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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FELDA (FGVH) SHARES SLIDING DOWN.....


[Sumber: Bursa Malaysia]


Felda (FGVH) shares is facing losses in the Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur. The chart above will give you a good indication.


The settlers will be the most hit due to the drop since they had relied on PM Najib's assurance that they will make a handsome profit. Sources inform that settlers had believed PM Najib's words since he is the son of Tun Razak who initiated the Felda scheme.


Another hoodwink by PM Najib and UMNO/BN.

LAJIM DECLINES TO COMMENT ON REVOCATION





KOTA KINABALU : Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin has declined to comment on revocation of his appointment as Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government effective immediately.

"I have no comments for the time being and will issue a statement at a suitable time," he said in a brief statement here today.
The Prime Minister's Office statement today said that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah has consented to the revocation of his appointment.

It was made under Clause (3) Article 43A read together with Clause (5) Article 43 of the Federal Constitution.

On Saturday, Lajim quit as Umno Supreme Council member and Beaufort division Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman with immediate effect.

The Sabah veteran politician who also quit as Beaufort Umno division chief however remained a member of Umno.

Meanwhile, Sabah BN secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the revocation of Lajim's appointment as deputy minister was timely.

"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong acted correctly. Now the prime minister has to study the scenario and decide to leave the post vacant or fill it."

Abdul Rahman who is Member of Parliament for Kota Belud said Lajim should not criticise Umno but still remain a party member.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) information chief Datuk Johnny Mositun said it is the prerogative of the prime minister to appoint or revoke the appointment. - Sabahkini

THE KADAZANDUSUNS DIDN’T ORIGINATE FROM NUNUK RAGANG!





By : RAYMOND TOMBUNG

ON JULY 15, 2012, Tan Sri Dr. Herman Luping, a Sabah lawyer and a former deputy chief minister, wrote in his Sunday column in a local paper to reassert his theory that Kinoringan, the traditional god of the Kadazandusuns, and his wife Suminundu, appeared from a giant rock that split millennia ago, and began to begat humanity. He contended that the rock was one of the numerous rocks that were spewed out by Kinabalu when the mountain was still an active volcano.

I argued that geologists have confirmed that Kinabalu was never a volcano, and that Luping’s theology raised the question of who created the rock that brought forth Kinoringan, or regressively, who created Kinabalu.
I contend that Luping had forgotten that the traditional legend actually stated that the first couple who appeared from the rock was the first humans – our version of Adam and Eve – and this is confirmed by I.H.N Evans in his book, The Religion of the Tempasuk Dusuns of North Borneo. Kinoringan on the other hand was the creator (minamangun) of everything.

I also raised the question of whether it is really true that the Kadazandusun people actually originated from Nunuk Ragang (in Tompios, Ranau), as is the accepted belief by most Kadazandusun leaders, especially those in the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) which is led by Tan sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan as the president and Huguan Siou. For decades now KDCA has been reemphasizing the legend and traditional theology around the belief that the Kadazandusuns originated from Nunuk Ragang to construct a coherent legend and quasi-history of the people.

But since several years ago I had raised this doubt about Nunuk Ragang being our place of origin based on the existence of another story in Tuaran which says that a group from Indai in that district abandoned their village to resettle in Nunuk Ragang.

This creates only possible two scenarios: (1) The people from Tuaran were the ones who started the Nunuk Ragang settlement, or (2) The people from Tuaran went to Nunuk Ragang to join the people who were already in Nunuk Ragang.

Both scenarios would wipe out the possibility that we all originated from Nunuk Ragang! Additionally, stories in Tuaran confirm that during the time of the Indai settlement, Dusuns had already settled in Kindu and Lumawang in Tuaran, and Bongawan in Papar.

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And three more groups from Tuaran went to the Kadamaian plains, the Tambunan valley, and the Keningau plains. Hence, I argue that the best that we can conclude about Nunuk Ragang is that it was merely on of the many places we had settled in in the past.

The following story, or history, titled, “The Last Days of Indai,” records why the group from Tuaran went to Nunuk Ragang:

Once upon a time, many hundreds of years ago, there was a very large population occupying one single longhouse in a village called Indai in Tuaran. The longhouse was so long that if somebody died at one end of the house in the evening the news would reach the other end of the house only the next day. If someone plucked a branch of basil (bawing) and walked from one end of the longhouse, the basil would already be totally wilted by the time he reaches the other end.

