31 May, 2010

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet - twelve Malaysian including two members of the media, are confirmed on board

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.

At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.

The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."

Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.

The Israeli military said four soldiers had been wounded and claimed troops opened fire after "demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF Naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs".

Free Gaza Movement, the organisers of the flotilla, however, said the troops opened fire as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Before losing communication with our correspondent, a voice in Hebrew was clearly heard saying: "Everyone shut up".

Israeli intervention

Earlier, the Israeli navy had contacted the captain of the Mavi Marmara, asking him to identify himself and say where the ship was headed.

Shortly after, two Israeli naval vessels had flanked the flotilla on either side, but at a distance.

Organisers of the flotilla carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid then diverted their ships and slowed down to avoid a confrontation during the night.

They also issued all passengers life jackets and asked them to remain below deck.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli action was surprising.

"All the images being shown from the activists on board those ships show clearly that they were civilians and peaceful in nature, with medical supplies on board. So it will surprise many in the international community to learn what could have possibly led to this type of confrontation," he said.

Twelve Malaysians, including two members of the media, are confirmed on board the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel of a pro-Palestine flotilla that was attacked by Israeli forces today.

The two media workers are Astro Awani journalist Ashwad Ismail and cameraman Samsul Kamal Abdul Latip.

They are part of an 11-member mission out of Malaysia called Lifeline4Gaza, which participated in a 'Freedom Flotilla' to bring humanitarian aid and supplies to the Gaza strip.

It is understood however that Lifeline4Gaza may not be the only mission from Malaysia, as several other groups are believed to have gone separately on other ships in the flotilla.

Lifeline4Gaza's Hafidzi Mohd Noor said the other nine in their group are volunteers from six Malaysian NGOs.

They include Haluan, Aqsa Syarif, Yayasan Amal, Muslim Care, Palestine Centre of Excellence (Pace) and Jemaah Islamiah Malaysia (JIM).

Hafidzi, who was unable to maintain contact with their group when the attack started, noted that they do not know the identity of the 12th Malaysian on board the Turkish-registered Mavi Marmara.

"We were made to understand that one volunteer from Mapim (another Malaysian NGO) was supposed to join them on the Mavi Marmara, as the Greek ship he was on was facing technical problems, but we don't know if he actually went on or not," Hafidzi said when contacted.


1. I am horrified at the violence employed by Israel to stop the ships from carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza. The ships are in international waters, yet the arrogant Israelis do not care to respect international laws and convention.

2. The claim that the people on the ships are carrying sharp objects is ridiculous. Are they going to fight the well armed Israeli soldiers with sharp objects?

3. Do Israeli soldiers shoot to kill people carrying sharp objects? The act is most cowardly and deserving only of brutes, not civilised people.

4. What kind of world are we living in when it allows a rogue state to use violence and killings against unarmed people on a mission of charity.

Labels: ,

30 May, 2010

Saving unwanted babies, Malaysia offers its first 'baby hatch'

An NGO in Malaysia has opened the country's first "baby hatch" for rescuing unwanted newborns, as authorities battle increasing cases of abandoned babies.

Modelled on similar services in Germany, Pakistan and Japan, the NGO says the facility will allow mothers to leave their babies anonymously at its premises in Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia's central Selangor state.

The hatch has a small door which opens to an incubator bed on which a mother can place her baby. Once the door is closed an alarm bell will alert the NGO's staff to the baby's presence, after the mother has left.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil told a local newspaper that the service, to be offered by the NGO OrphanCARE, would give desperate mothers an alternative to abandoning or killing their babies.

"We must not allow ourselves to be held prisoner to the belief that baby hatches encourage premarital sex,"

Official statistics show 407 babies were abandoned between 2005 and 2009 in Malaysia, a Southeast Asian nation with a population of 28 million people. This year a total of 24 cases were recorded as of April.

Local media in recent months have highlighted cases of newborn babies being abandoned at the roadside or in a rubbish dump, prompting a ruling lawmaker to propose that the fathers of abandoned babies be castrated.

In a case reported by state media in March, a baby boy who was dumped at the roadside was found by passers-by with his left hand bitten off by wild dogs.

OrphanCARE said it had 200 prospective parents on a waiting list to adopt babies and gave an assurance that there will be no legal repercussions for those who leave their babies at the hatch.



28 May, 2010

Ali Rustam: Drug testing on animals a 'God-given right'

Malacca Chief Minister Ali Rustam today defended the state government's decision to allow the establishment of a multi-million ringgit biotechnology centre that will feature several animal testing laboratories.

He said there was nothing wrong with Malaysia having such a facility because the rest of the world was doing the same.

"In Islam, God made animals as food and for the use of man... That is their fate," he told reporters in Petaling Jaya today.

He was commenting on opposition by animal rights groups to the bid by India's Vivo Biotech to set up the labs in Rembia, Alor Gajah.

Ali Rustam said he could not comprehend the issues raised by the activists, calling them "day dreamers" who are not in touch with reality.

"If the world is against it, then get the United Nations to make a decision. Get the UN to say 'no' to monkey testing on earth, do it on the moon. It will become a crazy world," he said.

Ali Rustam took it a step further by challenging the activists to volunteer themselves as test subjects as an alternative to drug testing on animals.

"I should call this group for a dialogue and I will ask them if they are prepared to replace the rats and monkeys. If they are, then sign (a contract). I don't think they want to do it," he said.

