Sabtu, 9 November 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

The Malay rulers: To be feared or respected?

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 11:55 AM PST 

(TMI) - That kind of behaviour coupled with the continued insistence of a court language that is demeaning and the customs of sembah (to pay obeisance), have put the Malay rulers out of touch with a citizenry more aware of their democratic rights.

Dr Syed Husin Ali has a few revolutionary ideas on how to turn the Malay rulers, who have faced a rash of criticism and venom over the past few years, into a respected institution of national and communal unity.

Not only would they be respected, says the Senator from Selangor, the monarchy could one day be looked upon as an impartial referee to the political rivalry that's turning Malaysia into a boiler room of ethnic and religious tensions.

But for this to happen, says Syed Husin, a former sociology professor, the nine Malay rulers must be willing to give up some of the privileges that make them royals in the first place.

This is the kernel of his new book "The Malay Rulers: Regression or Reform?"

The slim 83-page work is an update to his earlier book written in Bahasa Malaysia slightly more than 20 years ago titled "Isu Raja dan Pindaan Perlembagaan" (The Royalty Issue and Constitutional Amendments).

Immune no more

The update is no coincidence. In December 1992, the Parliament during the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed administration, passed a constitutional amendment that was to have a huge effect on the power of the Malay rulers.

The amendment effectively stripped them of immunity from prosecution in a court of law – a privilege they once had and which till the early '90s, some of them abused.

A little more than 10 years before that, the Dewan Rakyat also amended the Constitution to take away the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to block new laws by not giving his consent to parliamentary bills.

It was during the heady days of what is called "the 1993 constitutional crisis" that Syed Husin penned the original book in order to understand what was going on and what effect it would have on society.

"I was even invited by Utusan Malaysia (which was already an Umno mouthpiece) to write several articles on the issue. My writings were seen as a way to strengthen the reasoning for introducing those amendments", he said during a recent interview.

As he outlines in the book, although the 1993 amendment was sparked by several brutal beatings of ordinary citizens by members of the Johor royal family, the Barisan Nasional administration was unsure how it would be accepted by the people.

So it ran a media campaign through organs such as Utusan Malaysia and television stations which highlighted the excesses of the royals.

Besides the assault case of the Johor royal, cases of Sultans demanding choice logging concessions were also dredged up and publicised.

The argument then, as Dr Mahathir said during his speech to Parliament when tabling the amendment, was not "to remove the institution of Malay rulers, but to strengthen their position".

Slightly 20 years later, that position has been questioned and criticised again as the Malay rulers get caught up in the seismic shifts that rocked society after the 2008 general election.

20 years later

Though they have had some of their powers clipped, the Malay rulers have leveraged the influence, power and position they have as heads of state to take advantage of the new power dynamics between BN and Pakatan Rakyat.

This is seen, Syed Husin said, in how the Rulers of Perak and Selangor have acted in ways which seem detrimental to their respective Pakatan governments.

"After 2008, when Umno lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament, they tried to get the support of the Malay rulers in their campaign against Pakatan.

"But they also had problems dealing with some of the royalty," said Syed Husin.

The Rulers of Perlis and Terengganu had rejected the Menteri Besar's candidates from the BN Federal government when they were forming the state administrations.

This landscape of intense political feuding, Syed Husin said, has emboldened the Malay rulers as they realise that their support is coveted by the two political coalitions and their civil society supporters.

"The Malay rulers themselves have become instruments to solidify power."

This has not gone down well with the public. While many have taken to Facebook and the internet to criticise the royals' behaviour and actions, others have been less civil.

Some of the Rulers have had crude caricatures of them posted on the web. Even worse are pictures, purportedly of their close relatives in compromising situations, being widely spread on Facebook.

Read more at: 

City Hall resumes demolition of temple in Jalan P Ramlee

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 11:54 AM PST 

(The Star) - The Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman temple off Jalan P Ramlee was demolished this morning despite a meeting pending with the deputy minister of the Federal Territories Ministry later this month.

Temple president R.A. Balasubramaniam said the officers from Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) along with several policemen came to the temple as early as 7.30am.

"They made those inside leave without any explanation and proceeded to demolish the temple," he said.

"Nobody will talk to us and they have not allowed us to go inside to salvage what we can. No notice has been served," he said.

A building at the temple site on the verge of being demolished

By 11am, parts of the temple building had been torn down. A bystander, identified as Mohan said he was unsure if the main temple would be demolished today.

By 11.15am, several tractors were seen tearing down the main temple building, including the roof.

On Sept 1, part of the 101-year-old temple was demolished by City Hall after the temple authorities and DBKL reached an impasse in their year-long negotiations to remove the temple from DBKL's reserve land.

Police had said only the wall of the temple at the back adjacent to a new office highrise was being demolished to make way for an 8-feet walkway.

Several political leaders, who were at the temple, failed to get any explanation from the City Hall officers as to the latest action to demolish the temple.


Some of them were heard shouting at the officers.

City Hall vans and policemen were seen checking all vehicles entering the area, with scores of people watching by the roadside. 

The Sri Muniswarar Kaliamman temple is the only temple for Hindus within Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle business hub.

The temple was built in 1911 is now deemed to be on DBKL's reserve land for road expansion, pedestrian paths or drainage.

Hap Seng Land is putting up a 30-storey office building in an adjacent plot and can only get a Certificate of Fitness if it builds a walkway in line with DBKL requirements.

However, the temple is on the land that would be needed for the walkway and the developer offered some land in Sepang for the temple to be relocated to but the temple authorities rejected that offer as the place of worship had historical significance.

When the two could not come to an amicable settlement, Hap Seng sued City Hall which, in turn, sent an eviction notice to the temple.  

My Saifuddin dilemma: moderation, Mahathir, 1Malaysia, and Najib

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 11:48 AM PST 

Syed Farid Alatas, who teaches sociology at the National University of Singapore, called upon attendees to consider the plight of Shiites in Malaysia. The treatment of this large Muslim minority gives us a good measure of how successful the institutions and preachers of moderation have been.


How much energy should Malaysia expend on Foreign Policy? Is Malaysia uniquely positioned to be a force for good in the world? How can Malaysia contribute to peace and progress in the world? What has Malaysia already done and what initiatives should Malaysia continue, expand or begin?

First, a little review of the history of moderation in Malaysia.

In the 1980's, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir – a visionary and opportunist – saw that he could attract foreign investment by projecting Malaysia as a stable 'Islamic' nation.

Malaysia had advantages other ASEAN countries did not have. We had cheap labour and a stable government. We had invisible military leaders, constrained Ustaz (Mullahs) and disconnected activists.

Conversely our 'cheap labour' ASEAN neighbours had many failings. They didn't have political stability. Their public spaces included communists, militarists, organized Ustaz and effective activists.

Dr M – understanding that investors care more about cheap labour and infrastructure than they do about human rights – established himself as a 'democratic' dictator. Investors could trust him.

Dr M saw that he could use investment to win support within and for Umno, while bringing material progress to the nation. He needed to neutralize PAS, the Islamic opposition party. So, he brought 'Islamic' Anwar into Umno. They legislated a slew of 'Islamic enactments' in state assemblies.

