Friday, October 31, 2008

UMNO GENERAL ASSEMBLY - MARCH 24 TO MARCH 28, 2009

The UMNO Supreme Council that met today resolved that the UMNO General Assembly will be held from 24 March 2009 to 28 March 2009.

During the same time, it is expected that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will step-down as Prime Minister making way for his successor to take over.

The UMNO elections will determine a new list of officers who are expected to chart a 'new life' for UMNO after the disastrous defeat in the March General Elections.

PETROL PRICE REDUCED BY 15 SEN

The government announced that effective midnight, pump prices of petrol RON97 would be lowered by 15 sen to RM2.15 per litre while RON92 will be reduced from RM2.20 to RM2.05 per litre, while diesel will also be lowered by 15 sen to RM2.05 per litre as well.

Its been reveal that since the hike by 41 percent in June, the government has cut fuel price over the past three months by 55sen.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad informed that the next review will be on November 15 and assured that price change will be made every two weeks depending on the crude oil trading results.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Malaysiakini : Full speech: Malaysia - a lost democracy?

Read the full article of former law Minister (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department) Datuk Zaid Ibrahim at the LawAsia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning:
Let me start by inviting you back into history. Imagine that it is the morning of the Aug 31, 1957. At midnight, an independent nation calling itself the Federation of Malaya is to be unveiled. Conceived as a cutting edge model of multiracial and multi-religious coexistence and cooperation, it is poised to stand out as an example of what can be achieved through diplomacy and a respect for the spirit of democracy.
It is of great historical significance that the transition from colony to independent nation, so often achieved only at the great price that turmoil and unrest exacts, has been achieved peacefully. Though this is a process that may have been made more difficult without the skill and fortitude with which negotiations to that end have been carried out, they do not define it.
That honour goes to the aspirations of all those who call Malaya home. The quest for self-determination has not been one that recognised race. It has been, simply put, a Malayan one.
I would like to think that as midnight approached, one of the elements that gave confidence to the Alliance leaders and, in fact, all Malayans was the knowledge that a constitutional arrangement that accorded full respect and dignity for each and every Malayan, entrenched the rule of law and established a democratic framework for government had been put in place.
The federal constitution was a masterful document. Inspired by history and shaped lovingly to local circumstance, it was handcrafted by a team of brilliant jurists who appreciated that they could not discharge their burden without first having understood the hearts of minds of those who would call this nation their home and whose children would call it their motherland.
Hundreds of hours of meetings with representatives of all quarters resulted in a unique written constitution that cemented a compact between nine sultanates and former crown territories.
This compact honoured their Highnesses the Malay Rulers, Islam and the special status of the Malays even as it seamlessly allowed for constitutional government and created an environment for the harmonious and equal coexistence of all communities through the guarantee of freedoms and the establishment of the institutions that would allow for the protection and promotion of these guarantees. If at all there was a social contract, it was the guarantee of equality and the promise of the rule of law.
I would say that as at Aug 31, 1957, the Federation of Malaya was set to become a shining example of a working democracy. Though special provisions had been included in the constitution to allow for protective affirmative action measures where the Malays wereconcerned, and later the natives of Sabah and Sarawak when these states merged into the renamed Federation of Malaysia, and for declarations of Emergency and the enacting of exceptional laws against subversion, these provisions were not anti-democratic nor were they undermining of the rule of law. Conversely, if used as contemplated by the founders of the constitution, they were aimed at protecting democracy from grave uncertainties that could undermine the very foundations of the nation.
If I sound nostalgic, it is because in some ways it could very sadly be said that democracy and the rule of law, as they were understood at the time this nation achieved its independence, at a time when I was much younger, have been consigned to the past. Events that followed in history undermined and stifled their growth. To understand how this came about and the state of things as they are, one however must have an understanding of the politics of the country. I seek your indulgence as I attempt a brief summary of key historical events.
After the euphoria of 1957, race-relations took a turn for the worst in 1969. The race riots of that year have marked us since. As a response, adjustments were made and measures introduced to keep what was now perceived to be a fragile balance in place. The Rukun Negara was pushed through as a basis of national unity and the New Economic Policy (NEP) was unveiled by which the government was mandated to address the disparity in wealth between the Malays and the other communities, in particular the Chinese, that had been identified as the root cause of the resentment that had exploded into violence. These measures, in my view, were on the whole positive. They were agreed to by all the political parties making up the government, in part due to an understanding that the NEP was a temporary measure aimed at assisting the Malays that would not disadvantage the other communities. The late Tun Dr Ismail talked about giving the Malays an opportunity to survive in the modern competitive world. It was readily appreciated that unless society as a whole addressed and rectified certain historical imbalances and inequities, the country would flounder. In my view, these measures were easily reconciled with democracy and the rule of law.
The 1980s presented a different scenario altogether. We saw a unilateral restructuring of the so-called social contract by a certain segment of the BN leadership that allowed for developments that have resulted in our current state of affairs. The non-Malay BN component parties were perceived by Umno to be weak and in no position to exert influence. Bandied about by Umno ideologues, the social contract took on a different, more racialist tone. The essence of its reconstructed meaning was this: that Malaya is primarily the home of the Malays, and that the non-Malays should acknowledge that primacy by showing deference to the Malays and Malay issues. Also, Malay interest and consent must be allowed to set the terms for the definition and exercise of non-Malay citizenship and political rights. This marked the advent of Ketuanan Melayu or, in English, Malay Supremacy.
Affirmative action and special status became a matter of privilege by reference to race rather than of need and questioning of this new status quo was not to be tolerated. As Ketuanan Melayu evolved and entrenched itself, Islam became political capital due to the close links between Malays and the religion. The constitution itself defines a ‘Malay’, for purposes of affirmative action, as someone who amongst other things professes the religion of Islam. This over the years led to a politically driven articulation of Malaysia as an Islamic state. Again, no questions were tolerated. Majoritarianism had become the governing paradigm of governance as the character and nature of rights were defined by Malay interests and defined by them.
This new political philosophy in which the primacy of Malay interests was for all purposes and intents the raison d’etre of government naturally led to interference with key institutions. I say naturally as it was, and still is, impossible to reconcile the principles of equality and civil rights of the people of this country with the primacy of one group over all others. Needless to say, a new social order in which some are made to defer to the primacy of others is not going to be easily accepted. As such, in order to enforce compliance and to encourage acceptance harsh measures would have to be taken to quash protest or disagreement. Policy doctrine or diktat not supported by consensus will almost certainly be a subject of contention.

