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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


Bringing up children

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 04:45 PM PST

Let's not talk about politics today and instead look into the mind of an innocent toddler and how he perceives religious teachings, which sometimes do not make sense to small minds that can think better than mature minds.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dad!

Yes, son.

How did I get here?

Err…hmm…why don't you ask your mum? I want to read the papers.

I did and mum said to ask you, dad.

Ah…well…the stork brought you.

Oh. But my Sunday school teacher said we all came from Adam and Eve.

Well…that is also true.

You mean we all came from Adam and Eve?

Yes. Now run along and play. I want to read my papers.

My Sunday school teacher said Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth.

Yes, that's right.

So who married them then?

What do you mean?

Aunty Sara and Uncle Bill got married by the priest. So who married Adam and Eve if they were the only two people on earth?

Err…no one.

So Adam's and Eve's children are all bastards then?

Hoi…where did you learn that word from? You must never use that word.

I heard you saying that, dad.

Me?

Yes, you said that your boss is a bastard. I asked Mike what bastard means and he told me. How do you know that your boss is a bastard like Adam's and Eve's children?

That was merely a figure of speech. I did not mean it literally. Oh never mind. No. Adam's and Eve's children are not bastards even though Adam and Eve never got married by a priest.

Oh, okay.

Now run along son.

But who did Adam's and Eve's children marry?

They married each other, son. You see, there were no other people on earth other than just Adam and Eve and their children.

So does that mean I can marry Kate when we grow up?

No, son, you can't. Kate is your sister.

Oh. But Adam's and Eve's children were also brothers and sisters.

Yes they were. But at that time it was okay for brothers and sisters to get married. Now go outside and play.

We were also told the story of Noah and his yacht.

That's good son. But it was called an ark, not yacht. Now go and play.

Did you know that Noah got all the animals onto the ark before the great flood and he saved all the animals? If not there would be no animals around today.

Yes, I know that, son.

But how did he feed those animals, dad?

I suppose he also had food on the ark, son.

But lions and tigers eat other animals. Won't they eat up all the other animals on the ark?

No they won't, son.

Then how did they stay alive for so long without food if the lions and tigers did not eat up all the other animals?

I don't know, son, but I am sure that Noah had figured all this out before he took all those animals onto the ark.

My Sunday school teacher said that every animal alive today was on that ark.

That is true son.

Even penguins?

Yes, even penguins, son.

But there are no penguins living in the desert, dad. Where did Noah find penguins?

I am sure there were penguins in the desert at that time or maybe Noah found a way to get some from the North Pole.

But penguins live in the South Pole, dad.

Whatever.

Did Noah have a freezer on the ark?

Freezer?

Yes, penguins need the cold. They cannot live in the hot desert.

MARTHA!

Yes, John.

We have to stop sending Tim to Sunday school. I don't think they are teaching him the right things.

Thanks, dad. Can I go outside and play now?

 

When white is not white

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 08:01 PM PST

So why is white good while black is bad? Why do we say 'we have seen the light' when something good happens to us, such as we have 'seen' God? And why is everything bad associated with black? Black-hearted. Black market. Black death (the plague). Black period in history. Black Friday. Black sheep of the family. Black eye. Black out. Pot calling the kettle black. Black mark. And so on.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I never know how my days are going to start or end. In fact, while I know how my life started, I really do not know how and when it is going to end either. I suppose that is the spice of life. If everything is laid before us in clear and precise details then there is really no more point in continuing, is there?

It is like how I am going to start this article. I am not even sure if I do want to write any article today. I just opened my Microsoft Word and stared at this blank sheet of paper. Of course, it is not really a piece of paper in the physical sense. It is more like an electronic paper. But then is this not where the world is heading -- towards an electronic world?

I have probably four or five bookshelves of books, physical books printed on paper. Since mid-last year, though, I have stopped buying physical books. If I continue buying books I will also have to buy a new house, as there is no longer any room to store all my books. My books from merely two months detention in Kamunting alone are already one van-load. 

Anyway, paper-based books are so yesterday. Today we read electronic books and I have already accumulated almost 1,000 electronic books, which I store on my Kindle, of which I have thus far read maybe only 25 or so. Hence I have a long way to go and I was told there are millions of e-books available. So I am going to run out of breath before I run out of books to read.

The same goes for my music. I am constantly 'surrounded' by music, even when I read or write. I start my day quite predictably by booting up my Mac. Then I go to my favourite radio station, Magic 105.4, London's favourite radio station -- or at least that's what the sweet voice of the DJ keeps telling us.

In a way music influences my mood for the day. Sometimes, when I am in an aggressive mood, I want to listen to rock music. When I feel slightly mellow I listen to Magic 105.4. I mainly listen to the rock stations that play 1960s music by Grand Funk, Uriah Heep, Santana, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Butterfly, Jethro Tull, and the 200 or so bands and singers of 'my generation'. And to make sure I get the best in sound, I play them on my Bose speakers and turn my workroom into a disco minus the flashing lights and fog machine.

Anyway, here I am facing a blank sheet of white paper and still not sure what I am going to write about today. Okay, the 'paper' is not quite paper in the dead tree manner of speaking but more like a plain page of my Microsoft Word. Nevertheless, it is still a plain white page.

And why do we call it a plain white page? Well, that is because there is nothing on it. If it were filled with letters, words, numbers, or graphics, then it would no longer be a plain white page. So what does 'plain white' mean then? What do we understand by the phrase 'plain white'?

Plain white means absence -- the absence of letters, words, numbers, graphics, etc. When things are absent then we call it plain white. Hence when there is nothing we call it plain white. Hence, also, plain white is what is meant by nothing.

And white can only be seen when there is light. If there is no light we cannot see white and white would become black.

Hence white is white only because of the presence of light. In the absence of light white will turn to black. If you were put into a pitch-dark room with zero light penetration where you cannot even see your hand in front of your nose and you were given a plain white sheet of paper could you see that white paper? The plain white sheet of paper would become invisible although it exists and you are actually holding it.

Hence white does not exist. White is only what you see when there is light. What exists is black. And light also does not exist. Light is merely the absence of darkness. Hence when darkness is absent then light exists and because light exists then white would also exist, which would not exist otherwise if the darkness does not allow the light in.

White, therefore, is what you see in the absence of darkness. Therefore, also, darkness exists while white does not.

So why is white good while black is bad? Why do we say 'we have seen the light' when something good happens to us, such as we have 'seen' God? And why is everything bad associated with black? Black-hearted. Black market. Black death (the plague). Black period in history. Black Friday. Black sheep of the family. Black eye. Black out. Pot calling the kettle black. Black mark. And so on.

Honestly, black is not ugly. Black is beautiful. So why associate everything bad with black?

Black is beautiful

Anyway, yesterday an insurance agent phoned me and asked for a minute of my time but took 30 minutes instead. This agent wanted to discuss the prospects of me buying life insurance. I am 62 so he suggested I should start thinking of my family's future in the event I suddenly died.

That got my thinking. What if I bought a RM1 million policy so that if anything happened to me my wife would be taken care of? But then, if I were worth RM1 million dead, would that not tempt my wife to bump me off because I would then be worth more dead than alive? And one should never tempt one's wife with such notions.

No, maybe a RM250,000 policy should suffice.

The insurance agent then worked out the cost of the premium and because I sometimes smoked cigars the premium would come to quite a bit (even with the one or two cigars a month that I smoked). It seems the brand and quality of the cigars did not affect the premium at all. Now that is downright unjust.

I asked him how much I would need to pay, say, if I took a 15-year policy -- and over that 15 years I would need to fork out almost RM150,000 in all. What happens if I survived till way past 77? Well, then that RM150,000 would be money down the drain. I get nothing. My wife can only collect RM250,000 if I died before 2027. And I must not die within the first year. I can only die from the second year onwards.

In other words, if I died next year, then will we make a gross profit of RM250,000 on an investment of only RM9,000. If I did not die, then we lose RM150,000. So the profit would be in dying quick and not in living long.

Hmm… you lose when you win and you win when you lose. I told the insurance agent I would need to think about it first. He then told me they can insure me until age 90 and that there would be a very good chance I will die before I am 90 as most people in England never live past 90.

Ah, yes, but this insurance agent has probably never heard of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Anyway, I if I take a 28-year policy that expires at age 90 and I still do not die till past 90 I would have to blow about RM250,000 or so on a RM250,000 insurance policy.

This was starting to become even more unattractive. Anyway, I decided instead to allow fate to decide what happens and jumped into my car to drive to Liverpool to join my friends for a jam session and to pick up my new (second-hand) drum set.

The problem, now, though, is that I do not feel like writing anything today because I can't wait to whack my drums to Santana playing in the background.

Sigh…why is life so complicated? Well, never mind, maybe I can go drumming and write my article tomorrow instead. At least today you do not need to read any cheong hei article from me.

My 'new' second-hand drum set

The jam session in Liverpool last night

 

Guilty as charged

Posted: 04 Feb 2013 08:10 PM PST

Selangor, at that time, was a territory of Perak. And it was the Sultan of Perak who crowned Raja Lumu as the Sultan of Selangor. The ceremony was conducted in Lumut. Hence Raja Lumu did not invade Selangor and illegally occupy the state, as you are trying to imply, Simon. He was legally crowned as the Sultan of Selangor by the ruling house of Perak -- that was in existence for more than 200 years and came into existence soon after the Portuguese invaded Malacca in 1511.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Simon, I thought instead of publishing your comment I would reply to it point-by-point so that we can engage in a mature and civil discourse. I know your comment was meant to insult me and probably provoke an equally insulting response from me. However, such a low-class response to a low-class comment will not get us anywhere, don't you think so? Hence bear with me as I respond to what you have said.

First of all, with regards to your allegation that I am a coward who dares not return to Malaysia. Now, Simon, you posted your comment using what I can only assume is a false name. Even if 'Simon' is not a false name there must be millions of Simons all over the world. Hence why did you not use your real or full name and prove to me that you are not a coward.

I mean, only someone who is brave has the moral right to call someone else a coward. It is like a prostitute calling a woman a prostitute. Calling a woman a prostitute is supposed to be an insult. But if you yourself are a prostitute how can you consider calling another woman a prostitute as an insult? I trust you understand what I mean.

Furthermore, the e-mail address you used is a fake e-mail address. I tried e-mailing you this response but the e-mail bounced. Hence not only is your name false (or at the very least incomplete), even your e-mail address is false as well.

This can only mean you lack the courage to reveal your true identity -- or, to put it a bit more crudely, as you have done: you are a coward. And you call me a coward? Can you now see the irony in this whole thing? Maybe you do not see it this way because I realise you need to be of a certain intellectual level to possess the ability to apply reasoning.

If you were to take a course in philosophy you will appreciate how crucial the ability of reasoning is to be able to understand what you are studying. Without that ability you will never be able to grasp the fundamentals of philosophy. And that was the whole purpose why I took a course in Philosophy of Religion in Oxford back in 2010 although I was already 60 years old and really did not need to do so. I wanted to sharpen my skills in reasoning, especially with regards to religion.

You then referred to my family background and said that I come from a family of pirates. Actually that is very true and I have never denied that fact. In fact, I have written about this so many times if you had been following my writings since back in the mid-1990s. I even set up a website, which you can see here: http://www.tun-uda.com/. Not only have I never denied that I am a descendant of pirates, I am in fact even proud of it, so proud of that fact that I even set up a website.

Yes, my family were pirates back in the old days around 400 or 500 years ago. But then 'pirate' is the reference made only in the context of today's value system. Back in England, Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, etc., that is 400-500 years ago, piracy was a noble profession.

The government, in fact, licensed 'pirates' back then and they were called 'privateers' -- such as what governments do today: privatisation of certain services. And you had to be favoured by the government to be given the licence to become a privateer. People like Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake were even knighted by the Queen because of their tremendous success in attacking and plundering enemy ships (plus, of course, for sharing the 'spoils of war' with the government).

Today, many of the millionaires and nobility of Europe are descendants of privateers who, if measured by today's value system, were nothing short of pirates.

But then such was the value system of those days. What was considered acceptable back in the old days may not be seen in that same light today. I mean, girls aged ten could get married even as late as 150 years ago, and even in countries like America. Do you know that America abolished slavery 150 years ago but they did not abolish the practice of ten-year-old girls getting married? Today, if you married a ten-year-old girl you will get sent to jail, as would you if you attacked and plundered ships on the high seas.

I have always said that the victors, not the vanquished, write the history books. Hence Raja Haji, the son of Daeng Chelak bin Daeng Rilaka (or sometimes called Rilaga) of Riau is called a pirate. But that is only because Raja Haji fought the Dutch in Malacca (now Melaka) and lost due to treachery.

Hence Raja Haji and not the Dutch is the pirate. But the Dutch also attacked the British ships in the Straits of Melaka that sailed from India to Hong Kong carrying opium. Is this not also piracy? All Raja Haji did was to attack the Dutch ships that attacked the British ships. But Raja Haji is the pirate while the Dutch are 'good Christians'.

Okay that is what the western history books tell us: that Raja Haji was a pirate (and hence I am a descendant of a pirate). Now read what the Malay language history books have to say about Raja Haji:

Raja Haji Fisabilillah ibni Daeng Celak (1727 - 18 Jun 1784) atau lebih dikenali sebagai Raja Haji adalah seorang pahlawan Bugis dan Yang Dipertuan Muda Kesultanan Johor-Riau-Lingga (1777 - 1784). Dilahirkan di Ulusungai, Riau, Raja Haji meninggal dunia di Teluk Ketapang, Melaka, dan dimakamkan di Pulau Penyengat Indera Sakti, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia.

Now, note the following key words: Fisabilillah and pahlawan. Do you know what these two words mean? The first word means 'to fight in the way of Allah' and the second word means 'patriot'. In short, according to the Malay version of history, Raja Haji is a Mujahideen warrior and died a mujahid (martyr). There is no mention of lanun (pirate) in that version of history.

I suppose this is how the Chinese would look at Chin Peng compared to how the British look at him. Does that now begin to make sense?

Now, Daeng Chelak, the father of Raja Haji, also had another son called Raja Lumu. And Raja Lumu became the First Sultan of Selangor in 1742 and he took on the name of Sultan Sallehuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Daeng Chelak.

Selangor, at that time, was a territory of Perak. And it was the Sultan of Perak who crowned Raja Lumu as the Sultan of Selangor. The ceremony was conducted in Lumut. Hence Raja Lumu did not invade Selangor and illegally occupy the state, as you are trying to imply, Simon. He was legally crowned as the Sultan of Selangor by the ruling house of Perak -- that was in existence for more than 200 years and came into existence soon after the Portuguese invaded Malacca in 1511.

In case you have forgotten your history, Simon, the Portuguese invaded Malacca in 1511 and sacked Sultan Mahmud Shah, who then retreated to Kampar in Sumatra. One of his sons, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah, became the Sultan of Johor, while the other son, Sultan Muzaffar Shah I ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah, became the First Sultan of Perak.

Hence, Raja Lumu, a.k.a Sultan Sallehuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Daeng Chelak, was crowned the First Sultan of Selangor by the legitimate heir of Sultan Mahmud Shah of Malacca -- a Sultanate which was founded in 1400, and which originated from the Srivijayan Empire of the 600s, which was around the time of the birth of Prophet Muhammad 1,400 years or so ago.

So you see, Simon, I can trace my roots in great detail up to about the year 600 or so (and if I really wanted to I could even trace it to earlier times). And I know who my ancestors are. And, yes, some of them were pirates or privateers or mujahideens or pahlawan -- depending on which side of history you stand. However, can you trace your ancestry?

Simon, I do not know whether you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, or one of the natives of East Malaysia, because you have not revealed your true identity. But I bet you do not know where you came from. Hence to insult my ancestors the way you have could actually backfire on you. Could you, in fact, be a descendant of one of those 'comfort women' whom Yap Ah Loy brought in from China to work in his brothels in Ampang Road back in the late 1800s?

We will never know, will we?

Anyway, do keep in touch and do continue to post comments. I shall be most pleased to engage you in further discourse if you feel there are more issues we need to thrash out. In the meantime, keep safe and stay healthy. Oh, and do try to lose some of that hate because hate is not too good for the state of your mental health.

 

Sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga

Posted: 03 Feb 2013 04:20 PM PST

The story of these Vietnamese boat people is a sorry tale indeed that must shame many governments. If these boat people did not die at sea, they were attacked by the Thai pirates. If they survived the pirates and death at sea, they were robbed when they reached Malaysia. And after all that, they faced the risk of being pushed back to sea where they would certainly die in that wide, open, and killer South China Sea.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

"138 rescued from 'Malaysia-bound' boat," said the Asia News Network today.

The news report went on to say:

"The Sri Lankan Navy rescued 138 Bangladeshi and Myanmar nationals on Saturday from a sinking vessel 50 miles off the island's eastern coast. Of them, 127 are Bangladeshis and the rest are Myanmar nationals, according to a press release of the Sri Lankan Navy. However, in a statement late last night, Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo said most of the survivors are Myanmar nationals."

"The boat was heading to Malaysia. It ran out of fuel on the way and drifted to Sri Lankan waters. According to a Sri Lankan newspaper, citizens of the country pay as much as $3,000 to travel across the sea." (Read more here).

The news report above reminds me of my early days in Terengganu. I lived there for 20 years from 1974 to 1994. This was soon after the fall of Saigon in 1975 when we woke up one morning and found a boat beached along Batu Burok in Kuala Terengganu. It was a boatload of Vietnamese.

THE FALL OF SAIGON: 1975

From that day on the boats kept coming, sometimes more than one a day. And they came mostly during the year-end monsoon when most boats that size would stay in port due to the strong winds and treacherous seas. But they chose this particular time so that the wind could blow their boats to Terengganu. This ensured that they reached Terengganu, and in a faster time as well, plus they could avoid drifting into the Gulf of Thailand where they would be prey to the Thai pirates (who were fishermen and Thai navy/marines moonlighting as pirates).

The story of these Vietnamese boat people is a sorry tale indeed that must shame many governments. If these boat people did not die at sea, they were attacked by the Thai pirates. If they survived the pirates and death at sea, they were robbed when they reached Malaysia. And after all that, they faced the risk of being pushed back to sea where they would certainly die in that wide, open, and killer South China Sea.

THE MISERY OF THE VIETNAMESE BOAT PEOPLE

They soon learned to puncture their boats just before they touched land and then swim the rest of the way so that they cannot be pushed back to sea. But the undercurrents of the South China Sea along Terengganu were treacherous, especially during the monsoon period. You would get swept out to sea and drown unless you were a strong swimmer. And most of the boat people were very weak and near collapse. Hence many drowned. Even one Olympic swimmer medallist who was snorkelling in Terengganu drowned once. And he was an Olympic medallist, mind you.

Elizabeth Becker, who wrote 'When the War Was Over, 1986', cites the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) statistics as 250,000 boat people died at sea while 929,600 reached asylum. Rummel, however, says that 500,000 Vietnamese boat people died. It is estimated that for every two who reached dry land one died trying.

Trying to reach land was one issue. It is after they reached land was when the real nightmare started, as if the journey itself was not a nightmare enough. Then we realise how cruel humans can be to fellow humans.

SWIM OR DIE

The early group that came in the mid- to late-1970s were mainly Vietnamese who had worked for the South Vietnamese government (some of them in the secret police and hit squads -- even one colonel in the army who had murdered many VCs). In fact, one boat was a boatload of soldiers in uniform armed with M16s and rocket launchers.

This early group could be considered as political refugees, those who would be punished and/or killed if they remained in Vietnam. The later group were mainly economic refugees. These were people who had money and just wanted to leave and migrate to the west for a better future. They only wanted to go to a 'white' country. They refused to stay in Thailand or Malaysia.

This second group had money. And they paid an expensive bribe to be allowed to leave Vietnam -- just like what the Jews had to do to leave Nazi controlled Europe during the Second World War. And many in this second group were Chinese.

They had stacks of US Dollars, gold and diamonds on them. Hence everyone wanted to rob them -- the Thais, the Malaysians, the army, the navy, the fishermen, the pirates, the civilians, the shopkeepers who sold them bread and Maggi Mee at 10 or 20 times the normal price, and the middlemen who helped exchange their US Dollars, gold and diamonds for Malaysian Ringgit.

I remember Chinese traders coming to see me to offer US Dollars at a discount. The local banks would not accept them because of the serial numbers. It seems these notes were 'special' and were printed in Vietnam by the Americans to finance the war. So the banks would not touch them. Hence they had to sell them privately. And that was why we were approached.

I did not touch the US Dollars though. But I did buy some of the diamonds after they had been verified as real diamonds and not fakes. I am still in possession of some of them until today, those I bought 35 years or so ago back in the 1970s/1980s.

Looking back now, these Vietnamese boat people were given a raw deal. The early batch of Vietnamese boat people was not so badly treated. They were real refugees and mostly poor. It is the later batch of rich Chinese who brought in loads of cash, gold and diamonds that suffered.

In the beginning, the west was quite happy to take these refugees. Later, because these refugees were not considered real refugees but economic refugees, the west was not so quick to absorb them. So they were left to the mercy of the vultures that stripped them clean.

Anyway, this article has nothing to do with the RCI hearing going on in Sabah. It is just that talk of refugees brought back memories of Terengganu of the 1970s and 1980s when we would wake up every morning and find boats with Vietnamese who had arrived in the middle of the night waiting to be screwed -- both literally and figure of speech.

The Malays have a saying for this: sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga. This means after you fall down the ladder falls on you -- what the English would say: being kicked in the teeth after you are down.

****************************************

Vietnamese Boat People

The 'Boat People of Vietnam' seemed to encapsulate all the suffering Vietnam had suffered from 1965 to 1975. Despite the end of the Vietnam War, tragedy for the people of Vietnam continued into 1978-79. The term 'Boat People' not only applies to the refugees who fled Vietnam but also to the people of Cambodia and Laos who did the same but tend to come under the same umbrella term. The term 'Vietnamese Boat People' tends to be associated with only those in the former South who fled the new Communist government. However, people in what was North Vietnam who had an ethnic Chinese background fled to Hong Kong at the same time fearing some form of retribution from the government in Hanoi.

In late 1978, Indo-China degenerated into wholesale confrontation and war between Vietnam and Kampuchea (Cambodia) and China. In December 1978, Vietnam attacked Kampuchea while in February 1979, Vietnam attacked Chinese forces in the north. These two conflicts produced a huge number of refugees.

Many in what was South Vietnam feared the rule of their communist masters from what had been North Vietnam. Despite the creation of a united Republic of Vietnam in 1975, many in the South feared retribution once it was found out that they had fought against the North during the actual war. The rule exerted in Ho Chi Minh City (formally Saigon) was repressive as this was seen as a bastion of 'Americanisation'. Traditional freedoms were few. It has been estimated that 65,000 Vietnamese were executed after the end of the war with 1 million being sent to prison/re-education camps where an estimated 165,000 died.

Many took the drastic decision to leave the country – an illegal act under the communis government. As an air flight out of Vietnam was out of the question, many took to makeshift boats in an effort to flee to start a new life elsewhere. Alternately, fishing boats were utilised. While perfectly safe for near-shore fishing, they were not built for the open waters. This was coupled with the fact that they were usually chronically overcrowded, thus making any journey into the open seas potentially highly dangerous.

No one can be sure how many people took the decision to flee, nor are there any definitive casualty figures. However, the number who attempted to flee has been put as high as 1.5 million. Estimates for deaths vary from 50,000 to 200,000 (Australian Immigration Ministry). The primary cause of death was drowning though many refugees were attacked by pirates and murdered or sold into slavery and prostitution. Some countries in the region, such as Malaya, turned the boat people away even if they did manage to land. Boats carrying the refugees were deliberately sunk offshore by those in them to stop the authorities towing them back out to sea. Many of these refugees ended up settling in the United States and Europe. The United States accepted 823,000 refugees; Britain accepted 19,000; France accepted 96,000; Australia and Canada accepted 137,000 each.

History Learning Site: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/vietnam_boat_people.htm

****************************************

The boat people of Pulau Bidong

(Sin Chew, 6 Oct 2012) - The federal government decided in 1978 to borrow Pulau Bidong from the Terengganu state government to temporarily house the increasing number of boat people arriving in the country.

From that year on, Pulau Bidong was isolated from the rest of Peninsular Malaysia and outsiders were barred from visiting the island.

Similarly, these boat people were also prohibited from leaving the island while waiting for a third country to pick them up.

During its peak Pulau Bidong accommodated as many as 250,000 boat people, who were gradually sent to third countries in batches.

At the same time, the Malaysian government was also under mounting pressure from the fishermen in Terengganu.

For many fishermen, Pulau Bidong has indeed been a safe haven for generations. Even with the massive storms in South China Sea, this tiny island remains the fishermen's safest refuge.