Dr M purported to curb proselytization of Muslims. The real intent was to give 'progressive' Umno Islamic credentials and dampen criticism by 'regressive' PAS.

Dr M saw Islamic Fundamentalism on the rise worldwide. He decided to raise an alternative view. To this end he created Malaysian "International Islamic" institutions. These enabled local and foreign scholars to speak about and for Islam in controlled, scholarly ways, unlike the ways of PAS Ulamas' who were essentially fiery, rousing preachers.

Dr M made the world aware of the Malaysian brand of Islam. He made speeches. He sent Malaysians as peace-keepers and peace-makers. Muslims the world over yearned for their own nations to have a Malaysian version of Islam: Dr M was not much liked by Middle Eastern tyrants!

Dr M created and funded organizations such as ISTAC (1987) and IKIM (1992). He enabled and sanctioned the work of scholars such as the late Naquib al-Attas, Hashim Kamali and others whom they spawned. These institutions and scholars were/are perceived as moderates.

The mere cosmetic effectiveness of the preachers of moderation surfaced when it became known that those who attacked the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 had used Malaysia as one of their plotting centres. President Bush famously included Malaysia as one of the countries in 'The Axis of Evil.' (Why is anyone surprised that U.S. embassies are spying and eavesdropping centres?)

But world leaders were desperate to find and promote a "Muslim state" which they could present as the moderate face of Islam. It is no surprise that a December 2002 Opinion piece by Michael Backman in the New York Times titled "Malaysia's Mahathir: A moderate voice for Islam" began:

"Where in these troubled times should we go to find an accurate picture of contemporary Islam? The Middle East, where the religion was born? Certainly not. Nearby North Africa? Wrong again. Try Malaysia."

World leaders chose to merely note, and not shame and challenge sham moderation in Malaysia (as Backman does later on in his piece).

Read more at: 

Bajet dan Realiti

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 11:42 AM PST 

BR1M yang dijanjikan sebanyak RM1200 seisi rumah, akan dibayar RM650. Golongan bujang yang dijanjikan BR1M RM600, hanya akan mendapat RM300. Baucher Buku 1Malaysia yang dijanjikan meningkat kepada RM300, kekal pada RM250. Tiada pengumuman mengenai langkah-langkah kerajaan dalam menurunkan harga kereta. Apatah lagi janji-janji samar seperti persekolahan satu sesi dan penambahan 3.3 juta peluang pekerjaan. Hampir kesemua janji-janji BN tidak ditepati.

Secebis Kewarasan

Pembentangan Belanjawan adalah acara yang ditunggu-tunggu rakyat Malaysia. Belum pun belanjawan diumumkan, media perdana dan elektronik tidak putus-putus meramal itu dan ini. Di kaca televisyen, profesor-profesor dan pakar-pakar ekonomi, mula sibuk berdiskusi .

Di kedai-kedai kopi pelbagai ramalan dibincangkan dengan hangat hingga ke awal pagi. Keterujaan ini turut merebak ke alam maya. Ramalan-ramalan di facebook, twitter dan whatsapp, tidak kurang sensasinya.

Di tampuk pemerintahan, Menteri Kewangan berdolak dalih apabila ditanya tentang isi belanjawan. Respon yang paling kerap diberinya hanyalah sekuntum senyuman – yang mungkin bererti,'tunggulah dulu. Barulah ada kejutan!'

Pihak pembangkang juga tertanya-tanya, Dengan maklumat yang ada, mereka mencongak-congak dan memerah otak bagi menerbitkan bajet bayangan yang lebih meyakinkan. Walaupun usaha ini tidak akan mengubah keputusan kerajaan, ia tetap dilakukan hingga ada yang tak tidur malam.

Tiba hari pembentangan, media memenuhi Parlimen. Menteri Kewangan dan para menteri kabinet mengenakan baju melayu berwarna-warni. Posing yang sama – memegang briefcase atau teks ucapan – dilagakkan bertahun-tahun oleh si Menteri Kewangan; sejak Tun Daim hingga kini, DS Najib.

Semasa pembentangan, sidang Dewan Rakyat yang selalunya berapi-api menjadi dingin. Menteri Kewangan fokus membacakan teks belanjawan, risau tersimpul lidah dengan istilah-istilah rumit didalamnya. Ahli-ahli Dewan Rakyat yang lain tampak memberi sepenuh perhatian. Entah faham atau tidak? Yang dirumah – lagilah!

Selesainya pembentangan, keterujaan terus memuncak. Media-media perdana; televisyen dan akhbar kerajaan sibuk menyimpulkan ucapan belanjawan bagi memudahkan rakyat faham. Semuanya baik belaka. Kata mereka, 'Inilah belajawan yang terbaik di dunia'. Sebaliknya, media-media pro-pembangkang menghentam habis-habisan. Tiada apa yang baik. Mereka mengisytiharkan bahawa,'Belanjawan ini akan membankrapkan negara'.

Dewan Rakyat kembali hangat apabila belanjawan dibahaskan. Habis semua angka dibahaskan. Trendperbahasan sebenarnya mudah untuk diramal. Ahli-ahli dewan Barisan Nasional (BN) akan puji melambung-lambung lalu menyokong belanjawan tersebut. Wakil Rakyat Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pula membangkang habis-habisan.

Di luar dewan, serata Malaysia, rakyat turut serta berbahas sesama sendiri di kedai-kedai kopi,facebook, twitter dan juga whatsapp. Kadangkala, kehangatan perdebatan mereka mengalahkan perbahasan Dewan Rakyat.

Begitulah negara kita pada musim belanjawan. Dari yang di atas, hingga ke bawah – semuanya teruja.

Tetapi percayalah, keterujaan ini akan surut begitu sahaja seketika nanti. Hidup rakyat akan kembali seperti sediakala (susah). Pemimpin-pemimpin politik akan membawa rakyat keseluruhannya berhijrah dan teruja kepada, dan dengan isu-isu lain pula. Peruntukkan yang diumumkan akan dibazirkan. Laporan Audit Negara yang menyusul akan melaporkan ketirisan melampau seperti, atau lebih buruk dari tahun sebelumnya.


Belanjawan kerajaan BN yang tiada pembaharuan

Meninjau ucapan belanjawan 2014, tiada banyak yang baru. Format dan intipatinya seakan sama dengan tahun lepas. Sekali lagi, kerajaan membentangkan belanjawan defisit; meletakkan peruntukkan besar (RM 264.2 billion) berbanding unjuran pendapatan yang lebih kecil (RM 224 billion), dengan kadar kerugian (defisit fiskal) sebanyak 3.5%.

Seperti biasa, pelbagai skim dan insentif baru diperkenal. Subsidi– subsidi dikurangkan, manakala BR1M diteruskan. Penyelarasan cukai, yakni ada cukai yang naik dan ada cukai yang turun, dilakukan sekadar untuk membuka jalan kepada Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST) yang akan berkuatkuasa April 2015. Mungkin GST ini sahaja yang baru. Selainnya tetap sama; pengumumam bonus penjawat awam, peningkatan elaun pesara dan sebagainya.

