31 July, 2006

Don't Wallow In Self-pity, PM Tells Malays

KUALA TERENGGANU, July 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Monday told the Malays to refrain from wallowing in self-pity any more and take advantage of the opportunities to progress.

Attitudes such as indulging in self-pity, subjecting oneself to grief and isolating oneself from development would only cause the Malays to be left out of development, he said.

"We have to migrate from a less favourable situation to a more favourable one, from a depressive state of mind to one that sees the opportunities that abound," he said at the presentation of offer letters for lease of affordable apartments in Pulau Duyong, here.more....


Singapore calls for cessation of hostilities in Middle East

Singapore on Monday urged all sides involved in the Israel-Lebanon crisis to exercise restraint and immediately cease hostilities.

In response to media queries on the civilian casualties in the Israeli air strike on the Lebanese town of Qana, a spokesman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Singapore is deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of innocent lives.

"We urge all sides to exercise restraint and immediately cease the activities that have triggered this cycle of violence," the statement said.

"We support the UN's (United Nations) call for a cessation of hostilities. This is an important first-step to pave the way for a solution that would secure security for all parties and peace and stability in the region," it added.

At least 57 Lebanese, including 37 children were killed in an Israeli air raid on the southern Lebanese village of Qana Sunday morning.

The Israeli air strikes which killed at least 56 civilians mostly children and women in Qana, southern Lebanon are the latest proof that the Zionist state is the greatest human rights violator in the world.

An international affairs observer, Mustofa Maufur said since the beginning of its establishment, Israel had carried out a lot of war crimes by killing Palestinian people.

"Actually, it's not surprising if the Israeli air strikes killed many civilians, mostly children, Antara news agency reported Monday quoting Maufur as saying.

The lecturer at the Bogor-based University of Juanda said this attacks are one of the many instances proving that Israel is a war criminal.

"As the Jewish people believe that the Jews are a super nation, while other nations are second class peoples who could be treated as the Jews want," Maufur said.

The International Amnesty recorded that Israeli military have killed more than 100 Palestinians in the past one year, he added.

"The reason for the war is Israel is against the Human Rights, and Israeli target is geographic expansion," he said.

The Arab League is like a toothless tiger which is helpless and does not do anything to stop the Israeli continuous brutality, the lecturer said.

"Although the United Nations has called for a cease-fire, Israel has refused, and the UN can not do anything because the United States is behind Israel," he said.

Meanwhile, Indonesia strongly condemned the air strikes on Qana in the southern Lebanon, said Indonesian President's spokesman Dino Patty, adding that the tragedy reinforces the need for a cease-fire. "The Israeli attack was a violation of international law and offended our shared sense of humanity," Dino said.


Asian nations condemn Israeli raid on Qana, read the news HERE.

30 July, 2006

Sun Tzu and the art of war

Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy;

Next best is to disrupt his alliances;

The next best is to attack his army.

The worst policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no alternative. (chapter 3)

The Israeli response, thus far, seems to be working in reverse of Sun Tzu's priorities. A more measured response, focusing on those Hezbollah military units in the south that may have participated in the kidnapping of the soldiers, would better serve Sun Tzu's first two points.

In Malaysia, we have our ways to prevent crimes the Sun Tzu way."Crime Prevention: The Sun Tzu Way is a must read for all policemen and the public," according to criminologist Prof Dr P. Sundramoorthy.

He said the book by state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Christopher Wan and management consultant Khoo Kheng-Hor draws on the wisdom of the 500BC military strategist. “His strategies can still be applied in present times for crime prevention.” (The Star Tuesday July 18, 2006)


So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle

知己知彼, 百戰百勝

If you know both yourself and your enemy, you will come out of one hundred battles with one hundred victories.


One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful.

Dr Mahathir is a person who has master the skill and Strategy of "Sun Tzu The Art of War" effectively.

"They say it's not true that I cannot speak to Umno members so I would like to have an Umno gathering to speak to Umno people,"

"When I speak to the NGOs (non-governmental organisations), they complainthere are PAS members there, so I must control people who came to hear me also. Newspapers now black out (my news), people who wrote in letters supporting me cannot get them published," he said.

"I have met Khalil who is the mediator. I have told him what needs to be done. It's up to him. I explained to him what's the problems and he asked me how to solve the problems.

"I told him, very simple - don't kowtow to Singapore, don't give to many APs (approved permits to import foreign luxury cars), don't undermine (national car maker) Proton, don't sell (Italian motorcycle unit) MV Agusta," he said.

"My request is very simple - I don't agree we don't build the bridge, I think we should build and to say people don't want the bridge is incorrect. The people don't want to sell sand [... ] but bridge they want."

"We have sold Agusta, giving more APs, so many APs that cars now cannot be sold, lower the price of cars, (and) create problems for second-hand car dealers, everybody losing money, we have a national automotive policy which is causing a lot of problems,"
(Latest News-Generasi Mahathir.com)

28 July, 2006

Tear Gas Attack On Dr Mahathir

Tear Gas Spray Forces Dr Mahathir To Cancel Speech

According to the latest report,former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who arrived here this morning for a one-day visit to Kelantan was forced to cancel his speech to an awaiting crowd at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport when an unknown person sprayed tear gas into his face.

He was seen coughing as he stood in a sun-roofed four w
heel-drive to begin his speech using a loudhailer at about 11am.

More than 1,000 people had gathered at the airport to wait for the arrival of the former premier.

Meanwhile, state police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said police had yet to identify the substance used in the tear gas and that no arrest had been made.

"Investigation will take some time," he told reporters.

Seeing that Dr Mahathir was coughing badly, a few of his assistants led him out of the four-wheel drive to another vehicle and left the airport.

Several journalists, cameramen and photographers from the local and foreign media who were nearby Dr Mahathir also complained of eye irritation after the incident.

Dr Mahathir's special officer, Sufi Yusoff, when contacted, said Dr Mahathir's health was not affected by the incident and that the former prime minister would continue with the programme of his visit as scheduled.

Among those present to greet Dr Mahathir at the airport were former Kelantan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamed Yaacob, former Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali
and former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

Dr Mahathir, who then attended a luncheon at a hotel, would attend an event organised by former Umno elected representatives later in the day before giving a speech at a dinner hosted by the Kelantan People's Action Council led by Ibrahim.


Abdullah Irked By Tear Gas Incident

Expressing regret over the tear gas incident which befell Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Kota Baharu Friday, the Prime Minister ordered the police to cond
uct an immediate investigation and to take stern action against those responsible for the act.

"I regret and am very angry that such an incident happened," Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, told Bernama, noting that he was informed by police on the incident.

"I have directed Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan for the police to immediately probe the incident and to take stern action against those who committed the act," he added.

The former prime minister who arrived in Kota Baharu this morning for a one-day visit to Kelantan, was forced to cancel his speech to an awaiting crowd at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport when an unknown person sprayed tear gas into his face.

Dr Mahathir was seen coughing as he stood in a sun-roofed four wheel-drive to begin his speech using a loudhailer at about 11 am.

More than 1,000 people had gathered at the airport to wait for his arrival.

Abdullah said those responsible for the incident should be severely punished.

He said the matter should be immediately solved to avoid negative implications and misconception among the public.

The Prime Minister also feared that certain quarters would take advantage of the incident by disseminating rumours, especially through the Internet.

"As such, the police must be fast in tackling the m
atter and take stern action," said Abdullah.

Latest update on the attack on Mahathir

(Malaysia Today)

According to the latest report received by Malaysia Today, Datuk Nik Safia bin Nik Yussof was the ‘unidentified person’ who sprayed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with either mace or pepper spray.

