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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clash of Iban slogans between SPDP and Snap

FMT Staff

Aiming to stoke a revival amongst Dayak, Snap’s battlecry is irking rival Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party.

The old Iban war cry ‘Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban’ which literally means “as long as there is life, there is fight” may have been good in the old days but can it hold a candle in this new world?

Well, Barisan Nasional coalition partner Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) thinks not.

SPDP has accused its rival, the re-emerging Sarawak National Party (Snap), of manipulating the famous Iban slogan in a bid to stir up the emotions of Dayaks in rural Sarawak.

Chiding Snap, SPDP vice-president Sylvester Entri Muran said the opposition party is ‘simply wasting its time’ touting the slogan.

“If their slogan is “Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban,” our slogan in Barisan Nasional is “Agi Idup, Agi Mansang (as long as there is life, there is development),” he said.

Entri said Snap had the slogan printed on all its calendars which were being distributed in the rural areas.

He said the words were aimed at inciting the voters to resist government efforts to bring development.

Wasteful effort

Entri, who is the Marudi incumbent, is expected to face Snap president Edwin Dundang in the upcoming state polls.

Speaking to reporters at a longhouse groundbreaking ceremony in Bakong, about 40 kilometres from here, Entrie described Dundang’s strategy of distributing these calenders as a ‘wasteful effort.’

“What the Barisan Nasional distributes will ensure that assets of the people would be inherited by their next generation,” he said alluding to the land titles which the government was issuing to the longhouse folks involved in the Bakong project.

Land titles are among key issues in the run up to the state polls set for April 16.

SPDP, which has been allocated nine seats, is likely to see stiff contest in at least four of its constituencies, including Marudi.

Dismissing speculations that his time was up, Entrie said only the BN governmet had the ability to ‘deliver the goods.’

Anwar hauled up by police over speech on sex video, Najib and Rosmah

Anwar hauled up by police over speech on sex video, Najib and Rosmah

UPDATE2 Police have served a notice on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, demanding that he appear at the Ampang district police station for interrogation over a ceramah or political lecture he gave last Friday.

Anwar, the de-facto head of both the Pakatan Rakyat coalition and PKR party, had spoken on how Prime Minister Najib Razak's government and the Umno elite had tried to frame him as being the man caught on a video tape having sex with a female prostitute.

He has previously accused Najib and cousin Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein of abetting the conspiry to kill his political career. In his speech last Friday night, he had said the PM and wife Rosmah Mansor "tak berani berdepan dengan kita" (did not dare face the people).[Scroll below for the video]

Back to the wall after the video tape boomeranged on the conspirators as most Malaysians opted to believe Anwar rather than Najib, the Umno elite are not expected to retreat given that they hold the upperhand in terms of control over the police and the judiciary.

According to PKR leaders, more incredulous plots and actions can be expected in the days to come.

“This new investigation on Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim is under s.4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and s.27(5) of the Police Act 1967,” PKR vice president and human rights lawyer N Surendran said in a statement out on Thursday.

"These are both draconian amd unconstitutional laws which are regularly used by the Barisan Nasional goverment to prevent freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.”

According to Surendran, the police notice under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code was served on Anwar on Thursday and they had wanted him to appear at the station at 10.30am today.

Surendran told Malaysia Chronicle that Anwar was still in Sarawak and due to return only after nomination day for the state polls on April 6. "We will arrange another date," Surendran said.

Abuse of power

On March 25, at a gathering in Taman Melawati, police and FRU personnmel had tried to bar Anwar from speaking to the crowd. They limited his speech to 15 minutes but when they went up on stage to interrupt him after only 13 minutes had elapsed, the crowd turned unruly.

Upset by the police high-handedness, Anwar's supporters got into a fight with the police and several were arrested.

"Police had unlawfully disrupted this ceramah just as Anwar was speaking, made several unlawful arrests and assaulted the Gombak MP and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali," said Surendran.