Kadar inflasi (2-3%) dan kadar pengangguran (3.1%) yang diumumkan sedikit meragukan. Angka-angka (kecil) ini tidak mencerminkan keadaan sebenar. Nilai matawang menjunam jika dilihat dari sudut kuasa membelinya. Jika tahun lepas sebungkus nasik campur boleh dibeli dengan harga RM5, tahun ini nilai nasik bungkus dengan lauk-lauk yang sama meningkat ke RM7.50. Peningkatan harga barang-barang makanan yang lain juga begitu. Mungkin pakar-pakar ekonomi boleh memutar-mutar angka dan fakta untuk membenarkan kadar inflasi yang rendah itu, tetapi hakikatnya, kesan inflasi yang ditanggung rakyat di bawah ini adalah lebih tinggi, jauh lebih tinggi dari 2-3%.

Melalui pemerhatian saya, pengangguran juga lebih besar dari peratusan yang diumumkan. Sejak 10 tahun yang lepas, banyak kedengaran kisah-kisah sedih pekerja dibuang kerja. Petronas, syarikat terbesar negara pun tidak dapat lari dari membuang pekerja-pekerjanya. Graduan-graduan baru sukar mendapat pekerjaan. Beratus ribu graduan baru masih terkial-kial mencari pekerjaan. Belum lagi graduan-graduan tahun-tahun lepas yang masih menganggur. Kebanyakkan mereka kini hanya mampu menunggu surat saman dari PTPTN – skim yang memerah duit rakyat bagi mengayakan tauke-tauke IPTS.

Belanjawan 2014 juga menjadi bukti kegagalan kerajaan BN mengotakan janji-janji pilihanraya umum (PRU) yang lalu. BR1M yang dijanjikan sebanyak RM1200 seisi rumah, akan dibayar RM650. Golongan bujang yang dijanjikan BR1M RM600, hanya akan mendapat RM300. Baucher Buku 1Malaysia yang dijanjikan meningkat kepada RM300, kekal pada RM250. Tiada pengumuman mengenai langkah-langkah kerajaan dalam menurunkan harga kereta. Apatah lagi janji-janji samar seperti persekolahan satu sesi dan penambahan 3.3 juta peluang pekerjaan. Hampir kesemua janji-janji BN tidak ditepati.

Ironinya, BN masih melaung-laungkan slogan 'Janji Ditepati'. Strategi mengulang-ulang pembohongan melalui poster, iklan, slogan, lagu-lagu dan filem patriotik; bagi mengolah persepsi, sudah ketinggalan zaman. Kini, setiap fakta perlu berasaskan bukti. Rakyat sudah pandai dan tidak mudah diperbodohkan seperti dulu.


Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat yang kurang sengatnya

Bajet PR yang diumumkan sehari sebelum pembentangan belanjawan negara dilihat sedikit tawar dan mendatar. Tidak seperti bajet-bajat PR pada tahun-tahun lalu, bajet PR kali ini tidak setajam dan kurang sengatnya. Ia tidak membayangkan ketelitian kerja yang sinonim dengan PR. Tiada idea-idea mahupun konsep-konsep segar seperti yang biasa diketengahkan oleh PR. Ia terlalu ringkas mengikut standard PR yang biasanya komprehensif. Ia juga tidak menyatakan tindakan-tindakan yang akan diambil bagi melunaskan manifesto PRU PR yang sememangnya lebih populis dari BN.

Terdapat beberapa sebab mengapa Bajet PR kali ini kurang sengatnya?  Pertembungan sengit pada PRU yang lepas telah melemahkan stamina mereka. Ia ditambah lagi dengan kekecewaan gagal mengambil alih Putrajaya. Dana yang tinggal pun sudah berkurangan. Dengan kata lain, PR sekarang sedang keletihan.

Tiadanya PRU pada masa tersingkat memberi PR sedikit masa menghirup udara bagi memulihkan semangat dan tenaga. Jika pun segala daya ditumpukan untuk menghasilkan bajet yang kompetetif, intipati bajet tersebut akan diabaikan kerajaan. Pada tahun-tahun yang lalu, bajet-bajet yang canggih sekurang-kurangnya dapat meningkatkan imej dan kredibiliti PR sebagai kerajaan yang berwibawa. Saya bersangka bahawa sebab mengapa kurangnya sengat pada bajet PR kali ini bukanlah kerana malas atau sikap sambil lewa, tetapi ia adalah keputusan strategik setelah mengambil kira faktor-faktor keletihan, kekurangan sumber dan kecilnya impak bajet PR terhadap keputusan kerajaan – demi survival politik.

Ketiadaan tokoh yang menjuarai isu-isu ekonomi seperti Rafizi Ramli yang menunaikan Haji, dan Dr. Dzulkifli yang kecundang pada PRU lepas, mengurangkan lagi tarikan kepada bajet PR kali ini. DS Anwar Ibrahim pun sering ke luar negara semasa keterujaan terhadap belanjawan memuncak.

Read more at: Bajet dan Realiti 

It's an Erdogan vs ulama showdown

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 10:34 AM PST 

The power struggle between the ulama and Erdogans in PAS will be played out in the contest for the No 2 post between Mohamad Sabu and Datuk Nik Amar Nik Abdullah. 

Joceline Tan, The Star 

DATUK Nik Aziz Nik Mat's son Nik Abduh is known for having political opinions that are quite independent of his father's politics. But as many people would know by now, Nik Abduh is, at heart, a filial and respectful son.

Last Friday, the 82-year-old PAS mursyidul am was unwell and could not make it for his weekly Friday morning lecture at the PAS headquarters in Kota Baru. He asked Nik Abduh to stand in for him.

Nik Abduh, who is a splitting image of his father, was the right man for the job – he is the Pasir Mas MP, the deputy PAS Youth chief and a religious scholar in his own right.

But there was more to it than just giving a lecture on behalf of his father – Nik Aziz also asked his son to deliver a "special message" which is now the talk of PAS circles in Kelantan.

Nik Abduh told his audience that he had a message from his father which he was reluctant to voice out. But he said that if he did not deliver the message, he would have to answer to his father.

His father wanted him to convey that anyone, whether ulama or non-ulama, could contest for the leadership of PAS in the party election taking place in two weeks' time.

There were gasps of surprise from the audience.

Last month, Nik Aziz caused ripples when he said that the two top posts in PAS should be filled by the ulama or religious scholars. A few days later, he pulled back from his earlier stand and said there is an ulama in every Muslim.

The latest flip-flop was basically an attempt to level the playing field between the ulama and the non-ulama in the party election.

But it was his choice of mouthpiece which showed what a consummate political animal that this revered preacher is. Nik Aziz's son is known as an Islamic hardliner and part of the group that believes that the president and deputy president posts must be held by the ulama.

Nik Abduh was put in a spot having to deliver a message that he did not agree with. But he could not possibly disobey his own father who is the head of the Syura Council, the party's most powerful body.