Datuk Nik Safia, one-time Deputy Chairman of Umno Kuala Kerai, had earlier stormed into the airport with six tough-looking bouncers in boots and leather jackets and confronted Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad (ex-Member of Parliament Kok Lanas). He the
n demanded that he be allowed to ‘take’ Tun Dr Mahathir.

Tan Sri Abdullah would not engage Datuk Nik Safia who then said that he would ‘take’ Mahathir at all costs.

When Mahathir arrived he was ushered into Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s Pajero. Datuk Nik Safia then sprayed mace into the Pajero and grabbed the shocked Mahathir and bundled him into his (Datuk Nik Safia) own car and zoomed off.

KB teargas attack on Mahathir-Despicable a
nd contemptible

The despicable teargas attack on former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Baharu on his arrival this morning must be condemned by all Malaysians in the strongest possible terms as it represents a culture which is completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to take root in Malaysia.

However strongly or even viscerally one disagrees with another, and undoubtedly Mahathir is the object of powerful sentiments of both animosity and support, there can be no excuse for such a physical attack on another person .more....

----Lim Kiat Siang

Botox ban for Malaysian Muslims

Muslims in Malaysia are going to have to learn to live with their wrinkles, after the country's top Islamic body ruled against Botox injections.

The council decided that the serum contained prohibited substances, including those derived from pigs.

At the last meeting of the National Fatwa Council, Malaysia's top Muslim clerics decided to ban black metal music - a kind of heavy metal.

They also ruled that it was alright for Muslims to eat cheese.

But they could not make up their minds about Botox.

Now they have come down against it, amidst fears that it contains pig products.

Amongst Muslim Malays, eating pork or coming into contact with pigs is a greater taboo than drinking or adultery.

The ruling is expected to find its way into Malaysia's Islamic laws.

However, there is little the authorities can do to stop the country's Botox set travelling abroad to get their wrinkles ironed out.
--- By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

A Article on Mideast by David Hirst
(Guanlian .co.uk-comment is free)

The 'Arab system' is dying in Lebanon

It is has been axiomatic for generations: the Palestine problem is the central issue of Arab politics, and of the so-called "Arab system" which - through its chief institution, the Arab League, embodying the collective will of 22 Arab states - is supposed to guard the higher interests and basic security of the Arab "nation". But the system manifestly does so no more; for Arab commentators the twin crises of Gaza and Lebanon dramatize a tectonic shift in the region's affairs.

"With this Hizbullah operation," said Beirut columnist Hussam Itani, "the collapse of the Arab system has given birth to its alternative." That alternative, anarchic by definition, is one in which non-state actors derive their strength from the very fact that, militant, populist, welling up from below, they have little to do with the system, a system they render yet more impotent and irrelevant as they impose their agenda on it and the world. more....

27 July, 2006

What Are the Root Causes, Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice?

What are the root causes, Mr Bush,Ms Rice?

What Are the Root Causes, Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice? By For months and years, independent media commentators have been using the term 'root causes' to highlight the role of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as one of the primary contributing factors to a destabilized Middle East. At the G-8 Summit, US President Bush said, "One of the interesting things about this recent flare-up is that it helps clarify a 'root cause' of instability in the Middle East - and that's Hezbollah and Hezbollah's relationship with Syria, and Hezbollah's relationship to Iran, and Syria's relationship to Iran. Therefore, in order to solve this problem it's really important for the world to address the 'root cause.'" Prior to giving the green light to Israel to continue its bombing campaign for another week, US Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice said, "We do seek an end to the current violence, we seek it urgently. We also seek to address... Click here to read more »
By :Am Johal,
Source:Scoop.(Gaza Post)

Rice defences US over Mideast cease-fire

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Sticking to a position that has complicated relations with allies, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the United States' insistence on a lasting Middle East cease-fire that addresses deep-seeded conflicts on the Lebanon-Israeli border. Even with the issue consuming her agenda, Rice turns her attention Thursday to a long-scheduled meeting on the other side of the globe that's certain to address another festering diplomatic problem for the United States: North Korea. Rice spent three days traveling to Beirut, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Rome, trying to convince world leaders that the Bush administration's insistence that a cease-fire on the Lebanon-Israeli border must come with terms to ensure the violence doesn't flare weeks or months later. The position isolated her from nearly all U.S. allies, who are seeking a quick end to the fighting that has cost millions of dollars and hundreds of lives. They want to stop the fighting before engaging in... Click here to read more »
Source: world news-Guardian

Ahmadinejad:Persian Culture Void Of Aggression

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan, July 26--President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Islamic culture and Persian civilization are void of any oppression, injustice and aggression.
Addressing a gathering of Tajik elites and scientists late on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said today some do not want nations to live in peace, tranquility and justice, IRNA reported.
He added that tyrants occupy other countries, escalate tension, war and terrorism, and do not let nations decide their own destiny.
The president noted that the occupying regime of Israel is “counterfeit, outlaw and devil incarnate“, stressing that this regime lacks any cultural and humanitarian values.
“Not only has the occupying regime attacked and destroyed Lebanon with the support of certain countries, it has victimized several hundred women and children while thousands of people have been displaced for escaping Israeli bombardment,“ he said.
Ahmadinejad further said the brutal acts of the occupying regime emanate from “the unjust attitude and culture“ of its heads and allies.
Turning to the Islamic culture and Persian civilization shared by Iran and Tajikistan, he said the cultural commonalities, particularly with regard to language, helped consolidate bilateral ties in different ages.
Meanwhile, the presidents of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan met at Tajikistan’s presidential guesthouse in the capital city of Dushanbe on Wednesday.
At the meeting, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as his Tajik and Afghan counterparts, Imomali Rakhmonov and Hamid Karzai, discussed regional and global issues, as well as trilateral cooperation among the three countries which share a common language and culture.
Energy, transport, political and economic issues, and regional cooperation in the campaign against terrorism and drugs were on the agenda of tripartite talks.
Several cooperation agreements were also signed at the meeting.
A joint statement was expected to be released by the three presidents at the end of the meeting.
Source: Iran Daily

MidEast diplomacy shifts to Asia as Rice flies in

27 July 2006 KUALA LUMPUR - Efforts to end fighting in Lebanon move to Asia on Thursday as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flies to Malaysia for a regional security meeting. Rice, arriving from Wednesday's one-day conference in Rome where world powers called for an urgent ceasefire in Lebanon but offered no plan to end the fighting between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas, will also have talks on North Korea's nuclear plans. Israeli warplanes and artillery pounded southern Lebanon early on Thursday, with the death toll in the 16-day conflict rising to 433 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 51 Israelis. Washington backs Israel's continued assault... Click here to read more »

26 July, 2006

Israeli bomb kills UN observers

Four United Nations observers have been killed in an Israeli air strike on an observation post in south Lebanon.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked" at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the post. Israel has expressed "deep regret".

Israel earlier said it would control an area in southern Lebanon until international forces deployed.

The force will be discussed at international crisis talks to be held in Rome on Wednesday.

The meeting is being attended by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Mr Annan, as well as foreign ministers and top o
fficials from five European and four Arab countries.

BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall said the Italian prime minister and others believe a quick ceasefire to be the main priority.

But the US and Britain will not push for a ceasefire unless root causes of the conflict are addressed, she adds.

The summit will take place without a delegation from Israel.

Observers sheltering

Ms Rice will attend the talks after ending her tour of the Middle East on Tuesday.

More than 380 Lebanese and 42 Israelis have died in nearly two weeks of conflict in Lebanon, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.