The number of the population of the village were so huge that if a coconut frond fell on the main path of the village in the morning, by evening all the leaves of the frond would be totally separated from their midribs (tinggur). And in the evening, when the women went to the river nearby to wash their cooking pots before cooking rice for the evening, the amount of rice crust (kogut) thrown into the river would block (kowokok) the flow of the river!

One day, one old woman called Odun Lumban who was living somewhere near the middle of the longhouse, went to the swamps to catch fish with a scoop net (sikop). But strangely, unlike the other fishing trips when she used to scoop a lot of fish, this time she didn’t managed to catch a single fish. She scooped and scooped but all she managed to catch was single tiny crab.

She threw this away but she scooped it again, and no matter how many times she threw it away, and no matter how far away she tossed it, it kept appearing in her scoop net in the next sweep of her small net. Eventually she decided to take it and tossed it into the back-carried basket (barait).

And although she kept trying to catch fish in many parts of the swamp until late afternoon, she failed to catch anything more. Tired, she went home and upon reaching home, she felt pity for the crab which was too tiny to be eaten, and put it in a bowl made of a coconut shell (satu’), putting in enough water for it to dip in.

When she woke the next morning, she was surprised to find out that it had grown up suddenly overnight, filling up the whole bowl. She then decided to put it into a tagu (a container shaped from the sheath of the beetlenut frond).

By next morning the crab had grown further, this time filling up the whole tagu. Having nothing else bigger which could hold water for the crab to dip in, she decided the best place was an abandoned buffalo wallowing hole (oburon) which had water, in front of her home. By next morning the crab had grown so huge it filled the whole wallow hole.

That night, the crab spoke to her in her dream, saying, “Thank you for looking after me. I had actually come to you for a very important purpose. I am here to protect the village from a powerful ombuakar (dragon) which will come to attack the village from the sea. I am leaving tonight as I am growing even bigger to fight the ombuakar at the river mouth, and if one day soon you see that the water of the river is coloured white during high tide, you will know that that will be my blood being shed from the fight.”

So by next morning the crab had already gone. Some many days later Odun Lumban noticed that the water of the river was white during a high tide, and she remembered what the crab said in her dream.

Worried for crab, she took her boat and paddled to the seaside, and true enough a fight between the ombuakar and her crab, which was then enormous in size, was raging on.

At one point one of the claws (anggip) of the crab was about to break from the strain of fighting, and she hurriedly went to the nearby jungle to get some rattans and helped to tie up the injured claw and this managed to give the crab renewed strength and eventually won the fight, killing the ombuakar.

Bidding goodbye, the crab dived into the sea, while Odun Lumban decided to take a piece of the bone of the ombuakar as a souvenir of the event. On reaching home she buried the bone in front of her varendah. Not long after a kolian tree grew from the bone.

Eventually this kolian tree, miraculously bore fruits that were made of gold! As the tree grew more golden fruits, the whole of the village began to enjoy plucking and possessing gold pieces which became so many they made household items made of gold – spoons, plates, coconut graters (pongoguan), winnowers (lilibu) and so on.

The village which is today called Selupoh (a few kilometers from Indai), especially around the small lake (which was part of Tuaran river) now fronting the residence of OKK Imbun Orow, used to be known as Libu-Libu because two golden padi winnowers were found there, but these items had been taken to other districts and are now lost. A golden coconut grater and rice scoopers (kikiriw) had also been found elsewhere in Tuaran.

By and by, the people of Indai became very wealthy, and with wealth came pride and conceit. One day two naughty villagers thought they would commit a huge act of deceit by taking a large piece of rock, carved it to be perfectly round and plated it with gold from the Kolian tree. They took this to Bangawan by boat and went to the owner of a very precious and deeply revered large jar (gusi) called Gurunon.

The offered their gold for Gurunon, but the sacred jar was the spiritual icon and symbol of pride of the Bangawan community and was so priceless that the owner refused the offer.