However, the island became out of bound to the fishermen ever since the government started housing boat people there for over a decade. The irate fishermen rose up in protest.

After the Terengganu state government assured the fishermen, the federal government finally announced on March 14, 1989 a deadline for the boat people to leave, and return the island to Terengganu.

Nevertheless, the number of boat people flooding into the east coast of Malaysia continued to rise, averaging 65 people a day and forcing the government to defer closing the refugee camp.

On November 30, 1991, Pulau Bidong was finally closed down by the federal government, with then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba returning the island to the Terengganu state government on behalf of the federal government.

Prior to the closure of the Pulau Bidong refugee camp in 1991, the remaining 12,000 boat people on the island were transferred to the refugee camp outside KL awaiting repatriation to Vietnam.

The training centre and other facilities constructed at a cost of RM170 million with UNHCR funds were all handed over to Terengganu.

While they were here, the boat people called the island the "Island of Sorrows," as though they wanted to leave all their grievances behind on this island.

As the Vietnamese government celebrated the 30th anniversary of Liberation, 142 former boat people from around the world returned to Pulau Bidong to pay respect to their late relatives and compatriots.

These Vietnamese, now living in third countries, were youngsters in their twenties when they left their homeland in search of freedom and better life. They now returned to the island as middle-aged people in their fifties and sixties.

This transitional "home" of theirs has changed completely and many of the buildings on the island have gone into disrepair following years of abandonment and neglect, as the graves of their bereaved relatives and friends are now run over by overgrowth.

During the visit of these former boat people, they erected a concrete monument with the following inscriptions:

Front: "In remembrance of millions of Vietnamese boat people who sacrificed their lives in search of freedom (1975-1996). Eternal peace be with those suffering from starvation, thirst, violence, physical exhaustion and all causes of death. Their sacrifices will be remembered forever -- Overseas Vietnamese boat people community, erected 2005."

Rear: "Our heartfelt thanks to the UNHCR, the Red Cross Society, the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and other relief organisations from around the world, the Malaysian government and all Malaysians who offered us their most valued assistance. We also wish to thank thousands of volunteers who once helped the boat people -- Overseas Vietnamese boat people community, erected 2005."

So what?

Posted: 01 Feb 2013 06:31 PM PST

Hence do you think the majority of the Malays, like my family, are too concerned whether the stock market goes up or down? The government will make sure that those who invest in Amanah Saham will not lose. The government will guarantee that the returns will be higher than the bank interest. Boom or bust, those who invest in Amanah Saham do not face any risk. (We also have that secured investment scheme here in the UK).

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Chua: Bursa will plunge if PR wins

(The Star) - Bursa Malaysia will drop 500 points if Pakatan Rakyat wins the coming general election, said Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The MCA president said any change in the government would bring political uncertainty and would have a direct impact on the national economy.

He said the impact of Pakatan Rakyat rule would be adversed as its dominant partner, PAS, had little or no interest in the economy.

He said PAS was bent on implementing its brand of hudud law and setting up an Islamic state.

"PAS has also mentioned that it will close Genting (Highlands) and the Bursa. All these will frighten investors, be they locals or foreigners," he said after opening the 64th anniversary celebrations of the Federal Territory MCA here yesterday.

Dr Chua urged voters to assess the country's situation in a rational manner, taking into consideration its future before making a decision.

He said under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the national economy experienced an upward trend with foreign direct investments at RM34bil in 2011 against RM5bil in 2009.

Dr Chua, who is a member of the National Economic Council, said Pakatan's populist policy of pledging to abolish tolls and PTPTN loans, providing free education and a RM4,000 minimum monthly household income for 3.8 million families, would cost the government RM200bil a year.

"If and when this is implemented, it will bankrupt the country within two years," he cautioned.

Dr Chua thanked Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the mutual recognition for 157 tertiary institutions in Taiwan and 121 tertiary institutions in Malaysia as announced by the Higher Education Ministry on Thursday.

"This has opened up more avenues for Chinese-educated students to further their studies and return home to serve the country," he said.

***************************************

Chua Soi Lek was probably targeting a Chinese audience when he made that prediction above.

I am not going to generalise and speak for all Malaysians. I am not even going to speak for all the Malays. I will just speak for my immediate family. And when I say immediate family I mean my wife, my five children, my son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and my five grandchildren. That would make 14 of us altogether.

If I were to include my entire family then it would probably run into tens of thousands considering my great-grandfather had ten wives and scores of children, my grandmother being one of them. So allow me to speak on behalf of just the 14 of us.

Would it concern us if the stock market collapsed? Not likely. You see, we do not speculate or gamble on the stock market. What we do is we invest in unit trusts, specifically the government backed and government run Amanah Saham.

Each of us can invest RM250,000 or RM500,000 if we include both Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) and Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN). And that would mean our family can invest a total of RM7 million, if we happen to have that much money in our pocket.

Even if we did not have that much money it does not matter. We can always borrow the money from the bank -- and considering the interest we will be charged is lower than the dividends and bonus we will receive, it becomes viable to borrow the money to invest in Amanah Saham.

And we do not need any security, as the Amanah Saham itself is good enough as collateral. Hence we can practically borrow for nothing and the Amanah Saham can help pay back what we owe, at least after the third year or so. Hence we only need to worry about repayments for, say, the first three years of that, say, 15-year loan period.

Hence do you think the majority of the Malays, like my family, are too concerned whether the stock market goes up or down? The government will make sure that those who invest in Amanah Saham will not lose. The government will guarantee that the returns will be higher than the bank interest. Boom or bust, those who invest in Amanah Saham do not face any risk. (We also have that secured investment scheme here in the UK).

And if the government changes it will still be the same. Whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat runs the federal government it is not going to change anything. Amanah Saham will still guarantee a good return no matter which government is in Putrajaya.

Do you think Pakatan Rakyat can afford to let millions of Malays lose their pants? There will be riots on the streets. There will be a revolution. Blood is going to flow. The government, no matter which government it is, must make sure that Amanah Saham stays profitable and pays at least 8% or 9% (or at the very least 7%) returns every year until the end of time.

Of course, if you were Chinese, then the collapse of the stock market would probably hurt you and hurt you bad. And that is why this statement is coming from the President of MCA and therefore targeted to a Chinese audience. Chua Soi Lek knows that the Chinese would vote based on financial and economic considerations. The Chinese would never vote for any government that will mess up the economy even if that government is the most democratic government in the entire world.

I first met the current Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, back when he was the CEO of PNB about 30 years ago. In fact, the first Amanah Saham was launched about 32 years ago, three months before Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over as Malaysia's Prime Minister. Hence it was Tun Hussein Onn who mooted this idea.

It was actually a brilliant idea, from the political angle, of course. According to the 2012 financial figures, PNB has assets of about RM120 billion. It also manages a total of ten unit trusts comprising 79 billion units of shares and involving nine million investors, Malays and non-Malays included.

ASB, for example, earned about RM6 billion in 2010 and paid out about the same to the nine million investors. In 2011 it saw a 21% increase in gross income. And it has consistently paid an average of 6%-7% every year for more than 30 years, in good times or bad.

If I were Malay, and if the economy was the factor that influences my decision who to vote for, then I would vote for the government that can ensure I will continue to receive a good payback every year for the rest of my life, as it has been doing since the days before Dr Mahathir became Prime Minister.

And I would not worry about the 'danger' of changing governments and whether this change of government is going to trigger a collapse of the stock market because the government, whoever it may be, will ensure that my Amanah Saham investment will stay secure and will continue to pay good dividends and bonuses every year -- even if DAP, PAS and/or PKR takes over the federal government.

But that would be something Chua Soi Lek can't say because he is talking to a Chinese audience and to the Malays that type of talk does not carry any weight.

 

The long and the short of it

Posted: 24 Jan 2013 06:34 PM PST

But what will happen, say, in 2057, 100 years after Merdeka, when the children and grandchildren of those three million pendatang -- who by then may number five million and hold Malaysian identity cards because they were born in Malaysia -- all want to vote as overseas voters although they had left the country a long time ago and never once went back to Malaysia?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

There are those who oppose the Islamic criminal law of Hudud. When we ask them as to why they oppose Hudud they will reply that it is because under the Hudud law they cut off the hands of thieves. Hence Hudud is a very barbaric law. Rather than cut off the hands of thieves they should instead be killed with a bullet in the head like what they do to highway robbers and other thieves in China, corrupt officials and female robbers included.

Well, I suppose a bullet in the head is less barbaric than having to live with only one hand.

Let's say for argument's sake I argue: so what if they cut off the hands of thieves? Why are you so worried about that if you are not a thief? Aren't you the ones who are complaining about the extremely high crime rate in Malaysia? Aren't you the ones alleging that the police are not doing their job? Maybe we need a law such as Hudud to solve the serious crime problem that appears to be spinning out of control.

Only thieves should be worried about and oppose Hudud. If you are so opposed to Hudud then that can only mean one thing -- you are a thief. If you are not a thief then why are you so opposed to Hudud? And it appears like more non-Malays than Malays oppose Hudud. This can only mean that there are more non-Malay thieves than Malay thieves.

I suppose this statement makes as much sense as the statement that if you do not support Pakatan Rakyat then you must be a Barisan Nasional supporter (if you do not support Hudud then you must be a thief). There can be no other logical reason for you to not support Pakatan Rakyat just like there can be no other logical reason for you to not support Hudud.

Can you see that when we apply your same logic to another situation your logic no longer sounds logical?

And that is the problem with many of you. Your logic is not universal. It can be used only to support your prejudiced view but when applied to another argument it sounds real silly.

The Sedition Act and the Internal Security Act are draconian laws. Why are they draconian laws? Well, because these laws are used against the opposition, to stifle dissent, and to deny Malaysians their freedom of speech. Hence the Sedition Act and the Internal Security Act must be abolished. And if Pakatan Rakyat ever takes over the federal government this is one of the first things they must do -- abolish the Sedition Act and the Internal Security Act.

However, before they abolish these laws, they must first be used against those on the 'other side'. Once those from the 'other side' have been dealt with only then should these laws be abolished.

In fact, if Pakatan Rakyat takes over, we should implement Hudud and use that law to cut off the hands of those crooks from the ruling party. Once all their hands have been cut off we can then abolish the Hudud law.

What are we fighting for? We are fighting for justice. And how do we get justice? We get justice by abolishing bad laws and by reforming the system. Should we do all that now? No, we do that only after we have taken revenge on our enemies. Is revenge justice? Yes, but only if taken against the other side, not if taken against our own people.

It is not fair that Malaysians who have left the country for longer than five years and have not returned to the country for at least 30 days over those five years are not allowed to vote as an overseas voter. Even if those Malaysians left the country 30 or 40 years ago and never once went back to Malaysia they should still be allowed to vote (as long as they still have an identity card, of course, because you need this to vote).

What happens if one million of the three million foreigners who now possess Malaysian identity cards go home to their original countries? Can they be allowed to vote as overseas voters? Your entitlement to vote depends on you possessing a Malaysian identity card. Hence if you have a Malaysian identity card then you are entitled to vote.

And what happens if these people had left Malaysia more than ten years ago and never once came back to Malaysia? Should they still be allowed to vote?

You may argue that they should not be allowed to vote because although they possess Malaysian identity cards they were not born in Malaysia. Ah, but then their children were. Their children possess Malaysian identity cards that show they were born in Malaysia although they left Malaysia ten years ago and now live in another country. So why can't they be allowed to vote?

Back in 1957, when Malaya first gained independence, the Chinese and Indians came from China and India and were given Malaysian citizenship. Subsequently, the children of those 'pendatang' were born in the country. Hence the descendants of these pre-1957 immigrants are Malaysian born and should not be called 'pendatang'.

Agreed, it is wrong to call the present generation Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent 'pendatang'. Their parents or grandparents may have been pendatang back in 1957. But the present crop of Malaysian-born Chinese and Indians are not pendatang and should not be treated as pendatang or called 'pendatang'.

But what will happen, say, in 2057, 100 years after Merdeka, when the children and grandchildren of those three million pendatang -- who by then may number five million and hold Malaysian identity cards because they were born in Malaysia -- all want to vote as overseas voters although they had left the country a long time ago and never once went back to Malaysia?

Sometimes we need to look short term, such as over the next two months leading to the coming general election. Sometimes we need to look long term, say 30 years down the road. And sometimes we need to balance between short-term and long-term goals.

When the government came out with its education policy it looked short term and not long term. And now, many years down the road, we are paying for this short-sighted and short-term strategy.

But the damage has been done. It is not going to be that easy to rectify things. It may take a whole generation to correct our mistakes of the past -- and even then only if we are prepared to bite the bullet and are prepared to suffer the high casualty rate.

Are we prepared to allow the Malays to become casualties in the interest of a better education system based on meritocracy? Neither Najib Tun Razak nor Anwar Ibrahim would dare say 'yes' to this question.

Things are going to get worse before they become better. The cure may be as painful as the disease. But I am sure neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan Rakyat would be prepared to take the risk of a political fallout out if they try to change the education system and see Malays fall by the wayside because they are just not good enough.

It is like promising no taxation and promising to give all the oil money back to the states. How would we finance the country? No doubt that type of promise is going to help win votes. But what do you do after you win the votes?

To make money we need to plant oil palm trees. To plant oil palm trees we need to burn down the forests. When we burn down the forests we create an ecological problem. So we don't burn down the forests to prevent an ecological problem. But since we don't burn down the forests we can't plant oil palm trees. And because we can't plant oil palm trees we can't make money.

Life is full of vicious cycles. And Malaysia can win the gold medal in vicious cycles if that happened to be an event in the Olympic games.

*****************************************

Use of Sedition Act is wrong

Yin Shao Loong, The Malaysian Insider

Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee stated that the Sedition Act should be used on Ibrahim Ali because the latter had advocated the burning of bibles.

Even though Lim acknowledged that the Bar holds that the law should be repealed, it should nonetheless be used against Ibrahim if the government is charging opposition leaders such as Karpal Singh under it.

Burning any book as a political act is vulgar, uncultured and should be condemned. Invoking the use of a draconian law to punish book burning, or incitement to burn books, is a capitulation to authoritarianism.

By taking this stance, Lim and the Bar he leads have undermined any claim to principled opposition to the Sedition Act. Their rationale is akin to those who proposed maintaining the Internal Security Act (ISA) so it could be used one last time against the puppet master of Operation Lallang.

Even if Lim's intent was to underline how the present government selectively enforces the law, his argument was poorly chosen because it was based on the logic that two wrongs would make a right.

The Sedition Act has been a convenient and objectionable tool of authoritarian power in Malaysia due to its broad applicability against anything that could be construed as raising ill-will or hostility within society or against the authorities.

Anyone can claim they had feelings of ill-will or hostility raised by someone's statement or action, proceed to file a police report, and have someone investigated for sedition. Of course, the odds of successful prosecution would improve if the accused happened to be someone not favoured by the government.

Historically, sedition was associated with absolutist monarchies. Undemocratic governments criminalise sedition because they fear dissent will destabilise authority based on force, heredity or property. The rule of the few over the many requires some form of institutionalised discrimination, fear and suppression of criticism.

Democracies incorporate criticism into their system of government and allow the many to use their votes to initiate peaceful, orderly changes in government.

As long as I have known it, the Bar Council has stood for the principled movement towards full-fledged constitutional democracy in Malaysia. Supporting the use of the Sedition Act is a backward step contrary to human rights.

Lim has already noted that any book-burning act or incitement to such act can be prosecuted under those sections of the Penal Code that deal with abetment and trespass.

Additionally, sections 298 and 298A of the Penal Code deal with acts designed to cause hurt on religious grounds, section 504 covers intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, and section 505 refers to statements promoting public mischief.

It is reasonable to file a police report, or call for laws to be employed, where the actions in question are criminal, excluding those legitimate forms of dissent criminalised by the Sedition Act, ISA, Printing Presses and Publications Act, and so forth.

One group of citizens is opposing the barbaric act of book burning by inviting people to join in reading holy books — any books, in fact — under the trees at KLCC park on Sunday.

Others have filed a police report against Ibrahim, citing many of the Penal Code sections referred to above, but without recourse to the Sedition Act or any of its repressive bedfellows.

These are civilised means of opposing an uncivilised act.

If we want to move Malaysia out of the shadow of authoritarianism we cannot condone the very methods of authoritarianism. This means that race-baiting, repressive laws and impunity must be abandoned in favour of principled debate, peaceful protest, accountability and reform.

 

How capitalism breeds social problems

Posted: 19 Jan 2013 05:53 PM PST

So, if we want to reduce the three million 'foreign population' of Malaysia then the plantations, construction companies, SMI factories, etc., should stop employing them. And to do that we need a minimum wage of at least RM1,200-RM1,5000 (or thereabouts) a month. With that salary level Malaysians would be prepared to work and hence you do not need to employ foreigners and then give them Malaysian citizenship.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Subra: Minimum wage to avoid unnecessary hiring of foreigners

(The Star) - The minimum wage policy, which came into effect this year, is to avoid the unnecessary hiring of foreign workers, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

For example at petrol stations, he said, people have to accept the idea of self-service when filling up their cars.

Petrol dealers have implemented the minimum wage as of January 1, throwing some 50,000 foreigners out of work.

"The change that we are looking for will not happen overnight," Dr Subramaniam said adding that the minimum wage policy was also implemented to channel workers to other sectors which are in need of labour.

He said there were no provisions in the current law to allow companies to delay implementing the policy.

"Employers need to deal with the new policy but if they have problems, they can forward their concerns to us and we will try and help them," he said.

The minimum wage policy requires companies to pay a minimum wage of RM900 in the peninsula and RM800 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Subramaniam said the ministry was also discussing with employers on issues relating to levy and allowances for housing and transportation of the foreign workers.

"Employers want the levy and allowances to be born by the workers. The issue is up to the Cabinet to decide on what action to be taken," he said on Sunday.

*****************************************

I used to live in Bukit Rahman Putra (BRP5) in Sungai Buloh, Selangor -- from end-December 1996 to end-February 2009. One day we noticed that around midnight or so there would be a foul smell in the air. We spent days trying to track the source of this smell but failed to do so.

We then met up ('we' meaning the residents' committee) with the officers from Jabatan Alam Sekitar (the Department of the Environment) to discuss this matter and to explore what they could do about what was apparently a bad case of air pollution -- and we suspected most toxic as well since this happens only past midnight and not in the daytime when it could be detected easily.

What the officers told us surprised us. Most of those factories at the bottom of the hill where we live are not licensed, they told us. Hence, since they are not licensed, the Department of the Environment cannot do anything about them. They can only take action against licensed factories. They have no jurisdiction over illegal factories and businesses.

Who then can take action? Well, this comes under the jurisdiction of the land office and the local council. So we need to raise this matter with the land office and the local council. However, since these two agencies are amongst the most corrupted agencies (and they still are even though Pakatan Rakyat has been ruling Selangor for almost five years now) we should not expect any action to be taken.

The Department of the Environment should know because they too have faced problems in trying to solve this matter. The factory owners just pay 'under-the-table' money to the officers from the land office and local council and they can practically get away with murder. (In fact, you can literally also get away with murder in Malaysia the same way).

I then did a tour of the area from the Sungai Buloh KTM railway station right up to the old leprosy settlement/new Sungai Buloh Hospital. I discovered that the area was 'infested' with foreign workers, mostly from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc. And the majority of these people were either illegal immigrants or were holding Malaysian identity cards, which means they are Malaysian citizens.

From my rough estimate I concluded that the ratio of 'foreign' population to locals was probably two-to-one -- though since they owned Malaysian identity cards they would be regarded as Malaysian citizens rather than foreigners. It seems it is not that difficult for these 'foreigners' to become Malaysian citizens. All it needs is money, which their employers would gladly pay and then deduct the amount from their salaries later.

I then did a 'census' of the many Sungai Buloh factories at the foot of Bukit Rahman Putra (next to the Hong Leong Yamaha factory) and I found that all these factories are Chinese-owned. There are no Malay- or Indian-owned factories (except for one Indian carpet dealer, which is not a factory but a warehouse). And all their workers are foreigners (except for the managerial postions, who are Chinese), but not necessarily illegal workers, as most owned Malaysian identity cards.

I also discovered that not only is the area from the KTM railway station up to the old leprosy settlement/new Sungai Buloh Hospital 'infested' with 'foreigners'. When I drove in the opposite direction towards Tasek Biru, it is the same thing, although the ratio there is not as high as two-to-one. Nevertheless, there is a huge 'foreign' community there as well.

Why is there such a high foreign community (both illegal as well as those with Malaysian identity cards) in Sungai Buloh? Well, that is because the many Chinese-owned factories and construction companies pay low wages and only foreigners would want to work at these pathetically low wages. No Malaysians want to do a labourer's job in the factories and on the construction sites.

And that is why the SMIs and construction companies are opposed to the minimum wage. If you can remember, last year they spoke up against the implementation of the minimum wage. If there is no minimum wage and salaries are kept low then these businesses make more money. But that would also mean only foreigners from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc., would want to do such work. Malaysians would not want to work for a mere few hundred Ringgit.

The same goes for plantation companies. They employ foreigner workers because Malaysians do not want to do backbreaking work at such low wages. And many of these plantations are multi-national companies, some even GLCs (government-linked companies).

In fact, I spoke to one GLC oil palm plantation company (state government-owned) to confirm this. They employ foreigners because they can't get Malaysians to work at those low wages. And for sure no Malaysian Chinese would want to work in plantations for RM700 a month. They would rather sell pirated CDs and DVDs (they even do so in Manchester, surprisingly).

Today, we complain about the millions of 'illegal immigrants' in Malaysia. Actually they are not illegal immigrants since they have been given Malaysian identity cards. And the reason this estimated three million 'foreigners' are in Malaysia is because we employ them at very low wages. And because of the very low wages only these 'illegals' would want to work. Malaysians are not interested to suffer at such low wages.

I have bumped into many Malaysian Chinese here in the UK working as chefs and waiters/waitresses. Why do they work here in the UK and not back in Malaysia? That is because in Malaysia then can't even earn RM1,000 a month whereas in the UK they earn more than RM5,000 a month. And you can survive in the UK with RM5,000-RM6,000 a month but not in Malaysia with a mere RM800-RM900 per month.

So, if we want to reduce the three million 'foreign population' of Malaysia then the plantations, construction companies, SMI factories, etc., should stop employing them. And to do that we need a minimum wage of at least RM1,200-RM1,5000 (or thereabouts) a month. With that salary level Malaysians would be prepared to work and hence you do not need to employ foreigners and then give them Malaysian citizenship.

And the only people who can do this would be the Chinese construction companies and SMI factory owners plus the GLCs and multi-national plantation companies. It is no use screaming about the problem when we are the source of that problem.

The capitalists want to make more money. So they underpay their workers. And because they underpay their workers the jobs go to the foreigners. And these foreigners bring their families to Malaysia and their children school in Malaysia. They also tax Malaysia's health system.

It is the capitalists who are the cause of Malaysia's social problems involving foreigners. And because we need cheap labour we need to bring in three million foreign workers from the neighbouring countries.

Yes, many of these workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc., are Muslims. However, do you think the Christian Filipino girls would want to work for RM700 a month on a construction site when they can earn RM2,500 or more as a maid in Singapore (food and lodging free as well)?

Capitalism works on the law of supply and demand (just like prostitution). When there is a demand for cheap foreign labour then the supply would emerge. And the people creating this demand are the SMI factories, construction companies and plantations. And who are the owners of these SMI factories, construction companies and plantations?

Then you blame the government for this. And when I point out the reality of this situation you get angry. And this is because of the Malaysian culture of…what do you call it…kiasu, is it?

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

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Been there, done that

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 04:49 PM PST

If less than 20 pages is 'too lengthy' then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Hindraf has laid out six conditions for both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional to agree to before it decides which of the two coalitions it will support in the coming general election. Five of those six conditions were actually addressed in The People's Declaration exactly five years ago in February 2008.

In fact, The People's Declaration is in even more detail because it comes to almost 20 pages. The problem is most people did not read it because, according to them, The People's Declaration is too lengthy.

If less than 20 pages is 'too lengthy' then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.

That is pathetic. And these are the same people who whack Umno and blame Umno for the 'poorly educated' Malaysians. I just don't get it how you can blame Umno for your low-level education when you refuse to read a book a year and you declare that 20 pages are too lengthy to read.

Anyway, save for item 2 in Hindraf's list of six demands, five of these demands have actually been addressed in The People's Declaration, as you can see below.

I admit that The People's Declaration is not specific to 'Indian issues', as it tries to address policies to make things more equitable, and so that the beneficiaries of these policies would be on a need basis rather than race-based. Nevertheless, if there were any particular ethnic group that is in need, then it would automatically become that beneficiary.

