Ahad, 11 Ogos 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Race-based policies a fact, says Khalid

Posted: 11 Aug 2013 03:40 AM PDT

(Sun Daily) - Former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's opinion that Malaysia's race-based policies would not change even under Pakatan Rakyat rule may ruffle the feathers of some in the coalition, but not the one heading the government of Selangor.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim agreed with Lee, who had written thus in his new book, One Man's View of the World.

"He is telling the truth, because if 60% of the population of the country are Malays, the political inclination will be trying to get the support of the Malays," he said at the Selangor government's Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house on Thursday that attracted 20,000 guests.

However, Khalid added that how such policies are translated to equity is a different matter.

"I'm quite sure that if you study the Anglo-Saxon politics in US and UK, there is a certain level of tinkering. There is not going to be a totally, absolutely non-discriminatory and egalitarian society," he said.

Khalid nevertheless disagreed with Lee that BN's win of Chinese and Indian backing would be at the expense of Malay votes.

"If it were true, there would be no situation where a nation of multi-racial composition can be together. You cannot look at Malaysia as a heterogeneous country isolated by activities," he said, citing how open houses during religious festivities are often celebrated together happily by all regardless of ethnicity.

He also addressed another controversial point in a soon-to-be launched book about former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, titled Awakening: The Abdullah Years in Malaysia – on the obstacles to economic reform, because of Umno and the Malays' fixation on 30% bumiputra equity.

"The introduction of the private sector did not solve the issues in the allocation of active ownership among the bumiputra. (It) has increased the renter class, not owner-operators. The private sector only releases licences, not jobs," he said.


Karpal's soon-to-be-released book was 26 years in the making

Posted: 11 Aug 2013 03:09 AM PDT

(The Star) - Veteran politician Karpal Singh's biography, Tiger of Jelutong, will make its debut soon.

The DAP chairman Karpal Singh said the book, written by New Zealand writer Tim Donoghue, will be launched in Kuala Lumpur soon.

"It took 26 years to complete and it has 325 pages. The book will also be available overseas," he said.

Karpal with his book Tiger of Jelutong.
Karpal with his book Tiger of Jelutong.

He said that the book was completed in 1999 and was ready for publication but he lost in the then election.

"I told him the tiger is dead or was half dead and the book can wait for a better time."

"So in 2004 when I won in the elections, he called me up. (The book project) started again and was updated with more events," he said.

The book recorded the various issues and events in Karpal's life and the major cases he covered.


More clout for cops to fight crime

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 04:32 PM PDT

SHOOTING CASES: Government to look into laws to give police extra powers, says Najib

(NST) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has vowed to provide the police more authority to fight serious crime, including  extra powers under existing laws.

He said his administration was looking into the matter, even more so after a series of shooting cases that had hit the nation.

"We (the government) have instructed the police to investigate these shooting cases thoroughly, and measures are being taken to tighten security at all entry points into the country.

"We will also look into laws to allow the police to be given more authority to handle such cases without any room for abuse," he told TV3 at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at Seri Perdana on Thursday.

The spate of shootings continued yesterday, with a man firing warning shots at a bus driver for overtaking a four-wheel-drive he was travelling in near Sagindai, Ranau on Friday. A soldier was also shot along the Malaysia-Thai border early yesterday.

There were four shootings in Perak and Penang over the last two days. Penang alone saw three incidents, leaving one dead and one wounded on Thursday and early Friday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the victims of the recent spate of shootings around the country were all targeted and not randomly chosen.

He said the increase in firearms in the nation might be because of some weak points along the country's borders.

Khalid said the force had formed a task force to work on all the shooting cases, adding that he believed that most of the cases could be solved soon.


Utusan Malaysia: Under Singapore’s Kuan Yew, the Malays are sidelined

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 04:25 PM PDT


Copies of Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's latest book entitled One Man's View of the World are displayed for sale at his book launch at the Istana in Singapore August 6, 2013. The 400-page book contained harsh words about Malaysia

(The Malay Mail) - "Awang believes that Malaysia's approach, while not ideal, is better in offering equal opportunity to the talents of all races than Singapore," Awang wrote.

Utusan Malaysia told Lee Kuan Yew today to aim his criticisms at his own policies in Singapore, saying unlike in Malaysia, where Chinese businesses are allowed to prosper under a Malay rule, Malays on the island republic are sidelined.

The Umno-owned daily suggested that by criticising Malaysia, Lee was attempting to hide the weaknesses of his own country, particularly on the subject of openness and democracy "where his record is lowest".

"Awang believes it is more appropriate for Kuan Yew to criticise his own country, although he is so proud with its meritocracy approach. Is his meritocracy system fair and perfect?"

"Which race dominates Singapore in all industries? Are the minority races given the full space to grow?" wrote Awang Selamat in today's Mingguan Malaysia, the daily's weekend edition.

"In some cases, meritocracy [in Singapore] is just cosmetic," he added.

Citing examples, Awang claimed of numerous complaints of the difficulties faced by Malay job seekers in the island state's airlines industry.

"The same applies for Cabinet ministers. Where in the past there used to be several Malay ministers, today there is only one," he said.

Awang represents the collective voice of the paper's editors.