But after a lot haggling and convincing about the much greater value of the gold, the owner, eventually relented and agreed to hand over Gurunon in exchange for the large ball of ]‘gold’ from the Kolian tree from Indai which had become famous far and wide.

Extremely thrilled, the two fraudsters paddled away in their canoe back to the sea to head home for Indai. But one of them, unable to control his excitement, began singing loudly, “Salu-salu bulawan, nokotuhun Gurunon!” (Having mistaken it for gold, Gurunon had come down!”

He went on singing even louder although his companion kept asking him to keep quiet. Eventually someone from the river bank heard the singing, and the man started wondering what it all meant. But he knew the name Gurunon, the jar being so famous and worshipped in Bangawan.

He rushed to the house of the owner of the jar, related what he heard and asked what the singer meant when he sang “Salu-salu bulawan, nokotuhun Gurunon!” Fearful of what had actually transpired, and suspecting something was terribly wrong, they split the so-called ball of gold and found out to their shock that it was almost all just a piece of worthless rock.

The news hit the whole community with horror and untold fury. Livid and seething for vengeance because of the shame brought on the community, they decided to take ultimate revenge on the people of Indai in ways that would be deadly and terrible. Using their most powerful magicians, they first sent a tree dragon, which eventually was known as the Topirik (the creature that pulls up), because this dragon went to perch on the tree tops at a jungle near the Indai longhouse.

Day by day many small children disappeared from the village without any trace, and all efforts to search for them failed to recover a single one of them. Eventually they realized that those who disappeared were those who went playing in the forest nearby. So some adults went to spy on these children to find out what actually was happening.

Eventually they saw that there was a dragon high up on a tree lowering its many tentacles which were very beautiful, and shone and flickered with luminescent multicoloured lights.

Because they were very much attracted to the strange shiny ‘ropes’ they had never seen before, the innocent children would play by swinging on them. This was when the Topirik would twirl the ends of its tentacles and hoisted up (pirik) the unfortunate children up to be instantly devoured.

In retaliation the villagers came to cut the Topirik’s tentacles, pulled it down and killed it. It turned out that the Topirik, although dragon-like, only had a short stump of a body. But its scaly skin, like its tentacles, was shining with multiple luminescent colours. The villagers were about to find out that the secretive attack of the Topirik was only a foretaste of the more terrible things to come.

To celebrate their success in solving the mystery of the disappearing children and the victory of killing the monster, they took the Topirik’s skin, dried it up, and used it to make to make a drum. The found out to their shock that when they first beat the drum, it spoke, “Tob, tob, mitobok!” (Tob, tob, stab each other!) and the people instantly took up knives and parangs and started stabbing each indiscriminately forgetting themselves, causing hundreds to die.

Unaware of the cause of the fighting, they beat the drum again and again it spoke, “Tob, tob, mitotok!” (Tob, tob, slash each other!) and the people would take parangs and swords and started to slash each other, again killing hundreds. Realizing to their horror of the drums deadly magical power, the people then decided to end the menace by burning up the drum.

They thought then that they had got over the worse of the calamities. But the worst and most terrifying was yet to come. The people of Bangawan, then sent over a flying pig head to Indai which, horribly, perched on the sinungkiap (the parts of the roof that could be partly opened to allow light in) and started crowing like a cockerel.

And everytime it crowed, hundred of people who heard the crowing instantly fell dead. It would then fly over to another sinungkiap of the other part of the longhouse, started crowing again and causing hundreds more to fall dead.

The people of Indai, gripped by fear and realizing they was nothing they could do to fight the terrible menace, decided that the best decision was to abandon the village. Four groups were formed; one group decided to go to the Kadamaian in what is now Kota Belud, one group decided to go to the Tambunan valley, one to the Keningau plains, and another group went to settle in Nunuk Ragang.

And that was the end of Indai. After the exodus, it was totally abandoned for centuries, and the Lotuds who much later settled in Tuaran never even dared to settle in the area believing it was cursed. Indai was never settled again until the early 1950s when a few Lotuds re-opened the land.

Among those who spearheaded the pioneering of the land for agriculture and settlement was my uncle (my mother’s elder brother), the late Ipos Undugan (Mohd Salleh Undugan) and my cousin and son of Ipos’ elder brother, OKK Imbun Orow.