For example, if you build houses for the needy, and if the Indians are in need of houses, then the Indians become the beneficiary of those houses since the spirit of The People's Declaration is to do away with race-based policies in favour of need-based policies.

Many people have asked me what is the source of what they view as my 'falling out' with Anwar Ibrahim in late 2010 and why two months later I started 'whacking' Anwar Ibrahim.

Well, if they were to view that video of our meeting in London in 2010 on Youtube then they need not ask this question. In that meeting I stressed that Pakatan Rakyat had signed an agreement that they will adopt The People's Declaration and later, in Australia, Anwar did a U-turn and rejected it.

Basically, what Hindraf is asking for has already been laid out and agreed by Pakatan Rakyat (plus PSM, mind you) five years ago in February 2008. And The People's Declaration has more details. Will Pakatan Rakyat now say yes to Hindraf when it has said no to The People's Declaration -- after saying yes earlier?

Anyway, while we await a reply from Pakatan Rakyat, maybe in the meantime you can compare what Hindraf wants to what was agreed back in February 2008.

 

Hindraf: 1) Stop displacing Indian plantation workers and provide reasonable compensation as well as offer skills training to them.

The People's Declaration: Form a framework of tripartite consultation that is effective, just and democratic, and amend laws relating to labour, trade unions and industrial relations consistent with it; fix a reasonable monthly wage for estate workers and seriously implement a housing scheme for estate workers; and introduce re-training programmes for retrenched workers.

 

Hindraf: 2) Resolve Indian stateless issue.

The People's Declaration: None.

 

Hindraf: 3) Provide equal education opportunities to all Indian students via meritocracy;

The People's Declaration: Establish a National Education Consultative Council to ensure that the practice and implementation of the national education policy and philosophy is both effective and just; allocate the education budget in a fair and equitable fashion, without neglecting any group; provide more scholarships and other financial assistance on the basis of need; and increase the number of mother tongue schools and upgrade their facilities according to need and demand.

 

Hindraf: 4) Provide equal job and business opportunities to Indians;

The People's Declaration: Establish an investment fund, under-written by the government, for the development of small and medium enterprises and allocated according to performance and not political favouritism.

 

Hindraf: 5) Stop police brutality and death in custody, and set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The People's Declaration: Sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; restore the image and status of the Royal Malaysian Police by means of a permanent committee as the Police Commission to receive and consider petitions by the people on police behaviour; improve the quality and effectiveness of human rights education at all levels of education and institutions of higher learning as well as training centres for public servants; and improve prison administration and conditions in line with international standards.

 

Hindraf: 6) Stop institutionalised racism and ratify United Nations convention against racial discrimination.

The People's Declaration: Immediately dismantle any and all remaining practices of "divide and rule" in public administration from the days of the BN administration; put in place an affirmative action programme at Federal and all State levels to eradicate poverty and marginalization from amongst the weak and backward groups irrespective of race, social background and religion; and establish an independent Ethnic Relations Council, reporting directly to Parliament to help in building a united Bangsa Malaysia.

 

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Mahathir’s Tall Tales on Sabah!

Posted: 09 Feb 2013 08:22 AM PST

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lq8Nu607UVQ/UQHfHWh87JI/AAAAAAABEIU/mtDE8icmNWI/s1600/kl.jpg 

Putrajaya has no business whatsoever, under the constitutional documents on Malaysia, to block recommendations from the Sabah or Sarawak Governments on permanent residence in their respective territories. Yet we are told by Mahathir that he liberally gave out citizenships in Sabah during his 22 years in office as Prime Minister. 

Joe Fernandez

We have heard it all now on Sabah from former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

In his latest take on the on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in the state, Mahathir claims that he instructed that only those eligible in Sabah should be granted citizenship.

This is rich!

He's degenerating before our very eyes even as a poor liar.

There's an old Malayalee saying with which Mahathir should be familiar: "Once you tell a lie, you must tell a thousand other lies to cover up the first lie."

No wonder there's an old Jaffna joke going around about the tragic fate of a cobra that was unfortunate enough to bite a Malayalee.

The cobra died!

The Jaffna people claim that they were chased out of Kerala and into northern Sri Lanka by the Malayalees who first welcomed the migrants from Tamil Nadu by draping them in yellow cloth, literally speaking, but later allegedly tried to slit their throats.

Citizenships are not based on any so-called directive from the Prime Minister, the Home Minister or the Federal Cabinet.


Mahathir's directive on citizenships a fairy tale

Citizenship is based on the Federal Constitution, the only Social Contract between the State and the people.

So, Mahathir could not have issued such a directive on the grant of citizenships. There was no need for one since there was no basis.

His so-called directive on citizenships is another red herring meant to divert attention from the tainted electoral rolls in Sabah and whether his family from Kerala, southwest India, ever determined their citizenship status in the wake of the British departure from Malaya in 1957. But more on that story in a little while.

The issue (child) of a citizen by operation of law – i.e. the latter holding no citizenship papers – or an issue of a citizen by registration – i.e. the latter with citizenship papers – is eligible to be citizen by operation of law whether born in the country or abroad.

Those born abroad must have had their births registered at the nearest Malaysian High Commission or Embassy, or at the British or a Commonwealth mission, where's there's no such representation.


Federal Cabinet failed to resolve stateless issue

The Federal Constitution is clear on this point.

The Government of Malaysia has no prerogative and discretionary powers on citizenship under the Federal Constitution except the Federal Cabinet when it comes to resolving the citizenship woes of Malaysians.

The Federal Cabinet can act in this case.

Many of those eligible to be citizens by operation of law in Malaysia are stateless because they carry no birth certificates like their parents, grandparents and ancestors.

These include Indians and the Orang Asal (Orang Asli) in Peninsular Malaysia and the Orang Asal – Dusuns, Muruts, and Dayaks -- in Sabah and Sarawak. The sea gypsies or Bajau Laut -- Pala'u – in Sabah are also stateless.

The issue of a citizen by naturalization – i.e. the latter a foreigner who obtained citizenship in Malaysia – is eligible for citizenship by registration. If born overseas, there are the other requirements to be met.

Failure to register as a citizen or failure to register the birth if born overseas would mean that the issue would be considered a citizen of the naturalized citizen's old country.

There are many in Malaysia in this category as a result of being born in Brunei, Indonesia (Kalimantan) and India, among other places. They are permanently doomed to carry red (permanent residence) and green cards (temporary residence) or even Special Passes (white) from the Immigration Department.


No basis to issue citizenship to 200,000 foreigners in Sabah

Citizenship by naturalization is a long process which begins with entry permit and work permits. However, foreign spouses of Malaysians need only to get a social visit pass in lieu of entry permit. The catch is one cannot apply for a work permit on a social visit pass.

The next step for the foreigner would be to acquire temporary residence – green card – followed by permanent residence i.e. red card.

Given the required numbers of years in residence in Malaysia, police clearance from the old country and the Malaysian Police, a foreigner can apply for citizenship by naturalization.

By right it should be a hassle-free process but the truth here is stranger than the fiction. Anything can happen at this juncture from long delays to an ominous silence from the authorities concerned.

It would be interesting to know on what basis and by what authority citizenships were issued to foreigners in Sabah. Mahathir had previously acknowledged that he gave out 200,000 citizenships in Sabah to those "who had stayed there for a very long time, spoke Malay unlike the Chinese etc".


Mahathir denied permanent residence to deserving professionals in Sabah

This is the same man who denied even permanent residence in Sabah to some 300 deserving foreign professionals serving in the state, many for even up to 30 years. The Sabah Government recommended them for permanent residence in Sabah and Malaysia.

The matter was only resolved when Chong Kah Kiat, as Chief Minister, personally called upon Mahathir at his office in Putrajaya and brought up the matter. It transpired that the little Napoleons in Putrajaya had been routinely consigning such applications from Sabah to the wastepaper basket. The fact that the professionals concerned were non-Muslims may have had something to do with their long wait.

Putrajaya has no business whatsoever, under the constitutional documents on Malaysia, to block recommendations from the Sabah or Sarawak Governments on permanent residence in their respective territories.

It's back to square one today in Sabah and perhaps in Sarawak too.

Yet we are told by Mahathir that he liberally gave out citizenships in Sabah during his 22 years in office as Prime Minister.

Being in Malaysia a very long time and speaking Malay are not by themselves sufficient qualifications to be granted citizenship in the country. One must go through the proper procedures and process as set down in the Federal Constitution.

In Sabah and Sarawak, there are added criteria under the Malaysia Agreement. The Governments of these two Borneo Nations in Malaysia must be the initiating and recommending body for foreigners in their territory who apply for citizenship.


RCI should determine extent of tainted electoral rolls

The Federal Government cannot take it upon itself to issue citizenships to foreigners in Sabah and Sarawak.

Anyone who holds citizenship in Malaysia in violation of the Federal Constitution holds no citizenship at all. It's a nullity in law from the very beginning.

The same fate applies to those who obtained citizenship by furnishing false and misleading information with or without the knowledge of the authorities concerned.

The revelations at the RCI tell of foreign-born applicants obtaining Malaysian personal documents merely on the strength of Statutory Declarations wherein they claimed birth in Sabah.

The crux of the story in Sabah, and one for the RCI to determine, is the extent to which the electoral rolls in the state has been tainted by those ineligible to be there.

That's not the end of the story.


Mahathir is one lie after another on Sabah

We have also heard at the RCI that duplicate MyKads of Malaysians had been issued by the National Registration Department (NRD) to foreigners for the purposes of voting.

These foreigners apparently voted on behalf of Malaysians who had registered as voters but seldom turned up on polling day.

Other Malaysians who were eligible to register as voters didn't bother to do so. This provided another great loophole to nefarious elements who did not hesitate to issue duplicate MyKads to foreigners to enable them to register as voters on behalf of Malaysians.

Mahathir has been silent on these allegations which emerged during revelations at the RCI.

Instead, he keeps harping on what his directives were on the issuance of citizenships in Sabah and claimed that "other people including Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim may have gone off at a tangent in Sabah" and obviously "unknown to him".

Mahathir is one lie after another on Sabah.

He has yet to come clean even on his own family from Kerala, southwest India, being in Malaysia.

Again, we are reminded of the old Malayalee saying on lies.

 

______________________________________________________________________

Joe Fernandez is a mature law student, among others, who feels compelled as a semi-retired journalist to put pen to paper – or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard -- whenever something doesn't quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet.

 

In the name of Allah, The Gracious The Merciful...

Posted: 09 Feb 2013 08:13 AM PST

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQh6BTNemtriYagz9x0lBpKtkr2_IO5UK48b4qw7o0rJWPkEAh_ 

"ALLAH" IS FOR THE WHOLE OF MANKIND, SAYS THE QURAN

Have you yourselves read the Book and fully understood its contents? Have you been instructed in the Book to forbid mankind from calling the one and only God as ALLAH? Are you responsible if the ignorant ones make a mockery of God?

Student of The Qur'an 

The ongoing controversy among the Malaysian population as to whether Christians in the country can use the word Allah in their Malay language Bible has prompted me to write this article in the hope that the dispute, which has the potential of threatening the peaceful coexistence of peace loving Malaysians, would be eliminated.

I am not a religious scholar but a concerned citizen who looks forward to living in harmony in this well-endowed multi-racial, multi-religious country of ours.

Since the objection for the Christian community to use the word Allah comes from the Muslims, let us use the Muslim holy book, THE QUR'AN, as the basis for our search to find the answer to this problem.

It is not disputed by Muslims throughout the world that The Quran is the word of God (the one and only God known as ALLAH in the Arabic language) and that it is a Message for the whole of mankind revealed through Muhammad, Allah's messenger and the seal of the prophets (peace be upon him).  

"This (Message) is no less than a reminder to mankind." Ch. 81 Verse 27
"Those to whom We have given the Book recognise it just as they recognise their own sons. But, some of them knowingly conceal the truth. The Truth is from thy Lord; so be not at all in doubt." Ch. 2 Verse 146-147

25 names of messengers are mentioned in The Quran (right from Adam to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all). All these prophets and messengers brought the same Message from God to mankind, but the messengers were rejected.

When God made an agreement with those who were given the Book [saying]:
"You shall 
explain it to mankind and not conceal it," they (the people) tossed it away behind their backs and sold it for a paltry price. How wretched was what they bought [instead]! Ch.3 Verse 187

In the Quran, we find the word "ilah" which refers to any god other than the One God, which the ignorant people have taken as an object of worship. The One and Only God in the Qur'an is known as ALLAH (the prefix "AL" (the) combined with "ILAH" (god) to define the sole divine entity as THE GOD).

"Do not set up any other god besides God lest you incur disgrace and be forsaken." Ch.17 Verse 22

"He who invokes another god along with God, - a deity of whose divinity he has no proof, - will be brought to account by his Lord. Certainly, those who deny the truth shall never prosper." Ch. 23 verse 117

Allah, the One God is also known in the Quran through His numerous attributes, some among which are as follows:
"He is God: there is no god other than Him, the Controller, the Holy One, Source of Peace, Granter of Security, Guardian over all, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Truly Great; God is far above anything they consider to be His partner." Ch. 59 Verse 23

We are asked to call Allah by any of His beautiful names:
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Ar-Rahman (the Merciful One): by whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names." Ch. 17 verse 110

Muhammad, the messenger was told by God to tell the believers: 
"And dispute not with the people of the Book (the Jews and the Christians) unless in the best manner, save with those of them who do wrong;" and say: "we believe in that which hath been sent down unto us and that which hath been sent down unto you: our god and your god is One (who is called ALLAH); and to Him we are submissive." Ch. 29 verse 46

And the believers are told to do it with wisdom:
"Call them to the path of your Lord with wisdom and words of good advice; and reason with them in the best way possible. Your Lord surely knows who strays from His path, and He knows those who are guided the right way." Ch. 16 verse 125

The messenger would not have forced the people to believe him after hearing this commandment from God:
Say, "This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it…" Ch.18 verse 29

Now, the controversy arises as a result of the doctrine of Trinity held by the Christians, whereby God is referred to as The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost, which will not be accepted by the Believers of the Qur'an as the truth.

The people of the Book (Jews and Christians) have been reminded by Allah about this through His messenger Muhammad in Chapter 4 verse 171 of the Qur'an:
"O people of the Book, do not be fanatical in your faith, and say nothing but the truth about God (ALLAH). The Messiah who is Jesus, son of Mary, was only an apostle of God, and a command of His which He sent to Mary, as a mercy from Him. So, believe in God (ALLAH) and His apostles, and do not call Him 'Trinity'. Abstain from this for your own good; for God (ALLAH) is only ONE GOD, and far from His glory is it to beget a son. All that is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him; and sufficient is God (ALLAH) for all help."

The above verse clearly indicates that during the prophet's time the Christians were already believing in the concept of trinity; and Allah, through the prophet wanted to remind them not to believe in such a doctrine and to abstain from it for their own good. Thus, we as Muslims today, should also emulate the prophet in clarifying to the Christians the true concept of one God or Monotheism. This should be the paramount duty or focus of the Muslims rather than bickering over the usage of the term "God" or "Allah."

Allah says:
"Obey God and obey the Messenger. If you turn away, then he is responsible for what he is charged with and you are responsible for what you are charged with. If you obey him, you will be rightly guided. The Messenger is responsible only for delivering the message clearly." Ch.24 verse 54

The messenger was only instructed to reveal God's Message to the people and to make them aware of the worship of the One God (Allah), the God of both the believers and the disbelievers. He was merely responsible for delivering the Message (as had been done by other messengers before him) and not for their actions or their disobedience after hearing the Message. If Allah had commanded His messenger to call people to the One God, Allah, who are we, the so-called Muslims of today, to forbid mankind from calling their god Allah, since Allah is God for all the people!

If a community insists on calling its god Allah, but continues to practise idol worship, which is an unforgivable sin in the sight of Allah, that community would be answerable only to God and not to any other authority.

"God does not forgive the sin of considering others equal to Him, but He may choose to forgive other sins. Whoever believes in other gods besides Him has indulged in a great sin." Ch. 4 verse 48

The duty of a rightly guided Muslim would be to explain clearly the concept of Monotheism to those who may not be aware, and not to convert or dispute with or deny them the opportunity of recognising the true God and calling Him Allah.

"Unto every community have We appointed [different] ways of worship, which they ought to observe. Hence, [O believer,] do not let those [who follow ways other than yours] draw you into disputes on this score, but summon [them all] unto your Sustainer: for, behold, you are indeed on the right way." Ch. 22 verse 67 – 69

The Quran also tells us that although the people who heard the Message of God defied the messengers, nevertheless, they conceded and acknowledged that their god was Allah when questioned about their Creator.

Say, "To whom do the earth and all therein belong?" Tell me, if you have any knowledge.

They will say, "To Allah!"

Say: "Yet will you not receive admonition?"

Say, "Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and of the Glorious Throne?"

They will say, "(All this belongs) to Allah."

Say, "Would you still not fear Allah?" Ch. 23 verse 84 – 87

 

Say (unto them, O Muhammad): "Who provides for you from the sky and the earth, or

Who owns hearing and sight; and Who brings forth the living from the dead and brings

forth the dead from the living; and Who directs the course?"

They will say: "Allah."

Then say: "Will ye not then keep your duty (unto Him)?"

Such is Allah, your true Lord. What is there, besides the truth, but error? How then can you turn away? Ch. 10 verse 31 - 32

After having provided all of our basic needs and equipping us with what is required for our survival on this beautiful earth, what Allah expects from us is justice among mankind and responsible behaviour towards each other, for which everyone shall be accountable.

"For, verily, those who have attained to faith [in this divine writ], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Sabians, and the Christians - all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous deeds - no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve." Ch. 5 verse 69

So, brothers and sisters, who proudly call yourselves Muslims, let me ask if you have done your job of supporting your prophet by revealing the Message of Allah to your fellow mankind, who may have not yet read Allah's last revealed Book, THE QUR'AN? 

Have you yourselves read the Book and fully understood its contents? Have you been instructed in the Book to forbid mankind from calling the one and only God as ALLAH? Are you responsible if the ignorant ones make a mockery of God?

Is not Allah the All-seer, the All-hearer, the All-knowing, the All-mighty, the All-wise? Allah is not weak. He is the All-powerful, but He is also the All-forgiving and the All-compassionate.

And how are we taught in the Quran to recognise Allah?

Say: "He is Allah, the One and Only, Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He does not give birth, nor was He born, and there is nothing like Him." Ch. 112 verses 1 – 4

"All praise is due to Allah Who has never begotten a son and Who has no partner in His kingdom; nor does anyone aid Him because of any weakness of His. Proclaim His Greatness." Ch. 17 verse 111

Brothers and sisters, let us all hasten to do righteous works and strive towards establishing TRUTH AND JUSTICE on this earth, instead of focusing our attention on petty issues and arguments which bring about split and discord among mankind. The world is already full of turmoil; let us not exacerbate the situation further by using faith as the basis for highlighting irrelevant issues for personal and political gains.

May ALLAH guide us all to the straight path and may we spread PEACE and LOVE on earth, which is the very essence of Islam!

Salaam (Peace),
Student of The Qur'an

 

Dr M must apologise to Ambiga, Bar Council

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 05:24 PM PST

Bersih says Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not make threats to revoke S Ambiga's citizenship.

(FMT) - Bersih wants former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to retract his statement that the federal constitution must be amended to revoke the citizenship of "errant lawyers" like Bar Council leaders and Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga.

Bersih, a coalition of non-governmental organization fighting for free and fair elections, said Ambiga did not deserve such a comment.

"What did Ambiga do to deserve such comments. There is nothing wrong in wanting a free and fair election. We just want for the government to deliver what the rakyat want," Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah told FMT.

Earlier today, the former prime minister said the government needed to amend the constitution if it wanted to strip off the citizenship of lawyers such as Ambiga who go against the government.

"To strip a person's citizenship, you need to amend the constitution. And to amend the constitution you need two-thirds majority in Parliament. So, I ask that you give two-thirds majority to the BN government," said Dr Mahathir.

He said this in response to a question after a talk on national security and the constitution at a forum.

Mahathir was asked how the government could strip the citizenship of errant lawyers like Bar Council leaders and Ambiga, who were persistent in challenging the government and questioning the federal constitution.

Maria said it was very unbecoming of Mahathir to make such a statement.

"He is no better than Ibrahim Ali (Perkasa president). We want Dr Mahathir to retract and apologise to Ambiga and the Bar Council.

"The statement is actually very racist in nature. Dr Mahathir should not put himself so low as to want to strip people of their citizenship. They are not terrorist or did anything to endanger the lives of fellow Malaysians.

"We are fighting for the better Malaysia. We are trying to do good for the country and her people…so Dr Mahathir should not use us as political pawns to win votes for the ruling Barisan Nasional," she said.

He said Dr Mahathir should not use race as a tool to divide and threaten Malaysians.

READ MORE HERE

 

Place winning Putrajaya before candidacy, Zuraida tells Sabah PKR reps

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 05:18 PM PST

Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

In the aftermath of Thursday's resignations by 14 Sabah Wanita PKR members, Zuraida Kamaruddin has reminded all party members to prioritise Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) Putrajaya dream instead of clamouring to be candidates in the coming polls.

The Wanita PKR national chief admitted to The Malaysian Insider that there is still a lingering dissatisfaction among Sabah PKR leaders over the possibility of losing their bid to contest the coming polls.

But she pointed out that this was inevitable as the party would have to cede some seats to accommodate PR's new Sabah allies Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPPS).

"I can't say there is none (dissatisfaction). But they have to be rational. Are they in this for the short term or the long term?" Zuraida (picture) said in a phone call from Sabah yesterday afternoon.

"In the interest of fighting Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno, what we are doing is we are putting out our best in the contest," she added.

APS is led by Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing, formerly the deputy president of BN's United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), while PPPS is led by Beaufort MP and former Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin.

Both men left BN last year to form the PR-friendly movements are currently working out a seat-sharing formula with PR's DAP, PKR and PAS, turning the Sabah opposition front into a very crowded battle.

Winnie Juani, who is Sabah Wanita PKR vice-chairman, Penampang wing chief and the wing's Sabah election strategist, quit the party on Thursday along with 13 other elected and appointed leaders from the division.

She told The Malaysian Insider that they had no particular reason for leaving, except that they needed to "take a rest" from the hectic life of politics.

The 52-year-old Juani also denied that she had left because her party leadership could not confirm her candidacy in Moyog, a state seat under the BN-held Penampang parliamentary constituency.

Zuraida said she spoke to Juani after the latter's sudden move to quit and decided to respect her decision.

"She said she wants to rest and take care of her family. Some can't take the stress and the pressure and need time to rest... so let them take their rest, we are not short of leaders and women candidates," she said.

Zuraida would not confirm speculation that Juani had left because of the candidacy issue but said repeatedly that in the interest of PR's plan to wrest federal power, all party members need to put their personal interests aside.

READ MORE HERE

 

Been there, done that

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 04:49 PM PST

If less than 20 pages is 'too lengthy' then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Hindraf has laid out six conditions for both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional to agree to before it decides which of the two coalitions it will support in the coming general election. Five of those six conditions were actually addressed in The People's Declaration exactly five years ago in February 2008.

In fact, The People's Declaration is in even more detail because it comes to almost 20 pages. The problem is most people did not read it because, according to them, The People's Declaration is too lengthy.

If less than 20 pages is 'too lengthy' then I really do not know what to say. They should be reading at least 100 to 150 pages a day or go through a 300-page book in two or three days. Some PhD students here in the UK, Malaysians of course, told me that they hardly read a book a year save for their text books.

That is pathetic. And these are the same people who whack Umno and blame Umno for the 'poorly educated' Malaysians. I just don't get it how you can blame Umno for your low-level education when you refuse to read a book a year and you declare that 20 pages are too lengthy to read.

Anyway, save for item 2 in Hindraf's list of six demands, five of these demands have actually been addressed in The People's Declaration, as you can see below.

I admit that The People's Declaration is not specific to 'Indian issues', as it tries to address policies to make things more equitable, and so that the beneficiaries of these policies would be on a need basis rather than race-based. Nevertheless, if there were any particular ethnic group that is in need, then it would automatically become that beneficiary.

For example, if you build houses for the needy, and if the Indians are in need of houses, then the Indians become the beneficiary of those houses since the spirit of The People's Declaration is to do away with race-based policies in favour of need-based policies.

Many people have asked me what is the source of what they view as my 'falling out' with Anwar Ibrahim in late 2010 and why two months later I started 'whacking' Anwar Ibrahim.

Well, if they were to view that video of our meeting in London in 2010 on Youtube then they need not ask this question. In that meeting I stressed that Pakatan Rakyat had signed an agreement that they will adopt The People's Declaration and later, in Australia, Anwar did a U-turn and rejected it.

