30 April, 2010

1Malaysia: Umno division chief called on MCA to get out of Barisan !

Ibrahim Ali, the Perkasa head, had asked the BN government to stop giving out support to the Chinese because of the poor support from the Chinese during Hulu Selangor by-election.

Now, an Umno division has called on MCA to leave Barisan Nasional following its failure to deliver the Chinese votes in the recently-concluded by-election.

Paya Besar Umno division chief Ahmad Tajuddin Sulaiman told MCA to stop making “silly excuses.”

He said MCA should leave the ruling coalition for not mustering Chinese support for the BN candidate.

As a result, he claimed that BN managed to retake the seat by a slim majority.

Ahmad Tajuddin said MCA’s best option was to withdraw from the coalition, and not continue to be a burden on BN.

“Leave BN to prevent yourselves from becoming a burden to the other component parties. Don’t point fingers at others for your own failure.

“They (MCA leaders) should admit their mistakes and not blame others,” he said, in referrence to their recent comments blaming Perkasa for the loss of Chinese support.

Ahmad Tajuddin said MCA must admit that the party no longer holds the trust of the Chinese community.

“It not only happened in Hulu Selangor but also in the 2008 general election,” he said.


29 April, 2010

1Malaysia IGP threaten to pull cops off the streets ?

Inspector-general of police Musa Hassan has suggested that he would pull his men off the street amid criticisms over Monday's shooting of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah.

"If you do not want the police to enforce the law, then say so," said the police chief, when asked for his response towards criticism by opposition parties and NGOs over the matter.

"I can tell my men to not take any action, including conduct inspections on vehicles or arrest Mat Rempit who ride without licences," he said.

“Hisham: We’ll be fair – Home Minister promises a thorough investigation” and “No cover-up in probe, says IGP” are two headlines in the Star today on the trigger-happy “shoot-to-kill” police killing of 14-year-old student Aminulrasyid Hamzah in the early hours of Monday morning, some 100 metres from his Shah Alam Section 11 house to assure the Malaysian public of the action being taken by the authorities.

Both the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan can shout from the rooftops but the duo will not be able to inspire confidence whether the aggrieved family or the outraged Malaysian public that there would be a thorough, independent and professional investigation into the heinous incident causing the death of a 14-year-old Form III student in Shah Alam.

The ham-fisted and unwarranted “stern warning” by the Selangor Police Chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar to politicians and the public not to make statements or to speculate on the incident has the unintended effect of further undermining public confidence in police integrity and professionalism.

Khalid is clearly behind-times as he does not realize that we are in the era of democratic and accountable policing, and not living in a police state where no questions should be asked about the police!

It has been reported that there had been an annual average of some 40 people fatally shot by the police in Malaysia when in England and Wales, there were only five deaths by police shootings per year, on average, in the last decade.


28 April, 2010

Hulu Selangor by-election, neither free nor fair polls

The just-concluded Hulu Selangor by-election was far from being free and fair, a newly-formed election watch group alleged.

My Election Watch (MEW), a volunteer-based citizens organisation formed before the by-election, said while it had proceeded in orderly and peaceful manner there were numerous violations of election laws and anti-corruption laws.

Both sides contesting in the election - the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat - were guilty of violating the election rules, MEW pointed out in several incidents.

Infringements of universal principles of free and fair elections went unaddressed, the group further alleged.

MEW spokesman Liew Meng Seng said these shortcomings were observed at the pre-election period, on nomination day on April 17 as well as during the campaign period and polling day on April 25.

He said these were observed in the electoral rolls, media, election expenditures and the election administration.

These weaknesses, he added, overwhelmed the good effort put in by some of the election administrators, such as the police, which kept supporters apart outside polling centers.

"A strong will to reform the election operation and system, backed by popular support, is required to clean up the entire electoral system in Malaysia, if the by-election was any guide," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Hulu Selangor by-election has proven that racial politics is still very much alive. It is obvious that while the Malays and Indians had returned to support the BN, the Chinese had supported the opposition.

"I believe the Government knows why the Chinese fail to support BN despite the steps taken to downgrade the New Economic Policy and other policies deemed to be discriminatory towards the Chinese."

"On the other hand quite a substantial number of Malays also supported Pakatan."

"I am sure BN will study the results thoroughly. The result of the 13th General Election less than two years away will depend on the correct analysis and the corrective actions carried out before then."


27 April, 2010

World funniest Quotes: "Barisan Nasional does not buy votes to ensure victory in elections but it makes sure that the people's problems are solved." ?

Dismissing allegations that Barisan Nasional was involved in vote-buying during the Hulu Selangor by-election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Barisan Nasional merely resolved the long-standing problems faced by the residents which had not been addressed for some time.

"We did not buy votes, we just solved their problems. We did not go around saying 'we will give you this and that' ... no ... we addressed the problems and gave the people what they wanted. (World funniest quote)

In Sunday's by-election Barisan Nasional's P. Kamalanathan won with a majority of 1,725 votes against Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Najib said the opposition had also approved all kinds of projects for the people during by-elections.