Ulama or Erdogan? That is the big question hanging over PAS as it prepares to elect a new leadership line-up. The stage is set for a showdown between the ulama group and the Erdogan camp.

And this could not be more apparent than in the contest for the deputy president post between incumbent Mohamed Sabu and Datuk Nik Amar Nik Abdullah who is Kelantan deputy Mentri Besar. Mohamad or Mat Sabu, as he known, is with the Erdogans whereas Nik Amar is an ulama.

The ulama comprise the Islamic scholars, preferably those who come from the most prestigious Sunni seat of learning in Al-Azhar and who have a conservative view of politics.

The Erdogans are mainly those who went to secular schools and have a more worldly view of politics. Many of them are also activists like Mat Sabu. Many of the leading Erdogans were driven to join PAS after the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and have become influential in the party.

For several months now, the pro-ulama group has been working quietly behind the scenes to reassert its dominance in the party election.

The leading figure behind this group is the tall, handsome and ultra-conservative Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib. Harun suffered a stroke several years ago and everyone thought his political career was over. But his supporters said God had other plans for him. He recovered and is now the leading conservative voice in PAS.

Harun and his ulama group worked out to ensure that there would be only one ulama candidate in the contest for deputy president. They wanted to avoid a repeat of the 2011 party polls where two of the three candidates were ulama. This split the pro-ulama vote and Mat Sabu ended up as the victor.

Mat Sabu is seen as a threat to their policy of "kepimpinan ulama" or leadership of the ulama. The ulama have nightmares at the thought that Mat Sabu could by some unforeseen circumstances end up as president of PAS. 


AG Gani should be suspended over alleged misdeeds, says Anwar

Posted: 09 Nov 2013 10:30 AM PST 

(TMI) - Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail should be suspended immediately in the wake of allegations purportedly made by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the AG's Chambers had employed two American agents.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the allegations were shocking and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should give an immediate response on the issue to either clarify the allegations or deny them.

"The recent revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden which exposed a global espionage network by the United States, Australia and other countries conducted on Malaysian soil has been nothing short of alarming," Anwar said in a statement today.

"However, Najib has remained silent about the issue and the latest allegations are shameful and scandalous. As the country's leader, Najib should step forward and clear the air," he urged.

"The wall of silence surrounding Najib and Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is symptomatic of a larger problem which is affecting Putrajaya. Demands for transparency and accountability continue to be made in vain as it falls on deaf ears."

Anwar said Gani also owed the public an explanation on the allegations surrounding him and his office. Anwar added that there were also other allegations of Gani's illegal and conspiratorial activities linked to his office.

Former city Criminal Investigation Department head Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim had lodged numerous reports which contained damning allegations against Gani, Anwar said. The AG's failure to deny these allegations means he is culpable of the alleged wrongdoings and he should be suspended from office immediately. 


My birthday thoughts for Tok Wan

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 07:38 PM PST

Actually, I was already very conscious of this fact -- that I had outlived both my parents -- back in 1997 when I too touched 46-47. I felt that if I could live beyond 1997 that would mean I was on what I called 'injury time' or 'subsidy years'. In other words, that extra time did not belong to me. I had already used up my time here on earth.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

My grandmother, Tengku Puan Nor Saadah Binti Almarhum Sultan Ala'eddin Suleiman Shah, who was born in 1922, will turn 91 on Monday. That makes my Tok Wan about 28 years older than me.

She is actually my step-grandmother, so to speak, and the younger sister to my father's mother, Tengku Badariah Binti Almarhum Sultan Ala'eddin Suleiman Shah (who died on 11th February 1937, just before the war).

In those days, the custom was that when the elder sister dies you 'replace' her with the younger sister. Hence my father's mother (my real grandmother) and my step-grandmother are sisters.

I sometimes wonder whether I will get to live as long as her, another 28 years, considering that my father died in 1971 at the age of 46 while my mother died in 1980 at the age of 47. I mean I have already outlived both my parents by about 16-17 years.

Actually, I was already very conscious of this fact -- that I had outlived both my parents -- back in 1997 when I too touched 46-47. I felt that if I could live beyond 1997 that would mean I was on what I called 'injury time' or 'subsidy years'. In other words, that extra time did not belong to me. I had already used up my time here on earth.

In a way, that changed me somewhat. Prior to 1997, I would be chasing my dreams -- basically of making money. Thereafter, making money no longer became a priority to me. What did was to make good use of the 'extra time' that I was enjoying and which both my parents did not have the advantage of.

I suppose that was why, in 1997, I decided on a career change. Instead of doing business and making money, I wanted to write. And I wanted to write about social issues -- which also meant to write about politics, religion, etc., since these come hand-in-glove with social issues when it comes to Malaysia.

Earlier than that I was already writing but about cycling, motorcycling and running. In fact, I was one of The Star columnists for about seven years since 1990 or so.

In 1997, I started writing full-time for the English section of Harakah, the party organ of the Islamic Party, PAS. And because of that The Star decided to sack me (since I was now seen as pro-opposition).

Not long after that, in 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from Umno and the government and the Reformasi Movement exploded onto the scene. The rest is all now history and something that I have written about so many times (so no need for me to repeat that story).

Many of my relatives and friends did not understand why I would get off the merry-go-round of the corporate scene and choose a life of poverty as a writer of social, political and religious issues (which I said in Malaysia comes as a package). The fact that my life of poverty eventually led to bankruptcy was probably perplexing to those who knew me.

With the many and powerful contacts that I had, I could easily be another of the many successful Malays (Bumiputeras) who exploited their contacts and the NEP to get ahead. That was certainly what I, too, thought back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s when I was active in the corporate scene. But then when you begin to question your mortality and realise that time is no longer on your side, you also begin to question what good is all that when at the end of the day you are just going to go to your grave -- and probably not long more on top of that -- and you can take none of that with you.

Anyway, that was 16 years ago back in 1997 when I reached the age that both my parents died. I decided to change my life because I thought that my life was getting very short and I did not think that I would still be knocking around for another 16 years until today.

Then, in 2009, I left the country to come to the UK and that, again, made me rethink my life. In 2010, my wife, Marina, was diagnosed with cancer and this really shook me up. Many of my friends' wives, mothers, sisters, etc., had also been diagnosed with cancer and not many survived. I feared that I would lose Marina and would be left all alone in this world. I had always thought and hoped that I would go before her and not the other way around. 

Anyway, with surgery and radiotherapy treatment, Marina survived the ordeal and thus far the cancer appears to have been kept at bay. We will know by 2015 whether she is totally out of the woods.

Many say that they noticed the change in me around 2010. I was no longer fighting for the same cause like I was from 1997 until 2009. Of course, the easiest conclusion was that I had been turned or had been bought and that is why I have done what many consider a U-turn.

True, I did change. I used to fight for the opposition cause prior to 2010. But in 2010 I almost lost Marina to cancer and soon after that I was diagnosed with a prostrate problem and am now on medication for life (and in the UK one in eight prostate problems develop into cancer) plus I have glaucoma and also need to be on medication for life (and which may or may not cause blindness).