It is for this reason that in the 1980s already harsh anti-democratic laws that allowed for the suppression of legitimate dissent such as the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, the Police Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Sedition Act were tightened further. Where possible, reliance on them was made immune from judicial scrutiny a feat achieved only through a constitutional amendment that suborned the judiciary to parliament. It got to a stage where when more than five friends got together, one wondered whether it was wiser to obtain a police permit. Such was the state of the law, such was the state of democracy.
Mukhriz Mahathir will probably be the new Umno Youth leader. In saying as he did recently that there is no need for law and judicial reforms as it will not benefit the Malays, he typifies what is perceived as the kind of Umno leader who appeals to the right-wing of Malay polity. That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation. This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays for if the justice that a revitalised rule of law would allow for is not to the benefit of the Malays, what is? More inefficiency, more corruption and a more authoritarian style of government perhaps. We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule.
How else can we describe the state of affairs in Malaysia? In a country where the rule of law is respected and permitted to flourish, just laws are applied even-handedly and fairly. I can point tonumerous instances where that has not been our experience. Let me point a few out to you. A gathering of one group constitutes an illegal assembly but not that of another. A speech or publication is seditious or constitutes a serious threat to the security of the nation such as to warrant detention without trial under the ISA if published by one person but not another. This cannot be right even if it were to be to the benefit of the majority, which is not the case.My belief in constitutional democracy and the rule of law is founded on an acceptance of their functional qualities and the prospect of sustainable and inclusive development that they offer. It is of no concern to me whether Fukuyama was right when he declared that in view of the success of liberal democracies all over the world and the collapse of communism, mankind had achieved the pinnacle of success and history was dead.
There are less esoteric reasons but as, if not more, compelling ones. Indonesia's transition to democracy since the end of military rule in 1998 showcases these. The majority of Indonesians have embraced democracy, religious tolerance, and religious pluralism. In addition,a vibrant civil society has initiated public discussions on the nature of democracy, the separation of religion and state, women’s rights, and human rights more generally. These developments have contributed to a gradual improvement in conditions for human rights, including religious freedom, over the past few years. Since 2003, Indonesia has also overtaken Malaysia on the Reporters sans Frontieres Press Freedom Index, moving up from 110th place to 100th out of 169 countries covered. Malaysia on the other hand has dropped from 104th place to 124th place in the same period.
I am not surprised. In 1999, Indonesia passed a new press lawthat, in repealing 2 previous Suharto administration laws, guaranteed free press through the introduction of crucial measures. This new law allows journalists to freely join associations, guarantees the right of journalists to protect their sources, eliminates prior censorship of print or broadcast news and makes the subverting of the independence of the press a criminal offence. It also establishes an independent body to mediate between the press, the public and government institutions, uphold a code of ethics and adjudicates disputes. Progress has not stopped there. On April 3, this year, Indonesia passed its Freedom of Information Act. This latest law allows Indonesia’s bureaucracy to be open to public scrutiny and compels government bodies to disclose information. To enforce disclosures and to adjudicate disputes, a new body has been created under the new law, independent of government and the judiciary. While there remains some debate about the penal sanctions for misuse of the law, the passing of the act clearly is a step in the right direction.
The lessons of the African and the Caribbean states are there for all to see. Do we emulate Zimbabwe or do we take Botswana as our political and economic model? How is it that Haiti is far behind the Dominican Republic in economic terms when they both achieved their independence at about the same time, and have the same resources? Singapore’s success is mainly attributed to its commitment to good governance and rule of law, even though political dissent is not tolerated. Democracy, a system of government based on fair and transparent rules and laws, and the respect people have for institutions of government – these make the difference. Economic prosperity drives democracy but stifle true democracy and the inevitable outcome is economic ruin. It is useful to remember that freedom is vital for economic development.
The critical feature of a constitutional democracy to me is the test of constitutionality itself. Does the government allow its own legitimacy to be questioned? Does it permit executive decisions to be challenged? Written constitutions normally provide the standard by which the legitimacy of government action is judged. In the United States the practice of judicial review of congressional legislation ensures that the power of government to legislate is kept under check. Bipartisan debate and votes of conscience are not only encouraged but also expected of congressmen and representatives. More recently the basic law of Germany and Italy provided explicitly for judicial review of parliamentary legislation.

We have the opposite situation here. The jurisdiction of the high court can be, and has been, ousted when it comes to challenges of executive decisions even if such decisions impact on fundamental liberties and other rights under the constitution. For instance, where government compulsorily acquires land for a public purpose, the courts are prevented from questioning the bona fides of the acquisition. Where a discretion is exercised by the minister of home affairs under the Internal Security Act, the court is barred from examining the exercise of the discretion except so far as to ensure that the procedural requirements have been followed. Such detention without trial would be considered repugnant in any system predicated on the rule of law.
Nation building is not a simple process. It is not achieved through tinkering with political ideologies or injudicious use of the coercive powers of state. These do not promote the lasting peace and stability that we crave for. We have failed miserably in dealing with complex issues of society by resorting to a political culture of promoting fear and division amongst the people.
The Ketuanan Melayu model has failed. It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country. Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin), the DPM-in-waiting it would seem, suggested that there is a need for a closed-door forum for leaders of the BN to develop a common stand; a renewed national consensus grounded on the social contract. This is positive step but it should include all political leaders and be premised on the social contract that was the foundation of independence. The results of March 8 (elections) clearly show that the BN no longer exclusively speaks for the rakyat. Promoting discourse and dialogue is essential, as we must learn to talk and to listen to one another again.
The recent pronouncement by the Malay rulers underscores the urgency with which we need to look at rebuilding the politics of consensus. Communication and trust amongst the people must be reestablished. The founders envisaged a government for all Malaysians. Even Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) spoke about it. One of the elements of Vision 2020 as envisaged by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed was the creation of a united Bangsa Malaysia.
How can such a vision be achieved if the government is not willing to listen to the grievances of a substantial segment of Malaysians? Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduced the idea of Bangsa Malaysia in a speech entitled “The Way Forward”. This is one of nine central and strategic challenges of Vision 2020. Although he only mentioned Bangsa Malaysia once, its use had sparked enthusiastic debates. The creation of Bangsa Malaysia is the challenge of establishing aunited Malaysian nation with a sense of a common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one Bangsa Malaysia with political loyalty to the nation.
Different meanings have been given to that term Bangsa Malaysia. Many believe that it was intended to bolster the non-Malays through the envisioning of a united country where their cultural and religious uniqueness would not be threatened; Tun Dr Mahathir in fact explicitly mentioned this. On the other hand, some believe that Bangsa Malaysia was just a neat reference to a Malaysia united under Malay or, more appropriately, Umno hegemony. Whatever the case, I would like to believe that whilst the government of BN has done little other than pay lip-service to the concept, principally by issuing pandering slogans, since Dr Mahathir left, the country will nevertheless in the future move towards a more pluralistic society. The integration of different ethnic groups would occur naturally through the expansion of economic life and through the unintended effects of globalization so much so that ethnicity will be depoliticised. We nonetheless need to actively promote efforts at an institutional level if we want this notion of Bangsa Malaysia to materialise. The political parties making up government may not want to do so for their own short-term interests but as a whole, the people will call for it.