"They have been doing it so please don't point fingers at Barisan Nasional ... look at yourself," he said.

The prime minister, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, said the victory in Hulu Selangor showed that the trend of support was moving in Barisan Nasional's favour.

"This is good because we fought the battle in a state controlled by the opposition ... we were handicapped. (World funniest quote)

"We must build on this victory which has given Barisan Nasional a new spirit and hope for the future,

"It should not be just a one-off victory ... we must focus on what needs to be done so that Barisan Nasional remains as the party of the future."

Najib said Barisan Nasional would conduct a post-mortem of the by-election results, adding that he was encouraged by the support of the people.

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26 April, 2010

Perkasa:"put on hold allocations promised to the Chinese community there "because it is clear that the Chinese and Indians did not support the BN." !

Malaysia's Chinese political and civil society leadership hit out at Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for urging the government to halt promised allocations to the Hulu Selangor Chinese community.

In a statement released to the media, Ibrahim accused the Chinese community, in Hulu Selangor specifically, of being "ungrateful" for not supporting BN during the recent by-election.

During yesterday's voting, the voting channels of the Chinese dominated areas showed a marked increase of support for Pakatan Rakyat while votes for BN declined.

In his statement, Ibrahim urged the government to put on hold allocations promised to the Chinese community there "because it is clear that the Chinese and Indians did not support the BN. They do not appreciate what has been given by the BN government".

He added that the BN government should instead reward the Malays who had been proven loyal.

The BN government had promised a slew of development programmes and allocations for the Chinese in Hulu Selangor, in the run-up to yesterday's polls.

The most recent one was RM3 million promised by Najib himself, for the development of a national type Chinese primary school in Rasa.

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25 April, 2010

Hulu Selangor by-election - BN wins by majority of 1,725

BN - 24,997
PKR - 23,272
Majority -1,725
Spoilt votes - 731

BN has won big in Malay-majority areas, especially the Felda settlements. While PKR has won the Chinese-majority areas, its margin of victory in these areas is not big enough to compensate its loss in the Malay-majority areas. In addition, it appears that Indian voters have mostly returned to BN's folds.

At an already sombre gathering of about 300 PKR supporters at the Kuala Kubu Baru mini stadium, Zaid Ibrahim is seen shedding tears.

PM Najib Abdul Razak, says Zaid, spent RM64 million to ensure victory in Hulu Selangor.

This was the dirtiest and most corrupt by-election in Malaysian (history), with rampant vote buying, when "buying votes in daylight and in the dark have been accepted as halal," said the lawyer.

But still, said Zaid on an optimistic note, Pakatan lost only 1,725 votes.

"Unless we have a commission that stamps out blatant bribery - (which acts against people who say) we'll give you this much now and the rest later - then it will always be a hard fight," he said.


23 April, 2010

Dr Mahathir:"We should not choose and trust people who like to hop from one party to another like that."

"Our country is peaceful and calm. And although we have achieved a lot of development in the urban areas, much more has to be done in the rural areas," Mahathir said at a ceramah (public talk) in Serendah for the BN by-election campaign last night.

He said the country had progressed from the BN's administration and because its leaders worked hard for the country's development and not for personal interests.

"When we develop the country, everyone will benefit and this only the BN has proven to be able to do."

On PKR candidate in the by-election, Zaid Ibrahim, he said the former minister could be likened to a frog.

"When he was in Umno, he became a minister, then he joined the opposition and now he's their candidate for the by-election.

"We should not choose and trust people who like to hop from one party to another like that.

"He (Zaid) doesn't gamble but he has horse races. I too have horses but they are not horse races. He admitted having horse races but said he didn't gamble. I don't understand this," Mahathir said.

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22 April, 2010

Producer for ntv7's talk show 'Editor's Time' quits after complaints from Rosmah, PM's Dept ?

The award winning ntv7 journalist explains the reason for his shock resignation as producer for the current affairs talk show 'Editor's Time'.

I have on April 20 resigned as producer for ntv7's talk show 'Editor's Time'.

I am dissatisfied on the way the company has handled two complaints which came from the Prime Minister's Department and the First Lady (Rosmah Mansor). The complaints came after the airing the programme's Kuala Lumpur roadshow (March 19) and Penang roadshow (April 8).

The company, without conducting due investigation, set unreasonable restrictions for the talk show on the issues to be discussed as well as those to be invited as panel speakers.

The restrictions are:

1) The show not allowed to discuss political issues;

2) Opposition leaders cannot be invited to the show, including DAP MP Tony Pua who was to take part on the topic relating to the New Economic Model, and

(3) Ban on the 'Hulu Selangor by-election' show, which was originally scheduled for April 22.

These restrictions are not justifiable. It has threatened the independence of my job as producer. It is also a form of self-censorship, which is against the principle of fair and independent reporting. These restrictions have seriously affected the professionalism of the producing team.

According to my superior, Tan Boon Kooi (ntv7 Mandarin News and Current Affairs executive editor), the first complaint was made on March 19 after the airing of the roadshow in Kuala Lumpur the day before. The complaint came from the Prime Minister's Department via SMS. This SMS was forwarded to me by email through Lee Siad Huey, the host of 'Editor's Time'.