Lee, Singapore's founding father, had doused the administrative policies of his neighbour nation in cold water in his latest book One Man's View of the World, suggesting that Malaysia had become a "much more orthodox" Muslim Malay country since the time Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In a Q&A section in the book, the former Singapore prime minister was asked if Malaysia could become more like Turkey than Saudi Arabia, in the sense of becoming "relatively open, imbibing some of the more international values".

But Lee appeared to scoff at the suggestion, and reminded that the Malaysia of today was unlike before when its leaders were more "relaxed".

"Now, under the influence of the Middle Eastern states, they are much more orthodox. They used to serve liquor at dinners and drink with you. When I was there, the Tunku would invite his friends over and drink whisky and brandy with them.

"Now, they toast each other in syrups," he added.

Lee, who turns 90 next month, was also asked if Malaysia could become a "progressive Muslim country", to which he replied: "You believe that? What do you mean by a progressive Muslim country?

"That they will not wear their headdress, that they will shake hands, men and women, and sit down, that a non-Muslim can be drinking beer and have a Muslim sit down and drink coffee with him?"

Lee also suggested that it was Malaysia's adoption of orthodox Muslim ways and its alleged insistence on promoting that one dominant race above others that had led to the country's major talent leak.

Malaysia faces a severe talent flight issue with an estimated 5 per cent of skilled locals exiting the country on an annual basis—with most bound south for neighbouring Singapore.

A World Bank report from 2011 concluded that 20 per cent of Malaysian graduates opt to quit the country, again with Singapore cited as the preferred destinations.

Worryingly for Malaysia, the report concluded that these migrants were being replaced by unskilled and uneducated foreigners.

In his new book, Lee had said: "They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race."

The New Economic Policy and other policies in its vein have been blamed for driving the country's non-Malays to find an exit, with Singapore being the destination of choice for geographic and cultural reasons.

Lee noted that the percentage of the Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia's population had dwindled since 1970, saying that a 2010 census showed lower figures for both groups.

In the same book, Lee also indicated that Malaysians who are counting on either Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 1Malaysia concept or the federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat to usher in a new era for race relations are being unrealistic.

The former Singapore prime minister said the 1Malaysia slogan had not lived up to the initial excitement it created, adding that the Malay ground had not moved with Najib's ambitious plans to unite the different races in Malaysia.

However, Utusan Malaysia disagreed with Lee's assertions and told the former Singapore prime minister to accept the fact that Malaysia cannot use the same development model as its neighbour.

The paper noted that just like Malaysia, Singapore too suffers a similar brain drain problem.

"Awang believes that Malaysia's approach, while not ideal, is better in offering equal opportunity to the talents of all races than Singapore," Awang wrote.


DAP: Why are firearms suddenly so available in Malaysia?

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 04:14 PM PDT

(The Star) - DAP wants to know why there appears to be a ready supply of firearms in Malaysia, especially given the recent rise in local shootings.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said despite harsh penalties against illegal gun ownership, it did not appear to have stopped secret societies from using them.

"Blaming the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance that released many hardened criminals into society does not fully explain how the supply of guns has suddenly surged in Malaysia," he said in a statement Sunday.

Lim urged the police to find out how the guns come into Malaysia and plug the holes.

The repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (EO), Lim said, did not explain what he described a sudden "surge" in local gun supply.

More than 20 people have been killed in a wave of shootings across the country since April 12 this year.

Top DAP leaders have become seriously concerned and will hold an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss, among other things, the recent rise in violent crime has affected local businesses and tourism, Lim said.

Lim said that the meeting would be held even though some leaders were away on holiday.

As a short-term measure, Lim called for more police to be put on the streets, claiming that only about 9% of 112,583 (10,150) uniformed officers in Malaysia were in the Criminal Investigation Department.

He said that at least half of Malaysia's police force were needed to fight crime.

"There should be at least 56,000 personnel in uniform patrolling the streets and not the present 10,150," he said.


Hotbed of crime in Penampang

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 04:11 PM PDT


(The Star) - Those familiar with the cyber gaming business say that operations are done by gangs linked to two main groups – Red Door and Blue Door – who are the big players.

The town of Donggongon in Penampang has often been dubbed the "illicit" gaming capital of Sabah.

Located about 10km from Kota Kinabalu, it is a busy commercial hub with shopping complexes and supermarkets.

It is also just a few kilometres away from Beverly Hills where 44-year-old Sarawakian businessman Tiong Choon Kwong was gunned down in a drive-by shooting last week.

Word on the street is that the order to kill Tiong came from underworld kingpins in Sarawak.

His death came amid a wave of shootings and killings of suspected underworld figures in peninsular Malaysia.

Described as a resort developer by police, Tiong's past as a former Restricted Residence detainee led some people familiar with underworld activities to suspect that rivalry for control of the lucrative cyber gambling and illegal four-digit activities in Sabah has erupted.

Police, however, have yet to establish if such business rivalry could be the motive behind the shooting of Tiong, who was originally from Sibu, Sarawak and was placed on restricted residence in Kudat in the north of Sabah.

Those familiar with the cyber gaming business say that operations are done by gangs linked to two main groups – Red Door and Blue Door – who are the big players.

Smaller illicit operations are usually controlled by the Black Door and Yellow Door groups.