When they opened up the land by cutting down jungles with huge trees that had grown for hundreds of years, they found dozens of jars which obviously functioned as coffins, evidenced by the bones found in them.

They are still there. Many reminders have been made to the Muzeum Department to undertake a geological research oh the area, but nothing concrete was ever done, which a huge loss of our history.

At one part of a swamp which was a river, a huge heap of long-rotten clam shells were found buried in one spot. When preparing a piece of land to build a house near the old mansion belonging to OKK Indan Kari (later Tun Hamdan Abdullah) in Kg. Lumpiring, Tuaran, people found a buried treasure of weapons (parangs, swords, spears, shields, etc.) there, believed to have been left by the people of Indai before they proceeded to their new settlements. They must have despaired at the futility of weapons in the face of powerful black magic!

In the early 1990s I managed to see marks of the longhouse in Kg. Indai Baru. This was a long row of anthills (puzsu) which the elders told me were spots where the kitchen stoves (ropuhan) of the ancient longhouse fell to the ground. Such stoves of ash and earth would always entice termites to build new anthills. The late KK Panglima Liput Erah even pointed out to us the approximate spot where the Kolian tree stood.

The story of the destruction of Indai is considered without doubt to be a true story, a historical event, by the Lotuds of Tuaran. The story may have elements of the magical but that is believable knowing the power of black magic, especially in the ancient days.

But while this is a Lotud story, it’s important to note that the people of Indai were not Lotuds. They had a totally different language and only one living elder in Tuaran can still recite just one solitary sentence that is still remembered from the language of Indai. The Lotuds of Tuaran are not descendants of the Indai people, but people who came from Gua’kon in Tamparuli a long time ago. - Sabahkini

LABUAN’S FUTURE : FREEPORT OR BARTER TRADE?




THE QUESTION on whether FT Labuan is still having a 'free port' status now, and is the government going to allowing the 'Barter Trade' to be revived on the island?

This was raised by the Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Hiew King Cheu recently in the June sitting in the Parliament. The Finance Minister in a written reply said that the Labuan Island is given the special right as a 'Free Port' which is provided under the Clause XVIII under Section 154 to 160 of the Custom Act 1967. Thus, FT Labuan is a 100% free port.
At the time being, the government is not considering to allow the Barter Trade in FT Labuan to be restarted again.

The people in Sabah and from FT Labuan have requested the KK MP during his visit to Labuan Island to help to put their question in Parliament. After knowing the answer, they are not happy at all. Many people asked why the island is a 100% a free port and yet the prices of many items are more expensive than Sabah and Sarawak? In the past we can buy cheap goods from Labuan which included those imported from overseas country.

The Barter Trade business is the live-line of Labuan Island and last time many people depended on this to earn a living. The traders from neighbouring countries had regularly came to do their trading on their produce and in exchange for the Labuan goods.

The barter trade was terminated by the government claiming that the trading brought along smuggling and illegal businesses. This severely cut off the live-lines of many businesses of the people in Labuan.

They had not recovered until today and their businesses gone, and in return this had affected seriously the economy of Labuan Island. The once booming island has been converted to an island without much business activity. Labuan has been suffering from very slow economic growth since.

KK MP Hiew who often visits Labuan has close connection with the people here, and he felt that Labuan needed immediate attention especially in its economic advancement. There is just not enough economic activity here to sustain its financial stability. The government is not doing much in terms of helping the island.

The various businesses here can not grow without injection of fund and other big investments and development projects. Hiew said to put Labuan back on its feet, the government must put in great efforts and encourage investments into the island. It has plenty of potential and opportunities, if it is carried out by a government who has the determination and vision to open it up.

Back in the mid 1970s, Labuan was just an island with little or no industries and business opportunities. It had became booming until the establishment of the oil rig fabrication yard (Broom and Root), the Labuan Flour and Feed Mill, the Sabah Ship Yard, the Shell oil and gas base and terminal, the Asian Supply Base etc.

The Kg Rancha Rancha and Pulau Eno were transformed from a fishing village into a heavy industry site with the setting up of the gas methanol plant and the iron smelting plant. For this, we must thank the people who had the vision, the wisdom and the will power to give these to the Labuan people. These people shall be remembered by all here in Labuan.

