa. Tiada apa-apa berlaku," katanya.

Menurut beliau, dakwaan sedemikian adalah berniat jahat dan bertujuan untuk mencetuskan huru-hara.

Mohamad berkata, polis sedang meneruskan siasatan terhadap seorang remaja perempuan berusia 14 tahun yang mendakwa diculik sekumpulan lelaki bertopeng di Kampung Tanagian, dalam Zon Tanjung Labian, Lahad Datu pada petang Isnin sebelum mereke menghilangkan diri.

Media Filipina melaporkan bahawa kira-kira 400 lelaki bersenjata Sulu bertempur dengan pasukan keselamatan Malaysia di Kampung Tungku dekat Lahad Datu pada petang Isnin.

Jurucakap kumpulan bersenjata Sulu, Abraham Idjirani mendakwa pertempuran itu dilaporkan kepadanya oleh Agbimuddin Kiram yang juga adik kepada Sultan Sulu, Jamalul Kiram.

Abraham mengakui mereka memasuki Kampung Tungku kira-kira pukul 1 petang sebelum bertembung dengan pasukan keselamatan Malaysia. 

Malaysian story needs to be rewritten, says Dr Mahathir

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:07 PM PDT

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(Bernama) - "Going to the same school increases the chances of togetherness. I'm the product of this kind of school" 

There is a need to rewrite Malaysian history books to include problems faced in the past and steps taken by the government to solve such issues, so as to offer a better understanding of the country's history to the younger generation.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this move would also help Malaysia to establish a more educated society, and "thus create more vocal leaders."

It will also help unite Malaysians, create a rounded education for the young, he said in his keynote address titled Better Times Ahead for Malaysian Politics, Post General Elecetion-13 at the Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"We need to do a lot of things. We should also learn from the history of other countries such as why the Arab Spring occurred.

"Then we ask ourselves, do we want this to happen in this country? "There are some people who literally say they want to see an Arab Spring in Malaysia. They prefer to ignore stability, peace and overthrow the leaders.

"Therefore, we need to settle down and understand what democracy is and tell them to trust the government," he added.

Touching on education, Dr Mahathir suggested that having a national school under one roof for all races, can keep Malaysia peaceful, united and will help build a better future for its citizens.

"The problem we face today is that we do not come together, and barely speak or use the national language. We should use it more (national language).

"We should have less segregation in schools for example, and make it compulsory to use and learn the national language," he said.

"Going to the same school increases the chances of togetherness. I'm the product of this kind of school," he said.

On learning the national language, Dr Mahathir was curious as some foreign diplomats who worked in other countries like Indonesia could master the language of that particular country, but not in Malaysia.

He said it was because Malaysians themselves communicated in English and not in their national language, and thus forgetting that language was one of the factors that unifies society.

Too much to ask?

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:02 PM PDT

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The government should remind itself that no one is above the law. Those who have wronged this society must be brought to justice. 

The overwhelming majority of complaints to date on matters of serious concern, such as deaths in custody, have pertained to the police. This is a fact that cannot be ignored, just as we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that the EAIC simply does not enjoy the confidence of the majority of Malaysians, many of whom had not even heard of the commission until the current debate started.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, fz.com 

IN LATE May this year, Utah authorities arrested six individuals for the torture of their roommate, Thomas Chapman. They are alleged to have handcuffed him, repeatedly assaulted him with boards and sticks, kicked him repeatedly in the ribs and the head, and stapled his ears, chest and lips, all while he was being held at gunpoint. His assailants believed that Chapman had set one of them up earlier in the month.

 
Chapman was fortunate enough to have survived his ordeal. He was released and was able to go to the police with his story. Reports suggest that the six assailants have since been charged with, among other things, aggravated assault, an understated description of torture.
 
His assailants were clearly sick in the head, and some might say, psychopathic.
 
At about the same time in Malaysia, one N Dhamendran was being tortured in a strikingly similar way. He too was handcuffed, brutally assaulted (from what I have read in the media reports, the nature of injuries suggest he was struck repeatedly with an implement like a rotan), repeatedly kicked and punched, and had his ankles and ears stapled, among other things.
 
There is no disputing that he was tortured in the most horrific way. Lawyer and Member of Parliament N Surendran disclosed at a press conference that based on his reading of relevant medical reports, there were 52 significant injuries.
 
Dhamendran, however, did not live to tell his tale. He died while in police custody. His alleged assailants were police officers, three of who have since been charged with murder. The fourth appears to be on the run.
 
And for all the outrage being expressed over the death, which I share, the sad truth is that Dhamendran was just one of a series of persons to have died in custody. In the 11-day span from the date of Dhamendran's death, two other detainees, R James Ramesh and P Karuna Nithi, died in police custody.
 
Going back in time, there have been a number of other controversial deaths, with the names Kugan, Gunasegaran and Francis Udayappan coming to mind.
 
The Tun Dzaiddin Commission Report of 2005 recognised an alarming number of such deaths as well as a propensity towards brutality on the part of the police, factors that in the mind of the commission warranted the establishment of an independent oversight mechanism.
 
Official figures reinforce this concern. Last September, then home minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told parliament that there were 209 deaths in police custody from 2000 until September 2012. Civil society groups say that the figure now stands at 221.
 
It is apparent that something needs to be done. This requires a consideration of not only measures aimed at accountability, but also measures aimed at ensuring that only appropriately qualified individuals – not just in terms of education or physical aptitude, but equally in terms of psychological and emotional make-up – can join the force.
 
Putting it bluntly, and without intending to disrespect the majority of police officers who serve this country without cause for complaint, those officers who have tortured and brutalised detainees, sometimes to the point of death, perhaps share the same kind of mental make-up as the assailants of Thomas Chapman. If so, how could this have been allowed?
 
It is time for the government to stop prevaricating over the subject. The price we are paying in human life is simply too high. The trend will continue until the government is willing to admit that it has a legal and moral obligation to deal with what is beyond doubt a matter of great national concern in a way that transcends political expediency.

Read more at: http://www.fz.com/content/too-much-ask#ixzz2WcyjR2qt

Exodus, NST as Insider recruits

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:00 PM PDT

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The earth moves again as Terence Fernandez makes his exit from Malay Mail to join fz.com, a socio-political news portal owned by a corporate mover linked, at least once upon a time, to Anwar Ibrahim. The Star's Wong Sai Wan, one of the few Datuks in journalism, has already started at the Malay Mail in charge of Special Projects.

Rocky's Bru 

The biggest newsmaker would have been Datuk Syed Nadzri, who is the media adviser of RedBerry: the ex Group Editor of NST was tipped to be joining joining The Star as one of its directors with executive power BUT my man at the newspaper says it's NOT true. The post of NST group editor is still vacant. Wallahualambisawab.

p.s. Lionel and team comprising my ex Malay Mail staff Rita Jong and Muzliza, among others, will be starting work at TMI tomorrow. Terrence will start work at fz-com on August 1. 

Read more at: http://www.rockybru.com.my/2013/06/exodus-nst-as-insider-recruits.html 

Young, Proud and Disillusioned

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:48 AM PDT

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Let us not forget that despite the protests, the state governments of Kelantan, Selangor and Penang have been sworn in. So, am I to understand elections were run "legitimately" in these states and not in the rest of the country? 

Adam Netto

As a Malaysian living abroad, I joined my fellow countrymen who made the trek down to respective consulates / embassies on the 28th of April 2013 to cast our vote. We had arrived at the same conclusion a while back that being thousands of miles away from the homeland would not prevent us from having our say in who should be given the reins of the country.

Sadly, though, since the 5th of May 2013, I have become more and more disillusioned with the state of politics in Malaysia. I am deeply disappointed with both sides across the political divide and I will explain why.

The protests led by Pakatan Rakyat that followed the results of the elections have been laughable. So, let me try to understand this. Pakatan Rakyat complained that the election were "rigged" to favor the ruling coalition way before the 5
th of May 2013, took part nevertheless and started protesting when the results did not go their way? Personally, if I was going to place a bet and was certain beforehand that the game was "rigged", saving myself those few dollars would be a very simple choice. Some may dispute this analogy but I believe there were two choices here. Play the game, knowing it is "rigged", and accept the results gracefully or decide to boycott the "game" and bring world attention onto the matter. Let us not forget that despite the protests, the state governments of Kelantan, Selangor and Penang have been sworn in. So, am I to understand elections were run "legitimately" in these states and not in the rest of the country?

Another issue that has been eating at me is the Lahad Datu incursion that occurred shortly before the elections which resulted in the unfortunate loss of life of our servicemen. We were given daily updates by all local news outlets and then all that stopped. What has happened since? Were we not technically at a "state of war"? Have they captured all remaining intruders? Are we looking to extradite their leader in Philippines? What are we doing to prevent something similar reoccurring? Instead of spending his time running around the country organizing protest rallies, should not the leader of the Opposition be asking these very important questions?

On the other side of the political divide, the ruling coalition has been given a fresh mandate. Instead of putting the elections behind them and using this mandate to chart a path forward for Malaysia in very challenging economical times, all component parties of the ruling coalition are more interested in upcoming party elections.