The UN in Lebanon says the Israeli air force destroyed th
e post, in which four military observers were sheltering.
It said the four, from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, had taken shelter in a bunker under the post after it was earlier shelled 14 times by Israeli artillery.

A rescue team was
also shelled as it tried to clear the rubble.

"I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defence Forces of a UN Observer post in southern Lebanon," Mr Annan said in a statement from Rome.

Unifil has been operational in the border area since 1978 and is currently 2,000 strong.

Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has vowed the group w
ill continue its rocket attacks on Israel.

Mr Nasrallah told Hezbollah's al-Manar television that the militant group would fire rockets deeper into Israel and would counter any Israeli advance into southern Lebanon, and criticised what he called an Israeli-US plan for a "new Middle East".

"There is no way that we can accept any humiliating conditions on us, our people or our country... especially after all these sacrifices... we are open to political
discussions and solutions with flexibility, but the dignity and national interest is a red line."
Source:BBC News

China slams Israel over UN deaths

China has condemned an Israeli attack in south Lebanon which killed four United Nations observers, including a Chinese national.

"We are deeply
shocked by this incident and strongly condemn it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Israel's ambassador to Beijing was summoned and authorities asked
for an investigation and an apology, Mr Liu said in a statement.

r Du Zhaoyu died when an Israeli bomb hit a UN observation post.

Three other UN observers - from Austria, Canada and Finland - were also killed in the incident.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was "shocked" at the "apparently deliberate targeting" of the post. Israel has expressed "deep regret".

Mr Liu called for an immediate ceasefire to the two-week conflict in the region in his statement, which was carried on the ministry's web site.

"We urge all parties to immediately implement a ceasefire and quickly return to the path of negotiation," he said.

He also urged that all sides, "especially Israel, take all measures to ensure the safety of UN peacekeepers".

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who is currently in Malaysia attending a regional security forum, said he was saddened by the incident and urged increased efforts to end the conflict in the Middle East.

"We should try harder to call on the parties to be restrained and to be calm and restore the peace process of the Middle East immediately," Mr Li said.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has been operational in the border area since 1978 and is currently 2,000 strong.

Mr Du was one of a group of some 180 Chinese military peacekeepers sent to Lebanon as part of the UN mission earlier this year, Xinhua news agency said.

Source : BBC News

Look like third world war is in the making.

The G8 convened just as Israel's tanks pounded Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps, while a few miles away its warplanes set Lebanon’s skies ablaze, turning its nights into an inferno of bombs, death and misery.

Scores of innocent people have lost their lives. Villages have been levelled, and bridges, hospitals, roads, airports, fuel storage facilities and even milk factories have been destroyed.

Years of regeneration effort are reduced to rubble. Pressure from the Americans and their British and German allies is such that no mention is made of a ceasefire in the statement issued. Israel is given leave to impose its agenda on Lebanon at gunpoint. After all, Ehud Olmert had said it: there can be no talk of a ceasefire, since "Israel needs more time".

This unconditional support for Israel as it invades, occupies, demolishes, maims and massacres puts the entire Western moral and political order to the test.

While evangelising about democracy and reform, the US and increasingly Europe continue to give Israel open leave punish the Palestinian people collectively for their electoral choice, through air raids, ground incursions, siege and starvation.
In its latest military operation in the Gaza Strip, which has left more than 200 civilians dead, many of whom are children, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have abducted the Palestinian deputy prime minister, along with two cabinet ministers and 56 parliamentarians. On July 1 its warplanes attacked the headquarters of the recently elected Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh.

While preaching freedom to the people of the region, the US and many Western countries do not hesitate to provide political cover for the illegal seizure and occupation of Arab land in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.

And while filling the air with demands for the release of two captured Israeli soldiers, it turns a blind eye to the 10,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians languishing in Israeli jails, about 4,000 of whom are detained administratively without charge or trial.
No wonder that most have lost faith in the American-led rhetoric of democracy, human rights and reform.

Much of the region’s troubles issue from this increasing convergence between American and Israeli policy in the Middle East. The similarity between the two strategies concocted in Tel Aviv and Washington is such that it has become increasingly difficult to tell which is which.

Breaking what has been a taboo for decades, Professors John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt concluded in their article "The Israeli Lobby" that American foreign policy is more representative of Israeli than American national interests. The US Middle East policy is contrary to the long-term strategic interests of the United States.

The alliance between the US and Israel is not something new. Since the end of the 1950s, preserving Israel's security was passed from the British to the US.

Ever since, American national interests have been seen as wedded to those of the state of Israel. However, what is new is that Israel has moved from a proxy at the service of British/American interest in the strategic Middle East to a definer of American policy itself.

It has become customary for consecutive British and American administrations to provide full support for Israel in its invasions, incursions and wars. With Bush and Blair, however, the usual frigid calls for restraint have vanished, making way for assertions of Israel’s right to defend itself and combat terrorism.

This is as though Israel were a wretched occupied country, not the world’s fourth-largest military force and the region’s sole nuclear power. It has repeatedly invaded its neighbours’ lands, colonising the Egyptian Sinai desert, Lebanon, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Palestinian territories.

Its massive military arsenal has been used to impose and expand illegal settlement, pursue collective punishment of the local populations and terrorise its neighbours through raids, kidnappings, assassinations, massacres, violations of air space and territorial waters and detentions of scores of prisoners with impunity.

Since 1979 Israel has received over $130 billion and continues to receive nearly 40 per cent of total US foreign aid. Direct American aid to Israel in recent years has exceeded $3.5 billion annually, with an additional $1 billion through other sources, and has been supported almost unanimously in congress, even by liberal Democrats who normally insist on linking aid to human rights and international law.

Israel’s long record of violation of international law is made possible by the heavy diplomatic support guaranteed by the US. In the past 30 years, the latter has used its veto in the Security Council to protect Israel from international criticism, censure, or sanction, more than 40 times. The last one was on July 13, 2006, when it blocked a draft resolution condemning Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip and demanding an end to the tragic humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories.

The US has to know it cannot aid and abet aggressive occupation and rampant expansionism while hoping to "win Muslims’ hearts and minds". The two cannot go together.

A series of reports and surveys have indicated growing animosity to the United States in the Muslim world.

The latest was a Pew Research Centre poll of six Muslim countries (Indonesia, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Morocco). An earlier Pew Global Attitudes survey of 50 nations in 2002 and 2003 found that the US was less popular in the Middle East than any other part of the world. Even in Turkey, a longstanding US ally, 83% had an unfavourable opinion of the US, matching levels in Jordan and Palestine.

Today, the survey concludes: "The US remains largely disliked in the region. Anti-Americanism in the region is driven largely by aversion to US policies, such as the war on Iraq, the war on terrorism and US support for Israel."

No amount of PR or media propaganda can improve those troubled relations. The problem is not with the marketing, as American statesmen like to believe, but with the product itself. It is with the great strategies pursued in the region.

So long as the US insists on imposing Israel as its chief agent in its overarching designs to rearrange the map of the Middle East within a master/slave relation, it will reap nothing but more disasters and chronic chaos.

Two facts are becoming clearer by the day: Israel is increasingly turning into a burden on itself, on its guardians, as well as on its countless victims; and that the people of the region will never accept an Israeli Middle East.

Sooner or later the US will have to decide between the whole Middle East along with the Muslim world beyond, and its Israeli ally. There lies the problem and the remedy.

Soumaya Ghannoushi is a researcher at the School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.

The opinions expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of Aljazeera.

25 July, 2006

Israeli bombings in Gaza, Lebanon, kill at least twelve

Israeli army shelling in Gaza, and an Israeli jet bombing in Lebanon killed at least twelve people Tuesday, all civilians.

The attacks formed part of an ongoing bombardment by the Israel Air Force, and army artillary shelling of Gaza and southern Lebanon, which together have killed around 500 people, almost all civilians.

In the Galilee village of Maghar A 15-year-old girl was killed and over a dozen people were wounded Tuesday as Hezbollah gunners renewed their bombardment of villages and cities across northern Israel, launching an estimated total of 55 rockets.

On the other side of the Lebanese border in the Galilee village of Maghar, a 15-year-old girl was killed when a rocket hit her home.

Haaretz newspaper quoting Magen David Adom medical crews reported a 30-year-old village resident was seriously hurt, a 12 year old was moderately wounded and 20 more people suffered from shock.

Hospital and security personnel told The Associated Press an Israeli jet fired a missile into a house in the town of Nabatiyeh in south Lebanon early Tuesday, killing seven people. An 8th person, a woman, was wounded in the attack.

It was not immediately clear why Israel targeted the house, which belonged to a man named Mohammed Ghandour. He, his wife and his son were among the seven killed, security officials told AP.

They said a man named Saad Hamza, his wife, an unidentified man and two children were also in the house at the time.

Meantime five Palestinians have been killed and dozens injured after Israeli artillery fired on the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, Palestinian medics told the BBC

Three people were killed when a shell hit a crowd outside a block of flats near the Israeli border.

Later, a shell exploded in an area of open ground to the town's west, killing a 14-year-old boy and his grandmother.

The Israeli military said both the strikes targeted militants who had been firing Qassam rockets into Israel.

Twenty such rockets have landed in Israel since Sunday morning, the BBC reported, although no Israelis have been hurt in the attacks.

'We have distributed leaflets warning civilians to leave areas from where Qassam rockets are fired,' an Israeli spokeswoman told Reuters news agency.

'The terror organisations purposely fire Qassam rockets at Israel from areas that are crowded with civilians.'

Israel is engaged in a major offensive in Gaza following the abduction of a soldier on June 28.

Four Israeli troops killed, 18 injured, in heavy fighting

The Israeli military lost four troops in fierce clashes inside Lebanese territory Monday. Another 18 were injured.

One was an officer with the rank of first lieutenant, another was a first sergeant, and two were pilots.

Staff Sergeant Koby Smileg, 20, of Rehovot and Second Lieutenant Lotan Slavin, 21, of Hatzeva were the soldiers killed. The pilots, both with the Israel Air Force, were not named.

Twenty-three soldiers have now been killed since the outbreak of hostilities on July 12. Nineteen civilians have also died, taking the Israel death toll during the conflict to 42. The Lebanese death toll currently stands at 384, mostly civilians.

Monday's combat losses were incurred in clashes with Hezbollah fighters in the town of Bint Jbail, between Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil, in southern Lebanon.

Ynet news said of the 18 soldiers injured, two sustained serious wounds, 5 had moderate wounds and seven were lightly injured. Five soldiers were hit by friendly fire from an Israeli aircraft. Among the injured, the commander of the armor's Battalion 52, Lieutenant-General Guy, who was moderately wounded , and the battalion's deputy assistant chief of staff, who was seriously wounded.

The incident began after armor forces were called to rescue an Egoz unit fighter who was seriously injured by Hezbollah fire and another five Orev Company fighters who were lightly to moderately hurt by an aircraft that accidentally fired at them. During the rescue attempts, one of the tanks was hit by an anti-tank missile and the other tank went over a powerful landmine.

In the other major incident Monday, two pilots were killed after their Apache helicoptert began spiralling to the ground for an unknown reason, hit a power line, crashed and caught fire within seconds. According to Ynet news the Israeli military is looking into whether the helicopter was hit by artillery fire or suffered a technical malfunction. "The reason for the crash is unknown at this stage," the head of the IAF's Air Directorate, Brigadier General Yohanan Locker, said Monday night.

The harsh battle occurred near Bint Jbeil, which is considered 'Hezbollah's capital' in southern Lebanon. An officer in the armor's Battalion 52 was killed during the battles after an anti-tank missile hit a Merkava tank. The tank entered the area in order to rescue fighters who were hurt in the fighting against Hizbullah.

Almost simultaneously, another of the battalion's tanks went over a powerful landmine, killing a soldier. The battalion's commander was moderately injured and another officer was seriously injured in the tank.

Ynet says Israeli soldiers are operating in the town of Bint Jbeil and in several other villages in southern Lebanon in a bid to damage Hezbollah's infrastructure and redefine the security reality along the border.
Source : Big News network.

Go home Condoleezza, says Arab press

The unusually blunt headline on the front page of the normally conservative UAE daily newspaper, Gulf News, Monday, was matched with an equally blunt article below it.

Arabs are known for their hospitality, but they do not want U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice here, it will be futile, says the newspaper in a front page editorial.

"Claims of impartiality are not credible, Arab patience has worn thin, her bias and a U.S. agenda driven by Israel, is there for all to see," says the piece.

Maybe her visit is to confirm the early delivery of Israel's requested replenishment of precision bombs, and approval for Israels's actions whatever they might be, the article infers.

The newspaper is critical of Rice's statement that, "now is not the right time for a ceasefire," and that it would be a "false promise."

"Only Israelis are happy to see Rice here. From an Arab perspective Condoleezza is wasting her time and should go home," the editorial concludes.

The Arab press generally is emblazoned with coverage of the Middle East crisis providing graphic stories and photos of events in Gaza and Lebanon. Coverage also extends to losses in Israel, and a general concensus of the futility of war.

There is harsh treatment though of Israel's methods. The main editorial of Gulf News Monday was headlined, "Israel's method of ethnic cleansing."

An additional editorial piece says Israel stands condemned by all Arabs, and that Hezbollah is gaining widespread support even from moderate Arabs because of Israel's actions. It claims, without nominating any source for its information, that support in Lebanon for Hezbollah was at 20% before the latest crisis, but has since risen to 85%.

Meantime Rice met Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Later Tuesday, she met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Both officials say there will be no return to the previous situation along the Lebanon-Israel border.

Broad agreement was evident between Rice and Olmert as they held talks in Jerusalem. Olmert says Israel is determined to keep fighting Hezbollah until it is no longer a threat.

"Israel is determined to carry on the fight against Hezbollah," he said. "We will reach out for them and stop them. And, we will not hesitate to take the most severe measures against those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles at innocent civilians for one purpose - to kill them."

Mr. Olmert describes Israel's offensive in Lebanon as "self-defense" and he urges Lebanon's government to distance itself from Hezbollah.

Both Israel and the United States say any ceasefire in Lebanon should not leave Hezbollah in place in southern Lebanon. Lebanon's government has asked for an immediate ceasefire, saying details of how to defuse tensions in southern Lebanon can be worked out later. Secretary Rice says any agreement to end the fighting should be durable.

"The people of this region, Israeli, Lebanese and Palestinian have lived too long in fear and in terror and in violence," she said. "A durable solution will be one that strengthens the forces of peace and democracy in the region."

Israel says it would support an international peacekeeping force to replace Hezbollah in south Lebanon, but, so far, no countries have offered to supply troops. The United States has ruled out participating in such a force and NATO officials say they have not received any request for troops. Other European countries, such as France, say talk of an international peacekeeping force is "premature."

U.N. officials say they are waiting for final approval from Israel to dispatch a humanitarian aid convoy from Beirut to south Lebanon. They say they are planning convoys for Wednesday and Friday. According to the United Nations, more than 700,000 Lebanese have been displaced by the fighting. Prime Minister Olmert acknowledges Israel's military operations have caused humanitarian problems for Lebanese civilians, saying Israel will work with the United States to try and alleviate the problems.

Israeli troops continue to encounter heavy resistance in their bid to capture the town, Bint Jbail, which they describe as a Hezbollah stronghold, about four kilometers inside Lebanese territory. Israel has been trying to capture the town for several days, saying it serves as a major supply and communications hub for Hezbollah in the area.

Source : Lebanon News.Net

24 July, 2006

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Do you still remember a picture of a Israeli girl write messages on a shell? You may wonder if the lebanese actually got the message? I tell you, the answer is YES . See youself !

They received the message from the girl.

The child received the message from the girl.

The lady received the message from the girl.

This boy received the message from the girl too.


And the entire Lebanon received the message too.

More shocking images can be viewed here

To The Concerned Citizen of The World:

"Killing innocent civilians is NOT an act of self-defense. Destroying a sovereign nation is NOT a measured response."

Lebanese civilians have been under the constant attack of the state of Israel for several days. The State of Israel, in disregard to international law and the Geneva Convention, is launching a maritime and air siege targeting the entire population of the country. Innocent civilians are being collectively punished in Lebanon by the state of Israel in deliberate acts of terrorism as described in Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

The Lebanese people feel left out by the world that is turning a blind eye on the savagery of the Israeli state. Israel does not seem to be capable of approaching any problem outside the realm of the military power bestowed on it by the government of the United States of America and other western governments.

We are writing you this letter in the hope that this massacre is immediately stopped. It is the universal duty of each individual to defend the innocents and expose the truth. The numerous civilian victims of the Israeli operations are increasing by the hour. The viciousness of the attacks has attained terrifying levels where a child has been cut in three while another was half burned.

The Israeli war machine, in its blind savagery, is destroying not only our lives but the foundations that could help the civilians survive beyond their massacre. The Israeli Defense Forces are destroying in few hours what Lebanon has spent years and billions of dollars to rebuild.

Up until now more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed and thousands missing under the rubbles , thousands wounded, bridges and infrastructure destroyed, refugees are leaving Beirut in droves and worst of all the enforced siege might lead to a human catastrophe in the next few days. There must be an end to this cycle of violence and continuous violation of international laws and basic ethical behavior.

Between the blindness of the international community and the deafness of the Arab one, the besieged Lebanese population has no way out.

Peace begins with justice

This petition is going to be sent to all representatives (Senate, Congress, Assembly, etc.) in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK and European Union. Moreover, it will be sent to more than 500 media outlets around the world. If you have the contacts of the representatives of your country (not listed above), please email us the list and we will include you country representatives as recipients.


23 July, 2006

Dr M back from Europe vacation

Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir returned home from a two weeks vacation in Europe yesterday. More than three hundred supports welcome him back at the air port.

Dr Mahathir, who retired in 2003, had recently launched strong attacks on his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Dr Mahathir’s main grouses against the present government include its decision to cancel the Johor bridge project and its handling of the national car company, Proton.

Abdullah, who recently also returned from an overseas vacation, has since broken his silence to defend his administration's actions, including declassifying certain official documents on the bridge.

Speaking to reporters, Dr Mahathir said the Government should declassify the documents on its offer to sell sand and the use of Malaysian airspace by Singapore in its negotiations on the bridge project.

He added that the declassified letters which were released last week by the Government had already been made public during his time.

Dr Mahathir also expressed his disappointment that Umno was now denying him the avenue to voice his views.

He said that only three years ago, he was praised sky high when he stepped down but now “I am not even allowed to meet and speak with our Malaysian students in London.”

Meanwhile, Overseas Umno clubs chairman Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal said they had never received any request from Dr Mahathir to meet Malaysian students in London.

He said any meeting with Malaysian students overseas must be arranged in advance.

“This is to ensure that they will be free and not be disturbed when they have examinations,” he said.

To a question, Shafie said Umno had no problem if Malaysian students overseas want to meet Dr Mahathir.

“Dr Mahathir is our father. He is a respected former prime minister who has done a lot for the country’s development.” -The Star.

A report from New Straits Time stated that Umno did not stop Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad from meeting Malaysian students in London recently.
Overseas Umno Club chairman, Datuk Shafie Apdal, said the party had not prohibited such a meeting between the former prime minister and the students.

"We don’t know with whom he dealt with on the issue of the meeting. But as far we are concerned, there was no arrangement made for a meeting by the secretariat here," said Shafie, who is also the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.

He was commenting on an allegation that Umno had, at the last minute, cancelled the meeting.

Shafie said the secretariat would usually be informed of any meeting scheduled with the students.

He was not sure if the meeting had been arranged only after Dr Mahathir arrived in London.

"Our leaders are welcome to meet our students abroad as long as the timing is right. For example, it should be when they are not busy with their exams," he said after a briefing on "Issues Related to Human Capital and Excellent Malays" to Umno members here yesterday.

Also present were Umno information chief Tan Sri Mu- hammad Muhammad Taib and Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim.

Meanwhile, Muhammad said the party would not prohibit members from meeting Dr Mahathir as it practised an open approach.

On Dr Mahathir’s criticism of Abdullah and his administration, he said the party would continue supporting the Prime Minister.

"We respect Dr Mahathir as our former prime minister. But we will give our full support to Abdullah in ensuring continuity in development, safety and achievement of the Vision 2020 concept."

Lim Kiat Siang Writes in his blog :

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s return from his 22-day overseas trip marked the second round of the Mahathir-Abdullah political tussle, with him opening up on his arrival at the Subang military airport on three fronts:

•That he was barred from speaking to UMNO Clubs in England and that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not as open to criticism as when he (Mahathir) was Prime Minister – citing the case of Bapa Malaysia and first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, who “wrote to the Star, he wrote books, he wrote all sort of things, he supported those who wanted to dethrone me, but I didn’t do anything to him”.

•That the government had not satisfactorily replied to his allegations over the cancellation of the RM1.1 billion crooked half-bridge, particularly over the sale of sand to Singapore as none of the declassified documents, which contained four correspondences between him and top Singapore officials, released last week divulged new details. As Mahathir said, “they bring out old letters that Singapore had long published”.

•That he had “picked a foreign minister (Datuk Syed Hamid Albar) who does not know how to read letters”.

Mahathir has selective memory, as he did not mention the dark years of oppression under his premiership, in particular the 1987 Operation Lalang clampdown of mass arrests of Opposition MPs and leaders, civil society activists as well as closure of newspapers, resulting in the “silencing” of Tunku Abdul Rahman in the mainstream media.

On July 23, Lim wrote in his blog about UPM gangsterism :

Higher Education Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamed announced yesterday that Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has been directed to set up a committee “to look into the fracas between two groups of undergraduates” at UPM.

Mustapha said he watched the videoclip of the incident on Thursday. He said it was a breach of discipline that should not have occurred and that he had contacted UPM’s management twice for clarification.

I have a question for Mustapha – if he had watched the videoclip of the disgraceful UPM incident on Thursday, why he only announced a committee of inquiry only on Saturday after I had emailed him the videoclip urging him to stop condoning the indefensible with his continued silence and failure to condemn student indiscipline and mob rule?

Furthermore, why had he been a party to very different responses on Friday – which was the farce orchestrated by the UPM Vice Chancellor of the “shake-hand and make-up” among UPM student representatives who were not victims of the UPM student gangsterism on Monday?