It is sad to see that today there is no plan to bring into Labuan any economy booster or any positive economic directives/plans whereby the Labuan people can fall on or follow. In another words, the BN government has totally failed the Labuan people. (DAP Media)

PAS assures won't implement hudud if Pakatan wins GE-13


PAS assures won't implement hudud if Pakatan wins GE-13
PETALING JAYA - PAS will not raise the issue of hudud implementation in Parliament should Pakatan Rakyat assume federal power at the next general election, a senior PAS leader said.
PAS national unity bureau chairman Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the party would work with its allies in the coalition to focus on social and economic governance matters, rather than work on imposing hudud or Islamic criminal punishment.
"There is no question of hudud being taken through Parliament because the coalition has bigger issues to address, such as the economic welfare of the people, women's welfare, minimum wages and governance of the country which are stated in both the PR and PAS manifestos," the Parit Buntar MP said in an interview.
Non-believer
Mujahid's assertion is in contrast to the stand taken by PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, who said on Sunday on Twitter that those who rejected Allah's laws are considered kufur (going against Allah's will), with particular reference to DAP chairman Karpal Singh.
"Karpal is consistent in rejecting hudud because he is a non-believer. PAS must continue with its struggle to uphold Islam," Nasrudin said.
Karpal had on July 23 admonished Nasrudin for calling for hudud to be implemented.
Mujahid also urged PAS leaders to ensure that lower-rank members respect the decisions made during the PASmuktamar (annual gathering) for focus on a welfare state, as they may otherwise sabotage PR's chances in the general election.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali had last week stressed that hudud could not be imposed without due democratic process.
Mujahid, who is son of the late Yusof Rawa – a founding member and former PAS president – said Karpal's rejection has been consistent since the 1990s when the state enactment on the Islamic law was passed in Kelantan.
He stressed that Karpal's remarks were based on a legal perspective and PAS would address his concerns by explaining the principles of hudud.
"There are many ways to address it in an objective manner – through dialogues, debates and forums to both the Muslims and non-Muslims," he said.
He said it was also important to address the matter in the context of the Federal Constitution.

The Sundaily

Sabah resignations just a 'storm in a teacup': Then why is Najib deferring Sept polls?


Sabah resignations just a 'storm in a teacup': Then why is Najib deferring Sept polls?
The latest resignations by two Sabah BN political leaders have prompted another round of speculation on the dates for the next general election.
The resignation of Beaufort MP Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin on Saturday, and the exit of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) deputy president and Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing from the party, is likely to force the BN's top leadership to delay the polls to the end of the year, from September as widely speculated earlier,Nanyang Siang Pau reported.
Lajim quit all Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) posts, but said his position as deputy minister was at the prime minister's pleasure.
On Monday, he was given a show cause letter by the Umno Supreme Council on why he should not be sacked from the party.
Today, the prime minister removed him from his post as deputy minister with immediate effect.
A Sabah BN source believed Najib would have to relook dates for the polls to ensure Sabah remains its "fixed deposit" which is crucial for the ruling coalition to stay in power.
The source said Najib, who was expected to dissolve the Parliament this month and call for a snap election in September, will now have to change his mind following the sudden turn of events in Sabah.
"Their resignations will not have much impact outside Sabah, but their impact on the local political arena could manifest itself. It is going to affect the BN once the resignations become an issue," the state BN source said in theNanyang report.
Storm in a teacup to Putrajaya
But BN sources in Putrajaya begged to differ about the importance of both leaders quitting, saying what is happening in Sabah is just a storm in a teacup.
They claim that Najib had long known that the two MPs would leave the national front, according to a Sin Chew Dailytoday.
Lajim and Bumburing's fallout with their respective party leaders was an open secret, and their resignations are said to be due to party internal tussles and personal interest, rather than ideological differences or the people's interest. As such, their resignations would not arouse any negative sentiments among the people, said the Sin Chew report.
"The duo's resignations were the culmination of their conflicts with their respective party leaderships. They would not affect BN unity or the sentiments of the people in a state where party-hopping is not uncommon," the report said.