 

Pray tell, who is running the country?

School's in for first overseas campus

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:44 AM PDT

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Malaysian student Bong Meen Szer (center) takes part in calligraphy contest at Xiamen University. She welcomed the college's plan to open a campus in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. 

(China Daily) - Cross-border expansion signifies China's growing clout and rising world interest in country, report Luo Wangshu in Chongqing, Cao Yin in Beijing and Wang Hongyi in Shanghai.

Loke Pui Yan has been studying for her master's degree at Xiamen University in Fujian province since the autumn. The campus, which is along a beach, is a sight to behold. It is scattered with elegant historical buildings, enjoys pleasant weather and ocean breezes, and almost, but not quite, erases any feelings Loke has of culture shock and homesickness.

Although the 29-year-old Malaysian has enjoyed her studies and her stay in China, she was thrilled to learn that the college is ready to establish a campus in her homeland.

Xiamen University will be the first Chinese college to open a campus abroad to showcase its ideas and culture, improve China's image in the world and enhance relations with other countries.

Unlike Western universities, which have flocked to China, the country has come late to the party.

Now it is trying to play catch-up and ride the globalization of the education business.

Over the past decades, a large number of overseas universities have come to China to set up joint institutions and exchange programs. The Ministry of Education put the number of joint projects now at about 1,500, including Shanghai New York University, Wenzhou Kean University and Kunshan Duke University.

But the number of Chinese higher education institutes going out and establishing cooperation with overseas education bodies is small, although the Chinese government is supporting the internationalization of higher education to spread influence in the world, a process known as soft diplomacy.

Zhang Xiuqin, director of international cooperation and exchanges at the Ministry of Education, said China will support and help eligible universities to go out and globalize.

Xiamen University announced in February it will be the first one to take the step. And in May, Zhejiang University, one of the nation's top-five colleges, said it will also build a campus in London. It also has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for furthering academic collaboration with London University's Imperial College.

Innovative model

"This is indeed an exciting opportunity but needs much innovative effort," said Song Yonghua, executive vice-president of Zhejiang University, speaking of the establishment of the London campus.

He said Zhejiang University and Imperial College will start exploring the feasibility of establishing facilities in the new Imperial West campus for joint academic activities.

Xu Liping, deputy director of the South Asian Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, "It is innovative for Chinese universities to go abroad to show their educational ideas and culture."

Most activities so far between Chinese universities and foreign institutes are too simple and superficial, and do not provide long-term development, Xu said.

Chinese universities started to expand toward the end of the 20th century. With the fast development of colleges, many universities are seeking international cooperation, including faculty collaboration and student exchange programs.

In addition to these programs, most Chinese universities reach foreign counterparts through Confucius Institutes, offering language and cultural classes.

However, setting up campuses and granting degrees is still a new field.

"Xiamen University is attempting to break through the superficial educational or teaching communications between countries," Xu said, adding it will be good for China to improve its image in the world and enhance its relationship with neighbors.

Xiamen University's 60-hectare Malaysia campus will be built in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, at a cost of about 1.26 billion yuan ($205 million).

Construction will start in January 2014 and recruitment will begin in the autumn of 2015. The first class intake will be 500 students.

The student population will number 5,000 by 2020. The campus is ambitious to become home to 10,000 students, including 9,000 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students.

Five majors will be open to students in the first stage at the Malaysia campus: Chinese language and culture, Chinese medicine, computer sciences, economics and electronic engineering. All lectures will be in English, except for those on Chinese language and culture and Chinese medicine.

Read more at: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/17/content_16628675.htm 

The reason cops shouldn’t abuse suspects

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 11:40 AM PDT

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We expect the police to be like the Lotus plant which lives, stands upright and displays its beauty even in filthy ponds – we each have to excel at what we do. Yet, the police have to deal with bad folks more frequently than the rest of us. Period. It's not easy to remain different from the bad folks. And therein lies the challenge: bad folks taunt us; bad folks mock us; bad folks hurt us.

write2rest 

In my last post about the police, I asked why cops shouldn't abuse "almost certainly" reprehensible prisoners.

Some suggested I should ask how I would wish to be treated if I were the suspect. Some said there's a chance the person "looks like, but is not" the guilty person. Some reminded me of the axiom "innocent until proven guilty."

There's truth in all those statements, but we can go deeper.

It's often difficult to gather evidence or find sufficient, reliable witnesses to prove a crime. Rapists in particular benefit from this difficulty. And, many witnesses will not testify for fear of reprisals by friends of the accused.

Yet, we insist that the burden of proof must be satisfied: we insist that the police must not only apprehend criminals, they must produce evidence that the suspects did indeed commit the crimes they are accused of. We insist the police must obtain the evidence quickly, without harming suspects. We insist that the police must protect those who testify about what happened.

We expect the police to be like the Lotus plant which lives, stands upright and displays its beauty even in filthy ponds – we each have to excel at what we do. Yet, the police have to deal with bad folks more frequently than the rest of us. Period. It's not easy to remain different from the bad folks. And therein lies the challenge: bad folks taunt us; bad folks mock us; bad folks hurt us.

The reason even a suspect is entitled to due process, entitled to be treated as innocent until proven guilty, entitled to be punished only by a duly appointed court of law, lies in civility. Being civil means treating each other politely and courteously, as fellow citizens with equal rights and responsibilities. [Seehere my post about the UN, Malaysia and civilization.]

Civility is a response to dignity, seeing "worth" in people because they are people.

On the 10th of December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration begins with the word "dignity:"

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,"

The Declaration was issued after the end of World War II, after atrocity upon atrocity had been committed upon citizens both by their own fellow-citizens and by citizens of other nations. The Declaration was one of several responses to the brutal treatment of civilians and Prisoners of War.

This is the first part of Article 11:

"Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence."

So, why shouldn't the police – or anyone else for that matter – abuse even "almost certainly reprehensible prisoners"?

It's because what do to others is a reflection of who I am.

And that, I believe, is the primary reason why some of us feel so angry about the abuse of even "almost certainly reprehensible prisoners."

As I write this, I have in my mind's eye a short video of a number of young men who robbed a liquor store of a bottle of whisky and the contents of a cash register, threatening the cashier and a couple of others with a parang. In the previous paragraph, I said "some of us" because I saw comments on FB by others who basically said "the police should beat/shoot them."

Read more at: http://write2rest.blogspot.nl/2013/06/the-reason-cops-shouldnt-abuse-suspects.html 

S'pore urges Indonesia to name firms responsible for causing haze

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:37 AM PDT

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(Channel News Asia) - Both Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan referred to the claim by an Indonesian Forestry Ministry official in the media that Malaysian and Singapore palm oil companies that had invested in Indonesia may be responsible for starting the fires in Riau.

Singapore Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said there is a need to exert commercial pressure against companies causing the haze.

Singapore has asked Indonesia to name the errant companies involved in illegal burning.

The primary responsibility to take legal and enforcement actions against these companies lie with Indonesia - as they have clearly violated Indonesian laws within Indonesian jurisdiction.

This was highlighted in a joint statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan had spoken to their Indonesian counterparts - Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Marty Natalegawa and Indonesian Environment Minister Dr Balthasar Kambuaya - to register Singapore's strong concerns about the worsening haze situation.

The two ministers highlighted that Singapore's PSI had breached 150 on Monday, and had entered the unhealthy zone.

The Singaporean ministers emphasised the urgency of the situation while also reaffirming Singapore's commitment to help Indonesia fight the fires in Sumatra.

Dr Balakrishnan requested that Indonesia share relevant information to improve monitoring of hotspots and land clearing activities.

This had been agreed between Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in October 2012.

Read more at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/s-pore-urges-indonesia-to/714724.html 

 

Saudi Arabia may block WhatsApp within weeks

Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:35 AM PDT

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(CNet) - Popular mobile chat app warned of possible blockage after voice and messaging app Viber was blocked last week.

Saudi Arabia plans to block WhatsApp in coming weeks if the makers of the mobile chat app don't comply with local regulations.

The warning comes after the Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked popular voice and messaging app Viber last week.

"We have been communicating with WhatsApp and other similar communication platforms to get them to cooperate and comply with the Saudi telecom providers, however nothing has come of this communication yet," Abdullah Al-Darrab, governor of the CITC, told English languageArab News.

One of the regulations stipulates that WhatsApp establish a local server that allows officials to monitor user activity, Al-Darrab told the news agency.

Read more at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57589517-93/saudi-arabia-may-block-whatsapp-within-weeks/ 

Redefining the Malay Agenda

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 11:38 PM PDT

Zaid Ibrahim

Some of my friends have been somewhat critical of my tweets and blog posts lately, simply because I have been commenting on UMNO and even praising Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The less sophisticated have interpreted this as my way of trying to get back into the UMNO fold. But the truth is it's UMNO season and whatever happens in the party will affect all of us, whether we like it or not. Given that, I write with the hope that some of what I say can, in some small way, influence the delegates and the party chiefs.

