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Umno Youth Chief aspirant Akhramsyah: Tony Pua a "DAP dog" for barking up wrong tree

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 05:47 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Umno Youth chief aspirant Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi regards DAP publicity chief Tony Pua as a "DAP dog" for "always barking" to cover up flaws in DAP by running down the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and Utusan Malaysia.

He said Pua acted that way to divert public attention from the weaknesses in DAP, particularly the opposition party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) election issue.

"Actually, he (Pua) is the 'DAP dog' due to his penchant for barking up the wrong tree to cover up the flaws in his own party. 

"He should look back at the irregularities in the CEC election as the issues were raised by the party members themselves.

 "Don't drag other people in as the CEC re-election was demanded by the majority of the DAP members as they felt there were manipulation and other iregularities in the (last December) election," Akhramsyah told a news conference here.

Pua had in his Facebook account recently called RoS and Utusan Malaysia "Umno running dogs" after DAP was ordered by RoS to hold a re-election of the CEC after several party members disputed the process of the earlier election held on Dec 15, last year.

Akramsyah, who is the Bendang Baru, Langkawi Umno Youth branch chief, said Pua's refusal to apologise to RoS and Utusan Malaysia following his scurrilous remark only showed the arrogance of the Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament.

 "As an Umno member, I urge Pua to apologise openly to all Umno members, RoS staff and Utusan Malaysia for his rudeness," he said.

He also suggested that DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng step down from his party post for failing to administer the party well to the extent that it was almost deregistered.

Meanwhile, Akhramsyah has left it to the Umno delegates to determine his fate in the contest for the party Youth chief post in the movement's election this Oct 12.

 "I have gone to the ground to meet the delegates and as a Muslim, I leave the outcome to Allah. But based on the feedback, I have a 60 to 65 per cent chance of winning," he said.

Akhramsyah, who is the eldest child of former Kedah menteri besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, said he, however, would not be disappointed if he lost and would continue to pursue the Malay agenda.


Umno polls last chance to save party, says ex-NST chief

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 05:41 PM PDT

(MM) - The Umno election this month is the party's last chance to redeem itself among Malays, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said in his latest blog post.

Pundits have observed the results of Malaysia's last two general elections signal an increasing number of Malays from the younger age set and who live in towns are growing disenchanted with the grand old party's leadership and are throwing their vote behind the opposition's urban-based PKR and Islamic-focused PAS.

On his blog, The Scribe, the former New Straits Times (NST) group editor-in-chief stressed the party must reinvigorate its leadership, and as such must reject candidates who are guilty of crime, graft and money politics.

"If Umno wants to recover from the dilemma and malady that it suffers from and wants to return as the Malays' party of choice, it needs clean, transparent, competent, young and energetic leadership," A. Kadir said in a post yesterday.

"This polls is the last chance for Umno to reinvigorate its leadership and return the idealism of its struggle," he added, saying that should this do not happen, there is a huge possibility of Umno becoming a party torn between life and death.

A. Kadir's remark followed the revelation on Monday that 334 candidates vying for the various posts in Umno have been disqualified after they were found to be bankrupt.

Added to that, 495 candidates had withdrawn and 39 were probed for disciplinary issues, said Umno election committee chief Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

Umno executive secretary Datuk Rauf Yusof also revealed that 1,703 delegates would not be allowed to vote, also for bankruptcy.

A. Kadir has likened those who are in debt to a slave, claiming that there are many Malays who prefer to take debts outside their means and never mean to settle them.

"People who are in debts, but do not pay their debts back, and then declared bankrupt because they did not pay their debts, are not fit to be leaders.

"Choosing them as leaders is the same as choosing slaves as leaders," he said, explaining that those in debt are slaves to their debts.

Former Sabak Bernam MP for Umno, Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakri, was sentenced to six years' jail and RM400,000 fine in 2012 for eight counts of misappropriating public funds while being a member of the Selangor State Assembly.

Umno's former Selangor Mentri Besar Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo was convicted last year of graft in buying a bungalow and two plots of land in 2007. He had since filed an appeal with the Federal Court.

Datuk Seri Ali Rustam, who is contesting for the Umno vice-president post this year, was disqualified in 2009 from running for deputy president after being found guilty of money politics.

A total of 146,500 Umno members will cast their votes for the top leadership of the party, adopting the "electoral college" system which merges the election systems from the United States and the United Kingdom. 


Assange slams WikiLeaks film in letter to actor Cumberbatch

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 05:07 PM PDT

(Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange penned an open letter to British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays Assange in an upcoming film, praising the actor's talents but slamming his involvement with the film and turning down the actor's invitation to meet in person.