"This new investigation on Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim is politically motivated, in bad faith and a blatant abuse of police powers. We ask that this baseless investigation be ended immediately and all those responsible for instituting it be brought to justice for abuse of power, no mattter how high or powerful they may be. "

So far, Azmin who is also the Gombak MP, Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib and Batu Caves assemblyman Amiruddin Shaari have been hauled up and had their statements taken on Wednesday.

On Sunday night, some 20 to 30 police swooped down and surrounded Azmin's home just to serve the Notice 111 on him. The PKR No. 2 has given the police 48 hours to apologize failing which he will sue them for intimidation and wrongful conduct.

"The gathering was peaceful and organised but it became chaotic when the police started to come in and provoked the peaceful function," insisted Azmin.

Royal Commission of Inquiry

Meanwhile, Surendran call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into police abuse of power to be formed.

"We note that the BN continues in its immoral and unlawful quest to undermine the rule of law and turn this nation into a police state. It is clear that they are prepared to use every underhand and unlawful means to perpetuate their grip on the country and to stay in power indefinitely," he said.

"In our parliamentary democracy, it is the constitutionally protected role of the Opposition Leader to scrutinize, check and criticize government policies and actions. Abusing and manipulating state powers to target, harass and intimidate the Opposition Leader is nothing short of an attack on our democratic system.

"We also ask that a Royal Commission be formed for the purpose of inquiring into the decades long abuse of police and prosecutorial powers by the Barisan Nasional in order to attack, discredit, criminalize and imprison the political opposition,civil society activists and others who have been critical of the government."

- Malaysia Chronicle

VIDEO Najib-Rosmah dare not face us

VIDEO Police storm stage 13 minutes into Anwar's speech

Why the Chinese too are against Interlok

Why the Chinese too are against Interlok

Just when Deputy Prime Minister and Education minister Muhyiddin Yassin thinks that he can rest and relax in peace with the troubles concerning Interlok all swept under the carpet, they have cropped up once again.

Now it is the turn of the Chinese to raise their anger against the usage of Interlok as Malay literature in the Form 5 school syllabus.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth and other Chinese associations all over Malaysia have issued a joint statement stating that the book gave an extremely bad stereotyping of the Chinese. It depicted the Chinese as sexually promiscuous opium addicts who are out to cheat people besides being greedy and unscrupulous.

Calling the novel 'poisonous', the statement remarked that Interlok propagates the ideology of Ketuanan Melayu as it glorifies the attributes of one race while downgrading that of the Indians and the Chinese.

Malaysia Chronicle
spoke to PKR's Selayang MP, William Leong for his opinion of the novel. "It certainly cannot be used in school although it can be sold in bookshops. The book has no literature quality at all," said William who is also the PKR Treasurer.

He remarked that racial stereotyping is wrong and reeks of racism and racial prejudice.

Within BN, contrasting stands

Certainly, Interlok has painted the Chinese and the Indians as races which are morally despicable that should be looked upon with disgust and disdain.

In a media statement which appeared in the Chinese papers last month, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Nazri Aziz had proposed that there should not be any amendment to the contents of Interlok and at the same time the book should not be used in the school curriculum.

DAP's Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Hin questioned the BN Government's stand on this, saying "why is Nazri saying one thing and Muhyiddin doing another? Why is there no clear stand by BN on this matter?"

BN leaders have often accused PR leaders of having no clear stand on issues but now it may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The Chinese associations condemned the book as promoting Malay racial supremacy by portraying the Chinese as always trying to take advantage of the Malays and bullying the Malays. This sort of brainwashing material is akin to the vicious racial propaganda spewing forth from Biro Tata Negara (BTN) officers/lecturers.

The major theme of the book depicted the Chinese as the 'scum of the earth'.

Brainwashing ahead of GE13

As the teachers of Malay literature are mostly Malays, the usage of Interlok in school could be subverted to a more sinister move by some of the more overzealous teachers due to the novel's racial bias.

It has to be noted that the novel was published in 1971, just after the race riots of 1969. It failed to achieve any rave reviews then and it was buried in obscurity until recently when it was made compulsory school literature.