According to people familiar with Sabah's underworld operations, the Red Door group are made up of international operators with locals and West Malaysians linked to figures from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Blue Door consists mainly of locals and West Malaysians.

Over the years, Sarawak triads have moved to Sabah and taken control of a good portion of the illicit activities.

The Sarawakian groups gained a foothold after the police crackdown on illicit money lenders and gambling syndicates in Sarawak between 2005 and 2006.

More than a dozen suspected gang leaders are believed to have been sent to Sabah under the Restricted Resi­dence Ordinance after the crackdown.

Many are believed to have started gaming operations in towns where they were sent to, like Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Kunak.

Many believe the Sarawakian operators in the state are linked to their respective taiko (leader) in Sarawak and Tiong's shooting might be totally a Sarawak affair.

Penampang MP Darell Leiking said Tiong's death should be an eye opener for everyone.

"The serious problem is the illegal cyber gaming outlets operating all over Penampang especially with many of them operating right under the nose of the local authorities and police," he said in a statement.

"They are causing Penampang to be a district of crime," he added.


Abdullah should be ready for a stinger from Dr Mahathir, warns Utusan Malaysia

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 04:04 PM PDT


(TMI) - Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should be ready for a taste of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's "caustic and cynical" rebuttal over the former's remarks in his new book warned Utusan Malaysia.

The paper said it was just a matter of time before the country's longest serving prime minister would reply his successor's cutting criticisms.

Awang Selamat, the collective voice of the paper's editors, said Abdullah's remarks in the book "Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia" has dissipated any hope of improved relations between the two.

"I'm praying that a healthier debate will take place so that any negative fallout doesn't affect Umno and Barisan Nasional. This needs both leaders to cooperate," Awang wrote in his weekly column in the Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia.

In the book, Abdullah, popularly known as Pak Lah, spoke about how the country would have gone bankrupt had he bowed to pressure from Mahathir to continue spending without control on mega projects.

Abdullah said Mahathir only wanted his suggestions to be followed without question and refused to listen to the opinion of others. He cited an example where he went to see Mahathir to explain the postponement of several mega projects due to a budget deficit but his proposals were rejected and he was told to continue spending.



DAP says willing to hold public inquiry on party polls

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 03:52 PM PDT

(MM) - The DAP offered today to hold a public inquiry into its party polls last December, saying it had "nothing to hide" over the episode which has now led to a directive for it to go for a fresh leadership election.

The DAP and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) have been in a deadlock over the matter since July 30 when the party refuse to comply with the authority's order for fresh polls.

DAP's Lim Kit Siang claimed today that the RoS director-general had "acted arbitrarily" when he failed to offer a reason for his fresh polls directive.
"DAP is prepared to have a public inquiry to debunk all the lies and falsehoods concocted by the Umno/BN "DDD" squad, but is the RoS prepared to have such a public inquiry to establish the real truth?" Lim asked in a statement today, referring to the "Demonise, Destroy DAP" (DDD) phrase which he had coined.

Lim claimed that DAP's leadership had not received any complaints over last year's internal polls, saying that unhappy party members should have been directed to resolve the matter with the party first.
"It is most sinister and extraordinary that not a single complaint about the CEC elections last December had been received by the party leadership in the past six months. 
"Why didn't the RoS ask those in the party who were genuinely aggrieved about the holding of the DAP CEC elections last December to complain and use the internal party channels first, before lodging reports with the RoS if not satisfied with outcome of complaints inside the party?" the DAP parliamentary leader said.

The Gelang Patah's statement also comes after the surfacing of a 16-page booklet titled "The Equity Report (CEC Election Fraud)" written by one "Father Augustus Chen" whom Lim describes as a fictitious figure.

Lim described two key allegations in the booklet as being false, namely the claim that there were 547 phantom DAP delegates and 753 DAP delegates were not given notice to attend and vote in the DAP congress.

Earlier this week, DAP's secretary-general Lim Guan Eng challenged the RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman to meet him face-to-face and explain the authority's insistance on DAP having fresh elections.

On July 30, RoS issued the DAP a letter ordering it to hold new elections, citing the reason that it was not satisfied with the party's explanation of its elections on December 15 last year.

DAP had responded with a written reply demanding for explanations while refusing to hold the re-elections until they were given a valid reason.

But Abdul Rahman reportedly said this week that the RoS had based its decision on statements given by the party's stakeholders when it ordered the party to hold re-elections of the CEC.

He had said the Societies Act 1966 did not provide a need for RoS to explain its reasons for the decision.

The party had admitted its mistake that a computer glitch at the party congress and CEC elections last year that had caused the wrong announcement of the successful candidate.

Lim Guan Eng had said there was no mistake in vote counting or tabulation as the mistake was only in the posting of the results that led to one candidate Vincent Wu wrongly announced as a successful candidate when it should be Zairil Khir Johari.

He said that the mistake had been rectified and the party had also explained the honest mistake to the RoS officals, while also providing full cooperation and all relevant materials. 


‘Inflation may kick-in next year’

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 03:26 PM PDT

"The downward pressure on the ringgit would also become a concern if outflows continue to increase following the US Federal Reserve's intention to cutback bond purchases." 

