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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We need to have the facts


By R. Nadeswaran, The Sun

While Penang and Selangor are enacting their own Freedom of Information Act, the question to be asked is: Why is everyone so afraid to reveal basic information like expenditure, purchases and travel expenses? Is there a need to classify every document as a secret? If there has been no wrongdoing, what’s the purpose of all that hiding?

AT the Summer School at London City University’s Centre for Investigative Journalism two years ago, there was a side-attraction for two of its Malaysian participants. Terence Fernandez and I were mesmerised by a murder trial which provided some gory details of the lifestyle of young Asian immigrants, and above all, one of the accused was a young Malaysian.

What was presented to the jury were details of an orgy of drugs and sex but when it was reported that a young Malaysian and her boyfriend had cut the body of the victim and dumped the parts into the Thames, it became more intriguing. Having left London and returned home, it was reported in late August 2008 that Noor Azura Mohd Yusoff was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Returning to London in September, the gory details were still in our minds and we wondered aloud if there were other Malaysians in British slammers for similar or other offences. "How do I get details?" was the poser to the British journalist. "Call up the Ministry of Justice, speak to anyone and its media unit and if they refuse, invoke the Freedom of Information Act."

The phone calls were made and I was politely told to file an application for details. A simple written application identifying the applicant’s name, occupation and purpose for the same would suffice. Off went the email on Nov 9 and a day later the reply arrived. It said: "Thank you for your correspondence of November 9, 2010, in which you asked for information relating to Malaysian nationals in UK prisons under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). You will receive a response from us by December 6, 2010. Your request has been passed to the appropriate business unit within the MoJ, and they will write to you with their decision by this date."

However, the reply also stated that if the information requested is covered by a qualified exemption(s) under the Act, the department is allowed to take longer than 20 working days to respond. It said: "This is because in such circumstances we are required to consider the public interest issues when deciding whether or not to disclose the information requested. If more time is needed to consider the public interest issues under a qualified exemption(s), we will write to you and inform you of the revised date you can expect to receive a response to your request."

Less than two weeks later, the details arrived via email. There’s no such thing as "sulit" or "terhad" because such details are no security risk to the prison system or the country.

This writer had been pre-warned not to compare the systems in Malaysia and the UK because there would be disillusionment all the way, but as a matter of public interest, why are non-sensitive issues being kept away from our public domain? When we ask civil servants as to whether they are entitled to have personal bodyguards, they avoid you like the plague and run upstairs for cover. When you ask ministers to give a breakdown of expenses, some think that the details are "national secrets" and better kept to themselves. A simple question to the head of a local council as to whether there was a quorum at a meeting which approved a development plan is met with stares with the words "semua maklumat adalah sulit dan rahsia"! Would such information cause a national catastrophe if it fell into the hands of our enemies? But no, some of our civil servants use the Official Secrets Act to camouflage and mask their shortcomings.

While Penang and Selangor are enacting their own Freedom of Information Act, the question to be asked is: Why is everyone so afraid to reveal basic information like expenditure, purchases and travel expenses? Is there a need to classify every document as a secret? If there has been no wrongdoing, what’s the purpose of all that hiding?

Anwar the Messiah?


By Free Malaysia Today

Make no mistake about it: God did not send Anwar Ibrahim to this part of the world to be our saviour. Anwar was not the “son” who would come and deliver us from the clutches of an evil ruler who had deprived the country of all freedom. No. The Almighty Creator certainly did not have in His grand scheme of things to put on earth a man by the name of Anwar to lead a country called Malaysia to a better future. It is shocking that the wife of the opposition leader could come up with something like a divine mission for her long-suffering husband. Telling Malaysians that God has indeed chosen Anwar to lead his flock to Putrajaya is assuming that the level of political intelligence of the citizens is near zero.

A leader is a combination of strengths and weaknesses. He is first and foremost a human being. He is a bundle of passion, baser instincts, noble feelings, demonic urges – a mixture of saint and devil. It all depends which side of him eventually triumphs: if he can overthrow the devil in him, he can truly become an outstanding leader – even a saintly ruler – in the field of politics. If the Prince of Darkness is the victor, he will surely be a monster who will bring untold misery to his people. Holy or profane, a leader is still a man who harbours weaknesses just like the populace. But how are the common people to know that someone in their midst will one day steer them to the promised land?