Assange, who is currently holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, wrote a letter to Cumberbatch dated Jan. 15, 2013, that was published on Wednesday on the anti-secrecy website  ahead of the Oct. 18 theatrical release of Walt Disney Co's  DreamWorks film "The Fifth Estate."    

In the letter, Assange tells Cumberbatch he is "fond" of the actor's previous work, and adds "I think I would enjoy meeting you," but urged the actor to drop his involvement in the film, saying "I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about."  

"I know the film intends to depict me and my work in a negative light. I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding. It does not seek to simplify, clarify or distil the truth, but rather it seeks to bury it. It will resurrect and amplify defamatory stories which were long ago shown to be false," Assange wrote.   

The enigmatic WikiLeaks founder turned down Cumberbatch's invitation to meet ahead of shooting for the film, citing his issues with the film's angle of his own story.    

"I believe you are well-intentioned, but surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you. By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give," Assange said.    

Assange also noted that "the bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant," and that if Cumberbatch was to take the role, "we will forever be correlated in the public imagination. Our paths will be forever entwined."    

A press release accompanying the letter on WikiLeaks on Wednesday said that Cumberbatch had replied to Assange with a "courteous and considered" email.    

Cumberbatch, 37, plays the WikiLeaks founder as rude, awkward and unkempt in the film that chronicles the emergence of WikiLeaks, based in part on the 2011 book, "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website," by Assange's once-trusted lieutenant Daniel Domscheit-Berg.   

Ecuador has given Assange political asylum in its embassy in London, where he sought refuge in June 2012, but he faces immediate arrest and extradition to Sweden to face accusations of rape and sexual assault if he leaves the embassy.    

Assange criticized the film's source material, saying, "It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation."     

At the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month, director Bill Condon said "The Fifth Estate" was not a judgment about WikiLeaks or Assange, but rather a portrayal of the complex issues surrounding transparency, privacy and security.    

"There is no takeaway or single right or wrong," Condon told Reuters at the film's premiere. "I hope people walk away and go to dinner to talk about it."   

Cumberbatch also spoke to reporters in Toronto and said he was guessing Assange wouldn't like his portrayal in the film, even though the actor sees it as a celebration of the activist's achievements.

Analysts: Trumping up race card 'usual' ahead of Umno polls

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 04:55 PM PDT

(The Star) - Temperatures rise whenever one defends his race and religion publicly, especially in the run up to party elections.

In trying to win the hearts and minds of delegates, candidates become more vocal than other times in appearing to be fighting for the rights of their race.

This happens in every Umno election, as in other race-based parties.

And this time around as the polls draw closer, Umno candidates have resorted to not only championing the cause of the Malays, but also taking a hard-line stance on issues affecting them.

It is not surprising for them to do that, said Umno experts, as this approach has been used by candidates in the past party elections to shore up support that would eventually translate to votes for them.

"They have to do it, otherwise they will be accused of deviating from the Malay cause," said History, Heritage and Socio-culture Cluster of the National Professors Council head Prof Datuk Dr Zainal Kling.

He said history had taught the candidates a lesson, when former law minister and Umno division chief Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was booted out from the party for being "liberal".

"And look at where he is now, his views have cost him his position in Umno," he said.

Zainal also explained that these candidates usually capitalised on the interest of the Malays to keep the momentum among the grassroots alive.

"This is because the top leaders, such as the president and deputy president, can no longer appear to be seen as hardliners as they already hold the highest positions in leading the country.

"So someone else has to take over the role from them," he added.

The same stunt, he said, has been around since the party's inception but it was never blown out of proportions until the emergence of the most powerful tool of information - the Internet and social media.

"Everything has been exaggerated just to influence the minds of the people, especially the youths," said Zainal.

Meanwhile, Universiti Perlis Malaysia Prof Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam said it was unfair to brand these Umno leaders as racists as they were merely speaking up for the Malay cause.

She was referring to incidents of incumbent vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein waving and kissing a keris when he was the party's Youth chief during the party's general assembly in 2007.

The same applies to the recent controversial statements by vice-presidential candidates Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Ali Rustam, who also haven't escaped from public criticism.

"They are making these statements in an Umno context, and not on the national platform. When Hishammuddin kissed the keris, he just wanted to lift up the spirits of the Malay people.

"It is a tradition and a symbol of Malay leadership," she said, adding the other races should not feel threatened by such actions.

