Selasa, 24 September 2013

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Another typical leak at Treasury

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 12:24 PM PDT

Company 1/21 is a tight financial condition and have too many big projects in hand with tight deadlines. It is not too sure they can deliver as promised in 2 years time. But why was the company given and recommended by these Little Napolean of questionable morality?

Another Brick in the Wall

Last week, UMNO President Dato Najib Tun Abdul Razak announced plans for economic empowerment of Bumiputera. [Read again here]

Every other person was complaining of nothing new. One of our concern was no serious effort to address past problems of leakage, inefficiency and sabotage on past empowerment programs. Leakage and inefficiency tend to be blame on government machinery.

Najib's intention to improve delivery is understood and appreciated. Only problem is the PEMANDU outfit. The other choice to PEMANDU is to leave it to the civil servant to independently run government machinery.

True, we have been a strong advocate to abolish PEMANDU and return the role to EPU, but it is not a blanket endorsement for all because had there not been for privatisation, JKR would still not complete the North-South Expressway yet.

The case we like to bring up is a case of leakage involving a recent tender for a Ubiquitous System for Jabatan Kastam dan Eksais Diraja (Customs). The underlying problem is clear and it is ubiquitously morally wrong.

MACC should be alerted because it has corruption, kickbacks, collusion and abuse of power written all over.

When we exposed how policies and procedures was abused by big names being bandied to be associated to Najib in the tender for Accrual Accounting System for Accountant General Office [read here], wonder whether MACC have made a raid on Ministry of Finance.

If not, this Customs tender involved some big names, big money and abuse have been allowed to go on for too bloody long time. It is killing competitiveness, making a mockery of market friendly affirmative action, and any rhetorics along capacity or nation building.

One way to address is to raise level of morality and sense of responsibility. As our late sifu used to say, one cannot operationalise morality but only set policies and procedures. 

Customs have an on-going system, doing well since 1992, and can be upgraded, but decided to change it into a system called Ubiquitous system. Not sure the technical meaning but ubiquitous means "present in all places and at all times".

The tender is Pembangunan Projek Sistem U-Customs for jabatan Kastam dan Eksais Diraja Malaysia. Tender date closed on March 11, 2013.
 
As usual in any IT tender, interested companies would shop around the world for systems solution. Everyone involved could basically know who has been shopping for what. With some effort, one can know how many have approached the most powerful solution Artiquator, the only use in France Bull system, Korean Posco and Microsoft.

Before awarded, the user, Customs would determine which system and technical package meet their requirement and interest them.

They would also ascertain company knowledge and ability to understand the Customs process, have technical experience, and capacity and commitment level. Having a Artiquator system solution but no technical experience in the Customs process is not necessarily an advantage.

There are also issues of financial capability and obviously cheapest tender price.

Then all these is passed to Ministry of Finance. Prior to reaching the Tender Committee chaired by  Najib, the papers and documents have to be sent to a committee of Little Napoleans.

The Little Napoleans will would vet through Customs review and make their own recomendation. It would be usually strange for user comment to be far different from the Little Napoleans'.

Usually Najib and the Committee of top level government officers sometimes including MoF II would merely approve as recommended by the Little Napoleans. No story of Rosmah interference through husband or politician making a quick buck.

Members of the Tender Board are:

1. YAB Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Hj Abdul Razak (Chairman)
2.  Tan Sri Irwan Siregar (KSU)
3.  Dato' Mat Noor Nawi (TKSP-Dasar)
4.  Datuk Nozirah Bahari (TKSP-Pengurusan)
5.  Dato' Fauziah Yaacob (TKSP-Sistem & Kawalan)
6.  Dato' Hashimuddin Mohamad (Setiausaha Bahagian Perolehan Kerajaan)

READ MORE HERE

 

To keep PAS conservative, ulama picking their best for party polls

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 12:03 PM PDT

(TMI) - Despite a widening appeal among Malaysians, Muslim scholars want to keep their conservative grip in PAS and their dream of an Islamic state alive by putting up their most hardline candidates in the party polls this year.

The PAS ulama (scholars) want staunch conservatives to continue leading the party rather than progressives and liberals, dubbed "Erdogans" after the popular Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Malaysian Insider understands the ulama will only name one candidate for the key party deputy presidency now held by the popular Mohamed Sabu (pic). Last time out, he won when two clerics, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and Nasharuddin Mat Isa, contested and split the votes.

Mohamed received 420 votes against Tuan Ibrahim's 399 and former deputy president Nasharuddin who only took 224 votes. Ulama candidates were also defeated in the race for the party vice-presidencies in that election, throwing a spanner in their plans for an Islamic state, said political analyst Mohd Sayuti Omar.

Smarting from their previous defeat, the PAS ulama have started their campaign by keeping a close watch on the nominations from the branches to ensure only the strongest candidates get through.

Kelantan deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah appears to be the current favourite, with Tuan Ibrahim close behind, for the deputy president's post.

"The nominations will determine who will be the choice of the ulama wing. The ulama with the least nominations will be dissuaded from contesting. A single candidate will not split the vote," said Mohd Sayuti.

Professor Dr Jayum Jawan from Universiti Putra Malaysia also said that it was no surprise that PAS clerics are trying to reassert their hold over the party.

"The party is trying to bring back their original struggle to implement Islamic policies. PAS knows that this is the way to go to acquire their base support in strengthening the Islamic party," he said.

The party also needs to reinforce its credentials in its traditional east coast base, he said, noting, "They need to strengthen their northern base in Kelantan with the hope to re-take Terengganu."

READ MORE HERE

 

The UMNO elections

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 11:37 AM PDT

http://i967.photobucket.com/albums/ae159/Malaysia-Today/Mug%20shots/dato_zaid2.jpg 

Before we get carried away, let's be clear about one thing: there is no right or left wing in UMNO. There is only the business wing. There is hardly any division within the party that is based on ideological or philosophical differences.

Zaid Ibrahim 

All the interest in the upcoming UMNO elections is understandable because the party's President becomes Prime Minister of the country. It's usually a boring affair, especially when there is no contest for UMNO's top two positions. Cynics will say it's the same routine, with the oligarchs who have ruled for decades taking their turns to rule and, at the same time, deciding who is next in line to succeed them. It's like a game of musical chairs being played by a small and very elite group.

What I find laughable is the contention that Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's challenge for the Vice-President's post is an attempt by the old, conservative guard to cling to power. Some even say that the challenge is an attempt to bring Mahathirism back into  Malaysian politics, without even bothering to explain what that really means.Before we get carried away, let's be clear about one thing: there is no right or left wing in UMNO. There is only the business wing. There is hardly any division within the party that is based on ideological or philosophical differences. The contestation is never about political ideas or about the fate of the nation, but about control over power.