This brings us again to the democracy and the rule of law. We will not succeed in promoting, a united country and allow for the evolution of Bangsa Malaysia if we do not subscribe to the rule of law. We need the openness, freedom and social justice that will be possible only with it in place. and democracy. How do we bring unity to the people if we are not prepared to respect their dignity?
To achieve the aspirations of the New Economic Policy, bumiputras need to be given thinking tools to participate in the global economy. At present their attention is kept focused, almost on a daily basis, on race related issues even though there are serious issues such as the economy and the lack of trust in the institutions of government to deal with. The obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu dotrine has in fact destroyed something precious in us. It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development cooperation, having served in that cooperation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese.
A new economic vision is necessary, one that is more forward looking in outlook and guided by positive values that would serve to enhance cooperation amongst the races. This will encourage change for the better; to develop new forms of behaviour and shifts of attitudes; to believe that only economic growth will serve social equity; to aspire to a higher standard of living for all regardless of race. We need to meaningfully acknowledge that wealth is based on insight, sophisticated human capital and attitude change. A new dynamics focused on cooperation and competition will spur innovation and creativity.
Some might say that this is a fantasy. I disagree. How do we go about transforming the culture and values of the bumiputras so that their ability to create new economic wealth can be sustained? By changing our political and legal landscapes with freedom and democracy. Dr Mahathir was right to ask that Malays embrace modernity. He fell short of what we needed by focusing on the physical aspects of modernity. He was mistaken to think all that was needed to change the Malay mindset was science and technology. He should have also promoted the values of freedom, human rights and the respect of the law.

If affirmative action is truly benchmarked on the equitable sharing of wealth that is sustainable, then we must confront the truth and change our political paradigm; 40 years of discrimination and subsidy have not brought us closer. There is a huge economic dimension to the rule of law and democracy that this government must learn to appreciate.
Relations between Islam, the state, law and politics in Malaysia are complex. How do we manage legal pluralism in Malaysia? Can a cohesive united Bangsa Malaysia be built on a bifurcated foundation of Sharia and secular principles? Will non-Muslims have a say on the operation of Islamic law when it affects the general character and experience of the nation? This is a difficult challenge and the solution has to be found. Leading Muslim legal scholar Abdullah Ahmad an- Na’im is hopeful. He believes that the way forward is to make a distinction between state and politics. He believes that Islam can be the mediating instrument between state and politics through the principles and institutions of constitutionalism and the protection of equal human rights of all citizens. Whatever the formula, we can only devise a system that rejects absolutism and tyranny and allows for freedom and plurality if we are able to first agree that discourse and dialogue is vital. Democracy and respect for the rights and dignity of all Malaysians is the prerequisite to this approach.
A compelling argument for a constitutional democracy in Malaysia is that only through such a system will we be able to preserve and protect the traditions and values of Islam and the position of the Malay rulers. For a peaceful transition to true democracy of this country, one of key issue that requires care is the position of Islam and its role in the political system of the country. In fact I regard this to be of paramount consideration. Although the expression Islamic state is heard from time to time, and whilst it is true that Abim (Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement), PAS and lately Umno had the concept a key part of their agenda, the areas of emphasis differ and are subject to the contemporary political climate.
For reasons too lengthy to discuss now, I would say that the "synthesis of reformist Islam, democracy, social welfare justice and equity" would be sufficient to appease the majority of Muslims in so far as the role of Islam in public life is concerned. This state of affairs could be achieved peacefully and without tearing the constitution apart. The progressive elements in PAS, inspired by Dr Burhanuddin Helmi in 1956, are still alive. PAS leaders of today who have carried that torch also make reference to a more accommodating vision of Islam that puts a premium on substantive justice and the welfare of the people as major policy initiatives.
Umno's approach (or more accurately Dr Mahathir's approach) to Islamic content in public policies was articulated in the early 1990s. This however achieved little in changing the political system. His "progressive Islam" was more nationalistic than PAS, and designed to usher new elements of modernity into Islam. Science and technology were touted as the means to defend Islam and the faith. The approach taken was short on the ideas of human rights and social justice, and the rule of law and designed more to convince the rakyat of Islam's compatibility with elements of modernity like science and technology.
Anwar Ibrahim, the present opposition leader, articulated a brand of reformist Islam that was more individual centered and liberal. Drawing its humanist thought from the great Muslim scholar, Muhammad Iqbal, Islam Madani gave emphasis on human rights and freedoms. Islam Hadhari came on to the scene just before the 2004 general elections as another form of progressive Islam, possibly inspired by the thinking of another noted scholar, Ibn Khaldun. Unfortunately, nothing much came out of this effort.
Whichever model or line of thought that will find permanence in our political landscape, Islamic aspirations and ideals will certainly become an important component in the realm of public policy. To prevent conflicts and ensure that various beliefs are absorbed and accepted into the political system, it is imperative that no force or compulsion is used. This is where the merit of a government adopting democracy and rule of law becomes apparent. The discussions and deliberations of even sensitive and delicate issues will make the participants aware of the value of ideas and the value of peaceful dialogues. Managing disputes through a determined, rules-based process will allow for a peaceful resolution of problems. The tolerance shown by the protagonists in Indonesia over delicate religious issues bodes well for that country and serves as as a useful illustration of what could be. Approached this way, Islam in the context of Malaysian politics will be prevented from being as divisive and as threatening as race politics.
In this, the issue of conflicts of jurisdiction still requires resolution. Our civil courts are denuded of jurisdiction to deal with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the sharia courts. No court has been given the jurisdiction and power to resolve issues that may arise in both the sharia courts and the civil courts. The present separation of jurisdictions presupposes that matters will fall nicely into one jurisdiction or the other. However, human affairs are never that neat. What happens to the children of a marriage where one party converts to Islam and the other party seeks recourse in the civil Court? Or when the sharia court pronounces that a deceased person was a Muslim despite his family contesting the conversion? Or where the receiver of a company is restrained from dealing with a property by a sharia court order arising out of a family dispute? Where do the aggrieved parties go? I had suggested the establishment of the constitutional court, but that plea has fallen on deaf ears.
There is marked increase in the use of harsh draconian measures in dealing with political and social issues. Some people say that groups such as Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) advocate violence and therefore justifies the use of such measures. They may have overlooked the fact that violence begets violence. Was not the detention of Hindraf leaders under the Internal Security Act itself an act of aggression, especially to people who consider themselves marginalised and without recourse? It is time that the people running this country realise that we will not be able to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully if we ourselves do not value peaceful means in dealing with problems. The situation has been aggravated by the absence an even-handed approach in dealing with organisations like Hindraf.
While I applaud the prime minister for calling upon the Indian community to reject extremism, should not a similar call be made on the Malay community and Utusan Malaysia? I call on the prime minister, both the outgoing and the incoming, to deal with such issues fairly. Start by releasing the Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA. The release would create a window for constructive dialogue on underlying causes of resentment. I also appeal for the release of (Malaysia Today webmaster) Raja Petra (Kamaruddin) from his ISA detention. He is a champion of free speech. His writings, no matter how offensive they may be to some, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the national security of this country.
The Malays are now a clear majority in numbers. The fear of their being out numbered is baseless; they are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and the there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly. The BN government must abandon its reworked concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities in this country. It is time for us all to practice a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognize and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country.
At the end of the day, we must ask ourselves what it is that will allow us to protect all Malaysians, including the Malays? Good governance is about good leadership; and good leadership is all about integrity. We must have leaders of integrity in whom people can place their trust. If there is no integrity in leadership, the form of government is immaterial – it will fail. Integrity in leadership is the starting point to creating a just and fair society. Integrity of leadership does not lie only with the prime minister or his cabinet. It needs to permeate through all the organs of government. A key organ of government, the one tasked to protect the rights of the common man against the excesses of government, is the court. The rule of law in a constitutional democracy demands that the judiciary be protective of the nation's subjects be they, I would say especially, the poor, the marginalised and the minorities. The courts must act with courage to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of all citizens, even if to do so were to invoke the wrath of the government of the day. Even though not all judges will rise to be chief justice, in they own spheres they must show courage. For example, in PP vs Koh Wah Kuan (2007), a majority bench of the federal court chose to discard the doctrine of separation ofpowers as underlying the federal constitution apparently because the doctrine is not expressly provided for in the constitution.