Basically, what Hindraf is asking for has already been laid out and agreed by Pakatan Rakyat (plus PSM, mind you) five years ago in February 2008. And The People's Declaration has more details. Will Pakatan Rakyat now say yes to Hindraf when it has said no to The People's Declaration -- after saying yes earlier?

Anyway, while we await a reply from Pakatan Rakyat, maybe in the meantime you can compare what Hindraf wants to what was agreed back in February 2008.

 

Hindraf: 1) Stop displacing Indian plantation workers and provide reasonable compensation as well as offer skills training to them.

The People's Declaration: Form a framework of tripartite consultation that is effective, just and democratic, and amend laws relating to labour, trade unions and industrial relations consistent with it; fix a reasonable monthly wage for estate workers and seriously implement a housing scheme for estate workers; and introduce re-training programmes for retrenched workers.

 

Hindraf: 2) Resolve Indian stateless issue.

The People's Declaration: None.

 

Hindraf: 3) Provide equal education opportunities to all Indian students via meritocracy;

The People's Declaration: Establish a National Education Consultative Council to ensure that the practice and implementation of the national education policy and philosophy is both effective and just; allocate the education budget in a fair and equitable fashion, without neglecting any group; provide more scholarships and other financial assistance on the basis of need; and increase the number of mother tongue schools and upgrade their facilities according to need and demand.

 

Hindraf: 4) Provide equal job and business opportunities to Indians;

The People's Declaration: Establish an investment fund, under-written by the government, for the development of small and medium enterprises and allocated according to performance and not political favouritism.

 

Hindraf: 5) Stop police brutality and death in custody, and set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

The People's Declaration: Sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; restore the image and status of the Royal Malaysian Police by means of a permanent committee as the Police Commission to receive and consider petitions by the people on police behaviour; improve the quality and effectiveness of human rights education at all levels of education and institutions of higher learning as well as training centres for public servants; and improve prison administration and conditions in line with international standards.

 

Hindraf: 6) Stop institutionalised racism and ratify United Nations convention against racial discrimination.

The People's Declaration: Immediately dismantle any and all remaining practices of "divide and rule" in public administration from the days of the BN administration; put in place an affirmative action programme at Federal and all State levels to eradicate poverty and marginalization from amongst the weak and backward groups irrespective of race, social background and religion; and establish an independent Ethnic Relations Council, reporting directly to Parliament to help in building a united Bangsa Malaysia.

 

Ronnie Liu: 'Jawatan Jefrei sudah lama dilucutkan'

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 03:33 PM PST

(Sinar Harian) - Exco Jawatankuasa Kerajaan Tempatan, Kajian dan Penyelidikan, Ronnie Liu menegaskan bahawa tindakan bekas Pegawai Khasnya, Jefrei Nordin mengumumkan peletakan jawatan sebagai satu penipuan.

Katanya, Ronnie, Jefrei telah lama dilucutkan jawatan sebagai pegawai khas beliau kerana tidak hadir di pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (SUK).

"Dia (Jefrei) sudah lama dilucutkan jawatan bukannya letak jawatan, lagipun dia bukan ahli DAP," katanya, semalam.

Dalam pada itu, katanya, tindakan Jefrei mengumumkan peletakan jawatannya di kediaman Ahli Parlimen Nibong Tebal, Tan Tee Beng adalah sekadar meraih publisiti murahan.

"Sebenarnya Jefrei telah disahkan muflis. Sudahlah dua tiga tahun tidak masuk pejabat, tiba-tiba sahaja umumkan letak jawatan dengan alasan kononnya kecewa dengan sikap hipokrit dan penyalahgunaan kuasa membabitkan pimpinan kerajaan negeri, ini satu penipuan dan mungkin dia telah 'dibeli'.

"Selain itu, sebelum ini Jefrei sering mengeluarkan kenyataan tidak berasas yang memfitnah saya dan adu domba dengan pimpinan lain dalam pakatan seperti Pas, sedangkan hubungan saya dengan mereka baik-baik sahaja," katanya.

Dalam perkembangan yang sama, kata beliau, sekiranya ingin bukti kukuhbahawa Jefrei telah lama dilucutkan jawatan sebagai pegawai khas, boleh merujuk kepada penyata gaji dan elaun, jelas telah beberapa tahun Jefrei tidak dibayar oleh pihaknya.

 

Najib out-Gangnam DAP?

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 03:20 PM PST

KTemoc Konsiders

I wouldn't dare claim that the Han Chiang School in Penang is Pakatan's equivalent of Tahrir Square, but as The Malaysian Insider reported in its headline news article Guan Eng trying to politicise CNY, says Najib as follows:

Penang BN sources say the venue of the celebrations hold a bigger significance than the appearance of Psy, or Park Jae-Sang.

According to BN sources, Han Chiang has been Pakatan Rakyat and DAP's stronghold for fund raising and rallies and is infamous for the 2008 catalyst rally which caused the Chinese wave of voters to swing to PR and DAP.


In earlier days the chief financial sponsor (backer) of independent Chinese language education (up to pre university or HSC level) was Lim Lean Teng, one of the early Penang millionaires, who believed very strongly in Chinese language education and put his money where his mouth was.

Even as a kid I came to know of him (because of his Chinese education sponsorship) and learnt where his mansion was located along Penang's 'Millionaire Row', what is today's Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, very near Kedah House (or Istana Kedah today?).

Han Chiang

The alumni of Han Chiang School may be found throughout SE Asia, especially in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, etc, where their rich parents sent them to the only place (then) in the region to provide traditional (pre Communist China) style of Chinese primary and secondary education. I presume Taiwan was the only other source but alas, outside the SE Asian region, while Hong Kong provided such education in the Cantonese (but not Mandarin) language.

TMI informed us that the new backer of Han Chiang School is Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, a matey of Penang CM Lim Guan Eng.

It's claimed that Han Chiang is Pakatan's or more correctly, DAP's 'hallowed grounds' as it was here that the DAP rally in 2008 'convinced' Penangites to ubah (change) the state government once again, after 40+ years.

Thus the rumour has been that DAP is particularly upset by the BN staging its Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations cum 'Open House' at the school facilities, right at its politically 'hallowed grounds'.

The guest of honour at the BN CNY celebrations is PM Najib Tun Razak, and the star attraction the man from Korea, Gangnam style rapper Psy, but as reported, the location of the event rather than Psy has the greater political significance.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned in a previous post Silly season & serious scrutiny, DAP has unwittingly allowed DPM Muhyiddin to seize the moral high grounds by its silly spoilsport campaign against the BN's CNY event. In that post I had written:

As a DAP supporter, I'm actually embarrassed by DAP and Pakatan's campaign against the BN 'Open House', UNLESS of course DAP can show that the event involves expenditure of public funds.

Yesterday, when I read Malaysiakini's Vox Populi, I was amazed that more than a few readers actually (and stupidly) urged Psy not to come, as if the Korean would forego his handsome fee to take sides in Malaysian politics.

This sort of emotional outburst, going to the extent of expecting a foreigner to take up partisan allegiance and show biased sympathy in Malaysian politics, is regrettable, immature and disappointing.

If indeed the event starring Psy is funded by the BN or private sources, then Pakatan has not only gone silly but in the process has unwittingly and lamentably elevated low brow Muhyiddin to high moral grounds when the DPM stated in today's Malaysiakini that Guan Eng aims to spoil BN's CNY bash.


Well, realizing BN now has a winner, PM Najib has swiftly jumped on the Muhyiddin's bandwagon to also play victim by stating:

READ MORE HERE

 

Dr M: Struggle for PM post dividing Malays, empowering minorities

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 03:07 PM PST

Zurairi AR, The Malaysian Insider

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today likened the Malay politicians in both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to "political beggars", saying their scramble to be prime minister has led them to plead for support from the country's minority races.

The influential Umno veteran pointed out that while these minority groups become more politically powerful, the Malays were becoming increasingly divided by fighting among themselves. 

"The majority is split into three, we're fighting among ourselves," the former prime minister said here. 

"Umno, PAS, PKR all have become beggars." 

He likened the situation to the strife between the Islamic sects of Sunnis and Shiites in the Arabic world, which has resulted in violence and killings. 

Dr Mahathir (picture) also compared the disunity to how the Malays were united when they were fighting against the British rule. 

"Back then when we were fighting the British, we had political strength. The Malays were united under Umno. 

"The British became so afraid seeing Malays united, that they had to drop the Malayan Union."

READ MORE HERE

 

Ignore Deepak, Dr M tells Najib

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 03:03 PM PST

Zurairi AR, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Najib Razak should not entertain any accusations put forward by controversial carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad advised today.

The businessman has been in the limelight of late, lobbing repeated accusations against Najib and Umno leaders, and has promised to dish more dirt on other scandals linked to other politicians and even the prime minister's family members. 

"I don't think he should do anything," Dr Mahathir (picture) told reporters here. 

The longest-serving prime minister said that Najib should expect various allegations to surface while holding a political post, drawing parallels to his time in administration. 

"When I was prime minister also they accused me of corruption ... I don't have to respond." 

READ MORE HERE

 

Over 1,700 Malaysians abroad register for postal voting

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 02:58 PM PST

A total of 1,779 applications for postal voting have been received from Malaysians abroad so far since online registration was launched on December 21 last year.

Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the highest number of applications came from Australia with 406, followed by the United Kingdom (323), the United States (131), China (104) and Qatar (91).

"The EC's decision to allow all Malaysians abroad to register online and through e-mail has proven to be effective as many took the opportunity to do so.

"We estimate about 100 Malaysians abroad will register with the EC each day and we hope this trend will continue and increase daily," he said on Bernama TV's Helo Malaysia show here tonight.

He said among the requirements for Malaysians to vote overseas were that they must already be a registered voter and have returned to Malaysia within 30 days in a five-year period before Parliament is dissolved.

Wan Ahmad said Malaysians overseas who have registered as a voter and would like to use postal voting can download the application form (Borang 1B) through the EC website, http://www.spr.gov.my.

 

‘BN leading Malaysia to destruction’

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 02:41 PM PST

Chong Chieng Jen

The litany of scandals revealed in the past year, has shown that 'BN will not change".

Joseph Tawie, FMT

KUCHING:  Sarawakians were today warned not to succumb to the guiles of the hypnotic 'snake' which spun illusions of cheer, harmony and promises of development in their bid to continue ruling the country for the next five years.

Alluding to Barisan Nasional, Sarawak DAP said the Dragon Year (2012) had exposed a litany of scandals involving the ruling regime in Putrajaya and in Sarawak.

The finals weeks of the dragon year was filled with testimonies and disclosures of  'high level' involvement in a systematic plan to re-engineer the population's race and religious ratio in Sabah (and across the nation).

In a Chinese New Year statement on behalf of the party,  state secretary Chong Chien Jen said: This is very frightening if we view the many scandals that are happening in the country.

"As we welcome the Year of the Snake, we witness the Barisan Nasional leading Malaysia down the path of destruction.

"We see scandals like the exposures by (Sabah) Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) of the BN government granting Malaysian ICs to illegal immigrants in Sabah in the 90s for the purpose of overthrowing the then ruling opposition party.

"We see also that the Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission's non-action in the last two years in respect of allegation of corruption against Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud."

Chong, who is the MP for Bandar Kuching, said that the nation is also being burdened by national debt which had escalated to RM500 billion.

He said other scandals that could destroy the nation included a rising household debts (housing loans, car loans, credit card debts, etc) reaching RM700 billion, the illicit outflow of money from Malaysia amounting to more than RM196.4 billion in 2010  alone and the call by extremist PERKASA to burn Malay versions of  the Bible bearing the term 'Allah' and the worsening of security due to thefts, burglaries and murders.

"The decline in the standards of mathematics and science in our secondary schools as revealed by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is also a cause for concern," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘High property prices due to Pakatan policies’

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 02:39 PM PST

Penang developers now have to pay the state government three times more dues than under BN.

Athi Shankar, FMT

GEORGE TOWN: Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng has blamed the inflated property prices in Penang on the Pakatan Rakyat state government's policies.

He said the exorbitant increase in developer contribution for not building low-medium cost (LMC) units and in development charges for increase in build-up plot ratio were the main causes for the unscrupulous property price hike in the island state.

Under the urban housing policy, he said the developer must pay contributions to the local government for not building the pre-conditioned 30 per cent unit of LMCs in a housing development scheme.

"The government will then bear the responsibility to build the affordable housing," Tan told newsmen here yesterday.

Since Pakatan took over Penang five years ago, he said the LMC contribution charge has leapt to RM120,000 per unit, three times up from previous RM40,000 per unit under Barisan Nasional pre-2008 rule.

For instance, he said a developer has to fork RM3.6 million per 100-residential unit if they chose not to constructing 30 LMCs now.

Previously they would have paid RM120,000.

For an increase in build-up plot ratio rate, a developer has to pay RM15psf for the extra units. Previously it was RM5psf.

Increase in costs

Citing an example, Tan said if a developer increased the build-up per plot ratio from 15-units per acre to 87 – units per acre, the developer would have to pay some RM930,000 for the extra 62 units. This was based on RM15 x 1000sf per unit x 62-unit.

READ MORE HERE

 

Hindraf’s ‘carrot’ to Pakatan

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 02:34 PM PST

But the opposition coalition must first endorse Hindraf's blueprint on alleviating the Indian community's problems.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Hindraf has offered Pakatan Rakyat "thousands of volunteers" which it says is crucial for the opposition pact to overthrow Barisan nasional in the upcoming general election.

The 'carrot' however comes with a catch.

Pakatan must endorse the group's six-point blueprint to "bring the Indian marginalized and poor into the mainstream of National Development", said Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy.

"We are no doubt willing to make Pakatan's dream to capture Putrajaya a reality but we have a dream too – we dream to find a permanent solution to the problems of the Indian poor and marginalized.

"Hence it is crucial that Pakatan endorses the Hindraf Blueprint which encompassed this dream before we activate thousands of our volunteers to go nationwide to campaign for Pakatan," Waythamoorthy said in a statement yesterday.

The movement had previously said that it would support any political organisation that would agree in writing to adopt the blueprint, which recommends a five-year programme aimed at the betterment of the Malaysian Indian community.

The six points of the blueprint are:

1) Stop displacing Indian plantation workers and provide reasonable compensation as well as offer skills training to them;

2) Resolve Indian stateless issue;

3) Provide equal education opportunities to all Indian students via meritocracy;

4) Provide equal job and business opportunities to Indians;

5) Stop police brutality and death in custody, and set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC); and

6) Stop institutionalised racism and ratify United Nations convention against racial discrimination.

But the blueprint appears to have been largely ignored by parties from both sides of the divide since it was launched on Nov 25 last year.

Thus far only Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), a Pakatan-leaning party, has announced its support for the six demands.

"It is in the interest of PR (Pakatan) to sign the blueprint soonest rather than hoping that Hindraf would compromise on its Blueprint program at the last minute," said Waythamoorthy.

"We are ready to activate our machinery and start joint campaigns with Pakatan the moment there is a signed agreement," he added.

Indians on the fence

Waythamoorthy added that almost 50% of Indian voters were still undecided on whom to cast their ballots for, and said this was because Hindraf had not declared its support for any party.

READ MORE HERE

 

Fresh DAP candidates likely for Penang

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 02:32 PM PST

Speculations are rife that several incumbents in Penang may move to give way to the party's 'young and capable talents'.

Hawkeye, FMT

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong is expected to be part of an anticipated reshuffle in DAP's list of candidates for the coming general election.

Barring last minute changes, which is common in any party's line-up, Liew, 36, is expected to relocate to Johor, a state declared as a frontline battleground by Pakatan Rakyat.

It is learnt that the academically-inclined politician had revealed to his inner circle in Penang that he was willing to relocate to Johor to help PKR strongman Chua Jui Meng to penetrate Barisan Nasional's fortress there as well as to help boost the morale of the opposition's alliance.

If true, Liew will be the second Pakatan leader to relocate to Johor after PAS vice-president Sallehuddin Ayub. Sallehuddin had earlier reportedly declared that he would move from his Kubang Kerian parliament seat in Kelantan to his birth-state in Johor.

Liew however has reportedly urged the public not to read too much into the speculation.

When asked, he reportedly said: "Nothing is confirmed. There's no point for us to go into the discussion (of me contesting in Johor)."

Liew's move is expected to spark speculations of similar moves by other DAP leaders in Penang.

Among them, are Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy and state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

Other assemblymen likely to move are Koay Teng Hai (Pulau Tikus), Koid Teng Guan (Sungai Pinang), Tan Beng Huat (Jawi), Phee Boon Poh, Paya Terubong (Sungai Puyu),  Yeoh Soon Hin (Paya Terubung) and Lau Keng Ee (Pengakalan Kota).

Ramasamy and Chow are put in a spot due to the insistence of DAP chairman Karpal Singh that all DAP candidates should only contest in one seat as the party is now brimming with young and capable talent.

Karpal's assertion, was confirmed by a state DAP insider here, who preferred not to be named.

The insider claimed that besides the 45 party incumbents in Penang, there are some 30 other aspiring candidates, who are also keen to contest in the 13th general election. DAP has become a brand name here.

Ramasamy and Chow hold one parliament and one state seat each.

Both had earlier said they were fine with contesting one seat.

Their willingness sparked speculations that both Ramasamy and Chow may only retain their state seats since DAP was aiming to consolidate its clout in Penang.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘Ang Pow-Kau Kau-Mai Mai-Yam Seng’ society

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 01:16 PM PST

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rH7McV58BVM/SxHeQM5PYEI/AAAAAAAAEHQ/wm9ohhsGLL8/s1600/IMG_1193.jpg 

What has Malaysia turned into as we celebrate the Year of the Snake? With unending reports about the government dishing out cash to those voting folk young and old without rhyme or reason, as if we are now in possession of Zimbabwe dollars or play-money Monopoly-game money - what have we fallen into as we see bribery in broad daylight becoming a culture of might is right? 
 
Azly Rahman, Illuminations
Are we all living in Trump towers of the famed New York City real estate gambler?

While in the word of Malay politics and Malay society we have seen the rise of the 'Tongkat Ali' society - of libidinal politics of material pursuit of living a life of lesser-dignity. We are seeing now in the Year of the Snake the evolution of yet another form of life – the rise of the 'Ang Pow-Kau-Kau-Mai Mai-Yam Seng' society. 

We are seeing voters being bought over by the 'Hijau ka-Merah ka-Ungu ka' materiality of mad money dished out to kampong and town folks desperately in need of these in order to keep afloat and alive in the Master-Slave society.

'Ang Pow' or packets of gifts of money replacing the traditional gift baskets called 'hampers' are dangled or even sent out via post service in tune with the last hurrah and hoopla of the infamously styled Malaysian postal voting.

'Kau kau' or 'the best of the best' of offers a la The Godfather movies' quote of "I-will-make-you-an-offer-you-can't refuse" type of sensibility is the genre of is what the ruling regime is promising as 'you-help-me-I-help-you' type of gifts are being dished out.

"Mai mai" or "come one come all..." (in Kedah dialect to connote alluring) type of announcement is being sent to voters dangled with money, money, money... so the culture of not having to work hard but gaining nonetheless through gifts from "the hands that feed and shan't be bitten" shall be initiated and shall take root in a society increasingly drowned in materialism.

"Yam Seng" or loosely translated as "let's toast-to that" will be the ultimate triumphant cry of the winners of this years' general elections that promises slithering, scheming, and sickening politics to date. 

We have perfected the art and science of creating a culture of shameless venomous election campaigning since the end of the 1990s when the public space and social discourse have been smeared with pus and blood and deadly-viralled mucus of 'pornographic politics' enabled by the Fourth Estate controlled by those who owns the means of dirtifying consciousness and corrupting spirituality. 

Children now learn words denoting and connotating vulgarism; that have been all the while reserved for adults to be used in all wee-hours of "Yam Seng" drunked-ness in country clubs, nights clubs, and all-men and womens' clubs.

I don't know if all these make sense to you readers out there. I have been accused many times of writing incomprehensible essays under the influence of my own way of looking at things that might have been simpler than they should.

Or perhaps, we all should take things as they are and wait for Divine Justice to show its beautiful face amidst this ugly world plagued by snakes slithering all over and all levels of society.

I don't know. Such is what I am thinking - in thinking about the archaeology of metaphysics as this phrase suddenly proposed its hand in marriage with a society that has become an 'Ang Pow-Kau Kau-Mai Mai-Yam Seng' entity, apropos to the Year of the Snake we celebrate in good health and prosperity.
 

 

Time for a new government

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 01:12 PM PST

http://i0.wp.com/aliran.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/am1309.jpg?resize=600%2C823

The cover of Aliran Monthly back in 1993: It's been a long journey for Malaysians longing for change 

Even a cursory consideration of the Pakatan performance as administrators of five states will establish that they are fair, reasonable and, most importantly, not corrupt, observes Tommy Thomas.

Imagine Britain being governed by the same political party, say, Labour, for 55 successive years from 1957. Or the United States by the Republican party for the same continuous, unbroken period. That has been Malaysia's fate since Merdeka.

The 13th General Elections, which must be held before 28 June 2013, gives Malaysians an opportunity to break free from the monopoly of political power exercised by Umno, first, in the guise of the Alliance and subsequently as Barisan Nasional.

Umno dominance

The five years between the 12th General Elections in March 2008 and the 13th have been a watershed period in post-independent Malaysia because of the establishment of a truly functioning two-party system, with a strong opposition capable of forming the next government.

But it took half a century for our nation to accomplish this stage of democratic development. Like many peoples of nations emerging from colonial rule in the Third World, Malaysians were very grateful to the Alliance party, led by Prime Minister Tengku Abdul Rahman, for gaining independence from the British. The reservoir of goodwill for nationalist independence fighters greatly assisted Umno in the early decades.

Race, which the colonial power had exploited in its divide-and-rule policy, became the singular fundamental feature of Malaysian politics since Merdeka, reflected at the centre by the Alliance coalition comprising Umno, MCA and MIC, each representing a specific race, and expected to pursue the interests of its ethnic constituency. In the early days, Umno acted as the elder brother, with a semblance of contribution from its junior siblings, MCA and MIC. But there was never a question of parity.

After the National Operations Council (NOC) through its Director, Tun Razak, assumed actual power in the wake of the 13 May 1969 riots (which itself was a coup de' etat against the continued leadership of Tengku), Umno's ascendency and dominance were never questioned. Hence the practical reality since the early 1970s is that Barisan is actually Umno, and major decisions affecting the nation are more often than not taken in the inner recesses of Umno, rather than the Cabinet.

Ayatollah Khomeini's rise to power in the Iranian Revolution of 1979 resulted in an Islamic resurgence across the globe. It had its influence in Malaysia by the mid-1980s, when Prime Minister Dr Mahathir decided to outflank Pas by taking up Islam as a political ideology and weapon.

Thus, Umno added religion to race, a powerful emotive cocktail in a plural society. Race or religion infects nearly every decision made by Umno, and the state apparatus controlled by it. It will therefore not be an understatement to describe race and religion as the fundamental elements of modern Malaysian politics.

Perhaps the most unacceptable consequence of a lengthy rule by Umno is its control over all the nation's public institutions, like the media, the universities, the civil service and the police. Length of governance creates rulers who believe they have a divine right to rule, that,there is no longer any difference between the nation state and the ruling party – they become inseparable. Thus, Umno has behaved as if its interests are identical with those of Malaysia's.

When genuine support for Umno ebbed over time, a climate of fear was developed, with the spectre of May 13 repeated time and time again to intimidate and frighten the electorate, especially the older generation and non-Malays.

The success of Pakatan in depriving Barisan of the much vaunted two thirds majority in Parliament, winning 10 out of 11 Parliamentary seats in Kuala Lumpur, and capturing power in five states in March 2008 forever demolished the myth of Umno's invincibility.

Even if ethnic-based politics played a role in securing Merdeka and governing an infant nation, they have long outlived their use, and should be jettisoned. The next stage in Malaysia's evolving democracy is a change of national government. As night follows day, it will inevitably happen.

Deepak

The Deepak saga currently hogging the internet media, which has for all practical purposes became the mainstream media for millions of Malaysians disgusted with the putrid reporting of newspapers, epitomises the depths to which our public life has descended: only a basket nation like Zimbabwe can provide an adequate parallel.

Here is an absolutely unknown businessman of a minority ethnic group without any known institutional support mocking the Prime Minister and his wife for over one month without anyone from Umno defending them.

One would have thought that such repeated public criticism of Umno's president constitutes a direct challenge to the entire party, which in the past was always met with a stinging rebuttal from Umno, and thereafter by the full might of the state. One only needs to recall strident calls just months ago to revoke the citizenship of Ambiga Sreenevasan, also a member of the same minority ethnic group, when she bravely led Bersih's legitimate struggle for electoral return.

What must be kept in mind about Deepak's allegations is their gravity: after all it concerns the barbarous murder of a Mongolian mother visiting her alleged lover in Kuala Lumpur, and its cover-up. The critical issue in her murder – who gave the instructions to the two patsies to C4 her – has never been investigated, and the perpetrators have never been charged.