(Bernama) - Despite strong economic growth in recent times, the external environment remains a key challenge to Malaysia to maintain a positive growth in near-term.

Weak commodity prices, anemic global demand for electrical and electronic products and waning strength of emerging economies such as China and India will pose a challenge to an open economy including Malaysia.

Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd Chief Economist Nor Zahidi Alias said global economic uncertainties and jitters that surrounded the 13th General Election were major factors that dragged Malaysia's economy in the first half of the year.

"At the same time, weak commodity prices dented the export sector and affected the headline growth," he said.

Nor Zahidi said the situation was also being amplified by weaknesses in some emerging economies, including China, which is expected to experience a slower-than-expected growth of between seven percent and 7.5% this year.

Nomura in its latest global market research that focused on China remarked that one percentage point drop in China's gross domestic product would lower global growth outside the world's second biggest economy with the hardest hit economies being in Asia.

The biggest casualty would be Hong Kong, with growth falling by one percentage point or more, it said.

The impact is also large on commodity-producing countries including Malaysia, Australia and those in Latin America despite being located much further away from China.

China is the word's largest consumer of commodities including natural rubber and copper.

Standard Chartered Bank Regional Head of Research Edward Lee said there were many factors to affect long-term sustainable growth such as a stable macroeconomic environment.

"Malaysia has been very successful in maintaining high and sustained growth. Naturally, the battle does not stop here," he said.

Higher global food, oil prices

However, inflationary pressure may start to kick next year especially if the electricity tariff was adjusted and petroleum subsidy was further reduced, Nor Zahidi said.

Lee said global food and oil prices have picked up recently and turned positive on a year-on-year basis.

"This may add to inflation although any impetus currently is expected to be moderate. We expect a full year inflation at about 2.1 per cent," he said.

Nor Zahidi said the price pressure would also come from the goods and services tax (GST) if it was implemented next year.

"We view the impact of GST, if introduced next year, will be a one-off event, but its implication on consumer spending cannot be underestimated," he said.

Lee expects further fiscal consolidation to take place in near-term for the government to sustain its long-term fiscal position and to address rising household debts.

"Lending conditions may gradually tighten in some areas. For example, the BNM has already introduced new micro prudential rules to address the high household debt," he said.

The downward pressure on the ringgit would also become a concern especially if outflows continue to increase following the US Federal Reserve's intention to cutback bond purchases, said Nor Zahidi.

"The concern may deepen if Malaysia's current account surplus continue to shrink," he said.

Less worrying for Malaysia

On the domestic side, the situation was less worrying as some imbalances such as high household debts may induce policymakers to implement measures that will moderate the pace of private consumption, Nor Zahidi added.

Malaysia's current account surplus has narrowed to RM8.7 billion in the first quarter 2013 from as high as RM40 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

Malaysia's current account surplus has narrowed significantly over the last two years, reaching a 10-year low of 3.7% of GDP in Q1 2013 from over 10% of GDP in 2011.

The narrowing has been driven by a combination of weak exports, strong domestic demand and low commodity prices.


Violent crime spree causing businesses to suffer

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 12:31 PM PDT


(TMI) - Senior medical practitioner Dr Milton Lum said some of the 24-hour clinics had reduced their opening hours to between 13 and 18 hours while others had tightened security. Some of the bigger clinics had resorted to employing security guards.

The recent spate of violent crimes around the country is beginning to take its toll as more Malaysians are now reluctant to venture out at night due to safety reasons, which in turn have caused businesses to reduce their operating hours.

The Star reported that those who have cut down their operating hours include clinics, restaurants, convenience stores and petrol stations in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and several other major towns.

Senior medical practitioner Dr Milton Lum said some of the 24-hour clinics had reduced their opening hours to between 13 and 18 hours while others had tightened security. Some of the bigger clinics had resorted to employing security guards.

Lum, a Malaysian Medical Council member, said the smaller clinics kept their main doors locked as part of safety measures, according to The Star. He added that employing security guards increased the cost of operating a clinic.

Two petrol stations along Persiaran Raja Muda Musa in Kuala Lumpur used to operate round the clock. But they now open at 5am and close by midnight, said National Consumer Complaints Centre deputy director K. Ravin.

The Star quoted him as saying the petrol stations have reduced their business hours after being robbed three times. He revealed there were at least five mini markets located at petrol stations which no longer allowed their customers to browse inside after certain hours.



Interfaith council to press for amendment on child conversion

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 12:27 PM PDT


Jagir reiterated MCCBCHST's previous stand that the provisions under the Federal Constitution should be interpreted so that the word 'parent' would mean both parents. — Picture by Choo Choy May

(The Malay Mail) - The country's largest non-Muslim interfaith group has said it will push five states to amend their laws, which currently allows parents to unilaterally decide on the conversion of their children below the age of 18 to Islam.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) had contributed to public protests against a proposed law for the federal territories with a similar clause, that ultimately resulted in Putrajaya withdrawing the Bill on July 5 under pressure.

But despite the retraction of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, the group noted that five states - namely Perak, Kedah, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak - were using the contentious phrase 'ibu atau bapa' (mother or father) in their enactments, which means that the consent of both parents would not be needed for child conversion cases.