Suaram’s Business of Human Rights Defence



Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser
While the Registrar of Societies may now feign innocence regarding their selectivity in registering societies by questioning SUARAM’s registration as a business, let me remind the young generation and those with short memories about our nation’s shortcomings relating to the freedom of association in our recent history.
As you know, ‘Operation Lalang’ was Dr Mahathir’s autocracy at its worst when he arrested and detained more than a hundred innocent Malaysians without trial in October 1987. Upon the release of the last Operation Lalang detainees in 1989, several of these detainees including my good self and members of the Families Support Group formed this human rights organization known as SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia). Aware of the obstacles in registering a human rights society under the Registrar of Societies, SUARAM registered as a business under the Registrar of Business.
At the time, another human rights organisation, HAKAM had taken more than two years to be registered in 1989 even though it boasted two former Prime Ministers (the Tunku and Tun Hussein Onn) as its patrons. It had tried unsuccessfully several times to register as a society in the eighties. The Malaysian chapter of Amnesty International also tried unsuccessfully for five years to register as a society under the Societies Act. Two applications and an appeal to the Home Minister were also rejected. Consequently, quite a number of NGOs decided that in order to carry out their services to society, they had no choice but to register as businesses.
So why is there a sudden interest in SUARAM’s status after its 23 years’ existence? Is it coincidental that this has arisen out of our recent request to the French judicial system to pursue suspected commissions embroiled in the RM7 billion Scorpene submarine deals?

IT IS NO SECRET
Given the difficulties created by the Societies Act, some non-governmental organisations, including SUARAM decided to register as companies or businesses. As the corporate gurus say, “If something is not working, do something else.” Or, as Deng Xiaoping famously said, “It does not matter if the cat is white or black, as long as it catches the mice.” The mice, in the case of NGOs, are defending human rights, democracy and social justice.
NGOs registering as companies were certainly not a secret. In fact, in early 1997 the government threatened to force all NGOs to register under the Societies Act. Nonetheless, registration as a company has not completely protected NGOs from harassment by the government, as the recent intrusion by the SSM into SUARAM’s accounts has demonstrated. In 1996, the Institut Pengajian Komuniti (IPK), an NGO taking up the issue of rights of indigenous peoples in Sarawak was de-registered by the Registrar of Business over a legal technicality.

THE ROC’S TENAGANITA FIASCO
In 1997, the Registrar of Companies raided the offices of Tenaganita, the NGO that had exposed inhuman conditions in immigrant detention centres, and confiscated their documents. Tenaganita and two directors were subsequently charged in court in March 1997 under the Companies Act for late filing of audited financial statements of 1994. And most unusual was the fact that the charges were prosecuted by a Deputy Prosecutor from the Attorney-General’s Chambers instead of the usual officers of the Registrar.
The charges were subsequently withdrawn on 9 July 1997 when it was pointed out in court that the Registrar had already compounded the offences and accepted payment of a fine through Tenaganita’s accountants. Then on 5 September 1997, the Registrar again issued fresh charges against Tenaganita and two directors on minor technicalities. This time around, the Registrar refused to compound the alleged offences for a fine. After Tenaganita mounted a legal challenge to the prosecutions alleging mala fide prosecution, the charges were withdrawn on 25 November 1997.
As you can see, NGOs in Malaysia have found themselves “between a ROC and a hard place…”

PSM’S GREEK TRAGEDY
Opposition political parties have fared no better. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) only obtained its legal registration as a political party in 2008, ten years after it first filed its application. The entire saga endured by PSM in its struggle to be registered reads like a Greek tragedy in modern Malaysia.
And of course, the Registrar of Societies can feign selective outrage yet again: “Wasn’t the Malaysian Indian United party (MIUP), whose founding leader is S. Nallakaruppan swiftly registered in October 2007, just five months after he quit PKR in May 2007?”
“You mean the party that pledged to work closely with, and give its support to, the ruling BN coalition? Yes, we believe the ROS acted expeditiously on their application…”

LESS THAN 10% OF WORKERS UNIONISED
Restrictions to the fundamental right to freedom of association are also imposed on trade union officials through the Trade Unions Act. Today, less than 10 per cent of Malaysian workers are unionised compared to more than 60 per cent at the time of Independence. What a transformation indeed!