Surely Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail did not have a dream in which a Voice told her Anwar is the chosen one. That will be too far-fetched. An inspiration? Unlikely. So how did the leader of a trouble-plagued party come to the amazing conclusion that her other half is God's gift to Malaysians? True, Anwar endured long years of hardship at the hand of a system that many believe is unjust and cruel. A largesegment of the population do sympathise with his predicament. Still, his struggle does not make him a celestial figure. It is hard to picture him as the one and only guiding star for the people. It is even harder to imagine a halo around his head.

Malaysians have become a discerning lot. They are unlikely to buy the story that Anwar is a God-send or that what Wan Azizah said was gospel truth. They have a mind of their own and can weigh for themselves the worth of a leader. They acknowledge that Anwar is a powerful politician, but they will not go to the extent of placing him on the same pedestal as Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi. Mandela endured almost 30 years of prison brutality for fighting against apartheid. Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest for standing up to the military rulers. Both were potent symbols of resistance against harsh governments. No one in their country shouted from the pulpit that the “Black Pimpernel” or the “Iron Lady” was chosen by God from a list of mere mortals to lead the struggle. People saw their merits – their humility, their common touch, their frailities, their strengths – and went along with them. One eventually walked to freedom and with him the whole of South Africa. The other was released but still has a long way to liberty.

Pakatan slams Najib for suppressing democracry in Umno to cling to power


Ku Li, Muhyiddin - a changing power equation in Umno
Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat leaders slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak for trying to inhibit democracy in his own Umno party by using the prospect of early general elections as an excuse to defer internal polls by 18 months.

“As usual, Najib is trying to create a mirage. By postponing for such a long time means the 13th general election can be as late as June 2012. Is he doing this for the good of Umno, BN or for himself and his own faction,” PAS treasurer-general Hatta Ramli toldMalaysia Chronicle.

Three-corned fight at the top


In the past months, there has been red-hot speculation that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would challenge Najib for the Umno presidency. Veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, rejuvenated by the recent Galas by-election victory, has also been approached by members to make it a three-cornered fight.

Najib did not win the Umno top post or the prime minister-ship through election by party members. He succeeded his predecessor Abdullah Badawi, who resigned in his favour in April 2009 after an internal coup plotted by Najib himself and former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

However, the 57-year son of one of Umno founding member, Abdul Razak Hussein, failed to shine both as prime minister and Umno president. He has failed to push through life-breathing reforms into Umno, and till now, has not delivered any significant economic or social program for the nation.

“Najib has been carefully crafting the impression that general elections will be held in the next few months. It looks like he has been plotting such a move of stop the Umno polls and this definitely indicates that the infighting in Umno must be very serious and he is unable to control it,” PKR vice president Tian Chua toldMalaysia Chronicle.

Najib failed to shine


Indeed, Najib has only barely managed to keep the powerful Umno warlords from publicly going after each other. In Perlis, Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and even his own home state of Pahang, there are clear factions led by entrenched Umno leaders and they are all demanding for seats to contest in the next general election which must be held latest by mid-2013.

Umno watchers told Malaysia Chronicle these warlords and their supporters were already preparing to launch all-out offensives against each other to win the divisional and central leadership positions.

“Infighting is something that happens routinely in every Umno election especially when the GE is also nearby. But postponing by 18 months has raised eyebrows because the period is too long. Is Najib delaying it for his personal motives? Possibly, he understands he is likely to lose to Muhyiddin and this might be a way for him to cling on for as long as he can,” the observer told Malaysia Chronicle.

Rafidah and Mahathir: Friends in adversity and when it suits



Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

Looking at the camaraderie between former Prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and former International trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz, you wouldn’t think that they had spectacularly fallen out in 2005 over her abuse of the Approved Permits for the importation of cars.

But when people are desperate, even adversaries will unite.

The two were at the third Malaysia-Europe Forum Dialogue held in Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the forum, “Looking Back in Order to Move Forward” was according to Rafidah, an opportunity for Malaysia and Europe to understand their respective policies, especially on investment opportunities.

Mahathir delivered a keynote address, “The Malaysian Political Landscape – Experiences, Perspective and Thoughts”, and then answered questions from the delegates, which covered current issues, politics and his tenure as prime minister.

Rafidah, who was the advisor and patron of the forum, appeared delighted in adding greater depth and detail, to some of Mahathir’s answers.

Their team spirit and engaging manner, displayed none of the acrimony that once existed.

So what are observers to make of this spectacle?

The groundswell of support for the opposition is a threat to the government. The knowledge that the opposition is making serious inroads into the political landscape of Malaysian politics must trouble the senior ranks of BN, especially Umno.

Thus Rafidah and Mahathir are not pretending. Theirs is a genuine show of friendship because Umno is desperate to be seen as one united front. In addition, Umno is keen to be seen promoting the interests of all Malaysians.