Uppermost in the UMNO vocabulary is the expression of the Malay Agenda, a potpourri of rights and entitlements that the party claims is fundamental for the Malays. This will be the main thrust of the party leaders' speeches during the upcoming UMNO General Assembly. With the results of GE13 and the Chinese and Indian communities' rejection of UMNO/the Barisan Nasional, it's natural to expect that everyone will have a wild time bashing the Chinese. Some nutty ones will ask for the Treason Act to be enacted—they will want the Chinese to be sent back to China and Islam and the Malay Rulers to be strengthened. These are the kind of steps the unthinking Malays in UMNO will be clamouring for, but all that will lead to is yet another show of misplaced anger and another round of wasted time.

It would be far more constructive if they were to instead talk sensibly about why the Malay/Bumiputera community has been steadily leaving UMNO. It's no use ridiculing them for being "ungrateful"; instead, focus on the plight of young voters and how to overcome their concerns. To get these young voters back, party leaders have to offer more than just slogans and speeches laden with racial overtones. They need to address corruption, abuse of power, the wastage of resources and mindless bureaucracy. If Malay leaders could be honest enough to admit it, they would recognise that giving more power to the Malay Rulers and "strengthening Islam" (whatever that means) will not solve these problems.

To be useful, the Malay Agenda has to be introspective. UMNO can continue to take the easy way out and just blame the Chinese, the ungrateful Malays and everyone else, but one of the most cited reasons why people are not supporting the party is the corruption of its leaders. Corruption denotes a system where those with money are able to overcome any policy or rule because the leaders are corruptible. So UMNO can shout "Hidup Melayu" loudly and clearly, but if the decision-maker, who is invariably Malay, can be bought then no policy or special privilege will save the Malays. Prime Minister and UMNO President Dato Sri Najib Razak mistakenly describes this as a perception problem, when it is all too real. To continue to deny this is a sign of weakness and unwillingness to address the future of his own people.

Then look at education; if Umno thinks they should get more Malays to the universities because they can increase the quota then think again; these unemployed or unemployable graduates will be the ones who will pull them down in the next election. Its better to have  Malays / Bumiputras skilled  at the highest level by giving them proper training  in business and technical know how than sending them to universities .Just to increase the number of graduates so we have more than the Chinese is a silly strategy unless the standards are high and employment is assured. Learn from Singapore where they limit the number of graduates as a proportion of their population. Unemployed graduates and especially the unemployable ones are ripe for street marches.

READ MORE HERE

 

The right against the middle

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 11:15 PM PDT

Hence we are going to see a battle to decide not only the new Umno leadership but the direction Umno is to take over these next four or five years leading to the 14th General Election. Those who feel that Umno needs to appeal to the middle ground will back Najib. Those who feel that Najib has 'sold out' to the non-Malays will oppose him.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is attempting to keep the divide within Umno under wraps with his call that the top two posts in the party not be contested, said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.

He said that after Barisan Nasional's poor performance in the general election, Umno is undergoing a period of uncertainty and is currently mulling two options.

The options are whether to become more Malay-centric in its approach or to convert BN into a single party for all races.

"Mahathir is trying to keep the fight between the respective factions in support of either options within Umno's walls."

"If there is contest for the top posts, the battle may come out in the open and the party will become a target for its opponents," said Khoo.

Yesterday, Mahathir backed the growing calls within Umno circles to leave Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin to remain party president and deputy president respectively.

He said the contest for the top two positions would split Umno, like what happened in 1987, when then Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Mahathir for the presidency.

"Going by the democratic practice, we should have contests but Malaysians do not really understand the practice."

"If they lose, they will quit the party and set up another, causing the Malays and Umno to split further, " Mahathir was reported as saying.

Khoo said that at the end of the day, it did not matter who was helming Umno as the real decision makers in the party would be its supreme council members.

"The real focus should be on its supreme council as they will decide on which direction the party president will have to take."

"So even if Najib wants to push forward his liberal ideas, his fate will be determined by the supreme council," he said.

However as a democratic party, Khoo said Umno members should allow contest for all posts in the party.

"And Umno will see 150,000 of its delegates participating in the party election this time around," he added.

Nottingham Malaysia University analyst Zaharom Nain said that it did not matter whether Najib or Muhyiddin led Umno as the right wing faction in the party is getting stronger.

"Would it really make much of a difference if it is Najib or Muhyiddin? Push comes to shove, aren't they but mirror images of one other?"

"Indeed, bottom line is that the right-wing faction in Umno is getting stronger and both leaders are invariably constrained by this," said Zaharom.

(READ MORE HERE)

***********************************************

Students of history will know that the tussle between King Henry VIII and Rome was more than just about getting the Pope's permission to divorce his Queen. That is the more popular notion, of course, because that sounds more 'romantic'. But there are other more crucial factors to be considered in the reason behind England's break from Rome.

The church throughout Europe was very rich. The church owned 20% of the land and the noblemen another 20%. And the serfs paid the church (and the nobles) heavy taxes to work this land -- money that the church sent to Rome. Hence Rome was a source of 'capital flight' that for centuries had been 'stealing' the wealth of England.

Europe, England included, was perpetually involved in wars and this drained the treasury. It came to a stage that the state coffers had dried up and the only way the Crown could get its hands on more money was to raise taxes (which means, of course, tax the nobles) or confiscate the church's property (which was exempted from taxes) and stop the outflow of wealth to Rome.

Henry VIII decided on the latter and overnight the King of England became the richest monarch in Europe (after hovering on the verge of bankruptcy). He, of course, had to burn the Catholic churches and kill all the Catholic priests in the process.

King Charles I, about 100 years later, faced the same financial crisis that Henry VIII faced -- and for the same reason as well, wars. But there were no church properties to confiscate so be raised taxes (meaning the nobles now had to pay higher taxes).

This upset the nobles who protested (together with the rakyat, who the nobles transferred the increased taxes to) and this caused a split between the pro-monarchs and the anti-monarchs. Not long after that the English Civil War broke out and England became a Republic after the execution of the King.

Just like in the case of Henry VIII, the popular notion is that Charles and Parliament disagreed on issues involving Christianity. Hence it was a 'Sunni-Shia' conflict of sorts. However, money was very much the factor in all this with religion being the excuse to go to war.

And so on and so forth for all the other conflicts and revolutions throughout Europe as well over 100 years from the early 1800s to the early 1900s. At the end of the day, money was always the reason to go to war and to kill each other -- with other factors being cited as the more 'noble' reason.

The point to all these stories is that what you see is not always what you get. You think you know the reason for what happened -- or for what is going on -- but you never really know what is 'behind the scenes'.

So, what do you understand about what is currently going on in Umno? Is this about the recent general election on 5th May 2013? Is this about how poorly Najib Tun Razak performed compared to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 8th March 2008?

Actually, Umno is not concerned about the results of the recent general election -- or at least they are not too concerned. They already knew back in 2012 that the best-case scenario was a win of 145 Parliament seats and the worst-case scenario was only 130 seats. Hence 133 seats is still within the 'boundary' although not as good as the 140 seats in 2008. And they won the states they expected to win and lost the states they expected to lose. So no big deal there as well.

So what is really going on in Umno then if this is not an aftershock to the 5th May 2013 general election? After all, Umno did increase its seats to 88 from just 79 in 2008. So it actually performed better by winning an additional nine seats.

What is going on in Umno is a power struggle between the rightists and the centrists. Umno is finally trying to decide whether it will move in the direction that Najib would like to bring it -- that is, to be more liberal -- or to move more towards the right -- that is, to be more Malay-centric and nationalistic.

Najib represents the face of liberal Umno. And the ultra-Malays do not like that. These people feel that Najib wasted his time in trying too hard to become a Prime Minister for all Malaysians when the non-Malays want Umno dead anyway. And the voting pattern of the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese, in the recent general election proved that Najib was barking up the wrong tree.

These people are of the opinion that Najib should have focused on the Malays and should have spent more resources on the Malays rather than try to woo the non-Malays. And the voting pattern proved that there is no way Umno can woo the non-Malays, not even with money, budgets and promises of this, that and the other.

Even the Umno 'running dogs' such as MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP, etc., which used to be able to get a reasonable level of non-Malay support in the past, can no longer do so. And PSY and his 'Gangnam Style' could not do it as well.

The 5th May 2013 'wakeup call' did wake Umno up. It is not that it did not. In fact, Umno already 'woke up' back in March 2008. It is just that they took a long time to stir out of bed after waking up. But now Umno has fully woken up to the fact that it needs to get its house in order.

But what do we mean by 'getting its house in order'? Your interpretation of what that means may not be quite the same as Umno's interpretation. To me, getting your house in order means more liberalism and democracy so that you can appeal to the 'middle ground'. To the rightists in Umno, 'getting its house in order' would mean being more Malay-centric and nationalistic so that you can appeal to the rural and nationalist Malays.

Hence we are going to see a battle to decide not only the new Umno leadership but the direction Umno is to take over these next four or five years leading to the 14th General Election. Those who feel that Umno needs to appeal to the middle ground will back Najib. Those who feel that Najib has 'sold out' to the non-Malays will oppose him.

