Friday, April 16, 2010

Najib’s Iran snub risks Malay vote in Hulu Selangor

The Najib administration is bravely showing a willingness to risk losing the Hulu Selangor by-election and key Malay support by siding with the US against Iran in a nuclear dispute.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unwittingly turned his foreign policy into an election campaign issue when he confirmed that national oil firm Petronas has stopped supplying gasoline to Iran ahead of further global sanctions.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) campaigners have exploited Putrajaya’s decision, with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saying it pandered to Washington’s lopsided policy on Iran, seen by many Muslims as a defiant hero against Western imperialism.

“When US President Barack Obama calls failed to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I had criticised him. When Obama called for sanctions against Iran, I said fine, but what of Israel?” Anwar asked last night when bringing up the issue on the campaign trail.

Malays form slightly more than half of the 64,500 registered voters eligible to cast ballots in the April 25 by-election, and are generally against US pressure for an embargo on Iran and view the sanction call as a product of lobbying by the Israelis.

“But what did Najib do? He supported the US call for sanctions against Iran,” pounded Anwar to a roar of applause from the crowd of 200 Felda settlers here.

The PR and PKR de facto leader has already linked Najib’s public relations consultant APCO Worldwide to Israel and news of Petronas stopping fuel supplies to Iran adds another issue in PR’s Hulu Selangor election campaign against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

He called Najib a “hypocritical leader without principles”, saying the government criticised the US for its impotence to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict while at the same time bowing to Washington’s pressure with the Iranian sanctions in the name of “improved bilateral ties”, which Anwar alleged was done merely to boost the PM’s image.

Najib, who is currently visiting the US and sat in Obama’s nuclear non-proliferation summit earlier this week, had said Malaysia supported Iran’s right to pursue the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but the Islamic republic was obliged to meet a UN Security Council order directing it to halt uranium enrichment until the purpose of such activities could be independently verified by the IAEA.

“They (Iran) must earn the trust of the international community and the only way they can earn the trust is to be fully transparent in whatever they do and allow full verification by the IAEA and there are some serious doubt as to whether this has been carried out or has been complied with by Iran,” he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Most Muslim countries are generally against Iran’s nuclear activities but point out that the US has not reprimanded or issued sanctions against Israel for similar activities. Malaysia does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, saying it has to resolve the question of a Palestine state.

Anwar and other PR leaders are playing up the anti-Israel sentiment among the local Malay voters, hoping it would lure them to the electoral pact although the BN, particularly Najib’s Umno, has used the same tactic on the opposition leader.

“They tried to portray me as a Jewish agent but Allah is great... now it is revealed that APCO has a former Israeli intelligence officer as its chief,” said Anwar, adding that the Malaysian police have been infiltrated by Israeli agents through the public relations company.

Anwar was flanked by the DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang and ousted Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin who played supporting roles to the opposition leader’s assault on BN.

“It was revealed that BN had paid APCO RM78 million just so Najib can take photos with Obama,” Lim said to a thunderous applause.

Nizar too harped on the APCO issue, saying any single vote for the BN meant the voter was supporting the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang also issued a strong statement last night, regretting Malaysia’s move to cut supplies to Iran.

“The prime minister must deny the report that he directed Petronas to stop oil sales to Iran. If the report by AFP is true, it is unfortunate for the people and the Islamic ummah in Malaysia to have a government that is just a follower of Washington to punish the innocent people of Iran,” Hadi said.

Both Anwar and Hadi came to political prominence three years after the Iranian Revolution in 1979 although the PKR leader climbed through the ranks to be deputy prime minister by joining Umno before being sacked in late 1998 on sodomy and corruption charges.

Anwar has named PR ideologue and former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to stand in Hulu Selangor. Nomination day is today for the by-election triggered by the death of its incumbent, PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

Pundits note a win for either side will indicate a return of support towards the ruling coalition which suffered heavy losses in Election 2008 or signal continued faith in PR which lost four federal lawmakers recently.

With the Chinese support pretty much secured, the battle for Anwar and PR now lies in the fight for the hearts and minds of the Malays and Indians, who generally support BN. They had consistently returned BN in the seat from 1990 to 2008 until the four-term MP Datuk G. Palanivel lost to Zainal Abidin.

BN has dropped Palanivel in a fractious and open argument between Umno, which insists on a fresh face, and MIC, which wants it deputy president in Parliament after incurring heavy losses in Election 2008.

Umno won the argument and MIC is now fielding its information chief P. Kamalanathan, who has an uphill task of convincing the significant number of Indian voters that he is a capable replacement for Palanivel. The Indians form 19.3 per cent of the electorate.

Local issues such as granting land titles and job opportunities dominate the campaign but PR has promised help as it controls the Selangor government, arguing instead Hulu Selangor needs to send a representative to fight BN’s hypocrisy and power in Parliament.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Mugilan: I was offered cash, land to campaign for PR

MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan claimed tonight that he had been offered cash and land rewards, in exchange for supporting Pakatan Rakyat in the coming by-election.

The youth leader, who came at odds with his party when he was accused of attempting steal the candidacy from Datuk G. Palanivel, said that the offer was made yesterday, shortly after Barisan Nasional revealed the name of its candidate, MIC’s information chief P. Kamalanathan.

“I was offered. I am not lying to you, my friends. There was a huge offer to me but I am a party man and I love my party so I was not swayed,” he said in a press conference here at Batang Kali.

He told The Malaysian Insider later that the offer amounted to a whopping cash reward of RM2 million and land to the size of 20ha.

“I received a phone call from a politician, a person who holds a post, who told me that if I am interested, I could meet with him on the same night,” claimed Mugilan but declined to reveal the name of the caller.

He said that he had not lodged a police report on the incident as he did not see the need to do so.

“Why should I? I did not take up the offer. I have no plans to do so,” he said.

He pointed out that he was a party man and did not place much emphasis on his rift with his top party leadership over the candidacy for the by-election.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had announced recently that the party would investigate Mugilan for allegedly lobbying to be a candidate and even said he could face a possible sacking.

Mugilan’s name had emerged as a possible candidate after the Umno grassroots rallied behind him as a substitute to MIC deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.

Mugilan however continued to insist that he had done nothing wrong and said that he had no intention to leave MIC.

“How could I have stolen the candidacy? You think the PM or the DPM have no brains?

“And why should I leave the party, this party is not a ‘sendirian berhad’ — its a party for the people,” he said.

Mugilan also said that he had never once lobbied to be a candidate for the by-election and challenged his accusers to prove him wrong.

He also claimed that he was merely being used as “propaganda material” by certain quarters for the by-election.

“I never lobbied to be a candidate. I never did. Ask anyone, ask the Prime Minister, ask the Deputy Prime Minister.

“I never said that I was interested in contesting,” he said.

He pointed out that Palanivel had been his mentor for years and that the former MP for Hulu Selangor was the one who had introduced him into politics.

“I have been Hulu Selangor MIC Youth chief for over ten years now and have been here, campaigning for him since the 1999 elections,” he pointed out.

Mugilan added that he was not aware of who or why his name had suddenly been mentioned as a possible candidate but boasted that it was probably due to his large pool of supporters in the constituency, which amounts to the thousands.

“It is just like in sports in school. If you are good, you are chosen to represent your school, then your district or your state.

“That is why I was chosen, I think,” he said.

He went further to claim that he had even received a personal call from deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at 2pm yesterday, two hours before the latter announced Kamalanathan’s candidacy.

“He (Muhyiddin) told me, he said ‘Mugilan, we need you, you are an aggressive leader, the PM needs you.
We hope you help us and we will not forget you’.

“It is unprecedented for such a thing to happen,” he said.