"So the Majlis will work towards ensuring these five states also carry out the amendments needed to bring it in line with the Federal Constitution," MCCBCHST's newly-elected president Sardar Jagir Singh said in a speech at its 30th anniversary dinner yesterday.

Jagir said there were many "heart-wrenching" stories involving child conversions, notably the Indira Gandhi case where a Hindu mother was stuck in a legal wrangle with her Muslim convert husband, who had allegedly converted their three children to Islam without her knowledge in 2009.

On July 25 this year, the Ipoh High Court quashed the conversion certificates after ruling that unilateral religious conversions were unconstitutional.

Jagir reiterated MCCBCHST's previous stand that the provisions under the Federal Constitution - the country's highest law -  should be interpreted so that the word "parent" would mean both parents.

The Malaysian Bar, politicians across the divide and lawyers have previously called for these five states to change their laws to reflect the position in the Federal Constitution.

Custodial tussles in cases of unilateral child conversions have been a growing concern over the years and provide a high-profile glimpse of the concerns of Malaysia's religious minorities over the perceived dominance of Islam in the country.

It also highlights the complications of Malaysia's dual legal systems where Muslims are bound by both civil and syariah laws, the latter of which do not apply to or recognise non-Muslims.

In his speech yesterday, Jagir also listed down the future steps of MCCBCHST, including ensuring the drafting of new laws reflect the "principles of religious freedom, ethnic and cultural pluralism".

He also said the interfaith group would protect and promote the religious freedom of all as enshrined in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

MCCBCHST will also be using legal channels to pursue issues such as the "Allah issue, conversion of minors by single parents", Jagir said, adding that appeals to the United Nations (UN) would also be done if necessary.

Non-Muslims have been locked in a dispute with some Muslims over the use of the Arabic word "Allah" to describe their god, with the latter group insisting that the word is exclusive to Islam.


Lee Kuan Yew "trapped in old mindset," says Anwar Ibrahim

Posted: 10 Aug 2013 12:45 AM PDT

(The Star) - Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's views expressed in his new book, One Man's View of the World, are "obsolete," said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The views represented the Mahathir generation, he added.

"We should not always look at the dichotomy between rights and race, black and white.

"For example, he (Lee) talks about race-based policies, but there is very little understanding of the discourse in the last decade," he said.

Anwar said Lee was still "trapped in the old mindset," when he used to be in the opposition during Malaya before Singapore was established.
"His thoughts are not so relevant now in the context of the present day. That is what prompted him to make sweeping statements to generalise the situation in Malaysia," Anwar told reporters at Machang Bubok assemblyman Lee Khai Loon's Hari Raya open house.

On Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's book, The Awakenings, Anwar said the former prime minister encouraged a discourse in policy instead of the discussion on race.

"Abdullah's policies are important and Umno should debate the issues that he has brought up particularly, when he asserted the failure to influence Umno in the major positions that he took," he said.


Kuan Yew should put his own house in order first – Karpal

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 08:36 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew should put his own house in order first, before commenting on others.

This is the view of DAP chairman Karpal Singh who said that while Lee had the right to give his views, he should also first look at his own party, People's Action Party (PAP).

He pointed out that the PAP had lost six seats in the last general election, and also lost in the two recent by-elections.

The opposition stalwart gave this advice to Lee, following last week's release of the former premier's new book titled, "One Man's View of the World", in which Lee had commented that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would not be able to run Malaysia.

"His comment that PR will not effectively govern the country, had it been successful in winning over federal power, is without basis.

"As usual, Lee wants to be the top voice in this part of the world. I think the time has come for him to leave the leaderships for the others and quietly ride into the sunset," Karpal told a press conference here today.

On the declaration of assets, Karpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor member of parliament, reiterated he would not entertain any demand from irrelevant personalities to declare his assets.

"There is no problem declaring my assets. I will declare my assets and waiting for a date to be fixed by the (Penang) chief minister (Lim Guan Eng).

"In fact, all along, I have been a strong advocate of declaration of assets by elected representatives. If you are in public office, you must be ready to be scrutinised by the public and voters," he said.

Karpal recently faced pressure from various parties to declare his assets, following an allegation that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim paid him RM50 million to bribe judges and prosecutors.

On his first-ever biography titled, "Karpal Singh: Tiger of Jelutong", he said the 325-page book was authored by Tim Donoghue and took 26 years to complete.


DAP asks PKR, PAS to declare assets

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 06:51 PM PDT

(The Star) - DAP chairman Karpal Singh has called on coalition partners PKR and PAS to declare the assets of their elected representatives.

Karpal, who is also Bukit Gelugor MP, said PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang should direct their elected representatives to also declare their assets.

In a press conference at a coffee shop in Air Itam here, he said he has no problem declaring his assets and was waiting for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to fix a date for Penang MPs to do so.

Karpal challenged Barisan Nasional to direct all its elected representatives including ministers to declare their assets. 

Karpal also chided Singapore's former premier Lee Kuan Yew to "put his own house in order first" in response to the latter's negative remarks on Pakatan Rakyat.

"Although he has every right to make the comments that he did that Pakatan would not have been able to effectively govern had it been successful, it is without basis."