She also believed that trumping up the race card would not affect the 1Malaysia unity concept initiated by the Prime Minister.

"They are speaking strictly on the Umno platform. They are fighting for the Malays and it is definitely unfair if they are called racists," she said.

Former Padang Besar Umno MP Tan Sri Azmi Khalid agreed, saying that other race-based parties also tended to play with similar sentiments.

"They are not against other races, they are just defending the interests of the Malays, especially in the wake of the previous general election when they lost the non-Malay votes to the Opposition," he said when contacted.

He added it was not uncommon for party leaders to make such statements in order to gain support from members.


Malaysians becoming more racist, threatening country’s foundation, says Dr Mahathir

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 04:48 PM PDT

Yiswaree Palansamy, TMI

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) today said Malaysians were becoming more racist than ever by making demands that he said could threaten the country's foundation.

"I read reports in the papers this morning saying that now Datuk Seri Najib is going backwards towards the day of favouring the Bumiputeras.

"It is not a case of favoring Bumiputeras, but creating a society where wealth is evenly distributed among all people," Dr Mahathir said, in defending Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the recently announced Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Plan (BEEP).

He said the critics forgot that in the past, resentment of the rich by the poor had resulted in people rebelling against the government.

This, he said, gave birth to such ideologies as socialism and communism.

"If the poor is related to race, the potential for violence is much greater. We want to correct that disparity," Dr Mahathir said during a visit to the MMC-Gamuda MRT construction site in Kuala Lumpur today.

"Each race has got its own extremist and they make demands which disrupt the stability of the country.

"So it is better to make a little sacrifice to correct imbalances within our society so that every race can have a share from all that is going on in this country."



Dr M: If the suspect has a gun, shoot first

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 04:41 PM PDT

(MM) - Police should be allowed to open fire on armed criminal suspects, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, backing Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's controversial "shoot first" approach that have triggered a human rights storm.

The former prime minister added that the police should refrain from pulling the trigger if the suspect was unarmed.

"When the police sees someone with a gun, it is better to shoot first if they are harmless then it's better not to.

"I would rather put the harm to the criminal than the policemen," he said when asked to comment on Ahmad Zahid's controversial remark.

On Saturday, Ahmad Zahid reportedly advocated a "shoot first" policy for the police in dealing with suspected gang members in the wake of a violent crime spree that has resulted in Malays making up the majority of the victims.

"I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first," he was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.

Earlier yesterday, Ahmad Zahid took to Twitter in apparent defence of the remark, slamming his critics for failing failed to consider the rights of police officers and victims of crime, especially those killed.

"Mana hak asasi utk Polis dan mangsa rompak, tembak dan bunuh. Kenapa pejuang hak asasi tidakpun membela? Hak asasi hanya utk penjenayah?" he tweeted in Malay.

(Translation: "Where are human rights for the police and victims of robbery, shooting and murder. Why are human rights activists not defending? Human rights only for criminals?")

Before that, the home minister came under heavy criticism from lawyers, human rights activists and politicians from both sides of the divide since word of his "shoot first" statement spread on the internet.

The latest criticism came from global rights group Human Rights Watch, whose Asia deputy director Phil Robertson said a "shoot first" policy in dealing with the over 40,000 suspected gang members, whom Ahmad Zahid claimed are mostly Indian, showed a gross indifference for the life and rights of the country's minority population.

Former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim also called for Ahmad Zahid's sacking, arguing that a "shoot first" policy is a precursor to Malaysia becoming a "failed state" as it signals that the authorities are the law and that there is no need for investigation and public trial.

Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Latheefa Koya said Ahmad Zahid's statement "confirmed our worst fears" that the government employs a shoot to kill policy when dealing with suspected criminals.

The home minister, however, has defended his statement, questioning why human rights activists are more concerned with the wellbeing of criminal suspects than for the police and victims.


Cries of the boys in blue

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 04:33 PM PDT

Alfian ZM Tahir, FMT

The men in blue have been criticised unendingly by various entities almost on a daily basis, and to top it all that they face constant danger with the rise of gun related crimes.

But there is another picture on the other side of their story. Police officers have for long suffered their own internal problems as they face shortage of funds in their respective departments.

This appalling and revealing information was obtained by FMT several days ago during a visit to a number of police stations in the Klang Valley.

Not all police officers were willing to speak out openly about the problems they have to deal with, though some were vocal but declined to be named in sharing the issues.

Those with high ranking positions, however, refused to talk to FMT, as they feared 'wrath' and repercussions from their superiors despite an assurance that their identities would be concealed.