Mugilan however said the Muhyiddin had not offered him any reward but merely persuaded him to help the BN’s campaign in Hulu Selangor.

“He told me to come to the stage on nomination day,” he said.

Mugilan continued to say that the reason why Palanivel had lost in his bid to contest the by-election was because his name had been revealed too early in the game.

“Not even 24 hours passed after PKR MP Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad passed away when his name was offered up already.

“In any by-election, it is bad strategy to reveal the name of your candidate so early. You will subject him to attacks from the opposition,” said Mugilan.

He pointed out that his name was also shelved as it had been mentioned after Palanivel’s.

“Why or who did this actually, I do not know,” he said.

He said however that he had utmost respect for the BN leadership and would respect its choice.

“I have no issues with Kamalanathan,” he said, pointing out that he, like Palanivel, had no qualms in helping the former in his campaign.

Mugilan also said that he was confident of BN’s chances and pledged his thousands of supporters to vote the BN candidate come polling day.

“Furthermore, I am a local here, bred here all my life so my friends amount to the thousands.

“It is untrue what the rumours say that I am not local just because I was born in Perak.

“My mother merely gave birth to me there because by Indian customs, a pregnant woman would go to her mother’s house to deliver,” he said, adding that his family had stayed in Hulu Selangor for over 50 years now.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Zaid Ibrahim will win but by how much?

Did it matter to the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda that Charles Santiago is Indian? Should it matter to the Indians of Hulu Selangor that Zaid is Malay? Or are the Malays more matured than the Indians?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

My comrade-in-exile, private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, has bet that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will win the Hulu Selangor by-election with a majority of 5,000 to 6,000 votes. I, in turn, have bet that Zaid’s majority will be between 3,000 to 5,000 votes. I will not reveal what the bet is but it looks like we both agree that Zaid’s majority will be around 5,000 votes, plus-minus.

Looking at the smear campaign that Barisan Nasional is embarking upon it appears that they have really nothing much to throw at Zaid. He has deep pockets. He has baggage. He is an outsider and a ‘parachute’ candidate. Why a Malay and not an Indian candidate? And all such trivia and petty issues.

So what if Zaid has deep pockets? Does this not prove that he is a self-made man? How many road or construction projects did the government give him? How many APs or permits did he get? How much sand or timber concessions was Zaid awarded?

Zaid used to head the largest law firm in Malaysia. So that made him rich. Is that not good? Should Perkasa and Umno not sing his praises and stand tall and be proud that there are at least some Malays who can make it on the ‘open market’?

So it looks like not all Malays need crutches if you go by Zaid’s success and track record. Does not Umno want more Malays like these, Malays who can succeed even when faced with stiff competition?

Earlier today, in a keynote speech to commemorate the 44th anniversary of Mara, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Malays must not be proud of always getting aid from the government. “Aid is like a crutch... to be given when we are weak. It is better if we can stand firmly on our own feet. Do not be proud with such aid. In truth, we are not masters because of aid,” said Dr Mahathir as he lamented the attitude of the Malay community who always looked for the easiest way of getting rich.

Even Dr Mahathir, the man who supports Perkasa, said that the Malays should not be proud of their crutches. This can be rephrased to mean we should be ashamed. Should this not also mean we should be proud of Malays who can make it without crutches? And in that case, going by this argument, should we not be proud of Zaid who made it without crutches?

So why are they whacking Zaid for having deep pockets? Why are they not singing his praises instead? Zaid did not rob the rakyat? Zaid did not pilfer the government’s coffers. Zaid did not steal the taxpayers’ money. Zaid worked hard to put bread on the table. And that is a crime?

Hundreds of other Malays have also become successful lawyers. I can name dozens whom I personally know and who are now very rich. I know many more Chinese and Indians who are now rich because of their successful law practice. And this is supposed to be a bad thing?

When Malays get rich the wrong way we lament and sigh. But when they get rich the right way we whack them. So what is it that we want? Ini pun salah. Itu pun salah. Tak pahamlah minda Melayu.

Actually, Malays are like crabs. They can’t walk straight and they are trying to teach others how to walk straight. Then, when you place crabs in a basket, they will bring down those who try to climb out. So, in the end, not one crab gets to climb out of the basket because they would pull each other down every time someone tries to climb out. I suppose this is why most Malays are basket cases.

And this is the real issue here. Malays just can't bear to see other Malays become successful. PHD: perangai hasat dengki.

So Zaid is Kelantanese. So what? Why can’t a Kelantanese stand for elections in Selangor? Terengganu once had a Kelantanese as the Menteri Besar. When it comes to Malays we worry about which state or which town they come from. Were Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh, and whatnot all born in the town they contested in?

Mat Sabu of PAS has contested in Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu and all over the place and won most times. No one asked him where he was born or accused him of being a parachute candidate. If I wanted to contest the general election then where would I contest? I was born in Surrey, England. Does this mean there is no seat for me anywhere in Malaysia?

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was not born in Permatang Pauh. Yet she not only won that seat but became the Opposition Leader in Parliament as well.

We need to break away from this old pre-Merdeka culture where you must be born in that town to be able to contest a seat in that town.

In the old days it took five days and four nights to travel from the tip of the East Coast to Kuala Lumpur.
Today, it takes only an hour. In the old days it look a week for a letter to arrive. Today, we can communicate in real time.

Times have changed. We now live in a global village and a borderless world. You can be born in the UK, like me, and still contest in Hulu Selangor, Ulu Kelantan, Ulu Terengganu, Kuala Kedah, or wherever. It does not matter. What matters is that you can serve your constituents.

And I believe Zaid Ibrahim can.

Zaid is not concerned about race. He is concerned about human rights and justice. He worries about the underdog.

In short, Zaid is colour-blind. And that is what matters. That is what we want the New Malaysia to be about.

For more than half a century since Merdeka the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda in Kelang, Selangor, voted ruling party. They never once voted opposition. For the first time in history, on 8 March 2008, the Malays of Kampong Raja Uda voted for Charles Santiago as their Member of Parliament.

Today, Charles Santiago is a Member of Parliament.

Did it matter to the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda that Charles Santiago is Indian? Should it matter to the Indians of Hulu Selangor that Zaid is Malay? Or are the Malays more matured than the Indians?

Yes, Zaid will help the Indians. But he will help deserving Indians and not Ananda Krishnan. Yes, Zaid will help the Chinese. But he will help deserving Chinese and not Francis Yeoh. And Zaid will also help the Malays in the Felda settlements and the Orang Asli in their reservations.

Maybe it is good that PKR finally fields a candidate with deep pockets. Then Umno can’t pay him RM2 million to cross over. Maybe that should be the criteria in future. Make sure that the candidate is not bangsat and therefore can be easily bought.

Zaid should be the new benchmark that the opposition uses in what the candidates should look like. That would ensure we will not see ‘cheap sales’ every month of the year.

courtesy of

Hindraf not a factor, says BN candidate Kamalanathan

Those were the words of BN's Hulu Selangor by-election candidate P Kamalanathan when asked for his opinion on whether the well-known Indian rights movement would be able exert its influence among the constituency's Indian electorate.

"Hindraf? No effect. The people will judge us from our work not by any individual. Most of them have forgotten (Hindraf)," he said, dismissing the movement in having any impact in the upcoming by-election.
Kamalanathan said there were still some who were keeping the legacy of Hindraf alive "...but the Hindraf by-products themselves are not sure where they are heading".

"But for me, it's very simple. As long as the Indian community wants development, they have to work with everybody, even the Malays and the Chinese," said the buoyant candidate.

In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini late this evening, Kamalanathan claimed that BN was 'a family' that worked together to solve problems and did not bully each other to achieve certain means.