This conclusion is mystifying as surely the court recognizes that power corrupts absolutely and can thus be abused. If the courts are not about to intervene against such excesses who is? Checks and balance are what the separation of powers is about. Surely the apex court is not saying that the courts do not play a vital role in that regard?
The reluctance of the court to intervene in matters involving the executive is worrying. In Kerajaan Malaysia & Ors v Nasharuddin Nasir, the federal court ruled that an ouster clause was constitutional and was effective in ousting the review jurisdiction of the Court if that was the clear intention of parliament. The apex court so readily embraced the supremacy of parliament even though the constitution declares itself supreme. There is nothing in the federal constitution that explicitly sets out the ability of parliament to limit the court's review jurisdiction. The court could have just as easily held that as the constitution was the supreme law, in the absence of express provisions in the constitution the court’s review jurisdiction remained intact.

Is it not possible that in vesting the judicial authority of the federation in the high courts the framers of the constitution intended the review powers of the courts to be preserved from encroachment by the executive and legislature? In India, the supreme court has held on tenaciously to a doctrine of 'basic structure' that has allowed it to ensure the integrity of the democratic process and the rule of law. Any attempt to denude the courts of the power to review by amendment of the constitution has been struck down.
The rule of law has no meaning if judges, especially apex court judges, are not prepared to enter the fray in the struggle for the preservation of human rights and the fundamental liberties. Supreme court judges in other jurisdictions have done so time and time again. Though it is far less difficult to accommodate the will of the government, that must be resisted at all costs, particularly where justice so demands. Only then can we say that Malaysia is grounded on the rule of law. To all our judges I say discard your political leanings and philosophy. Stick to justice in accordance with the law. As Lord Denning reminded us: Justice is inside all of us, not a product of intellect but of the spirit. Your oath is to the constitution; shield yourself behind it. Without your conviction, democracy is but a concept.
I would like to say more about law, democracy and about our beloved country. But time does not permit. In any event, I have to be careful. The more we say, the more vulnerable we become. But my parting message is this: The people of goodwill must continue to strive to bring about change, so that we can rebuild the trust of all Malaysians. From that trust, we can rebuild the country where we do not live in fear, but in freedom; that the rights of all Malaysians are acknowledged, respected and protected by the system of law that is just and fair. There is no quest more honourable and a struggle more worthy of sacrifice.

entire article courtesy of Malaysiakini

ABDUL RAZAK BAGINDA FREED

The Shah Alam High Court had freed by acquitting political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda of abetting the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin today ruled that the prosecution has failed to prove a case against Abdul Razak. Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki found there was no prima facie case for Abdul Razak to answer his charge and therefore he is acquitted and discharged.

Meanwhile, the court ordered chief inspector Azilah Hadri, 32 and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, from the elite Special Action Force (UTK) which guards the prime minister and deputy prime minister, to enter their defence to the charge of murder while both have elected to testify under oath and will take their stand on November 10.

The prosecution is expected to file an appeal against Abdul Razak's acquittal.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Thursday, October 30, 2008

UMNO ASSEMBLY IN DECEMBER 2008 OR MARCH 2009?

The UMNO Supreme Council which meets at Menara Dato’ Onn PWTC on Friday is widely expected to stick to the original plan to have its party’s crucial General Assembly in December 2008, instead of an earlier decision to postpone it till March 2009.

UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is our Prime Minister, according to sources, has agreed to bring forward the General Assembly and settle all party matters, mainly its election process since widespread discontentment has surface among UMNOputras which would be detrimental to our country since the gobal financial crisis.

Datuk Seri Abdullah had indicated he would not seek re-election and would be stepping down in March 2009.

Is the UMNO General Assembly in December 2008 or March 2009?
news courtesy of APANAMA

FEDERAL COURT DISMISSED MUNAWAR'S APPEAL ON SODOMY

The Federal Court comprising a three member panel, Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi who sat with Federal Court Judges Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin today threw out the appeal by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former speech-writer Dr Munawar A Anees for his sodomy charge to be remitted to the Kuala Lumpur High Court so that he can argue his case.

The oral decision today to dismiss the application was unanimous while CJ Tan Sri Zaki informed that their grounds would be given latter.

Today's decision of the Federal Court also means that Dr Munawar, 60,a Pakistani-American writer who currently works as a Project Management Consultant with the US-based John Templeton Foundation, has lost his final bid to have his 1998 sodomy conviction and sentence overturned.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

JUDGE IAN CHIN RESIGNS EFFECTIVELY FROM 1st DECEMBER

Another judicial officer has resigned since voicing out his concerns on the interference of the Executives in their decision-making, but yet no official parliamentary probe has been undertaken by the 'uncaring, ineffective, inefficient and corrupted' Barisan Nasional government to look into these 'legitimate' claims.

Its been reported that Justice Ian Chin has tendered his resignation to the Yang DiPertuan Agong effective 16 July 2008 over his controversial remark that former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had threatened and intimidated judges while during his tenure as Prime Minister. It was further reported that he has been on leave since submitting the letter but the rakyat, as Stakeholders were not kept informed on this serious matter.

Since there have been numerous allegation of abuse and since this threaten the justice seeked by the rakyat, the time has come for the government to establish a ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY to look into these allegations and make reforms to ensure justice is well served fairly and equally.

Just keeping Members of Parliament informed would not be sufficient since the rakyat seek justice everday for various matters, some even affecting the ruling BN government decisions.

Will the government establish the Royal Commission of Inquiry?

picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SHAH ALAM HIGH COURT TO DELIVER VERDICT ON FRIDAY ON ALTANTUYA'S MURDER TRIAL

It has been reported that the Shah Alam High Court will this Friday deliver its verdict on the sensational murder trial of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin's verdict will not only decide the fate of the three accused, namely Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar (both members of the Special Action Unit, UTK) and a renowned political analyst and strategist Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, but will also end wild speculations and rumours relating to the case with regards to rumours of a public figure (DPM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Rosmah) linked to the murder, revelations of intimate involvement of one of the accused with the victim and some shady business dealings.

Will justice be fairly served or will it be another 'cover-up' as usual?

news courtesy of MalaysiaToday

ROAD REMAINS - JALAN ALOR

It was finally decided that Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur will remain. It was reported that the DBKL had intended to change it to Jalan Kejora with its rebranding exercise.

The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur Dato' Ab Hakim Borhan confirmed that the name will remain Jalan Alor to reporters this morning following a meeting with the Federal Territory - Kuala Lumpur road-naming committee.