Instead, they urged FMT to send out letters to Bukit Aman in order to get official statements from the officer- in-charge.

During the fact finding, FMT managed to approach a lance corporal who was originally from a police station in the Klang Selatan district. He had just completed his daily rounds on his own motorcycle.

He said that due to the shortage of patrol cars and the long process of reporting a damaged car, he preferred to ride his own bike although he has to bear the cost of petrol.

"Our patrol car at this station is broken and needs repair but the process is taking too much time, I use my own bike although I need to pay for the fuel," said the lance corporal, currently is stationed at a balai under Klang Utara district police station.

Upon making a brief visit to the station's workshop, it was observed that there were several patrol cars that have yet to be worked on as parts have not been replaced.

However, effort to get the mechanic to speak was futile as he refused to share insights in regards to the issue.

Logistical issues

Meanwhile an investigation police officer from Penang, who served in the Special Branch for more than eight years, explained that the distribution of funds from the government was not trickling down as planned.

He has yet to receive proper and adequate office equipments such as laptops and printers. There were several other officers who shared the same opinion as him.

"Apart from investigative jobs, I have to produce reports of all the cases I am investigating, but equipments are not up to standard. I've been using my own money to buy the A4 paper.

"Sometimes it is a hassle for us, but our main priority is to do our job," the officer said.

Another senior police officer,clarified that the problem was not as bad as seen. "The process of compiling various reports on breakdowns or faults from all over the state can result in delays," he said.

When asked to elaborate, the officer with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) asked FMT to speak to the head of logistics as he did not have the authorisation to touch on the matter.

"It is not a short process, there are many police stations and the report does not come from one station, thus the time for it to be completed may be long," added the ACP.



Goh: Other DAP leaders have praised BN, too

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 04:24 PM PDT

Leven Woon, FMT

Embattled Malacca DAP chief Goh Leong San, who quit as the state opposition leader on Tuesday after coming under criticism from state DAP leaders for praising the chief minister, showed proof that others in the party have done so to other Barisan Nasional leaders before.

Citing news reports on March 27, 2011, Goh said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had praised the then Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Aziz as being a serving MP, and that the party had no problem accepting the Umno leader.

On April 30, 2010, DAP parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has also commended Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for fulfilling the allocation promise to Chinese schools.

Goh asked why his Malacca DAP comrades, who have kicked up a fuss over his praising remarks on the chief minister, had never condemned the top leaders for committing such acts.

He was referring to Ayer Keroh assemblyman Khoo Poay Tiong and Kota Laksamana assemblyman Lai Kuen Ban who had condemned him for praising the BN.

"They have said my statement is a precursor of me defecting to BN, does the same logic apply to Kit Siang and Guan Eng?" he was quoted as saying in the Sin Chew Daily today.

The Duyong assemblyman, claimed that he was made an Aunt Sally solely because Khoo and Lai were vying for the state opposition leader post.

Following Goh's resignation, his ally, Malacca DAP deputy chief Lim Jak Wong, has also resigned as the state party whip, leaving two positions vacant.



Dr M to minorities: Make sacrifices to prevent ‘discontent, rebellion’ of majority

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 01:45 PM PDT 

(MMO) - Malaysia's minority groups must make "little sacrifices" to spread the distribution of wealth among all races, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today, backing the extension of a national policy favouring the dominant Bumiputera community.
The still-influential former prime minister threw his weight behind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who announced last month the New Bumiputera Economic Agenda, saying such a policy was needed to ensure long term stability.

The 88-year-old also said it was important for the country's minorities to embrace the policy and "make little sacrifices" to prevent inciting discontent among the majority race, a statement seemingly referring to the 1969 May 13 race riots.

"I read in the papers this morning that people are accusing Datuk Seri Najib of returning to favour the Bumiputeras (sic). I would like to say that is not the case, it is about creating equitable wealth among the races," Mahathir said in his speech during a visit to the construction site of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail central station in Cheras here.

"If not this will bring about discontent and rebellion from a certain race, much like what we have seen in the it is better to make little sacrifices to correct the imbalances. This will be good for long term stability". - See more at:

Read more at: 

‘Khalwat raids against Islamic principles’

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 01:34 PM PDT 

(FMT) - State religious department raids, done in the name of Islam is against the very principles of Islam in the first place, says an ex-mufti.

For years, state Islamic department officials have been raiding clubs, hotels and private homes to catch Muslims committing khalwat.

These officials have indirectly caused the death of people, stripping top officials of their positions and even mistakenly nabbing happily married couples.