The  focus of this year's party elections will probably be the same. This time we have a new policy to empower the Bumiputera and during the speeches there will probably also be an adequate supply of  Chinese-bashing and tonguelashing against "ungrateful" Malays. No faction or group will talk about corruption or abuse of power or take an interest in the country's finances. Clearly, the fate of other Malaysians who do not carry the Bumi tag does not matter.

This time around however, there is a significant difference to the proceedings: Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak has opened up the party by allowing more contests at the divisional and Supreme Council levels. This is a positive development. It shows that the President is reasonably confident of his position and that he is trying to create more choices for the party,  whether for political or business positions. Mukhriz's candidacy for the Vice-President's post is important in this regard. UMNO will rule this country for quite a while longer, at least for as long as race-based politics hold sway and until the Opposition are able to get their collective act together. Mukhriz is a member  of UMNO's elite group and only from this group will we find the leaders who will rule Malaysia. If there  choices within UMNO's elite, then all the better for the country. The present crop of top leaders does not inspire confidence so adding a few more from the elite group is good.

Read more at: http://www.zaid.my/?p=965 

Significant progress on hot-button issues: PM

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 11:14 AM PDT

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/image/510484/1365431325000/large16x9/768/432/pm-lee-hsien-loong-515490.jpg 

(Today) - "So when an issue comes up, there is less willingness to say: 'Well, this one I lose, but what to do, it is for the national good'. There is much more desire to say 'How can this one hurt me, how can you take care of me if you want to do this," said Mr Lee. "It is a different generation; I think attitudes have changed over the years."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday said the Government has made "significant progress" in addressing hot-button issues following the 2011 General Election, but called on Singaporeans to play a role in shaping the country they would like to see.

He felt that while the sense of identity, for instance, has strengthened among Singaporeans, the willingness to sacrifice individual concerns for broader national goals "is probably less" when compared to the previous generation.

"So when an issue comes up, there is less willingness to say: 'Well, this one I lose, but what to do, it is for the national good'. There is much more desire to say 'How can this one hurt me, how can you take care of me if you want to do this," said Mr Lee. "It is a different generation; I think attitudes have changed over the years."

The Prime Minister made these comments during Channel NewsAsia's Ask the Prime Minister programme last night, during which he was asked a series of questions on wide-ranging topics concerning governance, forging a social compact and future challenges confronting Singapore.

On the hot-button issues of foreigners, housing and transport, Mr Lee said it "took a while both to manage the issues and also manage the sentiments, and get people to look at it in a more positive and constructive way" as the Government embarked on efforts to address these concerns.

On housing, Mr Lee noted that the Government has built "a lot of units", reduced the queues for new flats and stabilised prices. "There is more assurance now that you can afford an HDB flat," he said.

In public transport, the S$1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme has led to more than 200 new buses being introduced, resulting in fewer crowded services. "We still need to get some more buses on the roads, we still need to get more drivers hired, we are working at it," he said.

"The trains will take a bit longer because the train upgrading, to get the new signalling laid, to get the new lines running, to get more trains, rolling stock to arrive, that will take a few more years, 2015, 2016, but we are making a lot, as much haste as we possibly can."

Asked if there is one attitude among Singaporeans that he would like to change, Mr Lee said he had two. First, he noted how Singaporeans' first reaction would be to turn to the Government to solve all problems. While the Government must think ahead, the Prime Minister also urged Singaporeans to think of what they can do to solve the problem together. "I think that is the more resilient, more sturdy approach which will see us through the long-term," he said.

Second, he felt that Singaporeans should keep a closer tab on issues affecting other countries, beyond those happening here. He cited the recent terrorist attack in Kenya, which did not garner much attention in local media. Instead, the ceiling collapse at JEM shopping mall made the newspapers' headlines here.

Read more at: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/significant-progress-hot-button-issues-pm 

Honouring the memory of Corporal Zal Azri Abd Somad

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 11:02 AM PDT

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lwhPtxzvZqg/UkIlDIbVQsI/AAAAAAAACMI/8lc9Ihyj5PI/s1600/Corporal+Zal-Azri.jpg 

write2rest 

Those who live in Malaysia have little respect for the police. We have nothing but disgust for the previous and current Home Ministers who have responsibility for the Police Force.

The previous Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein has shamed us in many ways. I will mention only five of them here.
  1. Hisham waved the keris at several Umno meetings from 2005 – 2008 in the context of Malay nationalism, commonly viewed as Malay Supremacy. Many political commentators linked Hisham's keris waving to the political tsunami in 2008 when Umno-BN lost its two-thirds majority in the Federal Government.
  2. Hisham rose to the defence of a brazen group of about 50 Muslims who marched with the head of a cow from a mosque in Shah Alam to the Selangor state government headquarters, then stomped and spit upon it to show how they felt about a proposal to build a Hindu temple at a site in Section 23, Shah Alam.
  3. Hisham defended the police when six members of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were immorally detained in 2010 for 28 days and were maliciously accused of many falsehoods including attempts to use force to attempt an insurrection.
  4. Hisham defended the police use of tear gas, acid-laced water and various kinds of brutality upon peaceful protesters during the BERSIH marches.
  5. Hisham even had people arrested because they wore yellow!
The current Home Minister, Zahid Hamidi has been in the job for only 3 months, but has also shamed us in many ways. I will again restrict my recall to five shameful things:
  1. Zahid was ordered by the Court of Appeal to answer charges that he assaulted businessman Amir Abdul Bazli on 16 January 2006 in Kajang.
  2. Zahid, in one of his first statements as Home Minister, said those who are not happy with the government (which means the majority of those who voted in the 13th General Elections this year) should leave the country.
  3. Zahid, without any investigation, said the police were not complicit in the attempted assassination of Sanjeevan who heads the MyWatch anit-crime watchdog group.
  4. Zahid watches idly as the police detain close to 6,000 alleged gangsters for up to 72 days through "Ops Cantas," but charge only a minute number of them.
  5. Zahid who lives in fear of Chin Peng's ashes, says Chin Peng did not take two chances given to him to return to Malaysia, while Chin Peng's lawyers say all of Chin Peng's applications to return were denied.
We have no respect for the Home Ministers who are responsible for the police force. (You can add much to my list, including their terms as Education and Defence Ministers.)

We have no respect for the top echelon of the Police Force because we have too often seen them lying about deaths in custody. In fact, in Malaysia, many consider it dangerous to go to police stations. Even an ex-cop like P.I. Bala disappeared after voluntarily going to a police station. And Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbani, Darmendran and many more.

Read more at: http://write2rest.blogspot.com/2013/09/honouring-memory-of-corporal-zal-azri.html 

RM2.88 mil for Aidilfitri open house in a day; cabinet spent RM3.66 mil for fuel for a year

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 10:59 AM PDT

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/petrol1_540_434_100.jpg 

(Harakah Daily) - For 366 days in the year 2012, cabinet members comprised of Prime Minister Najib Razak, his ministers, deputy ministers and their staffs spent a total RM3.67 million on fuel. 