On April 16, News and Operation ntv7, 8tv and tv9 general manager Sofwan Mahmood ask for a meeting with me and Tan out of the blue. Tan was busy at that time, and I attended the meeting alone. Sofwan asked about the topic for the next show, I told him it would be the Hulu Selangor by-election.

He then said that it was not advisable as the BN had faced a major blow in its selection of the candidate for the by-election, and the show would embarrassed Najib Razak's administration. He then said he has never interfered in our task as a producer.

I told him that I would prepare a proposal for his consideration before any decision was made. He did not agree, but neither did he object. And his secretary, Dayang Norshida, asked me to write the proposal.

After that, I met with Tan, and briefed him pertaining to my conversation with Sofwan. Tan said, "Sofwan did not say it clearly. He actually wanted us not to talk about the by-election in the coming show."

Tan added further, "On Monday, the First Lady complained about your Penang roadshow - all the way from Washington... I hope you will change the topic."

I later found that the First Lady had received complaints from other people, and she re-directed the complaint to the top management. Tan said the content of the complaint is more or less the same as the complaint received after the airing of the roadshow in Kuala Lumpur.

It is inevitable for Malaysians to discuss the Hulu Selangor by-election. Bear in mind that the original goal and aim of this show is to discuss current issues - the by-election is without doubt an issue that relates to public interest.

As long as the analysis is balanced, objective, and not tilted to one side, I believe that the show can, and will, result in an in-depth and meaningful discussion. We do not need to over-react on a totally unreasonable complaint, or impose such high level of self-censorship and stop discussing about the by-election altogether.

(Source:"I quit after complaints from Rosmah, PM's Dept")


21 April, 2010

Should Christians be allowed to say 'Allah' in Malaysia?

Father Andrew Lawrence pulls a fat red binder from a shelf inside his cramped office, where he edits a weekly Roman Catholic newspaper. Inside the binder are reams of documents from its decade-long dispute with Malaysia's government over the right to refer to God as "Allah," as Muslims do.

For a small paper like the Herald (circulation: 14,000), such a legal case can be ruinous. But the row has spiraled into a litmus test of tolerance and political maturity in this multifaith country of 28 million people.

The "Allah" row stirs strong emotions here in part because it is as much about race and language – and politics – as it is about religion. It also exposes the historical divisions between west and east Malaysia, where the majority of the country's roughly 1.4 million Roman Catholics live.

For centuries, Christian Malay speakers have prayed to Allah, the Arabic word for God. In neighboring Indonesia, a majority Muslim country with a near-identical language, the use of "Allah" by Christians is uncontroversial, as it is across much of the Middle East.

"It isn't complicated. We use it in our churches. It's part of our prayers," says Father Lawrence.

Opponents say that Christians can use other Malay words for their translations and should leave "Allah" for Muslims. "For me, 'Allah' shouldn't be used by other religions. If they use 'Allah,' our kids might get confused," says Nur Fadilla Zaaba, a resident.

The government has also used this argument, saying that it increases the risk of conversions of Muslims, which is illegal in Malaysia. The High Court rejected this and other similar arguments, pointing out that the Herald is sold only to Christians and "had never intended or caused any conflict, discord of misunderstanding" in its use of "Allah."

Opposition lawmakers claim that Malaysia's coalition-run government, dominated by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), uses the "Allah" issue to rally its base among Malay Muslims, who make up about 55 percent of the population.

Khairy Jamaluddin, a UMNO executive, argues that the party is trying to tamp down communal tensions. He says comparisons with Indonesia are misleading, as Islam has taken a more syncretic path there. "Malay Muslims have linguistic, religious, and ethnic ownership of the word because of the way that it came to Malaysia. For it to be used for a Christian God, it is an affront to them," he says....more

- The Christian Science Monitor.

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20 April, 2010

Hishammuddin:"Pornthip's excuse illogical"

Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand's absence at the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock was not due to the threat on her personal safety as the excuse is considered illogical.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this was because although the assurance on optimum safety had been given to the pathologist, she had still not given a response to attend and testify at the inquest today.

"I had repeatedly assured her that she would get the best security, the police would do everything necessary to ensure her safety as soon as she arrives in this country until her return home.

"She would be fetched at the airport in a police vehicle before being taken to the tribunal and we would deploy members of the Special Action Unit (UTK) in her room. We will ensure that she returns home to Thailand safely," he told reporters at a media conference at the Defence Service Asia (DSA) Conference and Exhibition, here today.

Hishammuddin said the allegation that the security assurance given to Pornthip was conditional was not true as the safety of every individual entering Malaysia was protected regardless of the status of their citizenship.

"I did not impose any condition, if she truly does not want to come then the question of safety is not the reason, only she alone knows (the reason).

"We just ask her to prove the claim that she had purportedly been pressured and was worried about her personal safety to the extent that she had decided not to give her statement at the inquest, so that we can investigate the matter," he said.