In his newly-released book, Lee labelled the Malaysian opposition as an "opportunistic ad-hoc group not held together by even vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government".

Karpal added that Lee wanted to remain as the top voice in this part of the world.

"He has his time but I think the time has come for him to leave the leadership to others," he said.

Meanwhile, he also said his biography 'Tiger of Jelutong' written by Tim Donoghue will be officially launched in Kuala Lumpur soon.

"It took 26 years to complete and it has 325 pages," he said.


Lee Kuan Yew's views outdated, says DAP's Loke

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 06:47 PM PDT

(The Star) - Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have criticised former Singapore premier Lee Kuan Yew for his views about the coalition.

In his recently-released book One Man's View of the World (pix), Lee labelled Pakatan an "opportunistic ad-hoc group not held together by even vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government".

DAP national organisation secretary Anthony Loke said Lee's view of Malaysian politics was "outdated".

"He is out of touch, stuck in the 60s. He doesn't understand Malaysians of this generation," the Seremban MP told The Star Online.

"He sees the struggle as so basic, even racial. when it's really about values."

PKR vice-president N Surendran said that Lee was speaking with "absolutely no basis". 

"Pakatan has been built up by a collection of leaders held together by their aim to end oppression and create a democratic Malaysia. That's the glue that holds us together."

PAS central committee member and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said: "He probably hasn't read buku jingga (the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto). I advise him to do so before commenting."

DAP vice-chairman M Kulasegaran simply said: "I certainly do not agree with Lee's view, and I believe the 51% of voters who supported Pakatan in GE13 too do not agree with him."


Irked by media frenzy over Pak Lah book, editors postpone launch

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 02:54 PM PDT

(MM) - The editors of the just-released book on Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's years in power have decided to postpone the book launch, citing concerns over its "politicisation" and sensationalisation by media organisations in their reportage of certain contents.

"Awakening: The Abdullah Years in Malaysia", a book on Abdullah's (picture) or "Pak Lah's" short reign as prime minister who succeeded Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, features an exclusive interview where the usually quiet man finally speaks out against his detractors.

In the short few days following its release, the book earned loud headlines in the media with heavy focus given to Pak Lah's words on Dr Mahathir and what the former prime minister described as "unwarranted attacks" on his person that eventually led to his ouster.

Acknowledging the media frenzy, book editors Prof Bridget Welsh and Prof James Chin said in an open letter to Malaysians today that the official launch, scheduled in Kuala Lumpur on August 16, will be postponed to avoid "further misunderstandings".

"We hope to hold a panel discussion about the book, with multiple perspectives from different speakers, in Singapore and elsewhere after the official KL launch," they said in the letter they jointly signed, adding that in the meantime the book should be available in bookstores.

Welsh and Chin said the book was meant to be a "serious reflective collection" by scholars and practitioners but in the unexpected media attention that followed its release, selected parts of the book were sensationalised, specifically the interview with Pak Lah.

"The media dynamic has taken on a life of its own, with nasty unjustified attacks on individuals, including some of the contributors and editors," they lamented.

Welsh and Chin observed that while some media had reported directly from the book, there were others who wrote without even seeing the book, reporting from other media reports, some of which were erroneous.

"These are not in the spirit of the season," they added, referring to the ongoing Hari Raya celebration, "...nor do they reflect the substance or the intention of the collection itself."

Welsh and Chin, both political analysts, also noted that some media outlets had wrongly referred to "Awakening" as "Pak Lah's book".

They pointed out that this was inaccurate as the book was a collection of multiple views from different persons, including politicians across the divide and academic observers.

"We worked to have a balanced collection and part of the balancing was to give space to Pak Lah himself to put himself on record on his tenure.

"We reached out to a wide variety of individuals in bringing together over 30 authors. This is a serious collection aiming for a reflective discussion of the premiership of Malaysia's fourth prime minister.

"Throughout, our effort was always toward promoting understanding. If one reads the book itself, one will find diversity and a range of views on multiple issues," they said.

"We call on the media and blogging community to act responsibly, to read the book before making assessments and to avoid erroneous speculation," the duo added.

Explaining further, Welsh and Chin also denied that the book's release had been deliberately delayed to after the May 5 general election, saying it was because the project involved multiple contributors, which lengthened the entire process.

The earliest release and launch date, they said, had been after Hari Raya.

"No one asked us to delay the release of the book for any reason," they said. 


The case of the missing ‘mushroom’

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 11:26 AM PDT


The notice asking 'Have you seen this mushroom?' tells of the 'missing' Tunku Pavillion, last seen in 1997 and now a symbol of the people's loss of the Merdeka Park to development. 

(The Malay Mail) - The park referred to in the posters is Merdeka Park — also popularly known as Tunku Park after the country's first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman — which was demolished in the late '90s. Long forgotten, this park has become the focus and symbol of a protest against the proposed multi-billion Warisan Merdeka development.

Like notices for a lost pet, the "Missing" posters come with a photograph but instead of a cute little dog, the picture is of a mushroom-shaped concrete structure, with details such as its birth date, April 20, 1958; height 11 feet 8 inches and weight 1,957 kilogrammes.

"Merdeka Park Mushroom, a 56-year-old concrete parasol from Kuala Lumpur, was last seen in 1997, standing at the park near Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara."