CCM ‘ROUTINELY’ INSPECTING THE GOOD GUYS
We stress that the entire charade by the government to harass SUARAM through a complaint by some nonentity in the public and CCM’s ‘routine’ inspection is political and uncalled for. We do not even know if the complaint was made officially to the CCM.  It would appear that the CCM is acting on every single complaint (offical or otherwise) from the public at a highly efficient rate. We question if there is a Standard Operating Procedure (“SOP”) within CCM that provides guidelines on receiving and acting on a complaint. We also question whether or not the SOP requires the CCM to first verify the background of the complainant prior to receiving and acting on a complaint.
From the evidence in the Paris (Scorpene Scandal) Papers, one would have expected that the CCM would know its priorities and begin “routinely inspecting” the highly dubious activities and accounts of Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Sdn Bhd, but have they?

SUARAM’s 23 YEARS DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS
Through twenty three years of selfless work defending human rights in Malaysia, SUARAM has established itself as the human rights centre of Malaysia. From Operation Lalang through the Reformasi period to the present day, many victims of state oppression have turned to SUARAM for assistance in highlighting their plight. The funding we get goes into nurturing young activists in human rights work. We employ a handful of dedicated young staff that has chosen this path of service in human rights work. The elder members of the SUARAM secretariat like me have always been non-staff volunteers in overseeing the running of the organisation.
Since 1989, SUARAM has been the main coordinating secretariat for the Movement against the ISA and other detention without trial laws, the EO and the DDA. Our office serves as the refuge for those whose family members have been victims of state oppression. We send Urgent Appeals throughout the world whenever any detention or other violations of human rights happen.  
Despite its small staff, SUARAM publishes the only credible and detailed Malaysian Human Rights Report every year without fail and has been doing so since 1998. Such a report is an invaluable service to all the peoples of Malaysia irrespective of ethnicity, religion or creed. Since its founding, SUARAM has worked toward a healthy democratic movement in the country and we could well say that all the efforts by SUARAM in the last 20 years have been instrumental in producing today’s two-front system and the political tsunami of 2008.
Throughout its existence over the last 20 years, SUARAM staff and secretariat have been involved in human rights and environmental education, giving talks, organising seminars and providing training. SUARAM has initiated campaigns against the Bakun dam and the Selangor dam to protect the interests of indigenous peoples, the environment and the interests of Malaysian tax payers. We have also supported marginalised communities such as the urban settlers, estate communities and refugees when they have met eviction and state oppression.
SUARAM has played a role in the “Stop the War Coalition” and has coordinated Anti-US demonstrations and protests against the US-led occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and Israeli atrocities in Gaza in recent years.  SUARAM also played a key role in the last important peace conference for East Timor in 1996 together with other NGOs. We have been part of the campaign for democracy in Burma. In other words, SUARAM has always been in the business of fighting for justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Malaysia and spoken out against imperialism and militarism in the rest of the world.
For our efforts, SUARAM was awarded the Human Rights Award for 2011 by the country’s Human Rights Commission SUHAKAM. The only dividends we have gained in this business over these 23 years are the appreciation of the victims of oppression and exploitation, nature lovers and Malaysian tax payers. And to all our detractors and oppressors we can only say:
“DO YOUR WORST AND WE WILL DO OUR BEST”

Are We Celebrating Barisan Nasional Day?



By Kee Thuan Chye 
Malaysian Digest
BARISAN Nasional (BN) has already started campaigning for the general election – even though it has not yet been called – and the Election Commission (EC) is doing nothing about it.
What’s more, BN is campaigning on a large scale and everyone can see it. It has done this by unabashedly hijacking the National Day celebrations and using it to promote its own propaganda.
The theme for the celebrations is Janji Ditepati (Promises Fulfilled) which does not sound at all like a National Day theme. It instead speaks for BN, which desperately wants to tell the rakyat that it is a government that delivers.
The National Day theme song is glaringly partisan – but for BN, not for the country. Also entitled ‘Janji Ditepati’, it highlights BN’s latest initiatives and hints that it’s time for the rakyat to show its gratitude to BN.