Meanwhile, Karpal Singh, who is representing Beng Hock's family, has asked the Coroner's Court in Shah Alam to cite the minister for contempt of court.

Karpal Singh calling Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz kurang ajar (ill-bred) for accusing Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand of lying.

Karpal argued that Nazri had violated the doctrine of separation of powers be pre-judging the issue and had cast doubts on Pornthip's ability of being a truthful witness.

“To compound matters the minister had said, 'If he (Karpal) wants to cite, cite-lah. Karpal can cite me to the World Court, who cares?' - as if he is challenging the court's dignity.”

Citing case law, Karpal said most cases of prejudging of issues fall within the existing definition of contempt. He said Nazri's conduct was unbecoming of a law practitioner and a minister.

“There should not be any interference of any kind. The minister's statement seems to suggest he possesses 'special knowledge' of what is happening inside and outside the court. This has to be addressed immediately."

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19 April, 2010

If you kiss a frog will it turn into a prince?

If you kiss a frog will it turn into a prince? No, it is not possible.

But in Bolehland's fairytales, when BN kiss a frog, it turns into a 'Datuk'.

Jelapang state representative Hee Yit Foong, whose defection from DAP triggered BN's takeover of Perak, will receive the Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP).

Hee, who is among 56 recipients of Datukship, is appointed deputy Perak legislative assembly speaker after becoming a BN-friendly state representative.

Her defections along with two PKR reps - Osman Jailu and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi - made it possible for BN to reclaim Perak from Pakatan Rakyat after the sultan sacked then menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Hee, who is afflicted by polio when she was in her teens, is the first disabled woman to become speaker of a legislative assembly.

Congrats, Datuk Hee !


17 April, 2010

Dr M:"I wonder who is hijacking 'social contract '."

True the constitution does not mention "Malay rights" but obviously the mention of the special position of the Malays implies recognition of certain positions and privileges that they hold. The leaders of the time, the Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Sambanthan and Tun Tan Siew Sin understood the "special position" of the Malays as the indigenous people of Tanah Melayu, the "Malay Land".

The Malays did not fight against the Malayan Union only to give up all that they had gained. But their leaders were realistic enough to have a quid pro quo arrangement. Does anyone seriously think that the Malay leaders would reduce their majority from 80% in the 1955 elections to less than 60% after the gift of citizenship to unqualified citizens? Only the weak minded would think so.

The Malays hate turmoil. They prefer accommodation. Had they been like some other indigenous people, they would have insisted on their rights even if they had to be violent and to wait a longer period.

In making use of the provision for the "special positions" of the Malays, the post-1969 leaders came up with affirmative actions. These are undoubtedly "crutches" and crutches should be discarded as soon as strength is gained. Only the selfish would advocate throwing away the crutches of others simply because they have already made good use of their own.

- Chedet

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16 April, 2010

Dr M on The New Economic Policy & Apco deal

Dr Mahathir Mohammad said the New Economic Policy (NEP) was intended to be a "temporary crutch" and abolished when the Malays and bumiputeras are capable of standing on their own two feet.

He said the whole point of the NEP and similar programmes would be lost if the Malay and bumiputera communities continue to rely on it for financial support, a "weakness" which he said is inherent in their culture.

Taking Malay reserve land as an example, Mahathir said the then British colonialists and Malay leaders decided to gazette such land to stop the constant sale of land by Malays looking to gain some quick money.

"The trend then was that Malays would sell their land in urban areas because of the high price and move out to the outskirts. When the city expanded, again they sell the land and move further out.

"By logic, if that had continued the Malays would have ended up living in the jungle," he said in his address.

Mahathir stressed that it is up to the Malays and bumiputeras to make full use of the opportunities given to them instead of accusing other races of controlling the economy.

"It is shameful not to fully utilise the opportunities given to you but at the same time demand that these opportunities are not given to anyone else," he said to a packed hall.

This is a far cry from his past defence of the controversial policy, having once said that not enough is being done to improve the lot of the Malays and bumiputeras.

Dr Mahathir said it is difficult to set a deadline for the abolishment of the affirmative action practices that were implemented under the NEP but noted that a clear indication would be when the Malays and bumiputeras are financially independent.

On a separate issue, Mahathir said he did not see any reason for the government to pay nearly RM77 million to Apco Worldwide, which was engaged to mend ties between Malaysia and the United States.

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz dumped much of the blame on Dr Mahathir's shoulders for deteriorating ties with the United States over his 22 year tenure, while the rest of the blame went to his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's six years in power.

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15 April, 2010

What is Politics?

A little boy goes to his dad and asks, 'What is Politics?'

Dad says, 'Well son, let me try to explain it this way:

I am the head of the family, so call me The Prime Minister.

Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government.

We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People.

The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class.

And your baby brother, we will call him the Future.

Now think about that and see if it makes sense.'

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said.

Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him.

He finds that the baby has severely soiled his nappy.

So the little boy goes to his parent's room and finds his mother asleep.

Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny....

He gives up and goes back to bed.