According to the figure provided in parliament today, the amount was equivalent to approximately RM10,000 a day.

 

Using the rough estimation of RM100 per vehicle, the amount enough to fill up the tanks for 100 vehicles a day.

 

Ok, the figure might sound absurd but not too ridiculous.

 

Now, how about spending 78 percent of the amount, RM2.88 million for a few hours during Hari Raya celebration?

 

Minister in the Prime Minister's department Shahidan Kassim today told the parliament that the government had spent a whopping RM2.88 million on Aidilfitri Open House held at Najib's official residence for 80,000 guests.

 

Amid government's initiatives to reduce various subsides for the people, the amount spent on the Raya's bash would certainly raise a few eyebrows.

 

However, for Anthony Loke, the Seremban Member of Parliament who asked the question, it was up to the public to determine whether the money was well spent. 

Will invite my assaulters to gurudwara: Sikh professor attacked in US

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 10:57 AM PDT

http://www.ndtv.com/news/images/story_page/sikh-professor-attacked-295.jpg 

(NDTV) - I want to live in a community where somebody feels comfortable asking me what is on your head, why do you have that beard, what are you doing here, are you American. We should be able to ask those questions.

A Sikh professor, who was brutally attacked and injured by a mob of up to 30 people who called him "Osama" and "terrorist" in NewYork, has said he would invite the attackers to visit the Gurudwara and interact with members of the community to better understand his faith.

Prabhjot Singh, assistant professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, said it is "absolutely critical" to work with students and community organisations to spread awareness about other faiths and religions.

"If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. Maybe invite them to the Gurudwara where we worship, get to know who we are... Make sure they have an opportunity to move past this as well," a sombre looking Prabhjot, wearing a blue turban, said in a press conference yesterday.

Mr Singh was brutally attacked by about 20-30 young men who repeatedly punched him and "pulled his beard" as he was walking in the city's Harlem neighbourhood on Saturday night. 

He was rushed to a local hospital, where he also works as a physician, and admitted with severe bruising, swelling, small puncture in his elbow and fracture in his lower jaw.

The New York Police Department has released a surveillance video of the suspects believed to be involved in the attack. The grainy clip shows a group of young 15-20 suspects riding their bikes shortly before they encountered Mr Singh.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/will-invite-my-assaulters-to-gurudwara-sikh-professor-attacked-in-us-422898 

More controversy over DAP election

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 10:48 AM PDT

(The Star) - The controversy over the DAP election has not ended with the ROS insisting the party has not complied with the directive to hold a national congress.

The ROS had advised DAP to hold fresh polls in a national congress in accordance with its party constitution as opposed to doing it in a special congress to be held on Sept 29.

However, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has sent letters to branches and delegates requesting full attendance for the special congress scheduled this Sunday.

ROS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said it was up to DAP to hold a special congress to conduct its affairs.

"But, I believe all DAP members are aware that the election of CEC members must be made through a national congress, with sufficient notice given to delegates in accordance with the party constitution," he said.

A seven-day notice to delegates is sufficient for a special congress but branches should be given a minimum 10-week notice prior to a national congress.

On July 30, the ROS had directed DAP to hold fresh polls after allegations of electoral discrepancies emerged shortly after its party polls.

Some members had lodged complaints with the ROS following DAP's decision to amend election results some three weeks after the Dec 15 polls which resulted in Khairil Khir Johari assuming an elected CEC post.

On Sept 10, Ladang Paroi DAP branch chief David Dass applied for an injunction to stop the special congress scheduled for Sept 29 on grounds that it was illegal to call for a special congress to hold CEC polls.

In his application, David said that according to Article 5 (d), clause VIII of the party constitution, the CEC election was listed as one of the items on the agenda at a party national congress.

DAP had filed a counter suit to strike out the application.

Meanwhile, Lim alleged that dirty tactics were being used to sabotage fresh polls, undermine the party's credibility and the leadership's integrity.

"It is an act of political vengeance for DAP's successes in the 13th General Election," he said in a letter sent to the party branches.

Abdul Rahman said that the ROS was not out to victimise any organisation.

"We are upholding justice for all members of the party, and not only for the committee.

"As regulators, we are carrying out our duties in accordance with the Societies Act," he said.

When contacted, DAP returning officer Dr Ong Kian Ming said there was no restriction against holding an election in a special congress.

"Our constitution allows an election to be held during a special congress,"said Dr Ong who called the ROS to study the party constitution.

 

‘Sacked’ DAP man told to attend congress

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 09:36 AM PDT

The court orders expelled DAP branch leader to attend the CEC re-election exercise this Sunday.

Athi Shankar, FMT

The Sessions Court here today told sacked DAP branch leader and delegate G Asoghan to attend the party's scheduled re-election this Sunday, Sept 29.

Sessions Court's senior registrar Khairul Farhi Yusob told this to Asoghan through his counsel V Amareson after the DAP informed the court that it could not reach a consensus on Asoghan's membership status.

Amareson said Khairul then fixed Oct 30 for case decision.

Asoghan later told newsmen that he would attend the re-election as directed by court.

Asoghan was chairman of the Jalan Bagan Luar branch and a party delegate to national congress when he was sacked by the party on April 23 this year.

He filed his writ on June 3 seeking the court to declare his termination by the party's five-man disciplinary committee, comprising Tan Kok Wai, Tan Siang Piau, M Kulasegaran, P Ramasamy and Lim Hock Seng, as null and void. Besides the five, he also named the party as the sixth defendant.

He also seeks damages, costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Kok Wai issued Asoghan a termination letter for his "act of standing as an independent candidate in the Bagan Dalam state constituency" in the last general election.

The letter said the offence was a "serious breach of party discipline".

When the case was up for management on Sept 18, the DAP had requested for a postponement.

The party wanted a few more days to resolve the issue in view of the invitation to Asoghan, via a notice dated Sept 4, to attend the special party congress and vote as a legitimate delegate in its central executive committee (CEC) polls.

Both parties mutually agreed for the case to be heard today.

Asoghan had said last week that he could not attend the party election without being officially reinstated. He had hoped for a reinstatement by way of consent judgment.

But his hope was dashed today when DAP's legal counsel Muhamed Arif Shaharudin told Khairul in chambers that the party had failed to reach a decision during a high-powered leadership meeting last Saturday.

READ MORE HERE

 

Former assemblyman seeks RM5m compensation from Johor DAP chairman

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 09:31 AM PDT

(NST) - A former Johor DAP state assemblyman from Johor is seeking compensation amounting to RM5 million from Johor DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau for allegedly defaming him in 2009.