The park referred to in the posters is Merdeka Park — also popularly known as Tunku Park after the country's first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman — which was demolished in the late '90s.

Long forgotten, this park has become the focus and symbol of a protest against the proposed multi-billion Warisan Merdeka development.

Hoardings now enclose the space where Merdeka Park used to be and these mock "Missing" posters are pasted on it and even tacked onto nearby trees with the message: "Have you seen this mushroom?"

The word mushroom and the picture of the mushroom structure are a play on Tunku which sounds like the word for mushroom in Cantonese and Mandarin.

There is a particularly striking black-and-white poster which shows a raised fist grabbing a mushroom, with the slogan "Ruang ini untuk cendawan, bukan hartawan" (This space is for mushroom, not property tycoon).

These creative posters are the work of a small group of citizens who have taken to street art and art installations in the form of pop-up parks in their quest to reclaim the historical Merdeka Park.

Fahmi Reza, the graphic designer behind the posters, said they are intended to remind people of the park's history and the lost public space.

A man looks at the striking poster of a raised fist grabbing a mushroom on a poster-covered wall, with the slogan 'Ruang ini untuk cendawan, bukan hartawan' (This space is for mushrooms, not property tycoons).A man looks at the striking poster of a raised fist grabbing a mushroom on a poster-covered wall, with the slogan 'Ruang ini untuk cendawan, bukan hartawan' (This space is for mushrooms, not property tycoons)."The 'Missing' poster is to highlight what happened to the mushroom," he said of the posters which have been up since July 28.

"I've been researching, trying to find out what happened to it. When I asked around, the mushroom was last seen in the late '90s," said the Kuala Lumpur resident who is now in his thirties.

"The wall that we dubbed the Merdeka Wall is where we put people's old photos, show old memories of the park... what's left is old photos and memories," Fahmi said, saying that his parents often brought him to Tunku Park when he was young.

"The wall can be seen as a memorial to remind people that there used to be a park and what the park was like," he said, adding that these were photos from personal collections.

"There's not enough green space in the city... now they're taking away the second oldest park in the city to give way to build an office building without the consent of citizens of the city," he said.

An architect, who only gave her name as Foo, expressed her concern over how the nature of the neighbourhood would be changed with the Warisan Merdeka project.

"By having a 118-storey tower and high-end condominiums, the concern is not just the project, but because it will affect the immediate surrounding," the architect said, pointing out that the area had a low-density population.

She also expressed worries that the schools and stadiums in the area would one day go the way of the park and be replaced by development, referring to the Bukit Bintang Girls School which was torn down to be replaced by Pavilion, a shopping mall.

The 32-year-old Petaling Jaya resident contrasted Malaysia with Europe, saying that people visit the continent to experience its carefully preserved heritage.

"It's really interesting in Malaysia, how we keep demolishing our monuments. One day we will be a city without soul," she said, pointing to the recent bulldozing of the city's infamous prison Pudu Jail to make way for wider roads and other projects.

"In Europe, master planning is actually centred around public space," she said, saying that planning in Malaysia was done the other way round, with 'leftover' bits designated by the government as public spaces.

Mooza Mohd, 25, said most of the grassroots movement behind the Reclaim Merdeka Park campaign were initially "strangers."

"We're just people who love parks and public spaces," the drama facilitator said.

The group came up with the idea of setting up a "pop-up park", a temporary public space of sorts with real grass patches, Mooza said.

She said they will continue to set up the park every Saturday for the whole of August.

"It's important for people not just to protest but actually realise their dreams or their needs for parks," the Bangi resident said.

The "pop-up park" is also intended to raise awareness about how public spaces are grabbed from the people, Mooza said when lamenting the lack of well-maintained parks for communities.

She said that "regular citizens" are blocked from having their say on how the city is shaped, adding that the shots are called by those with financial and political influence.

Parks are generally seen as having no value with no prospects of generating a profit, she said, suggesting that this had led to the lack of public spaces.

On July 9, several local dailies reported that the developer of the Warisan Merdeka project could start construction work in Kuala Lumpur's heritage area within three months, as it was in the last stages of fulfilling Kuala Lumpur City Hall's (DBKL) requirements before getting the green light.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had last month said Warisan Merdeka would bring new life into the "dead" heritage area, giving his assurance that its heritage value will be kept intact.

Government-linked firm Permodalan Nasional Berhad has formed a wholly-owned unit, PNB Merdeka Ventures, to carry out the project which is said to cost RM5 billion.

The project — which will include a 118-storey tower, a four-star hotel and two blocks of 40-storey condominiums — will see Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara being retained as heritage sites.

Warisan Merdeka will also be the tallest structure in the country once completed, eclipsing the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

A man looks at the wall plastered with old photographs featuring the mushroom in Tunku Park and also a poster saying 'Kembalikan Taman Tunku' (Return Tunku Park). A man looks at the wall plastered with old photographs featuring the mushroom in Tunku Park and also a poster saying 'Kembalikan Taman Tunku' (Return Tunku Park).


Shooting incidents spark fears of gangland war

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 11:20 AM PDT


Too Pek being taken for treatment at the Penang Hospital. 