2010 was also when I decided to launch the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM). I felt that life was too short to fight for narrow causes (such as ABU or the opposition cause). I need to fight for a bigger cause in the short time that I have left. And that bigger cause is not to change governments or win elections but to change the way that society thinks.

In a way, the courses I took in Oxford since 2010 (and am still taking) probably also had a bearing on my change of thought. I realised that change can only happen either through an armed revolution or through a change in the way that society thinks. And in Malaysia an armed revolution is out of the question. So I would have to focus on the fight to change the way that society thinks.

And you have probably noticed, as well, that since 2010 the things I write about are different from what I used to write about prior to 2010. That is all the result of this change of thought. I no longer believe that change can happen through the ballot box. And I also do not believe that change can happen though the barrel of the gun.

The ballot and the bullet will not bring about this change that we seek. Change has to be through a mental revolution and hence the way Malaysians think would become very crucial if we want to see this happen.

I suppose those of you who are in your 20s and 30s, or even in your 40s, would perceive things differently. I actually do not blame you because when I was your age I, too, thought the same way that you do. But when you reach your 60s like me and when you suffer a scare that you thought was the end of everything, you too will begin to see life differently and will have a different perspective of what you need to fight for to see positive changes for the country.

Anyway, happy birthday, Tok Wan! The above is my birthday thoughts for your 91st birthday and from the looks of it you may yet outlive me if you live to a hundred.

The young Tengku Puan Nor Saadah (this picture was taken around WWII)


The wedding photo (Raja Sir Tun Uda Al Haj Bin Raja Muhammad, died 1976, marries Tengku Puan Nor Saadah)


Another wedding photo


Raja Sir Tun Uda Al Haj, the Malaysian High Commissioner to Britain, and Tengku Puan Nor Saadah, in England around the time I was born (also in England in 1950)


Those damn Chinese!

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 04:19 PM PST

KTemoc Konsiders

Dr Mahathir: "Maybe I'm wrong—and I admit I am frequently wrong."

Gasp gawd omigosh, you frequently wrong? Where got one (mana adalah) Tun! wakakaka.

But that's what The Grand Olde Man said, as reported by The Malay Mail in its news article Dr M: Election candies a waste, voters no longer bite.

Following UMNO's loss, specifically in the recent Sungai Limau by-election and generally in the May GE-13, he stated the above as a humble* qualifier to his prognosis for politicians in future elections.

* Dr Mahathir humble? my second wakakaka on him.

He pontificated that voters would no longer swayed by election pork-barreling** but rather by 'the actions of political leaders who show they can help the electorate improve their economic situation'.

** a government appropriation, bill, or policy that supplies funds for local improvements (eg. in the various by-elections in Ijok, Sg Limau, Sibu, Hulu Selangor, etc) designed to ingratiate legislators with their constituents).

Our Malaysian styled pork-barreling have been far more crude, made with just campaign 'promises', many of which were not financially sound (including some from the opposition).

He summarized: "Those who do not support, will still not support. The money given is a waste, whether it is the government's money or not."

Amin Tun, though you should have said this eons ago.

However, on second thoughts, I may have to disagree a wee bit on pork barreling. Actually Chinese can support BN if two factors are present: firstly, the pork barreling should be about favourable long term educational prospects for the Chinese community as not all Chinese are well off like Vincent Tan wakakaka, and secondly, the opposition (to BN, especially UMNO) in a specific constituency is unworthy or not to be trusted, wakakaka - I'm afraid you have to work that out yourself, but a hint, it's not a simplistic ABU.

Sungai Limau could possibly (though not probably) have been an above case in point if the election day was not a Monday, a working day. But even then, there was a small but discernible Chinese swing towards BN. Of course MCA and Gerakan would be magnifying the Chinese swing as much as possible while as expected, DAP would be doing the exact opposite, wakakaka. I'll return to this point later.

Back to Dr Mahathir, wakakaka - No doubt, and in practical terms 'unnecessarily', still smarting from UMNO's loss to PAS in the by-election, he has, to his magnificent credit, refrained from directly condemning the bloody Chinese for failing to come out in full force to support his son's party, wakakaka.

I toyed with the word 'unnecessarily' to describe his smarting at UMNO's loss because really, to lose in a PAS stronghold like Sungai Limau would not be a shame to Mukhriz's efforts nor unexpected, if we remember that the state constituency has reputedly been held by the Islamic party for nine (9) terms.

In fact, I'd even go as far as to say Mukhriz and his team did a fairly good job, shaving PAS' majority down by more than half, to only 1084 instead of the 2774 the Islamic party enjoyed just a mere 6 months ago.

Nonetheless Dr Mahathir must be clenching his fists and gritting his teeth at the thought of just a swing of 543 votes for the UMNO candidate, Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim to win.

But I suspect Dr Mahathir has more than a party member's interest/regret in UMNO's loss in Sungai Limau, and I can think of two possible reasons.

One is of course about his son's standing in the UMNO upper leadership echelon. A victory for UMNO in the by-election, one which Mukhriz had put his heart and soul into the campaigning, including swallowing his pride to woo the Chinese there after having publicly snubbed them, would have endowed Dr Mahathir's son with very strong credentials as a party strongman on his own merits, an UMNO warlord so to speak.

In this, Mukhriz's earlier attempt to acquire for himself that heroic warlord status by snubbing the Chinese Kedahans in hostile manner a la his dad and Ali Rustam was perhaps a strategic error, one in which an African saying would be most applicable, that one shouldn't tease Mother Crocodile until one has safely crossed the river, wakakaka.

Pakatan left no stone unturned in reminding the Chinese of Mukhriz's snub.

Poor Mukhriz was then flowing along with the despicable mores of most of his competitors in UMNO's VP-wannabes, hoping that by brandishing the vocal and psychological Panca Warisan, he would be accepted and supported as an ethnic warrior by the party delegates. Frankly, to his questionable credit, he nearly succeeded, obtaining 91 votes to Hishamuddin's 100, thus losing by just a mere 9 votes but in practical terms, only 5.

Yes, because if Mukhriz had secured that extra 5 votes he would have pipped Hishamuddin by 96 to 95, but alas for him, that didn't happen. And we also know that he had been the far more popular candidate than Hishamuddin, but alas for him, the UMNO party voting system didn't favour popularity.

And guess who marshalled those divisional votes to ensure Hisham, for all his worthless incumbency as a VP, fell just barely over the finishing line by a mere 100 votes to Mukhriz 91?

Yup, 'twas KJ and Shahrizat, wakakaka.

From a Chinese, may I on behalf of other Chinese Malaysians, sincerely thank KJ and Shahrizat, not because we want Hisham to win or for Mukhriz to lose, but for saving Chinese Malaysians from being excoriated (once again) by Dr Mahathir, wakakaka. And f**king eat that too, Ali, wakakaka.

Now, the second reason for Dr Mahathir clenching his fists and gritting his teeth at UMNO's loss in Sungai Limau would be, I suspect, from his bitter memories of his own loss in 1969 in the parliamentary constituency of Kota Setar Selatan, which coincidentally embraced the state constituency of Sungai Limau.