Gwee Tiong Hiang, who became an insurance agent after DAP had failed to field him in the 13th General Election, claimed that Dr Boo had, in a press conference on July 7, 2013, alleged that the former was involved in a suspicious transaction involving a building in Muar.

Dr Boo had also claimed that Gwee was involved in gangsterism. 

The allegations were carried in most of the mainstream media the following day.

Gwee's counsel, Abd Rahim Ali, said his client had suffered tremendously as a result of the allegations.

He said Gwee is seeking compensation for general, exemplary and aggravated damages amounting to RM5 million from Dr Boo.

"My client is also seeking an injunction to prevent the defendant from making further statements detrimental to his reputation," he said, adding that Gwee was also seeking a public apology from Dr Boo to retract his statement.

Abd Rahim was speaking after the first case management at the Civil Court here yesterday.

The defendant was represented by Norman Fernandez, who is also the Johor DAP deputy chairman.

The case management was filed in chambers in the presence of senior assistant registrar Zaiton Anuar.

Gwee said he wanted to file the case although it occurred in 2009 because he wanted to seek justice as well as to repair his reputation.

"After the allegations were carried by the mainstream media the following day, I suffered mentally as my long-established reputation was tarnished by the allegations overnight.

"I am not sure if this is the reason why I was not fielded in the last general election. Although the allegations were made over four years ago, I do not think it is too late to seek justice now," he said.

The defendant is required to file a reply on Oct 3 while the plaintiff will reply on Oct 17.

The court will fix a trial date on Oct 30 in the event that both the plaintiff and the defendant fail to settle the case outside court.

Gwee was a one-term state-assemblyman after he defeated Chris Lee in 2008.


Umno veep victors will determine country’s political future, analysts say

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 08:46 AM PDT

(MM) - While 3.4 million Umno members returned Datuk Seri Najib Razak as its leader last Saturday during party nominations, who gets voted into the second echelon will determine the political future of the country.

"The veeps and the Supreme Council are gaining in influence because these are the people who are going to be managing the membership and explain to the grassroots whatever decisions are made by the leadership," Khoo Kay Peng told The Malay Mail Online, referring to Umno's three vice-presidents and the party's powerful 25-man top leadership council.

However, the three incumbent vice-presidents, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal are seen as Najib loyalists.

Challenging them are party veterans Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, and Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir -- all seen to be representative of Umno's old guard.

Khoo believes that the outcome of the vice-presidential contest will determine whether Najib will be able to continue with the reformist agenda he has laid out over the past few years as prime minister or send the party -- and by extension, the government -- back to its conservative Malay stance.

In other words, Umno's political present and the country's political future will be very much determined by the winners of this contest.

Just last week, Najib announced over RM31 billion in economic aid, loans and programmes for the dominant Bumiputera community, of which the Malays form a huge chunk, exactly a week before Umno's nomination for party elections was held.

The announcement also came after a barrage of criticism and demands from pro-Umno blogs and organisations over the preceding weeks, urging the 60-year-old son of second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein to reward the Malays and Bumiputeras for their support in the recent national polls.

"Signs are pointing towards Umno potentially focusing on its own support base. They are looking at survival first, and I don't think there is any indication they are going to go in a big way to win back multiracial support," Khoo said.

Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, a political scientist attached with Universiti Sains Malaysia, is of the opinion that Umno will likely hunker down and consolidate its Malay support base but noted that it is to be expected as party members look to maintaining stability in Umno, and in BN as a whole.

He also thinks that the outcome of the vice-presidential race will be definitive of Umno's future direction, but does not believe that Najib was in any way pressured to devote a lot more attention to the Bumiputera community of late.

"I don't think he is being pressured by Umno. This is an agenda he wants to have for the Bumiputeras and Malays," the Penang-based university lecturer told The Malay Mail Online.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia political analyst Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin echoed Sivamurugan's sentiments, saying that the results of the recent general election was impetus enough for Najib to act on his own in "rewarding" the Malays after spending millions of ringgit to woo Chinese and Indian voters.

"The least of the group he wooed and persuaded gave him the mandate to rule. He doesn't need to be pressured to reward this group," Shamsul Amri said via email, referring to the Bumiputera community.

"Najib just demonstrated publicly what a 'fair dinkum' spirit means. He has set the future tone: that he shall continue to reward both those who continue to support or not support him, in varying degrees and quantums," he added.

This year's party polls will be a first for Umno, as some 146,500 delegates will be allowed to take part in direct elections for their top leaders following amendments to the party constitution that opened up voting to a much larger group of members.

Previously, only 2,500 delegates were given the privilege to elect party leaders.

Elections for the Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings are scheduled to take place on October 12 while the vice-presidential and Supreme Council elections are slated for October 19. 

 

Money beginning to flow to ‘influence’ candidates at Umno polls

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 08:40 AM PDT

(MM) - Money is starting to roll in the Umno election campaign to the extent that some members are billing it as an "oiling the machinery" process.

One division head said yesterday the money was already flowing and division heads who traditionally lead their respective campaign machinery have already received the greasing agent.

"Nothing new about this and delegates, besides looking at the candidates' agenda or philosophy, can still be influenced with a little greasing," he said.

This is in addition to the usual rhetoric about rejuvenating the party, recognising wisdom with old age, the need for a blend of old and young and many more words of wisdom that are being coined and thrown to the 150,000-odd Umno delegates to the Oct 19 party polls.

With six aspirants for the vice-presidents posts, where three are incumbents, and 64 aspirants for the 25 supreme council posts, delegates are in quite a "confusing state" on who to pick.

A contestant for the supreme council post said anything could happen and anyone could be picked, since the delegates, most of whom do not even know who the contestants are, go through the list and wonder.

So, in many cases, according to a division leader, these delegates depended very much on the division chief's input as division chiefs were exposed to the contestants and also to the leaders.

"And you know what? We are wanted by many contestants, especially aspirants for the vice-presidents posts and they cannot go round meeting all the delegates," he said.

As the race for the vice-presidency picks up momentum, the incumbents and aspirants alike begin to strengthen their positions through their network or campaign machinery, and this where the division heads are very much sought after.

"Oiling the individual campaign machinery" is the word now used to "legalise" money politics which Umno is trying hard to eliminate or at the very least reduce.

In this "oiling business", money is used for expenses which are to be used by the division heads who lead the campaign machinery which in turn, depending on the influence of the division heads involved, flow to delegates from branches.

The incumbents, may they be vice-presidents or supreme council members, are hard pressed to retain their positions for without positions, they will lose power and along with that lose income and "face".

Asked how much money can influence a delegate, the division head said it depended on locality where if rural areas few hundred ringgit and urban more. 

 

Kerfuffle at Penang airport over alleged smuggling of Chin Peng’s ashes

Posted: 24 Sep 2013 08:36 AM PDT

(MM) - A commotion broke out at the Penang International Airport late last night when local authorities mistakenly nabbed two men for allegedly carrying in the ashes of former Communist leader Chin Peng.