The road has been known as Jalan Alor for the past 35 years and is well renowned globally for its street food.

Dato' Ab Hakim told that the reversal of the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) decision was as a result of the public outcry against the name-change.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BILLION- RINGGIT CHOPPER DEAL SUSPENDED 'INDEFINITELY'

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi informed that the controversial multi-billion ringgit deal to buy a fleet of military helicopters has been suspended or has been frozen "indefinitely" until the economy turns better.

While at the press conference today, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah who is also Defence Minister, revealed that the purchase price for the 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters from Franco-German firm Eurochopter was RM1.7 billion, and not RM2.3 billion as reported earlier.

PM Datuk Seri Abdullah informed that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), a powerful parliamentary committee whose task is to ensure that public funds are well used, can continue with its two-day inquiry beginning tomorrow to look into the controversy.

news n photo courtesy of Malaysiakini

Monday, October 27, 2008

90 MORE DIVISIONS TO HOLD MEETING - ASPIRING CANDIDATES HOPEFUL

As of yesterday(26.10.2008) 101 UMNO Divisions have held their respective meetings and have nominated their respective candidates deem fit in the UMNO Supreme Council (MT). There are few aspiring candidates who have yet to qualify since they have not obtained the required number of nominations, making them eligible to contest. But nothing is lost yet, since there are yet another 90 Divisions who have until 9 November 2008 to convene and finalise their meetings, giving these aspiring candidates a chance to qualify.

The Deputy President post which is receiving intense competition, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has qualified but two other aspiring candidates, namely Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who has received so far 23 nominations which is short of another 16 nominations to be eligible for the contest. Meanwhile, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib has only managed to secure 15 nominations.

It was further reported that MP for Pulai, Datuk Nurjazlan has withdrawn from the Deputy President's race.

Aspiring President, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has secured 101 nominations and if he manages to obtain a further 33 nominations, he will automatically qualify for the post. His contender, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Ku Li has yet to receive any nominations yet.

We need to wait and see who is IN and who is OUT.
But the FEAR is that money-politics is so rampant that its going to dominate and remain a serious menace which would be difficult get rid off unless some serious action is undertaken by the relevant authorities and UMNO President.

news n photo courtesy of Agendadaily

Sunday, October 26, 2008

HAPPY DEEPAVALI


Hope you will enjoy this video: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xBjIGWjpPn8


HAPPY DEEPAVALI OR DIWALI TO ALL MY HINDU FRIENDS & READERS.
May this year's festival of light give all of you happiness and prosperity with good health.

From:

Mohd Kamal Abdullah

SYED HAMID ALBAR QUALIFIES FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT'S RACE

Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar has finally qualified after securing 20 nominations to contest for the Vice Presidents position.

So far there are 5 contestants, namely, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin dan Datuk Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

Among those who are still not eligible are: Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim (8), Tan Sri Isa Samad (8), Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis (5), Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik (7), Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (6), Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan (3), Datuk Musa Aman (2), Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (1) dan Tan Sri Annuar Musa (1).

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

MUKHRIZ - KHAIRY - KHIR TOYO TUSSLE FOR UMNO YOUTH CHIEF

It is reported that former Selangor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has secured 40 nominations making himself eligible for the UMNO Youth Chief contest.

It is going to be a three-corner fight between Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, current deputy youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.
In the meanwhile it is also reported that Khairy Jamaluddin has proposed Agenda Daily to arrange a live-telecast debate among all the suitable candidates so that UMNO delegates could pick the rightful candidate.

picture courtesy of Agendadaily

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BARISAN NASIONAL - WILL IT CHANGE

The Barisan Nasional seems to be experiencing a very difficult phrase in light of the disastrous defeat in the March 8 general elections which saw the Opposition controlling a third in Parliament and ruling five State governments for the first time in history.

As informed by aspiring deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that BN need a brand new format to work on with more participation of all its components while they would need to meet more frequently to discuss and undertaken plans unlike now which is loose and meet only during election campaigns.

Another aspect that BN need to address is the participation of all its component members in decision making unlike now where UMNO dominates and seem to be 'a bully' as described by some component party leaders.

One thing the BN leaders need to realise is that the rakyat have matured and cannot be cheated anymore with empty promises and bullying tactics.

If BN does not reform and make itself seem more caring, effective, efficient and corrupt-free, the rakyat will give its fatal blow at the next general elections.

Is BN prepare to CHANGE ?

picture courtesy of For "My" Malaysia

SOLE BN MP WHO SIGNED ISA PETITION REVEALED

Billy Abit Jol is the sole Barisan Nasional MP to has signed the petition urging the Prime Minister to prioritise the debate on the Internal Security Act when Parliament reconvenes this coming Wednesday.

The Petition was signed by 85 MPs, 81 from Pakatan Rakyat, three independents and one from BN, which was delivered to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s office yesterday morning.

Billy Abit is a five-term MP for Hulu Rajang and vice-president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak.

The name was revealed by Ipoh Timor MP and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang while officiated the DAP Jalong branch this morning.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN FINALLY QUALIFIES FOR UMNO YOUTH CHIEF

It has been reported that Khairy Jamaluddin, the current deputy chief and son-in-law of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has finally qualified to contest for the UMNO Youth Chief position.

So far, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has secured 66 nominations while Khairy Jamaluddin has secured 40 nominations. Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has so far secured 28 nominations. To be eligible a candidate needs 39 nominations.

It seems that its going to be a Khairy-Mukhriz tussle for the top post.

picture courtesy of agendadaily

ANOTHER BN COMPONENT PRS CALLING UMNO & PBB A BULLY

It is reported that Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has made a statement that UMNO in the federal level and Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) in Sarawak are ‘too dominant’ and indeed are ‘bullies’.

This is the second component party in the Barisan Nasional coalition that has described UMNO a 'bully'. The first being MCA recently.

Its time for the coalition partners to reconsider their position since the BN Constitution implies equal status and say to its partners irrespective of their membership.

Will UMNO be punished for dominating and controlling BN?

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

SIX YEAR OLD GIRL ARRESTED FOR THIS LETTER FOR PM

This is the letter that Vwaishhnnavi Waytha Moorthy, 6 years old wanted to hand over to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in conjunction with HARI DEEPAVALI, but was ARRESTED together with her mother and 10 others who had accompanied her. (Mother and daughter were released after overnight stay at the police lock-up).

Is the Police and Home Ministry making Malaysia a mockery in the International world.

We have become a 'laughing stock'.

Its time the relevant authorities explain their reasons to the stakeholders, the rakyat without delay and a total revamp of the Police, Home Minister and Home Ministry must be done to build and uphold the reputation.

picture courtesy of the world that I see - my view

Thursday, October 23, 2008

INDIANS ANGER BEFORE DEEPAVALI


Malaysian Indians, a minority group which comprise less than 10% of the Malaysian population will be celebrating DEEPAVALI or DIWALI coming Monday are in anger over the arrest of a 6 year old daughter and mother of self-exile banned HINDRAF leader Waytha Moorthy (now reported been released) together with their 10 supporters for just trying to deliver a letter for to release of the ISA detainees to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at PutraJaya in conjunction before their joyous celebration.

But to their surprise, the Police had arrested them under the Societies Act.