In the 60's, Dr Mahathir was notorious as an 'ultra', one of UMNO's frightening 'Young Turks' and was said to have arrogantly declared he didn't require Chinese support in the election.

Okay then, in May 1969 he lost to Yusof Rawa (Yusof Abdullah) of PAS by 989 votes.

Guess what? He blamed his loss on the very people he had so arrogantly declared he didn't require votes from, wakakaka. In 1974 he wisely selected a different parliamentary constituency, Kubang Pasu, wakakaka.

I wonder what Dr Mahathir (and Malaysia) would have become if Tunku had not expelled him from UMNO in 1969. Story was that Tunku wanted to have him arrested for railing against his Administration and for writing his ethnocentric diatribe in a book which you are all familiar with, The Malay Dilemma, but was persuaded from taking that action.

Anyway, the loss by UMNO in Sungai Limau must have triggered bitter memories of his own loss in 1969 to Yusof Rawa in Kota Setar Selatan. Oh, those damn bloody Chinese, wakakaka. Oh, that bloody PAS, wakakaka.



Malay history twisted by ‘Western Christian conspiracy’, claims Isma

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 03:59 PM PST

(MM) - Malays face a "Western Christian conspiracy" that has lasted over four centuries, Muslim group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) claimed today, as it launched its bid to rewrite the history of the Malay archipelago to reflect what it believes to be the true representation of Malay civilisation.

Isma president Ustaz Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said Malaysian history and, by extension, the history of the Southeast Asian region has long been skewed towards the "contributions of the colonists" and non-Malays, which downplayed the greater role played by the Malays in developing the region.

"This is a conspiracy against the Malays. If you understand (history), you would know that the Malays were the lynchpin of the region," he said at a press conference after launching a three-day colloquium on building the sovereignty of Malay-Muslims in the region here.

"The Western Christians want to change the timeline of history, which is the best way to destroy the Malays and the most effective way to do that is to destroy them through education and give a wrong picture of history," he said.

Abdullah Zaik claimed that there are many instances where Western powers, especially the British, had revised history to suit their interests such as the argument that the Malays are lazy and only good at agriculture.

He added that the Malays were instrumental in the development of Islamic civilisation outside of the Arab region and even claimed that they had a role in helping the Ottomans' victory in the Battle of Constantinople and were involved in the Crusades.

"During that era, the strength of a civilisation was determined by your mastery of the seas and the Malays were masters of the seas. Then the British came and changed everything, bringing their taxes and saying that Malays cannot trade or own mines. They said Malays can do nothing but agriculture.

"We have become dayus (soft) and without dignity... this is the end result of 460 years of colonisation," he declared.

The British Empire made its foray into Malaya in the late 18th century, progressively expanding its influence until it controlled the entire Malayan peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah, which was then known as North Borneo, over the next two centuries.

The British eventually relinquished all control over Malaya in 1957, and later in Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, leading to the formation of what is now known as Malaysia.

Prior to the British, the Dutch held Malacca between the 17th and 19th centuries due to its importance as a regional port city, before handing it over to the British under the Anglo-Dutch treaty in 1824.

Abdullah Zaik said the Malays, especially the youths, have all but lost their identity and are "poisoned by liberal thinking" of the west, which he added will eventually lead to a breakdown in religion, society and country.

"Of course the enemies of Islam would be happy with this situation and would want to continue to strengthen their position.

"History needs to be rewritten according to the Islamic version. We don't just want to uphold the social contract, but also the fact that this region is the centre of Malay civilisation," he said, referring to the social contract that has been the basis for Malaysia's race-based politics and government policies.

"We need to work hard to correct the Malay identity among the Malays," Abdullah Zaik added.

Historians from the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Aceh, Java, Cambodia, Sulawesi, Riau and Patani are among the participants of the three-day colloquium, which will focus on three areas.

Aside from gathering data on the genesis of Malay civilisation in the region, the conference will also delve into the conspiracies and reasons for the fall of the Malay-Muslim civilisation and to establish links between Malay organisations in the Malay archipelago. 


Exits a Anwar-Lajim plan in Sabah?

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 03:50 PM PST

Speculations are rife that 12 division chiefs will exit the party soon, paving the way for Sabah PKR chief Lajim Ukin to do as he pleases.

Luke Rintod, FMT

Hot on the heel of a defection last Monday and the resignation yesterday of Jelani Hamdan from his post as Sabah PKR's State Leadership Council (MPN) vice-chairman I, is a rumour that at least 12 of its division heads are deserting the party.

Although the rumoured 12 'Ketua Cabang'  have not been named it is believed they are a mix of ethnic groups.

If this happens, then Sabah PKR chief Lajim Ukin will finally have a free hand to set up his own team, something that many in the party here initially were not in favour off.

If the strategy is to purge the 'deviants' and 'peninsularize' its Bumiputra leaders to boost his political ambitions, then PKR de factor leader Anwar Ibrahim's contentious decision to appoint Lajim is a premeditated plan.

Meanwhile efforts to get Sabah PKR leaders to comment on this latest development was futile.

Yesterday FMT reported that Lajim's leadership was the reason for many to quit the party.

Last Monday Kadamaian assemblyman Jeremmy Ukoh Malajad's quit the party declaring himself to be Barisan Nasional friendly. He is expected to join Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) soon.

Yesterday jelani, who is Matunggong assemblyman quit his post with immediate effect.

He however made no mention of quiting the party or defecting.

But Jelani did say that he was "unsure" about his membership application in PKR. He said he had applied to be a member in 2010 but had yet to receive a confirmation.

Anwar-Lajim to blame

Jelani however was clear about his reason for quiting the post.

'I can no longer work with (Datuk) Lajim," he said.

Jelani, a Rungus Muslim, has already openly rebuked Lajim's leadership of the party in Sabah.

He told a press conference yesterday that his dissatisfaction started during the process of appointing the opposition leader in the Sabah state assembly and the appointment of the Sabah MPN chairman which were made without consensus.

Jelani, it is learnt, has been bombarded by pleas from Anwar and senior PKR leaders not to follow Malajad's move.

The latest rumour about the possible exit of 12 'ketua cabang' PKR meanwhile is not without its precedence.

In the run-up to the May general election Sabah PKR saw four of its key division leaders quit the party in haste an join BN citing various reasons for leaving, with unhappiness over Anwar's leadership as the main reason.

The four who quit on April 25 this year were Sandakan PKR division head Mazhry Nasir, Kota Belud PKR division head Saidil Simoi, Kalabakan PKR division head Irianshah Yunus and Putatan PKR division acting chief Abdul Zainal Atin, as well as Batu Sapi PKR division deputy chief Zainuddin Hassan.

Interestingly enough, even Lajim's own younger brother, Ramli @ Abdul Jarih Ukin, who had  headed PKR Beaufort division also quit the party, allegedly taking with him "thousands" of members in Beaufort.