The suspicion turned out to be a false alarm, however, when it was discovered that the duo, who had arrived on a direct flight from Bangkok, Thailand, at about 10pm, were merely carrying paraphernalia in memory of the now-deceased leader.

As such, instead of ashes, the police only found printed materials, books and CDs about Chin Peng in the men's luggage.

They were taken to the Bayan Baru police station for questioning under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. As at 1am this morning, the duo were yet to be released.

Chin Peng's body was cremated at the Bangkok Wat That Thong temple in Bangkok at about 6pm on Monday.

He had reportedly died in a Bangkok hospital on September 16 at 90 years old.

The leader's death sparked controversy here, with several Umno leaders condemning him as a terrorist and others stressing his role in liberating the country from British colonial rule.

Umno-aligned broadsheet Utusan Malaysia claimed over the weekend that Chin Peng's date of death had been manipulated to coincide with Malaysia Day to make it a memorable event, saying that he had actually breathed his last on September 15.

His family has since rubbished the claim.

Putrajaya has also insisted on prohibiting Chin Peng's ashes from being brought into Malaysia, despite his last wish to be buried in his hometown in Sitiawan, Perak.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly said that Chin Peng was not a Malaysian citizen, and that allowing his remains into the country would lead to his veneration.

The MCA, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and even former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor, however, have told Putrajaya to respect the 1989 Hat Yai Peace Accord signed between Malaysia, Thailand and the CPM that allowed CPM members, who laid down their arms, to return to their homeland.

Lawyers have also said that there is no specific law that Putrajaya can use to bar Chin Peng's ashes from being brought into Malaysia.

But Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had emphatically said that this would not be permitted. 

 

The proposed Strait of Malacca bridge: Linking or breaking the region?

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 09:48 PM PDT

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The Strait of Malacca bridge project connecting Teluk Gong in Malacca and Dumai in Indonesia. Source: Strait of Malacca Partners Sdn Bhd. 

Mohd Hazmi Mohd Rusli & Wan Izatul Asma Wan Talaat

(TMI) - Plans have been mooted to construct a bridge to link the Indonesian port-city of Dumai in the Sumatran province of Riau with Malacca. This bridge will obviously result to any of these two circumstances; linking or breaking the region.

The groundwork for the project started since 2006 and studies show that the bridge project is technically feasible. If the project is carried out, the bridge has been estimated to cost US$12.5 billion. The Import-Export Bank of China has agreed to finance 85% of the total cost of the bridge project.

This proposed 127.92km-long bridge is said to be capable of fostering new economic opportunities between the two countries particularly in stimulating trade and the tourism industry. Malaysia will undertake to build 48.68km of the bridge while Indonesia will construct the remaining 79.24km.

However, the Indonesian government has announced that they would give priority to the construction of Strait of Sunda bridge over the Strait of Malacca bridge. The Indonesian government intends to first integrate Java-Sumatra as a centre of economic development with the Sunda bridge project.

The Oresund Bridge

The proposed Strait of Malacca Bridge is likely to resemble the Oresund Bridge that connects the Danish capital of Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden. The 16km combined bridge and tunnel stands over the Oresund Sound and connects both nations by road and rail, and it was officially opened to public in June 2000.

When the construction of the bridge over Oresund Sound was proposed, it received adverse criticism from the shipping community as it was thought that it would hamper shipping flow in the Oresund Sound. As a result, Germany submitted a proposal to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to suspend the construction of the bridge.

As a compromise, Sweden suggested that the bridge should be designed in two features; half a bridge and half a tunnel. This compromise was advocated to allow bigger ships to navigate across the Oresund Sound.

It resulted in the increase of the construction expenditure of the bridge to three times more than the cost that was budgeted for in the original plan. Currently the Oresund Bridge carries six million vehicles per year with the railway link transporting eight million people annually across the Oresund Sound.

Besides the Oresund Bridge, the proposed Strait of Malacca bridge will also resemble the proposed 18km Fehmarn Belt Bridge that will connect Germany and Denmark and cut journey times between Copenhagen and Hamburg. This project, that has received opposition from environmentalists and local authorities in German, calling it to be unnecessary, is expected to be completed in 2018.

Given the busy nature of the Strait of Malacca, it is likely that similar impacts to the Oresund Bridge experience, would occur if the Strait of Malacca bridge plan were to be implemented and it is likely that any proposed modifications to the plan would also substantially increase the price of the construction of the bridge.

Environmental implication

It is anticipated that such a huge project would not only adversely affect the coastal ecosystems on both shores of the bridge; it would also affect the Strait as a whole, from hydrological, environmental and economic perspectives.

The movement and speed of currents would be changed by the existence of pillars holding up the bridge, and could potentially alter the nature of the Strait. For example, the seabed ecosystems of the areas where the bridge would be erected would suffer from adverse impacts as a result of piling works and the placement of construction materials.

From the environmental perspective, the project would encroach the nesting grounds of the hawksbill turtle as the construction site of the bridge on the Malaysian side would be around Padang Kemunting, an important nesting area for this species of marine animal.

Given the fact that the construction of the Bridge would itself alter the seabed ecosystems of the Strait, it has the potential to negatively impact the fisheries activities and the marine and coastal tourism industry in that area.

Disrupting shipping traffic

The construction would have the effect of closing down a large portion of the TSS areas of the Strait of Malacca, which would result in potential navigational hazards for ships and thus, hamper traffic flow through the waterway.

The construction and presence of the bridge with its many concrete pillars would not only reduce the speed of vessels sailing through the Strait but would also cause difficulty for large container vessels and oil tankers navigating through this area. Slower movement of shipping traffic would cause congestion in the Strait and this may eventually lead to maritime accidents.

Spills of oil, chemical and noxious substances from such accidents could jeopardise the sensitive marine environment of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. It would also mean that transits by shipping traffic would take a longer time higher shipping costs increases prices for products sold in markets worldwide.

Tsunami and earthquake threats

Upon completion, the bridge would connect the Malay Peninsula with the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Malay Peninsula is located on a stable continent which is outside the Pacific Ring of Fire. Sumatra, however, is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area with major seismic activities, and is exposed to the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis.

The 2004 tsunami incident that ravaged Aceh manifestly demonstrated that the region is exposed to these kinds of natural calamities. Should the bridge take a direct hit from another tremor or a tsunami, it is likely to be badly damaged.

The economy of both Malaysia and Indonesia would suffer adversely should the bridge collapse entirely or in parts. Shipping transits in the Strait would be hampered with the debris of the shattered bridge dispersed through the Strait and economic activities such as fisheries and tourism would be heavily impacted.

