- Despite Umno snub, Pakatan still open to talks with BN
- Bersih not clean, says Ku Nan turning down tribunal invite
- Tengku Adnan’s allegation insane, says Ambiga
- Ambiga defends Bersih polls tribunal as people’s choice
- Project IC: Anwar points at Dr M
- Ex-IGP: MyWatch poorly managed
- Nobody can hijack Bersih, Ambiga tells RPK
- Nigerian wins Muslim beauty pageant rival to Miss World
- PKR to offer legal aid to Sanjeevan
- Tribunal hears of murder in the run-up to GE13
- Dr M slammed over Umno remarks
- Bumiputera economic policy will make Malays lazy, says Zaid
- Questions over Mukhriz’s credentials for Umno VP
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 06:23 PM PDT
(MM) - Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) top leadership today again expressed its readiness to engage the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in a dialogue it said was aimed at dealing with economic and social issues threatening the fabric of Malaysian society.
Members of the Najib administration previously rejected the federal opposition bloc's offer, made by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the eve of Independence Day following a divisive May 5 general election. They had then questioned the motives in pursuing co-operation with the ruling coalition.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 06:19 PM PDT
(TMI) - Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has flatly turned down an invitation to attend the ongoing Bersih People's Tribunal on the 13th general election because, according to him, the electoral reform non-governmental organisation was not "bersih" (clean).
He claimed that Bersih had sent foreigners, posing as citizens to vote in the Putrajaya parliamentary seat during the last general election in May, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
"They (Bersih) were there, they saw what happened and they brought in Bangladeshis in taxis to try to impersonate, to try to become voters. So who did this? The Bersih people," Tengku Adnan said.
He was referring to a written invitation from Bersih to send Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives to attend the tribunal which started yesterday, and is scheduled to sit for five days.
The tribunal is currently going on without the presence of representatives from BN, the Election Commission and the police.The tribunal was set up to hear complaints of fraud and irregularities during the 13th general election last May.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 06:13 PM PDT
Elizabeth Zacharia, TMI
Bersih co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan wants to know if Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor's allegation that the non-governmental organisation had brought in foreigners to vote in the last election was an admission that the incident had actually taken place.
"Are they saying this really happened? That Bangladeshis were actually brought in to vote?" she asked.
Tengku Adnan claimed that Bersih themselves had brought in foreigners to vote in the 13th general election on May 5.
"Those who were there saw it for themselves. They brought in Bangladeshis by taxis who tried to vote.
"Who did this? The Bersih people," Tengku Adnan was quoted saying when he announced his decision to decline an invitation to attend the ongoing Bersih People's Tribunal.
Describing the allegation as "insane", Ambiga said if Tengku Adnan believed his allegations, he should attend the ongoing Bersih People's tribunal to give testimony.
"At the end of the day, that is the point of the tribunal. So he should come and say it in front of the tribunal.""And why did he not say these things before this?" she said, expressing shock over his statements.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 06:08 PM PDT
(MM) - Critised by the Attorney-General (A-G), Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan defended today Malaysia's first People's Tribunal on the 13th general election as a platform for ordinary people to voice their grievances that may otherwise have buried in the public records.
The co-chairman of Bersih, the electoral watchdog that had mooted the tribunal, said those opposed to the public inquiry should sit in before sniping at it without giving it a chance.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 05:59 PM PDT
Former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim tells the Sabah RCI that it is impossible that Dr Mahathir Mohamad is unaware of Project IC.
Luke Rintod, FMT
Former Malaysian deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) here that throughout his term in the federal government from 1982 to 1998, he had been kept in the dark over two issues — the billions of ringgits flowing out and issues of home security.
"On the billions of ringgits only Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin knew, while on issues of Home Affairs, I was only involved on the problem of housing for the police force which I brought up when I learned from security men assigned to my house that some of them lived in squatter huts," he told the five-member royal commission in a packed High Court room here.
Anwar who is now the opposition leader in Parliament, also revealed that even during the Ops Lallang, where many opposition leaders were arrested, he was not consulted and was kept in the dark until the very end.
"When I asked the prime minister, Mahathir, what was going on, his standard reply was 'this is security issue, I will deal with the police'," he said.
Earlier he testified that he did not believe Mahathir would not know of the existence of Project IC, or giving out Malaysian documents to illegal immigrants, in Sabah.
He said it was impossible for Mahathir to claim ignorance about the dubious issuance of Malaysian identity documents to illegal immigrants in Sabah, unless he was irresponsible and incompetent.
Saying he himself was not involved in any security task force, Anwar asserted that Mahathir, as the prime minister at the height of Project IC, had a full knowledge of what was going on in home security as he was also Home Minister at the time.
Dr M was aware
When asked by RCI chairman, Steve Shim Lip Kiong, whether he agreed that Malaysia had a weak system on awarding citizenship, Anwar said he partially agreed.
He added that there are laws for citizenship and it had been awarded every now and then but that its issuance to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants would not have been possible without the knowledge of the Home Minister.