Look at some of the lyrics:
Janji sudah ditepati,
Kini masa balas budi.
(Promises have been fulfilled,
Now it’s time to return the favor.)
This is crass; it’s really asking the people to vote for BN. This is outright “I’ve helped you, now you help me”.
But why should it be for the rakyat to balas budi? BN was voted in to serve the rakyat. Why must the rakyat be grateful for that? In fact, if anyone should balas budi, it should be BN.
The song, however, is not about the rakyat. And the chorus that follows proves it:
Janji siapa? Janji kita.
Janji apa? Janji Satu Malaysia.
(Whose promises? Our promises.
What promises? The promises of One Malaysia.)
The song is clearly about BN. The “kita” in it refers to BN. And the mention of “Satu Malaysia” obviously connotes the slogan of the BN Government.
The worst is yet to come, in the final verse:
Ini janji kita, BR1M Satu Malaysia.
Ini janji Satu Malaysia, terima Satu Malaysia.
Kata kita dikota, Klinik Satu Malaysia.
Janji kita ditepati, Kedai Satu Malaysia.
(This is our promise, BR1M One Malaysia.
This is the promise of One Malaysia, accept One Malaysia.
We have kept our word, Klinik Satu Malaysia.
We have fulfilled our promise, Kedai Satu Malaysia.)
The BR1M 500-ringgit handout to households earning less than RM3,000 a month is mentioned. The 1Malaysia clinics set up to offer cheap medical services are mentioned. The Kedai 1Malaysia set up to offer lower prices for basic necessities is mentioned. What is this if not BN trumpeting its populist attempts to win the electorate’s votes?
These are lyrics for a song? If not for the fact that they are so crude and cheap, we should be rolling on the floor roaring with laughter.
How can such shameless propaganda be the stuff of our National Day theme song? It is even totally without style and subtlety. Not to mention substance.
Real songwriters would wince at hearing such lyrics. These are not lyrics, these are slogans.
The song is not celebrating National Day. It’s celebrating Barisan Nasional Day!
And it’s no wonder that the person who wrote this doggerel is Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim. Not only is he not a real songwriter; he is also caught in a time warp. Even Nazi propaganda had better style than this.
Rais is out of his depth. He is in the wrong mode. Perhaps he could write the lyrics for BN’s elegy.
Our National Day has never been so blatantly perverted. That National Day is for promoting the country, not the government, is something any Malaysian should know, most of all BN. There is a clear distinction between “government” and “country”, so let’s make sure we get it right.
National Day is for consolidating unity among the people, taking stock of where we have come to as a people, instilling a sense of pride in the country. It is not for instilling gratitude for the ruling party and fishing for votes.
Deputy Education Minister Mohd Puad Zarkashi, however, doesn’t think that Janji Ditepati means janji BN. He gives it a bizarre twist: “It can be interpreted as ‘the people’s promise’ to maintain peace, stability, tolerance, unity and harmony.” What is this illogical rubbish? The onus is not on the people to do all that; it’s the Government’s responsibility. Why is he a deputy minister when he can’t even spin it right?
Obviously, BN has sunk to an all-time low in its desperation to cling on to power.
By right, the EC, as a supposedly independent body, should make a report against BN for transgressing election regulations. It is very clear that the campaign period permitted by law can start only from nomination day. As it is, the general election has not even been called.
And surely the fact that BN is exploiting for its own campaign something as wide-reaching and large-scale as National Day celebrations is not only unfair but criminal, even if such exploitation may not fall under the Election Offences Act 1954.
What BN could be hauled up for can be found in Part III of the Act that relates to corrupt practices. Article 10 covers the offence of giving or promising voters money, gifts, etc, to influence their vote. Isn’t BN influencing voters with its boast of promises fulfilled and its call for the people to “balas budi”? Aren’t BR1M, Klinik 1Malaysia and Kedai 1Malaysia among the money and gifts that BN has been giving to ensure a return of favours?
However you look at it, isn’t that pork barrelling, and if so, isn’t BN culpable for it?
If the EC won’t do anything, then the rakyat must consider this question: If a party entrusted with governing the country would hijack an event that is important to Malaysians for its own selfish purpose, how should the rakyat treat that party come the day of reckoning?
Oh, by the way, in case the EC hasn’t noticed, Janji Ditepati is also BN’s election campaign slogan. But then again, perhaps the EC considers that a mere coincidence.
Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, now available in major bookstores. The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer.