Jumaat, 20 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Wee Ka Siong: Papers have no intention of turning bumi agenda into racial issue

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:48 PM PDT

(The Star) - It is unfair to blame the Chinese newspapers of turning the Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Agenda into a racial issue when they are only reflecting the views of the Chinese community, says Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The MCA Youth Chief said the Chinese media had always been the mouthpiece of the Chinese community by accurately reporting and analysing their sentiments and aspirations.

"They have a responsibility to report the truth in order to keep their readers up to date of current affairs, and they have no intentions of stirring up racial issue," he said in a statement.

Dr Wee was responding to a statement made by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who has reportedly lashed out against the Chinese newspapers for allegedly turning the agenda into a racial issue.

He said when the Government's Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Agenda came to light, it naturally caused the non-Malay community to fear that they were being marginalised.

"Thus, the Chinese media as the mouthpiece of the Chinese community had reflected their views objectively and truthfully. So it is not fair to say that the Chinese media are inciting racial hatred when they were only performing their responsibility.

"He (Tengku Adnan) obviously does not understand the role played by them," said Dr Wee.

Dr Wee, however, agreed that there were indeed certain vernacular media which publish inflammatory and racist reports.

"These types of the media are the real culprits behind racial hatred. Living in a multiracial country like Malaysia, we should practise mutual respect to allow everyone to develop and progress, and this is the role played by the Chinese media in relaying the voice of the Chinese community," he said.

Separately, MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong said affirmative action by the Government should include all other agendas such as education and welfare of the people.

On the economic empowerment agenda, Chua said it should be needs-based rather than just focusing on the bumiputras.

A recent analysis on household incomes showed that 34% of homes took in less than RM3,000 a month, he said, adding that this significant percentage consisted of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

"Therefore, I strongly urge the Government to reconsider its stand and adopt a more inclusive approach," he said.


Don’t upset Malays with Chin Peng issue, Perkasa warns MCA

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:37 PM PDT

Hasbullah Awang Chik, TMI

Perkasa has warned the MCA not to upset the Malays by insisting that Putrajaya allow Chin Peng's ashes to be brought back here.

The Malay rights group pointed out that many Malays and Chinese died at the hands of the communists, led by Chin Peng, during the insurgency.

Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali questioned why the MCA was so adamant about the Chin Peng issue.

"Don't upset the Malays. Respect the feelings of others," urged Syed Hassan.

Perkasa chairman Datuk Ibrahim Ali also got into the debate and suggested that the communist leader's ashes should just be "tossed into the air", adding that the people should just forget about Chin Peng.

"We are better off discussing the problems faced by the living. He is dead. His ashes should be tossed into the air," he said.

MCA had called on the government to allow Chin Peng's remains to be brought back into the country, putting the Chinese party on a collision course with Putrajaya which is against the move.

MCA publicity bureau chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie had said there was no law in the country which forbids anyone from either having their last rites or being buried in Malaysia.

She also pointed out the remains of terrorists Dr Azahari Husin and Nordin Mohamad Top were allowed to be buried in Malaysia, questioning if Putrajaya was taking a racial stand when it came to Chin Peng.


Bersih will back tribunal ‘witnesses’

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:21 PM PDT

Bersih co-chairperson assures the people that the NGO would fully back the "witnesses" if they were to be sued for defamation.

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga has firmly stated that legal aid will be provided to any "witnesses" who "testified" during the People's Tribunal should they receive any defamation suit.

The prominent lawyer also highlighted that Bersih would back the "witnesses" on what was said during the tribunal.

"We will provide legal aid. I believe we have said this even before the tribunal started. If anyone receives a defamation suit, Bersih will assist those in need," Ambiga told FMT.

Ambiga then continued by saying that the best move was to tell the truth and she was hoping that the tribunal would create greater awareness among the public whom she believed had more proof of what transpired during the general election.

"I'm aware about the possibility of defamation suit. But it is all about telling the truth and that is the best defence.

"The tribunal is a good avenue for ordinary citizens to air their dissatisfaction and allegations," she said, referring to P Rajamah who bravely spoke up about her son's death in yesterday's proceeding.

FMT earlier reported that those "testifying" before Bersih's People's Tribunal could spark a legal backlash of defamation and other civil suits, and possibly charged with sedition as according to legal experts.

Civil Liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan and legal expert Dr Azmi Sharom concurred that unlike the Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI) and Suhakam inquiry, the Bersih's tribunal was without any legal standing, and the "witnesses" were without immunity.