Read more at: http://aliran.com/11506.html 

 

Psy’s Gangnam parody in Penang: Oops, joke is on BN elites

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 01:10 PM PST

http://i0.wp.com/aliran.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Gangnam-district-in-Seoul.jpg?resize=584%2C438

Gangnam District in Seoul: The epitome of the materialistic, consumerist life-style -  Photograph: Wikipedia 

Psy is actually making fun of people who are so materialistic and obsessed with a worldy life-style while being cut off from the rest of society. Doesn't that remind us of our ruling elite, asks Anil Netto.

On Monday, 11 February Psy is due to perform his signature Gangnam song-and-dance routine at a BN-organised event in the Han Chiang School in Penang before a crowd of 60000 people. BN leaders are obviously hoping this large crowd – and the spillover effect – will translate into votes for the BN in Penang and beyond. But little do they realise the joke is on the BN!

For many of us, Gangnam is just a fun and catchy song-and-dance, which makes little sense. But scratch below the surface and you will find a biting social critique. Few realise that Gangnam is actually a parody of the affluent, materialistic life-style which the BN elites are known for.

Gangnam is actually the name of an affluent relatively new district of Seoul, south of the Han River. It is the location of the headquarters for some of the leading global brands and some 7 per cent of South Korea's wealth can be found in this 40 square kilometre area. This 'Johnny-come-lately' part of Seoul is thus where many of the country's richest 'one per cent' of the population congregate- including those who have wholeheartedly embraced the materialistic, consumerist life-style. Many others aspire to this same high-flying life-stye – even if it means racking up their credit card debt (South Korea's credit card debt has soared).

The closest Malaysian equivalent I can think of is Bangsar. Like Gangnam, Bangsar sprouted with earnest from the 1980s and is today the place where people hang out to see and be seen. It is the epitome of the kind of materialistic life-style which many Malaysian yuppies and others aspire to.

Bangsar by night: Op-Op-Oppa Bangsar- style

Bangsar by night: Op-Op-Oppa Bangsar-style – Photograph: asiawebdirect.com

If we were to translate "Gangnam-style" into "Bangsar-style" (nothing personal against you Bangsar residents out there!), we might get a better understanding of what Psy is singing and prancing around about. The local translation for "Oppa Gangnam-style" would be something like "He (is living) the Bangsar life-style" i.e. materialistic, consumerist, trendy (you know, the life-style of the BN and other elites) but in hindsight somewhat empty and often just a mirage. (For examples of this mirage in the Gangnam music video clip, please do read this blog on Korea that details the real meaning and illusion behind Psy's rendition of Gangnam.)

Read more at: http://aliran.com/11517.html 

 

Malaysia’s shocking collaboration with the CIA in the extraordinary rendition of two Libyan ...

Posted: 08 Feb 2013 01:05 PM PST

http://en.harakahdaily.net/images/stories/newslocal/cia_my_torture.jpg 

This treatment by the Malaysian government against the couple is shockingly hypocritical and shameful to say the least, as Malaysia has been a severe critic of the Bush administration's "War on Terror" that had inflamed relationship between the "US-West" and the "Muslim world" – and here we have the Malaysian government actively collaborating with the US in persecuting "suspected terrorists".
 
Eric Paulsen, Lawyers for Liberty 
 
Lawyers for Liberty is shocked and outraged at Malaysia's involvement in a CIA extraordinary rendition process that was recently revealed in Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition, a report by Open Society Justice Initiative.  

Extraordinary rendition is the transfer without legal process of a detainee, often "suspected terrorists" to the custody of a foreign government where they are detained in "black sites" for the purposes of CIA detention and interrogation where they will be subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques," – a euphemism for torture and other cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment.

The report detailed the 2004 rendition of Libyan nationals Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq (Abdul Hakim Belhadj) and his wife, Fatima Bouchar who was pregnant at the time. They were arrested by Malaysian authorities in Kuala Lumpur and detained for 13 days under bad conditions and the wife was further denied medical attention. Both were later "transferred" to Thailand where they were tortured and finally sent to Libya where Abu was detained until 2010 while his wife was released shortly after she had given birth.

Documents discovered in Tripoli in September 2011 showed cooperation between the CIA and the Malaysian government in effecting Abu's transfer. A memorandum dated 4 March 2004, from the CIA to the Libyan government states "[w]e are working energetically with the Malaysian government to effect the extradition of Abdullah al-Sadiq from Malaysia. The Malaysians have promised to cooperate and arrange for Sadiq's transfer to our custody."

This treatment by the Malaysian government against the couple is shockingly hypocritical and shameful to say the least, as Malaysia has been a severe critic of the Bush administration's "War on Terror" that had inflamed relationship between the "US-West" and the "Muslim world" – and here we have the Malaysian government actively collaborating with the US in persecuting "suspected terrorists". 

What is further outrageous and a greater cause for concern is that the Malaysian authorities had arbitrarily and secretly detained two foreign nationals who seemingly have not committed any criminal offence in the country that warranted such an overreaction from the Malaysian authorities. The arrest and detention seemed to have been done without any legal basis, due process and had operated outside the realm of the Malaysian Constitution and other legal safeguards including access to legal counsel or hearing by a Magistrate during remand. Instead, the arrest was seemingly done at the direction of the CIA or other foreign authorities.

We call on the Malaysian government to explain the extraordinary rendition of this particular case and to disclose of any other collaboration between the Malaysian authorities and the CIA or other foreign authorities where individuals have been detained, interrogated, tortured and transferred around the world at the behest of foreign governments.

We further call on the Malaysian government to refuse to participate in any other extraordinary renditions and to ensure that the rule of law is strictly observed – that any arrest, detention or deportation (of foreigners) is done transparently and properly in accordance to Malaysian and international law and legal processes. 

 

Opposition leaders urged to retract decision on use of 'Allah'

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 08:06 PM PST

(Bernama) - Some 30 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and PAS members today held a rally urging opposition leaders to retract the decision allowing use of the word 'Allah' in the Malay version of the Bible.

Jaringan Melayu Pulau Pinang spokesman Arif Ibrahim said the opposition's persistence in defending their stance had turned the issue into a polemic among the people.

"We also appeal to the Conference of Rulers that will meet at the end of this month to issue a decree prohibiting the use of the word 'Allah' in the Malay Bible to immediately stop debate on the issue," he told reporters after Friday prayers at Masjid Kampong Rawa here.

During the rally lasting 30 minutes, the group also trampled on banners that read 'January 8 decision brings woes' while chanting words of protest against the decision.

They also distributed stickers that read 'Save Kalimah Allah' to Muslims after Friday prayers. Some 10,000 stickers were printed for distribution to Muslims in Penang.

On January 8, the Opposition Leadership Council decided that the word 'Allah' can be used in the Malay bible provided it is not misused. The decision was announced after a meeting of top opposition leaders attended by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

 

Whitney Houston, died 11th February 2012, hit voted best love song in US poll

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 05:45 PM PST

(Reuters) - With Valentine's Day just a week away, singer Whitney Houston's classic ballad "I Will Always Love You" has been voted the most popular love song in a US poll.

The signature song of the Grammy-award winning singer, who died suddenly a year ago, scored 38 per cent of the vote among all adults in the Harris Interactive survey, and was the top pick among all divorced, separated or widowed Americans.

Houston's hit from her 1992 movie, "The Bodyguard" was a cover of a 1974 song written and recorded by country singer Dolly Parton.

The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody," Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful," and the Bees Gees' "How Deep is Your Love" rounded out the top five songs.

"Romance is about making an emotional appeal to the senses, and to the heart," Aaron Levine, of Sony Electronics Home Audio, which commissioned the poll, said in a statement announcing the results. "So, turn down the lights and turn up the sound."

More than 2,000 adults who voted in the online poll were asked to pick their favorite love songs from a list of more than 40 tunes spanning several decades.

Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" came in sixth, followed by Patsy Cline's "Crazy", Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" and "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.

To mark the first anniversary of Houston's death on February 11, organisers of the Grammy Awards said they will honour the singer with an hour-long TV special entitled "The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family" that will air tomorrow, the day before the 2013 Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

yDhxKVuVYaY

SEE ON YOUTUBE HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDhxKVuVYaY

 

PKR bimbang dengan cara MB Selangor menyelesaikan krisis air

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 05:32 PM PST

Md Izwan, The Malaysian Insider

Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim ditegur dalam mesyuarat Biro Politik PKR Rabu lalu supaya mengambil langkah lebih proaktif dan pantas dalam menangani isu air, menurut satu sumber yang juga merupakan ahli biro politik PKR.

The Malaysian Insider difahamkan, perbincangan dan perkara yang dibangkitkan dalam mesyuarat kebanyakannya menjurus kepada isu air memandangkan kehadiran Abdul Khalid (gambar) dan juga lanjutan pengumuman bantuan tambahan kewangan RM120 juta oleh Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak kepada Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (SYABAS) baru-baru ini.

"Semalam (Rabu) MB Abdul Khalid hadir sama, jadi banyak perkara yang dibincangkan semalam adalah melibatkan isu krisis air di Selangor.

"Isu air ini akan menjadi modal utama Umno dan Barisan Nasional dalam berkempen di Selangor. Malahan langkah Najib baru-baru ini mengumumkan bantuan kewangan jelas menunjukkan isu air ini akan dimainkan mereka hingga pilihan raya," kata sumber.

Menurut sumber itu lagi, Abdul Khalid dianggap kurang proaktif dan lembab bertindak dalam menangani krisis air yang berlaku di Selangor menyebabkan ia memberi laluan mudah kepada media arus perdana mudah menghentam pentadbiran PR.

"Beberapa inisiatif dibincangkan supaya MB mengambil langkah yang lebih proaktif dan cepat bagi mengelak masalah ini berulang lagi.

"Antara cadangan yang dikemukakan ialah supaya kerajaan negeri mengambil inisiatif sendiri menyediakan lori tangki air untuk menyalurkan bantuan selain pam-pam tambahan bagi menangani bekalan terputus air," kata sumber itu lagi.

Dalam pada itu, sumber juga memberitahu ahli biro politik membayangkan syarikat air SYABAS bersama kerajaan pusat berkemungkinan bersekongkol untuk sengaja mencipta sabotaj besar-besaran pada pilihan raya nanti dan menggesa Abdul Khalid untuk berwaspada dengan ramalan tersebut.

"Kami jangkakan dan mendapat maklumat akan berlaku sabotaj besar-besaran pada pilihan raya nanti.

"SYABAS dan kerajaan pusat mungkin akan sengaja merancang bekalan air putus," tambah sumber lagi.

Selain isu air yang dibangkitkan, mesyuarat itu juga menyentuh tentang perbincangan persediaan jentera menjelang pilihan raya yang dijangka akan diumum dalam tempoh terdekat ini.

Kerajaan negeri Selangor masih lagi bergelut dengan kerajaan pusat dalam isu pengambilalihan air di negeri tersebut, malahan permohonan kepada Menteri Tenaga,Teknologi Hijau dan Air Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui juga masih belum menerima jawapan muktamad sehingga kini.

Minggu lalu, Abdul Khalid mengumumkan Selangor bercadang mengambil alih perkhidmatan air dari syarikat konsesi air di negeri itu dalam tempoh 14 hari dan menghantar surat bertulis kepada kementerian berhubung perkara tersebut.

READ MORE HERE

 

Don’t boycott postal votes, Nurul Izzah tells overseas citizens

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 05:20 PM PST

Zurairi AR, The Malaysian Insider

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar today asked overseas voters not to boycott postal voting despite disagreeing with its implementation.

She reminded voters that they may risk their suffrage if they do not return home to cast their votes, or at least register to become postal voters.

"Malaysians who have for so long been deprived the right to vote must take this opportunity to return the principle of one citizen, one vote," Nurul Izzah (picture) told reporters here.

Despite that, the Lembah Pantai MP shares the same position as election watchdog NGOs Bersih and My Overseas Vote that changes to the postal voting regulations by the Election Commission (EC) are unconstitutional, discriminatory and arbitrary.

Nurul Izzah however declined to state which part of the changes is unconstitutional, asking reporters to refer to Bersih instead.

According to her, the EC has informed PKR that as of Wednesday morning, only 1,574 voters have registered to become postal voters.

She put the number of voters residing overseas at around one million people, with 400,000 in neighbouring Singapore alone.

READ MORE HERE

 

Bringing up children

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 04:45 PM PST

Let's not talk about politics today and instead look into the mind of an innocent toddler and how he perceives religious teachings, which sometimes do not make sense to small minds that can think better than mature minds.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dad!

Yes, son.

How did I get here?

Err…hmm…why don't you ask your mum? I want to read the papers.

I did and mum said to ask you, dad.

Ah…well…the stork brought you.

Oh. But my Sunday school teacher said we all came from Adam and Eve.

Well…that is also true.

You mean we all came from Adam and Eve?

Yes. Now run along and play. I want to read my papers.

My Sunday school teacher said Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth.

Yes, that's right.

So who married them then?

What do you mean?

Aunty Sara and Uncle Bill got married by the priest. So who married Adam and Eve if they were the only two people on earth?

Err…no one.

So Adam's and Eve's children are all bastards then?

Hoi…where did you learn that word from? You must never use that word.

I heard you saying that, dad.

Me?

Yes, you said that your boss is a bastard. I asked Mike what bastard means and he told me. How do you know that your boss is a bastard like Adam's and Eve's children?

That was merely a figure of speech. I did not mean it literally. Oh never mind. No. Adam's and Eve's children are not bastards even though Adam and Eve never got married by a priest.

Oh, okay.

Now run along son.

But who did Adam's and Eve's children marry?

They married each other, son. You see, there were no other people on earth other than just Adam and Eve and their children.

So does that mean I can marry Kate when we grow up?

No, son, you can't. Kate is your sister.

Oh. But Adam's and Eve's children were also brothers and sisters.

Yes they were. But at that time it was okay for brothers and sisters to get married. Now go outside and play.

We were also told the story of Noah and his yacht.

That's good son. But it was called an ark, not yacht. Now go and play.

Did you know that Noah got all the animals onto the ark before the great flood and he saved all the animals? If not there would be no animals around today.

Yes, I know that, son.

But how did he feed those animals, dad?

I suppose he also had food on the ark, son.

But lions and tigers eat other animals. Won't they eat up all the other animals on the ark?

No they won't, son.

Then how did they stay alive for so long without food if the lions and tigers did not eat up all the other animals?

I don't know, son, but I am sure that Noah had figured all this out before he took all those animals onto the ark.

My Sunday school teacher said that every animal alive today was on that ark.

That is true son.

Even penguins?

Yes, even penguins, son.

But there are no penguins living in the desert, dad. Where did Noah find penguins?

I am sure there were penguins in the desert at that time or maybe Noah found a way to get some from the North Pole.

But penguins live in the South Pole, dad.

Whatever.

Did Noah have a freezer on the ark?

Freezer?

Yes, penguins need the cold. They cannot live in the hot desert.

MARTHA!

Yes, John.

We have to stop sending Tim to Sunday school. I don't think they are teaching him the right things.

Thanks, dad. Can I go outside and play now?

 

Muslims told at Friday prayers to ‘hate’ Valentine’s Day

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 04:42 PM PST

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/images/uploads/2013/february2013/0802khutbah.jpg 

(The Malaysian Insider) - "Create a feeling of anti-Valentine's Day in your hearts and minds, start hatred of celebrating it," Jakim's sermon told Muslims nationwide. 

Federal religious authorities today warned Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day next week, in a message that consistently crops up annually in February, by pointing out that it could lead to pre-marital sex.

Today's Friday sermon by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), read out at mosques nationwide, comes amid a campaign called "Mind the Valentine's Day Trap" launched together with about 250 non-governmental organisations last month.

"Create a feeling of anti-Valentine's Day in your hearts and minds, start hatred of celebrating it," Jakim's sermon told Muslims nationwide.

Jakim expressed its worry that Muslims celebrating the day will go dancing and organise candlelight dinners, which will then lead to "kissing in gardens" and pre-marital sex to prove their romantic loyalty.

The religious department referred to an oft-quoted writing of a Ken Sweiger (sic) who allegedly said that "Valentine" was a Latin term, meaning "The Mightiest, The Strongest, and The Most Powerful", used to exalt Nimrod and Lupercus, the deities of ancient Rome.

Therefore, Jakim warned that by asking someone to "be my Valentine" is tantamount to idolatry by glorifying a mortal to the same level as God.

In his online article "Saint Valentine's Day: Should Biblical Christians Observe It?" a pastor called Ken Swiger warned his congregation called the Seventh Day Christian Assembly of the celebration.

Swiger linked Valentine's Day celebration to a pagan celebration of intimacy dedicated to a primitive deity called Lupercus, who might refer to the biblical Nimrod the great hunter, the great-grandson of Noah.

He wrote that the name Valentine came from the Latin word "valens", meaning "the strong, powerful or mighty one", in reference to Nimrod, thus making the celebration "blatant idolatry".

Muslims were also told in Jakim's sermon that the directive against the celebration should not portray the department as killjoys who are against the latest trends, but it was just following the Quran and the Prophet's teachings.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/muslims-told-at-friday-prayers-to-hate-valentines-day/ 

 

Chinese New Year and the Worlds Between This One

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 04:27 PM PST

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQf1XPhzqpbb7QJEODOmTYDcHHVySrA8AIxnaHXOz-G_2YErUAX 

Ang pows, like everything about Chinese New Year, remind us that forms and rules cannot be ignored. Just because those dancing lions aren't real, it doesn't mean they don't matter for what's real.

Alwyn Lau 

This Sunday the Year of the Snake begins and getting an ang pow is the only time people love to see red. These flaming packets though, come with rules. For example, you never give an ang pow if you're not married and for those who tied the knot less than a year ago, it's two packs per pax. It totally isn't cool to give cheques or coins. Don't ever give an empty packet; like most symbolic gestures, the thought isn't the only thing that counts. Don't ever commit the Ibrahim Ali boo-boo of giving a white packet thus turning a family celebration into a death in the family. Never give ang-pows before the first day of CNY or after the fifteenth day; kick-off begins on the dot and there is no extra time.

Also, always accept the ang pow with two hands; the giver isn't a TESCO cashier handing you change. Never send or receive electronic ang pows; 'virtual' ang pows makes as much sense as virtual air. Finally, no matter how much the Chinese talk about wealth and prosperity, one does not simply give CNY cash to people without the red packet (it's safer to walk into Mordor naked).

 

'Pointless' Yet Productive

Ang pows, like everything about Chinese New Year, remind us that forms and rules cannot be ignored. Just because those dancing lions aren't real, it doesn't mean they don't matter for what's real.

Firecrackers, the Mandarin oranges, not sweeping the floor for fifteen days, winning at Black Jack - and even the colour red – they mirror a world (of spirits, of convention, of the virtual) co-existing with our 'everyday' world (of cheese-burgers, traffic jams and Windows crashes).

The 'fiction' of giving money in a shiny crimson paper envelope upholds our being 'wrapped up' in roles and identities not quite our own. This is a game of Pretend at its communal best – it may be 'fake' (or so we think), but it still 'works'.

For isn't it true that every day we play pretend and it's not all fun? We pretend to care, to bother, to know, to be thinking. We pretend to be more than we know we're not. Every hour we struggle with roles like 'parent', 'spouse', 'leader', 'activist' - even 'human'. We're wearing so many hats we sometimes wear another hat simply to minimize the trauma of hat-wearing.

What's more, we also need to be pretended to - life would be unbearable if everyone was completely honest with us. Our world would shatter if people smiled at or greeted us only 'if they felt like it'. The financial world would collapse if bank brochures told the truth that everybody pretends they don't already know: that the only thing worse than robbing a bank is starting one (i.e. one makes thievery an anti-social felony, the other makes it a politically protected privilege). The social world would be in disarray if 'pointless' statements like "How are you?", "What's up?", "Hi/Bye" (or our all time favourite, "I love you") were probed too deeply for their essences and sincerity.

We're all in this together. Yet by feigning, we commit ourselves to each other even if we 'really' don't want to. We help others create fantasies for their world even as we rely on everybody else acting as if they believe what we do. These are the worlds 'in between' this one: The mutually constructed yet non-negotiable holograms we need in order to exist socially.

They are pseudo-realities everyone makes and half-breaks every day and moment. They appear through our words, his façades, her cries, their hand-shakes, those emails and everybody's silences. We survive by pretending and we cannot live if others don't. Occasionally, our fragile veils are taken off and we detect strange things in others but also - thankfully - the desire to be loved and to contribute despite having had their innermost lives exposed (or status-updated).

 

Worlds Dark and Divine

Of course, the worst kind of feigning – and thus the blackest of realities produced - is by leaders who make it a point to deceive or incite all in order to strip society of its resources and values. This is the most insidious sort of masquerade because it hides the wilful exclusion of others, especially the least of the least.

Thus, Tun Dr Mahathir can pretend to care about the citizenship status of immigrants to Sabah whilst hardly pretending to care about the living conditions of the orang asli and the poorest in that very same state. Our dear PM himself can pretend to care about Chinese and Christians whilst he allows folks like Ibrahim Ali to continue being entirely honest about how much he hates them. The only good news from all this is that the veils can't hide the darkness anymore. In such a rot, the people are forced to throw off all pretenses, not to mention the gloves (think HINDRAF, BERSIH).

And then there is a more sublime kind of unveiling, showing off a better kind of world. It's the kind that Michelle Ng alluded to in her Feb 5th essay, written in the context of the on-going 'Allah' controversy. She, a Christian, declared to her Muslim friends that:

"(Even if) the day comes when Christianity is prohibited in Malaysia, when our churches and bibles are forced to cease to exist, I can assure you that we will still welcome you into our homes with open arms; we will feed you when you're hungry and we will care for you if need be; and we will pray for you every day."

That's our new world right there. An in-breaking imaginary which not only brings hope to the country's politics but also redefines the political. Ng's promise to forgive and pray for those who persecute her is undoubtedly too Christian for many Christians; we should only hope it's not too un-Malaysian for Malaysia. Her remarks proclaim another world so blindingly beautiful that most folks can't deal with the shock of taking Ng seriously. Maybe this proves that the best kind of world is that which has to remain obscure for now, and presented to us in drama, sign, gesture and spectacle - like a wooden lion turned on by cymbals and drums, suddenly needing to gyrate and eat oranges and lettuce.

Chinese New Year is not only a celebration of a new twelve months under the Lunar calendar, but it can also be a declaration that enjoyable fiction begets new realities. The noise, the food, the colours - they all point to the casting out of evil and the inviting in of the good. It's a 15-day nation-wide concert to ask the universe to do it again – better this time. Red storm rising, new worlds coming.

Happy Chinese New Year, Malaysia.

 

Ronnie Liu's aide resigns, citing dissatisfaction

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 03:57 PM PST

Edmund Lee, The Sun Daily

The Selangor exco Ronnie Liu's special assistant Jafrei Nordin has announced his resignation with immediate effect after voicing his dissatisfaction towards his boss Ronnie and the DAP party.

Jafrei made the announcement with the presence of Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng at around 10.50am at the latter's residence in Silverton today.

When asked why he chose Penang to announce his resignation instead of in Selangor, the shaken Jafrei pointed out that he was worried about his family's safety as it would be a big implication after his resignation.

"That's why I contacted my friend (Tan) and ask for his permission to hold a press conference in Penang today," the nervous-looking Jafrei told a press conference early this morning.

Jafrei added that he will be submitting his resignation letter in a couple of days.

Throughout the press conference, Jafrei who was appointed by Liu in 2008, said his resignation was due to loss of confidence towards Liu and that he has a deep disappointment after Liu had failed to explain the various allegations of graft and misuse of power against him.

Jafrei claimed that Liu and Selangor DAP had no respect over PAS and PKR in the state as he alleged there were intentions by certain quarters inside the party to unseat the two parties, which as a result, the state DAP could hold on as a dominant party in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

He also alleged that he knows every single plan by Liu and state DAP to undermine PAS and PKR, including plans to persuade Malay leaders such as prominent lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to contest under DAP ticket in the upcoming 13th general election.

"This will ensure that DAP could form a new state government in Selangor and sideline PKR candidate to become Mentri Besar."

Jafrei who is also DAP activist since 2004 claimed that Liu and other DAP leaders had even labelled current Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as "Khalid Gagap" (Nervous Khalid).

He also claimed that DAP had been using their "election specialist" in shifting their target from UMNO to PAS as the party believes Barisan Nasional (BN) would lose up in the election battle anyway, therefore makes PAS the more relevant target for now.

Meanwhile, Liu has denied that Jafrei was his special assistant as he had already terminated one who was holding the position under his portfolio.