--- Malaysiakini


27 May, 2010

S Samy Vellu offered a Tun-ship and an ambassadorial position ?

PAS is demanding that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) probe a revelation that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had offered MIC president S Samy Vellu a Tun-ship and an ambassadorial position as a compromise in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Deputy president Mahfuz Omar, who made the call, cited the recent disclosure by S Samy Vellu’s son, Vell Paari.

Vell Paari had allegedly said that a special officer from the PM’s office had visited his father and made the offer in connection with the candidate issue during the Hulu Selangor by-election.

“Vell Paari’s expose is a serious issue. It shows there were... corrupt practices in the selection of the BN candidate from MIC in the Hulu Selangor by-election,” he said.

According to him, Vell Paari’s allegations showed that this “form of bribery” was not only confined to the selection of the BN candidate in Hulu Selangor but must have also figured in other decisions made by Najib, who also is the BN chairman.

“The offers were aimed at shutting the mouth of other leaders within BN and ensuring the coalition’s political interest is safeguarded.

‘It’s an abuse of power which could result in the loss of national assets...,” said Mahfuz, who is also Pokok Sena MP.

Meanwhile in a Utusan Malaysia online report, Dr Mahathir, the former prime minister said that Samy Vellu had "ruled" longer than himself, who was prime minister in Malaysia for 22 years.

"Samy Vellu should receive recognition for perhaps creating a new record for holding on to a post of a leader of a party since 1979" said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"we should not stay longer than we are welcome".

"I do not represent Umno in saying this, but 'go before being hated by people' were among the reasons why I let go of my position in this country seven years ago," he said

Labels: ,

25 May, 2010

Who will be next to jump ?

FOLLOWING the resignation of Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong from the PKR, there had been speculations that party leaders are bracing for more desertions of lawmakers from the party.

Word has it that one Member of Parliament and three state assemblymen from the PKR - all from Kedah - were planning to jump ship, together with an MP from Selangor.

A DAP lawmaker from Kedah was also said to be considering a similar move.

There has since been a series of denials by several legislators but political observers find that statements refuting such talk cannot be taken seriously in the light of what had previously occurred.

Take Wee, for instance. He had vehemently denied that he would be leaving the PKR and had even crossed swords with Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi in early February over the issue , to the extent of threatening to sue the DAP blogger over the allegations.

Ooi did not name anybody but the speculations then was that Wee and Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne were among those who would be leaving. The other two would be from Penang.

Ooi's speculations held true northern MPs, Zahrain Mohamed Hashim (Bayan Baru) and Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal), who were both at loggerheads with DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. They left in a huff.

As they quarreled, the dissenting voices in the PKR grew louder and also led to the exit of Bagan Serai MP Mohsin Fadzil Samsuri (who resigned) and maverick Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin (who was sacked).

Eventually, it was Wee's turn to bid farewell to the PKR and, on the way out, he made a lot of caustic remarks that implied more people would be leaving the party because of a leadership that had veered away from its goals.

In recent weeks, the guessing game started to make its rounds again: who will be the next PKR assemblyman or MP to make the exit from the party?

Not long after Wee left the party, an SMS started circulating all over Selangor that Kapar parliamentarian S Manickavasagam was planning to leave the party after he brought up the issue of alleged corrupt dealings in a state government-linked company, Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB) over some sand mining deals......read more here


24 May, 2010

Malaysia agrees to give up railway land in Singapore !

The Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore have agreed that the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB station) currently in operation at Tanjong Pagar will be relocated to the Woodlands train checkpoint by 1 July 2011.

Announcing this in a joint statement on Monday in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak also agreed that Malaysia would co-locate its railway and Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) to the Woodlands train checkpoint.

Singapore would facilitate the relocation to the Woodlands train checkpoint and ensure bus service connectivity from the KTMB station at Woodlands to a nearby MRT station for the convenience of train passengers.

Both countries also announced that a company known as MS Pte Ltd will be established as soon as practicable but not later than 31 December this year.

Malaysia would hold a 60 per cent stake in this company under Khazanah Nasional Berhard while Singapore will have a 40 per cent share to be held by Temasek Holdings.

The three parcels of land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands, and another three pieces of land in Bukit Timah will be vested by M-S Pte Ltd for joint development which in turn could be swapped on the basis of equivalent value for pieces of land in Marina South and/or Ophir-Rochor.

The joint statement says both sides will conduct their respective valuations.

Prime Minister Lee will visit Kuala Lumpur within a month with a proposal for the land swap for Malaysia.

The transfer of the land parcel to MS Pte Ltd will take effect at the time when KTMB vacates the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Meanwhile, the Prime Ministers of both countries have proposed the joint development of a rapid transit link between Tanjung Puteri, Johor Bahru and Singapore to enhance connectivity between the two countries.

The proposed rapid transit system link will be operational by 2018.

Thereafter, Malaysia may consider relocating the KTM Station from Woodlands to Johor.

A joint implementation team will further discuss the implementation details.

According to the statement, the team will complete its works by the end of the year.

It added that the outcome reached by the joint implementation team on the matters discussed should be reflected in a written instrument to be signed by both countries upon approval from their respective governments.

Both leaders agreed that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Passenger Terminal building would be conserved given its historical significance and would be a centerpiece for the new proposed development on the site.

In addition, the old Bukit Timah Railway Station building at Blackmore Drive can also be conserved.

Both leaders also discussed bilateral co-operation in the joint iconic project in Iskandar Malaysia.

They agreed that Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings will form a 50-50 joint venture company to undertake the development of the iconic wellness township project in Iskandar Malaysia.

The project will involve the participation of private sectors from both countries.

Both leaders said they look forward to the launching of the project within a year.

Prime Minister Lee also informed his Malaysian counterpart that upon the expiry of the 1961 Water Agreement, Singapore would hand over the waterworks under the agreement to the Johor water authorities free of charge and in good working order.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction that the arrangements relating to the POA would facilitate resolution of the issue which has been outstanding for more than 19 years.

They also reaffirmed their commitment towards further strengthening bilateral relations and mutual collaboration in various areas.

Labels: ,

23 May, 2010

More than 100,000 members have been sacked from MIC over the past 30 years under the presidency of Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu ?

More than 100,000 members have been sacked from MIC over the past 30 years under the presidency of Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, and most would return if the leadership were to change, the party's former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam said.

"There are thousands of members who have been sacked from the party," Subramaniam said, pointing out that large numbers of branches had been closed down.

"Over the past 30 years it may add up to more than 100,000 members since he took office," he said, noting that the entire membership of the IPF consisted of former MIC members.

"I strongly believe that after his retirement thousands of Indians will come back to MIC, provided the atmosphere is right," he said. "This is because they were sacked."

"I believe it can be done. The successor has to do this.

"It's not an easy job, it's a tough job, because a lot of Indians who have been sacked, have gone over to the opposition," he said.

Former MIC deputy youth chief, V. Mugilan, who was recently sacked from the party after asking Samy Vellu to step down soon, had on Saturday announced that he would launch an "anti-Samy Vellu" movement (GAS or Gerakan Anti-Samy Vellu).

When asked, Subramaniam said Mugilan will have ample support for the campaign because many people of all races have had enough of Samy Vellu's tenure.

Subramaniam also denied an alleged claim by Vel Paari, Samy Vellu's son who was recently appointed as the party's central working committee (CWC) member, that Mugilan was Subramaniam's "stooge". Subramaniam said the claim was "mischievous".

"I have not spoken to Mugilan in the past one year," he said, calling Vel Paari's claim "baseless utter rubbish."

-- theSun

Labels: ,

22 May, 2010

Malaysia's bloggers condemning the outrage over the use of the word “Allah”

Haris Ibrahim, creator of the blog 'People's Parliament', said that those who accuse Christians who use the word 'Allah' during their worship of spreading confusion, should look inwards instead.

“If it can supposedly confuse the Muslim community, doesn't that give the impression that their own faith is weak and lacking?

"But if it is, isn't it common sense to strengthen their own faith, instead of affecting other communities.

“Islam is about justice. Minorities should be relieved and happy, because they will know that the Muslim majority would not infringe their rights,” he said.

Speaking at an annual gathering 'Bloggers Universe Malaysia' (BUM 2010) in Subang Jaya, Haris said that even if Malaysian Muslims cannot grasp the concept of the holy trinity of the Christian faith, Prophet Muhammad and other prophets during the early Islamic civilisation had accepted its use.

“And don't go back to challenge what the Prophet said by banning whatever that was allowed by Himself.

“If anyone disagrees, I challenge them to come out and show me the hadith for it,” he said in the session titled 'The Allah issue: Various Perspectives'.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad from PAS commented that the issue of the banning itself is selective.

“If the government really does not want the non-Muslims to use the word 'Allah' then why not remove it from the Negeri Sembilan state anthem?

“This is because there is nothing wrong with (the use of the term by non-Muslims) fundamentally.

"It is only when people start being emotional about (the issue) - further spurred by the media, specifically Utusan Malaysia - (then) it becomes a problem,” he said.

However, pro-Umno blogger Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi disagreed, saying that the minorities should be accepting to the needs and wants of the majority.

“If the (Malay-Muslim) majority is uncomfortable with the usage of the word 'Allah', then the minority should stop pursuing it. That is the true meaning of racial harmony,” he said.

He further added fuel to fire to the predominantly multiracial, urban participants of the meet by asserting that the word 'Allah' is reserved exclusively for Muslims and no one else....more

Labels: ,

20 May, 2010

Malaysia state-owned broadcaster fires outspoken producer

Malaysian TV producer said Thursday he was fired by the state-owned broadcaster after he publicly complained that his show about a politically sensitive dam project on Borneo island had been scrapped.

Chou Z Lam wrote on his blog last month that Radio Televisyen Malaysia cancelled a documentary he had completed about the Bakun Dam in Malaysia's Sarawak state on Borneo island after two of the show's 10 episodes had already aired.

"I don't think that is acceptable," Chou told The Associated Press. "People have the right to know what's going on in Sarawak."

Chou had interviewed dozens of Borneo indigenous tribe members relocated from their homes more than a decade ago because of the dam. He found that many were unhappy with compensation they received, especially involving land and education.

Environmental and tribal rights groups have long protested the Bakun hydroelectric dam because it displaced thousands of indigenous people living mostly in poor settlements in the jungles. Malaysian authorities say the dam will supply crucial energy for Sarawak when it is fully operational by early next year.

Government and RTM officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday. However, local media reports have quoted RTM officials as saying that Chou was fired because of budget constraints.

Malaysia's biggest newspapers and TV stations are owned or closely linked to parties in the ruling coalition. They also need government licenses to operate, which critics say ensures they circulate flattering reports about the government.

A nine-part TV2 Mandarin documentary series which was to be aired from 26 April to 7 May was forced off the air on 28 April. What didn't they want us to see?

The documentary series was supposed to report on the social impact faced by more than 10,000 natives of the Belaga area who were forcibly relocated to Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan area in 1998 to make way for the controversial Bakun Dam. Two episodes of this documentary were aired on 26 and 27 April before the series was yanked off.

Chou Z Lam, the producer of the documentary, revealed in a blog post that this was another instance of news interference by the BN government during and after the Hulu Selangor by election. He was told that some “sensitive elements” in the documentary could be harmful to the coming Sibu by-election and the Sarawak state election.

Chou felt sorry for the people of Sungai Asap whom he had interviewed, for their problems and voices could not be heard now by the people of east and west Malaysia.

TV2 Documentary Series On Bakun Dam Were Forced To Off The Air


Chou Z Lam( TV2 producer)

A TV2 documentary series which is to be on aired from 26 April to 7 May, at 12.20pm to 12.30pm under a mandarin program called Galeri Mandarin Nasional, were forced to off the air today(28.4.2010) under the direct instruction of RTM’s Ketua Pengarah Penyiaran Datuk Ibrahim Yahya.

2 episode of this documentary were on aired on Monday(26.4) and Tuesday(27.4) but forced to off the day today at 12.20pm.The documentary series is reporting on social impact faced by more than 10,000 natives of Belaga area, who were forced to be relocated to Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan area in 1998, to give way to the construction of famous Bakun Dam.(unforfunately not a prestigious one)

Chou Z Lam, producer of the documentary believe this off the air action, is another news interference incident by BN government during and after the Hulu Selangor by election.When he approached his supervisors and several officers of RTM to obtain explanation of the off the air decision,Ketua Pengarah Bilik Berita,Jumat Engson, who said he can fully responsible on that decision, told Chou that this was due to some “sensitive elements” in the documentary which could seems harmfull to the on coming Sibu by election as well as the Sarawak state election. He also said the documentary could be postponed to other time when situation allowed.(after the state election)

Chou felt regret to the decision made by RTM management and he personally made an appeal to the Deputy Minister of News, communication,culture and arts YB Ng Sai Kee to interfere and resolve the matter. Unfortunately, the deputy minister failed to assist and only telling Chou that “we would not interfere into your(RTM) internal matter.”She only communicated with Chou via her private secretary, Mr Lee.

Chou felt deeply sorry for the peoples of Sungai Asap whom he had interviewed, for their problems and voices is being prevented to be heard by majority of the peoples both in east Malaysia and west Malaysia.He think RTM’s measure to suppress the audience as well as the natives of Sarawak is totally against what has been championed by our PM through his 1 Malaysia slogan, which claims “people first”( rakyat didahulukan) If Sibu by election and Sarawak state election are the reasons for this off the air action, then, what RTM implementing is actually “ politik diutamakan”.

He would like the RTM ketua pengarah to reconsider the off the air decision, so that RTM’s creditability can be restored and benefit of the natives as well as the audience can be assured.


1.Carta organisasi RTM.


2.Introduction to Documentary On Sungai Asap Resettlement

A documentary series on Social Impact of famous bakun dam on 10,000 indigenous peoples who have been resettled to Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan area during 1998, will be on aired next Monday( 26.4.2010) till 7.5.2010, at TV2, 1220pm to 1230pm.

This series covers:

1. Economic crisis faced my native from 15 longhouses in resettlement areas
(on aired on Monday. 26.4.2010)

2. Shortage of farm land and land not suitable for farming which were given by state government of Sarawak to the natives as compensation.
(on aired on Tuesday. 27.4.2010)

3. Problems of agriculture and shortage of agri facilities, subsidies etc, whereby almost 90% of the relocated natives were farmers.
(supposed to be on air by Wednesday. 28.4.2010, but called off)

4. Serious drop out rate of native children in Sungai Asap area due to transport problem and extreme poverty.

5. Unresolved compensation promised by government and dam developer to pay affected natives on old long houses, NCR land at old place, fruit trees and harvest at old land.
(Friday. 30.4.2010)

6. Economic and energy analysis of Bakun dam, why public fund like EPF has been used, do we need the dam
(Monday. 3.5.2010)

7. Destiny of ancestral graves in Bakun area which were moved( for those able to be located and identified) and which were left submerged under 205m water in the reservoir area.
(Tuesday. 4.5.2010)

8. Impact of Bakun dam on livelihoods of downstream longhouses
(Wed. 5.5.10)

9. Issues of NCR land encroachment within and outside Asap resettlement area, with case study at Long Bangan.

10. Initiatives of Asap residents to request gov and dam developer to meet their needs through 12 point of “Perjanjian Bakun”.


18 May, 2010

Ending freeze on Indonesian maids ?

The long-standing issue of sending Indonesian maids to Malaysia is nearing settlement with the signing by both countries of a letter of intent on the terms of their employment, which include a day off a week.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who had a four-eye meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here today, said both sides were still negotiating the minimum wage issue.

"Only one letter of intent was signed relating to manpower...among others, it requires Malaysian employers to give their Indonesian workers a day off a week.

"However, if both sides agree, and the worker does not want to take the day off, he or she will be paid, commensurate with the salary," he told a media conference after the 90-minute meeting at his office here.

The letter of intent also stipulates that the worker should retain his or her passport unless both parties agree that it be kept by the employer.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected to follow in two months to enable the sending of Indonesian maids, which was stopped in June last year, to resume.

Meanwhile, Jalarta Globe reported that Indonesian government’s bans on sending migrant workers to Malaysia will remain in force after both countries failed to agree on a minimum wage.

Speaking after bilateral talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono today, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters in Putrajaya, that the two leaders agreed in principle for Indonesian maids to be granted one day off a week, but did not conclude a minimum wage.

Last June, migrant workers were banned from travelling to Malaysia following reports that some workers were being abused and were not being paid. Three months later, a similar ban was applied on migrant workers traveling to Kuwait following similar reports. Most Indonesian migrant workers are maids, construction workers and plantation workers.

There are currently 4.3 million Indonesians working in 42 countries, according to the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BNP2TKI).

That figure, however, does not include an estimated 2-4 million Indonesians working abroad illegally.

Labels: ,

17 May, 2010

Najib " rethinks campaign promise " , Muhyiddin Yassin " BN will fulfil its campaign pledges "

Najib Razak said today he has yet to decide if he will approve the RM5 million flood mitigation projects promised to Sibu voters if Barisan Nasional (BN) won yesterday’s by-election.

The prime minister had struck a “deal” with the voters there during the Sibu vote, promising allocations to alleviate the prolonged flooding problems in the area if they backed BN.

“We’ll see first because we have not made any decision on that,” Najib told a press conference here.

The prime minister had made a last-minute pitch when he announced an allocation of RM5 million for flood-mitigation projects in Rejang Park.

“If Robert Lau becomes the MP on Sunday, on Monday I will ask the cheque to be prepared. Do we have a deal or not? We do! You want the RM5 million, I want Robert Lau to win,” Najib reportedly told the crowd.

Contradicted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement, Muhyiddin Yassin said Barisan Nasional will fulfil its campaign pledges to the Sibu electorate despite losing the seat.

“Whatever was announced by the prime minister, me or other BN leaders before, we will fulfil,” said Muhyiddin

Despite pumping in nearly RM20 million into the Sibu by-election by giving RM15 million to schools and RM1.75 million to four Methodist churches, the ruling coalition lost its stronghold to the DAP.

Muhyiddin said BN would conduct a post-mortem on the performance of its election machinery as well as its campaign strategies to analyse the reasons for its loss.

“We will discuss with the BN Sarawak division,”.

The education minister also said that BN would continue to complete whatever commitments it had started for Sarawakians, regardless of race or religion.

“A part of what we have promised has already been fulfilled, whether it was for the Iban, Bumiputera, Melanau, Chinese or Malay communities, or Muslims or Christians, we did not differentiate,” he said.

“Whatever that we have committed, we will continue our commitment,” he added.

Najib had reportedly said that after Phase One of the RM300 million flood mitigation project in Sarawak, Phase Two would commence under the 10th Malaysia Plan.


15 May, 2010

She ain't 'heavy', she is our first lady !

Yes, sir! She’s the First Lady, alright.

Following our report on May 7 regarding the status of the First Lady in Malaysia, there has been mixed reaction about the title being used for Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

And, while there were criticisms about the title being ‘conferred’ on her, there were also complimentary views that she deserves the status.

Malaysian Mirror sought a clarification from a seasoned protocol practitioner, who did not wish to be named, and he agreed that the First Lady title is appropriate for the prime minister’s wife.

To recap, we reported that a full-colour advertisement appeared in the New York Times on April 16 to welcome Rosmah to the Big Apple, where she was receiving an international peace and harmony award from the city’s business leaders.

Extensive charitable efforts

She was presented the award by former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger at an event emceed by Academy Award-winning actor, Jamie Foxx with performances by singing sensation Leona Lewis and the Boys Choir of Harlem.

The Award was intended to highlight Rosmah's extensive charitable efforts and to celebrate the important links between Malaysia and the United States.

The main copy of the advertisement reads:

"Welcome to New York.

"Her Excellency, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor

"First Lady of Malaysia."

The cost of the advertisement, allegedly paid for by a company linked to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, is said to be a whopping RM10mil!

The brickbats that followed include calls to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the source of the funds used to sponsor the advertisement.

There were also suggestions for Rosmah to make a public apology to the palace for allowing the the use of the 'First Lady' title for her benefit.

A seditious matter

One reader responded to the report as follows:

“The best comparison will be United Kingdom and not the United States.

“The UK has a monarchy which currently is headed by Queen Elizabeth. It has a Prime Minister, just like in Malaysia.

“In the UK the wife of the Prime Minister is referred to as the First Lady.

“Taking UK as a model, Rosmah is therefore the First Lady in Malaysia.

“It is a non royalty title (which is more appropriate for a commoner). It is not even mentioned in the Federal Constitution. The suggestion to refer our Raja Permaisuri Agong with the title of First Lady can be seditious.”

According to the protocol practitioner, there is no need to make comparisons between Malaysia and the UK or Malaysia and the United States, where the president’s wife is officially referred to as the First Lady.

“In the UK, Queen Elizabeth is the absolute monarch (a ruler-designate since birth), while in Malaysia, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is a constitutional monarch (adhering to the provisions of the Federal constitution) who holds the supreme position for five years before the Conference of Rulers elects a new King,” the officer said.

In his opinion, it is a suitable for Rosmah, being the wife of the highest elected leader in the country, to be accorded the title of First Lady.

Notwithstanding this, he clarified that Article 32 (1) of the Federal Constitution stated that the Supreme Head of the Federation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, takes precedence over all persons in the Federation and shall not be liable to any proceedings whatsoever in any court.

The protocol authority added: “This is true, but the Yang Di Pertuan Agong is above politics, he is apolitical.

“My opinion is based on the political hierarchy. In politics, the prime minister (or president in countries that are republics) is the first and foremost elected leader of the land.

“Both the President of the United State of America and the British Prime Minister are elected to their respective posts. So is our Prime Minister.”

With regards to the honourific ‘Excellency’ address, the protocol practitioner said there is no equivalent of the title in Malaysia, where the prime minister’s wife is normally addressed as ‘Yang Amat Berbahagia.’

Protocol under PM's Department

He said matters of protocol that involve the Malaysian Government come under the purview of the Ceremonial and Conference Secretariat division of the PM’s Department. The media and others can refer to them for any enquiries regarding such protocol matters.

“Sometimes the media is not alert on protocol matters since there is no enforcement. But I hope this will change when people are more aware that these matters exist.”

In most countries, ‘Excellency’ (which is usually preceded by ‘His’, ‘Her’ or ‘Your”) is a title of honour given to high officials, such as as governors, ambassadors, high commissioners and Roman Catholic bishops

“At official functions in Malaysia – whether conducted in Malay or a foreign language – the title ‘Yang Amat Berbahagia’ is to be used for the PM’s wife,” he said.

Malaysian Mirror


14 May, 2010

Shocking 1Malaysia - Sabahan non-Muslims registered with 'Islam' as their religion on their MyKads !!

Sabah PKR leader revealed that thousands Sabahan non-Muslims have been registered with 'Islam' as their religion on their MyKads.

According to PKR Sabah deputy chief Christina Liew, they were assumed to be Muslims by the National Registration Department (NRD) solely because of the bin or binti in their names.

The situation has also arisen because many Sabahans have Muslim-sounding names though they do not profess the religion, she said.

Just as it is common for non-Muslims in Sabah to go by names commonly used by Muslims, many Muslims in Sabah also go by names usually associated with Christians.

Many non-Muslims have complained that their religious status in MyKads have either been left empty - with the words tiada (none) for 'religion' - or a religion which is not theirs is entered in their identity documents.

According to sources, the NRD in Putrajaya had warned its Sabah office against going ahead with the dialogue with Liew out of suspicions that she may also raise the issue of illegal immigrants being issued MyKads meant for nationals.

Further compounding the problem is the practice by the NRD of unilaterally giving Muslim names to non-Muslims in the rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak “to make it easier for them to get birth certificates,” alleged Liew.


13 May, 2010

Malaysia legalised sports betting to curb illegal gambling and boost government coffers.

Malaysia has legalised sports betting, a move supporters claim will curb illegal gambling and boost government coffers.

Ascot Sports, a company controlled by influential tycoon Vincent Tan, has been granted a licence that will allow it to offer odds in time for the hugely popular English Premier League season.

"Ascot Sports has been re-issued the sports betting licence by the Ministry of Finance which was first issued in 1987," gaming group Berjaya -- of which Tan is a major shareholder -- said in a statement late Wednesday.

Berjaya, a conglomerate with holdings ranging from lottery to casino operations, will acquire a 70 percent stake in Ascot Sports by paying Tan 525 million ringgit (164 million dollars).

The 1987 permit was quickly rescinded and an attempt to revive it several years ago failed because of opposition to gambling, which is forbidden in Islam.

Berjaya said that legalising sports betting will curb illegal bookmaking and bring huge revenues to the government

"By some estimates, the illegal sports betting market in Malaysia is thought to be as much as 20 billion ringgit per annum," it said.

"This represents a tremendous loss of tax revenue to the Government which Ascot Sports hopes to be able to mitigate."

The company will launch products based on internationally popular sporting events including football, basketball, motor racing, tennis and golf.

"Ascot Sports will also offer telephone betting convenience and only adults above 21 years old and non-Muslims will be allowed to open a telephone betting account," Berjaya said.

Government officials said they plan to channel the revenue generated from legalising betting into sports development, but that the move will not eradicate match-fixing which has long blighted football in Asia.


10 May, 2010

Anwar's sodomy case : "Mohd Saiful not a good Muslim" ?

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial in the High Court here continues today with his lawyers questioning his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the complainant.

At the start of the hearing, Karpal Singh, who led the defence team, asked for the list of witnesses from the prosecution but it was turned down by trial judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

After he grilled Mohd Saiful for about 45 minutes, Karpal Singh made another request, this time for all the recorded police statements.

Mohamad Zabidin stood down the proceedings to make a decision.

Lawyer Karpal Singh accused Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan of not being a good Muslim, as the defence team of Anwar Ibrahim begins their cross-examination of the former aide of the Opposition Leader at Anwar's sodomy case.

Karpal made this assumption of Mohd Saiful, when the complainant said he missed his prayers between June 26 and Jukarpal-singhne 28, 2008 after allegedly being sodomised and getting a medical examination.

Mohd Saiful said he did not bathe properly on June 27th, to which Karpal said, “So, it’s batal (annuled)," an apparent reference to Muslims taking ablution as a religious ritual before performing their prayers.

Prosecutors in the case have said that two days after the alleged incident Mohd Saiful underwent a medical examination at a hospital and that DNA tests on samples taken from his body showed traces of Anwar's semen.

Karpal grilled him today over how the evidence remained intact, asking whether he had washed before saying Friday prayers the following day, according to Muslim rites.

"I only washed a little, I did not wash my bottom part," Mohd Saiful replied, explaining that he did so because he was in an "emergency situation".

Karpal also raised a medical report prepared by one of the doctors who examined him in which he said the young man had complained he was "assaulted with plastic inserted into the anus".

"The doctor is lying," Saiful said, adding that he did not know why he would make up the account.

Asked why another medical report from a different hospital said there was no signs of damage consistent with an assault, Mohd Saiful replied: "I do not know as I cannot see my anus."

Pressed further, he said "it's maybe because lubrication was used when I was sodomised."

Asked by Karpal, Mohd Saiful identified Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid as the doctor who examined him at the Pusrawi Hospital.

He added that he told Dr Mohd Osman before the examination that he had a stomach ache and that his anus hurt.

Mohd Saiful told Karpal that he was sodomised on June 26, 2008 and went to see the doctor two days later.

Earlier, Mohd Saiful testified that he had met Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on June 24, 2008, before he was sodomised.

Grilled over this meeting, Mohd Saiful said: "I told the then deputy prime minister the problem I was having and did not meet him after that.".

Najib has confirmed that Saiful visited him at his home, a meeting that Anwar has said is proof he is the victim of a political conspiracy. The prime minister, who came to power last year, has denied any involvement in the case.

At the outset of the proceedings on Monday, the application of Anwar'sdefence team to obtain the prosecution’s witness list was dismissed.

The ruling was made by High Court Judge Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah.

Karpal had requested for the witness list citing that it was needed to ensure a fair trial.

"In my 40 years of practice, I have not come across such a situation where a prosecutor has refused to supply a list of witnesses," Karpal said.
However, lead prosecutor Solicitor-General II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden argued that the defence would receive it at the end of the prosecution’s case.

Labels: ,

08 May, 2010

Happy Mother's Day !

Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up...

Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little
voice says, 'Because I love you best.'

Real Mothers know that a child's growth Is not measured by height or years or grade...

It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother.....

The Images of Mother

4 YEARS OF AGE - My Mommy can do anything!

8 YEARS OF AGE - My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother doesn’t know everything!

14 YEARS OF AGE - My Mother? She wouldn’t have a clue.
16 YEARS OF AGE - Mother? She's so five minutes ago.

18 YEARS OF AGE - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 YEARS OF AGE - Well, she might know a little bit about it!

35 YEARS OF AGE - Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.

45 YEARS OF AGE - Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?

65 YEARS OF AGE - Wish I could talk it over with Mom.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

To all devoted moms, Happy Mother's Day !!


07 May, 2010

Dr M:"UMNO is incapable of countering the attacks by Chinese extremists against Malays." !

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lamented that Umno - the party he led for two decades - has failed to defend the Malays in the face of attacks from the minority Chinese.

He suggested that perhaps his protege Najib Tun Razak is pandering towards the non-Malays, instead of protecting his own race.

In a blog posting, he said Umno's inability to defend the Malays from Chinese attacks has led them to form NGOs like Perkasa.

Mahathir's comments come amidst speculation that certain quarters in Umno are uncomfortable with Najib's all-inclusive policies, with some even suggesting that a mutiny could be brewing.

“We hear a lot about demands by Chinese extremists questioning the provision of Malay special rights in the constitution, demanding an end to the NEP, reduction of quotas for Malay students.

“They even say the Malays are also 'kaum pendatang' or immigrants. An article even claims that there is no such thing as a Malay race,” said the former premier.

Despite this, Mahathir said, Umno remained silent.

However, he said that the party chose to suspend an Umno member who labelled the Chinese and Indians as descendants of immigrants.

“It seems to many Malays that Umno is incapable of countering the attacks by Chinese extremists against the Malays,” he added.

According to Mahathir, Umno and the government are facing a dilemma.

“In trying to win over the Chinese with allocations and abolishing NEP provisions, the BN will lose Malay support as it did in 2008.

“On the other hand, no matter how the government tries to satisfy Chinese demands, the Chinese have clearly rejected BN,” he said, noting that Chinese parties BN are also in a crisis.

Mahathir also dismissed Pakatan Rakyat as not a viable alternative, saying it has shown no capacity to rule.

He also underscored the danger of playing race politics.

“This country may find itself being governed by a weak government. There will be more politicking and more racial conflicts.

“There will be instability and chaos. Then everyone, whatever race he may be, will suffer. The choice is ours,” he said.

He nevertheless did not offer an opinion on how Umno should overcome its dilemma, apart from saying that “the choice is ours”.

“Playing race politics in Malaysia is dangerous. This country may find itself being governed by a weak government. There will be more politicking and more racial conflicts. There will be instability and chaos. Then everyone, whatever race he may be, will suffer.”

Labels: ,

06 May, 2010

Drop in crime index since January ?

The crime index in the country for the first four months of this year shows a drop as a result of initiatives under the National Key Result Areas (NKRA).

Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop said the crime index dropped by 15.35 per cent and street crimes by 38.7 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year.

According to statistics, he said, 59,661 crime cases were reported between January and April this year, from 70,481 cases during the same period last year.

For street crimes, the number of cases reported was 8,209 from 12,391 cases last year, he added.

Meanwhile, according to the Star,Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar found today that his official car was stolen.