The public relations professional and MIC Putera leader admitted that there had been 'issues' over the past few days in deciding BN's candidate for the parliamentary by-election.

"Even within families, brothers and sisters argue and sometimes someone gets angry and walks out of the house (but) at the end of the day, the family comes together.

"Whatever happens within BN, it doesn't mean we are at the end of everything. it just means that we will discuss and we will be transparent.

"We had a problem, we had discussions and as usual we managed to find a solution," he said.

'Umno didn't bully us'

Kamalanathan, 44, was thrust into the political limelight yesterday after MIC failed in its frantic bid to get its deputy president G Palanivel to stand in Hulu Selangor and win back the seat which he lost by a slim majority of 198 votes in the 2008 general election.

In a last-minute compromise in face of objections to Palanivel's candidacy by Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, MIC president S Samy Vellu was forced to put forward Kamalanathan's name.

The Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency - the biggest of the nine constituencies in Selangor - fell vacant after its Pakatan Rakyat representative from PKR, Zainal Abidin Ahmad, succumbed to brain cancer on March 25.
The by-election on April 25 is seen as crucial by political observers to gauge the popularity and strength of both BN and Pakatan Rakyat in wake of the landscape-changing March 8, 2008 political tsunami.

For the opposition in particular, it will a referendum of faith of sorts after a recent string of defections rocked anchor partner, PKR.

Kamalanathan brushed off the possibility that ruling party Umno had browbeaten MIC into choosing a different candidate other than Palanivel.

"If Umno was bullying us, they would have taken back Hulu Selangor a long time ago but they did not. I can also say PKR is bullying PAS as a PAS candidate will probably do better here."

Met at his residence in Taman Garing, Rawang, Kamalanathan said he was 'just a soldier' ordered to the battlefield.

"I never lobbied, full stop, promise. If you want me to be honest, I was just working very hard to convince the party and BN leadership to consider me as a candidate for the 13th general election [...] I was preparing for that," he said.

'I'm very grateful'

Preparing for that, however, also meant being prepared at all times to face the unexpected, he explained further.

"I am ready, I have the time and I'm mentally and physically prepared. I won't say I'm reluctant. It's like 911. 
The people in the fire brigade don't dress up and wait for a call. When there is an emergency notice they suit up and go [...] that's what I'm going to do," he said.

Kamalanathan, who has been an MIC member for 25 years before being appointed information chief last year was at pains to stress that he did not wrest the seat from Palanivel.
"When Samy Vellu told me I had been nominated for Hulu Selangor, I was shocked.

"I asked whether it was a party recommendation but S Murugesan (MIC secretary-general) just told me to get ready and that they will see me at Bukit Sentosa at 3.30pm when the BN candidate was to be announced."

He revealed it was not a scenario the party was preparing for as the plan was to not field anyone other than Palanivel.

"The next day, I was waiting with Murugesan at the party headquarters (and) there were a lot of meetings held, phone calls from New York to Putrajaya, Putrajaya to Kuala Lumpur and even to Parliament.

"A lot of discussions and after all that, finally I was informed that there was a decision made by the party and prime minister and the deputy prime minister had accepted my name," he said, looking astonished.

"I'm very grateful for the trust they have in me and it is not going to easy. The defending champions are the opposition and the state is run by the opposition. But I'm going to work very hard like I have never worked before.

"God has given us 24 hours in a day and I will work up to 11.59.59 pm on April 24 and I will try to get as many votes as possible in that time," he said.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

Round 8 of 10: an insider reveals the shenanigans in the PDRM

On 19 July 2008, a police officer sends Tan Sri Robert Phang an ‘anonymous letter’ highlighting various acts of corruption and identifying those senior police officers behind these acts. This was before the meeting between the Minister and the police on 23 November 2008 and before the police reports of November and December 2008.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

 courtesy of

Malaysia's submarine scandal erupts in France


Murky arms deal linked to international pattern of kickbacks

Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials in France, Pakistan and other countries. The Malaysian piece of the puzzle was added in two filings, on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 this year.

Written by John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel

A potentially explosive scandal in Malaysia over the billion-dollar purchase of French submarines, a deal engineered by then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak, has broken out of the domestic arena with the filing of a request to investigate bribery and kickbacks from the deal in a Paris court.

Although the case has been contained for eight years in the cozy confines of Malaysia's courts and parliament, which are dominated by the ruling National Coalition, French lawyers William Bourdon, Renaud Semerdjian and Joseph Breham put an end to that when they filed it with Parisian prosecutors on behalf of the Malaysian human rights organization Suaram, which supports good-government causes.

Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials in France, Pakistan and other countries. The Malaysian piece of the puzzle was added in two filings, on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 this year.

For two years, Parisian prosecutors, led by investigating judges Francoise Besset Francoise Besset and Jean-Christophe Hullin, have been gingerly investigating allegations involving senior French political figures and the sales of submarines and other weaponry to governments all over the world. French news reports have said the prosecutors have backed away from some of the most serious charges out of concern for the political fallout.

The allegations relate to one of France's biggest defense conglomerates, the state-owned shipbuilder DCN, which merged with the French electronics company Thales in 2005 to become a dominant force in the European defense industry. DCN's subsidiary Armaris is the manufacturer of Scorpene-class diesel submarines sold to India, Pakistan and Malaysia among other countries. All of the contracts, according to the lawyers acting for Suaram, a Malaysian human rights NGO, are said to be suspect.

With Najib having moved on from the defense portfolio he held when the deal was put together in 2002 to become prime minister and head of the country's largest political party, the mess has the potential to become a major liability for the government and the United Malays National Organisation. Given the power of UMNO, it is unlikely the scandal would ever get a complete airing in a Malaysian court, which is presumably why Suaram reached out to French prosecutors.

"The filings are very recent and have so far prompted a preliminary police inquiry on the financial aspects of the deal," said Philippe Vasset, the editor in chief of a Paris-based military intelligence website. "There isn't a formal investigation yet. The investigation will most likely use documents seized at DCN in the course of another investigation, focusing on bribes paid by DCN in Pakistan."

Vasset said police have confined their inquiry to bribery allegations so far and have not looked into the 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman in Malaysia who was a translator on the deal for Najib and his friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, during a visit to Paris.

There have been numerous deaths involving DCN defense sales in Taiwan and Pakistan. Prosecutors are suspicious that 11 French submarine engineers who were murdered in a 2002 bomb blast in Karachi – first thought to have been the work of Al Qaeda – were actually killed in retaliation for the fact that the French had reneged on millions of dollars in kickbacks to Pakistani military officers.

The Malaysian allegations revolve around the payment of €114 million to a Malaysia-based company called Perimekar, for support services surrounding the sale of the submarines. Perimekar was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was controlled by Najib's best friend, Razak Baginda, whose wife Mazalinda, a lawyer and former magistrate, was the principal shareholder, according to the French lawyers.

"Over the past years, serious cases have been investigated in France by judges involving DCN," lawyer Renaud Semerdjian told Asia Sentinel in a telephone interview. "This is not the first case of this kind that is being investigated. There are others in Pakistan and there are some issues about India. To a certain extent, every time weapons of any kind have been provided, suspicion of violation of the law may be very high."

As defense minister from 2000 to 2008, Najib commissioned a huge military buildup to upgrade Malaysia's armed forces, including two submarines from Armaris and the lease of a third, a retired French Navy Agosta-class boat. There were also Sukhoi supersonic fighter jets from Russia and millions of dollars spent on coastal patrol boats. All have come under suspicion by opposition leaders in Malaysia's parliament but UMNO has stifled any investigation. Asked personally about the cases, Najib has responded angrily and refused to reply.