"If the issuance of citizenship is for a few hundred people yes, but there is no way we can issue citizenship to the hundreds of thousands without the knowledge of the Home Minister, or approval from the very top leadership," he said.
Asked by RCI member Herman Luping on what could be done to the foreigners who now have Malaysian documents, Anwar replied Malaysia has to deal with it from a constitutional and humanitarian basis.
"But it will be a major and horrendous exercise," he pointed out.
Anwar also painted a picture that Sabahan ministers in the Federal Cabinet had not been vocal or convincing enough on the illegal immigrants issues in Sabah, so as to compel the Cabinet to discuss it.
"I think most of the time people were satisfied with the answer given by the Home Ministry," he said admitting that the problem in Sabah is a national issue and not just a Sabah matter.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 05:53 PM PDT
Anti-crime watchdog MyWatch never worked together with other members, said former IGP Musa Hasan.
G Lavendran, FMT
Former Inspector-general of Police Musa Hassan said anti-crime watchdog MyWatch never had meetings to discuss action plans among members.
The former MyWatch adviser said the management of MyWatch was poor and its chairman, R Sri Sanjeevan, did not call for meetings with members.
"What is the point of an NGO if you don't work with the people who are supporting your cause?
"When I was there, we have never had a single meeting to discuss action plans," he told reporters after the second meeting for the recently formed anti-crime NGO, Malaysia Community Crime Care (MCCC).
Musa, who is MCCC president, said he was no longer with MyWatch, but did not rule out working together with them in the future.
"We have no plans to work with them but if Sanjeevan wants, we will work together for the benefit of the community," he said.
Musa said MCCC would focus on working together with the police, security companies, neighbourhood watch volunteers and citizens to help reduce the crime rate.
"We are an independent body and apolitical. We take our work seriously and aim to reduce the crime rate," he said.
Musa said MCCC would hold seminars and awareness campaigns to help the public realise the dangers of not being alert at all times.
"These awareness campaigns will help the people take steps to prevent crime," he added.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 05:48 PM PDT
Ambiga rubbishes claims made by Raja Petra Kamarudin that Bersih is a tool of Anwar Ibrahim.
Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT
Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga has expressed her disbelief with Raja Petra Kamarudin's comment that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has destroyed the movement's credibility.
"Nobody can hijack Bersih. How do you hijack Bersih? People who say such thing do not understand the matter. Bersih is a very strong movement. Hundreds of thousands of people called for a reform," she told FMT today.
"I don't understand why he says that. It is insulting the intelligence of 84 NGOs who are involved actively in Bersih."
"Maybe he is away for far too long and he can't really see what is happening here in Malaysia," she added.
Two days ago, the UK-based popular blogger Raja Petra, or best known as RPK, accused that election reforms movement Bersih has failed in its main objective of bringing about electoral reforms in Malaysia.
He said Bersih had made the mistake of aligning itself with Pakatan Rakyat, and had shown more interest in making Anwar the prime minister of the nation.
On another note, Ambiga responded to comments made by Barisan Nasional politicians by asking them to "come and see for yourself", referring to their earlier comments made slamming the People's Tribunal as a publicity stunt.
"Rather than criticising they should have come forward and listen to the proceeding. They have no idea what is going on in this tribunal," she said when approached by reporters.
Ambiga said that she was surprised that no one from the government's ruling party was willing to accept Bersih's invitation to the public hearing.
"I am surprised that not even one single person from BN is bothered to come forward. Ordinary Malaysians are here giving their evidences on election irregularities,"
However Ambiga still welcomes those from the ruling party to come to the tribunal before it ends on Sunday."They are still welcome and I would receive them and hope that they would take this opportunity," she said.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 02:10 PM PDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 01:59 PM PDT
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 01:40 PM PDT
PKR's Vasantha Kumar, at the Bersih People's Tribunal today, speaking of the murder of his security aide V. Murugan during the GE13 campaign period.
(TMI) - The Bersih People's Tribunal heard today how an aide to the Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate for the Tapah parliamentary seat was murdered in the run-up to the polls.
The PKR candidate K. Vasantha Kumar, who lost the seat to MIC's Datuk M. Saravanan in the May 5 polls, told the tribunal that his security aide, K. Murugan, had earlier received many threatening calls from people he knew and did not know.
When asked by the tribunal's head of legal team Professor Gurdial Singh if any action had been taken by the police officer, Vasantha said, "the man who attacked us was picked up and then released the same day and since then, no further action has been taken".
Gurdial: There was a series of threats to life, damaging of campaign materials, some in the presence of police. Yet, nothing was done?
Speaking about the events leading to Murugan's death, Vasantha noted that he last saw his security aide at 10.30pm on May 1 after a ceramah in Taman Sri Bidor.
"I was also there at the ceramah with two other state seat candidates from Pakatan Rakyat," Vasantha said.
Thirthy-six-year-old Murugan was believed to have received a call and left the ceramah to meet with the caller.
The next day, Murugan's sister lodged a missing person's report at the Tapah police station.