However, the proponent of the project, the Strait of Malacca Partners Sdn Bhd contended that the site of the bridge is located on a Eurasian plate outside any fault line. Though there is an unfavorable seismic zone approximately 100 km away from the project site, there has been no known record of active or frequent seismic activities in the last ten thousand years.

Linking or breaking?

Another issue which arises is whether the bridge could really foster economic benefits for both countries. Would the level of cost involved in constructing the bridge be justified by subsequent usage?

The cost of constructing the bridge would result in high debt liabilities for both Malaysia and Indonesia which would be passed on to bridge users in higher tolls. In contrast to the Oresund Bridge in the Scandinavian region, both Malaysia and Indonesia are developing States and do not enjoy the relatively high standards of living of Scandinavia.

If the toll imposed on the bridge is too expensive, the public at large may refrain from using it and may revert to using ferries and boats to cross the Strait of Malacca.

In terms of tourism, the bridge may attract more tourists into both countries but this cannot be guaranteed. With the tropical weather conditions which are common in both Malaysia and Indonesia, thunder storms are a natural phenomenon in the evening. Driving across the Strait would be dangerous in this type of weather.

If there is not much vehicle traffic on the bridge, drivers may likely then be exposed to hijacking and other criminal activities like highway robberies and carjacking. The substantial length of the bridge which is likely to be up to 127.92km would make it difficult for the authorities to maintain the safety and security of drivers. 

READ MORE HERE 

 

Australia's U-turn on human rights?

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 09:39 PM PDT

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This is in stark contrast to an important speech by the Australian Ambassador to China Frances Adamson affirming Australian concerns about human rights in Tibet in Lhasa just a week before the federal election. 

Murray Hunter, Asia Sentinel

Australia's Sept. 20 refusal to grant the Malaysian political activist and lawyer Haris Ibrahim a temporary visa may indicate a new attitude on the part of the Abbott government to go out of its way to placate Southeast Asian governments on human rights and civil liberties in the interests of government-to-government relationships. 

Haris was turned down for a visa by the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur although he was scheduled to speak to academics at the Australian National University in Canberra on Sept. 29. He was also scheduled to visit Sydney on private business and to attend another speaking engagement in Melbourne. 

Haris is the founder of ABU or Anything But UMNO, a reference to the main political party in the ruling coalition. He along with two opposition members of parliament have been charged with sedition over remarks made at a May 13 forum about the recent election in Malaysia, a law almost defunct in Australian jurisprudence and much of the rest of the world. 

It is standard practice for Australian Immigration not to divulge the reasons for rejecting any application for an Australian visa, although speculation from an unnamed source from the organization Global Bersih, a body concerned about free and fair elections in Malaysia cites an Australian government belief that Haris poses a "high risk" if he is allowed to enter Australia, as many issues he may bring up could be very sensitive to the Malaysian government. 

This case shares some parallels with the case of the British historian and holocaust denier David Irving a few years ago. Irving holds strong dissident views about the holocaust and his proposed visit was strongly opposed by the Australian Jewish community on the grounds that allowing him to air his views in public would give merit to them. Ironically their opposition gave Irving a high public profile for a lecture tour that may have otherwise been very low-key. Australian Immigration denied him a visa but upon challenge in the High Court, the decision was unanimously overturned on the principal of allowing "free speech". In this case the then-minister Gary Hand personally made the decision to deny Irving a visa, but his decision was faulted on procedure, i.e., It was not likely Irving would instigate direct violence, but other groups in Australia opposed to his views would more likely be the culprits, making a legal difference. 

What is important here is that the notion of free speech was upheld by the highest court in the land in the case of applications for visas to enter Australia. Thus it could be asked: does Haris' proposed visit to Australia pose a "high risk," and to whom?

Australia does not have a formal extradition treaty with Malaysia and it could be deemed that Haris is a 'risk', if his intention is to flee Malaysia. However Haris was actually away from Malaysia at the time he was informed of the visa decision, and has freedom of entry and exit to and from Malaysia without interference by the local authorities. There is no risk of violence or of inciting violence in the case, and it appears the only risk on Australian territory is that Haris Ibrahim might actually say something that could be deemed sensitive to the Malaysian government. 

More likely, this visa decision in the first few days of the new Abbott administration indicates a new government attitude and policy in action towards governments in the region. Based on this decision, what we may be likely to see during this administration is the government going out of its way to placate Southeast Asian governments in the area of human rights and civil liberties. 

The new Abbott government did not want to rock the boat with Kuala Lumpur in these early days. This decision comes very quickly after the Australian government's remarks on asylum seeker policy, which have riled Jakarta. 

READ MORE HERE 

 

Umno's directions

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 09:17 PM PDT

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Another factor that will determine the party's future is whether it will cooperate with PAS. If PAS were to withdraw from the opposition pact, the extreme rightists within the party will be even more fearless. 

Lim Sue Goan, mysinchew.com 

Whether you like it or not, over the next five years the helm of the country is still held in the hands of Umno. The upcoming Umno elections will decide how the party is going to respond to its loss of support from urban, Chinese and young voters, and which way will the party be headed to come the 14th general elections.

Firstly, Najib has won unchallenged, showing that he is tactically smarter than his predecessor Tun Abdullah.

Having failed to secure two-thirds majority in 2008 general elections and the state administrations of Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah, Abdullah was facing threats of unseating him. He later handed over the stewardship to Najib a year later.

In the 13th general elections, Najib not only failed to get back the two-thirds majority, BN also won seven fewer parliamentary seats than in 2008 while Selangor remained strongly in the hands of Pakatan.

However, Umno's overall performance was better than in 2008, winning 88 seats (nine seats more) while recapturing Kedah and retaining Perak.

Voices against Najib were heard after the elections, including those accusing him of trying to please non-Malay voters, but like former PM Mahathir has said, there are no more suitable persons to lead Umno now besides Najib.

Najib has tried to keep at bay opposing forces from the conservatives within the party, keeping at very low profile over various sensitive issues while throwing out the bumi economic empowerment policy on the eve of the nomination day, allowing him to finally win unopposed.

Najib has displayed a very high level of political mastery, patience and political mobilisation to smoothly sail past the first GE under his steersmanship and party elections.

Although the two top posts remain unchanged, given the overall younger trend in the leadership, Umno inevitably enters a new phase of takeover, but who will be the heirs to the future leadership?

The deputy president, in accordance with party traditions, will naturally take over the baton and Umno has all the time avoided to see contests of top party posts with the rare exception of the party elections in 1993 where Anwar's "Wawasan" team managed to force deputy president Ghafar Baba to a corner. As if that is not enough, Mahathir changed three deputies during his presidency.

The power to challenge the deputy president has always lied with the PM. When Tun Hussein Onn was the prime minister, he picked Mahathir over Tengku Razaleigh. Consequently, Muhyiddin, who is older than Najib, could be challenged three years from now.

To become the rightful heir to the throne, a person must be firmly seated in vice presidency. There are six candidates vying for the three positions in this year's party elections, namely the three incumbents home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, defence minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and rural and regional development minister Mohd Shafie Apdal, along with three challengers Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir, former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohd Isa Abdul and former Melaka chief minister Mohd Ali Rustam.

The three incumbents have an edge, being from the major states of Perak, Johor and Sabah. That said, a chief minister or menteri besar has better control over the votes in the state than a federal minister because many local officers have been appointed directly by the state chairmen. Moreover, there is the tradition of vote swapping in Umno's elections. For instance, state "A" and state "B" will reach some accord in private where central delegates are instructed to support each other's candidates.

 

Zulkifli mahu perwakilan DAP tolak konsep “parti keluarga”

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 05:15 PM PDT

(BERNAMA) - Bekas Naib Pengerusi DAP Kebangsaan, Zulkifli Mohd Noor mahu perwakilan parti itu menolak 'parti keluarga' pada pemilihan semula Jawatankuasa Kerja Eksekutif (CEC) DAP pada 29 September depan supaya barisan yang dipilih lebih bersifat demokratik untuk memperjuang nasib pelbagai kaum.

Beliau berkata, slogan demokrasi dan ungkapan berbilang kaum yang dilaung-laungkan selama ini oleh DAP hanya bersifat hipokrit dan indah khabar daripada rupa.

Katanya, daripada maklumat yang diperolehnya sewaktu kempen yang diadakan sempena pemilihan itu, anggota perwakilan nampaknya sudah mula sedar bahawa perjuangan politik DAP dimonopoli keluarga tertentu.

"Sudah sampai masanya istilah 'ubah' harus dipakai dalam parti ini untuk menolak corak kepimpinan yang bersifat kekeluargaan kerana ia punca berlakunya perpecahan dalam  parti.

"Disebabkan penguasaan sesebuah keluarga inilah yang melenyapkan penampilan serta perjuangan parti daripada sudut berbilang kaum," katanya pada sidang media yang diadakan di Georgetown, hari ini.

Selain itu, katanya, anggota perwakilan juga mula sedar bahawa DAP juga memerlukan penglibatan kepimpinan Melayu di peringkat tertinggi bagi meraih sokongan orang Melayu.

"Parti DAP sepatutnya sudah lama membenarkan banyak pemimpin Melayu berada di peringkat tertinggi barisan kepimpinan tetapi kerana masih wujud 'keluarga tertentu' maka itulah DAP dianggap perkauman dan anti Melayu," katanya.

Sehubungan itu, katanya, beliau mencabar kepimpinan tertinggi DAP untuk melantiknya sebagai pengerusi kebangsaan DAP menggantikan Karpal Singh (gambar) sekiranya beliau terpilih pada pemilihan semula CEC nanti.

"Saya cabar mereka lantik saya, sekiranya Karpal Singh mengundur diri atau mahu bersara daripada memegang jawatan itu, bukan niat saya mahu ketepikan dia (Karpal Singh) tetapi sekiranya dia mahu berundur, saya sedia menawar diri.

"Apa salahnya selepas 47 tahun, DAP beri jawatan pengerusi kebangsaan kepada orang Melayu," katanya.

 

Malaysian PM Najib walking a political tightrope

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 05:05 PM PDT

Some see October's UMNO elections as paving the way for the return of the Mahathir era, not just with the entry of Mukhriz, but also the son of Mahathir's loyalist Akhramsyah Sanusi, who's challenging the UMNO youth chief post.

Meliss Goh, Channel News Asia

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak may have retained his presidency of the ruling UMNO party unopposed over the weekend but his headaches are far from over.

Analysts say Najib needs a strong team behind him.

He is walking a tight rope between party conservatives who want UMNO to adopt a more hardline approach, and party liberals who insist UMNO should be more inclusive.

Despite having led the ruling coalition into a poorer showing in the 13th general election, Najib insists UMNO did better, adding seven more seats compared to the 2008 elections.

And many analysts were not surprised when both Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin retained their positions as UMNO president and deputy president unchallenged especially after a slew of pro-Malay programmes were unveiled recently.

Political analyst Keith Leong from public affairs consulting firm KRA group, said: "PM Najib has done a lot to placate the conservatives in the party, so he's really bought himself time in that sense."

Still, all eyes are on the team that gets elected in the coming party polls, with over 146,000 delegates voting for the first time in UMNO's history.

Women's chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil is expected to sail through re-election, despite facing off two contenders.

Six are vying for the three Vice President posts.

Apart from the three incumbents, old timers Mohd Ali Rustam and Mohd Isa Samad are trying to make a come-back.

Also entering the fray is Mukhriz Mahathir, the youngest son of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"Of the six, all of them are from the same ideological orientation. They all seem to be conservatives. There doesn't seem to be any odd ball in the pack. There doesn't seem to be any mavericks," Leong pointed out.

Some see October's UMNO elections as paving the way for the return of the Mahathir era, not just with the entry of Mukhriz, but also the son of Mahathir's loyalist Akhramsyah Sanusi, who's challenging the UMNO youth chief post.

Both however have denied they are Dr Mahathir's proxies.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Let me be DAP’s first Malay chief’

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 04:57 PM PDT

Veteran party man Zulkifli Mohd Noor says he was ready to become the DAP chairman to replace Karpal Singh.

Athi Shankar, FMT

A division leader today offered himself to be the next DAP chairman to replace current chief Karpal Singh.

But Bayan Baru parliamentary liaison committee chairman Zulkifli Mohd Noor said he was prepared to take over the reins only if Karpal was willing to step aside to make way for others.

"I'm offering to be the first ethnic Malay DAP national chairman. I'm not asking Karpal to retire.

"But, if Karpal thinks his time was up to call it a day, I'm prepared to take over his position.

"Why not a Malay becomes the DAP boss? The party never had a Malay chairman.

"Only then it will truly reflect DAP's multi-racial politics," Zulkifli told a press conference here today.

The former party national vice-chairman and deputy secretary general is a candidate for the coming party re-election for central executive committee (CEC) in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday Sept 29.

Under the DAP system, office bearers are appointed from those who had been elected into the CEC. In order to become the chairman, Zulkifli would first have to win a slot in the CEC.

Zulkifli said he was offering himself for the top job because he relished the challenge to bring back the party to its original roots based on socialist-democratic ideals.

He said the party once was a pro-poor socialist-democratic outfit, in which its biggest support base comprised hawkers, retailers, blue collar workers and farmers.

But he said since gaining state powers in Penang after 2008 general election, the DAP had rapidly transformed into a pro-rich capitalist family cartel.

He said sacrifices and contributions of veterans and senior members have all been sidelined and ignored.