It was clear that on Friday, the UPM Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellors had no idea whatsoever that there would be a committee of inquiry, but their present knowledge that there would be a committee of inquiry has been backdated to Friday – after I had emailed the videoclip of the disgraceful UPM incident to the Higher Education Minister yesterday.

If truth and facts are so elastic and slippery, whether in the hands of the Higher Education Minister or the UPM authorities, this does not bode well either for integrity or excellence in our institutions of higher learning.

Malaysia Today quote an article from the Sun :

Friday, July 21, 2006
Mob heckles seven undergrads in UPM

Pauline Puah and Charles Ramendran
The Sun

Gangsterism reared its ugly head in Univerisiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) when about 50 "pro-establishment" students took the law into their own hands and manhandled seven students who are members of an organisation perceived to be "anti-establishment" last Monday (July 17, 2006).

A video clip obtained by theSun showed the large group surrounding and pushing about six members of the UPM Student Progressive Front (SPF) in the campus canteen.

Giving an account of the incident to the Sun today, third-year Chinese Studies student Lim Sok Swan said she and six other friends were manning a help counter for new students when the incident started.

Lim said a group of about 50 students led by a student council leader suddenly surrounded and scolded them for setting up the help counter when the SPF is not a registered body.

"They demanded we leave within 10 minutes, saying we are not allowed to be there to disturb students.

"We replied that we were just helping students' welfare and denied disturbing anyone as it was in a canteen that is open to everyone," she said.

"We had done nothing wrong ,so we declined to leave. They then pushed us away and removed our tables, chairs and flyers," she added.

She alleged that campus security officers who were present did not offer any help and merely watched.

"I was very scared," Lim said, adding she called the police as she felt the tension was escalating.

"They only stopped harrassing us when police officers arrived," she added.

Another student said she was pushed and fell on the floor when trying to take some photographs of what was happening.

The student who said her camera broke when it fell lodged a police report at the Seri Serdang police station.

"A similar incident took place on July 11(2006) where a group of 'pro-establishment' students tore up our materials at the help desk," she added.

Meanwhile, Suaram coordinator Chang Lih Kang urged the Higher Education Ministry, the police and UPM's authorities to investigate and take action against the culprits.

"It's a crime to intimidate someone," he said, adding that at least 15 police reports have been lodged over the incident.

Meanwhile, Subang Jaya police chief ACP Mohd Fuad Talib said police have received five reports from the students.

He said investigations revealed that the incident arose as a result of a misunderstanding over an event organised by the students.

He said apart from some pushing and jostling among the students at the time of incident, no one was reported to have been assaulted.

Mohd Fuad said police have spoken to UPM officials and have left the matter to be resolved internally.

"But our officers will continue monitoring the situation to avoid any untoward incident in future," he said.

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah and deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs and alumni) Assoc Prof Dr Azali Mohamed could not be reached for comment today (July 20, 2006).

Today 23 July in the Star :

UPM panel to probe fracas

PETALING JAYA: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has been directed to set up a committee to look into the fracas between two groups of undergraduates at the university.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who watched the video clip of the incident on Thursday, said it was a breach of discipline that should not have occurred and that he had contacted UPM's management twice for clarification.

“I instructed the vice-chancellor (Prof Dr Nik Mustapha R. Abdullah) on Thursday to set up a committee of inquiry immediately to investigate the incident and prepare a comprehensive report.

“The committee will also be asked to recommend steps or action to be taken against any party found to have gone against the university's rules on discipline,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mustapa urged all parties to act professionally when dealing with the matter.

It was reported that some 50 students surrounded and pushed seven members of the UPM Student Progressive Front at a campus cafeteria on Monday. A three-minute video clip of the incident has been circulated on the Internet.

Prof Nik Mustapha said the committee would be made up of independent members.

“The university views this incident very seriously, and stern action will be taken against any student involved in disturbing the harmony of the university or breaking its rules,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, MCA Youth has commended Mustapa for his strong stand on the incident.

Its secretary-general Dr Wee Ka Siong said it was important to know that the minister took the time to view the video clip.

MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai called on students from all sides to lend their full cooperation to the committee.

They are supposed to be cream of the crops, instead behave like monkeys in the zoo.
The path of evolution of Malay undergrads towards becoming UMNO Youth and PAS members. A case where mob justice is allowed and victims are the guilty party. Only in the land of boleh-sia. Malaysia Boleh !!

21 July, 2006

The Race Riots of May 13th 1969

"The facts of history can never be changed....
There is no need for us to hurl accusations at other races.
We should not blame a race simply because a group or individuals of that race have done wrong.........
If there is a group of Muslim terrorists, we cannot accuse all Muslims of being terrorists."
- PM Abdullah Badawi

abdullah Badawi

PUTRAJAYA: A controversial guidebook used by Universiti Putra Malaysia to foster closer ethnic relations among students will be withdrawn.

The decision was reached by the Cabinet after the Prime Minister spoke passionately behind closed doors on the pain and suffering he witnessed during the May 13 riots in 1969. The unanimous view was that the guidebook — which assigns blame on incidents to race groups and political parties — had no place in a course aim
ed at breaking down the walls of prejudice and suspicion among races.

'The facts of history can never be changed... Th
ere is no need for us to hurl accusations at other races.' - Abdullah

It will be replaced with a book drawn up by a panel of historians, the Cabinet decided during its weekly meeting. Report on New Straits Times.

Just what happened during the May 13th 1969 race
riots incident? Shouldn't the government make an effort to explain to us. The younger generation. I think are matured enough to judge what is right and what is wrong. It is time the government revealed the true version to the society.

May 13 after aftermath, as seen in certain part of KL.

According to Sejarah Malaysia :

Since independence, Malaysia was ruled by Alliance which later became Barisan Nasional in in 1971. The Barisan Nasional or National Front is a coalition of political parties. The party has easily retained its majority in Parliament throughout the nine elections held since the nation attained its independence.

However, in 1969, for the first and up till now the only time the coalition lost its overall two-thirds majority. Communal tensions resulted in the racial riots in Kuala Lumpur on 13 May 1969. The incident lead to the establishment of an emergency government, that is the National Operations Council. Tun Razak was appointed the Director of Operations under the Proclamation of Emergency for 22 months until Emergency was lifted and Parliament resumed on 22 September 1970. Since then the broad aim of the administration has been the fulfilment of the New Economic Policy which is designed to eradicate poverty regardless of race, and to eliminate the identification of occupation with race.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, has a full page
coverage about the May 13th 1969 race riots incident :

Causes Of the Riots.

The May 13 Incident is a term for the Chinese-Malay race riots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 13, 1969. The riots continued for a substantial period of time, and the government declared a state of national emergency, suspending Parliament until 1971. Officially, 196 people were killed as a result of the riots between May 13 and July 31, although journalists and other observers have given much higher figures.

The government cited the riot as the main cause of its more aggressive affirmative action policies, such as the New Economic Policy (NEP), after 1969. The riot has also since been used in election campaigns and political rallies, typically to browbeat Chinese opposition into accepting government policies.

On its formation in 1963, Malaysia suffered from a sharp division of wealth between the Chinese, who were perceived to control a large po
rtion of the Malaysian economy, and the Malays, who were perceived to be more poor and rural. However, it was foreign individuals and organisations, not the Chinese, who held the largest portion of total corporate equity in the country.

1964 Race Riots in Singapore were a large contributing factor in the expulsion of that state from Malaysia, and racial tension continued to simmer, many Malays dissatisfied by their newly independent government's perceived willingness to placate the Chinese at their expense.