The move by the Federal Government to introduce this book into the school syllabus is highly suspect and coffee-shop talk among the Chinese was that it will be used by Umno to woo the Malays via the theme of Malay Supremacy.

The opinion of the Chinese is the timing of the usage of Interlok is to coincide with the run-up to the 13th General Election.

Get the facts rights

Interlok is not only rich in racial discrimination, it also has factual errors, for example, the Chinese Anti-Japanese Army was depicted as wanting to build a small China in Malaya.

Actually the Chinese in Malaya fought against the Japanese because they were fearful of the treatment that the Japanese would mete out to them as what happened in the rape of Nanking where the Japanese forces meted out unspeakable atrocities against the Chinese.

The Chinese in Malaya fought the Japanese out of fear, not because they wanted to build a small China in Malaya.

Besides the Indian groups and Chinese associations, others who have spoken out against Interlok are the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST), Centre for Policy Initiatives director, Lim Teck Ghee and Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing of the Melaka-Johor Diocese.

William opined that if Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak wants to seriously implement the concept of 1Malaysia, then it is a great failure because of Interlok.

Instead of promoting racial harmony, Ketuanan Melayu is being vigorously promoted by Umno to capture Malay votes in view of the impending 13th General Election.

"As usual, the government does not practice what it preaches. They are also arrogant and do not listen to the people, contrary to what it is always saying," added William. - Malaysia Chronicle

Local gay film a box office hit; PAS wants it banned

Films depicting gay lifestyles should not be shown to the public, says PAS' Hatta Ramli.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first gay-themed movie has been a hit at the box office but an official from the conservative Islamic party PAS called for it to be banned despite its anti-homosexual ending.

“Dalam Botol” (Inside a Bottle) raked in RM1 million in the first five days, making it a local hit, the Star daily reported, despite Malaysia’s conservative views on homosexuality.

The movie, which opened on March 24, features a gay male character who has a sex-change operation to please his lover but finally regrets the procedure. It ends with him falling in love with a girl.

Although the movie has a gay theme, producer Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman said she regarded it as a warning to the public about homosexual culture.

“For me, this film is my soapbox to remind society not to be influenced by gay culture, which is considered taboo in this country,” Raja Azmi told the Star.

In Malaysia, positive depictions of homosexuality in popular culture are taboo with local media facing fines of up to RM50,000.

Sodomy, even between consenting adults, is illegal and punishable by up to 20 years in prison and lashing.

Although the movie ends with the lead character opting for a heterosexual relationship, Hatta Ramli, senior opposition lawmaker from PAS told AFP that films depicting gay lifestyles should not be shown to the public.

“I do not understand why we expose such movies to the people. We do not need such movies.


Teoh questioner watched porn

RCI chairman makes a startling revelation about a MACC officer’s misbehaviour.

KUALA LUMPUR: One of Teoh Beng Hock’s interrogators watched pornography on his office computer after he had finished a questioning session with the late political aide whose death is the subject of current investigations by a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI).

The startling revelation was made today by the RCI’s chairman, James Foong, when the commission was hearing the testimony of Hishamuddin Hashim, the deputy director of the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Foong said MACC officer Mohd Ashraf Mohd Yunus watched pornography at 1.20am on July 16, 2009, while other officers were questioning Teoh.

He did not say how the RCI got the information, but it was reported recently that the panel had instructed a private investigator to confiscate computers used by MACC officers directly involved in questioning Teoh.

July 16 was the day Teoh was found dead at Plaza Masalam, a building in Shah Alam that houses the Selangor MACC office.

Teoh was questioned in a MACC investigation into alleged misuse of funds by his boss, Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Foong asked if Hishamuddin was aware of his officers’ movements on the night of Teoh’s death. Hishamuddin replied that he would not know what his officers were doing unless he asked them personally.

Foong: Were you aware that Ashraf (photo, during his testimony at RCI), at 1.20 on July 16, while the operation was going on that night, he was watching pornography on a website?