The next morning, the little boy say's to his father, 'Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now. '

The father says, 'Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all

The little boy replies, 'The Prime Minister is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and
the Future is in deep shit.'


13 April, 2010

Aiyoh , Apco contract cost RM77 mil a year, ? aiyoyo !

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz today revealed in Parliament that the contract signed between the government and the controversial communication consultant giant Apco Worldwide amounted to a whopping RM77 million.

In a written reply to Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) to his query on the fees paid to Apco, the amount provided by Nazri is more than twice what was earlier reported.

Chua also expressed his disbelief that much money is being paid to a foreign contractor for a task which could have been performed by a local company.

He said that the RM77 million contract was for one year.

"Are Apco's services so special that we need to pay so much? Why wasn't a local company employed? I am sure there are local firms that can do the job."

Following the Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim’s revelations about the Umno/BN Government’s use of APCO Worldwide public relations/lobbyists’ firm and the concept of 1 Malaysia and 1 Israel, Umno has reacted with harsh, ruthless and brutal responses even by Umno’s standards.

They are going to refer the Opposition Leader to the rights and privileges committee to suspend Anwar from Parliament on April 22, 2010. On April 7, 2010, the Kuala Krau Member of Parliament, YB Dato’ Haji Ismail bin Haji Mohamed Said proposed a similar motion to suspend Y.B. Dato’ Haji Mahfuz bin Haji Omar, the Member of Parliament for Pokok Sena for saying “Umno APCO”.

The BN MPs use of their majority in numbers to approve the motion even though there is nothing misleading or unparliamentary in the 2 words, shows that even BN MPs acknowledge APCO has become a bad word.


12 April, 2010

Nothing to stop Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand from giving evidence at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest !

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail said today that Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand was welcome to to give evidence at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest as there was nothing to stop her from doing so.

Hishammuddin gave an assurance that the government would protect anyone in the country if the person comes forward with information that led her to fear for her safety.

"But at the moment, she has only made a general allegation that she is concerned about her safety," he said, adding that it would make it hard for the government to follow through.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister A Kohilan Pillay also asked Porntip to identify who was trying to intimidate her so that the government could investigate the allegation.

"Let her give the names to us and we will investigate," he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz today demanded Dr Pornthip to disclose who was forcing her to pull out from the Teoh Beng Hock request.

Mohd Nazri said Pornthip had failed to support her allegation with concrete evidence.

"Who forced her? Is it Datuk Seri Nazri or who? We need to know. If we do not know who, how are we going to help her?

"Anyone can say she was being forced but we need to know who. That's why I said she was lying and I do not believe the Malaysian government or the officers would harass her because we all know that she had been allowed (to testify) for the first time, there is no need for us to stop her for the second time.

"The date of the inquest has also been postponed for her to come," he said.

Mohd Nazri added that Pornthip had said something very sensational in her earlier testimony and it would be obvious that the government is trying to hide something if a senior Malaysian official stops her from coming.

"It is for sure that we would be criticised by the world (if she is stopped by the government from coming).

"I will certainly know if a higher official had done so but I have no idea about it.

"I think she is scared because I believe her testimony was inaccurate and she is not able to defend it anymore, therefore she's looking for excuses not to attend the inquest," he said.

Meanwhile, both Gerakan and DAP have called on the federal government to ensure that renowned Thai forensic pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand testifies during the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.

Both parties shared the view that the failure of Pornthip to testify will not augur well for the government and would be remembered for a long time.

So, "is this actually why Pornthip won't come"

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11 April, 2010

Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand will not be testifying at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest ?

Renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand will not be testifying at the Teoh Beng Hock inquest when it resumes hearing on April 20 citing “political pressure” from the Malaysian government.

Pornthip told Malaysiakini that she was “advised” by high-ranking officials from the Thai Justice Ministry - where she is director-general of the ministry's Central Institute of Forensic Science - not to go to Malaysia next week for the inquest.

She said the Justice Ministry had received information from the Thai Foreign Ministry that she may face problems should she go, including the possibility of being stopped from entering the country.

According to her, the Thai Foreign Ministry had received “signals” from the Malaysian government through “informal channels” suggesting that her presence at the inquest later this month would not be welcomed.

“It was conveyed to me by certain senior Thai government officials that there has been political pressure from certain Malaysian government circles to block my presence in court, so much so that it might interfere with my current important forensic mission in southern Thailand.”

The Selangor government has yet to decide its next move after confirming that its forensic expert Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand will not testify in the Teoh Beng Hock inquest when it resume on April 20.

Sources close to the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government only confirmed the news but declined further comment.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, who is representing Teoh’s family, appeared surprised to hear the news.

“I’m not aware. Just know that there were some issues. I didn’t know she’s pulling out,” he told The Malaysian Insider over the phone this morning.

It is not known if the coroner, Azmil Muntapha Abbas, has been notified of her withdrawal.

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10 April, 2010

Dr M : double standards in the implementation of justice.


1. I think it was the President of the Bar Council who pointed out that the law provides for a judge to accuse a person with contempt of his court and to punish him.

2. I am not disputing this legal provision. But we know of the cynical reference to some laws being an ass. In fact many lawyers would claim that the ISA which provides for detention without trial as bad law, and many have urged that the law be removed from the statute books. The reason cited is that without a hearing in a court of law, the executive has assumed the role of prosecutor, judge and executioner. In todays society this is a denial of justice.

3. But the same people, who strongly object to the Internal Security Act, support the law providing for contempt of court in which the aggrieved judge becomes the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner.

4. Clearly we are seeing double standards in the implementation of justice.

5. To say that the judge knows best as to the culpability of the accused person is to once again breach the principles of justice. A judge should not know and prejudge a case. He should be quite ignorant of the case coming before him and he should allow himself to decide simply based on the evidence put before him, the words of the witnesses and the pleadings of the prosecutor and the counsel for the accused person. If a judge is also a witness to the case then he would be bias and cannot possibly do justice to the case.

6. There is certainly a need for a law against contempt of the court but it should follow the same procedures as applicable to all other cases including being heard by other than the aggrieved judge. The charge should be made properly. There should be no arbitrary arrest before a charge is made. The accused person should be given his right to hear the charge and to state his defences before a judge who is not personally involved.

(Read more here)

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09 April, 2010

A Daniel come to judgment ? - 'Israel-police link': Hisham orders probe

A Daniel come to judgment ?

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has conceded that there were problems with a computer firm employed by the police headquarters and that the company's services had been terminated.

“For the record, the contract with the company Asiasoft has been terminated,” said Hishammuddin

He was responding to allegations by Permatang Pauh MP Anwar Ibrahim, who accused the police of hiring a company which allowed Israeli military intelligence agents to infiltrate the communications server room of the Bukit Aman police headquarters.

Anwar Ibrahim has accused the government of having links with Israel, involving the federal police headquarters.

He claimed that Israeli military intelligence agents had once been present in the communications server room at the Bukit Aman police headquarters.

"Two officers from the company (Asiasoft), were in the Bukit Aman server room around the clock, on the 2nd and 3rd floor, that's the contract."

He said the agents were working in the guise of employees of Asiasoft Malaysia, a company engaged by local firm Masterplan Consulting Sdn Bhd to upgrade the police communication systems.

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan has challenged Anwar Ibrahim to provide evidence on his allegation.

He said police needed concrete evidence including all information obtained by Anwar before starting detailed investigation on the matter.

"Provide evidence on the matter...so that it's easy for us to investigate because we can't start an investigation without any evidence," he said.


07 April, 2010

The Selangor BN's UMNO convention

The Selangor BN convention was marked with controversy after 15 representatives from the Kapar MCA division walked out of the event shortly after the opening ceremony.

Kapar MCA division chief Song Kee Chai told Malaysiakini that division representatives were outraged that the coalition's maiden state convention was preceded by the singing of the Umno anthem, soon after the BN anthem.

“This convention is organised in the name of BN, not Umno. So singing the Umno song does not reflect BN and the 1Malaysia spirit,” he said.

Additionally, Song said division representatives were also upset that only Umno leaders were invited to sit on the stage, while leaders from other component parties were seated with the crowd.

Song said this was disrespectful to all the other component parties.

He said his members were also upset with the keynote address by Noh Omar, who alluded that non-Malays should be grateful that they were granted Malaysian citizenship.

Among others, Noh Omar had quoted speeches of fourth MCA president Tan Siew Sin and fifth MIC president VT Sambanthan from the 1960s, who praised Umno and the Malays for granting citizenship to the non-Malays.

MIC secretary-general S Murugesan also expressed unhappiness that no arrangements were made for non-Umno leaders to be on stage.

"It looks like they were not respecting us," he said.

When approached, organising chairperson Mohd Zin Mohamed said that he was not aware of the walkout, adding that Song had not spoken to him about it.

"What is the issue? I don't see any issue," he said, when told of Song's complaints.

He also defended the playing of the Umno song in the morning session, saying that it was "only natural", because the organising committee was headed by Umno.

Meanwhile, A top Utusan Malaysia editor has blamed Malaysiakini as the source of today's problems and described the online news portal's editor as “a frustrated media person”.

Zaini Hassan, a senior editor and columnist of the Umno-owned newspaper, said “the problem began with them (Malaysiakini)” in his speech at the one-day Selangor BN convention in Shah Alam.

"They (Malaysiakini) have become popular. But who is really behind them?"

Another controversial Utusan columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said the concept of justice and equality had been misinterpreted by many parties to mean that everything should be shared fairly and equally.

“What it truly means is what the component party leaders of the past such as MIC's VT Sambanthan and MCA's Tan Siew Sin had said - equality is not having the same things,” said Ridhuan.

“When this country was formed, there was only one race. And this fact has to be respected, you have to respect us (Malays) for that,” he said.

Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah is a Chinese Muslim, not Malay .


06 April, 2010

RM6.5 billion food bill - Malaysia Boleh !

RM6.46 billion for the supply of fresh rations to the armed forces based in Perlis, Kedah and Penang for a period of three years.