Politics in Malaysia at this time was mainly Malay-based, with an emphasis on special privileges for the Malays — other indigenous Malaysians, grouped together collectively with the Malays under the title of "bumiputra" would not be granted a similar standing until after the riots. There had been a recent outburst of Malay passion for ketuanan Melayu — Malay supremacy — after the National Language Act of 1967, which in the opinion of some Malays, had not gone far enough in the act of enshrining Malay as the national language. Heated arguments about the nature of Malay privileges, with the mostly Chinese opposition mounting a "Malaysian Malaysia" campaign had con
tributed to the separation of Singapore, and inflamed passions on both sides.

The causes of the rioting can be analysed to have the same root as the 1964 Race Riots in Singapore. In addition, Malay leaders who were angry about the election results used the press to attack their opponents, contributing to raising public anger and tension among the Malay and Chinese communities.

Singaporean prelude

In the afternoon of 21 July 1964, over 20,000 Malays and Muslims had assembled at the Padang to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. The celebration was an annual affair. Something different happened that year. Leaflets calling on Malays to destroy the PAP government were distributed earlier. Even the Yang Di Pertuan Negara, Yusof Ishak, was jeered at by some organisations during his speech.

As part of the celebrations, contingents from the various organisations and societies were to march from the Padang to Lorong 12, Geylang. Along the way, near Kallang, a clash between a Chinese policeman and a group of Malays spark
ed off the 1964 race riots.

Singapore was put under a curfew that allowed people to leave their houses only at certain times of the day. When the curfew was lifted on 2 August 1964, 23 people had lost their lives while another 454 people had been injured.

It is speculated that the riots were not spontaneous expressions of bad feelings between the races but rather were deliberately started by rumours, exaggerations and lies that were created to arouse racial and religious hatred among the Malays. By putting the blame for the riots on the Singapore government, it was hoped that the Singapore Malays would gather around Malaysia's government UMNO for protection

May 1969 riots

In the May 10, 1969 general elections, the ruling Alliance coalition headed by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) suffered a large setback in the polls. The largely Chinese opposition Democratic Action Party and Gerakan gained in the elections, and secured a police permit for a victory parade through a fixed route in Kuala Lumpur. However, the rowdy procession deviated from its route and headed through the Malay district of Kampung Baru, jeering at the inhabitants. Some participants brandished banners and placards bearing slogans such as "Kuala Lumpur sekarang China punya" (Kuala Lumpur now belongs to the Chinese), "Orang Melayu balik kampong" (Malays go back to the v
illages), "Melayu sekarang tidak ada kuasa lagi" (Malays now no longer have power), and "Semua Melayu kasi habis" (Finish off all the Malays). Some demonstrators carried brooms, later alleged to symbolise the sweeping out of the Malays from Kuala Lumpur, while others chanted slogans about the "sinking" of the Alliance boat — the coalition's logo.

While the Gerakan party issued an apology the next day, UMNO announced a counter-procession, which would start from the Selangor Chief Minister Harun bin Idris' home in Jalan Raja Muda. Tunku Abdul Rahman would later call the retaliatory parade "inevitable, as otherwise the party members would be demoralised after the show of strength by the Opposition and the insults that had been thrown a
t them."

Shortly before the procession began, the gathering crowd was reportedly informed that Malays on their way to the procession had been attacked by Chinese in Setapak, several miles to the north. The angry protestors swiftly wreaked revenge by killing two passing Chinese motorcyclists, and the riot began. During the course of the riots, the loudspeakers of mosques were used to urge the rioters to continue in their actions.

The riot ignited the capital Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding state of Selangor, but except for minor disturbances in Melaka the rest of the country stayed calm. A nationwide state of emergency and accompanying curfew were declared on May 16, but the curfew was relaxed in most parts of the country for two hours on May 18 and not enforced even in central Kuala Lumpur within a week.

According to police figures, 196 people died , 149 were wounded and many women were raped. 753 cases of arson were logged and 211 vehicles were destroyed or severely damaged. An estimated 6,000 Kuala Lumpur residents — 90% of them Chinese — were made homeless. Various other casualty figures have been given, with one thesis from a UC Berkeley academic putting the total dead at ten times the government figure.

Conspiracy theories

Immediately following the riot, conspiracy theories about the origin of the riots began swirling. Many Chinese blamed the government, claiming it had intentionally planned the attacks beforehand. To bolster their claims, they cited the fact that the potentially dangerous UMNO rally was allowed to go on, even though the city was on edge after two days of opposition rallies. Although UMNO leaders said none of the armed men bused in to the rally belonged to UMNO, the Chinese countered this by arguing that the violence had not spread from Harun Idris' home, but had risen simultaneously in several different areas. The armed Malays were later taken away in army lorries, but according to witnesses, appeared to be "happily jumping into the lorries as the names o
f various villages were called out by army personnel".

Despite the imposition of a curfew, the Malay soldiers who were allowed to remain on the streets reportedly burned several more Chinese homes. The government denied it was associated with these soldiers and said their actions were not condoned.

Repercussions of the riot

Immediately after the riot, the government assumed emergency powers and suspended Parliament, which would only reconvene again in 1971. It also suspended the press and established a National Operations Council. The NOC's report on the riots stated, "The Malays who already felt excluded in the country's economic life, now began to feel a threat to their place in the public services," and implied this was a cause of the violence.

The riot led to the expulsion of Malay nationalist Mahathir Mohamad from UMNO and propelled him to write his seminal work The Malay Dilemma, in which he posited a solution to Malaysia's racial tensions based on aiding the Malays economically through an affirmative action programme.

Tunku Abdul Rahman resigned as Prime Minister in the ensuing UMNO power struggle, the new perceived 'Malay-ultra' dominated government swiftly moving to placate Malays with the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP), enshrining affirmative action policies for the bumiputra (Malays and other indigenous Malaysians). Many of Malaysia's draconian press laws, originally targeting racial incitement, also date from this period.

The National Security Commission published an official report about the incident on October 9, 1969, pointing the finger at the Malayan
Communist Party and illegal Chinese gangs for causing the riots.

The Rukunegara, the de facto Malaysian pledge of allegiance, is another reaction to the riot. The pledge was introduced on August 31, 1970 as a way to foster unity among Malaysians.

Another article of same topic can be viewed at Noworks Encyclopedia.

"May 13 - Before and After"

( Excerpts of this book by (the late) Tunku Abdul Rahman, then Prime Minister of malaysia, published in September 1969 )

"Victory" on the rampage

No one was more surprised, I am sure, than the DAP and the newly-formed Gerakan with their unexpected successes. They felt not only cocky, but downright arrogant. They lost no time in arranging to celebrate their "victories."

Dr. Tan Chee Khoon, who won his seat in Batu Selangor, with a big majority asked for Police permission to hold a procession by members of his Gerakan Party. A permit was granted on condition that it followed a route authorised by the Police.

(On 12th May) Dr. Tan's victory procession was held on an unprecedented scale, politically speaking, and was accompanied by acts of rowdyism and hooliganism and in utter defiance of the Police after the main procession had ended.

The procession went through unauthorised routes, jamming traffic everywhere as a consequence. With victory emotions on the loose and - there can be no other explanation - Communists urging them on, the victors made a serious blunder, and blunder it was.

The procession shouting its way along turned into Jalan Campbell and Jalan Hale - roads on the edge of an leading into Kampong Bahru where 30,000 Malays have lived in peace for years beneath the palms in their own settlement in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

Jalan Hale is the main street of Kampong Bahru. There they proceeded to provoke the Malays, gibing at them and throwing their victory in their faces in the midst of what is virtually an UMNO stronghold.