Despite efforts to bury it, the case achieved considerably notoriety after the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian translator and Razak Baginda's jilted lover, who participated in negotiations over the purchase of the submarines. By her own admission in a letter found after her death, she was attempting to blackmail Razak Baginda for US$500,000.

She was shot in October 2006 and her body was blown up with military explosives by two bodyguards attached to Najib's office after Razak Baginda, went to Najib's chief of staff, Musa Safri, for help in keeping her away from him. Not long after being acquitted in November 2008 under questionable circumstances of participating in her murder, Razak Baginda left the country for England. The bodyguards were convicted but no motive was ever established for their actions.

The submarine deal was never brought up in court during a months-long murder trial that was marked by prosecutors, defense attorneys and the judge working studiously to keep Najib's name out of the proceedings. A private detective hired by Razak Baginda to protect him from the furious Altantuya filed a statutory declaration after the trial indicating that Najib had actually been the victim's lover and had passed her on to Razak Baginda.

The detective, P. Balasubramaniam, said later that he was unceremoniously run out of Kuala Lumpur. He eventually emerged from hiding in India to say he had been offered RM5 million (US$1.57 million) by a businessman close to Najib's wife to shut up and get out of town. He also said he had met Nazim Razak, Najib's younger brother, and was told to recant his testimony.

In the current complaint in Paris, the issue revolves around what, if anything, Razak Baginda's Perimekar company did to deserve €114 million. Zainal Abidin, the deputy defense minister at the time of the sale, told parliament that Perimekar had received the amount – 11 percent of the sale price of the submarines – for "coordination and support services." The Paris filing alleges that there were neither support nor services.

Perimekar was registered in 2001, a few months before the signing of the contracts for the sale, the Paris complaint states. The company, it said flatly, "did not have the financial resources to complete the contract." A review of the accounts in 2001 and 2002, the complaint said, "makes it an obvious fact that this corporation had absolutely no capacity, or legal means or financial ability and/or expertise to support such a contract."

"None of the directors and shareholders of Perimekar have the slightest experience in the construction, maintenance or submarine logistics," the complaint adds. "Under the terms of the contract, €114 million were related to the different stages of construction of the submarines." The apparent consideration, supposedly on the part of Perimekar, "would be per diem and Malaysian crews and accommodation costs during their training. There is therefore no link between billing steps and stages of completion of the consideration."

As Asia Sentinel reported on April 1, services for the subs are being performed by a well-connected firm called Boustead DCNS, a joint venture between BHIC Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of publicly-listed Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd, and DCNS SA, a subsidiary of DCN. Boustead's Heavy Industries Division now includes Perimekar as an "associate of the Group. PSB is involved in the marketing, upgrading, maintenance and related services for the Malaysian maritime defence industry," according to Boustead's annual report.

Originally Boustead told the Malaysian Stock Exchange that the service contract was for RM600 million (US$184.1 million) for six years, or US$30.68 million annually. However, the contract later ballooned to RM270 million per year. Boustead Holdings is partly owned by the government and has close connections with UMNO.

"There are good grounds to believe that [Perimekar] was created with a single objective: arrange payment of the commission and allocate the amount between different beneficiaries including Malaysian public officials and or Malaysian or foreign intermediaries," the complaint states.

courtesy of

Big bully Umno shames MIC, slays Palanivel

The controversy surrounding the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election is the "most shameful and humiliating" episode in the history of MIC, said opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang.

“While Umno's hegemony in BN reached a new apex, MIC president S Samy Vellu and his deputy G Palanivel completely lost face,” he added.

The DAP veteran asked if there was ever a time in MIC's 64-year-old history that the party's choice was vetoed by others.

“If this never happened before, why is it happening in the long 31-year reign of Samy Vellu?

“This is most ironic. The Umno and BN leadership continue to be blind and deaf  to the message of the March 8 political tsunami two years ago – which is a massive national vote against Umno political hegemony both in BN and in Malaysian politics,” he said.

Lim said Umno is not only usurping the right of individual BN component parties to determine who should be their candidates, but is also taking over their right to determine the leadership in these parties.

“In eliminating Palanivel as a candidate, the Umno leadership has virtually delivered a death knell to the political future of Samy’s heir-designate in MIC.

“The writing on the wall is clear – Palanivel has been eliminated not only as the BN candidate for Hulu Selangor, he has been eliminated as the successor to Samy Vellu as MIC president,” he added.

Khairy adding salt to the wound

Meanwhile, Lim also took Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to task over his comments which appeared in Sin Chew Daily.

Khairy had said that the selection of the Hulu Selangor candidate must be decided collectively by the BN and not by Umno or MIC alone.

“Is Khairy joking or taking Malaysians for four-year-old children?” asked Lim.

“The BN is a coalition of 14 parties. Is he suggesting that apart from Umno objecting to Palanivel’s candidature, there were others who objected? Can Khairy name them?” he said.

He also challenged the Umno Youth chief to cite a single instance since the formation of BN in 1973 where Umno had acted as such a “big bully”.

Lim also asked if Khairy would accept the scenario where other BN component partues could decide by majority vote who should be the Umno president, deputy president and Umno Youth leader.

“Khairy is just adding salt into the wounds of MIC leaders and members, divisions and branches,” he said.

by FMT

Disquiet in Hulu Selangor: MIC factions see red

Barisan Nasional's decision to field P Kamalanathan for the Hulu Selangor by-election has enraged the supporters of MIC deputy president G Palanivel and local leader V Mugilan. According to sources, both camps are contemplating casting protest votes in order to teach BN and Umno leaders a lesson.

“How can they embarrass Palanivel in this manner?” exclaimed a local MIC member, who declined to be named.

“He is the deputy president of MIC and a four-term MP in Hulu Selangor. They should not have done this to him. Mark my words, there will be protest votes,” he told FMT.

The MIC member pointed out that Palanivel has worked hard for MIC and BN for many years, and he should not have been treated in this manner.

“You cannot simply use and throw leaders like this, he won the seat four times for BN and nobody complained then. Suddenly, they talk about change and a new face,” he said.

Hitting out at the Umno top brass, the MIC member said: “Forget about Indian and Chinese votes, Let's see if they (Umno) can deliver the Malay votes.”

On the same note, a supporter of Mugilan also expressed outrage that the Hulu Selangor MIC Youth chief was sidelined despite having the backing of Umno leaders in the constituency.

“Former menteri besar (Dr Mohd) Khir Toyo and (Selangor Umno deputy chief) Noh Omar also wanted Mugilan and he (Mugilan) was made to believe that he will be the candidate.

“He stuck out his neck, but in the end, they slit his throat,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source close to Palanivel told FMT that the MIC deputy president has accepted the decision, and will campaign in the by-election.

“Whatever said and done, he is a MIC man and he will deliver the votes to BN,” he said.

On the speculation that he will be offered a senatorship and eventually be made a deputy minister, the source said Palanivel will “think carefully” about this.

'Give Palanivel senatorship and we'll back Kamalanathan'

In a related development, Hulu Selangor MIC information chief Raily Muniandy said the division will only back Kamalanathan if Palanivel is offered a senator post.

He also conceded that the last-minute change in candidate will have an impact in terms of votes for the ruling coalition.

“We in Hulu Selangor were hoping that it will be Palanivel. He was the MP here for four terms and is a well-known figure in this area.

“The decision not to field him will definitely see a decrease in votes for BN,” he told FMT.

“We wanted Palanivel, but we are forced to accept the BN leadership's decision. We are prepared to support Kamalanathan but the government needs to give a senator post to Palanivel," he added.

On his earlier threat to close down MIC branches in Hulu Selangor if Palanivel is not named as the candidate, Raily claimed that he was misquoted by the media.