RM6.46 billion for the supply of fresh rations to the armed forces based in Perlis, Kedah and Penang for a period of three years, has raised the eyebrow of Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua.

Tony Pua said the figure, obtained from the government's new procurement information website - MyProcurement, was so excessive that it was sufficient enough to purchase four Scorpene submarines.

Tony Pua has vowed to reveal more discrepancies in the government's newly-launched MyProcurement website tomorrow.

"I am compiling it now and will be able to reveal the list tomorrow,"

Pua equated the incredulous figure with the cost of four Scorpene submarines, which he used as a tongue-in-cheek example because the navy already owns two of the vessels, procured through a controversial deal.

According to The Sun, the Defence Ministry conceded that it was responsible for supplying the wrong figures and that it would make a correction soon.

The MyProcurement website was launched by Najib on April 1 with much fanfare, including promises of "real-time" information updated on an hourly basis.

Najib said that the website was launched to "boost transparency and to prevent any corrupt practices in the awarding of projects and procurement".

He said that beginning this month, successful bidders for government tenders must sign a declaration letter to pledge proper completion of projects and that they are "graft-free".

“This is our commitment to fight corruption and enhance government integrity. We want to show that we have the political will to rectify problems, unfair exercises and other negative issues related to the awarding of tenders and procurement dealings,” he said, according to Star on April 2.

As at 3.35pm today, the RM6.5 billion figure had been revised to RM6.5 million on the website.


05 April, 2010

Poor Malays VS Rich Umno

Who squandered the national wealth on prestige projects while neglecting the poor? Who bailed out crony businessmen by writing off billions of ringgit, asks P Ramakrishnan.

THERE is an impression the Malays are poor because the non-Malays are enriching themselves at their (the Malays') expense.

This line of argument is deliberately pushed to achieve two objectives:

One, to get the Malays riled up and to create hatred for the non-Malays as the source and cause of Malay poverty.

Two, to consolidate the position of the hate-mongers ,so that they could be accepted as the defenders of the race and the champions who would deliver the Malays from their wretched situation.

But these extremist elements do not reveal how they had benefited from the policies of Umno that was meant for the welfare of the majority poor Malays.

They do not reveal how the benefits have gone to their crony corporate figures and well connected political elite, irrespective of ethnicity.

They do not disclose how billions of ringgit had been squandered to rescue failed ventures of their elite group.

They do not disclose how billions were pumped into Bank Rakyat and Bank Bumiputera (now known as CIMB Bank) to sustain them.

They do not disclose why Mirzan Mahathir’s floundering and debt-laden shipping empire had to be bailed out with our national wealth.

They do not disclose why Tajudin Ramli’s stake in MAS was bought over for RM8 per MAS share when the market price was only RM3.62.

Likewise many other individual Malays have benefited enormously.

Contracts, licences, AP permits, new shares and what not are grabbed by these individuals for themselves and their families. The poor majority Malays do not benefit from these policies.

It was recently disclosed that out of RM54bil in shares allocated for bumiputeras, only RM2bil were still in their hands. What has happened to the RM52 billion that cannot be accounted for?

RM54bil is a colossal sum that has been dished out. How did the RM52bil disappear into thin air?

After 40 years of NEP, it is absolutely unacceptable that the deserving poor have not benefited in the way it was intended.

During the last 40 years, the Umno president and deputy president were prime ministers and deputy prime ministers wielding great powers, influencing policies and determining the fate of the Malays.

Every minister of Education since Merdeka has come from Umno. Every Finance minister after Tan Siew Sin was an Umno man. Every Rural Development minister was an Umno man. The Cabinet was dominated by UMNO leaders.

How come with this heavy representation of Umno leaders in the Cabinet the vast majority of Malays remain deprived and desperately poor?

How did Umno, ever ready to advance Malay interest, permit this neglect?

The Umno dominated Barisan Nasional holds the purse strings of the national wealth. Why wasn’t this wealth distributed to the poor as well? Why did the greedy grab everything? Was this done without the knowledge of the Umno leaders?

Who squandered the national wealth on prestigious projects at the neglect of the poor? Who bailed out crony businessmen by writing off billions of ringgit? It is Umno!

There is a serious lesson to be learnt from John F Kennedy’s view: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

- P Ramakrishnan

(P. Ramakrishnan is president of Aliran.)


03 April, 2010

Najib, go forth and do your job, it is the time of action, not talk.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak must be pretty happy that 2 out of 3 Malaysians approve of him, as found out in the latest survey by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

For the prime minister, it should only mean one thing. Go forth and do your job because there more Malaysians behind you than not.

Given the latest Merdeka Centrer findings, Najib must be emboldened to go all the way with the New Economic Model (NEM) and his suite of reforms, including what he calls the commonsense policies such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

He should also go forward and roll back subsidies for fuel and sugar, using the savings for far more critical expenses, including education and infrastructure, for all Malaysians although six out of 10 won’t agree to cut subsidies.