(The Star) - The three shooting incidents, including the assassination of a 37-year-old scrap dealer believed to be associated with Gang 36, which occurred over a span of 24 hours, has spawned speculation of a gangland war.

K. Veerappan was shot when he stopped the BMW 530i he was driving near a traffic light in Anson Road at 11.50am on Thursday.

It bore the registration number WVK 3636, which was believed to symbolise the gang's number.

A motorcyclist rode up next to the car and the pillion rider whipped out a pistol and fired 14 shots, 10 of which hit his neck, cheek and abdomen.

His body was found slumped and his white shirt drenched with his blood.

The driver's seat side window was shattered by the gunshots.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said Veerappan had had three previous drug records, adding that the car he was driving belonged to his 38-year-old friend who lives in Lebuh Macallum.

"Forensic policemen recovered 14 9mm-calibre bullet casings at the scene. Two machetes wrapped in newspaper were found in the car's rear passenger seat," ACP Gan said.

Before Veerappan's shooting, a gunman fired at least six shots at a businessman's bungalow in Jalan Utama. No one was injured in the 1.15am incident which is believed to be a triad's warning to the businessman.

Only his 29-year old son, his daughter-in-law and a maid were at home at the time of the incident.

ACP Gan said the businessman, in his 60s, who is presently abroad, had lodged a police report last month after receiving an extortion letter containing six bullets.

"His daughter-in-law and maid found glass fragments from the window on the floor and bullet marks on the walls.

"Based on the CCTV footage, the gunman fired randomly from outside the house," he said.

ACP Gan said the businessman had also received a text message in Chinese demanding that he deposit money into a local bank account.

"We are checking the mobile phone number from which the SMS was sent and also the bank account which has since been frozen.

"We are investigating the case under Section 39 of the Firearms Act and also Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation," he said, adding that police had not ruled out the possibility that the case could be gang-related.

The third shooting occurred in front of an entertainment outlet in Jalan Datuk Keramat where a 43-year-old bouncer was hit in the left thigh at 12.30am yesterday.

A gunman fired seven shots but only one hit the victim nicknamed Too Pek (Stupid in Hokkien).

The bouncer is believed to be one of the top leaders of the Si Lian (Four Tyres) also known as the 04 Gang.

It was learnt that Too Pek had just gotten out from his BMW when the unidentified assailant on a motorcycle shot him.

"Despite being hit, he managed to make his way into the outlet to seek help from his friends. He was later sent to the Penang Hospital where he received outpatient treatment.

"Two foreign cleaners were questioned by the police after they were spotted sweeping up the seven bullet casings which were later recovered from a dustbin," said a source.

Gangland rivalry linked to the drug trade is also believed to be behind three other shootings – in Parit Buntar, Perak; Batu Kawan, Penang; and Air Keroh, Malacca.

A factory van driver N. Jeevandran, 26 was gunned down while leaving his house for work at Taman Seri Semarak, Parit Buntar on July 31. He had five previous criminal records and was was detained under the Restricted Residence Enactment until the Emergency Ordinance was repealed in 2011.

On May 12, S. Kannan, 37, and G. Suresh, 28, were killed and two others were seriously injured in a shooting at the Bukit Tambun traffic-light junction. They had just left a relative's wedding when two assailants on a motorcycle pulled up to the vehicle and fired multiple shots at about 10.30pm. Both deceased had criminal records.

Police believe the killings could be related to the shooting of S. Sara-vanan, 39, at Air Keroh in February.

Saravanan, who had travelled from Butterworth to stand trial for a robbery case, was gunned down moments after leaving the courthouse. 

Najib: Vital to maintain peace

Posted: 09 Aug 2013 11:10 AM PDT


(The Star) - "The basic principle – if we want to be harmonious – is that Muslims must not hurt the feelings of non-Muslims and non-Muslims must not hurt the feelings of Muslims. If you go on the premise on who is right and who is wrong, we will never agree".

Maintain the peace in Malaysia. That is what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called fellow Malaysians to do.

"The basic principle – if we want to be harmonious – is that Muslims must not hurt the feelings of non-Muslims and non-Muslims must not hurt the feelings of Muslims.

"If you go on the premise on who is right and who is wrong, we will never agree.

"But if you go on the premise that we should not hurt feelings, then we will be a peaceful country forever," he told reporters during the Hari Raya open house at his official residence here on Thursday.

He also said the goal to transform Malaysia into a fully developed nation was a commitment that spanned the tenure of three prime ministers.

He said the goal to transform Malaysia to become fully developed was a commitment first made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, supported by his successor Tun Abdullah Badawi and now, to be carried on by himself as the country's sixth Prime Minister.

"The only thing that is constant in this world is change. So, if you don't change, you will be left behind," said Najib.

Umno, he said, was also committed to the process of transformation to maintain its relevance as the country's ruling party although the process might take a long time.

Najib, who is also Umno president and Barisan Nasional chief, said he agreed with criticisms that Umno had refused to reform itself but added that the party had started on its process of change.

"We have started the process by changing the (party) constitution. It may take more than just my time as Umno president. It may require a few generations.

"But for Umno to be relevant, Umno must move with the times so that it reflects the changing values of society," he added.

Change, said Najib, was necessary so that Malaysia remained competitive in the global arena. 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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