‘What harm can Chin Peng’s ashes do?’

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:17 PM PDT

An MCA leader supports the return of Chin Peng's ashes, contrary to party president Dr Chua Soi Lek's position.

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

Despite his death a week ago, former Communist Party Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng continues to stir controversy – this time in MCA.

MCA Publicity Bureau chairman Heng Seai Kie today said the ashes of Chin Peng should be allowed to be brought home, contrary to party president Dr Chua Soi Lek's statement on Tuesday that Chin was a "personality who undermined national security for decades".

Chua had not directly dismissed Chin Peng's return, but acknowledged the call by former special branch deputy director Yuen Yuet Leng and had said: "I don't have (any reasons). He (Yuen) may has his information which is not made available to me."

"Whether Chin Peng is a hero or not is not an issue here. In fact, you do not need to be a hero to be allowed a burial in Malaysia," Heng said in a press statement.

"The BN government does not need anymore bad publicity of being seen as making decisions based on racial lines," she added.

Heng justified her statement with the "decent burial" of suspected terrorists Dr Azahari Husin and Nordin Mohamad Top – two individuals wanted by the Indonesian governments for several deadly bombings – in Jasin and Pontian, respectively.

"Born and bred in Malaya, everyone, including Chin Peng has the right to be interred in Malaysia. On humanitarian grounds, we should honour this nonagenarian's last wishes," she said.

"On the other hand, there are no laws in this country which forbids anyone who intends to have last rites and his resting place here," she added.

"After all, what harm can his ashes do to the country?" she asked.

Heng further said the government should honour the clauses agreed upon in the Haadyai Peace Accord "so as to uphold the integrity and credibility of our government".

"Since other Communist Party of Malaya leaders like Syed Hamid Ali and Shamsiah Faekah were allowed to return to reside in Malaysia, why not the same be applied to Chin Peng?" she questioned.



Anwar next PKR president?

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 05:31 PM PDT

Party source reveals that a check-mate situation is brewing steadily in favour of Azmin Ali and Nurul Izzah to oust Khalid Ibrahim from presidential contest.

B Nantha Kumar, FMT

PKR may witness a major change as its de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim makes his way into the president's seat next year, revealed a party source.

The party insider hinted that incumbent president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will make path for her husband for the top post to avert a possible fracture in PKR.

"At the moment there are three top personalities vying for the president's post, as Wan Azizah plans to retire from politics," said the PKR man who wishes to remain anonymous.

Wan Azizah has been the party president since its inception.

According to the sourse, the three are party deputy president Azmin Ali, vice president Nurul Izzah and Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Speaking to FMT, he further claimed that the trio are planning to wrest the seat in the party presidential election scheduled to be held next year.

"All three have respective strengths in the party level. While Azmin is well known as Anwar's loyalist, Nurul Izzah who is also the Lembah Pantai MP, is backed by the younger generation in PKR," he said.

Khalid, being the Menteri Besar of Selangor and has the most number of members in the party wants to take a shot too at the presidential seat.

Nevertheless it is highly speculated that there will be no contest for the said position if Anwar opts for it; basically to avoid internal bickering and conflict.

The party insider also highlighted that Anwar has picked Azmin as his deputy, while Nurul agrees to remain as vice president.

"Basically, the game plan is very simple. It is a plot to checkmate Khalid who apparently does not have a cordial relationship with the party leadership," he said.

"There is rumour lurking that Khalid has isolated himself from the top PKR leaders and is running the state merely with the blessings of the DAP and PAS."



UM wants tie up with NUS on research to improve world ranking

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 01:34 PM PDT


(TMI) - Universiti Malaya (UM) wants to work more closely with Singapore's National University of Singapore (NUS) in scientific research in its bid to raise its profile among the world's top academic journals, the Singapore Straits Times reported.

This plan was presented to the island republic's president Tony Tan Keng Yam, who visited UM yesterday on his three-day state visit to Malaysia.

On September 10, the QS World University rankings list revealed that UM ranked at number 167 while NUS stood at a strong 24th position in the world.

QS had said Malaysian universities did not produce enough cited research although they have quality academics and produce employable graduates.

UM's efforts in the intended collaboration with NUS will be propelled by the Malaysian government-funded High Impact Research (HIR) scheme aimed at boosting UM's chances to be among the world's top 100 universities in two years.