Otherwise, why else would Mahathir change his tune and suddenly endorse Prime minster Najib Abdul Razak’s 1Malaysia concept?

He said, “When you say 'national unity' you forget your past, your origins, and identify yourself only as Malaysian, you speak one language and don't ask for privileges just because you are indigenous or non-indigenous.”

He appeared to backtrack on his ‘ketuanan Melayu’ with, “We cannot call ourselves Malaysians of Malay origin, Chinese origin or Indian origin.”

Up till this point, hadn’t he been dismissive about Najib’s 1Malaysia?

Neither is Mahathir singing Najib’s tune simply to woo the Europeans at the Forum, even though the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman David Jones was also present to deliver a working paper at this forum.

Few will forget Mahathir’s “Look East” policy. Moreover, it is not in Mahathir’s nature to cultivate the goodwill of the Europeans.

No. He and Rafidah are suddenly championing 1Malaysia because just like Umno and BN, they are afraid.

There is a high probability that were Pakatan to triumph in the next general election, the old guard of Mahathir, including past and present politicians, will be brought to trial to answer charges of corruption, nepotism and abuses of power. They will be asked to declare their assets and how they came by them. They will be asked to return the monies to the public. They may be jailed.

At the forum, Mahathir defended his introduction of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA): “All students study on public money. It is a waste of public money when they spend their time demonstrating, when you are paid to study and don't study”.

Rafidah, who moderated Mahathir's talk, interjected and made references to Anwar: “I was a lecturer in UM. (Opposition Leader) Anwar Ibrahim was (then) a student of mine, and there was no UUCA at the time.”

She poured more scorn onto Anwar and said, “Look at what happened to him. He spent most of his time politicking and classes were disrupted. It is so disruptive for education, to those who didn't bother.”

Being an academic, she agreed with the UUCA because its ‘stabilizing effect on education would prevent the emergence of more ‘Anwars’’.

Last June, Rafidah said that rebellious and outspoken young Malaysians were hindering Mahathir’s Vision of 2020. She blamed them and the younger generation of politicians for going on “ego-trips”.

She said, “When I became a politician, I never dared to speak out against my seniors... I was in awe of them and I wanted to learn from them.”

And that’s where the problem lies.

During Rafidah’s time, her “seniors” would presumably be the people who led the country after Merdeka. These were men and women of integrity, honour and distinction, who deemed it a privilege to serve the public.

Sadly, during our time, the calibre of our ‘seniors’- the likes of Mahathir onwards, is appalling.

Is BN guilty of criminal negligence?


The federal constitution
Hishamuddin Yahaya

Are our efforts to foster racial unity really doddering, as alleged by some? Indications are that they are. Incidents involving people in responsible positions making derogatory racial remarks all point to that direction. What these people said is too sensitive to quote here. But suffice to say they were derogatory and racist remarks, which no amount of apology will erase.

Again what prompted the prime minister to give a stern warning that the government would not tolerate such sensitive issues being raised by any quarter? The answer is simply that racial unity is still elusive, and unless programmed and implemented wisely, it will not easily be achieved.

I am prompted to reminisce about what the late Koh Kai Boh, a Cabinet minister prior to the May 13 incident, said when he came to Malaysia Hall, London to give a briefing on the situation, weeks after the infamous incident. Among other things, he said, “the government is guilty of criminal negligence in not teaching and explaining to the people our constitution.” Had that been done, he said, the racial riot could not have occurred. The late Koh Kai Boh himself was a lawyer.

In short, what the former minister meant was, had the people understood their respective rights and obligations under the country’s principal law, things would automatically have fallen into place and the racial outburst would not have occurred. Understanding the constitution would also teach the people that to be a Malaysian is not just to be a Malay, Chinese or Indian, but to assume a nationality that is “Malaysian”. Race is relegated to nationality and only becomes relevant when applying personal laws such as marriages and other customary practices.

The United Kingdom is relevant example. All citizens are British, not English or Scottish or Welsh. Though, to a small extent, regional sentiments still exist, but on a common front, they are one people, “British”.

So-called “Social Contract”

Forty one years later, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government still carries the same sin, as pointed out by the late Koh Kai Boh. In fact, negligence has been added to that: The BN’s failure to explain what the so-called “Social Contract” is about.

Many do not know the existence of the Social Contract and have heard it only for the first time. Others think that it is a created thing to justify the BN’s failure to achieve the target for Bumiputera economic participation.

If, as some quarters allege, a breach by one party of this alleged Social Contract is the reason for Malays lagging behind economically, then a manipulation of the issue could create something really frightening.