DCP Khalid’s driver who parked the Perdana V6 near a restaurant in Section 9 here when having his breakfast found the car missing half-an-hour later at about 8.30am today.

He immediately lodged a report at the district police headquarters.

DCP Khalid, who is overseas attending a meeting, confirmed that his official car had been stolen.

He said his driver was quizzed by the investigating team.

Even police chief is not immune to crime, huh ?

Malaysia Boleh !!


04 May, 2010

Anwar using APCO Worldwide contract as an excuse to spin a dark conspiracy theory of Jewish control, Zionist plots, and subversion in Malaysia ?

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's recent outburst against the government for saying that it had appointed a pro-Israel public relations firm, APCO Worldwide, and that the Royal Malaysia Police had engaged the services of former Israeli agents for an information and communication project has come under fire from an American right-wing website.

Rachel Motte, writing in The New Ledger, an American web publication which publishes right-of-centre opinions, said Anwar had now effectively trashed his old friends in Washington and had used the APCO Worldwide contract as an excuse to spin a dark conspiracy theory of Jewish control, Zionist plots, and subversion in Malaysia.

She also said that his lieutenants had alleged, among other things, that the government had engaged a company that had a close tie with the Zionist regime in Israel in reference to the information and communication project.

In her article, "The Reversal of Anwar Ibrahim", she identified Anwar, whom she described as a charismatic firebrand of a politician, for the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Malaysia.

And she said this was also not the first time that "he has gone down this road" and that he "has a history of Jew-baiting (prejudice or hostility against Jews) when expediency calls for it".

Citing an example, she said that in 2008, with the general election approaching, Anwar had mentioned in an interview with IslamOnline that he had evidence to prove that the government was backing the Jewish lobby in the United States and even some parties inside Israel.

Motte said it was to the credit of the Malaysian electorate that Anwar's opposition coalition failed to win a majority in the election.

She said that upon Anwar's release from jail about 10 years ago, he went to Washington D.C. and spent the past decade cultivating a genteel, enlightened image in the West.

"Otherwise informed American observers of foreign affairs have adopted him as an exemplar of liberal Southeast Asian and/or Muslim democratic governance.

"Just a few years ago, he was invited to teach for a year at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, from which he cultivated the acquaintances of eminent Jewish Americans like Paul Wolfowitz - as a means of showing just how far behind him was his own militant Islamist past.

"Indeed, as recently as 2008, (former vice president) Al Gore -- usually a savvy and perceptive man -- could be found posting on his blog in defence of Anwar's dignity in the face of criticism.

"That's big-name Western approval one can't buy -- but one can work hard for it with the right enemies and media outreach inside the Beltway (a phrase that is used to characterise parts of the real or imagined American political system and is named after the interstate highways that encircle the American capital)."

Motte also noted that Anwar's cultivation of relations with influential Jewish Americans gave rise to a perception that if one were to ask a well-informed American as to who the liberal democrat was in Malaysia between 1999 and 2009, he or she might well have said, "Anwar Ibrahim."

"But does Anwar Ibrahim's portrayal of himself outside Malaysia match Anwar Ibrahim's actions within his own country?" she questioned.

Unfortunately, Motte said, Anwar had decided to make his mark in domestic Malaysian politics -- away from CNN, Al Gore, and Johns Hopkins -- as an anti-American, anti-Semitic demagogue.

Motte wrote that "in looking for America's friends in the Muslim world, it's often difficult to know the Good Guy from the Bad Guy."

"But it's a good rule of thumb that the politician promulgating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is not a friend of America," she said in reference to Anwar.

Motte said the events of the past few months in Malaysia had made crystal clear a strange role reversal: it's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who is whipping up anti-Semitic sentiment -- and it's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is, for better or worse, standing firm with President Barack Obama and the United States.

The writer asserted that it was often hard to figure out who were America's real friends and allies in the Muslim world, aside from the King and Queen of Jordan, a handful of emirates in the Gulf, and the Saudi royals.

"Take the strange case of Malaysia, for example. The Malaysian state and its ruling party are broadly constructive and cooperative with the United States -- but its political opposition is another story. And that's the reverse of what often gets portrayed in Western media," she pointed out.

Motte said the "present Malaysian leadership is pro-business, pro-American and prepared to stand up and be counted in the Muslim world as a strategic U.S. ally."

During the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, she said, Najib also pledged to assist the US on numerous fronts.

Motte said Malaysia's reputation as a majority-Muslim nation known for moderation and stability had been hard won in this decade, and a result of the leadership of the present prime minister and his immediate predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.


Labels: ,

03 May, 2010

Msia press still 'not free' !

Malaysia moved up two notches to 141 on the annual Freedom House press freedom ranking of 196 countries, but remains in the bottom 32 percent of countries which fall under “not free” category.

Malaysia shares its placing with Algeria and Zambia.

The top 10 nations comprise of Finland, Iceland , Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

On the opposite end, the bottom five countries are Eritrea (ranked 192), Libya (192), Burma (194), Turkmenistan (194) and North Korea (196).

Regionally, there was little change to the rankings as Malaysia remains behind neighbours Phillippines (ranked 97), Indonesia (107), Thailand (124) and Cambodia (134).Singapore at 151.

Freedom House placed Phillippines, Indonesia and Thailand under the “partly free” category.

Freedom House is a international democratic freedoms advocacy group based in Washington, DC. The rankings were released today in conjunction with May 3 international Press Freedom Day.


Labels: ,