Hishamuddin (after some hesitation): This is beyond my authority. It is not work related. It is self-initiated.

Foong: If your officers were on duty and were on their way to collect documents and they stopped and robbed a place…

To this, Hishamuddin shook his head and repeated that it was beyond his authority.

Hishamuddin: If it happened in front of me, I would have reprimanded them. That day I had more important work to be done.

Foong expressed his surprise that officers could watch pornography in the office while operations were ongoing and when there is a government order against watching pornography in government offices.

Teoh was found dead after his overnight interrogation by MACC officers at their office in Shah Alam.

His body was found on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam, the same building that housed the MACC office on the 14th floor.

The inquiry currently in session is looking into Teoh’s death and MACC’s interrogation methods. It was formed after an inquest had previously failed to determine Teoh’s cause of death. - FMT

BN MPs push for RCI on sex tape

Independent MP's proposal to unravel the truth behind scandal via the RCI gets enthusiastic endorsement.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional backbenchers supported a proposal by Independent Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong that a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) be set up to unravel the sex tape fiasco.

Wee during the Supplementary Bill debate for the Home Ministry hit out at the police for their “pathetic” policing, citing the sex tape linked to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The former PKR leader said the police was slow to act and that the investigation on the sex tape leaves much to be desired.

He then said it was best that a RCI be set up.

“We even had a RCI for the nude-squat incident,” he told the Dewan, referring to the incident where a Chinese woman was forced to strip and do squats in a police lock-up some years ago.

“This tape involves a top leader, someone who is very established, so why can’t we have a RCI set up for this?” asked Wee who quit PKR after a fallout with Anwar.

Since his defection last year, Wee has embarked on a consistent offensive campaign against the opposition leader.

His idea for a RCI to be set up was backed by several BN backbenchers. The demand was led by Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan who rose from his chair to weigh in on the proposal.

“This issue has been too politicised. It has been too convoluted by politics so I support the idea that a RCI be set up,” said Abdul Rahman.

This prompted Khalid Samad, PAS lawmaker from Shah Alam, to stand up and reiterate Pakatan Rakyat’s position that the sex tape expose was politically motivated.

He defended Anwar and said those behind the sex tape were the ones who were politicising the issue and also echoed Wee’s views that the claims of conspiracy behind the sex tape can only be solved by a RCI.

“The ones politicising the issue are those behind the tape. What were their motivations. It is Umno that is politicising the issue. If the sex tape expose was done through the legal way, it would have been different,” he said.

Abdul Rahman responded by saying that it was exactly because both sides were accusing each other of malice in the scandal that it was best to leave the investigation to an independent body in the form of a RCI.

‘It is only porn if tape is authentic’

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had said in the past that establishing a RCI is not under his ministry’s purview. He also said the setting up of a commission will not stop police from its investigation.

He reiterated this at a press conference in Parliament here today and also revealed that “several experts have been called in to examine the tape”.

Hishammuddin’s deputy Wira Abu Seman, in his response to queries on the issue during his winding up in the House, also said there was no need for a commission at the moment.

The tape, purportedly showing a man resembling Anwar and having sex with a Chinese woman, was exposed by the “Datuk T” last Monday.

The “Datuk T” trio are former Malacca Chief Minister Rahim Tamby Chik, businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Perkasa treasurer Shuib Lazim.

The first two are now being probed under Section 292 of the Penal Code for possession and distribution of pornographic material.

However, no clarifications were made by either the police or the Home Ministry if the investigation included verifying accusations by the trio that it was Anwar in the tape.

But Abu Seman in his response to Rembau MP and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s question on the matter gave a vague answer: “Under Section 292 of the Penal Code, it is only porn if the tape is authentic.”

Anwar has denied he is the man in the tape and his Pakatan allies claim it was doctored and aimed at denting the opposition pact’s chances at the April 16 Sarawak polls.

They also accused Umno as the key player behind the scandal, a charge their leaders vehemently denied. - FMT