"He is talking nonsense and a liar," Liu said when contacted today questioning why Jafrei held a press conference in Penang if he was indeed Liu's special assistant.

He alleged that Jafrei had secretly printed a business card to prove that he was Liu's assistant.

Liu added that he had also maintained a very good relationship with the state PAS members and even with the Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

 

The decline and fall of Najib

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 03:40 PM PST

The prime minister had the perfect opportunity to act, but he neglected to do so. Consumed by greed and power, like many politicians in Malaysia, he looked the other way.

Mariam Mokhtar, FMT

As soon as Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announces the date for 13th general election, it will probably sound his political death knell.

For the benefit of the rakyat, and in front of the television cameras and news photographers, Najib and his Cabinet present a united front; but behind the scenes, another story emerges.

Damaging leaks about the shortcomings of his leadership continue to undermine Najib. His grip on the party is tenuous. His strongest ally, the self-styled First Lady Rosmah Mansor, will do her utmost to ensure he succeeds.

Last month, the independent organisation, the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, found that Najib had high popularity ratings of 63% among voters in Peninsular Malaysia.

For the sake of "completeness", why not a survey among voters in Sabah and also, Sarawak? It would have been interesting to gauge Najib's popularity in Sabah, before and during the proceedings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) for Sabah.

If the same survey had been conducted among ministers in Najib's own Cabinet, the results would be a good gauge of their confidence in his leadership.

The war that is being waged against Najib is on two fronts – he has to defend himself against the opposition and fight off guerrilla raids from invisible enemies, within Umno.

Najib, the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, has had a poor grounding in life. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he is only exposed to the suffering of the rakyat, in the months before election. To alleviate their pain, Najib distributes bags of rice and food, and tars their roads, rather than sorting out the issues which have plagued the people, over the past five years.

The prime minister's privileged schooling is denied to the ordinary Malaysian. Najib may have been a product of a mission school, but mission schools are dying a slow death, deprived of money and support from the Education Ministry.

In his secondary schooling at Malvern College, a Church of England school, Najib would have attended daily chapel services, compulsory Sunday service, Remembrance Sunday, and Carol services in the Christmas term.

Najib has remained a Muslim despite attending these services, but he would have gained a thorough understanding of Christianity. Despite that, he has said nothing to persuade the extremists in Malaysia to practise tolerance and moderation.

He missed the chance

What can one expect from a career politician? When he defended his father's seat, which had become vacant on his death, he won, presumably because of the sympathy votes.

How can a man who has not experienced the perils faced by the unskilled worker, the struggling graduate, working man and father know what it is like to live in Malaysia, where house prices are beyond most people's reach, where car prices are jacked up, where justice is sold to the highest bidder and where most services require a sweetener? Najib's education has not been put to good use to help his fellow Malaysian.

READ MORE HERE

 

‘BN to win election but no two thirds’

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 03:25 PM PST

The Economist Intelligence Unit predicts Barisan Nasional as likely winners because of Pakatan Rakyat's costly promises. 

Lisa J. Ariffin, FMT

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted Barisan Nasional (BN) as the likely winner in the upcoming general election.

However, analysts predict the ruling coalition will probably fail to attain the two-thirds parliamentary majority to make constitutional changes unchallenged.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of London's Economist, a weekly global news magazine.

In a recent report on their website, EIU claims Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have been making "costly promises" to gain power.

However, the opposition alliance's efforts have attracted less attention than the generosity of BN, which had spent lavishly in two consecutive budgets to please voters.

"In addition, the government is offering many local incentives to ensure the return of BN representatives at federal and state level," it said, elaborating that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak recently offered Penang's Pakatan-controlled state assembly 20,000 affordable houses and a monorail to ease traffic congestion.

"The next election is likely to be a tight race, but we do not expect the outcome to lead to a dramatic improvement in the public finances," it added.

The EIU also said it is "clearly not feasible" for Pakatan to implement all of its campaign promises in one go.

"For example, providing free secondary education would cost the government RM43 billion, while abolishing car duty would cut tax revenue by RM4.6 billion a year," it explained.

It also pointed out that Pakatan had been accused of breaking its promises that include financial assistance for pre-school education, and for university students, senior citizens and the disabled; free healthcare for those over 65; lower property taxes; and assistance for home buyers.

Citing Malaysia's richest state Selangor as an example, the report quotes BN as claiming Pakatan had implemented only 15 per cent of the RM2.4 billion-worth of its 31 election pledges made in its 2008 manifesto.

"Selangor's Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, commented that a manifesto is not a promise but conceded that voters may think otherwise," it then said.

The report also quoted latest opinion polls which showed Najib's approval rating of more than 60 per cent, but noted 47 per cent ofthose surveyed saying that they were satisfied with the government.

READ MORE HERE

 

Yazid’s wife denies terrorist links

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 03:21 PM PST

The 48-year-old mother of four says that her husband was with her all the time.

K Pragalath, FMT

Former Internal Security Act detainee Yazid Sufaat's wife Chomel Mohamad has denied that her husband has contacts with a Malaysian terrorist shot dead in the Philippines as alleged by the police.

Speaking about Yazid's arrest yesterday, the mother of four said she returned from the market at 11.30am and saw their assistant Mohd Hilmi Ahsin being handcuffed.

"There was a huge crowd at the canteen and I even spotted the arresting officer who arrested my husband previously, Inspector Ravi," said the 48-year-old mother of four.

"Yazid said the police mentioned someone by the name of Fikrie.

"We were never in contact with Fikrie and my husband doesn't go anywhere. He only helps me to operate my business from 7.30am to 4pm. I know his activities. We don't even know who Fikrie is," she added.

According to The Philippine Star, Mohammad Noor Fikrie Abdul Kahar is a suspected Jemaah Islamiyah bomber who was killed in Davao City in December last year.

Yesterday Yazid, Hilmi and Halimah Hussein were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) for promoting terrorism.

Under SOSMA, police could detain anyone for 28 days without trial, and deny access to lawyers during the first 48 hours.

Yazid an ex-ISA detainee was formerly detained in 2001 and released seven years later for alleged involvement in an Indonesian-based terrorist movement called Jemaah Islamiyah since 1993.

Hilmi is Yazid's worker. Both were detained at the Jalan Duta High Court canteen where Yazid's wife operated a cafetaria. Halimah was detained in Taman Sutera, Kajang at noon.

National news agency Bernama yesterday reported that the trio were believed to be active members of Jemaah Islamiyah attempted to recruit more than 50 students from institutions of higher learning.

Quoting police sources, the report stated that the recruits were trained in a neighbouring country for specific missions such as suicide missions in Europe.

The sources also believed that there were training grounds within the country.

'Deeply flawed law'

Meanwhile, Chomel also told the press that after Yazid's arrest, the police raided their house in Taman Bukit Ampang.

READ MORE HERE

 

Yazid charged with promoting terrorism

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 03:07 PM PST

Yazid Sufaat, a former ISA detainee, is facing a 30-year jail sentence after being accused of promoting acts of terrorism in Syria. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Yazid Sufaat was not charged under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act. He was instead charged under Section 130 G (a) of the Penal Code for promoting acts of terrorism.

He was accused of promoting acts of terrorism in strife-torn Syria.

The section provides for a maximum prison sentence of 30 years for inciting, promoting or soliciting property for the commission of terrorist acts.

The charge sheet stated that Yazid committed the offence between Aug 1 and Oct 20 last year at his house in Ampang.

Meanwhile, housewife Halimah Hussin, 52, was charged under the same section as well as Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting Yazid during the same period of time.

The pair were charge at the Ampang magistrate's court this afternoon.

Earlier, the defence counsel for both Yazid and Halimah argued on the legality of Section 130 G (a) of the Penal Code.

"The section was amended on Dec 25, 2003 but there are no gazetted dates for the enforcement of this section," argued Amer Hamzah Arshad.

"This proceeding cannot proceed and this court has no jurisdiction to hear this case," he added.

The prosecution team led by deputy public prosecutor Hanafiah Zakaria countered that the gazette date cannot be given but it is still enforced before magistrate Zulyana Zollkapli.

This prompted Zulyana to adjourn the court for 30 minutes.

Following this, Hanafiah clarified that the section in question had been gazetted in March 2007.

Hanafiah also requested for both cases to be transferred to the Shah Alam High Court which Zulyana allowed.

After the hearing, Yazid, a former Internal Security Act detainee, was sent to Sungai Buloh Prison whereas Halimah was sent to Kajang Prison.

The date for the hearing in Shah Alam High Court has not been fixed.

 

Does Suing MRT Co Make Us Pinggir Za'aba, TTDI Residents Elite?

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:50 PM PST

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Some wondered why I used my father's Tan Sri title in the press release - it  is to clearly showcase that the suit is being brought by BN supporters against a BN project. It is not political - the plaintiffs are not politicians. They are aggrieved citizens that have a case. They need the government to listen.
 
Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Sanusi  
I'll begin first by thanking my good friend and occassional mentor, Ahiruddin "Rocky" Attan, for highlighting Pinggir Za'aba's suit against MRT Co. This suit is very much a private matter to the plaintiffs, my wife being one of them. I also thank those who have commented for and against the suit in Rocky's blog and hope they continue their interest here, and in the interest of getting some good feedback, I will also relax my typical restrictions to commentaries.

For those who have misunderstood Rocky's definition of Elite, please have a look at the images of the houses of most of the plaintiffs on Pinggir Za'aba that I have attached below. Pinggir Za'aba is a long road, just as TTDI is a large housing area. The part of TTDI directly effected by the MRT has neither bungalows nor semi-D's and whilst we are not the poorest of citizens, we are not among the most affluent either. We are Elite though, in that we are nearly all tertiary educated, most are or were professionals, managers in corporations or civil servants.



Having heard the views of many, allow me to present my reason for supporting my wife's decision to join the civil suit against MRT Co. Metaphorically and in brief, I can say that the reason for my support of the suit is from my reading of Clausewitz's On War, where the great Prussian military philosopher describes War as simply the continuation of Politics or Policy by other means. Hence, this suit, is simply the continuation of Pinggir Za'aba's engagement of MRT Co by more aggressive means.

To elaborate on the why, ever since residents of Pinggir Za'aba were informed our homes would be impacted by the MRT's construction by notices put up on trees along our road by SPAD some 2+ years ago, we have been trying our best to engage various government agencies. Understanding that the MRT is a nation-building project of some importance, we have never asked for it to be scrapped, but rather preferred re-alignment or an underground route for it, and failing that, that were at least hoping to be given due compensation either for damages to or for having to abandon our homes.

The PR and engagement from SPAD and Prasarana was to me actually quite poor, though I would put more blame on SPAD for this - Prasarana seemed in these engagements as being victims of circumstance. SPAD's position was often inconsistent, its approach to engagement shoddy (beginning with notices put up on trees remember!), but at least there were no empty promises. Where they could not deliver on our suggestions of hopes, we received non-commitals and silence, which sounds bad, and may even sound strange for those who went to the PR 'roadshows', but worse was to come.
 

 

Is Taib-Jeffrey alliance in the making?

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:32 PM PST

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Will wily old Taib Mahmud, who has kept Sarawak out of Umno's greedy clutches all these decades, outmanoeuvre Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak?

Joseph Tawie and Pushparani Thilaganathan, Free Malaysia Today 

Speculations of covert conversations between "cornered" Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan gained ground in Kuching following Jeffrey's call to Sarawakians to "support local parties".

During a recent visit, Jeffrey advised Sarawakians not to support peninsula-based Pakatan Rakyat but instead to give their backing to local parties.

The call, while confusing to some, has lent credence to rumours that Taib was keen on Jeffrey's Borneo Agenda and had met with him to discuss an "alliance".

Local parties in Sarawak are Taib's Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP). All of them are currently aligned to Barisan Nasional in the federal capital.

However, in recent months this "allegiance" has become suspect, partly due to the goings-on in Sabah and the peninsula.

Within Taib's PBB and BN coalition itself there appears to be those who have sold their souls to Putrajaya and who are working below the line to ensure he is forced out "once and for all" and this "includes using the occult".

But a PBB insider said Taib was well aware of these moves and the people involved.

"He has his own plans and finds in Jeffrey and [Pakatan's Opposition Leader] Anwar [Ibrahim] a common agenda.

"Both want to get rid of Najib [Tun Razak] and Umno-BN.

"It works for Taib because now all three have a common agenda. Taib has nothing to lose at this point," the insider said, adding that it was a bonus for Jeffrey and Anwar that Taib could be a "generous man" when the need arose.

The insider also said the latest rejection by Kuala Lumpur to his demand to be appointed Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak (head of state) in return for stepping down was pivotal to his decision to engage Jeffrey.

"Taib wants the head of state's post but Kuala Lumpur has again rejected his demand.

"By becoming the head of state, he can control state affairs, appoint the chief minister he wants, and escape the long arms of the law," said the insider.

Jeffrey's remarks, which incidentally also had PRS president James Masing's reported support, came at time of great political confusion. Never before have so many political players been in so tight a race.

According to FMT's sources, Taib is fully aware of a federal-funded attempt to oust him before the 13th general election and making use of his deputy Awang Tengah Ali Hassan to execute the plan.

"The plan is to cut him off at every turn," said a source referring to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's declaration that only (federal) BN-sanctioned candidates and incumbents can contest in the general election.

This, the insider said, spoilt Taib's plan to field his own men and outmanoeuvre Najib who is trying to pick his own PBB lineup loyal to Umno-BN and not to Taib personally.

"Najib wants to ensure that Taib does not play a double game so he [Najib] wants to have his 'loyalists' in PBB fielded. But Taib wants his men on the ground. He is ready to field his own people who are aligned to him but are currently independents.

"Najib wants Awang Tengah and his boys to remove Taib before 13th general election to ensure support for BN in Sarawak is intact and ensure the other BN components will remain loyal to Kuala Lumpur," said the source.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/02/08/is-taib-jeffrey-alliance-in-the-making/ 

New voters add mystery to Perak contest

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:26 PM PST


"I would say that the surge in the number of voters in Pasir Panjang, Bukit Gantang and Gopeng is very troubling because these are not areas with large numbers of new housing developments and new voters moving in.

Chen Shaua Fui, fz.com 

FOR the very first time, Abri Yok Chopil, 34, wants to cast his vote in the general election.

Abri, an Orang Asli from the Semai community who lives in Kampung Chang, Bidor, Perak, registered as a voter last year.
 
Previously, he had not taken his vote seriously because he was not aware of the importance of voting, Abri told fz.com in a phone interview.
 
Abri, who is an activist for Orang Asli rights, says no one from the government, especially the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) that is in charge of the community's affairs, had briefed the villagers on their rights as citizens and their role as voters.
 
Instead, programmes like karaoke singing competitions are organised or handouts distributed to the families to keep them happy, he says.
 
The Orang Asli in the kampung, which is about 5km from Bidor, rely on subsistence agriculture and collect forest produce to earn a meagre living, says Abri. When the elections come around, the politicians come around to distribute provisions and pay for a community feast, he said.
 
However, Abri and many of his friends had a gradual awakening to the importance of their votes after going through an empowerment process organised by a group of activists. They believe there is a need to have a change.
 
"The people can choose the leaders they want," he said, expressing confidence in the power of democracy.
 
Abri belongs to a growing number of young people who are shedding a long-standing Malaysian trait of staying on the sidelines of political developments. A series of public rallies in recent years have drawn tens and hundreds of thousands of people, showing that there is a mood of popular empowerment afoot.
 
These rallies would strike a chord with many young Perak voters, who turned out in droves to protest when the  Pakatan Rakyat state government was ousted in a dramatic political crisis in 2009.
 
In that event, the Barisan Nasional took control of the Perak administration after three state assembly members quit the Pakatan coalition just one year after it unseated the BN state government in the 12th general election in March 2008.
 
Straw polls suggest that many young Perak voters are waiting for the 13th general election to make a stand on the issue at the ballot.
 
The  question on many minds is whether this young tide of support for change is strong enough to decide the outcome of the upcoming general election.
 
According to the Election Commission, there will be three million new voters in the next election, out of an electorate of some 13 million.
 
Merdeka Centre Research Manager Tan Seng Keat said that out of these new voters, half of them fall under the age group of 21-25 years old.
 
However, he pointed out that new voters are not necessarily young voters or first-time voters; they could be voters who have moved into a constituency due to labour or social mobility.
 
As political parties from both sides had been working very hard to register new voters since the 2008 general election, it is normal to have an increase of new voters in a constituency.
 
However, political analyst Ong Kian Ming pointed out that the surge of new voters is above the average rate of increase in several closely contested seats in Perak.
 
Ong, who recently became a DAP member and is the party's election strategist, has been compiling the data of new voters in Perak. The number of new voters in the electoral roll up to the fourth quarter of 2012 shows an increase of 217,796 (18%) new voters in Perak, compared with 2008.
 

 

MCA’s empty threats

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:21 PM PST

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Only businessmen who have secured corrupt business deals through their connections should be concerned with a change of government.

An SME Businessman, The Malaysian Insider 

Many argue that the most important reason why Pakatan Rakyat must be elected the new federal government in the forthcoming general election is to bring an end to 55 years of Barisan Nasional government. While Umno's frequent threats that May 13-style riots will occur if the elections produce a new government have lost their effect, the MCA has now joined this "threat game".

Seeking to claim its traditional role of the party of big business, its president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was reported in the mainstream media over the weekend as saying that Bursa Malaysia will drop 500 points if Pakatan wins, which would "have a direct impact on the national economy".  

Chua went on to say "PAS has also mentioned that it will close Genting and the Bursa. All these will frighten investors, be they local of foreign". Clearly these are empty threats.

For Pakatan to be elected the new federal government it must have a simple majority in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat, say, about 125 seats.

Because of the gerrymandering of constituencies by numerous Barisan administrations, Pakatan must receive a popular vote exceeding 55 per cent in order to win that number of seats required to form a working government with a comfortable majority that can also withstand any party-hopping that may occur thereafter.

In this scenario, surely the 55 per cent of Malaysians who voted for Pakatan will not wish to have their newly elected government destabilised at any level, including our economy.

I for one would personally support the stock market if there is a panic sell by the weak-hearted or the cautious, as would many of my business colleagues. I have no doubt that millions of our fellow Malaysians would rally to support the stock market, as we did during the 1998 financial crisis.

It is our public duty to support the new government which we hope to elect, and if that means buying shares on the Bursa, sufficient Malaysians will do that.

In any event, if a major sell-down occurs in the Bursa as a result of a Pakatan victory, the nation's economic institutions like EPF, PNB, Khazanah and other GLCs would have to do their national duty by supporting the market, something they have done time and again under the Barisan government.

Next, the PAS bogey. PAS has administered Kelantan for more than 20 years, and Kedah for five years. These two PAS state administrations have neither acquired nor appropriated property, assets or businesses belonging to non-Muslims.

The rakyat should also consider the Selangor and Penang experience. The treasuries of both states have been prudently managed, deficits reduced and investments increased. Penang is, as a matter of fact, a grand success story.

The four PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have proven their ability by beating the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53 per cent of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010.

For the first time in history, Penang is the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010 with RM12.2 billion. Even, the one-year administration of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin in Perak was business friendly.

The facts speak for themselves.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/mcas-empty-threats-an-sme-businessman/ 

 

BK Residents Are Exposed to Life Threatening Toxic Gas!

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:12 PM PST

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Ahli jawatankuasa Pahang Raub Anti Cyanide di Perlombongan Emas (BCAC) telah memeriksa rekod pemantauan 12 Januari dan 20 Januari 2013 dan mendapati gas HCN telah dikesan setiap minit. Rekod pemantauan menunjukkan tahap kepekatan gas cyanide mencecah 0.5-0.8ppm kebanyakkan masa. Tahap kepekatan yang tertinggi adalah 1.11ppm!

 

Bancyanide BK 

Hasil Pemantauan Udara Menunjuk Bukit Koman Dicemari Gas Cyanide Yang Toksik!

 

Hasil dari pemantauan udara yang dilakukan oleh Jabatan Alam Sekitar (JAS) di SJK (C) Yuh Wah menunjukkan tahap  hydrogen cyanide (HCN) yang tinggi  menyebabkan udara di Raub telah tercemar dengan gas TOKSIK!

 

Jabatan Alam Sekitar negara kita telah menetapkan had piawaian hydrogen cyanide untuk kawasan perumahan Bukit Koman sebanyak 10ppm, jauh lebih tinggi berbanding had piawaian keselamatan dan kesihatan pekerjaan, iaitu di bawah tahap 4.7ppm!

 

Setakat ini tahap tertinggi gas cyanide yang pernah dikesan oleh pemantauan JAS mencecah tahap 1.11ppm. Lokasi pemantauan ini adalah lebih kurang 1km dari kilang perlombongan emas, oleh itu tahap kepekatan cynanide sudah tentu lebih tinggi didalam kampong Bukit Koman! Maka tidak ada sebab untuk membiarkan penghuni kawasan kediaman didedahkan kepada ancaman udara bertoksid selama 24 jam sehari! 

 

Penduduk Bukit Koman Terdedah Kepada Gas Tosik Sepanjang Hari

 

JAS telah mula memasang alat pemantauan udara di SJK © Yuh Wah pada 3 Januari 2013 untuk menjalankan pemantauan selama 6 bulan. Papan tanda pula mula didirikan ditapak tersebut sejak 20 Januari. Hasil pematauan akan dikemaskini atas papan tanda tersebut setiap 5 jam. Menurut En Lokman, pengawai JAS yang bertugas di situ, JAS Negeri Pahang telah menghantar pengawai untuk menjalankan pemantauan tahap HCN dan pencemaran udara yang lain (10 parameter) sejak awal bulan Januari dan beliau menjalankan pemantauan selama 15 jam sehari. Ditanya mengapa tidak dapat menjalani pemantauan 24 jam, beliau jawab, "Saya dan mesin perlu berehat!". 

 

Ahli jawatankuasa Pahang Raub Anti Cyanide di Perlombongan Emas  (BCAC) telah memeriksa rekod pemantauan 12 Januari dan 20 Januari  2013 dan mendapati gas HCN telah dikesan setiap minit, tidak ada satu angka yang menunjukkan "sifar"! Kita juga dapati angka "sifar" jarang sekali muncul pada pemantauan hari –hari yang lain. Rekod pemantauan menunjukkan tahap kepekatan gas cyanide mencecah 0.5-0.8ppm kebanyakkan masa. Tahap kepekatan yang tertinggi adalah 1.11ppm!

 

Keadaan ini adalah sangat serius, kerana udara semula jadi tidak mengandungi gas cyanide. Hasil pemantauan JAS ini mengesahkan udara yang disedut oleh penduduk setempat telah dicemari gas cyanide dan pencemar toksik yang lain, malah tahap pencemarannya jauh lebih tinggi berbanding negara lain!

 

Sebenarnya piawaian udara HCN di kebanyakan negara adalah jauh lebih rendah dari 0.2ppm, dimana had piawaian New York adalah 0.03ppm, Soviet Union dan Republik Czech pula masing-masing ialah 0.009 / 0.007ppm. Hasil pemantanan di  Bukit Koman menunjukkan pencemarannya jauh lebih tinggi dari piawaian udara negara-negara ini, malah adalah lebih 20 kali ganda dari piawaian New York yang dibenarkan.

 

Piawaian 10ppm Adalah Lebih Tinggi Daripada Piawaian Keselamatan Pekerjaan

 

Papan tanda yang didirikan JAS menunjukkan had piawaian yang ditetapkan oleh JAS adalah 10ppm. Setahu kita, Standard Kualiti Udara Persekitaran Malaysia (Malaysia Ambient Air Quality Standard) tidak merangkumi HCN, malah  piawaian keselamatan perkerjaan  (Occupational Safety and Health Act 1974) Malaysia adalah jauh lebih rendah, iaitu 4.7ppm! Kita nak tanya, bagaimana JAS boleh menetapi had piawaian di kawasan perumahan lebih tinggi dari piawian perindustrian / keselamatan perkerjaan?

 

BCAC pernah meminta JAS jelaskan had piawaian HCN berkali-kali, tetapi selama ini, JAS tidak pernah menjawab dalam laporan bertulis mereka. Pegawai JAS pernah menyatakan had piawaian yang digunakan adalah 10ppm, akan tetapi pihak JAS tidak dapat memaklumkan sumbernya. Kemudian dinyatakan pula, piawai yang dirujuk adalah digunapakai di Western Australia. Siasatan BCAC menunjuk tahap 10ppm sebenarnya adalah piawaian keselamatan pekerjaan untuk Western Australia, dimana piawai ini adalah tidak sesuai pakai di kawasan perumahan.

 

Piawaian keselamatan perkerjaan cuma sesuai digunakan untuk pekerja perindustrian, dengan had masa bekerja yang tetap (biasanya 8 jam); Berbeza dengan pekerja dalam kilang, penduduk di Buki Koman terdedah kepada ancaman gas cyanide selama 24 jam; piawaian keselamatan perkerjaan memang tidak sesuai digunakan untuk kampung yang mempunyai penduduk seramai 3000 orang ini.