As he considers Perkasa “not so extreme”, the prime minister should then not be cowed by the Malay rights movement — or chauvinists among other ethnic communities — to forge ahead with the NEM to eliminate affirmative-action policies that have held it back over the past few decades.

It is the time of action, not talk. That’s what nearly 7 out of 10 Malaysians are telling the PM.

Malaysians want economic growth, crime and corruption to be tackled. And this Najib knows, with his six National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) that focus on all these issues.

There isn’t time to fiddle with more plans or consider further feedback.

More so than Umno, or the Barisan Nasional, many Malaysians are planting their hope on Najib to deliver what he has promised and announced in his first year in office.

They are giving up to 24 months for him to make good his promises as the next general election looms in the horizon....more

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02 April, 2010

Dr M, the very person who created this judicial system that he is now complaining about .

Lawyers today weighed in on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest blog post, in which he questioned the court’s power to issue contempt citations.

The former prime minister was referring to the contempt charges levelled against his ex-political secretary, Matthias Chang.

Chang was charged with “contempt in the face of court” on March 25, after he refused to apologise for arguing with the judge and a lawyer during his defamation suit against American Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

He was sentenced to a month in jail after refusing to pay the RM20,000 fine.

Murelidaran Navaratnam, Penang Bar chairman, said it was well within the rights of the judge to issue such citations.

“The power to charge someone with contempt (of court) has been there since time immemorial,” he said, citing the British roots of Malaysia’s legal system.

“The judge has the power to charge any person with contempt. Whether or not the judge should or should not do that is another question.”

Lim Chee Wee, vice-president of the Malaysian Bar, explained that Article 126 of the Federal Constitution vested power in the court to punish acts of contempt.

Nevertheless, Lim assured that the law also provided safeguards for people to defend themselves against contempt citations, including the right to appeal a conviction.

He questioned why Chang did not seek an appeal, but cautioned against speculation as there were conflicting accounts of what transpired that day.

In a similar vein, lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said it was premature for anyone to claim that there was a miscarriage of justice in this case.

“There are many different accounts (of what happened),” he said. “We have not heard the version from the judge yet.”

Malik Imtiaz, who is also president of Hakam, added: “Those who seek to criticise the judge should do so with the appropriate deference and sincerity.”

“(At the same time) the judiciary should not consider itself beyond criticism. Mutual respect between the Bench and the Bar is essential for the system of justice to work.”

Legal practitioner Phillip Koh said judges should exercise restraint when it comes to contempt of court but also stressed that witnesses should behave with “measured proportionality.”

He pointed out that Chang was in court not as a lawyer but as a witness, and that lawyers do not deserve special courtesy when it comes to contempt.

Richard Wee, another lawyer, while declining to comment specifically about Chang’s case, said he found contempt of court “slightly one-sided” because the judge and prosecutor was the same person.

He did, however, take the opportunity to point out the irony of Dr Mahathir’s post.

”From Mahathir’s point, I find it amusing that this is the very person who created this judicial system. He created the system and (now) he is complaining about it.” ( Source )

Meanwhile, Star reported that Children of lawyer Mathias Chang, have sent a statement via SMS saying that their father was on hunger strike at the Kajang Civil Prison.

They said that he would go hungry until High Court judge Justice Noor Azian Shaari, who passed the sentence, agrees not to “abuse” lawyers and/or litigants.

They also called for the relevant authorities to agree to review the contempt law as provided under Order 52 1(A) of the Rules of the High Court 1980.

In the SMS, the children also asked recepients of the message to spread the message to all friends and family and that they would be forever grateful.


01 April, 2010

Today is a special day - introducing Google translate for Anumals !!

Google Bolehland developed a special Google Translate for Animals, a new Android application that "allows you to record animals sounds and have the sounds analyzed and translated by Google Translate into any of the 52 supported languages".

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported the Labour Party plans to tackle rumors that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has anger-management issues with a campaign slogan "Vote Labour. Or else."

It said strategists plan posters based on classic films "casting Brown as The Gordfather, the Terminator or Mr. Brown from 'Reservoir Dogs.'"

Advertisers get in on the act, too. A BMW ad invites British drivers to "show your true colors this election" with special hood ornaments in red, blue and yellow - the colors of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.

"In the event of a hung Parliament, we'll replace your badge for free," it says.

The Daily Mail reported that the Automobile Association (AA), which deals with emergency callouts to car breakdowns, had equipped its staff with jet-packs to fly over gridlocked traffic to reach stranded motorists faster.

Under an article entitled the Airborne Association, the paper said the launch of the company's rocket men marked "the first time the AA has tried to go over the traffic rather than through it to reach stranded drivers".

"The AA patrol van parks within a mile of the stricken member and the jet-pack pilot launches from the back of the van," according to AA future technologies strategist, Dr Raif Lopol.

Meanwhile, The Sun proudly declared it had succeeded in creating "the world's first flavoured PAGE," next to a blank, white square which contained the instruction: "Lick here."

The paper invited readers to "test our page here and guess the taste".

"We have exciting plans for multi-sensory branding of The Sun," said a spokeswoman for the paper's publisher News International.

- By Apple Foo