Their actions on the eve of the general election threw PKR campaign in shambles, especially as Saidil was Sabah PKR "Buku Jingga" director while Mazhry himself was its deputy election director for the May poll.



Tale From My Holy Book

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 03:26 PM PST 

So it came to pass that not being satisfied at dividing our good earth into separate nations, men now wanted to divide the Heavens into different sections also. At this God was horrified.

Yussof Condred 

In the beginning, the space occupied by our Solar System was just a black immense void. A silent, ghostly void. A sheer emptiness that was devoid of the simplest form of particles or gravitational forces.

Then like an artist working on this immense black canvas, God started to paint a 3-dimensional masterpiece. First he painted in the glorious Sun and, lo and behold, there was light. Next He created Mercury, Venus and the rest of the other 7 planets to orbit around the Sun, adroitly balancing their gravitational forces to maintain a miraculous state of equilibrium. To understand this fragile state of equilibrium, imagine a human pyramid crossing a high wire in a circus act. Should a single member of the team falter and slip, the whole human formation would disintegrate and come crushing to the ground.

Of all the planets that God created, He loved Planet Earth most. That dark ocean blue orb was veiled sparsely by wisps of white clouds and plastered over one quarter of its surface with good brown earth. Planet Earth is His jewel in the Solar System, one masterpiece within another. He loved it so to put living things, vegetation and animals, on it. All species of animals that He created, He loved, from the lowly earthworm to the deer, the tiger, the ape and the man. He, in His wisdom, infused them with the basic instinct of survival that they, His precious creations, might propagate and prevail for as long as He wished. But alas that 'basic instinct' would act like a double-edged sword in the man. While he, armed with that instinct could look out for himself, his fellow-man-enemy would not hesitate to do away with him, when he is perceived to be a threat to his enemy's survival.

In the early days after the creation there was just one Race, despite God painting his men in various colours of brown, black, yellow and white. There was love and compassion. No man knew what hate was. That the one Race prayed to the one God was most natural. And God wanted it that way. He wanted just one monotheistic religion. So it came to pass that He got what He wanted. He was happy. But not for long because men began to lose their innocence.

As time went by, men went forth and multiplied and occupied more and more of the 'good brown earth'. Then they began to divide. Their 'survival instinct ' started to work on them and they formed exclusive tribes based on colours of their skins to better protect themselves. They carved up the 'good brown earth' into separate nations and within each nation there was further subdivision based on different races and religions.

God became apprehensive when he saw His monotheistic religion being slowly and surely torn asunder. One religionist group would claim exclusively that only their followers could go to Heaven. But the rival religionist group would counter, "Nay, not so. Our followers would surely go to our Heaven!" So it came to pass that not being satisfied at dividing our good earth into separate nations, men now wanted to divide the Heavens into different sections also. At this God was horrified.

When it finally came to 'us against the others' men began to be paranoid with guarding their religions against perceived external threats. But they were blind to any internal threats. They swore to defend their religions with their lives. Now, at this, God was even more horrified. So He said unto them, "Thy religion serves to protect thee from evil ways. It should defend ye and surely not for ye to defend it." And He further said unto them, "Go forth and practice my teachings sincerely, for surely that is the best way to defend thy religion."

But God saw that recalcitrance had set in among men.

In a moment of utter despair He reached out for His artist's palettes, dipped His paint brush with black paint and summarily blackened out Planet Earth from His masterpiece. All at once the precarious equilibrium of the Solar System began to
disintegrate, just like that human pyramid of the circus act. The rest of the planets and their mother Sun shot off on their own trajectories to the far beyond of the unknown, millions of light years away.

In the end, the space occupied by our Solar System was just a black immense void. A silent, ghostly void. A sheer emptiness that was devoid of the simplest form of particles or gravitational forces.



Posted: 08 Nov 2013 03:23 PM PST 

Tak pastilah tentang orang lain tapi bagi MMI tindakan puak-puak ultra kiasu sekarang ni makin melampau. Barangkali puak-puak cinabeng yang ada sekarang ni tak pernah merasa zaman 13 Mei lagi kot !!

MMI nak tanya juga TERINGIN sangat ka?? Sampai BIADAP tak bertempat ni?? 

Rasanya dah sampai masanya orang-orang Melayu dan Islam selain daripada puak-puak PAS musibat yang asyik menjilat tu bagi PERINGATAN kepada puak-puak lahanat ni supaya duduk diam-diam.

Apa dah besaq kepala sangat ka ???

PUCHONG JAYA - Beberapa kumpulan NGO hari ini berkumpul di hadapan Balai Polis Puchong Jaya bagi membantah dan membuat laporan polis berkenaan Isu Laungan Azan yang dikatakan mengganggu oleh seorang penduduk di Taman Puchong Prima baru-baru ini.
Kejadian berlaku apabila seorang lelaki Cina menerpa ke surau berkenaan dengan bersikap kuarang ajar meminta agat Laungan Azan diperlahankan. Rentetan daripada itu selepas solat beberapa jemaah surau telah pergi ke rumah lelaki berkenaan bagi meminta penjelasan namun mereka ditentang habis-habisan disertai dengan maki dan cacian.
Sehubungan itu, atas dasar mempertahankan kesucian Agama kumpulan NGO terbabit dengan jelas dan keras memberi amaran supaya bangsa atau agama lain menghormati Agama Islam di negara ini sebagai Agama Rasmi Negara.
Mereka juga sanggup berjuang bermatian-matian jika ada lagi perkara seperti ini berlaku dan jangan menyalahkan mereka jika mereka bertindak kerana amaran telahpun diberi dan semua itu dilakukan atas dasar mempertahankan kesucian Agama Islam.
Sebelum itu, Teressa Kok pernah mengepalai kumpulan pendesak di Puchong meminta supaya Azan di salah sebuah Majid di kawasan berkenaan dipelahankan pada tahun 2008. sumber 
Kerana sikap puak-puak musibat ni yang langsung tak reti nak hormat orang-orang Melayu dan Islam kita harus pastikan selepas ini tidak ada lagi TARIAN NAGA sebabnya BISING !! Tidak ada lagi pembakaran colok secara terbuka sebab ASAP MENGGANGGU KITA !! Tidak ada lagi konvoi-konvoi kereta berhias di atas jalan sana sebabnya MENGGANGU LALU LINTAS !!

MUSIBAT-MUSIBAT ini harus di AJAR !!!! JANGAN BIADAP dengan orang MELAYU & ISLAM !!!

Read at: 


Mat Sabu to face off against Mohd Amar in PAS party polls

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 03:03 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS incumbent deputy president Mohamad Sabu will be facing off against Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah for the role in the upcoming muktamar and party polls.

Vice-presidents Salahuddin Ayub, Datuk Husam Musa and Datuk Mahfuz Omar will be defending their positions, while PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and central working committee member Datuk Ustaz Abu Bakar Chik will also be running.

PAS selection committee chairman Asmuni Awi said Saturday that it might be a short muktamar this year as several senior positions are going unchallenged. 

All senior positions in the Dewan Ulama were won unopposed, with chief Datuk Harun Taib. deputy chief Datuk Ahmad Yakob who is also Kelantan Mentri Besar, and vice president Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamad retaining their roles.