MIC had nominated Palanivel for the parliamentary seat, but the BN leadership had rejected this based on opposition from Umno, which lobbied for Mugilan.

However, MIC threatened to take disciplinary action against Mugilan for allegedly using backdoor tactics to be named as the candidate.

Following an intense last-minute discussion between Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and MIC president S Samy Vellu, both parties agreed on Kamalanathan.

In a related development, local non-governmental organisation Persokemas said the controversy surrounding the candidate showed that it is Umno, and not MIC, which calls the shots.

"We, the people of Hulu Selangor are not stupid. What we want from BN and MIC is a capable candidate not a substitute," he told FMT.

“What does Samy Vellu think? He can change the candidate as he pleases, and we are expected to vote for him,” he said.

by FMT

Dr M repeats: NEP's Malays & bumiputra privileges a 'temporary crutch'

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

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

NONEHe said this in his speech during the Mara 44th Anniversary Convention at Medan Mara in Kuala Lumpur today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apco a waste of money

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

He said regardless of the perceived ties between the two countries, there has not been any outward show by the United States that they were unhappy with Malaysia.

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

To this, Mahathir merely said; "I don't care".

He said the fact is that foreign direct investment from the United States has continued to come to Malaysia, along with a USD1 million handout from the world superpower to "train" Malaysia's armed forces.

"If they want it back, we can give it back. We have one million dollars," Mahathir said.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

Dr M: Don’t put APCO bill on my tab

Dr Mahathir said the US had never shown displeasure at his administration. — file pic
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he disagrees with the Najib administration for spending a whopping RM76 million to arrange a meeting between the prime minister and US President Barack Obama earlier this week.

“Meeting is good but to say this money is spent because of what happened in the past, I don’t think is good,” the former premier said, rubbishing claims the government needed to spend the enormous sum of money.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had disclosed this week the amount paid to global public relations firm, APCO Worldwide, and claimed it was necessary to “repair” Malaysia-US ties strained during his 22-year rule from 1981 to 2003.

“I don’t care,” Dr Mahathir said, when asked to comment on Nazri’s charge.

“Whether the ties are good or bad, the fact is the US has not done anything that would show they were offended by us,” he added, citing the absence of official US complaints lodged with his administration.

Dr Mahathir also pointed out that investments from the US continued to flow into Malaysia.

“We did not get anything from the US,” he claimed, but was quick to make an exception that the world military superpower had given “one million US dollars” (RM3.2 million at current rates) to Malaysia “for the training of our armed forces”.

“They want it back? We have one million US dollars,” he quipped.

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after delivering a keynote speech here, in conjunction with the 44th anniversary celebration of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), a government agency formed to aid the indigenous community.

He appeared disinterested in continuing the subject, noting that he was no longer in power. He noted that the Najib administration had the authority to do as it sees fit with federal funds.

“If I’m in power, I have my own way of doing things,” he said with a smile, capping the subject.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Application to cite Nazri for contempt over his statement 'Pornthip a liar'

An application to cite Nazri Abdul Aziz for contempt of court was filed by senior counsel Karpal Singh today over the minister branding an internationally-respected foreign pathologist a 'liar'.

The application was made under item 26 of the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 in relation to the minister's statement to Malaysiakini on April 11 regarding evidence given by Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand during the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.
mohd nazri abdul aziz interview 220206 piognant 
Nazri, who is minister in the Prime Minister's Department, was quoted to have said: "She is a liar. She lied in the inquest."
The motion to cite the minister (left) for contempt was supported by an affidavit in support filed by Teoh Meng Kee, who is Beng Hock's brother.

Karpal is a lawyer representing Teoh's family.

The application to get leave to get an order to cite the minister will be heard at the Coroner's Court next Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Karpal said it was high time that Nazri be cited for contempt as he had disrupted the legal proceedings of the on-going inquest.

"This can be seen as an attempt by the executive to exert pressure on the on-going proceedings," he said.

Nazri had labelled Pornthip a liar after she claimed to have come under 'political pressure' from Malaysia to end her involvement in the inquest.

He was responding to Pornthip's allegations in a Malaysiakini exclusive that she had been given 'signals' and 'political pressure' to cease her involvement in the ongoing investigation into the death of the young DAP political secretary.

Southern Thailand link

According to the doctor, Thai government officials had discreetly relayed to her the 'message' from the Malaysian government officials.
She claimed to have been prevented from entering Kelantan on official business through the Thai-Malaysian border in January this year, saying that this was one of the 'signals' of pressure being applied upon her.

Despite being reluctant to do so, Pornthip had decided not to testify because of the pressure being put upon her.

Forced to choose between her work in investigating the deaths in southern Thailand or the Teoh Beng Hock inquest.

Nazri, however, had scoffed at Pornthip's (right) claims, and said her problems with investigations in southern Thailand had nothing to do with the Malaysian government.

"It has nothing to do with her fear of not getting our cooperation in investigating her forensic cases in southern Thailand.

"I think it is a personal problem, it is a problem in Thailand.

"If she is unable to perform her investigation there, it is problem with the Thai government, not us," said Nazri

Questioned overnight

During the inquest last October, Pornthip had made startling comments on the possible cause of Teoh's death, suggesting that he could have been strangled.
His body was found on July 16 at the fifth floor verandah of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam, Selangor, after he had been questioned overnight by the Malaysian 
Anti-Corruption Commission as a witness in a graft complaint.

Teoh was the political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, who is being investigated in relation to alleged irregularities in the disbursement of state funds.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

Dr M to skip Hulu Selangor campaign

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not be campaigning in the Hulu Selangor by-election, although his name has surfaced several times in the run-up to nomination day.

NONEMahathir appeared amused with the situation, but stressed that he has no interest in being involved in the campaign, which will see his harsh critic Zaid Ibrahim from PKR taking on P Kamalanathan representing Barisan Nasional.

"I am not going to campaign. If people want to use my name to campaign, that is their problem... I don't care," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Mara's 44th anniversary convention in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir's last campaign foray was in April 2009 during the simultaneous Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-election, which saw him deliver speeches in both constituencies. BN lost both contests.

When asked what he thought of Zaid's recent attacks against him, Mahathir said he could not understand what kind of hold he could possibly have over the PKR man.

Earlier, Zaid said on the campaign trail that a vote for BN was akin to a vote for Mahathir and his oppressive policies.

"I think he sees me as a ghost hovering over him. I don't know why he's so scared of me, I'm just a retiree," quipped Mahathir.

Pakatan is a dirty word

To a question, Mahathir said he believes that BN stood a good chance should voters think rationally and is thankful for the coalition's contribution.

azlan"Of course they (Pakatan Rakyat) will play up emotions and how the country was destroyed under my leadership over 22 years...
"I don't like the word Pakatan... It is conspiracy. You only use the word when you are up to no good and then you 'pakat-pakat' (conspire).

"But if voters think Pakatan can give them a better deal, then choose Pakatan. But remember that people are resigning (from Pakatan) already," he said.

Mahathir refused to comment about Zaid's chances and but feels that the latter's credentials were mostly overrated.
On Kamalanathan, Mahathir said it was inconsequential who represented BN as voters should vote according to party lines.

"It does not matter if he is really smart. He alone cannot do anything. You should not think of the candidate, but of the party," he said.

Sibu by-election on May 16

Sibu voters will go to the polls on May 16 after an eight-day campaign with nomination day being set for May 8, announced the Election Commission today.

This will be the 11th by-election in the country after the last general election in March 8, 2008.

azlanSUPP's Robert Lau Hoi Chew, who was also the deputy transport minister, died on Apr 9 after losing in the battle with liver cancer.