Negative reports on Guan Eng

He alleged that the party now had infested with infiltrators and traitors who betrayed their former parties to join the DAP to safeguard their own personal selfish interests.

"Now the DAP leaders rub shoulders with the rich and powerful elites, and these infiltrators and traitors only.

"DAP, which previously championed pro-poor policies, is now embarking on mega projects," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

Registrar of Societies disregarding the law, says DAP

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 04:52 PM PDT

Diyana Ibrahim, TMI

DAP has criticised the Registrar of Societies (RoS) for accusing the party of not conducting its central executive committee re-election according to party constitution.

DAP's legal head Gobind Singh Deo (pic) said RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman Abdul Rahman had repeatedly accused the party of wrongdoings before hearing explanations given by party leaders.

"Abdul Rahman should know. If there are complaints, he needs to inform us and ask for an explanation before making a decision," DAP's legal head Gobind Singh Deo said in a statement today.

"This raises questions because I would like to know if he follows this procedure. If not, why? And what is his power to make decisions in such a manner?" he added.

According to Gobind, the latest accusation showed RoS's disrespect of the law.

"I would advise Abdul Rahman to be careful. As the head of a department, he must understand and respect the legal process. Whether or not the CEC re-election can be done through a Special Congress, this we will address in court tomorrow," he said.

Abdul Rahman said yesterday that the RoS was trying to ensure justice for all DAP members by urging it to hold the re-election.

"As regulators, we are working on the principle of the Societies Act and not to victimise any organisations," he was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.

READ MORE HERE

 

ROS ulangi nasihat kepada DAP

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 01:41 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Pendaftar Pertubuhan (ROS) berulang kali menasihatkan DAP supaya mengadakan pemilihan semula jawatankuasa kerja pusat (CEC) sejajar dengan kehendak perlembagaan parti, kata ketua pengarah Pendaftar Pertubuhan Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman.

Dalam satu kenyataan semalam beliau berkata terpulang kepada DAP untuk mengadakan Kongres Khas bagi mengendali urusan mereka.

"Saya percaya semua anggota DAP sedar bahawa pemilihan anggota jawatankuasa memerlukan Kongres Kebangsaan dan tempoh notis sewajarnya sebagaimana termaktub dalam perlembagaan parti," kata beliau.

Abdul Rahman berkata ROS berusaha menegakkan keadilan untuk semua anggota parti, dan tidak saja untuk jawatankuasanya.

"Sebagai pengawal selia, kami menjalankan tugas berasaskan Akta Persatuan dan bukan menganiaya mana-mana pertubuhan," katanya.

Pada 30 Julai, ROS mengarahkan DAP mengadakan pemilihan baru CEC, dengan menyatakan ia tidak puas hati dengan penjelasan "masalah teknikal" yang diberikan berikutan dakwaan berlaku maniplasi kertas undi melibatkan 547 perwakilan.

Pada 19 Ogos, setiausaha pengelola DAP Anthony Loke mendakwa bahawa lebih 500 perwakilan DAP telah mengemukakan surat kepada ibu pejabat parti, dengan menjelaskan bahawa mereka telah menerima notis untuk mesyuarat itu tetapi tidak dapat hadir pada pemilihan CEC parti.

DAP pada mulanya menentang arahan ROS itu tetapi akhirnya patuh dan bersetuju mengendalikan pemilihan baru.

 

Malay group protests in front of Anwar's house

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 01:33 PM PDT

(MD) - Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) held a brief demonstration in front of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's residence yesterday, urging him to to sign a letter granting Bank Negara   permission to disclose details of his bank accounts.

JMM president Azwanddin Hamzah and other members of the Malay rights group congregated in front of the opposition leader's house with a copy of a letter prepared by Perkasa information chief Ruslan Kassim.

The letter, addressed to Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, listed the names of six international banks.

Ruslan, a former ally of Anwar, had challenged the PKR de facto leader of the existence of some 6,000 mystery letters that allegedly detailed his dealings with DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

It was reported that the mystery letters were mailed to former Barisan Nasional candidate for Permatang Pauh Dr Mazlan Ismail in Penang last month.

The author of the mystery letters claimed that Anwar had paid more than RM50 million via cheques to Karpal since 2008. He had claimed that besides settling legal fees, the amount was also to allegedly bribe judges and prosecutors. However, Anwar and Karpal have denied the allegations.

A representative and three security officers eventually accepted the letter on Anwar's behalf, claiming that he was "not at home".

Azwanddin said his group would go to PKR's headquarters next week to pass Anwar another copy of the letter.

"After he signs it, I am willing to mail the letter to Bank Negara for him. A denial is not enough to convince the public that the allegations are untrue. He must disclose details of his bank accounts if he wants to prove his innocence once and for all."

 

Viral video of dog catchers' cruelty sparks anger

Posted: 23 Sep 2013 01:25 PM PDT

No need to be brutal: A MIAR volunteer (in blue jersey) trying to stop the dog-catchers from further hurting the stray dog in Bandar Sri Rinching, Kajang.

(The Star) - MALAYSIAN Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR), a non-governmental organisation that helps stray dogs, wants the local councils to stop cruelty against stray dogs at once.

This call was raised again following a video recorded by a MIAR member showing a stray dog being treated cruelly while being rounded up by a dog-catching contractor in Bandar Sri Rinching, Kajang.

The video went viral overnight on the Internet.

It showed dog catchers dragging the stray dog by its neck, causing the animal to choke and bleed from its mouth.

MIAR president T. Puspa Rani said the dog catchers' method was inhumane and urged the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and other local councils to pay more attention to the matter.

"The dog catchers' actions are an example of how stray dogs are badly treated in this country. They do not deserve to be treated in such a manner.

"In the video, we can see how much a dog suffers when being caught.

"How long will this cruelty go on? There are solutions to handling strays but the authorities fail to look at it despite pressure from NGOs and the public," she said

Puspa said that prior to the incident, MIAR had met with MPKJ councillors to work on building a shelter for stray dogs caught in Kajang but that there was no update until they were told by MPKj councillor Lai Wai Chong at the press conference that the shelter was already completed and would begin operations in October.

"Besides the shelter MPKj should have proper guidelines as well as contractors trained in handling stray dogs to avoid more cases of animal cruelty," she added.

Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy Post Positive president and chairman of Canine Advisory Team for Petaling Jaya City Council Anthony Thanasyan said: "The workers should not have subjected the dog to so much pain. It is obvious that the workers are not trained and have no compassion for the dog.

"MPKj should apologise for the ill-treatment of the dog and take action against the contractor. It should also set up a special committee on dog-catching immediately," he said.

MPKj councillor Eddie Ng Tien Chee said he would raise the matter at the MPKj meeting immediately as well as bring it up at the state level.

However, he said he would need a written complaint from MIAR and other NGOs to make the move.

 

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