Four days later his body, with feet and hands bound, was found afloat in a pond at Bemban Industrial Park, Batu Gajah.
Vasantha was earlier reported as saying that Murugan had worked tirelessly for him in the tough battle against MIC's Datuk M. Saravanan. He organised political rallies and worked the ground sufficiently that he got noticed.
Vasantha had said: "We believe that Murugan was murdered to intimidate the voters. He was well-known locally and it was his job to organise ceramahs for me."
The discovery of Murugan's body on polling day caused chaos in Vasantha's camp, disrupting their campaign efforts.
"It made me and my supporters fearful. We panicked and were scared to go out to meet supporters. We were scared that we would meet BN supporters and its candidate, Saravanan," Vasantha added.
The fight for the Tapah seat was shrouded with further controversy after it was alleged that a MIC woman leader was picked as the head of a polling station and RM100 vouchers were handed out to 600 voters.
PKR's election petition was dismissed and costs totalling RM150,000 was ordered payable to Saravanan, the returning officer and the Election Commission (EC).
According to Vasantha, all police reports and complaints to the EC were ignored and his legal team was denied the opportunity to present their case in the election court.
Attendees at the tribunal were also shown a video of the furore that ensued when PKR supporters questioned EC officers and police on the delay of the arrival of ballot boxes.
Gurdial informed the panelists that although voting had ended at 6pm, several ballot boxes only arrived after 11pm at the tallying centre.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 09:04 AM PDT
(Daily Express) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's prediction that Umno will soon die has raised the ire of Umno members, with many rejecting his remarks made in the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.
They said the country's longest-serving Prime Minister, who retired in 2003, should be aware the Malay party is undergoing transformation and renewal.
Umno Supreme Council member Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi was more harsh in his reaction, pointing out that the malaise afflicting Umno had been present since Dr Mahathir's tenure as president from 1981 to 2003.
"Umno has been in existence for a long time and it is afflicted by a few sicknesses which have been around since he helmed the party.
He did not cure it while he was there," Dr Mohd Puad said.
Among the "sicknesses" that were stated in article were disunity, not placing importance on the party's struggles, and money politics.
Dr Mohd Puad said it is "unacceptable" and "not right" to say the party will die as the present leadership is working hard to cure the party of its sickness.
"As long as Umno does not run from its struggles and upholds its principles of moderation, inclusiveness and justice for all races, it will survive," he said.
In his commentary published in Utusan Malaysia Monday, Dr Mahathir described the party as "ailing" and said it "will soon die".
He admonished the party for its poor leadership and lack of young blood, saying that "once robust party leaders were now aged and out of touch with the times".
He said they should realise the importance of not staying on past their time.
Eventually people get bored of these outdated leaders who refuse to accept reality.
"Umno is suffering from old age and will soon meet its demise.
This is human nature. Sooner or later, humans will meet their death," he wrote, insisting he was acting for the benefit of the party.
Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who also sits on the supreme council, said the presence of young leaders such as Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Khairy Jamaluddin is proof that it has plenty of young blood.
"Young leaders are usually in the Youth and Puteri wings and when they reach the age of 40, they can be part of the supreme council to pave their way to take over the party's leadership.
"Dr Mahathir might be mistaken. I respect him and he is my idol.
He might have overlooked the renewal process that is currently going on in the party," he said.
Another supreme council member, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, felt Dr Mahathir's harsh comments were aimed at urging the party to be more open and dynamic. He said while Dr Mahathir is very experienced, he should be aware that Umno is undergoing a transformation.
"I respect his views. To me, Umno's willingness to change is evident from the new electoral system where the fate of its leaders is in the hands of some 250,000 members at the party's elections next month," he said.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:56 AM PDT
Eileen Ng, TMI
Race-based policies like the Bumiputera economic agenda is an "addiction" to the dominant Malay population, which makes them lazy, says former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (pic).
The maverick politician told The Malaysian Insider that policies to improve the lives of people should not be targeted at just one race but must be based on needs rather than ethnicity.
"I think it is a superficial policy and the idea of helping one particular group is no longer necessary. I don't see the need for special treatment for Malays only.
"Instead, you should start on the premise that everyone should be treated equally and fairly and help those in need, and not just the Malays," he said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
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 plan includes a slew of economic programmes as well as cash aid which Putrajaya said was aimed at helping Bumiputeras financially.
Analysts see 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.
In describing the agenda as "discriminatory" and "unfair", Zaid, a former Umno minister, dismissed the notion that Bumiputeras cannot compete effectively without it, noting that the affirmative action policy is an "addiction" which makes the dominant Malay population lazy.
"It's a choice to do something less, no need to strive so much because it is easier not to. However, we don't need special treatment, but reasonable help based on needs. If you want to help them, help them the right way," he said.
Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:53 AM PDT
(MM) - Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's candidacy for an Umno vice-president's post has come under scrutiny, with some questioning whether he is qualified since he is not a supreme council member.
Mukhriz has suddenly become the "centre of attention", and is seen either as a threat to the "comfortability" of the incumbents or as a candidate who is able to unseat one of the three.
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