 

Mengesahkan Aduan Kesihatan Penduduk Sejak 2009

 

SJK (C) Yuh Hwa adalah berjarak lebih kurang 1km dari kilang perlombongan emas, malah gas cyanide masih boleh dikesan di situ. Oleh itu kita percayai bahawa pencemaran dalam kawasan kampung adalah jauh lebih tinggi!

 

Selepas Raub Australia Gold Mine (RAGM) mula beroperasi pada Februari 2009, 300 orang penduduk dari kampung-kampung berdekatan melaporkan masalah kesihatan seperti gatal kulit dan ruam kulit, mata merah dan berair, ketidakselesaan tekak, sesak nafas, insomnia, mual muntah, sakit kepala, pening dan lain-lain. Pemantauan JAS ini sekali menunjukkan aduan selama ini adalah benar!

 

Tidak ada orang patut beritahu kita bahawa "angka-angka ini menunjukkan gas cyanide tidak melebihi piawaian, oleh itu tidak ada masalah!", malah ada laporan sains yang menunjukkan pendedahan kepada gas cyanide tahap rendah dalam jangka masa panjang boleh menyebabkan masalah kesihatan saraf, saluran pernafasan, saluran darah, dan kelenjar tiroid.

 

Nyawa adalah tidak ternilai! Kita menyeru kerajaan mengambil tindakan dengan segera dan menutup kilang Raub Australian Gold Mining di Bukit Koman  untuk mengelakkan penduduk setempat dari terus dianiaya. 

 

2012年2月7日

 

根据环境局在武吉公满育华华校所探测到的含山埃气体(氰化氢,HCN)指数已经说明,劳勿的空气已经被山埃污染了!

 

根据一些工业发达国家/ 先进国家的标准,山埃气体的允许暴露限值(工业安全标准限制)皆在4.7ppm以下!且暴露时间不能够超过10分钟~可是我国环境局却将武吉公满民宅区的含山埃气体指数顶限设为10ppm,远远高于我国的工业安全标准限制,这是极度荒谬和令人不能接受的!因为没有任何理由让人民居住的地方24小时暴露在工业有毒废气的威胁中!

 

目前测量到最高的山埃气体指数数据达到1.11ppm,探测地点距离金矿厂约1公里,所以从工厂所释放出来的山埃气体浓度肯定高出许多!

 

环境局在1月上旬开始派员到武吉公满新村每日探测HCN和其他污染指数,告示板则是在1月20日开始竖立。反山埃委员会第一时间到现场了解状况,在场驻守的环境局职员洛曼(Lokman)透露环境局于2013年1 月3 日开始在武吉公满育华华校架设空气探测器以进行空气探测,该空气探测器每日操作15小时,为期六个月,告示板的数据每五个小时更新一次。

 

委员会查阅了其中两天(1月12日和20日)的数据,发现探测器竟然每分钟都探测到山埃气体,没有一个数据显示"零"。后来再查阅其他日期的数据,发现出现"零"的次数极少。所看到的数据显示,大多数时候当地的山埃气体浓度高达0.5-0.8ppm,最高的指数1.11ppm。

 

这个情况非常严重,因为自然空气不含山埃气体,这些数据确认了村民呼吸的空气已受山埃气体污染,且污染指数远高于其他国家的限制!

 

上限竟高于工业标准

 

环境局竖立的告示板显示,该局设定的山埃气体标准限制是10ppm,但是马来西亚的空气素质指数(Malaysia Ambient Air Quality Standard)并没有涵盖HCN,有的只是工业安全标准,而且我国工业安全标准限制是4.7ppm,环境局怎么可能认为住宅区的上限还高于工业标准?

 

委员会曾多次向环境局询问山埃气体的限制标准,都得不到环境局的书面答复。环境局官员曾口头透露我国的标准是10ppm,但始终没法告知出处,后来则说是西澳标准,但经反山埃委员会查询后发现,10ppm其实是西澳的工业安全标准,不适用于公众民宅。

 

工业安全标准只适用于工厂内工作的员工,且都列明工作时限;有别于员工的是,居住在当地的武吉公满村民每天24小时都暴露在山埃气体中,工业安全标准肯定不适用于这个人口近3000的新村。

 

其实很多国家的HCN空气素质标准大都低于0.2ppm,纽约的标准是0.03ppm,苏联和捷克则分别是0.009/0.007ppm,武吉公满探测到的指数已远 高于这些国家的空气素质标准,甚至已超过大城市纽约的标准20倍以上。

 

长期暴露在山埃气体将严重影响健康

 

育华华校距离冶金厂一公里之外,尚能探测到山埃气体,相信村内的数据会更高。

 

村民也时常投诉在村里看到金矿厂发放烟雾,造成当地居民的健康频频出现状况,包括眼疾、皮肤病及呼吸困难的问题。

 

没有人应该告诉我们"数据显示山埃气体没超标,因此没有问题",已有科学报告指出,长期低度暴露在山埃气体中可导致神经、呼吸道、心血管及甲状腺问题。

 

这次环境局的测试结果再次印证了村民多年的投诉和抗议。生命无价,政府理应即刻关闭村内的劳勿澳洲金矿公司,以避免武吉公满村民继续受害。

 

劳勿反山埃冶金委员会启

 

SJK(C) Yuk Hwa is more than 1 km from the RAGM CIL Plant can detected 1.1ppm! Can expected the Bukit Koman residents that nearer to the CIL Plant is expose to higher level of toxic gas
 

 

Bukit Koman air full of poison, says green group

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:09 PM PST

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(Free Malaysia Today) - 'Cyanide exposure is more than 30 times higher than the level permitted in New York.'

An environmental group has claimed that the use of cyanide in gold mining activities is causing excessive air pollution in Bukit Koman, Pahang.

The pollutants include hydrogen cyanide gas, according to Sherly Hue, a leader of the Pahang Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee.

She told FMT that on a certain day in early January, the amount of hydrogen cyanide in the air around Bukit Koman was recorded at 1.1 ppm (parts per million), a level that World Health Organisation (WHO) considers hazardous.

The reading was taken some time after Jan 3, the date on which the Pahang Department of Environment (DOE) erected a monitoring station next to SJK (C) Yuh Wah. The station measures the gas level for 15 hours a day.

"According to WHO, the permissible levels for the gas exposure are 0.03 ppm in New York and 0.009 ppm in the Czech Republic," Hue said.

"The cyanide exposure in Bukit Koman is 30 times above the safety level of New York."

However, DOE has set the maximum exposure level at 10 ppm, as displayed on a board next to the monitoring station.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/02/07/bukit-koman-air-full-of-poison-says-green-group/ 

Rais: Media should be thinkers, critics prioritising harmony

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:05 PM PST

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Rais-Yatim.jpg 

(Bernama) - MEDIA practitioners, especially journalists, need to be thinkers and critics who always place importance on harmonious relations between countries in their writings, said Malaysia's Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.


He said in the context of Malaysia-Indonesia relations, journalists were an important component in imbuing thinking of whether to report the truth or not.

In his keynote address at a grand dinner to mark the Indonesian Press Day and 67th anniversary of the Indonesian Journalists Association here Thursday, he said although the media or journalists were free to write, report and criticise on whatever, they must uphold the regional Malay spirit, harmony and mutual respect that had existed for such a long time.

"We come from the same stock and if we, as writers, cannot convey our similarities to the masses, these similarities do not guarantee us anything.

"We should therefore think of what would happen to the regional Malay community if we as writers don't play our role from the perspective of promoting the meaning of humanity and Malay brotherhood," he said.

Also present were his wife Datin Seri Maznah Rais, North Sulawesi governor SH Sarundajang and Malaysia's Informaton director-general Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman.

Rais, the first minister outside Indonesia to be given the honour of delivering the keynote address at such a function which was attended by over 1,000 Indonesian journalists, noted that he came to Manado with the aim of strengthening Malaysia-Indonesia ties.

Recognising the role of the media and journalists as writers, messengers and critics, he said that role could have a meaningful impact on society.

He said as writers, especially in Indonesia where they were free to report on anything, their reporting must still be balanced.

As such, he said, good things like the Indonesian workers in Malaysia remitting home about RM6 billion a year and that more than 90 per cent of traders in Kuala Lumpur's Chow Kit area were Indonesians, should be given due news coverage.

"As writers we must always infuse a sense of responsibility in all our articles in order to prevent others from getting angry with what we write," he said. 

Rais also suggested that the television programmes on TVRI and RTM which had such a positive impact on the two countries' ties be revived with new content. 

When met by the media after the event, Rais said he was touched by being honoured to deliver the keynote address and to convey the message of enhancing the already close Malaysia-Indonesia relations.  

"It was a result of the roles played by Ikatan Setiakawan Malaysia-Indonesia and Yayasan Ikatan Rakyat Malaysia-Indonesia. This noble initiative should be continued in the interest of the region's Malay community," he said. 

 

Anwar Ibrahim and his promises!

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 01:01 PM PST

Anwar claimed that free education in Malaysia is achievable. But HOW? Till today, he and his party has yet to provide a logic explanation for such a policy to be implemented.

Wong Saikim 

At the International Convention for Education 2013 at University Selangor (UNISEL) recently, Opposition supremo Anwar Ibrahim assured his audience that free education can be achieved even though taxes are low in Malaysia, that makes Malaysia to become the only country in the world to achieve such an accomplishment. 

Anwar claimed that free education in Malaysia is achievable. But HOW? Till today, he and his party has yet to provide a logic explanation for such a policy to be implemented.

Anwar, who serves as Economic Advisor to the Selangor state government, should have actually advised the state Govt he advises to implement free education in Selangor so that it can be replicated in the federal level should they take over Putrajaya. Free education could have been given in UNISEL. But failing to do so clearly proves that his promises remains far-fetched promises which will never be fulfilled.

The problem with being caught in the blame game is that other than making sweeping statements in the Buku Jingga, the Opposition has yet to provide suggestions or solutions to the grand abolishment and free goodies they have promised. Liquidity funds are an important component in building capacities for free education to be realized. The country would need to increase its inventory of qualified lecturers, infrastructure, and many others. 

As education minister, Anwar, other than introducing 'Bahasa Baku' that tainted our national language, has left us with nothing to be proud of other than the PTPTN that he institutionalized. A decade and a half later, even he himself does not believe some of the policies he engineered, calling for abolishment of PTPTN. 

How are Malaysians going to trust him with running a nation?

 

What would we have been, if not for UMNO/BN?

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 12:53 PM PST

"What would we have been, if not for UMNO/BN, Mahathir, Pak Lah, and ...Najib"

Celestine Ho

To wade through today's murky political waters, it is important for voters to possess the appropriate tools to separate fact from fiction and make the correct conclusions. In the light of this need, it is necessary to revisit some of the postings on cyberspace that fly in the face of the truth. One such piece was written by lawyer and activist Haris Ibrahim headlined:

"A glimpse of what might have been but for UMNO/BN,Mahathir, Pak Lah, and ... Najib".

He implied that Malaysia could have become as 'successful' as Singapore but for...

It is however more appropriate to ask the question:

"What would we have been, if not for UMNO/BN, Mahathir, Pak Lah, and ...Najib"

In his blog posted on 29 September 2012, Haris drew conclusions based largely on what former Singapore Premier Lee Kuan Yew had said in an interview with the New York Times in 2010. Haris asks what was it that Singapore had done right, and what was it that Malaysia had done wrong these past few decades.

Haris illustrated his article by showing pictures that ostensibly showed Singapore's transformation from a riverine village to a modern metropolis, the implication being that Malaysia has remained in the backwaters since independence.

Haris said LKY was quoted as having made the following statements (shown in italics):

LKY: "I think if the Tunku ( Malaysia's first Prime Minister) had kept us together, what we did in Singapore, had Malaysia accepted a multiracial base for their society, much of what we've achieved in Singapore would be achieved in Malaysia."

The fact however is that LKY cannot take all the credit for Singapore's economic success.  Thanks to the colonial powers, Singapore was already a thriving entrepot trading post in the early 19th century--long before the PAP came into power. Malaysia, on the other hand, started almost from ground zero.  At independence it was considered by foreigners as a basket case, with the same chance of success as the poorest of the global poor. Malaysia's economic success was therefore also spectacular. (See below)

LKY: "We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we'll drum that into the people and I think our Chinese understand and today we have an integrated society.  Our Malays are English-educated; they're no longer like the Malays in Malaysia and you can see there are some still wearing headscarves but very modern looking."

Well, not quite true. Ask the Singaporean Malay and he will tell you

•  that there is discrimination in the award of scholarships. Last year (and for several years in succession) there was not a single Malay (or Indian) successful candidate among the list of local scholarship recipients.

•  that there is discrimination in the private sector. Advertisements for positions today simply state "Must be conversant in Mandarin" or "Must be effectively bilingual" as an essential requirement.  This effectively cuts out Malays and Indians.

•  that the Chinese community has been the largest beneficiaries of all of the government's economic policies.

•  that there are elite Chinese only schools and co-ed Special Assistance Plans (SAP) schools where the Chinese outnumber the minority races by a massive ratio. Prestigious scholarships are virtually dished out to them annually by the private and public sectors.

•  that questions are being asked why many Malays are 'exempted' from serving national service.

•  that Chinese is the language that is spoken as the native tongue by the greatest number of Singaporeans.  Malay was only chosen as the "national language" by the Singaporean government after independence from Britain in the 1960s to avoid friction with Singapore's neighbours.

•  Social integration is far from smooth on the ground. To some locals, newcomers —particularly Mainland Chinese — are commonly seen as uncouth and prone to objectionable behaviors. Similarly, South Asian construction workers and Filipino domestic workers have also been singled out as targets of public. A spate of online disputes in 2011 involving Mainland Chinese immigrants ridiculing Singaporeans as "ungracious," "disgusting and inferior" reveals the extent of social discord. In August 2011, an immigrant family from China went so far as to lodge a complaint against their Singaporean-Indian neighbors for the smell of curry emanating from their cooking. In response, a Facebook page urging Singaporeans to prepare curry on a designated Sunday drew over 57,600 supporters.

•  why is it that Singaporeans are not trusted to provide security services to LKY and the subsequent Prime Ministers at 38 Oxley Road? That job, for the last 50 years, had been outsourced to Nepali Gurkha soldiers.

Another, more subtle, difference between Malaysia and Singapore is this: Singapore believes in a foreigners first, locals second policy. That is why Singapore is haven to the super rich of the world. Forty per cent of Singapore residents are foreigners. The local Singaporeans are beginning to resent their presence because they are partly the reason for the high cost of living.

LKY: "Malaysia took the different line. Malay is the language of the schools although it does not get them into modern knowledge.  So the Chinese build and find their own independent schools to teach Chinese, the Tamils create their own Tamil schools, which do not get them jobs. It's a most unhappy situation".

That is a jaundiced view, not supported by the facts:

A recent scholarly article by A. Abhayaratne of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka said the following:

"In the East and Southeast region, Malaysia stands out as one of the most outstanding economies in terms of the rate of economic growth and poverty reduction. During the last three decades, the annual growth of gross domestic product was higher than 6 percent except during the recession in 1985-86 and the financial crisis in 1997. This is a very impressive rate of growth by developing country standard. Consistent with the high growth rates during the period, per capita income increased from US$ 900 in 1970 to US$ 3400 in 2000 (Bank Negara Malaysia, 2000). Per capita income in Malaysia in 2000 was second highest in Southeast Asia and considerably higher than that of other countries of the region.

"During the same period, the Malaysian economy experienced a dramatic reduction in the incidence of poverty. Poverty incidence in Malaysia fell from 52.4% in 1970 to 5.5% in 2000. There was also considerable progress in reducing hard-core poverty as well to only 0.5% by 2000. The reduction in poverty was accompanied by rising living standards with a relatively equal distribution of income.

"It has been suggested by a number of studies that the large reductions in poverty incidence in Malaysia was the result of the high growth achieved by the economy.  Some other studies suggest that this success in poverty reduction has not been a result of growth alone. They claim that this success was unlikely without the relentless efforts of the government in including poverty eradication as a major development objective and formulating specific policies and programs aiming at eradicating poverty."

LKY: "We are non-corrupt.  We lead modest lives".

Sure. If other political leaders are also paid like Singapore politicians (the Prime Minister is paid US$1.7 million per year and the Cabinet Ministers also similarly high salaries), perhaps there will be little or no corruption.

Haris then quoted a report by The Wall Street Journal that said Singapore was "the wealthiest nation in the world by GDP per capita, beating out Norway, the U.S., Hong Kong and Switzerland.

But that doesn't say much about the quality of life of the Singaporeans. Every weekend, thousands of islanders cross the Causeway into Johor Bharu, and travel as far inland as Malacca for a taste of the good life.

Consider these:

•  Four out of five Singaporeans live in cramped high-rise HDB flats.

•  More and more Singaporeans are packing up their bags and moving abroad.

As of June 2011, an estimated 192,300 Singaporeans live abroad. An average of about 1,200 highly educated Singaporeans (including 300 naturalized citizens) give up their citizenship each year in favor of others.

•  In some social surveys among Singaporean youth, more than half of those surveyed would leave the country to build their careers if given the chance.

•  A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit said that Singapore was the sixth most expensive city in the world.  By comparison, Kuala Lumpur ranked 62nd out of 79 surveyed. The cost of living in Singapore is 200% or 300% higher than in Malaysia. There are also other exorbitant costs in Singapore like the S$80,000 license to own a car.

And consider these too:

•  KL is world's 10th top destination city
  KL is 5th Best Value International City: Trip Index 2012 
  Malaysia dubbed 14th most competitive economy
  Malaysia is 9th hottest real estate market in the world
  Malaysia ranked 5th in  the best international cities category, outranking Singapore  KL is Asia's most attractive property investment market.

What indeed would we have done without UMNO/BN, and Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Badawi and Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak.

 

Malaysian Loves Corruption & Can’t Live Without It

Posted: 07 Feb 2013 12:41 PM PST

http://www.financetwitter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Anwar-Ibrahim-and-Mahathir-Mohamad-Devil-Inside.jpg 

The voters who voted opposition back in 2008 did not do so primarily because the current regime was corrupted. If that was the main reason, how on earth could former PM Mahathir rule this land for a whopping 22 years, despite the fact that his regime opened the floodgates of corruption and racism? In actual fact, Malaysian Chinese and Malays love corruption, without them realizing it.

Finance Twitter 

If there's one hot topic of discussion during the coming Chinese New Year, it has to be the Mother of General Elections – the 2013 Malaysia General Election. This is perhaps the final time family members would sit together, cracking garlic-flavour groundnuts sipping Anglia Shandy or Carlsberg, and debate over who and which party to elect – either current regime (BN) or opposition (PR). This is also the time family members get to brainwash each other on which party to vote for the next federal government. The swing in support to either BN or PR would be fierce and wilder than Dow Jones during sub-prime crisis.

Of course PM Najib Razak's PR team realizes the significance of this and has spent many hours on the drawing board preparing scripts to attract Chinese voters. That's why PM Najib looks more Chinese than all the past prime ministers combined. To a certain extent, he's even more Chinese than the Chinese themselves (*tongue-in-cheek*). There're thousands hanging buntings by the roadsides depicting him wearing Chinese traditional costume with his Chinese New Year message. Heck, he even tried his Chinese-friendly trick on radio station by having conversation in Mandarin with his son, although the stunt turns out rather funny (*grin*) and weird. If only he has the stamina he may just put on the lion dance costume and jump around your house begging for your votes.

KLCC-UMNO-PWTC-Najib CNY Greetings

Ultimately, the question will be – which party to choose and why? If your answer is the opposition because the current regime is corrupt, then get ready for a rude awakening – the so-called corrupt BN (Barisan Nasional) will win the next general election hands down. In case you're still scratching your head peeling kuaci, the voters who voted opposition back in 2008 did not do so primarily because the current regime was corrupted. If that was the main reason, how on earth could former PM Mahathir rule this land for a whopping 22 years, despite the fact that his regime opened the floodgates of corruption and racism? In actual fact, Malaysian Chinese and Malays love corruption, without them realizing it.

Like it or not, corruption has been part and parcel of Malaysian culture, thanks to Father of Corruption – Mahathir Mohamad. That was why a study done some moons ago found that graduates actually thought corruption was not such a big deal after all. Corruption has been ingrained into the mindset of Malaysian citizens so much so that it's almost legal and inseparable entity from daily lifes. Corruption was like lion-dance during Chinese New Year and "meriam-buloh" during Hari Raya festivals. While Malaysian Chinese consider corruption as a main ingredient to get business going, Malaysian Malays consider corruption as "rezeki". That's why the opposition can only go so far by drumming government massive corruptions as the reason why they should be booted from Putrajaya.

Malaysia Corruption - Cost of Doing Business

Do you really think corruption will disappear into thin air after opposition wins the next general election and form the federal government? Why do you think everybody rush to lick Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim boots to be fielded as candidates? And do you really think Sabah's King of Frogs Jeffrey Kitingan, Wilfred Bumburing and Yong Teck Lee really want to take care of the Sabahan? Pleeeeze!!! With the exception of probably Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz, you can't really trust the rest of the opposition politicians. If they have no intention of enriching themselves, then President Obama is still a virgin. Ever wonder why Mahathir confidently declared he will not leave the country before the next election results are announced? That's because he was dead sure the current corrupt regime will still form the next federal government.

If the recent AES implementation criticisms by the public was any indicator, it shows that the public can't live without corruption, well, at least majority of them. Malaysian drivers like to speed and drive as if they're Formula-1 drivers and they have no plan of changing their lifestyle (or rather drive-style). And AES was a classic example of how zero corruption will affect their lifes. While they accept the reality that they would be caught breaking the laws, they want the flexibility to negotiate their way out through bribes. And you can't "kautim" (settle) by giving money to the AES camera on the spot, can you? These people would rather pay RM50 as "coffee-money" for each of 10 traffic offences than to pay full RM300 for 2 offence tickets, literally speaking.

Malaysia AES Traffic

From sales executives to company directors, 90% of their business deals involve "under-table" money, one way or another. If the only thing that opposition can promise is eliminate corruption, then a sizeable Chinese and Malays would rather vote for the corrupt regime, if that was how they secured their current businesses or "rezeki" in the first place. So, does that mean the current corrupt regime should be returned to power? Well, perhaps the answer can be found by the recent advise from Mahathir himself - choose between the lesser of two evils. Of course when Mahathir blogged his advise, he was referring to the possibility of violent demonstration should the opposition lose in the coming election, although I can't figure out till today how can one lose something that it does not possess in the first place (*grin*).

Since the opposition has not win the federal government since independence, there's no benchmark of how corrupted they would become. Thus, the perception of the general public – the BN regime is tremendously corrupt while the PR regime will be mildly corrupt, if the latter choose to corrupt after all. The choice is pretty obvious based on Mahathir's "choose between the lesser of two evils" theory. The good news for the opposition fans – the corrupt Chinese businessmen are flexible to switch sides and butter the opposition's bread should there be a change in government. The bad news – the corrupt Chinese businessmen are worry and perceive a lesser corrupt governments to mean lesser business deals for them.

Read more at: http://www.financetwitter.com/2013/02/malaysian-loves-corruption-cant-live-without-it.html#.URP_LyS0n9w.gmail 

And of course, there's this video:

7FTYE3rAu3k 

Or watch at: https://www.youtube.com/embed/7FTYE3rAu3k 

Slashed over hanging of BN flag, banner

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 10:21 PM PST

(NST) - A 31-year-old man was slashed on the back of the head after a quarrel over the placing of a political party flag and banner at Kampung Batu 5 1/2, Jalan Bendang Nyior here, yesterday.

Mohd Dasuki Yusoff said he had scouted for a place to hang a Barisan Nasional flag and banner at a bridge,  near his village, at 6:45pm when a  car with three occupants in it  stopped.

"I questioned their reason for not allowing me to put them up there. One of them then came out of the car and approached me. I hit him on the face and he fell down. His friends tried to help him, but I warned them against getting involved."

Dasuki said he went back to his house about 500m away and a youth riding a motorcycle came 10 minutes later and scolded him over the earlier incident.

He said they became involved in a quarreled and the youth suddenly took out a parang from his motorcycle and slashed him on the back of the head.

Dasuki said his uncle, who witnessed the incident, took him to Tanah Merah Hospital where he received six stitches.

District police chief Deputy Superintendent Abdul Aziz Mahmud confirmed receiving a report on the incident and said the youth involved had surrendered to the police yesterday morning.

 

Ex-ISA detainee Yazid held under security laws

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 08:48 PM PST

Bukit Aman says that three people were arrested for allegedly recruiting others for terror activities.