It does not matter whether Najib is going to be challenged or not in the party's general assembly. Pak Lah was not challenged either. Pak Lah was not ousted during the general assembly. He was ousted after that. And that too will be when Najib is going to be ousted if he is ousted -- after the general assembly.

And if Najib is ousted that is going to mean only one thing -- and that is Umno is moving to the right and the liberals in Umno will no longer have a voice. And that can only bring Malaysia deeper into racial politics at the risk of exploding some time in the future to fulfill Lim Kit Siang's prophecy of a time bomb ticking away in Malaysia.

 

Prosecution wins appeal against Yazid Sufaat's acquittal over terror charge

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:54 PM PDT

(The Star) - The Court of Appeal has ordered the terrorism case of former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat to be heard before a new High Court judge.

The panel led by Justice Abu Samah Nordin allowed the prosecution's appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision to acquit and discharge Yazid and cafeteria helper Muhammad Hilmi Hasim of charges of promoting acts of terrorism in strife-torn Syria.

"The learned judge had erred in his interpretation of the charges. It did not refer to acts of terrorism outside the country," Justice Abu Samah said Tuesday.

He added that counsel for Yazid, Amer Hamzah Arshad had conceded that threats to security could come from within or outside the country.

"The judge also misconstrued Article 149 (of the Federal Constitution), the charge against the respondents (Yazid and Muhammad Hilmi) are within the scope of Article 149," ruled Justice Abu Samah.

The panel, which also included Justices Zawawi Salleh and Azhar Mohamed, remitted the case back to the Kuala Lumpur High Court and fixed June 24 for next mention.

The court also set Aug 5 for the case mention of religious teacher Halimah Hussein, charged with abetting Yazid in the same case.

Counsel Amer applied for a stay of proceedings, saying that the High Court had ordered all three be tried together pending the appeal.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria raised no objection to the application, which was allowed by the panel.

The Court of Appeal had, on May 31, issued a warrant of arrest for Halimah, who is the second respondent in the prosecution's appeal and has so far failed to appear in court.

Amer had submitted that even if the case was ordered to go to trial, it should be done through the Criminal Procedure Code, not the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) which would deny the accused certain liberties in the trial.

"Let us see their witnesses face to face, so we can cross examine them, not have them hidden behind some veil of secrecy," said Amer.

Under Sosma, the prosecution would be allowed to use witness testimony without requiring the witness to attend court.

On Feb 8, Yazid was charged with promoting acts of terrorism in Syria.

Halimah and Muhammad Hilmi were later charged with abetting Yazid at a house in Ampang between August and October, last year.

The three were alleged to have "threatened the public in Syria" with these acts, the penalty for which is up to 30 years' jail and a fine under Section 130G (a) of the Penal Code.

They were the first people to be arrested under Sosma.

On May 20, High Court Judge Kamardin Hashim ruled that the Act could not be used against the three, as it was went beyond the scope of Article 149 of the Federal Constitution, which covered only domestic terrorism.

He said Sosma could not be used as a procedure to prove the charge against Yazid, 49, Muhammad Hilmi, 33, and Halimah, 52.

Yazid was detained under the ISA in 2001 for seven years on suspicion of being involved with the Jemaah Islamiyah militant group.

 

Dr Mahathir regrets internet freedom

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:46 PM PDT

Md Izwan, TMI

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted today he might have made a mistake in giving guarantees for internet freedom, which has been blamed for empowering and enabling opposition parties to win more seats in Election 2013.

The former prime minister said if he had the opportunity to do so again he would reconsider his decision to grant absolute freedom for the internet when setting up the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in 1996.

"When I headed the MSC, I was asked by an American woman whether we would block the internet.

"I told her no, we will be very free... but now I will think twice about it," Dr Mahathir said at the closing of the CEO Forum 2013 at the Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur today.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Dr M concealing Umno’s divide’

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:42 PM PDT

Several analysts say that the growing calls of no contest for Umno's top two posts is an attempt to conceal the divide in the party. 

Nottingham Malaysia University analyst Zaharom Nain said that it did not matter whether Najib or Muhyiddin led Umno as the right wing faction in the party is getting stronger.

G Vinod, FMT

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is attempting to keep the divide within Umno under wraps with his call that the top two posts in the party not be contested, said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.

He said that after Barisan Nasional's poor performance in the general election, Umno is undergoing a period of uncertainty and is currently mulling two options.

The options are whether to become more Malay centric in its approach or to convert BN into a single party for all races.

"Mahathir is trying to keep the fight between the respective factions in support of either options within Umno's walls.

"If there is contest for the top posts, the battle may come out in the open and the party will become a target for its opponnents," said Khoo.

Yesterday, Mahathir backed the growing calls within Umno circles to leave Najib Tun Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin to remain party president and deputy president respectively.

He said the contest for the top two positions would split Umno, like what happened in 1987, when then Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Mahathir for the presidency.

"Going by the democratic practice, we should have contests but Malaysians do not really understand the practice.

"If they lose, they will quit the party and set up another, causing the Malays and Umno to split further, " Mahathir was reported as saying.

Khoo said that at the end of the day, it did not matter who was helming Umno as the real decision makers in the party would be its supreme council members.

"The real focus should be on its supreme council as they will decide on which direction the party president will have to take.

"So even if Najib wants to push forward his liberal ideas, his fate will be determined by the supreme council," he said.

However as a democratic party, Khoo said Umno members should allow contest for all posts in the party.

"And Umno will see 150,000 of its delegates participating in the party election this time around," he added.

READ MORE HERE

 

Bar Council: Translating Constitution causing confusion

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:33 PM PDT

The Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong claims that the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the Federal Constitution is leading to a lot of misinterpretation.

G Lavendran, FMT

Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong claims that the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Federal Constitution is causing a lot of confusion when translated.

He said the act of translating the Federal Constitution was not an amendment of the Federal Constitution.

He said this following the case of V Mithran,5, and V Sharmila,8, who were allegedly converted forcefully by their estranged father N Viran.

Viran had converted to Islam and also converted the children without the consent of their mother, only known as Deepa.

Highlighting the two articles within the Federal Constitution Christopher said the unilateral conversion of minor children to any religion by a parent, without the consent of the non-converting parent creates social injustice and violates the rights of the non-converting parent.

Article 12(3) of the Federal Constitution states that "No person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own.

Article 12(4) provides that "For the purposes of Clause (3), the religion of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be decided by his parent or guardian." (emphases added)

"Article 160 of the Federal Constitution explains the rules of interpretation.

"It is stated that words importing the masculine gender include females and words in the singular includes plural and vice versa," he said in a statement.

"Accordingly, unilateral religious conversions of any minors in breach of this are unconstitutional," he added.

Christopher said there was presently confusion in the Bahasa Malaysia version of article 12(4) when the translation is done directly without any further contemplation.

 

It’s not about you

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 07:04 PM PDT

And all, I repeat, ALL, these people pay 'protection money' to the police. So is this not Chinese bribing Malays? Hence if Chinese do not respect Malays for taking bribes do we respect the Chinese for bribing Malays? Again, just like the ex-Mufti regarding the issue of criticising the monarchs, the ex-IGP did not explain this part.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

From time to time, friends contact me to tell me that they or so-and-so within our 'circle' are not happy with me. They then cite my 'stand' as the reason for their unhappiness. Some have even 'deleted' me from their Skype or Blackberry contact list so that I can no longer reach them. Others ignore my text messages or emails as a 'message' that I am no longer 'in their life'.

Invariably, most of these people are 'new' friends -- people who have become my friends since 2007-2008 or since the days of Reformasi-Free Anwar Campaign of 2000.

On the reverse side, quite a number who had been my friends since the 1960s (my school days) or the 1970s-1980s (my working days) stopped being my friends after 2000 because they did not agree with my 'stand' -- meaning I supported Reformasi-Anwar Ibrahim and they did not: so they are not happy with me.

At the end of the day, the termination of our friendship is all about their happiness or unhappiness. When I make them unhappy by taking a 'stand' opposite to them then I cease to be their friends. In other words, our continued friendship depends on whether I can continue to make them happy. And if I cannot continue to make them happy then our friendship has to end.

None of these people ask me about my happiness. It is all about their happiness. And if I am unable to make them happy then our friendship has to end. It is a one-way street. It is only about their happiness. My happiness or unhappiness does not factor into our friendship. As long as they are happy it does not matter whether I am happy or unhappy. My happiness or unhappiness is not a criterion to our friendship.

I suppose this reveals the true character (or lack of character) of these ex-friends of mine. Our friendship is based on how I can make them happy. And if I cannot make them happy, or cannot continue to make them happy, then they see no value in being friends with me.

I wonder what type of marriage these people have. Is their marriage based on whether their spouse can make them happy? And if their spouse cannot make them happy then they would consider it a bad marriage, I suppose.  Their marriage is not based on whether they can make their spouse happy. It is about whether their spouse can make them happy.

This is the same very selfish attitude of voters all over the world -- never mind whether it is in first-world or third-world countries. They vote for people who can make them happy. It is about their happiness and not about what is good for society or good the country. It is always about me…me…me.