As it stands, about 10% of the 192 projects under HIR involve NUS, the Genome Institute of Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, in areas like cancer and HIV/Aids.

The plan is to double this to 20%, said HIR consultant Emeritus Professor Lam Sai Kit, during the visit by Dr Tan, who is also the chancellor of NUS.

Just the day before, Dr Tan had spoken about how the bond between NUS and UM was an example of how the two countries can build on its historical ties.

This resulted in UM vice-chancellor Ghauth Jasmon suggesting for a dual PhD programme with NUS and UM students spending time at both institutions.


Malaysia's last push for affirmative action

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 12:56 PM PDT


(Radio Australia) - Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sport says the latest round of race-based affirmative action will be the "last big push" for ethnic Malays and indigenous people to catch up to their Chinese counterparts.

.. and soon they will have to compete on their own.

Despite rolling back some of this assistance in the past, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced this month that "stronger" policies are needed to help "Bumiputra"... a term for ethnic Malays or indigenous Malaysians.

Ethnic Chinese-Malaysians have traditionally done much better in business... but the Government's efforts to give Bumiputras a helping hand has sent many Chinese-Malaysians looking for a fair go overseas... and some say the brain drain holds Malaysia's economy back.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane

Speaker: Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sport

JAMALUDDIN: Well I think it's important to recognise that the Malay and Bumiputra community in Malaysia are still far behind in terms of economic achievement, whether it's in terms of corporate equity ownership, in terms of ownership of property, whether it's the numbers of professionals and senior executives. So I think the program of affirmative action as far as economic empowerment is still very relevant, because the Bumiputra community is the majority community in Malaysia and we want to ensure that there is not just growth, but also equity and social justice as far as economic development is concerned. And when the Prime Minister announced a new program to uplift and empower the Bumiputra economic agenda, it's not to take away anything from any other communities, but rather it's targeted assistance for Bumiputras especially those at the lower income level and those at the medium income level, those who are involved in business, those who are entrepreneurs, to ensure that there is a sustained effort, which is market friendly, which encourages meritocracy within the Bumiputra community and which sends the message that this has to be done transparently and that one day you have to compete and that day is coming very soon, but this is the large big push to ensure that we get it right this time.

COCHRANE: You say one day you'll have to compete, this is the last push. Can you give a time frame for when these race-based policies will no longer be necessary?

JAMALUDDIN: Well, the time frame will be very much dependent on the success and efficacy of this program that we've put in place.

Read more at: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/asia-pacific/malaysias-last-push-for-affirmative-action/1193546 

No Secret Project Behind Granting Citizenship To Foreigners In Sabah - Najib

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:48 AM PDT

(Bernama) -  (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said there was no secret project by the government in granting the citizenship status to foreigners in the country.

In fact, he pointed out, the citizenship was granted according to the country's legal process and the Federal Constitution, and other countries too offered the citizenship status according to their respective terms.

"Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (a former prime minister) had replied clearly in the RCI (Royal Commission of Inquiry) that there was no secret project that we (the government) had undertaken.

"Whatever it is, those who became the country's citizens did so according to the legal process of the country based on the Federal Constitution. But if one were to say that there was a secret project, that is not true," he told reporters after opening the Middle Temple Conference 2013, here Thursday.

Najib said this when responding to the question concerning the statement by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, here, that the government under his (Najib's) leadership knew about the granting of the citizenship status.

On the death of the Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng, Najib denied that the government had not given Chin Peng an opportunity to return to the country before he died.

Najib said he had looked at the Hadyai Treaty 1989 where the government had given Chin Peng an opportunity to apply for Malaysian citizenship within one year but he declined to do so.

"Chin Peng did not take any action to become a citizen. As such, his rights had expired," the Prime Minister said.

To a question whether the government could act based on "humanitarian grounds" to bring Chin Peng's body into the country, Najib said the country had different opinion on that.

"But (we) must not forget of the communist's victims, they are very emotional of what happened. How many people had died, and so many had been wounded, so many lost their livelihood, there will be much emotion if we bring back the body," he said.

To another question that the government had ignored Chin Peng s contribution in fighting the British during the colonial era, Najib said: "No, you have to weigh that against the fact that he was responsible for killing thousands of the military, police and civilians. That has to be seen in that context."

Asked whether Malaysians could pay their last respects to Chin Peng in Bangkok, Najib said it was the individual's right to do so.

"(However) we don't pay respect to those who are responsible for the death of thousands of people. If you see that in a context of how the American treated Osama bin Laden, you could see that Chin Peng died a natural death.