(FMT) - Ex-ISA detainee Yazid Sufaat was today arrested under the new security laws for alleged terrorism. Two others were held with him.

The trio become the first persons to be arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the law which replaced the preventive law, the Internal Security Act.

A team of police officers from Bukit Aman made the arrests.

Bukit Aman said in a statement that the three were involved in recruiting others for terror activities. It did not release the names of the detainees.

Human rights watchdog Suaram, however, identified Yazid and his worker Mohd Hilmi Ahsin as those being detained. It did not mention anything about the third arrest.

Suaram said Yazid and Mohd Hilmi were arrested at about 12.30pm today at the Jalan Duta High Court canteen. The canteen was operated by Yazid's wife.

It added that the arresting officers had said that they were being arrested for "promoting terrorism". No other details are available.

Yazid was previously held under the ISA in December 2001 following a crackdown on terrorism activities here after the al-Qaeda attacks on the US Twin Towers in New York earlier that year.

He was released in December 2008.

Suaram also stated that Yazid was taken to his house in Taman Bukit Ampang where the police conducted a thorough check. It is unclear if they took anything from Yazid's house.

Under the new security law, Yazid and the two others can be detained for 48 hours, after which they should be allowed access to their lawyers.

It is not known where Yazid and the other two were held.

Suaram, meanwhile, criticised the detention of the trio under the new law, stating that everyone had a legal right to be brought to the court within 24 hours after the arrest.

 

When white is not white

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 08:01 PM PST

So why is white good while black is bad? Why do we say 'we have seen the light' when something good happens to us, such as we have 'seen' God? And why is everything bad associated with black? Black-hearted. Black market. Black death (the plague). Black period in history. Black Friday. Black sheep of the family. Black eye. Black out. Pot calling the kettle black. Black mark. And so on.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I never know how my days are going to start or end. In fact, while I know how my life started, I really do not know how and when it is going to end either. I suppose that is the spice of life. If everything is laid before us in clear and precise details then there is really no more point in continuing, is there?

It is like how I am going to start this article. I am not even sure if I do want to write any article today. I just opened my Microsoft Word and stared at this blank sheet of paper. Of course, it is not really a piece of paper in the physical sense. It is more like an electronic paper. But then is this not where the world is heading -- towards an electronic world?

I have probably four or five bookshelves of books, physical books printed on paper. Since mid-last year, though, I have stopped buying physical books. If I continue buying books I will also have to buy a new house, as there is no longer any room to store all my books. My books from merely two months detention in Kamunting alone are already one van-load. 

Anyway, paper-based books are so yesterday. Today we read electronic books and I have already accumulated almost 1,000 electronic books, which I store on my Kindle, of which I have thus far read maybe only 25 or so. Hence I have a long way to go and I was told there are millions of e-books available. So I am going to run out of breath before I run out of books to read.

The same goes for my music. I am constantly 'surrounded' by music, even when I read or write. I start my day quite predictably by booting up my Mac. Then I go to my favourite radio station, Magic 105.4, London's favourite radio station -- or at least that's what the sweet voice of the DJ keeps telling us.

In a way music influences my mood for the day. Sometimes, when I am in an aggressive mood, I want to listen to rock music. When I feel slightly mellow I listen to Magic 105.4. I mainly listen to the rock stations that play 1960s music by Grand Funk, Uriah Heep, Santana, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Butterfly, Jethro Tull, and the 200 or so bands and singers of 'my generation'. And to make sure I get the best in sound, I play them on my Bose speakers and turn my workroom into a disco minus the flashing lights and fog machine.

Anyway, here I am facing a blank sheet of white paper and still not sure what I am going to write about today. Okay, the 'paper' is not quite paper in the dead tree manner of speaking but more like a plain page of my Microsoft Word. Nevertheless, it is still a plain white page.

And why do we call it a plain white page? Well, that is because there is nothing on it. If it were filled with letters, words, numbers, or graphics, then it would no longer be a plain white page. So what does 'plain white' mean then? What do we understand by the phrase 'plain white'?

Plain white means absence -- the absence of letters, words, numbers, graphics, etc. When things are absent then we call it plain white. Hence when there is nothing we call it plain white. Hence, also, plain white is what is meant by nothing.

And white can only be seen when there is light. If there is no light we cannot see white and white would become black.

Hence white is white only because of the presence of light. In the absence of light white will turn to black. If you were put into a pitch-dark room with zero light penetration where you cannot even see your hand in front of your nose and you were given a plain white sheet of paper could you see that white paper? The plain white sheet of paper would become invisible although it exists and you are actually holding it.

Hence white does not exist. White is only what you see when there is light. What exists is black. And light also does not exist. Light is merely the absence of darkness. Hence when darkness is absent then light exists and because light exists then white would also exist, which would not exist otherwise if the darkness does not allow the light in.

White, therefore, is what you see in the absence of darkness. Therefore, also, darkness exists while white does not.

So why is white good while black is bad? Why do we say 'we have seen the light' when something good happens to us, such as we have 'seen' God? And why is everything bad associated with black? Black-hearted. Black market. Black death (the plague). Black period in history. Black Friday. Black sheep of the family. Black eye. Black out. Pot calling the kettle black. Black mark. And so on.

Honestly, black is not ugly. Black is beautiful. So why associate everything bad with black?

Black is beautiful

Anyway, yesterday an insurance agent phoned me and asked for a minute of my time but took 30 minutes instead. This agent wanted to discuss the prospects of me buying life insurance. I am 62 so he suggested I should start thinking of my family's future in the event I suddenly died.

That got my thinking. What if I bought a RM1 million policy so that if anything happened to me my wife would be taken care of? But then, if I were worth RM1 million dead, would that not tempt my wife to bump me off because I would then be worth more dead than alive? And one should never tempt one's wife with such notions.

No, maybe a RM250,000 policy should suffice.

The insurance agent then worked out the cost of the premium and because I sometimes smoked cigars the premium would come to quite a bit (even with the one or two cigars a month that I smoked). It seems the brand and quality of the cigars did not affect the premium at all. Now that is downright unjust.

I asked him how much I would need to pay, say, if I took a 15-year policy -- and over that 15 years I would need to fork out almost RM150,000 in all. What happens if I survived till way past 77? Well, then that RM150,000 would be money down the drain. I get nothing. My wife can only collect RM250,000 if I died before 2027. And I must not die within the first year. I can only die from the second year onwards.

In other words, if I died next year, then will we make a gross profit of RM250,000 on an investment of only RM9,000. If I did not die, then we lose RM150,000. So the profit would be in dying quick and not in living long.

Hmm… you lose when you win and you win when you lose. I told the insurance agent I would need to think about it first. He then told me they can insure me until age 90 and that there would be a very good chance I will die before I am 90 as most people in England never live past 90.

Ah, yes, but this insurance agent has probably never heard of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Anyway, I if I take a 28-year policy that expires at age 90 and I still do not die till past 90 I would have to blow about RM250,000 or so on a RM250,000 insurance policy.

This was starting to become even more unattractive. Anyway, I decided instead to allow fate to decide what happens and jumped into my car to drive to Liverpool to join my friends for a jam session and to pick up my new (second-hand) drum set.

The problem, now, though, is that I do not feel like writing anything today because I can't wait to whack my drums to Santana playing in the background.

Sigh…why is life so complicated? Well, never mind, maybe I can go drumming and write my article tomorrow instead. At least today you do not need to read any cheong hei article from me.

My 'new' second-hand drum set

The jam session in Liverpool last night

 

Asia at heart of matchfixing, ex-FIFA man says

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 03:39 PM PST

(Reuters) - SINGAPORE: Gambling houses in Southeast Asia form the foundation for organised crime gangs to generate huge profits from sports match-fixing, according to Chris Eaton, ex-FIFA head of security and director of Qatar's International Centre for Sport Security.

European police shone a spotlight on the region on Monday when they announced a Singapore-based syndicate had directed match-fixing for at least 380 football games in Europe alone, making at least 8 million euros (7 million pounds).

The number paled in comparison to the gang's profiteering in Asia, Eaton told Reuters in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

"It's infinitesimal compared to what was made in the Asian market. You can probably multiply that by a hundred," he said.

The known cases of match-fixing occurred mostly in the West, but the real profits for the syndicates were in Southeast Asia, where the size of the gambling market completely dwarfed that of Europe.

The region's lax regulation coupled with the sheer scale of the betting market made it far more attractive to people wanting to manipulate it, such as those accused of match-fixing by Europol.

Gone were the movie images of people entering smoke-filled rooms with bags of money and betting slips. Today's gambling institutions most closely resembled international finance, with its banking, derivative trading and commodities trading, according to Eaton, a former Interpol operations manager.

"It's all done with algorithms and machines, almost like any commodity house in the US or London. The three largest houses each transact US$2 billion a week – a hell of a lot of money."

To put this into perspective, Eaton said this sum could purchase four international-standard hospitals or pay for a thousand police officers for a year.

Although recent match-fixing scandals have struck South Korea, China and Italy, corruption in football has long been a global problem.

Eaton believes the real facilitator of this is the opportunity it provides to commit betting fraud and the susceptibility of the Southeast Asian betting market, where most betting fraud is committed.

Lack of will

"If you don't focus on betting fraud, then you won't be able to properly address sport corruption. Sport corruption is borne of betting fraud – it's a cycle" he said.

"It could just as well be betting on tiddlywinks, or on flies crawling up a wall."

Eaton said that, instead of governments and agencies targeting betting, they targeted corruption in the sport itself, which was simply a means to an end.

"There's no will to regulate gambling houses in Southeast Asia. There's a lack of commitment. Their responsibility isn't just to attract business but to properly regulate business," said Eaton.

"This is bigger than Coca-Cola, which is a trillion a year. This is a global economy, a growing global economy, and it needs to be regulated and supervised, and governments aren't doing this."

Italy was one of the major targets of the match-fixers identified by European police forces, despite having what Eaton considers to be one of the best gambling regulators in Europe.

The international nature of the betting frauds meant the Italian authorities' supervision ultimately amounted to little when deterring corruption in sport.

Eaton estimates that 30 percent of all gambling on sports in Italy goes through registered Italian bookmakers. The other 70 percent is unregistered, often channelled through Southeast Asian websites.

"If they focused on transparency in gambling houses in Southeast Asia, being able to see who did what, when and how, this alone would have a major effect on addressing the issues of sport corruption," he said.

"You have under-regulated, grey-area gambling where the regulators are not really serious, transparency rules are not to best practice and government oversight is almost non-existent."

This "grey area" gambling lies between legal betting and "black area" gambling, which Eaton identifies as illegal, cash-based betting with a trusted clientele known to the bookmakers.

Biggest concern

The grey gambling market's lack of oversight undermined the efforts of countries such as South Korea, where 41 players from its K-League were banned for life by FIFA for match-fixing, and authorities have allied with sports agencies and police to combat the corruption.

"The grey-area betting businesses, particularly out of Manila, are the biggest concern to us. We don't know enough about them and the government has an under-regulated environment," said Eaton.

"It's almost impossible to measure how they do business and what weaknesses they have that allow organised crime to take advantage of them."

The three largest gambling houses in Asia, IBCBET, SBOBET and 188BET, are all in Manila in the Philippines. Eaton describes their operations as "very opaque" and said what was known of them came purely from talking to people familiar with their workings, as there was no government record.

Their huge profits made them ideal for exploitation by organised crime syndicates. These online businesses operated as an exchange, rather than a traditional risk-taking bookmakers which would bet against the gambler themselves.

Instead they took a commission and farmed out the bets to bookmakers around the world, seeking to make slightly more than a one percent turnover, according to Eaton.

"They're turning over so much money the organised crime is almost invisible to them," he said.

Because the bookmakers were the ones taking on the risk, there was little incentive for the Manila-based exchanges to work against match-fixing.

The match-fixers were also able to exploit the gambling house system by writing computer programs to place hundreds of bets at the house's maximum limit in a matter of seconds, mostly while the rigged matches were still being played.

Typically this occurred late in the game, to lessen the odds of alerting the gambling house to the fraud.

"These are very sophisticated frauds. They're not very easy to disguise, so the fixers have to time it in such a way as to get it past the houses," said Eaton.

Eaton believes that until governments and authorities work to close these lucrative channels of profit for organised crime, match-fixing will continue to be a global problem for all sports.

 

Bumburing’s men slam Yong for ‘attacks’

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 03:34 PM PST

Wilfred Bumburing's group has accused SAPP of being on 'sabotage' mode. 

Joseph Bingkasan, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: Pakatan Rakyat ally Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) is irked by accusation that its leader Wilfred Bumburing and Beaufort MP Lajim Ukin who helms another Anwar Ibrahim friendly grouping – Pakatan Perubahan Sabah – are bribing Anwar for seats in the coming general election.

Lashing out at SAPP president Yong Teck Lee, APS said it was an insult and a poor reflection of Yong who was once held in high respect for pulling his party out of the BN coalition in 2008.

Said APS information chief Lesaya Sorudim: "What Yong had uttered is an insult not just to Bumburing and Lajim but to the people of Sabah, the majority of whom are now coming together in support of these two leaders."

Yong accused the two former Barisan Nasional MPs who quit the ruling coalition in July last year of "kow-towing" to Kuala Lumpur-based opposition parties in order to be Pakatan candidates.

The accusation published in a local newspaper yesterday has infuriated APS, who believe Yong is sabotaging the opposition's chances in the coming election.

APS, which comprises mainly native leaders, said the criticism by Yong is an insult to the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) community who are looking up to the two leaders as their flag-bearers for political and social reforms in Sabah.

"Can anyone in their right frame of mind ever imagine Bumburing and Lajim disembarking from an airplane in KLIA armed with a bucket load of tiger prawns or lobsters or even a bundle of bird nests under their armpit purportedly to be given to some leaders in Kuala Lumpur in order to be chosen as candidates?

"Could anyone have ever imagined that SAPP, which gained so much popularity and respect when it first left BN, would now resort to such low-level political mindset?" Sorudim asked.

Yong claimed that the two leaders were bringing those goodies for their "political master" whenever they travelled to Kuala Lumpur.

"Speaking of Bumburing, let me remind Yong that if ever it was the desire of Bumburing that he only wants to be a candidate, it would have been better for him to remain in BN because being the deputy president of a BN component then, he had every opportunity to make himself as one of the BN candidates.

"After all being an incumbent [MP], he is the best person to retain the Tuaran parliamentary seat for BN," Sorudim told FMT.

'SAPP's politically short-sighted'

He said Bumburing had often said that if he could help put in place a new government to replace BN without having to be a candidate, he would be content.

"Yong's statement and accusation only goes to show how politically short-sighted SAPP is and how it is deprived of any issue to portray itself as an alternative to BN," he added.

Sorudim said he was surprised that Yong, instead of attacking BN and Umno, chose to attack his fellow Sabahan opposition leaders.

"This only goes to prove that SAPP's ultimate objective is to gain political power for itself."

READ MORE HERE

 

Produce new evidence, Karpal tells Deepak

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 03:28 PM PST

The lawyer-politician says that the carpet businessman must provide his evidence to the authorities so that the police can reopen the Altatntuya's murder case. 

G Vinod, FMT

New evidence must be produced to help the police reopen investigation on the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, said DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

"Carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan must come forward with the evidence. Tell us what you have," said the lawyer-politician.

Yesterday, former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said that the police must reopen Altantuya's case if there is new evidence found pertaining to the murder.

In December, Deepak alleged that the prime minister's wife, Rosmah Mansor had sought his help in getting private investigator P Balasubramaniam to retract his first statutory declaration which implicated the premier's family in Altantuya's death.

The businessman also claimed that the prime minister's brother, Nazim Razak, had helped him to seal a deal with Balasubramaniam.

Deepak is slated to approach the Attorney-General Chambers, to request protection under Whistleblower Act 2010 and Witness Protection Act 2009 before making further expose.

On providing legal protection to Deepak, Karpal said,"Protection must be given to him, especially since this is a high profile case."

On related matter, PKR vice president N Surendran said that the police should reopen the investigation as there are two men sentenced to death for Altantuya's murder.

"There is no statute of limitation for murder cases. We must prevent a miscarriage of justice by looking at the new evidence," he said.

In 2009, two police officers, Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri were sentenced to death by the High Court for murdering Altantuya.

They have since filed an appeal against the verdict. Trial date is yet to be fixed.

 

MCA: Liew’s predictions on Johor cocky

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 03:17 PM PST

Labis MP Chua Tee Yong says the DAP's crystal-balling a possible win in Johor will not be taken seriously by BN.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

DAP's predictions of a possible win in Johor based on the support of 35% Malay, 80% Chinese and 50% Indian voters is "arrogant" and "presumptuous", a BN state leader said today.

Johor, the birthplace of Umno and considered Barisan Nasional's last bastion, has been under the control of the ruling coalition since Independence.

While Pakatan barely made a dent in 2008, winning just one federal and six states out of 26 and 56 seats respectively, DAP's Liew Chin Tong said that Johor could "fall like dominoes" in the 13th general election.

Responding to this, Labis MP Chua Tee Yong, said: "It is worrying that DAP has assumed that the Chinese and Indians in Johor have no choice but to support PKR and DAP.

"They assume that they will garner 50% of the Indian votes and at least 65% of the Chinese votes. This is very arrogant of them."

Liew, who is Bukit Bendera MP, had listed several possible post-election scenarios in Johor, assuming Indian support for Pakatan was consistent at 50%:

  • Malay support at 25%, Chinese support at 65%, Pakatan will win just one parliamentary seat in Johor;
  • Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 70%, Pakatan will win six seats;
  • Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 12 seats;
  • Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 16 seats;
  • Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 80%, Pakatan will win 20 seats.

But Chua, who is also Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, said that as long as the votes were not announced, no one could say for sure whether BN or Pakatan would win.

'BN doesn't make assumptions'

He also refused to say if there was a possibility BN could actually lose to Pakatan in Johor, stressing that he did not dare make any assumptions.

"Unlike Pakatan, we don't assume. That's why we still continue to work to gain the votes and confidence of the people," said Chua.

READ MORE HERE

 

Shahrizat blows it for Umno in S’wak?

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 03:13 PM PST

Umno wanita chief Sharizat Abdul Jalil's arrogance and ignorance has made her a laughing stock in Sarawak. 

Joseph Tawie, FMT

KUCHING: If former Umno Women, Family and Community Development 's Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil had been observant, she'd have noticed the incredulous looks on the faces of the crowd when she recently warned Sarawakians to be 'wary' of peninsular-based opposition leaders who stoke racial and religious issues.

Here was a minister, who seemed oblivious to the fact that it was her bosses in Umno who had fine-tuned the art of stoking and perpetuating racial and religious disharmony in their bid to stay in power.

"If you talk about propagating racial politics and religious issues, Umno is the worst.

"As Umno Wanita chief, she should be the last person to tell the people of Sarawak what to do about racial and religious unity," said Sarawak PKR vice chairman See Chee How.

See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, said peninsular leaders such as Shahrizat should know that Sarawak is above race and religion.

"Here we don't play politics with race and religion. It is not difficult for her to find out that there are no such things as racial and religious issues here.

"And this is because in Sarawak there is no Umno," said See.

See was alluding to shocking testimonies of witnesses in the ongoing Sabah Royal Commission of Inquiry which revealed the extent peninsular Umno-BN leaders and their agents in Sabah went – following its entry into Sabah – to nuetralise the Christian community and consolidate their vote-banks by offering citizenships-for-votes to illegal immigrants who were Muslims.

Sarawakians have been closely monitoring the unravellings of the RCI and former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's admission of guilt as well his counter claim that Tunku Abdul Rahman had done the same by giving away citizenships to a million aliens at the time. He had also reportedly called for an RCI on this.

Shahrizat, who was handpicked by Mahathir into his cabinet, bloomed under Mahathir's guidance and thinking.

'She is powerless now'

Currently Umno women's chief and national Barisan Nasional chairperson, she was in Kuching in connection with the launching of 'program Gagasan Aspirasi Wanita' last weekend.

During the launch, she told the crowd that the opposition would make all kinds of election promises but that most of them would be lies.

READ MORE HERE

 

Report: These 54 Foreign Governments (including Malaysia) Helped the CIA Torture, Detain, and ...

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 01:10 PM PST

http://mjcdn.motherjones.com/preset_51/interrogation-gun-soldier-prisoner-detainee.jpg 

(Mother Jones) - On Tuesday, the Open Society Justice Initiative released a 212-page report that details international assistance to US covert action related to controversial Bush-era anti-terror policy. The report (PDF), titled "Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition," identifies 136 people who were captured or transferred by the Central Intelligence Agency, and lists available information about the detainees—both the Islamist operatives and the completely innocent.

"Globalizing Torture" also provides an annotated list of the dozens of foreign governments that played roles in the CIA's secret program in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These governments provided crucial support in facilitating the CIA and Bush administration's war on Al Qaeda by, according to the report:

[H]osting CIA prisons on their territories; detaining, interrogating, torturing, and abusing individuals; assisting in the capture and transport of detainees; permitting the use of domestic airspace and airports for secret flights transporting detainees; providing intelligence leading to the secret detention and extraordinary rendition of individuals; and interrogating individuals who were secretly being held in the custody of other governments. Foreign governments also failed to protect detainees from secret detention and extraordinary rendition on their territories and to conduct effective investigations into agencies and officials who participated in these operations.

Here are the 54 listed, in alphabetical order:

Read at: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/report-54-countries-helped-cia-torture-detain-transport-suspects-after-911 

 

Taman Tun Sues MRT

Posted: 06 Feb 2013 12:40 PM PST

http://www.hmetro.com.my/articles/BantahpelanlaluanMRT/pix_middle

The PZ residents seek a declaration to the effect that the entire MRT project in Klang Valley is illegal, unauthorised by law and therefore MRTco should not commence any construction of the MRT before complying with all the rules and regulations relevant thereto.
 
A Writ of Summons against MRTCo was filed today, 5th February 2013 at the Jalan Duta High Court by Messrs Nik Saghir & Ismail, Advocates and Solicitors who are acting on behalf of the Pinggir Zaaba (PZ) Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents.

The Writ was filed as a result of the detrimental impact of the MRT's construction at close proximity from the front door of their homes, which according to a layman's understanding, is the length of two saree's. The Writ also stated that the PZ residents seek a declaration to the effect that the entire MRT project in Klang Valley is illegal, unauthorised by law and therefore MRTco should not commence any construction of the MRT before complying with all the rules and regulations relevant thereto.

Discussions between MRTco and PZ residents had started more than a year ago which looked into a buy-out scheme of "willing buyer – willing seller" proposition. The proposal was then rejected by the Special Compensation Committee in July 2012.

"After many attempts at reaching out to the Government and MRT Corp to amicably resolve the matter due to the detrimental impact of the MRT's construction at close proximity to our homes, we, the residents of Pinggir Za'aba, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, find our concerns are still without any resolution. Hence, to protect the interest of our families, especially the health, safety and well-being of our children and elderly, we are forced to file a civil suit against MRT Corporation today because they weren't listening and we know the Courts will." said Mr Ho Lee Yoke, a resident in Pinggir Zaaba.

Another resident, Mr Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah bin Tan Sri Sanusi added "Our initial hope was that the MRT Corporation on behalf of the Government would provide the care and respect due to us whose homes are precariously near to the proposed MRT railway have been dashed. MRT Corporation's own actions since its CEO began to personally engage us on the matter through to their repeated engagements, including meetings to determine the prices they would have to pay for buying our homes in PZ stand as their own admission of where their  obligations to us lie. Our quiet cooperation was instead rewarded by neglect and deceit".

The PZ residents' predicament certainly bears merit considering the fact that their homes are within the railway protection zone under the law. Homes within the said Railway Protection Zone will be automatically deemed uninhabitable and subsequently worthless in the market. As Taman Tun Dr Ismail is a highly sought after residential area, the arrival of the MRT project that is too close for comfort near the homes of the Plaintiffs, this will change the landscape into an area that is shunned by public, property investors and potential house buyers alike. The MRT infrastructure will deprive the PZ residents of their private and proprietary rights as well as the enjoyment of their land.

"MRT Corporation continually refuses to acknowledge this reality. There is certainly no compassion shown towards the PZ residents which seems to pay lip service to the Government's slogan of "Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan" as demonstrated by MRT Corporation's apathy towards the PZ residents plight." Added Akhramsyah.

The Writ of Summons that has been filed was an action done without any malice. Rather, the filed Writ is the PZ residents' appeal to the judiciary to provide them with some redress and justice. The residents acknowledge that the MRT project should be constructed as it would bring great benefit to the citizens of Kuala Lumpur. However, it should not be constructed in a way that would harm any party, regardless of the number of affected residents. This would be tantamount to condoning oppression.

"Last but not least, we still welcome any move to amicably settle this case out of court" Added Mr Ho.

 

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