At last count, Sibu has 53,679 voters with a Chinese majority of 60 per cent. There is also a large concentration of Melanau (20%), Iban (18%), Orang Ulu (1.1%) and other races (0.9%).

Lau, who had been Sibu MP under the Sarawak United People's Party (Supp) flag for five terms since 1990, beat Sarawak DAP chief Wong Ho Leng and PKR's Lim Chin Chuang in a three-cornered fight in the last general election.

Lau won by a majority of 3,235 votes with 19,138 votes against Wong's 15,903 and Lim's 812.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

MAS flights to London, Amsterdam, Paris disrupted

Malaysia Airlines flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris today were disrupted due to airspace restrictions as a result of volcanic ash from Iceland spreading across the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.

As a result, MAS flights from Kuala Lumpur to these three cities and vice versa will be rescheduled or cancelled.

The following flights are affected:

• Kuala Lumpur–London (MH4) which departed Kuala Lumpur 10 this morning will not be landing in London. Instead it will be diverted to Frankfurt with an estimated arrival at 2.15pm local time. The passengers will be provided accommodation for one night and given assistance for onward travel by land to London.

• Kuala Lumpur–London (MH2) and Kuala Lumpur–Amsterdam (MH16) departing tonight at 11.45pm and 11.55pm respectively have been delayed until further notice.

• London–Kuala Lumpur (MH3) has already departed London and is expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on schedule.

• Amsterdam–Kuala Lumpur (MH17) has already departed and is also expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on schedule.

• Kuala Lumpur–Frankfurt (MH006) will be departing on schedule at 11.50pm.

• Affected connecting passengers in Kuala Lumpur on tonight’s flights to London and Amsterdam will be given a one-night accommodation.

• Kuala Lumpur-Rome (MH14) will be departing on schedule at 11.45pm

• Kuala Lumpur-Paris (MH20), scheduled to depart at 11.55pm, will be delayed until further notice as the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris will be closed. Subsequently, the Paris-Kuala Lumpur flight (MH21) will also be delayed

MAS director of operations Captain Azharuddin Osman said: “We are rescheduling the flights after receiving confirmation from the airport authorities to suspend our flights in and out of both airports. We will only be able to confirm our flight schedules once we receive clearance from the relevant civil aviation authorities.”

Customers holding special fare tickets with restrictive terms and conditions which normally do not allow for change of travel dates can now do so without penalty fee until April 30. A penalty fee will be incurred for any subsequent booking changes. Refunds are not applicable.

Customers holding tickets which allow for change of travel dates may do so without penalty fee. Refunds are allowed and subject to a refund administrative fee.

Customers are encouraged to watch out for updates on or call the MAS call centre 1300-88-3000. Likewise, customers in London, Amsterdam and Paris are urged to contact our reservations offices for the latest schedules.

London: +44 (0) 871 423 9090

Amsterdam: +31 20 521 6250

Paris: +0892 35 08 10

Malaysia Airlines operates two non-stop daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and London. The carrier flies to both Amsterdam and Paris from Kuala Lumpur once daily.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider


A funny caption to start, isn't it.

The candidate chosen to represent BN is already revealed. MIC's Information chief P Kamalanathan has been chosen instead of party deputy, Datuk G Palanivel.

One thing need to be said. MIC had only nominated Datuk G Palanivel. The UMNO-led BN leaders have selected a different candidate.

Remember, this is an MIC seat as agreed and allocated by BN. So, who should make the decision, MIC or UMNO-led BN?

Can MIC or MCA decide on a UMNO candidate when a UMNO seat becomes available?

It could be justified that Datuk Palanivel is not the favorite although he had served Hulu Selangor for more than a decade.

Are MIC CWC leaders not capable of selecting a suitable candidate. A suitable candidate is usually selected on certain criteria. Are these MIC leaders so dumb in selecting a suitable candidate. A candidate is always chosen so that he could be the winner.

MIC had all this while been claiming that Datuk Palanivel has the capabilities in capturing the seat from the Opposition since he lost it by a mere 198 votes during the last general election in March 2008.

But information obtained from feedbacks from Hulu Selangor reveal that Datuk G Palanivel would be unable to secure a victory since he had not fullfill his promises. MIC would have receive these same feedbacks if the BN coalition leaders are informed.

Just because Datuk Palanivel is the Deputy President does not render him to qualify for selection. MIC elections are based on President's favorites. What the president says goes, has always been the saying. Its time MIC delegates realise the shame they have place MIC in. They have selected a official who is unreliable and not capable. This is another reason why HINDRAF was formed, to create awareness that Indians have been marginalised by the system and MIC is the cause.

MIC's powerful body, CWC selected and forwarded Datuk G Palanivel as their choice candidate after getting feedback.

But surprise to everyone, UMNO-led BN leaders have selected someone else. There were rumours that another favorite Mugilan, a truly local and capable candidate but due to certain legal disputes have been scrapped. MIC even threaten to sack him if UMNO-led BN chose him.

What impression is MIC giving. MIC is suppose to represent and champion the Indian cause. Here, we find the MIC officials are only interested in their own welfare - having power and position. Rumours indicate that Datuk Palanivel would be rewarded as a Senator and given a Deputy Minister or Senate President as a 'buy-off'

Should Malaysian, especially Indians continue to support MIC? MIC has NO POWER. What can MIC do to achieve in uplifting the Indian community?

It seems SO CLEAR that Indians will always be marginalised UNLESS we find a new and capable party to represent the Indians.

Malaysian Indians are seeking for a NEW DAWN.

My challenge to Hindraf: let’s fight for a New Deal

The problems that the Indians are facing is NOT the disease. It is merely the symptoms of the disease. If we can eradicate the disease then the symptoms will disappear. We can't cure the symptoms. We need to cure the disease.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

You can read Dr Kua Kia Soong’s article called Stop labelling Hindraf as 'racist', which I ‘stole’ from Malaysiakini without their permission.

First of all, let me reiterate what I had written earlier, which I must stress was never rebutted by Hindraf or anyone who claims to represent the movement. And that is YB Ronnie Liu, Bala of Bangsar, my wife, and I, went to Manoharan’s house in the run-up to the 8 March 2008 general election to speak to his wife about the Hindraf 5 contesting the election on a parliament ticket.

The Hindraf 5 -- P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar -- were at that time under Internal Security Act detention in Kamunting. Only Manoharan agreed to contest and he is now the Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah. The other four refused to contest.

I did say in my earlier article that we were devastated. We took all the trouble to talk to the three Pakatan Rakyat coalition partners to get them to offer the Hindraf 5 seats to contest (maybe two each from DAP and PKR and one from PAS -- or all five from PAS if DAP and PKR have no spare seats) but only one wanted to contest the election. And even then Manoharan wanted a state and not parliament seat (when parliament would have been a better platform seeing that the Indian cause is a national issue).

Instead of replying to this, Hindraf challenged me to state my stand on Article 8 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. I accepted Hindraf’s challenge and not only stated my stand on Article 8 but on the many other Articles in the Constitution as well.

So, I have accepted Hindraf’s challenge. I spoke out against the violation of Article 8. I also spoke out against the violation of the many other Articles as well. If you have been following what I have been saying the last many years you will know that I labelled the New Economic Policy as unconstitutional and Ketuanan Melayu as Apartheid. How much stronger than that can I speak? Many Malays already label me as a traitor to my race. Some even suggest that my citizenship should be withdrawn for my act of treason.

Do I need to fall on my sword to prove my stand?