If you can promise the voters cheap houses, cheap cars, cheap petrol, no tax, more and better highways, no toll charges, higher salaries, lower cost of living, no council tax, free schooling, free healthcare, and much more, then they will vote for you.

But how do you pay for all this? Who will be paying for all this? Over the long term is this good for the country's financial health? Can the country sustain itself with no taxes while giving away everything free?

That, of course, is of no concern to the voters. They want no taxes and everything free. That will make them happy. Even if that is not good for the country it is okay just as long as they are happy. Their happiness comes first. The country's 'health' comes last.

Never mind whether it is friends, family or voters, the same rule applies. If you make me happy I am your friend/supporter. If you cannot then I have absolutely no use for you. Whether the relationship also makes you happy is of no consequence to me. This is just about me…me…me.

This is what was reported in Free Malaysia Today:

While openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is permissible, there is a limit to it, says ex-mufti.

Openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and royal family is permissible but criticisms have to be constructive and polite, a former mufti said today.

Ex-Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said today it was not wrong to disagree with the King and kin, as they are "not Allah and the prophet (Muhammad), but human beings like the rest of us". (Read more here).

I am both happy and unhappy with this statement (yes, this is now about MY happiness). I am happy because I have been constantly criticised regarding my 'distorted' views on Islam and now we have one of the most renowned Muftis saying what I have been saying for so long. So that makes me happy. I am happy when people agree with me and prove me right. I am unhappy when they do not agree with me.

And is this not how most of you look at things as well? You used to be very happy when Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian Chinese, became world-famous. This shows that the Chinese are great. But you are now unhappy because she supports Barisan Nasional. This shows that the Chinese are sometimes 'stupid'. The fact that the Chinese have been 'stupid' for more than 50 years since 1955 does not matter. That is in the past. Today, the Chinese are already clever and Michelle Yeoh is spoiling everything by showing that some Chinese are still 'stupid'.

Is Michelle Yeoh happy? That does not matter. This is not about her happiness. Her happiness is of no consequence. This is only about your happiness -- me...me…me.

Okay, I am both happy and unhappy with the ex-Mufti's statement. I am happy that finally someone with the 'right' religious credentials agrees with what I have been saying and thus proving that my views are not 'distorted'. But I am unhappy because he did not also say that monarchs do not exist in Islam. Why did the ex-Mufti not go one step further and argue that Islam does not recognise monarchies?

So, he says that it is not wrong in criticising the monarchs. But then is it wrong if we also criticise the monarchy? There is a difference here. Criticising the monarch is different from criticising the monarchy. Criticising the monarch is criticising the person while criticising the monarchy is criticising the system.

For example, we may criticise the Election Commission but that does not mean we are also criticising the manner in which we choose our government -- meaning through Parliamentary and State elections. So, criticising one does not mean we are also criticising the other.

The ex-IGP too has criticised the Malays. (Why do all these people criticise something only when they are 'ex' and not while they are still in office?). The ex-IGP (read more here) said that the Chinese do not respect the Malays because the Malays are corrupt.

Fair comment, I suppose. But the ex-IGP's interpretation of 'corruption' is merely regarding receiving bribes. What about the act of giving bribes? Should the Malays now also not respect the Chinese because they pay bribes?

I know sometimes Malays bribe Malays while Chinese bribe Chinese. However, most of the civil servants and police officers are Malays and these are the people who take bribes. Hence the bribe-takers, as what the ex-IGP is implying, are Malays. But then whom are the ones paying these bribes?

The underworld, triads and prostitution, loan shark, gambling and drug syndicates are Chinese-run. I have, in fact, personally met many of their bosses and many hold Datuk and Tan Sri titles. They are actually very nice people (until you cross them) and I know I am well protected with them as my friends. So don't try to threaten my life or else you will end up in a mining pool.

And all, I repeat, ALL, these people pay 'protection money' to the police. So is this not Chinese bribing Malays? Hence if Chinese do not respect Malays for taking bribes do we respect the Chinese for bribing Malays? Again, just like the ex-Mufti regarding the issue of criticising the monarchs, the ex-IGP did not explain this part.

Anyway, what is the definition of corruption? Is corruption only about receiving money? There are many types of corruption. Corruption is not just about receiving money.

Let's go through some examples. There are many but for purposes of this article allow me to highlight a few.

The government says that 90% of the personal income tax is paid by the Chinese. This tax is then used to build mosques. So, technically, the taxpayers are paying for these mosques. But then the non-Muslims, say the Christians, are not at liberty to build churches.

The Christians are not even asking for the government to pay for the building of these churches. They are prepared to pay for the cost themselves. They just want permission to build the churches. But even this is not easy to obtain.

Is this not another form of corruption?

UiTM is 100% Malay and it is funded by the government from money paid by the taxpayers. The non-Malays pay 90% of the tax to build schools that are 100% Malay. Is this not yet another form of corruption?

So corruption is not just about Malays receiving bribes from the Chinese. There are so many forms of corruption. The only thing is we do not call it corruption. We call it the New Economic Policy.

Why are the IGPs and DIGPs Malay? Are there no Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, etc., who are equally qualified or better qualified to become the IGP or DIGP? Why must only Malays hold top positions in the government, police, military, GLCs, etc?

Is this not corruption when the better candidate is by-passed because of race in favour of a less capable Malay?

We need to broaden our perspective regarding the meaning of corruption. Bribes is merely one and very basic form of corruption. Corruption extends beyond just the act of receiving bribes. And Islam is not just about criticising the person (like a monarch) but also about criticising the system (like the monarchy).

You cannot be a little bit pregnant. You also cannot criticise the dog collar when it is the dog that bit you.

 

PKR: Black 505 rally at Padang Merbok

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 03:56 PM PDT

With four days to go before the Black 505 rally in Padang Merbok, PKR is going ahead and making preparations for the event on Saturday.

Leven Woon, FMT

PKR has started making preparations to use Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur as the venue for the Black 505 rally on Saturday.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli told FMT today that they had set up a technical team headed by the rally chief organiser Johari Abdul and PAS deputy president Mohd Sabu.

Asked what if the field is fenced up later this week, he said they would still congregate at Padang Merbok.

"Our technical team will make contingency plans, including crowd control for the day," he said.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has reject PKR's application to use the venue last week saying that the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) need to use it on Saturday to prepare for a charity run the next day, preserve the landscape surrounding Padang Merbok and to avoid traffic congestion.

Both the parties met last Friday but failed to come to an agreement, with PKR saying they would consult the NGOs involved before making the final decision.

Rafizi said today the rally slated for noon on Saturday would not coincide with the scheduled preparations of OCM which would only begin after 6pm.

"As far as we are told by the DBKL, OCM can only put up things after 6pm. That's no such thing that our rally will interfere with OCM's preparations.

"Besides, they will not even use the field while the run will begin and end at Dataran Merdeka," he said.

He also said NGO leaders such as Anything But Umno's Haris Ibrahim and Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia's Badrul Hisham Shaharin had agreed to the arrangements.

Pakatan Rakyat has been organising a string of Black 505 rallies nationwide in protest of the alleged frauds in the recent 13th General Election.

 

Peaceful Asembly Act protects rights of all

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 03:41 PM PDT

FMT LETTER: From Thomas Samuel, via e-mail

We are all aware that excess is more often not a choice in dealing with creating unity and providing a fair platform for communities to live, work and stay together in a multi-racial country like ours. This is essentially the spirit in which the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was presented and gazetted in parliament on Feb 9, 2012.

If we care to read the Act which is available on the internet, you will come to realise that it has more benefits than otherwise. It is an Act that tries to protect the interest of all Malaysians and at the same time provide them a legal avenue to assemble and voice their opinion and/or objection on any matter of interest that they believe in.

It is a fair and responsible Act that in no way deprives anybody of their 'rights'. Anybody intending to assemble in public and voice their objection or opinion can do so subject to restrictions deemed necessary in the interest of security or public order, including the protection of the rights and freedoms of other persons.

Why many of us fail to see the rational on the refusal by the authorities to approve certain assemblies is simply because we are blinded to the rights and freedoms of others who are NOT involved in that particular assembly. The taxi driver, the restaurant owners, the family which is out for a peaceful traffic free shopping, motorist who will be affected by traffic jams and many others who will in one way or another be affected by these assemblies. The authorities have to do a holistic evaluation and ensure minimum disruption to the rights and freedoms of those not involved in the assemblies as well. This is where the conflict occurs!

It is impossible to have an assembly with no disruption to the normal pace of life at any chosen venue. An enclosed or private area like a stadium will be ideal to minimise the disruption to others. Such places also provide the authorities better management of security and safety of the participants. In essence, the Act encourages healthy participation and is also concerned about the safety of the participant's as well non participants.

Why some organisers' insist on having the assemblies at common, high traffic open areas baffles me! Open areas are surely not safe and the chances of chaos and violence are higher at such venues. If the sole intention of the organiser is to put forth their objections or views and show the support they have, then a much safer environment may achieve the same results with reduced possibility of things going wrong. So what is the intention of organisers' who insist of having gatherings in open areas or public roads?