It seems Malaysians, other than UMNOputras have no right to voice their concern and will have to abide with whatever the government do or says. The freedom of Malaysians have been deprived by this uncaring, ineffective, inefficient and corrupted Barisan Nasional government.

Looking at the sentiments on the ground, the Indians are really going to react and this time around, the BN government will have a fatal blow with much more people joining them in ANGER.

Their joyous Deepavali or Diwali have been ruined!!!!!!

Will the government ever learn their lesson that they are mere stakeholders of the rakyat and the PEOPLE'S POWER will finally decide their destiny.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ONG KA TING - UMNO A BULLY


Outgoing MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting last night ticked off the Malay-based UMNO as a bully at the expense of its coalition partners at is Opening Presidential Speech of the MCA Assembly which were witnessed by Prime Minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and other component leaders.

MCA which is the second largest party in the Barisan Nasional coalition had attributed the party's losses in the March 8 General Elections for the bullying tactics and unconcern attitude of the UMNO leaders who dominate every decision made by the federal government although in principle it should a BN decision.

Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting stated that what was worrying the MCA was that although we have raised these issues - ranging from the Internal Security Act to the issuing of Government contracts and dominance of Umno in the ruling coalition - many times to be addressed by the Government, the solution has not been satisfactory and what the rakyat had observed were that when UMNOputras do anything wrong no action has been undertaken unlike a non-UMNOputras are immediately arrested and charged or detained under ISA.

This hardest hitting policy speeches made by outgoing MCA President Datuk Seri Ong was supported by many BN leaders and had sent shock-waves to the UMNO leaders. In reply, Prime Minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi disclaim such a claim that UMNO is a bully.

It is hoped that UMNO will immediately change their ways and respect the other coalition partners in their decision making together and take immediate action against UMNOputras who had created unrest and disharmony among the non-UMNOputra population.

Will UMNO finally change. Everyone doubt it.

news n pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini & the STAR

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MUHYIDDIN - BEST TO HOLD UMNO GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON 16 DECEMBER


International Trade and Industry Minister and aspiring Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has once again claimed that the UMNO General Assembly should be held on 16 December 2008 instead of in March 2009 to avoid further problems with a prolong campaigning period for the UMNO elections. Tan Sri Muhyiddin made this call during his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house celebration at his home at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. Among the guest present were former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin had stated that this process will not affect the transition of power by PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in March 2009 but it is speculated by various parties that it seems that Tan Sri Muhyiddin's statement seems to indicate his eagerness to express the departure of UMNO President and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah after the UMNO General Assembly, so that the new leaders could occupy these positions immediately in the government.

In the meanwhile, PM Datuk Seri Abdullah had been quoted as saying that Tun Dr Mahathir seem to be acting as a Director of UMNO election machinery while deciding who will hold what positions in the party. PM Datuk Seri Abdullah stated that who is Tun Dr Mahathir to voice these statements since he is not a member of UMNO any longer ( Tun Dr Mahathir had resigned some months ago on his own accord).

It seems some of tussle is brewing in the UMNO.

news n pictures courtesy of Agendadaily

MCA POLL RESULTS - ONG TEE KEAT (PRESIDENT) & DR CHUA SOI LEK (DEPUTY PRESIDENT)

The official results announced at the MCA headquarters at 9.45pm confirmed that Ong Tee Keat and Dr Chua Soi Lek have been voted in as the party president and deputy president respectively at the party polls today.

The four vice-president posts were won by Deputy Finance Minister Kong Cho Ha, outgoing Youth chief Liow Tiong Lai, outgoing Wanita chief Dr Ng Yen Yen and the party’s Johor deputy chief Tan Kok Hong.

The 25 newly-elected central committee members are Lee Wei Kiat, Wong Foon Meng, Tan Chai Ho, Tan Cheng Liang, Dr Hou Kok Chung, Lee Chee Leong, Gan Ping Sieu, Yu Chok Tow, Wong Nai Chee, Lee Sing Chooi, Wee Jeck Seng, Gan Tian Loo, Dr Yeow Chai Thiam, Chong Itt Chew, Hoh Khai Mun, Ti Lian Ker, Liew Yuen Keong, Wong Mook Leong, Paul Kong Sing Chu, Edward Khoo Keong Hai, Teh Siew Kiong, Loh Seng Kok, Wong Siong Hwee, Dr Por Choo Chor and Loke Yuen Yow.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Friday, October 17, 2008

SUARAM JOHOR BAHRU SECRETARIAT DETAINED UNDER ISA

It is reported that Cheng Lee Whee, a female volunteer at the SUARAM Secretariat in Johor Bahru was detained under Section 28 of the Internal Security Act (ISA) at 10.45 pm at the Seri Alam Police Station.

It is reported that her detention relates to her own police report with regards to the demolition of homes at Kampung Baru Plentong Tengah, Johor Bahru yesterday.

She is the 67 detainee still detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) so far.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

KHAIRY SHOULD BE ARRESTED UNDER ISA

It was reported that a MCA Youth leader from Perak, Ting Tai Fook had called upon the authorities to detain UMNO Youth deputy chief and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for making racist remarks and to question the government's stand in offering government scholarship to non-bumiputras. He made a same call against suspended UMNO Penang leader Datuk Ahmad Ismail who courted controversy recently by describing the Chinese community in Malaysia as mere squatters.

With the recent detention of persons under the ISA by the government who as claimed by them as a threat to national security, to detain these two persons would show the rakyat that no one is spared if they were to provoke racial disharmony.

Will the authorities detain Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Ahmad Ismail immediately or just treat UMNOputras as above the law - can say and do anything but nothing happens.
news n photo courtesy of Malaysiakini

HINDRAF - WHY THE BAN?

The Home Ministry has been reported as having banned Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and had labelled them as a threat to "public order, peace, security and morality". This announcement was made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and had declared it an illegal organisation, a move that is an infringement on the basic human right to expression and contradicts the Prime Minister's previous commitment to opening up the democratic space and allowing more open discussion in the country among our multi-ethnical society.

HINDRAF from records have been trying to voice out the legitimate grievances of the consistent socio-economic marginalisation of the Indian community of which every Malaysian citizen is having full knowledge about.

The Indians were predominately working and living in the rubber and oil palm estates and with the expansion into the manufacturing sector by the government to keep in line with its 'vision 2020' which is to make Malaysia a developed country, these poor Indians were forced without proper guidance into the urban lifestyle. These had created various ill-effects which the BN government had refuse to consider seriously but had kept 'empty-promises' to look into.

It is proposed that the government should reconsider its ban on HINDRAF and respond to grievances of various ethnic groups by engaging in further discussion and working towards reaching mutually beneficial solutions, if Malaysia truly desires to become a democratic country of developed nation status, it must not suppress opinions of any interest groups, much less those who are already downtrodden upon and at wit's end.
picture from library collection

TAN SRI ZAKI AZMI - FOR CHIEF JUSTICE

It has been reported that the Conference of Rulers that is ongoing had endorsed the request made by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to appoint Tan Sri Zaki Azmi as the next Chief Justice although the Prime Minister had assured the rakyat that he will reform the judiciary.