Now, why did the other four of the Hindraf 5 refuse to contest the general election? I still insist that they would have won because they would have been given ‘safe’ seats. Looking at some of the Pakatan Rakyat candidates who won, many who are half-baked, there is no reason the Hindraf 5 would not have won. Then, today, we would have five Hindraf leaders in Parliament who could further their movement’s cause at national level.

They refused to contest the election because they were worried they would antagonise the government and would give the impression that they are still defiant. And this would mean they would have an extended stay in Kamunting and would not be able to see an early release. In other words, they were scared. They did not want the government to detain them longer. So they ‘behaved themselves’ by not contesting the elections.

What could I say to that? When I was under detention I continued writing and continued whacking the government even though I too wanted to get out. I was not happy with being detained. In fact, some of the Hindraf 5 had to console me while I was in Kamunting because I kept breaking down and cried like a baby.
I was a mental wreck and it was some of the Hindraf 5 who offered me ‘counselling’. If not I would have become totally mental.

Hindraf regards me as racist because I do not specifically fight for the Indians. I also do not fight for the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, Penans, Bajaus, Kadazans, Bugis, Thais, Minangkabaus, Acehnese, Javanese, Portuguese, Mamaks, and whatnot. I suppose that makes me a super-racist. Why am I a racist only when I do not fight for the Indians? Am I not also a racist because I do not fight for the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, Penans, Bajaus, Kadazans, Bugis, Thais, Minangkabaus, Acehnese, Javanese, Portuguese, Mamaks, etc?

Okay, let’s say, today, I declare I will fight for the Indians. Am I now no longer a racist even though I do not also fight for the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, Penans, Bajaus, Kadazans, Bugis, Thais, Minangkabaus, Acehnese, Javanese, Portuguese, Mamaks, etc? Does racism come in only when it involves the Indians but not when it involves non-Indians?

According to Hindraf, I am racist by exclusion. I am not racist because I fight AGAINST the Indians. I am racist because my fight is not SPECIFICALLY for the Indians. Going by this argument this would mean even if I do fight specifically for the Indians I would still be considered racist because my fight has excluded the others such as the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, Penans, Bajaus, Kadazans, Bugis, Thais, Minangkabaus, Acehnese, Javanese, Portuguese, Mamaks, etc. Therefore, fighting for the Indians would not remove my racist label, if we go by the definition of ‘racist by exclusion’.

Okay, I have written a lot about this matter the last week or so. I am prepared to lay the matter to rest and meet Moorthy to see what I can specifically do about the Indian cause. And if because I am Malay then I have no place in Hindraf then I rest my case.

I doubt there is any confusion that my fight is to end corruption, end extrajudicial killings, end police brutality, end detention without trial, end abuse of power, end oppression, end discrimination, end wastage of public funds and taxpayers’ money, end racial quotas in government and education, end manipulation of the judicial system, end cronyism and nepotism, and much, much more.

My fight is also about respecting the Constitution, abolishing draconian laws and laws that violate our fundamental human rights, seeing the emergence of two equally strong parties so that Malaysia can have a true two-party system, reforming the electoral system so that we can see a level playing field, seeing more transparency and accountability in government and seeing good governance emerge, etc.

Now, many (maybe the majority) of the victims of the above abuses are Indians. This I do not deny. I never said that most times Indians are not the victims. But we do not need to fight specifically for the Indians. If we can end all those abuses that I mentioned above then the Indians would AUTOMATICALLY get a better deal, a New Deal. And so would the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Ibans, Dayaks, Penans, Bajaus, Kadazans, Bugis, Thais, Minangkabaus, Acehnese, Javanese, Portuguese, Mamaks, etc. Everyone benefits.

The problems that the Indians are facing is NOT the disease. It is merely the symptoms of the disease. If we can eradicate the disease then the symptoms will disappear. We can't cure the symptoms. We need to cure the disease.

Is this message too difficult to comprehend? Which part of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ do you not understand? It is about being fair to all and about everyone being treated equal regardless of race, religion, age, status and gender. Is this not a good platform to fight on? Does this make me a racist?


Stop labelling Hindraf as 'racist'

Listen all you people who have been flinging the 'racist' label at Hindraf – if the November 25, 2007 uprising organised by Hindraf had not happened, we would not have had a political tsunami on March 8, 2008!

We can flail our arms and criticise the Hindraf leadership all we want but let us be 'politically correct' about racism and who the racists are in Malaysia.

Yes! It's important to be politically correct on this issue because otherwise our political analysis becomes erroneous, leading to incorrect practice and, more importantly, we let off the real villains!

Hindraf happened because the marginalised Indians in this country are a specially oppressed section of the working class. It is an oppression that has taken on a racist character through the years, so much so that even middle class Indians, especially the youth, have often become the victims of police brutality.

The Indian working class is among the poorest in the country and they do not have the benefit of affirmative action because they have been classified as non-bumiputera.

Indians are a minority in this country but they form the majority when it comes to statistics on deaths in police custody or police killings.

We should be glad the Hindraf uprising happened and the political ripples it created after the 2008 general elections. Credit should be given to their leaders for achieving this feat and for breaking the decades of MIC patronage and pacifism.

The uprising certainly did not happen through the MIC nor did it happen through the other political parties in this country no matter what they say now. It is pointless being wise after the event or to advertise your pristine party – the fact is, Hindraf succeeded where the other political parties failed to do, namely, to mobilise the Indian masses to come out and make their stand on Nov 25 2007.

Right to a specfic identity

Being a specially oppressed and marginalised section of the masses, it is the right of the Indian masses to organise themselves just as the Black Power movement developed in the west during the Sixties. Similarly, women have the right to organise themselves through their special circumstances as an oppressed section of the population.

But to then say that Indians or Blacks are “racist” or that feminists are “sexist” is to expose your own shortcomings and more importantly, to let off the culprits who cause racial oppression and gender oppression in our society.

Racism or more specifically, 'bumiputeraism' has been the dominant ideology of the Malay capitalist class ever since May 13, 1969. It has been practiced under the guise of the New Economic Policy and that racism has been covertly disseminated through state institutions such as the Biro Tata Negara all these years.

It is a marvel that it has taken so long for this racist garbage perpetrated through the BTN to be exposed!
Before long, we will hear of racist propaganda in other state institutions especially schools and hostels since the Seventies.

In 1986, this racism was flagrantly espoused by Abdullah Ahmad in his infamous 'Malay Dominance' speech in Singapore but the cat was let out of the bag when Mahathir (left) had a spat with Nazri recently and they were calling each other 'racist'.

Umno's alter-ego

More recently, we have seen the formation of Perkasa, which is none other than Umno's alter-ego. It has been delegated the role of the racist lobbyist traditionally played by Umno Youth while Umno tries desperately to change its spots to win over the non-Malays after the 2008 debacle.

The stereotypes created by this racism to justify the New Economic Policy remain in circulation: We recently heard Perkasa shouting the old refrain that the Chinese still dominates the Malaysian economy.

It was a cue for Umno to continue the NEP in another guise, the New Economic Model. While this has populist appeal to win over the Malay voters, the main beneficiaries are the well-connected capitalists of diverse ethnicities under Umno hegemony.

The marginalised Indians who make up some of the poorest and most oppressed sections among West Malaysians have been portrayed in a racist light. Yet Indians have been the main victims of racial killings such as at Kampong Medan in 2001, deaths in police custody as well as trigger-happy police shootings. (See 'Policing the Malaysian Police', Suaram 2005)

Our indigenous peoples and migrant workers have also been portrayed in a racist light and the recent historic demonstration (right) at Putrajaya recently by our Orang Asli community was truly uplifting.

Whither Hindraf?

Having a separate organisation does not of course guarantee that its leadership will be necessarily progressive. Since 2008, we have seen the Hindraf leadership split into various factions.