The Act also prohibits children below the age of 15 to participate at such gatherings. However, it is so common to see parents bringing their children below the age of 15 for such events. The Act is there to protect the children but the organisers' are not bothered to enforce these rules. If things go out of hand and the children become victims, fingers will squarely be pointed to the authorities. Again, what is the intention of the organisers' in closing a blind eye to the Act by allowing children to be part of these gatherings?

One of the articles in the Act reads, "The officer in charge of the police district shall take into account all the concerns and objections received for the purpose of imposing restrictions and conditions of any assembly. And inform the organisers of any restrictions and conditions for a peaceful assembly within five days of receipt of the same." Again we see that the spirit of the Act is to encourage peaceful assembly with concerns of all taken into account.

To ensure the rights and freedoms of all involved and affected by the assembly, the authorities may have to provide additional guidelines and conditions that may not be acceptable to the organiser. What the organisers' fail to understand is that these guidelines and conditions are put in place to manage everybody's expectations. The organisers' have to realise that there are as many people who support their cause as there are those who oppose them. The authorities have to maintain a balance so nobody feels discriminated.

When organisers' of such gatherings protest the additional conditions imposed, it just goes to show that they are inconsiderate to other peoples' views. What does this say of such organisers?

Malaysia is a peaceful country and we surely wish it to be the same or better for our children and the generations to come. We should embrace the spirit of the Act and create less animosity and anger among Malaysians. Moderation, respect and compromise are key elements to ensure we continue to enjoy the peace and unity of our beloved country. Let not some idealistic leader or leaders who are self-centred destroy the unity of this country.

 

Penebat kilat runtuh, perlu tanya Anwar

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 03:24 PM PDT

"Dalam surat itu, Tsu Koon memaklumkan bahawa beliau perlu melaporkan perkara itu kepada Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Pulau Pinang ketika itu, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim."

(Sinar Harian) - Ahli Parlimen Tanjung, Ng Wei Aik mempersoalkan tindakan kerajaan negeri yang diterajui Gerakan sebelum ini berhubung kebenaran pembinaan Menara Umno dibina sebelum pelan pembangunannya dikemukakan dan diluluskan.

Menurutnya, kerajaan tempatan ketika itu membenarkan bangunan itu dibangunkan seperti yang dimohon kontraktor di atas klasifikasi sebagai kerja khas iaitu pada 23 Disember 1995, sedangkan pelan bangunan yang pertama diserahkan selepas dua tahun iaitu pada 31 Julai 1997 manakala pelan yang diubahsuai pula dihantar pada 24 Julai 1998.

"Bagaimana kerajaan negeri ketika itu tunduk kepada Umno negeri dengan membenarkan kerja bermula walaupun pelan bangunan itu belum dikemuka?

Jika kita lihat dari sejarah terdahulu, pada 1 Oktober 1996, Timbalan Ketua Menteri ketika itu, Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar telah melawat bangunan berkenaan seolah-olah 'merestui' ia dibangunkan walaupun pembinaan pelan bangunan masih belum diserahkan.

"Selepas itu, bekas Ketua Menteri, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon pula mengeluarkan satu surat kepada Exco kerajaan negeri, Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan untuk bertanya kepadanya alasan mengapa berlaku kelewatan di dalam projek berkenaan.

"Dalam surat itu, Tsu Koon memaklumkan bahawa beliau perlu melaporkan perkara itu kepada Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Pulau Pinang ketika itu, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim," katanya kepada media di tapak kejadian semalam.

Ketika dihubungi, Hock Nan berkata, kejadian itu berpunca daripada 'masalah teknikal yang berlaku semasa bencana alam' yang mana arkitek dan jurutera terlibat tidak dapat meramalkan bahawa penebat kilat itu akan jatuh dari bangunan berkenaan.

"Terdapat banyak bangunan lain dengan struktur yang sama seperti di Menara Umno namun, selagi arkitek bertanggungjawab bersedia untuk membayar denda jika mereka tidak mematuhi garis panduan, prosedur dan pelan bangunan, saya rasa itu tidak menimbulkan masalah. Kita mengadakan garis panduan dan prosedur yang ketat serta telus pada masa bangunan itu dibangunkan.

"Arkitek yang dilantik juga adalah dari sebuah syarikat antarabangsa terkenal dan pernah memenangi anugerah di peringkat antarabangsa berikutan hasil kerja mereka setaraf dengan anugerah yang diberikan.

Apa yang Wei Aik cuba sampaikan dengan mengajukan soalan sebegini?" katanya.

Menurutnya, Wei Aik tidak sepatutnya menyalahkan mana-mana pihak berikutan apa yang lebih penting ialah memastikan kejadian itu tidak berlaku lagi pada masa akan datang.

"Persoalan beliau dilihat seperti cuba untuk memberi gambaran bahawa kerajaan negeri sebelum ini membenarkan bangunan itu dibina dengan cepat seperti yang dimahukan Umno tanpa mengambil kira keselamatan orang awam.

"Kenyataan itu sangat tidak bertanggungjawab dan tidak wajar dikeluarkan. Tidak wajar untuk mewujudkan kebencian rakyat terhadap  pentadbiran kerajaan sebelum ini terutama kepada keluarga dan rakan-rakan mangsa," katanya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Pemuda Umno, Dr Shaik Hussein Mydin berkata, bangunan itu dibina pada 1998.

"Seingat saya, bangunan ini dibina pada 1998 iaitu ketika Anwar selaku orang pertama dalam Umno di negeri ini. Oleh itu, saya tidak boleh komen lebih berhubung status bangunan ini serta reka bentuknya.

"Jika sesiapa yang hendak tahu lebih berhubung perkara ini, sila bertanya kepada Anwar kerana saya percaya, beliau lebih tahu semuanya," katanya.

 

There’s no plan to topple Government

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 03:13 PM PDT

(The Star) - Organisers of an Opposition rally here on Saturday say they are not out to create an "Arab Spring" and have no intention to bring down the Government.

"This is our end route to call for free and fair elections," said social activist and blogger Badrul Hisham Shaharin.

He added that the organisers would comply with police directives at the rally and hand over any troublemaker during the event.

The so-called "black" rally at Padang Merbok, however, is deemed illegal because the organisers have allegedly failed to meet the requirements of the Peaceful Assembly Act and get approval from City Hall to use the field.

Furthermore, the Olympic Council of Malaysia had booked the field in preparation for an Olympic Run that would be held on Sunday.

Mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib had suggested that the rally be held at a stadium but the proposal has been shot down by the organisers.

(The Arab Spring refers to the wave of demonstrations that led to riots and civil wars in the Arab world since 2010, forcing governments to fall in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.)

Badrul Hisham, who chairs NGO Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) and blogs under the name Chegubard, said some supporters planned to camp at Padang Merbok and the nearby Dataran Merdeka ahead of the rally.

"As SAMM chairman, I support this but I will meet these groups to see how we can plan this (camping out) in an organised manner," he said.

He reiterated that the rally would demand for the resignation of the entire Election Commission and make calls for fresh polls in constituencies where there were alleged irregularities.

 

The present Malay dilemma

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 03:01 PM PDT

Malay political leaders who have achieved the pinnacle of their career do so by a combination of guile, political pedigree and money – plenty of money.

CT Ali, FMT

Malays who are pillars and leaders of society, Malays who are in high public offices, Malays possessing great executive and political power with wide discretion in using that power and minimal accountability, will, more often than not, misuse that power to their personal advantage, resulting in the detriment of the very people whom they lead.

This was true of the Sultans who were not hesitant on calling upon the British to safeguard their royal prerogatives while surrendering their interest, that of their subjects and of their country into the avaricious hands of the British.

The British then proceeded to hand over part of our nation in the north to Thailand and unilaterally reigned over Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor, Johor, Kedah and Perak – appointing themselves as "advisors" to these Sultans "whose advise must be acted upon".

In the process Sultans who were compliant with the wishes of the British were put on the thrones of Kedah, Perak and elsewhere and whatever changes deemed necessary by the British to the constitution of Malaya to reflect the interest of the British – changes that have literally changed forever the very foundation of our nation – for good and for bad.

This is also true of Umno from the time they took government after Merdeka to this very day where political power in their hands were abuse for the personal gain of their own kind to the detriment of the Malays and our nation.

And it is true today of those Malays who have been privileged to hold high public office and who then proceed to sell their executive powers along with their integrity and credibility to the highest bidders while taking for themselves whatever could be taken from our national coffers.
How cheaply they sell themselves and how little they care for the common good of our people and our nation! They do not seem to understand that with great power comes great responsibility.

This not to say that all Malays with power will misuse that power but the prevalence of this scourge amongst Malay leaders plagues too many of them, so many that it raises the question of whether the Malays can really lead responsibly.

As a Malay, it pains me to raise that question that only a Malay can rightfully ask of his own leaders before others ask it – if that is not already being done.