"Osama bin Laden was singled out, and he was killed and his body was thrown into the sea. That's what the American stated in the case of Osama bin Laden," said Najib.


Mukhriz going for veep post

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:25 AM PDT

(The Star) - Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir will contest for the Umno vice-president's post, making it the most closely watched race in the party polls.

Described as a "game changer", Mukhriz, 48, will join a tight, six-cornered fight with incumbents Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

In a press conference yesterday, Mukhriz said his decision, which was made following unanimous support from state Umno leaders, was to bring new hope to Umno members and supporters who wanted to see changes in the party.

"I may look 34 but I am almost 50. So, I think it will not be accurate to say that I'm too young or should wait another term.

"What I'm offering is a sense of hope for members that Umno is truly changing and that it's making itself relevant to the young," he told reporters after announcing his candidacy and a list of Kedah candidates contesting for various posts in the polls here yesterday.

PKR, said Mukhriz, was already making changes by allowing young leaders to be actively involved in deciding the party's direction.

Mukhriz said these leaders, trained since their youth, would be the ones whom Umno would face in the next general election.

However, he admitted that he did not know how he would fare under the party's new electoral system.

The other candidates in the race for vice-president's posts are former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad.


Latest race-based wealth aid not going to work too, declares prominent economist

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 10:00 AM PDT

Ranjit Singh, TMI

The new race-based cash aid and uplift plans aimed at Bumiputeras are off-tack – just like the old policies – and Malays would be better off if the Prime Minister targeted aid at the poor instead, said Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff (pic) yesterday.

He pointed out that Malays form 80% of households which earn less than RM2,000 per month.

So, for example, the idea to increase the Bumiputera share of unit trusts under the Amanah Saham Bumiputera programme would not help the poor Malays as they could not even afford to buy into the unit trust, he said in an interview with The Malaysian Insider.

Referring to the previous long-term, race-based effort, he added, "The New Economic Policy had noble aspirations but the wealth generated through it did not filter to the Malays who were underprivileged. The wealth was retained within a small group."

That is what is going to happen again, he argued, echoing the same point made by former minister Zaid Ibrahim yesterday to The Malaysian Insider.

Zaid said, "They have to make people understand that a fairer, transparent policy should be promoted for the interest of all. We don't need this so-called protection. If the majority of the Malays are still poor, then something is wrong with the policy."

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Council, which has a five-pronged thrust to strengthen Bumiputeras in the fields of capital, corporate sector equity ownership, non-financial assets, entrepreneurship and commerce, and service delivery and ecosystem.

The new effort includes a slew of economic programmes as well as cash aid, which Putrajaya said was aimed at helping Bumiputeras.

Analysts saw this as Najib's attempt to shore up support ahead of the Umno party polls next month, while respected law expert Dr Azmi Sharom said it was a violation of the Federal Constitution which promises equality.



DAP polls: Zulkifili returns to “test” party’s outlook

Posted: 19 Sep 2013 09:40 AM PDT

(Bernama) - Former national DAP vice-chairman Zulkifli Mohd Noor will be contesting in the re-election of the party's Central Executive Committee (CEC), scheduled on Sept 29.

He said apart from wanting to see the transparency of delegates to reflect the party's multi-racial outlook and its Malaysian Malaysia ideology in the election, he was also contesting for the continuity of the party's policy.

"I am contesting in respect of the Registrar of Societies' decision and the law of the country," he told reporters here yesterday.

He said as proof of his commitment to contest in the re-election, several campaigns would be held to meet party members and delegates throughout the country, beginning now until Sept 27.

"In my 26 years in the party, I have never campaigned for any election…but this time, I will campaign to test the transparency of the party in its struggle for the ideology it has been claiming," he said.

Apart from that, Zulkifli said from his meetings with members and delegates in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Taiping and Kuala Kangsar in Perak recently, many DAP members wanted party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to relinquish his post and not to seek re election.

"For them, Lim has failed to carry out his responsibilities in heading the election process in December last year, which led to the interference by ROS and as a result DAP was almost deregistered.

"I did not rule out the possibility that the incident was mainly due to Lim's agenda in strengthening his own position and that of his father," he said.

He also described the party's leadership as only seeing the participation of Malays in the party as 50sen members who do not bring any benefit to the party.

He said his allegations were based on the party election held at the end of last year which clearly showed the position of Malays in DAP. 


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