Tan Sri Zaki who was recently appointed as a President of the Court of Appeal has direct dealings with UMNO and had served in many positions in the political party and government institutions, which undermines his credibility for being fair and to uphold justice.

At the same time, Tan Sri Zaki had also carried out illegal acts like marrying a second wife by dubious means and later unable to register it. This only came to light at the divorce proceedings at the Syariah Court. It was reported that during the courtship days, he had confess that he will remain with her forever.

Since there are various disputable factors, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi SHOULD NOT be appointed as Chief Justice to preserve the independence of the judiciary and in upholding justice.
The rakyat, the stakeholders should be allowed to vote the next Chief Justice on their respective candidate credentials.

MCA YOUTH - CREATE A DEPUTY CHAIRMAN NO. 2 POSITION FOR NON-MALAYS

The outgoing MCA Youth Chairman Datuk Liow Tiong Lai who is also the Health Minister at the MCA Youth wing’s 45th Annual General Meeting today had called upon the Barisan Nasional leadership to create a Deputy Chairman 2 position so that a non-UMNO member could be appointed and serve the non-UMNO coalition parties in their decision making.

This request was overwhelmingly welcomed by the delegates at the Assembly, a starting point in the reform of the Barisan Nasional leadership where every coalition partner would be well represented unlike now which seem to be totally controlled by UMNO.

In reaction, Education Minister and BN Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who attended the Assembly stated that the BN leadership will have to decide but appreciated such a move would create better relationship among the coalition partners.

Will the BN create such a position and accommodate MCA, the second largest coalition partners, request?

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

MALAY RULERS - NEVER QUESTION THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

It has been reported that the ongoing Rulers' Conference had upheld that the 'social contract' that the rights of the Malays, Malay Rulers and supremacy of Islam will never be questioned which were agreed during the formation of Independence of Malaya should always be respected and abided by the rakyat.

After 51 years, do you feel this is a fair comment to be raised?

The time has come for Malaysians to realise that there is no superior class and every Malaysian need to be treated fairly and equally.

news n photo courtesy of Agendadaily

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PETROL AND DIESEL PRICES REDUCED EFFECTIVE MIDNIGHT

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad announced today from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah that the Prime Minister Department has decided that petrol and diesel will be reduced and for petrol RON97 will cost 15 sen less at RM2.30 per litre, while petrol RON92 will be 10 sen cheaper at RM2.20, while diesel will cost 20 sen less at RM2.20 a litre effective midnight.

This is the third reduction since the 41 per cent hike in petrol price to RM2.70 (from RM1.92) on June 5. The price of crude oil has fallen from a high of US$147 to US$83.73 a barrel due to concerns over the global financial crisis.
The oil price adjustments may be decided outside the cabinet to speed up the process and make sure the benefit is passed down to consumers as soon as possible.

Malaysiakini : MCMC bans live telecast of MCA debate

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has banned the live telecast on ntv7 the debate between two aspirants MCA deputy president candidates, Donald Lim and Chua Soi Lek tonight.

The debate was scheduled to take place at the Nanyang Siang Pau auditorium in Kelana Jaya at 8.30pm tonight.

In a statement ntv7 claim that the debate will be recorded and submitted to the Censorship Board for approval for telecast at a later date while apologising to their viewers and all parties involved in the organising of this project.

It was also noted that ntv7 did not elaborate the reason for the ban.

news n photo courtesy of Malaysiakini

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

MUKHRIZ - PEMUDA UMNO AND SHAHANIZA - PUTERI UMNO ON THE LEAD

The results of the UMNO Youth elections as of todate reveals that Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir has qualified his nominations, while Khairy Jamalludin has yet to qualify. But there are still many more divisional elections that have yet to be held.

At the Puteri UMNO elections, Shahaniza seems to be on the lead.

There seems to be an intense competitions since new faces are going to dominate the respective wings.

news n photo courtesy of Agendadaily

DATUK SERI ANWAR'S HARI RAYA OPEN HOUSE ON 12 OCTOBER 2008

It was noted that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Open House for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration on 12 October 2008 was attended by a massive number of Malaysians.

Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHNhtnv8E5Q

Selamat Hari Raya wishes to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his family.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

GERAKAN TO REMAIN WITH BN



GERAKAN President Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon reaffirmed that his party will continue to remain in the Barisan Nasional despite a majority of its members have demanded the leadership to break-away. Tan Sri Koh announced while speaking at the Annual National Delegates Conference at Kuala Lumpur today.

The Conference was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, aspiring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Datuk Seri Abdullah is expected to step-down in March 2009.

During the same conference, PM Datuk Seri Abdullah was quoted as saying that BN will open its doors for direct membership while details were not available. It seems the BN has finally realise that a UNITED MALAYSIAN SOCIETY must be created if the BN and country want to continue to progress, which he claimed was raised at the recently concluded BN Supreme Council meeting.

Dr Koh Tsu Koon has urged Barisan Nasional and the federal government to expedite reforms in order to regain public support while bearing in mind the disastrous defeat in the March 8 general election which should not reoccur.

news n pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini

Friday, October 10, 2008

WILL UTUSAN MALAYSIA PUBLISHING PERMIT BE REVOKED

Of late, there are many quarters demanding that the Home Ministry to take stern action against the Utusan Malaysia for creating racial sentiments among the Malaysian society by suspending or revoking their printing permit.

Most are very spectacle about this since UMNO, the 'leader' of the ruling Barisan Nasional government owns this company.

The newspaper had been giving distorted news about the Prime Minister's and Muslim Cabinet members Hari Raya Open House at Putra World Trade Centre, where the HINDRAF supporters had appeared and handed Prime Minister with a card and teddy bear. The paper had quoted that this group had been unruly and noisy, making it to seem that they are trouble causes. The group had totally disagreed with this reporting.

What seem to appear is that Utusan Malaysia another UMNOputra company, feels it is above the law and could say and do anything and they are confident that no action will be taken against them.

Its time for the Home Ministry to take immediate action since various other non-UMNO papers have been punished previously for much smaller offences.

The rakyat, the stakeholders are watch whether the government will take any action and time will tell how the rakyat will react for their 'one-sided' actions.

MUHYIDDIN FOR DEPUTY PRESIDENT

It has been reported that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, International Trade and Industry Minister will officially contest for the Deputy UMNO President's position in the March 2009 UMNO elections. This was announced at a packed press conference in a Putrajaya hotel this morning.

It is also learned Tan Sri Muhyiddin has received the blessing and support of aspiring UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and it is believed that Tan Sri Muhyiddin is his team-mate.

So, its official that Tan Sri Muhyiddin will contest the Deputy Presidents post and vying to be the next Deputy Prime Minister.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

PM DATUK SERI ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI : NOT WORRIED ABOUT LEGACY

MALAYSIA'S prime minister said on Thursday he does not care how people remember him after he quits in March, insisting his goal now is to speed up the economic and administrative reforms he started four years ago.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whose term expires in 2013, announced on Wednesday he will step down before time to prevent a split in his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.

The party is facing its worst crisis in history after a dismal performance in a general election in March.