For the Malays, the sum of the negatives far outweighs the positive. Our problems are multi dimensional but none more so than the dearth of worthy leaders to lead us in this darkest hour of our nation, if not of the Malays.

Malay political leaders who have achieved the pinnacle of their career do so by a combination of guile, political pedigree and money – plenty of money.

It is never by being a force for common good and for positive change within their party, within government and for the people and our nation.

It gives rise to the question as to what they will do once power is in their hands. How will they sustain and keep their hold on power? With guile, with an over dependence on their political pedigree (for whatever it is worth), and with money too?

And none reflect this more than the two alpha Malay leaders that now take centre stage in our political life – Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Tun Razak.

Abusing the trust

Both had greatness thrust upon them at an early age not by their own accord but by others. Najib because of his pedigree and Anwar by Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Whether deserved or not of that greatness, both then proceeded with unrestrained aplomb to abuse the trust placed upon them.

Najib through his personal indiscretion and a lacklustre political career, Anwar by his rabid attempts at consolidating around him political power and the financial means to achieve that power.

Today we know enough of these two individuals to wonder how is it that after all that they have done to themselves, to our people and to our country, they are still at the top of the heap amongst the Malays, nay amongst all Malaysian, to be able to give us no other choices for our leaders but themselves! How is this so?

Are the Malays selling themselves short? Of course we are! We deserve better! We cannot be silent anymore.

We cannot continue doing nothing anymore, and there is no time quite like the present if the Malays are to awake and begin the process of stopping the rot. Otherwise that saying "Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia" will no longer have any relevance or the ability to move future generations of Malays as it has moved Malays in the past.

Today the Malays are synonymous with political power – failed political power and abused political power!

Political power has been misused and abused for so long because the institutional framework that makes this possible exists. And it exists because of this outdated and horrendous belief that the majority rules, that the minority and the individual can be egregiously discriminated against with impunity by those in power, that justice will not prevail.

The result of the 13th general election is a travesty of what majority rule should be all about when it was first institutionalised by Umno in the time when it had its two-third majority in Parliament.

During that time, majority for Umno meant consolidating and maintaining their two-third majority in Parliament. This they proceeded to do by manipulating district boundaries to create a disproportionate political advantage for themselves.

It is like a household comprising of the father, mother and four children. The mother and the four children are given one vote each when it comes to deciding where they should go for a holiday.

The father gives himself six votes. So no matter how they vote it is the father who will have his way over the others. In Malaysia, Umno is the father and we are the rest of the family.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Okay to disagree with King’

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 02:00 PM PDT

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Dr-Mohd-Asri-Zainul-Abidin-300x225.jpg 

"Whoever believes the statements and actions of the King and his kin cannot be disputed, that means he has made a human being a God" 

(FMT) - While openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is permissible, there is a limit to it, says ex-mufti.

Openly disagreeing with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and royal family is permissible but criticisms have to be constructive and polite, a former mufti said today.

Ex-Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said today it was not wrong to disagree with the King and kin, as they are "not Allah and the prophet (Muhammad), but human beings like the rest of us".

Mohd Asri's statement follows numerous reports of individuals being arrested for seditious remarks against the king Tuanku Abdul
Halim Mu'adzam Shah. However, he stressed that comments and criticisms had to be polite and respectful.

"I am a free man. I may give an opinion that is different from them, but that does not mean I do not respect them. I respect them as a
ruler, but they are not Allah and rasul (prophet)," Mohd Asri told FMT.

He explained his need to clarify the issue as he claimed both Muslims and non-Muslims alike believe Islam forbids its followers to speak out against the King.

"I am performing my role as a scholar. I do not want to intervene politically, but want to give the right opinion on Islam so that people do not misunderstand," he said.

"Only Allah and His book (the Holy Quran) are free from criticism. Even the prophet Muhammad was faced with open criticisms and differences in opinion during his lifetime unless delivering His divine messages.

Read more at: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/06/18/okay-to-disagree-with-king/ 

 

'Standing man' inspires silent demonstration in Turkey

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:53 PM PDT

(CNN) - A single man stood silently in Istanbul's Taksim Square for hours Monday night, defying police who broke up weekend anti-government protests with tear gas and water cannon and drawing hundreds of others to his vigil.

For more than five hours, he appeared to stare at a portrait of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state. Police eventually moved in to arrest many of those who joined him, but whether Erdem Gunduz -- a performance artist quickly dubbed the "standing man" -- was in custody was unclear early Tuesday.

Turkey has been wracked by more than two weeks of protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But many of those who joined Gunduz late Monday said they were standing only for peace, not taking sides.

"I'm standing against all violence," said Koray Konuk, one of those arrested. "I'm standing there so that the events that we've been witnessing and the events taking place over the last two to three weeks can come to a standstill."

Konuk, 45, told CNN that police put him on a bus with up to 20 other people who had joined Gunduz, but Gunduz was not with them.

"I was just standing. They arrested a man who was just standing," he said. "That is absurd."

Monday's hushed tableau came two days after police swept into Taksim Square and neighboring Gezi Park to clear out anti-Erdogan protesters. The demonstrators tried to return to the park on Sunday, only to be driven back by police.

Trade unions put fresh pressure on Erdogan earlier Monday, mounting a nationwide strike. But a crowd that marched on Taksim Square dispersed when faced with riot squads backed by water cannon.

The protests started at the end of May over authorities' plans to turn Gezi Park, central Istanbul's last green space, into a mall. They quickly turned into large anti-government demonstrations that included calls for political reforms.

'There is a level of desperation'

Read more at: http://m.cnn.com/primary/cnnd_fullarticle?topic=newsarticle&category=cnnd_latest&articleId=cnn/2013/06/17/world/europe/turkey-protests#page2 

Differences take a new twist

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:50 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - Two MIC appointees in Perak govt fail to show up citing professional reasons 

THE unsettled business between MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir (pic) regarding the position of the state legislative assembly speaker is taking a new twist.

While Palanivel is adamant his party would reject any posts in the Perak government if it was not given the speaker's chair, two of his men have been offered positions in the state government to represent the Indian community.

On Friday, in a press statement from the menteri besar's office Lumut MIC division chief V. Elango was named adviser to menteri besar while MIC national Youth secretary-general C. Sivaraj for the position of a special officer effective last Saturday.

Both were supposed to report for duty yesterday but did not show up to sign their letters of appointment.

Both claimed that they needed more time.

"I am still attached to Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan as the 1Malaysia unit manager and I need to resign before I take up a new position," Sivaraj told The Malay Mail.

He said he needed time to handover most of his responsibilities in the party to his assistant before taking up the position.

Although Elango and Sivaraj have cited professional reasons for the delay, party insiders have indicated the duo are tied down by the party's stand.

"The party will have to deliberate on the matter before they are allowed to take any positions offered. The party is still firm on their stand in wanting the speaker's post," he said.

It is learnt that MIC central working committee (CWC) was expected to discuss the matter today.

"That's why both are bidding for more time. They want to make sure they do not offend any side. But it will be sticky if they have to choose either one," he said.

The senior member said although most party members hoped Palanivel and Zambry would sort their differences as soon as possible, the chances are looking slimmer by the day.

"The battle is getting tougher with each one trying to outdo the other," he said. 

 

‘Chua may defend his post’

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:47 PM PDT

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Chua-Soi-Lek-MCA-300x202.jpg 

(FMT) - If the grassroots insist, the MCA president may defend his post in the coming party polls.

There is a possibility that MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek may change his mind and defend his post in the next party polls, said a MCA insider.

"In politics, anything is possible. If the grassroots want Chua to remain, he may just do that," he told FMT.

On May 6, Chua announced that he would not be defending his presidency in the party polls scheduled to be held end of the year.

The decision was triggered after MCA performed poorly in the general election.

In addition, Chua also upheld the party's resolution in not accepting any government posts due to the dismal performance, which caused friction among party leaders.

Describing Chua as a tactical genius, the party insider said that the former health minister had always been effective in usurping his rivals "at the last minute".

"Look at Chua's track record. Despite being marred with a sex scandal, he managed to become MCA deputy president in 2008 after resigning from all posts.

"And in the 2009 party polls, he managed to dislodge then party president Ong Tee Keat and former party president Ong Ka Ting to become MCA president. Don't underestimate him," said the source.

The party insider added that those opposed to Chua must remain on high alert as the vocal party leader had been very quiet in recent times.

"It means Chua has something up his sleeve," said the source.

Read more at: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/06/18/chua-may-defend-his-post/ 

No future in hate: what Mandela taught us all

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:38 PM PDT

http://www.biography.com/imported/images/Biography/Images/Profiles/M/Nelson-Mandela-9397017-1-402.jpg 

(Rappler) - Mandela chose forgiveness as a tool to liberate himself from the shackles of resentment and in so doing, inspired his fellow South Africans to do the same. He helped the African National Congress, the ruling party, to transition from a liberation struggle party to one that governs and accepts a government in which ex-revolutionaries sit alongside ex-enemies.

You have probably read the news by now.

 

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's iconic liberation hero and father figure, is once again in hospital fighting a persistent lung infection. With this being his fourth hospitalization in six months, the prognosis for our 94-year-old former president is not good.