Last month, two Pahang footballers were caught by the Pahang Islamic Religious Department on suspicion of having committed khalwat with a woman each in a hotel. Speculation is rife that one of the women was a young Malay actress.

Typically, these type of religious raids get splashed onto the front pages of local tabloids, and the perpetrators, like the footballer and actress, become gossip fodder for Malaysians everywhere.

Yet, ironically, this act of snooping, spying, naming and shaming done in the name of Islam, and paid for by taxpayers, is against the principles of Islam in the first place, as former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin points out.

"Yes, Islam forbids khalwat and adultery. But Islam also forbids exposing people's personal wrongdoings.

"It is not your responsibility to snoop around and uncover people's wrongdoings," Asri told FMT.

The renowned Muslim scholar has for years been a staunch critic of khalwat arrests and raids, even while he was a mufti from 2006 to 2008.

"Such activities give the impression that Islam encourages invasion of privacy, which is not true," said Asri.

Read more at: 

Malaysia Losing Talent Battle To Singapore

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 01:02 PM PDT 

(Value Walk) - How can Malaysia support advanced industries without the talent necessary for those industries to grow? 

Brain drain has been a huge issue for Malaysia over the last several years. Now a new index released by the World Economic Forum shows that Malaysia is at risk of slipping even further behind, despite recent efforts to attract and retain talent.

Singapore's labor force is now ranked as the third best labor force in the world, according to a combination of education, employment, health, and enabling factors. Malaysia's workforce comes in at a respectable 22, but still lags behind its long-time rival, Singapore. With Malaysia trying desperately to increase the quality and productivity of its workforce, this news suggests that the country has a long way to go.

Singapore's economy is far more advanced than Malaysia

Singapore's economy is far more advanced than Malaysia's and in fact is one of the most developed economies in the world. From high-end manufacturing, to cutting edge pharmaceutical research, the Singapore economy is at the forefront of many industries. This has helped the island nation generate numerous high-paying jobs and opportunities. With a native population of only 4 million people, however, Singapore has long relied on attracting foreign talent to fuel its economy.

One of the key sources of this foreign talent has been Malaysia. Singapore can offer higher wages and arguably a higher quality of life to Malaysians willing to cross the short causeway to live and work in the city-state. A combination of Malaysian affirmative action policies also encourages Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent to leave Malaysia in search of better opportunities. And Singapore often ends up receiving the best of Malaysia's talent looking to move abroad.

This news is especially troubling at a time when Malaysia is trying to avoid a middle-income trap. The Malaysian economy has grown at a strong clip over the last several decades, growing, on average, in access of 5 percent. This growth, however, has relied on infrastructure development, commodities, and other low-value added sectors. Further, in order to keep prices for commodities and other products low, Malaysia has long relied on the import of cheap labor from Indonesia and elsewhere.

Read more at: 

Smash-and-grab gang members shot dead after car chase

Posted: 09 Oct 2013 12:32 PM PDT 

Suspected criminals have nothing to lose now but to keep shooting as the police apparently have a shoot to kill policy

(The Star) - Two of the robbers were still firing away when one of them was gunned down 

Three smash-and-grab gang members were gunned down during a shootout near the Sentul toll plaza on the Duke Highway.

The three had earlier been in a 60km high-speed chase with police in South Klang.

The drama began when a team from the Selangor police serious crime division (D9) – patrolling under the Ops Banker – spotted the men and their accomplices in South Klang at about 11.30am yesterday.

Three black Proton Wira were seen sandwiching another car while a man on a motorcycle broke a window and snatched the victim's money amounting to RM2,000.

A chase ensued with the gang being chased through several urban areas before two of the cars were cornered near the toll plaza.

Selangor deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said the gang members fired several shots at the police.

"We had no choice but to fire back, hitting three suspects. They died at the scene," he said, adding that there were no casualties on the police side.

DCP Abdul Rahim said the gang's victim – a woman in her 30s – was not hurt during the robbery.

He said the dead men were believed to be Indonesians.

He said police were looking for other members of the gang as well as the driver of the third car and the motorcyclist.

A security guard, identified only as Sundram, 59, said he saw the gang members fire first before the police returned fire.

"Two of the robbers were still firing away when one of them was gunned down," he said.

A worker at the toll plaza, who only wished to be known as Jai, said he was shocked that a shootout had taken place near his workplace as he had thought the blasts were tyres exploding.

"The police then instructed us to stay in the toll booth and duck for fear of stray bullets," he said. 


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