However, the roles of auditor and deputy permanent chairman saw no candidate receiving enough nominations.


There will also a three-cornered fight for Youth chief between Johor PAS youth chief   Suhaizan Kaiat, FT youth chief Kamarulzaman Mohamad and lawyer Zulhazmi Sharif.


A total of 61 people will compete for central committee seats. Nearly 1,300 delegates from across the country will participate in the 59th muktamar, beginning 22 Nov.


The Story Sarawak’s Journalists Didn’t Get Hits Europe

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 02:52 PM PST


Sarawak Report 

The story that Sarawak's Journalist Association and Commonwealth Journalist Association branch did not get when they were taken on their Sarawak Energy (SEB) sponsored tour of Murum is appearing prominently in European papers this weekend.

France's top Paper, Le Monde features the Murum native blockade (which a statement issued by the Sarawak Journalists called abandoned) in a long article about the destruction caused by Taib's mega-dam projects.

Meanwhile, Norway's weekly paper Ny Tid has separately focused on the protests against the Oslo based CEO Torstein Sjotveit.

Ny Tid reported on the allegations that their own national has been complicit in the corruption surrounding Sarawak's mega-dam projects and handing of hundreds of millions in contracts to Taib's family companies and that the matter has now been passed to the crime agency Okokrim.

None of this has been allowed to surface in Sarawak's own restricted press and the Swiss Bruno Manser Fund has issued a press release quoting Sjotveit's comment to the paper, "I am taking no stance on corruption in Malaysia".  The NGO asks:

"How can Mr. Sjøtveit say he is not taking a stance on corruption in Malaysia if he is working for a Chief Minister who is currently under investigation? We challenge Mr. Sjøtveit to publicly clarify if he is working for an honest government or for a corrupt government."[Lukas Strauman, Director of BMF] "

Le Monde did the story that Sarawak's journalists ignored

24 members of the Sarawak Journalist Association and Commonwealth Journalist Association had joined a PR trip to Murum, organised and escorted throughout by Sarawak Energy in late October.
Some then reported at length from the briefing material, without mentioning the protests of those Kenyah and Penan people, who are refusing to be moved to resettlement sites without proper compensation.
They issued a statement on Thursday complaining that Sarawak Report had indulged in "gutter journalism" for pointing out that they had failed to mention the protesting indigenous tribes:

"DJA and CJA stressed that it was not their concern where the Penans set up their blockades… "In the first place, it was not even the aim of the trip to the meet the Penans at the blockade sites," they said."[Bernama]

Sarawak Report can now provide a google translation of this week end's article in Le Monde covering the conflict. [In the Malaysian rainforest a village is resisting - by Remi Barroux]

Lost in the Malaysian forest, a village is resisting . We are on the island of Borneo, in the state of Sarawak. This village is called Long Singu . Here, 200 to 300 Penan refuse to leave their land and make way for the hydroelectric dam Murum . " We want to keep our village and our forest," proclaim young and old .

A desperate struggle . Because the site is in full swing , and the dam almost completed . When you take the road and the track, which connects the city of Miri , north of the state, Long Singu ? eight-hour trip in the rainforest ? , progress is made ​​hazardous by the continuous flow of trucks carrying tree 15-20 m and construction equipment trunks. Suddenly , placed on the ground, in the midst of lush vegetation, a tray. The boat was placed there because it will take the equipment palm plantations and forestry, when the waters overflow the valley. The evidence here, soon all will be gone. 


On the road to Long Singu must pass many tests , give the vehicle registration , leave an ID officers stationed behind the barriers set up by the Malaysian company Shin Yang, whose red initials adorn the sides of trucks carrying workers. At the end of the journey , we finally discovered , hidden by trees , the longhouse , a wooden house on stilts , all in length , where each family is a "door" and two or three pieces. This evening of October 1 , many Penan left block Murum dam . Several hours of track . Women, children and some men remained . The Tiger , the local beer flowed freely , it makes them say laughing that much of beasts in the forest.

Night has now fallen and the sounds of animals invade the house humming , yelps , grunts and hoots correspond. During dinner ? rice, a soup of wild pig legs and forest fruits ? few Penan are discussed in the " manse " that hosts the rare visitors. "Tell the world what you do to the Penan . I 'm Karang Bo , I was born here and I do not want to leave, said a septuagenarian . We live in the forest and all our food comes from it . Animals flee , birds, pigs, monkeys, and found fewer fish in polluted rivers. "

The Penan refuse "progress" promised by the government . " We want to grow but not that we decide in our place ," insists Minah Siap young woman of 25 , squeezing it against her three children. In humid tropical night rain, the dim lamps powered by a generator, Robert Beatle , a guy 35 years tattooed wrists to the neck, is furious . "The dam is killing us , we'll blow it up with explosives ! " 



PRM, a third political force in the making?

Posted: 08 Nov 2013 02:42 PM PST

Priscilla Prasena, FMT 

Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) is being revamped and would appear as a third force in the Malaysian politics with an ex-DAP veteran driving it in Selangor.

Deliganu Alagan, 66, said he will be focusing on Klang and other regions in Selangor while reinventing the party to a true socialist concept, which was being championed by its president Dr Rohana Ariffin.

Commenting on the need for a third force in the Malaysian politics he said both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the ruling coalition (BN) had failed to look into the welfare of the people and each of them were protecting their interest.

"It is because both the political parties have failed that we need a third force to protect the interest of the people," Deliganu told FMT.

Deliganu said it was time for the country to have a third political force and about 25 ex-DAP members would now join him in this party to serve the public better.

He added that the main agenda of the party would be looking into building low-cost houses for the low to middle income people as well as to serve the interest of the poverty stricken residents of Malaysia.

"We would want to see poverty eradicated and the wealth of the country equally distributed to every citizen of the country," he added.

Deliganu said the party would be also looking into the homeless issues of the people especially with the rising homeless issues, recently.

Speaking to FMT, he said as a socialist, PRM had been fighting for all issues affecting all races, however Indians in the country were the worst affected by poverty.

Ahmad Boestamam, an activist with the leftist Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) movement, founded PRM in 1955. The party was renamed Malaysian People's Socialist Party (PRM) and it officially adopted scientific socialism as its ideology. Despite the re-orientation of the party, the post-1969 political scenario meant that the party remained in the sideline.

Following the 1999 general elections, PKR began to explore the possibility of a merger between the two parties. However, the merger was delayed by the lengthy negotiations between the two parties. The two parties only officially merged on Aug 3, 2003, while PRM contested in the 2004 general election as PKR as the merger had yet to be approved by the authorities.

It was believed that due to the growing tension between some former PRM members, who were now in PKR, with the party's leadership was due to an alleged growing influence of neo-conservatism.

These members were not comfortable with the merger and found a rallying point to express their dissent, particularly towards the former leadership who negotiated the merger.

Despite its de-registration on April 17, 2005, former PRM youth leader Hassan Karim elected a new executive committee to resume its political activities.



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