Datuk Seri Abdullah, who was blamed for the losses, initially resisted pressure from party members to resign but gave in when it became clear that he could be ousted during party leadership elections in March.

'I don't think I need to talk about people remembering me,' Datuk Seri Abdullah told reporters when asked if he was concerned about his legacy. 'If they want to remember, they will remember. If they don't, they don't. I am not working with the view ... that I am doing this because people will remember me.'

Datuk Seri Abdullah said he will not defend his position as Umno president in the party elections. Instead, the post will be contested by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib, who is expected to win unopposed. The party's president automatically becomes the prime minister.

Datuk Seri Abdullah said his mission during the next five months is to continue with the reforms he started with much fanfare when he took office in late 2003. But his pledges to eradicate corruption, improve the bureaucracy and restore confidence in the judiciary have borne little fruit.

'I believe my mission is to provide dynamic movement to emphasize on development and human capital,' he said, adding that he wanted to improve educational standards, reduce the income gaps and establish a mechanism to resolve religious disputes that break out frequently in this multiethnic nation.

Datuk Seri Abdullah said he also wants to provide more democratic space for divergent views to be heard openly.

His record on this is mixed. Although Datuk Seri Abdullah is credited with allowing taboo subjects like race and religion to be discussed openly, his administration recently jailed a prominent anti-government blogger under a law that allows indefinite detention without trial.

The same law has been used to jail five ethnic Indian activists who led a massive anti-government protest last year.

Datuk Seri Abdullah refused to say if he will take on any advisory role in the government after resigning, but said he will remain the chief of a party division in the northern state of Penang.

News n picture courtesy of Singapore Straits Times thru AP

PM DATUK SERI ABDULLAH TO DEFEND DIVISIONAL CHAIRMAN OF KEPALA BATAS

Its been reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will defend his UMNO Kepala Batas Divisional chief post despite his announcement of his official departure plans in March 2009.

During a brief press conference today PM Datuk Seri Abdullah announced that he had no plans to take a holiday as he had much to do in the next five months.

There are even rumours that Datuk Seri Abdullah may even opt to remain in power since most Malaysians do not trust his words anymore. Datuk Seri Abdullah may be gauging whether he will garner the required 58 nominations, since it was widely reported that his current situation is not 'welcomed' by most of the divisional leaders. Will he change his mind and retain the president's position then?

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

NAJIB GOES FOR PRESIDENT, MAT TAIB VYING DEPUTY PRESIDENT

Since the official statement that Prime Minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will not retain his president's position at the UMNO General Assembly due in March 2009, his deputy Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has officially today offer himself for the No. 1 post as the President.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has also indicated that he will contest the President's post in the forthcoming March UMNO Annual General Assembly.

Since there are many candidates vying for the Deputy President position, it is rumoured that International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would also take a bold step to contest the president's post. As of now, Tan Sri Muhyiddin has indicated that he will run for the deputy president's position. We will know his stand tomorrow when he officially announces the post he will be vying in the UMNO elections.

It has been reported that UMNO information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib will offered himself as a candidate for the deputy presidency. Muhammad who joined the party in 1964 and was elected as vice-president and Selangor deputy state liaison committee head in 2004. He was forced to resigned as Selangor Menteri Besar in 1997 after being charged in Australia for holding currency worth RM3.8 million and subsequently was found not guilty. Muhammad was appointed a senator in 2006 by PM Datuk Seri Abdullah and appointed a Rural and Regional Development Minister.

Among those who have officially announced their deputy president candidacies are Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi , vice-president and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Pulai division head Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, son of former UMNO Secretary-General Tan Sri Mohamad Rahmat.

It is anticipated that many more will join the race in the next few days.
news courtesy of Malaysiakini

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

ITS OFFICIAL - PAH LAH FINALLY QUITS AS PM & BN/UMNO PRESIDENT IN MARCH 2009

Press statement by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to announce his decision to step down next March 2009.

I have been in public service for over 45 years. I have served this country as a civil servant, and as an elected representative of the people. I have served as a member of government and feel blessed to serve in the highest office in the land.

I have seen this country grow from a small, poor nation into the modern, prosperous Malaysia that we live in today.

Despite our successful track record, for the past few years I have firmly believed that our nation is standing at an historic crossroads. We must reform some elements of our nation, we must evolve and mature, or we risk losing all that we have gained in over 50 years.

Throughout this time of reform and transformation, we Malaysians need to be united now more than ever before.
In all my years of service, I have always been guided by my conscience. I have always placed the interests of the nation above all else. It is with this in mind that I announce I will not stand for the presidency of Umno.

I do not want a divided party and governing coalition, but one that is united and harmonious. A united Barisan Nasional is vital in order for the country to face the global challenges ahead and for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation, with prosperity and fairness for all.

My current term as president of Umno ends in March next year. There are several initiatives I intend to see through before I leave office. These initiatives are important because they are necessary to move our country forward.

These initiatives are needed to regain our country's competitiveness. They are necessary to enable our nation and our society to face the challenges that the world has in store for us.

I ask all Malaysians to unite and join me in working towards making Malaysia a better place.

Reforming the judiciary, police force

First, our institutions need to be reformed and strengthened.

The judiciary needs to enhance its stature and credibility in the eyes of the public. Before I end my term, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish a Judicial Appointments Commission.

Such a commission will propose judicial appointments in a transparent and merit-based manner.

We also need a strong and effective anti-corruption body that can combat the cancer of corruption without fear or favour. Before the end of the year, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with greater powers of investigation and enforcement.

The commission's oversight structure has been modelled after the successful ICAC in Hong Kong.

I also intend to complete the establishment of a Special Complaints Commission to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of enforcement agencies.

Second, I have long spoken about the need to ensure that the fruits of growth are more equitably distributed.In the recent budget, I explained the government's commitment to strengthening and enlarging the social safety net. We will speed up work on this front to help poor and disadvantaged Malaysians, regardless of background, race or religion.

I will also work to ensure that tangible results can begin to be enjoyed in Iskandar, as well as the development corridor initiatives around the country.

Third, I would like to see the government and BN renew their commitment towards building a united and harmonious nation. Society has seen an alarming decline in inter-racial and inter-religious relations.

BN convention

Various issues have cropped up which threaten to tear the very fabric of Malaysian life.

We need to tackle these issues head-on, through dialogue; deal with the issues constructively and even-handedly; ensure greater clarity and certainty for the people; and focus on the points that unite us, rather than the points that divide us.

For this reason, I will convene a BN convention early next year. This is a long-term effort that I hope to kick-start and continue to contribute towards.

I fully intend to see through my mission, and I am sure that my successor will carry on this agenda. I want to hand over to my successor a Malaysia that is capable of weathering the challenges of a dangerous global economy, a Malaysia not of rich and poor, of young and old or of the city or the kampong, not of south and north, and not of one religion or another but of unity and harmony.

This is not the time for infighting and narrow politics but for greatness, unity and cooperation.

article courtesy of Malaysiakini
Hope PM Datuk Seri Abdullah will see that every one of his ambitions above are fullfilled latest by March 2009 and it is also hope that he set the platform for a UNITED MALAYSIA - no longer Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazans, Ibans and others - where we will be able to live in peace and harmony forever.