 

Our nation is now facing the psychological battle of acknowledging and accepting the inevitably imminent passing of our beloved 'Madiba.' In the face of political and economic uncertainty, South Africans are holding on to our ailing hero as the remaining thread of consistency in our miracle 'rainbow nation' story.

 

Although President Mandela left the political stage in 1999 after one term as Head of State, one would be hard-pressed to find a South African today, fourteen years later, who has not been profoundly influenced by the world's most famous political prisoner. His 27 years spent behind bars fighting the apartheid regime followed by his reconciliatory efforts after the historic national peace and constitutional negotiations of the early 1990s, has earned him respect and admiration the world over.

 

For the average South African like myself, he has become the symbol of our better nature—the personification of humanity, forgiveness and non-racialism.

 

As a resident of Johannesburg, I often have the privilege of taking my international friends around the city when they visit. The sight I am often most excited to show off is Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, Soweto.

 

Why? My family's first home was in the area and I was born into a resilient but deeply traumatized community.

 

Vilakazi Street also housed a powerful symbol of liberation in the form of Mandela's first home—a very modest four room house that was often petrol-bombed and raided by members of the police force under the apartheid regime. Vilakazi Street also was and continues to be Archbishop Desmond Tutu's residence, thus making it the only street in the world that has housed two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

HOME. On Vilakazi street, one can find Mandela's first home which has now been turned into a museum. Photo by Zanele HlatshwayoHOME. On Vilakazi street, one can find Mandela's first home which has now been turned into a museum. Photo by Zanele Hlatshwayo

This street is steeped in history and every time I visit I am reminded of both the injustices of apartheid but also of the overwhelming ability of human beings to endure, to overcome and most importantly, to forgive. A bloodless and democratic post-apartheid South Africa has been nothing short of a miracle. We have Madiba to thank for this.

 

His insistence on replacing anger and resentment with forgiveness and tolerance following his release from prison elevated him to iconic status. In response to a question in 1993 regarding South Africa's post-apartheid future, Mandela famously responded 'I see a country for everyone, a rainbow nation, a country at peace with itself and with the world. I see no future in hate'.

 

This remarkable human being was able to see the humanity in the faces of the prison warders who tortured him, of the police officers who ruthlessly killed his friends and comrades and, of the indignant westerners who turned their backs on non-white South Africans at a time when they needed them most.

 

Mandela chose forgiveness as a tool to liberate himself from the shackles of resentment and in so doing, inspired his fellow South Africans to do the same. He helped the African National Congress, the ruling party, to transition from a liberation struggle party to one that governs and accepts a government in which ex-revolutionaries sit alongside ex-enemies.

 

Simply put: Mandela helped birth a unique leadership and magnanimity which astonished and impressed the international community in equal measure.

 

As a proud South African who grew up with Madiba as a second father, it is tempting to paint him and his role in the liberation struggle in rainbow colors. However, in the interest of remaining objective, it is important to highlight the fact that Mandela, as revered as he is, is human and thus fallible. As a disciplined and astute politician, he made decisions and compromises that were not always seen to be ideologically aligned. However, much like other global icons – like Mahatma Ghandi and Aung San Suu Kyi—Mandela believed in practical politics but still applied his values consistently.

Read more at: http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/ispeak/31429-no-future-hate-mandela-taught-us-all 

TPP: Apa kerajaan sorok?

Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:27 PM PDT

http://www.sinarharian.com.my/polopoly_fs/1.172743.1371527840!/image/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/landscape_400/image.JPG 

(Sinar Harian) - Maklumat rundingan TPP bukan sahaja tidak didedahkan kepada rakyat tetapi ahli Parlimen juga tidak dimaklumkan isu ini untuk dibahaskan di Dewan Rakyat.

MUNGKIN tidak ramai yang tahu pada ketika ini, satu rundingan perdagangan bebas (FTA) dinamakan perjanjian Perkongsian Trans-Pasifik (TPP) sedang diadakan antara Malaysia dan 10 negara lain, termasuk Amerika Syarikat (AS).

Perjanjian yang didakwa dijalankan penuh rahsia itu dijangka akan ditandatangani Oktober depan, dengan kehadiran Presiden AS Barack Obama di salah sebuah negara Asean.

Namun, terlalu sedikit maklumat diketahui mengenai rundingan yang telah berjalan selama 24 bulan dan hampir memasuki peringkat akhir itu.

Menurut beberapa badan bukan kerajaan (NGO), maklumat rundingan TPP bukan sahaja tidak didedahkan kepada rakyat tetapi ahli Parlimen juga tidak dimaklumkan isu ini untuk dibahaskan di Dewan Rakyat.

"Kami kesal ia tidak didedahkan sedangkan rakyat yang akan terima kesan buruk jika ia dimeterai. Perjanjian seperti ini tidak sepatutnya dimeterai secara rahsia dan terlindung dari pengetahuan orang awam.

"Rakyat berhak tahu dan beri pandangan bila perjanjian seperti ini melibatkan kualiti hidup," menurut Presiden Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (Mapim), Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid dalam satu kenyataan baru-baru ini.

Apa disembunyikan?

Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu (MTEM), iaitu antara NGO paling giat memperjuangkan isu ini menganggap kerahsiaan melampau dalam perbincangan perjanjian itu menimbulkan pelbagai tanda tanya.

"Jika TPP ini perjanjian yang begitu bagus, kenapa kerajaan perlu rahsiakan butirannya?," soal Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MTEM, Mohd Nizam Mahshar.

Persoalan Mohd Nizam itu dikongsi Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP) yang menggesa kerajaan mendedahkan teks perjanjian untuk diteliti orang ramai jika benar perjanjian FTA seperti itu memberi manfaat kepada rakyat.

"Mengapa kerajaan bersembunyi di sebalik perjanjian kerahsiaan (antara semua negara perunding)? Jaminan daripada kerajaan sahaja tidak cukup," menurut CAP dalam satu kenyataan, baru-baru ini.

Selain Malaysia dan AS, sembilan lagi negara yang menyertai rundingan TPP adalah Australia, Brunei, Kanada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapura dan Vietnam manakala Jepun dijangka menjadi negara ke-12 menyertai TPP semasa rundingan seterusnya pada 15 hingga 25 Julai di Malaysia.

Ubat naik harga, petani terjejas

Melalui dokumen bocor yang diperolehi, TPP dipercayai akan memberi kesan buruk kepada Malaysia terutama dalam bekalan ubat-ubatan.

Kajian MTEM menunjukkan TPP akan menaikkan harga ubat-ubatan 60 hingga 80 peratus lebih tinggi berbanding sekarang.

"AS mahu semua negara TPP bersetuju dengan hak Harta Intelek (IP) yang hanya akan memberi pulangan tinggi kepada syarikat farmasi negara itu," menurut laporan MTEM mengenai kesan TPP kepada rakyat.

Sementara itu, menurut Mapim, penekanan kepada hak IP hanya akan memberi keuntungan kepada syarikat gergasi kerana ubat generik, iaitu ubat lebih murah yang mempunyai kandungan dan kesan sama dengan ubat asli tidak akan dibenarkan untuk dijual di pasaran negara peserta TPP.

"Ini bermakna ubat hanya boleh dibeli secara langsung dari syarikat farmasi asal, menyebabkan kos ubat sangat mahal," kata Mohd Azmi.

Beliau menambah, TPP juga akan memberi kesan buruk ke atas industri padi negara apabila beras dari AS yang menerima subsidi tinggi oleh kerajaan negara itu dipasarkan di Malaysia.

"Ratusan ribu keluarga petani padi di negara ini akan terjejas jika TPP dimeterai," menurut Mohd Azmi.

Bulan lalu, Kesatuan Kerjasama Pertanian Pusat Jepun turut menentang keputusan kerajaan negara itu menyertai rundingan TPP kerana petani Jepun dikhuatiri terpaksa bersaing dengan AS melalui penghapusan cukai produk pertanian.

AS sembunyi agenda, Miti tutup mulut?

Minat AS kepada rantau ini bukanlah satu rahsia. Obama dalam ucapannya di sidang kemuncak Kerjasama Ekonomi Asia Pasifik (Apec) pada November 2011 berkata, tiada rantau lain yang boleh membantu membentuk masa depan ekonomi AS selain Apec.

Mohd Nizam mendakwa, AS kini memberi tekanan kepada negara peserta supaya mempercepatkan tarikh menandatangani perjanjian itu yang dianggap penjajahan ekonomi ke atas Malaysia dan bakal menggadaikan
kedaulatan negara.

Mohd Nizam turut mempersoal dakwaan kerajaan AS memberi kebenaran kepada wakil syarikat antarabangsa gergasi di negara itu untuk meneliti teks rundingan serta memberi cadangan kepada Washington berhubung butiran perjanjian.

"Miti gagal menjawab pertanyaan ini semasa pertemuan kami dan jika ianya benar, mengapa AS boleh memberi akses kepada wakil industri, tetapi tidak di Malaysia?," soalnya lagi. 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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