On Tuesday, May 13th Gerakan Party's Yeoh Tech Chye, the President of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (who won big in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur) made an open apology in the press for his party supporters having caused such inconvenience to the public.

But the emotional damage had already been done.

I returned to Kuala Lumpur about lunchtime from Alor Star. My Principal Private Secretary informed me that he had received news that a counter demonstration was to be held on May 13th as the Malays were very annoyed.

UMNO was going to stage a procession to celebrate it's victory and that a crowd would gather in the compound of the house of the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Dato Harun bin Idris, in Jalan Raja Muda and that the procession would start from there.

I was personally worried that the procession might lead to trouble. It was not easy to stop it at this stage as the Opposition had already held processions, and permission had already been obtained for UMNO to have theirs.

May 13th

..…A phone call came through at 6.45pm that an ugly incident had taken place along Jalan Raja Muda in which some Chinese were assaulted.

Immediately afterwards Enche Mansor, the Kuala Lumpur Police Traffic Chief, and one or two others, came to see me and said that there had been killing. The city had been placed under immediate curfew as at 7 pm. The Security Forces were out, the army called in.

Naturally I could not sleep that night, my mind upset with the tragedy that had overtaken our peaceful capital and nation. I went out side my balcony outside my room looking down on the city in the valley by night. Flames were burning high in several areas, near Kampong Bharu and to the North.

Kuala Lumpur was a city on fire and it was a sight that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

While they were gathered in the compound of Dato Harun's residence news came through suddenly that Chinese had attacked Malays in Setapak, a mile or two to the North, as they were on their way to join the procession starting from Jalan Raja Nuda.

The news created a storm of indignation; hell broke loose. Two Chinese passing by on motor cycles were attacked and killed. And so the riots of May 13th began, triggering off violence unprecedented in the history of Malaysa.

(A state of emergency was declared on May 16th and a National Operations Council set up to deal with all matters pertaining to it. The first act: round-the-clock curfew.)

..Within 48 hours it was possible for the Council to approve relaxation in the curfew in many areas of the country.

Even in the most sensitive ares, Kampong Bharu and the Jalan Chow Kit sections of Kuala Lumpur, where the violence had originated, it was possible after one week from the outbreak to announce curfew relaxations there.

There was no insecurity in the East Coast states. In Johore and Negri Sembilan no incidents had occurred at any time. In Malacca there had been a few minor troubles and they had now ceased as quickly as they had started.

There were no incidents taking place in Perak and Penang, Kedah and Perlis.

Apart from Kuala Lumpur, the only sections in the country needing the strictest vigilance were in the Betong salient, the rural areas along the Kedah and Perak borders with Thailand.

The general situation, however, was far from normal, mainly for one particular reason - rumours.

During the height of the disturbances rumour-mongering was wild and widespread as always happen anywhere in time of riot.

View above article at little Speck.

19 July, 2006

Blowin' In The Wind.

How many road must a man walk down,
Before you call him a man?
Yes,'n' how many seas must a white dove sail,
Before she sleep in the sand?
Yes,'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly,
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up.
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have,
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take,
till he knows that too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist,
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist,
Before they are allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
- Bob Dylon

I like this song, yes, I can listen to it over and over, some how, I feel this song best describe the present situation around us in this globe.

Today ABC's headline news : "Israeli Ground Troop enter Lebanon."
Israeli Military Sends Small Number of Ground Troops Into Lebanon to Search for Tunnels, Weapons.

Israel declared Tuesday it was ready to fight Hezbollah guerrillas for several more weeks, raising doubts about international efforts to broker an immediate cease-fire in the fighting that has killed more than 260 people and displaced 500,000. The military said early Wednesday it sent some troops into southern Lebanon in search of tunnels and weapons.

Despite the diplomatic activity, Israel is in no hurry to end its offensive, which it sees as a unique opportunity to crush Hezbollah. The Islamic militants appear to have steadily built up their military strength after Israel pulled its troops out of southern Lebanon in 2000.

Israeli warplanes struck an army base outside Beirut and other areas in south Lebanon on Tuesday, killing 27 people, and Hezbollah rockets battered Israeli towns, killing one Israeli. Five big explosions reverberated over Beirut early Wednesday, and missiles hit towns to the east and south of the capital.

At daybreak Wednesday, a small number of Israeli troops were operating just across the border inside southern Lebanon, looking for tunnels and weapons, the Israeli military said without providing any more details.

The incursion came a day after Israel indicated that it might send large numbers of ground troops into the southern Lebanon, but Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman denied Wednesday's operation was part of any such operation.

"What is going on at the moment is a number of Israeli ground troops very near to the border on the Lebanese side, trying to destroy some Hezbollah outposts," he told CNN.

"This is an operation which is very measured, very local," he said. "This is no way an invasion of Lebanon. This is no way the beginning of any kind of occupation of Lebanon."

Israel's forecast of a lengthy campaign, coupled with President Bush's evident reluctance to bring pressure on Israel to agree to a cease-fire, seemed to quash any hopes for an early resolution of the crisis, now entering its second week.

In another news from Reuters,
Israel unleashed fierce air strikes on Lebanon on Wednesday, killing 46 civilians and a Hizbollah fighter, as boats and buses left Beirut laden with thousands of foreigners fleeing the eight-day-old conflict.

Israeli ground troops crossed the border in what the Israeli army called restricted attacks on Hizbollah guerrilla positions in south Lebanon. Hizbollah said it had repelled the raids.

Despite international diplomatic efforts, there was no sign Israel or its Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim foes were ready to heed the Beirut government's pleas for an immediate halt to a war that has cost 282 lives in Lebanon and 25 in Israel.

Hizbollah, backed by Syria and
Iran, wants to swap two Israeli soldiers it captured on July 12 for Lebanese and Palestinians in Israeli jails. Israel is determined to drive the guerrillas from the south to halt cross-border rocket attacks.

"The intensive fighting against the Hizbollah organization shall continue ... with the aim of returning the kidnapped soldiers to Israel, bringing about the cessation of rocket fire on communities and Israeli targets and to remove this threat," Israel's inner cabinet said in a statement.

At least 12 Lebanese, including several children, were killed and 30 wounded in an Israeli air strike that destroyed several houses in the southern village of Srifa, residents said.

"There was a massacre in Srifa," the village's mayor, Afif Najdi, told Reuters, saying the death toll could climb to at least 17 once all the bodies had been pulled from the rubble.

At least 34 other civilians were killed in air strikes that hammered other parts of south and east Lebanon, security sources said. Hizbollah said one of its fighters was killed.

More Hizbollah rockets fell on the Israeli city of Haifa and one hit an empty seafront restaurant. A few people were hurt.

An Israeli helicopter fired two rockets at trucks with drilling gear in a leafy road in Ashrafiya, a Christian district in the heart of Beirut, witnesses said. No one was hurt.

Lebanon's acting Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said Israel was trying to destroy all his country's infrastructure, not just to attack Hizbollah. "I don't know what they're doing, are they turning it into a second
Iraq?" he asked.

The conflict has forced about 100,000 Lebanese to flee their homes. Panicked foreigners have flooded out of the country.

"It's very bad, very sad, I can't believe what's happening," said a tearful Lubna Jaber, an Australian who had come to visit relatives in Lebanon. She was waiting in downtown Beirut with about 350 compatriots to board buses and then a ferry to Turkey.

"Have you seen the pictures of the children who were killed? The world should see them, especially the Americans who support Israel," said the 28-year-old, holding her six-year-old son