It is in the common interest of all communities to fight racism on a class basis. In this day and age, affirmative action is not justifiable for any ethnic community which has undergone class differentiation. Thus, I would think that neither the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazanmurut nor Iban communities can justify any affirmative action.

However, communities that are not yet class differentiated such as the Orang Asli and Penan communities may justify affirmative action as a particular community.

The best non-racist approach to progress is still affirmative action based on class or sector.

All progressive Malaysians must unite around their struggles and stop flinging the 'racist' label about. The racists are the Umnoputras who control the Malaysian state.

We hope that the true Hindraf leaders will stay faithful to their just cause and correctly identify the primary role of capitalism and the state in causing racial oppression suffered by the Indian masses. The struggle against the Malaysian state can only succeed if it is anti-racist.

At the same time, Hindraf must also work alongside other campaigns for justice, democracy and human rights. We can only mobilise the whole masses if we fight on all fronts, against all oppressions and against the divisions within the masses. As the Black Panthers said in the sixties:

“We do not fight racism with racism…

We fight racism with solidarity”.

DR KUA KIA SOONG, a former MP, was principal of the New Era College, Kajang. He is also a director of human rights group Suaram.

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My Response to Raja Petra’s GREAT Hindraf debate! - IraiPuttiran

The following is my response to two desperate articles written by Raja Petra Kamarudinn titled” I am also an Orang Asli” and the Great Hindraf Debate” and published in his website. I am responding in the HRP’s website as I want for RPK to come to this website and read it and respond on this website. He likes to always talk to his gallery.The statements in red are clipped out from his article.

1. My grandmother on my father’s side is Tengku Badariah binti al-Marhum Sultan Ala’ eddin Suleiman Shah…

- So what? Who cares? Six paragraphs of nothing but self glorification like that.

2. A combination of Orang Asli, Bugis and Welsh blood is a very potent combination indeed.

- So are many other combinations! What have you achieved with your so called ‘potent combination’ other than harping on your blog, hell-bent on promoting yourself ?

3. The Indians are too conscious of the fact that they are Indians

- more than you of who you are? Six paragraphs of who you are and how proud you are of what and who you are. Who can be more conscious than that? And yeah, and I also see the connection between your interest in Indians and your name!

4. They want to be accorded equal treatment but refuse to also treat others as equals.

- I can also say the same about you and the likes of you in PR. What is it that makes you think your statement is any truer than mine?

5. They keep talking about Indian this and Indian that, never Malaysian this or Malaysian that.

- Such a sweeping statement with no substance…! …never…? You, Raja Petra, are the one who keep talking about Indians this and Indians that

6. I am actually quite tired of the antics of these Indian racists

- So am I of you, your PR comrades and cyber troopers! We are soooooooo tired of your antics trying to distort the truth and pollute the minds of Malaysians about Hindraf’s earnest struggle!

7. Which is the real Hindraf? There are five different Hindrafs. Will the real Hindraf please stand up!

- Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic! Because – the PR cyber troopers seem to know who is or are the real Hindraf leader(s) as they very fondly use the Ponnusamy brothers’ names when lambasting Hindraf. Why don’t you ask your shallow demagogue de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim, to show you his version of Hindraf leaders, as they are already on his side! So, if Anwar is correct, all these lambasting about Hindraf is aimed at those two who are masquerading with him? How strange!

8. Yes, in England Hindraf would be declared a racist organisation and their leaders would be dragged to court. Maybe I will file legal action against Hindraf in a British court just to prove my point. Hmm… I think I will contact my lawyer tomorrow and see if he can file legal action against Hindraf in a British court. That would teach them not to be too racist.

- Yes baby, bring it on…please do! We will battle it. We will see who teaches who a lesson! We will see who knows the English law better, you or the Ponnusamy brothers! May I remind you my worthy opponent, that it is precisely in England, that Waytha Moorthy gave a briefing in the House of Lords on the plight of Malaysian ethnic Indian community, on 8th December 2008 and again, in the House of Commons, on the 10th March 2010, together with the Cigma activists from Sabah and Sarawak and even organised a meeting of British MPs for Anwar. And England has given him political asylum and he is travelling on a UN passport! Do you know what that means? Are you smarter than the English lawmakers or the UN officials? Who are you trying to fool Raja Petra? Please keep this utter crap within your circle of people who deify you!

9. I would love to get involved in Hindraf

- Why the intensity to want to get involved in Hindraf if it is doomed to fail and it is racist and has no grass root support, blah…blah…blah….! Besides, there are many NGOs and other Indian and non-Indian political parties which are very multiracial and you can readily join and render your social service duly! But, why particularly Hindraf? In fact, which Hindraf would you like to join?

10. The Hulu Selangor by-election on 25 April 2010 will be a good test of Hindraf’s sincerity.

- Who are you to test Hindraf’s sincerity? And sincerity for what? Hindraf has their interpretation of sincerity too! And I have seen true sincerity in PR’s sincerity , a sincerity based on broken promises and deceiving perceptions.

11. And I will send a message to Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, in the event he is chosen as the Hulu Selangor candidate, also support Hindraf’s cause.

- Truly fascinating! In the first place, why does Zaid Ibrahim need you to tell him whose and what cause to support? And next, why do you have to wait for Hulu Selangor by-election to tell PR lawmakers to support
Hindraf’s cause? Why should Hindraf believe anything you say, so close to the crucial by-election? Hello, who are you trying to fool here? In the 12th General Election, there were so many promises made, including saving Kampung Buah Pala! So, the Indians supported PR and voted for PR! But, they watched in vain and bled in pain the way PR dispensed their services to the Indians as opposed to the Chinese and Malays ! Hindraf’s conclusion is made very clear by the its leaders and you can check Human Rights Party Malaysia website for further details! PR has lost Hindraf’s trust! They were given the golden opportunity to do justice to all Malaysians, including Indians! But, unfortunately, PR screwed it up gravely! In 2008, all Malaysians, including the Indians, Malays and Chinesewoke up from the long slumber for good! PR failed to realise it! PR still thinks that they can have a free ride on the Indian votes, forever!

My conclusion

It is PR that needs to wake up, and not Hindraf! Instead of wasting time trying to play games to win the Indian votes, you should go and talk to the supremo leader. Ask him why he wasn’t there in Kampung Buah Pala, why the Hindu cemeteries were desecrated with such impunity in PR states, why nine Chinese schools in Perak were allocated 2,500 acres of land and not Tamil schools (except one Bagan Jermal of 0.9 ha), why 349 planned villages and 134 new villages with 110,000 and 102,000 titles respectively are to be given out irrespective of the National Land Council’s order, involving almost all Malay and Chinese owners and land recipients excluding Indians, why freehold titles were given for just RM63 to 110,000 planned villages (almost 99% Malay) and 102,000 (estimated to almost 99% Chinese) Chinese new villagers in Perak, but not to Indians in Buah Pala or any other Indian settlement, why DAP made such a big fuss over a pig abattoir in Kedah but not Buah Pala, why was there a Teoh Beng Hock Trust Fund and “Justice for Teoh Beng Hock” on DAP website and not for the so many other Indians killed by the Malaysian police, why was there a Ceramah Perdana at Tapak Pesta for the Malays but none for the Indians over the Buah Pala Issue?
……why ..why?

We know why! This is RACISM! And you have the audacity to call Hindraf a racist party! Hindraf has always remained true to its cause of struggle from the day Hindraf was born until now! PR supported Hindraf before the 2008 Tsunami and rode to victory on substantial Indian votes, then stopped supporting Hindraf when it refuses to continue its support to PR! It is PR that has changed, not Hindraf!

Thank you.


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