As a 71-year-old, I think the so-called Social Contract is best described as a vague, unpublished agreement, concealed from public knowledge and made to surface at a convenient time, purely for the BN’s political exigency. But this is an issue too dangerous to toy about with.

As citizens, we have the absolute right to forewarn the powers-that-be that there are other ways of gaining political support. Do not follow the aphorism that in a time of storm, any port will do. It is simply self-destructive. And we know that the BN is now in a precarious position.

So that brings us the question how a country ruled by a coalition of race-based parties will fare with the 1 Malaysia concept or any other racial-integration programme for that matter. As each party’s policy is governed by decisions made in the party’s convention, we wonder how consensus in Cabinet meetings can be reached on issues touching on race or a particular community.

But even when a “forced” consensus is reached, when the issue comes unstuck, it could invite disguised retaliation, which would only exacerbate misunderstanding and dissatisfaction. So that will take us back to square one.

Every race-based political party has a communal drive, which is the reason for its successful formation. Spurred on by a feisty party symbol, a race-based party’s move along chauvinistic lines is something “natural” and to be expected; after all, race or communal interest is its raison d’être, without which it would not exist.

One has only to attend any race-based political party’s convention and listen to the delegates’ speeches to realise how racist their members are. It may sound mortifying to these party members but it’s the stark reality.

This is the foremost issue that each Malaysian will have to think about seriously. It’s either do away with race-based political parties or stay race-based, in which case the country would forever remain divided along racial lines and the One Malaysia concept would never be achieved. And, in which case, the ISA would be needed even more than ever before. Now, the choice is ours! — aliran.com

Hishamuddin Yahaya is a lawyer and former MP for Maran

Fall from great height: From Finance Minister to PPC chairman


Chua - related to his sex DVD?
Nga Kor Ming

The appointment of MCA President Chua Sui Lek to be the Penang Port Commission chairman reflects the party's status in the BN government these days. It was fact that MCA president in the past used to be Malaysia's Finance Minister.

Nevertheless, what an irony now that even Chua's son is Deputy Minister while he himself - the MCA president no less - has been demoted to be a state's port chairman.

I regard this appointment as grave insult to MCA. Even the soon-to-be-retired MIC president Samy Vellu may be appointed as special eonvoy to South Asia with Minister's status, but it looks that MCA does not enjoy the same status.

(Nga Kor Ming is the DAP MP for Taiping)

Read also:
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行动党今日指堂堂全球第二大华人政党的马华总会长竟沦落到出任区区梹州港务局主席不但显示了马华的自我矮化也体现了现今该党的人才凋零。
该党表示身為执政伙伴,马华理应力爭出任副首相,豈知总会长竟沄跑去担任港务局主席。
行动党副总财政兼太平区国会议员倪可敏今日说,马华总会长曾经出任我国财政部长要职,豈知执政五十三年后堂堂总会长竟屈就担任一个小小的港务局主席职位,这不但证明巫统根本不把马华放在眼里,马华在政府内更已经丧失代表性。
倪可敏今日说,马华总会长出任区区梹州港务局主席是马华创党61年来的另一大历史性的突破,蔡细历以总会长之尊接受委任更令全国人跌破眼镜。更匪夷所思的是,蔡细历委任的马华总秘书拿督江作汉竟出任交通部长,是港务局的顶头上司。如此一来,总秘书竟成了总会长的顶头上司,现今马华高喊的高调问政真的是令人叹为观止、大开眼界。
倪可敏表示,正当国人缅怀前任马华总会长敦林苍佑在1950年代如何与巫统平起平坐、据理力争的豪气时,曾任卫生部长的现任马华总会长拿督斯里蔡细历竟会以总会长之尊接受委任,这真让人为号称全球第二大华人政党的马华深感難过与叹息。
他指出,马华党史内把时任马华总会长的敦林苍佑与巫统的斗争形容為进退失据、知难而退,如今蔡细历接受巫统委任為七品芝麻官,实在彰显马华朝中有人好办事的政治现实。他相信蔡细历出任梹州港务局主席后,马华的高调问政势必愈加荒腔走板。
倪可敏批评巫统委任马华总会长出任区区梹州港务局主席旨在羞辱马华,连行动党都看不过眼而打抱不平。他说,连蔡细历的兒子都担任副部长,委蔡细历出任梹州港务局主席不但不符逻辑,更是欺人太甚!
也是吡州行动党秘书的倪可敏今日受邀出席太平区回教党主办的<迈向布城>晚宴后向媒体如是表示。出席该晚宴的其他重量级领袖包括梹州首席部长林冠英、人民公正党全国青年团长三苏依斯干达、回教党全国副主席莫哈末沙布、吡州回教党主席阿布峇卡、行动党政治教育局主任郑国霖及后廊州议员姚天和等。

() 1 : 倪可敏致词批评巫统委任马华总会长出任区区梹州港务局主席旨在羞辱马华,连行动党都看不过眼而打抱不平!

() 2 : 民联众领袖出席太平区回教党主办的<迈向布城>晚宴时与党支部元老合影。前排左一起三苏依斯干达、阿布峇卡、倪可敏、林冠英、再努丁与姚天和等。

Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle When the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou ended last Saturday, our athletes did us proud and Malaysia came 10th in


Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

When the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou ended last Saturday, our athletes did us proud and Malaysia came 10th in the final tally with a record nine gold, 18 silver and 13 bronze medals.

On the sporting field, it was high-fives, smiles and congratulations all round. Behind the scenes, another story appears to have unfolded.

Chef-de-mission Zolkples Embong’s assessment of the Malaysian performance was that we failed to impress in athletics. In a press conference, he asked the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) president Shahidan Kassim to explain why ‘athletics’ failed to deliver, unlike in ‘aquatics’.

For those in the know, the problem is not with Shahidan's leadership but with a group of people who are allied to a senior official in the body, who undermines Shahidan’s authority.

Zolkples’s other concerns was that the country seemed to place its hopes on a few core athletes only, and that the national track and field athletes failed to deliver even one medal.

Our last stellar performance for track and field events was in 1966 when we won a record five gold medals whilst our last gold for these events was in 1982.

Besides that, we have insufficient quality long and middle distance runners, sprinters, horizontal jumpers, walkers and throwers.

The overall concensus is that the performance we achieved this year may not be reproduced for the next Asian Games unless Malaysian athletics is overhauled. The MAAU needs fresh ideas and people, and to replace those whose divisive presence undermines team effort.

The MAAU is answerable for the disastrous performance in Guangzhou and unlike the casual nature of addressing poor performance in previous major sporting events, the correct thing to do now, is to inform those who are in positions of responsibility, that their positions are untenable.

This year, Lee Hup Wei, Roslinda Samsu and Noraseela Khalid failed to shine. Although Hup Wei’s sporting achievements will continue for a number of years, Roslinda and Noraseela’s presence may only cover a few more sporting events. For these two, there appears to be no replacement in sight.

Another cause for concern is MAAU's decision making. Deserving athletes who would have gained valuable experience at this major sporting event, were excluded.

We congratulate those who won medals and though the others did not win, they tried their best but at the end of the day, the better person won.

If we are serious about improving our sporting prowess in international events, then one wonders if the Sports Minister should not wade in and sort out the internal problems within the MAAU.

How are we to take on the world in sporting events if we are not acting as one team?

One way of ‘replacing’ sporting talent is to address the declining role of sports in our schools.

Maybe the minister should take a proactive role and advise the Education Minister that thus far, the education ministry should not slash the annual budget for school sports, and should not axe various sports from the Malaysian Schools Sports Council calendar.

Our children’s education should be wholesome, with equal emphasis on sports and academic pursuits. It might be through these channels that our sporting talents and future champions are discovered through nurturing sport at school.

Taib search your conscience and come clean

Malaysian Mirror

An earnest appeal has gone out to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to do some serious soul-searching of his role in the mismanagement of Sarawak’s resources.

“The chief minister has a lot to explain for the negative focus on Sarawak today – the widely reported allegations of his massive wealth in particular. The financial wealth he had acquired in his 30 years as Sarawak chief minister is known throughout the world,” Movement For Change, Sarawak (MoCS) leader Francis Paul Siah said here today.

Noting that Taib has just returned to Kuching from the Haj in Mecca, he suggested that this was the most appropriate time for the chief minister to reflect deeply on the widespread allegations against him.

“So far, the chief minister did not respond to the many declarations released by the Sarawak Report website of how he allegedly abused his position to amass wealth for himself, his family members and cronies.

Answer to God

“If Taib does not want to explain the allegations to the people of Sarawak, at least he has to answer to God. So I’m asking him to search his conscience ie. If he has any left to reflect on,” Siah said.

The MoCS chief said that as one reason Muslims go to Mecca was to seek forgiveness and atonement for their sins, Taib with his public image as a deeply religious person, should know what to do.

Siah also reminded Taib of what RPK wrote in his blog recently, “And after doing all these evil deeds, they purport to repent and put on a public show of visiting God’s house in Mecca to seek forgiveness. And they think that all their sins can be cleansed and that God will forgive them by that single act of being seen to be performing the Haj. I suppose it is that easy to take the Good Lord for a ride.”

“I hope Taib can prove RPK wrong on his take about certain Muslim leaders in the country,” Siah said.

The MoCS leader pointed out that the majority of Sarawakians are not atheists but have a religious faith and are God-fearing people.

“Hence, it is still not too late for the chief minister to come clean. If he does so, his fellow Sarawakians may find it within their hearts to forgive him. As a Muslim, Taib must surely believe that God works in wondrous and mysterious ways,” he said.

On the extent of the foreign and local properties owned by the chief minister and his family, as revealed in a series of recent exposes bySarawak Report, Siah expressed “sheer disgust” and “total shock”.

Can do what he likes

In a latest Sarawak Report expose and in what appears to be a first, Taib Mahmud has put his own name to a controversial million-ringgit project – the Royal Mulu Resort – that has benefited from huge injections of taxpayers’ money and state backing.

The whistleblower website said the chief minister had in 2007 not bothered to go through the usual process of disguising his moves to deflect claims of corruption and conflicts of interest, and is said to have inked his own interest in the Royal Mulu Resort.

The report suggested a growing confidence that “Taib can do what he likes in Sarawak and get away with it. As the chief minister, finance minister and state resources and planning minister, Taib has stood to gain personally.”

“So our appeal to the chief minister today is to ‘search your conscience and come clean’ with all the allegations against him,” Siah added.

Last September 16, MoCS had set a deadline – August 2011 – for Taib Mahmud to step down as chief minister.

“If Taib remains stubborn and refuses to listen, we may have to resort to other courses of action when the time is up,” the movement had said.

courtesy of Hornbill Unleashed

Better a 'Prostitute' Than a Racist: Say No to Racism!


Perkasa, ex-PKR Zahrain and Hishammuddin have criticized both Anwar and Wan Azizah for rejecting the 'ketuanan Melayu' concept. Perkasa Youth chief even went a step ahead by calling the PKR president a political 'prostitute'.

If Wan Azizah is being verbally abused and ostracised for rejecting institutional racism and mega hypocrisy, I would like to tell her critics that we would prefer to embrace a leader like than racial bigots like Perkasa leaders, Zahrain and Hishammuddin.

These bigots are certainly serving their own political interest and personal interest by claiming skin deep supremacy over other non-Malay Malaysians. The federal constitution is clear about equal rights for all citizens. What is the use of citizenship if all Malaysians are not legally, politically and socially equal?

Hishammuddin said PKR president Wan Azizah's statement on the subject clearly had political motives and was aimed at causing unease among the various races in the country.

"I would like to ask Wan Azizah and the PKR leadership, are they also rejecting the institution of the Malay rulers? What is being raised by PKR is clearly an attempt to belittle the Malays. We do not want the institution of the Malay rulers to be also belittled," he said in a statement.

Hishammuddin should not try to divert the whole attention and debate away from how Umno was trying to frame 'ketuanan Melayu'. It was not about the royalty. Their role has been clearly defined in the constitution. Malay rulers are respected for their symbolic prominence, reverence, and co-existence within the larger framework of a parliamentary democracy.

Wan Azizah and her party rejected the Umno version of 'ketuanan Melayu' which aims at deceiving the Malays about an imaginary supremacy. The truth is more than 96% of the poor are made up of Malays. Malays have problem holding on to the 30% equity since the NEP was implemented in 1970. Malays are still considered lagging behind the others in economic development and knowledge acquisition. Even Dr Mahathir conceeded that he was not qualified to study medicine.

Similarly, for the good of our Malay friends, we should reject the Umno's version of Malay supremacy too. They are merely using the special privileges, granted through a perceived constitutional supremacy, to enrich themselves and their relatives. Evidence are aplenty in Peninsula Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. Meanwhile, the common Malays are left hoping for some crumbs from their 'Bapaks' (read Umno/BN).

It is a shame that some Malays and 'celup' Malays (e.g. Ridhuan Tee) have continued to blame the Chinese for all their miseries. They should remember majority of the Chinese do not have any blood relations with YTL, Berjaya, Genting, Malton, Public Bank or some other rich corporate founders.

Umno has an uninterrupted rule and dominance in the Malaysian politics since the independence. If it cannot help the Malays through the NEP despite being a self-proclaimed Malay champion, it is right time for the community to find a better champion. A true champion should be able to alleviate more Malays out from poverty and help them to acquire real knowledge and skills. Malays, under Umno rule, are merely 'jaguh kampung' (local hero).

Perhaps PKR Wan Azizah has a better plan for her own community. It is time we see more world-class Malay intellectuals and leaders.

Umno's 'ketuanan Melayu' is like smoking opium. It brings temporary ecstasy and joy but long term damage to the brain and body. It is time to treat the disease.

courtesy of Straight Talk

Umno postpones polls as snap polls loom


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — In the clearest sign yet that Barisan Nasional (BN) is preparing for general elections next year, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced tonight that party polls scheduled for next year would be put off by 18 months.

The postponement appears to be part of moves to put Umno and BN on an election footing without the distraction of party polls.

Najib’s announcement tonight comes amid intense speculation that he may call snap polls by the first quarter of next year.

His Umno has toned down its race rhetoric while a BN convention this weekend is expected to chart the ruling coalition’s strategies ahead of elections.

BN lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008, and Najib, who became prime minister subsequently after Tun Abdullah Badawi was pressured to resign, is understood to be keen on winning his own mandate.

"The supreme council unanimously decided that next year's election at the branches, divisions and the supreme council level to be postponed up to 18 months," said Najib after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting here. "This is provided for under the party constitution and it has been invoked several times. This is not the first time." Najib said the postponement would allow the party to rejuvenate and strengthen itself. "We do not want next year to be a year of conflict. We do not want to be under so much pressure like another political party," said Najib in an apparent reference PKR which just completed a divisive party election. "This is nothing new, you shouldn't get excited about it. Nothing unusual," he said when asked if the postponement was to allow the party to focus on snap polls.

It is understood that early polls are being considered because of concerns over an uncertain economic outlook.

The recent crisis in PKR has also given Umno/BN a major boost.

Tonight’s Umno supreme council meeting also put off till the end of the month an expected party reshuffle.

The Malaysian Insider understands that former Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam are expected to be given key positions in the Umno headquarters in the reshuffle.

A major reshuffle can also be expected in at least five state Umno liaison bodies currently headed by national leaders in recognition of local warlords’ role in party affairs.

The imminent reshuffle is seen as an attempt by Najib to prepare the party for the general election.

At the closing of the Umno general assembly last month, Najib had promised a reshuffle in the party leadership to strengthen the party by the next general election.

Najib said tonight that the expected reshuffle of state Umno liaison chiefs would only take place by the end of the year after further consultation with state party warlords. "I need more time with the deputy president and the secretary-general to visit the states and to negotiate further with the leaders on their expectations," said Najib. "Some will be reappointed but there will be changes too," he added. - Malaysian Insider

‘Ketuanan Melayu’ not in Constitution, says Prof Khoo


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — The terminology “Ketuanan Melayu” or Malay Supremacy need not be debated because it does not exist in the country’s constitution, said history expert, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

He said that from the historical aspect, only the Rulers’ Supremacy was stated in the constitution where the people must show their loyalty to the Rulers.

“In the past, ‘Malay Supremacy’ was never mentioned within the Malay community. In history, such things are incorrect. What is stated in the Constitution is only the Rulers’ Supremacy, where you show loyalty to the state where you reside in.

“The Malays obtained the special privileges because they are the subjects of the Ruler. The position of the Malays is given special consideration and need not be disputed,” he said when contacted by Bernama, here tonight.

He was asked to comment on the statement by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on the Malay Supremacy in her policy speech at the 7th National Congress of the party on Sunday.

Dr Wan Azizah called for the abolition of the concept of Malay Supremacy to enable Malaysian children to grown up with the vision of a ‘race of integrity’ or ‘Malay of Integrity’.

Khoo said the terminology ‘Malay Supremacy’ was only raised by politicians purely for political purposes, and he observed that politicians were now frequently raising issues that could lead to racial confrontations.

“Politicians should focus on their services to the public, helping the people. They should not encourage the people to quarrel,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin shared Khoo’s opinion that the term Malay Supremacy was coined by politicians in portraying the political and economic position of the Malays.

Questioning Dr Wan Azizah’s motive in raising the issue, he said the statement by the wife of PKR de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was merely a political gimmick and purely to cover up the crisis faced by the party currently.

“I don’t know why the issue was raised. What I notice is “Anwar’s Supremacy” in the PKR. It is Anwar’s Supremacy that must be abolished. The Malay Supremacy is merely to demolish Anwar’s Supremacy. In my opinion, the concept (Malay Supremacy) does not exist,” he said.

He said Dr Wan Azizah should re-examine what was meant by the term supremacy and should not question the special privileges of the Malays which had been enshrined ever since the era of the Malay Sultanate.

Shamsul Amri said that looking from the economic aspect, the Chinese community dominated 70 per cent of the economy while the Malays had only 30 per cent and there was no such thing as the Malays dominating in all aspects.

“If we look at it, the 70 per cent should be the supreme group. So, what does the Malay Supremacy show? What does supremacy mean? She (Dr Wan Azizah) herself is not clear on the meaning of supremacy,” he said.

Dr Shamsul Amri said politicians should be thinking about issues that were relevant for discussion instead of raising issues that could bring about negative developments between the races. — Bernama

Racist teacher relieved of invigilation duties


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong confirmed today that the schoolteacher who was accused of uttering racial slurs against the Chinese and Indian communities had been relieved of her invigilating duties for the SPM examination.

“I have already been informed that this person will not be carrying out her duties as an invigilator. She was suspended immediately after the incident,” he said when approached by reporters in Parliament today.

He added that a report on the incident had been forwarded by the state Education Department to the national Education Department’s secretary-general and was presently being reviewed in the ministry’s special committee.

“As I have mentioned before, this particular teacher has been relieved and no longer carries out out her duty as an invigilator. We will leave it to the committee to handle it according to the procedures.

“All this while, all complaints will be channelled to the committee and normally, the state department passes it to the secretary-general,” he explained.

Wee was responding to queries on the government’s action against the school teacher who had reportedly uttered racial slurs against the Indian and Chinese communities when invigilating for the SPM examinations at SMK Raja Jumaat in Lukut, Negeri Sembilan, on November 24.

The teacher, who is reportedly from a secondary school in Port Dickson, had purportedly censured the Indian and Chinese students when they arrived late to the examination hall by telling the Chinese to return to China and the Indians to India if they failed to understand her instructions in Bahasa Malaysia.

Wee however said that the committee was yet to make a decision on the incident and was still reviewing the details.

“It is premature for us to say anything. We do not want to tell you the findings before the committee takes any action or starts an investigation.

“For every case, we have a system. We lodge a report to the committee, hand it over to the committee and it will review it. So now, it is in the reviewing stage,” he said.

He added that the Malaysian Examinations Board had also received a report on the matter.

“The ministry will handle it according to the proper procedures,” he promised.

Wee also reminded that the all schools had been informed via a circular from the Education Department earlier to exercise caution and not utter racially-sensitive statements.

“It was a gentle reminder for all teachers to avoid any complications of this sort,” he said.

Earlier in Parliament today, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had rejected a motion by DAP MP Er Teck Hwa to debate the issue in the House as the ministry was already on the case.

Er, however, protested against the rejection and told a press conference later the government should enact a Race Relations Act to prevent the recurrence of more racially-charged incidents.

He added that the government had failed to take stern action against those guilty of making statements to disrupt national unity and racial tolerance.

He was referring to the slew of similar incidents that have been plaguing the Najib Administration throughout the year, beginning with the remarks made by Datuk Nasir Safar, the prime minister’s former special officer, who had allegedly said during a 1 Malaysia event that the “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese, especially the women, came to sell their bodies”.

Nasir was later asked to resign from his post but no further action was taken against him.

The Najib Administration later came under fire for failing to act quickly on two other incidents involving the school principals in Kedah and Johor whose remarks against the Chinese and Indian communities had sparked off a public uproar.

In the Johor incident, school principal Siti Inshah Mansor had reportedly made derogatory remarks during the launch of the school’s Merdeka celebrations.

“Chinese students are not needed here and can return to China or Foon Yew schools. For the Indian students the prayer strings tied around their neck and wrist makes them look like dogs because only dogs are tired like that,” she was quoted as saying in at least one of the over 20 police reports lodged against her.

Parents had also claimed that Siti Inshah had also made racist remarks in her previous school SMK Kelapa Sawit, where she had allegedly called Indians Nigerians.

Another student had alleged that Siti Inshah gave an example of owning a Proton Saga where a Chinese and Indian are passengers in the car and cannot claim any right to the car, likening it to Malaysia where non-Malay students are mere passengers.

In the Kedah incident, the school principal had allegedly told off several Chinese students and accused them of disrespecting the Muslims by eating in the school canteen during fasting month.

Shortly after the two incidents, another case involving a civil servant hit the headlines in September.

BTN assistant director Hamim Husain had allegedly uttered racial slurs during a closed-door Puteri Umno function when he referred to the Chinese and Indian communities as “Si Mata Sepet” and “Si Botol”.

Since then, the Kedah principal has been punished with a stern warning and a transfer while Hamim was suspended from his duties since October 6.