Sunday, February 28, 2010

The excuses to be Malaysian

MALAYSIANS - whether they are on the side of 1Malaysia or Middle Malaysia - are all the same.

They show a different colour only when they are bashing a political foe or trying to 'kill off' the other driver on the highway.

Other than that they are united by the same quirks, oddities, conceit, arrogance, eccentricity, quibbles , whims, fancies and ..yes.. the same foul language...among other things.

Following are some 'national traits' that build the boleh attitude among Malaysians more than any act of meritoctacy, credibilily and integrity. Thank you, Richard Heng, for sharing this.

If any Malaysian Mirror reader has any more to add to the list, let's her from you too.



Maggi Mee

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Ayam

Roti Canai and Teh Tarik

Traffic Jam

None. Most Malaysians still feel embarrassed buying condoms.
So they rush into a 7-11, hurriedly grab the nearest pack, any pack, pay and leave before the cashier can even blink an eye.


Stout.. Many Malaysian men swear by it. But then after a few pints they start swearing at everything.

Food Poisoning

Menstrual Pain

Headache, kids not asleep, maid not asleep,mother-in-law around, early appointment, food not digested yet, aircond not cold enough, aircond too cold, nail polish not dry yet, forgot to take the pill, sleepy, stomach cramps, period, haven't remove make-up, haven't shower, no water supply, going to watch 'Desperate Housewives', depress, no mood, etc...

None. Malaysian men never refuse sex.

Cap Kaki Tiga. Down one bottle with warm water and you are all 'dried up'.

Panadol. The 'cure for all'. If it fails we have another secret weapon - Tiger Balm.

Moh Fah Kor.

Minyak Angin Cap Kapak.

Happy Hours.

The sight of a police road block.

NATIONAL Rice Cooker

Anywhere. As long as it is not your house.

Carrefour. Sometimes even pronounced as Carry 4!

On the way.

Ten minutes

Petrol naik lagi kawan... semua barang pun kena naik ler... inclusive chicken meat?

Still cheaper than other country la....

There was an accident on the other side of the road. Of course must slow down and tengok-tengok, kaypoh-kaypoh lah!

'Not feeling well la..'

An act of God. Definitely nothing to with greased palms and poor quality control. Nope, none whatsoever.

None. We were misquoted.

‘Orang cakap mau naik mesti mau naik lah! Lu ingat ini jalan saya punya bapak punya kah?!’

Dunno. It's not as if we're anywhere near the middle east.

‘We're about to unveil another badly designed low budget car, which, coupled with our notorious customer service and corporate mismanagement, will see us bankrupt again within the next 5 years. And so we have absolutely no need for the Germans and their silly car-making and market-positioning knowhow, thank you very much.’

Everybody doing what lah.......

Relax ler... government will give discount one of these days

Give them minum kopi lar...This is Malaysia - What a True Malaysian Should Know

-Malaysian Mirror

Two judges recuse themselves from Anwar’s appeal

Two Federal Court Judges here today agreed to recuse themselves from hearing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s application to challenge a Court of Appeal decision in dismissing his RM100 million defamation suit against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who had previously heard suits involving Anwar’s sacking as deputy prime minister, agreed to disqualify themselves in the interests of justice after Anwar’s counsel Karpal Singh made the application.

The application hearing has been adjourned to next week after the two judges are replaced.

Anwar had sued former premier for calling him a homosexual after he was sacked as deputy prime minister and finance minister in 1998, but the Court of Appeal last year dismissed the suit.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Anwar: No way are they sending me back to jail

exclusive The last time Malaysiakini sat down for a chat with Anwar Ibrahim, he was the man of the hour.

Fresh from a string of victories in the 2008 general election, he was then about to leave for Permatang Pauh to make his political comeback.

A year and a half later, however, his Pakatan Rakyat coalition is on the defensive. There is a new and more robust prime minister in charge. Pakatan lost Perak after BN engineered a number of defections.

Anwar himself is facing another controversial sodomy trial. But being an incorrigible optimist, he remains upbeat.

NONEIn this first of a four-part interview, he tells Malaysiakini about his battle to clear his reputation in a second sodomy charge leveled against him, which he concedes is a liability in the battle for Malay votes.

But unlike the Sodomy I trial 10 years ago, Anwar is confident of staying out of prison despite all the “dirty machinations” by BN.

He also said that, although Najib is a stronger opponent than his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), he does not hold a candle to his other adversary, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Mahathir's strength is that he fights things head on. Najib is never known to have the capacity to face up to things,” he explained.

Anwar said that Najib's tactics of using Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia and institutions such as the judiciary to smear him is a sign of “cowardice” and “sheer hypocrisy”.

“I know their personal lives, I was their friend…. Who is talking about morality here? In Islam - be it sodomy, adultery, drinking or corruption - who can pass the test? Name one person. Can Najib pass the test?” he asked.

Excerpts of the interview follow. The content has been edited for language and brevity.

Malaysiakini: It seems that since Sept 16, 2008 Pakatan has lost momentum and that Najib, notwithstanding the Perak episode, has been coming up with initiatives that are getting media attention, thus giving BN the upper hand. Do you agree?

Anwar Ibrahim: I would say that in the first three months (of Najib's term in office), yes. You have (the global public relations firm Apco Worldwide), fully-financed to craft this liberal image and (they are) temporarily successful.

So you have this façade of this nice guy trying to reform the country, and then you have this hidden agenda and black hand using all these powers - the Special Branch, the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission, the judiciary, (attorney-general) Abdul Gani Patail and the prosecution - to 'beat up' opposition leaders.

It's not just Anwar, it's (Kelantant Menteri Besar) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, it's (Penang Chief Minister Lim) Guan Eng. I think the more effective you are, the more the beatings. So I think the situation has changed dramatically.

najib announce new bn perak state govt 040209Was he (Najib) successful in Perak? Yes, but only in taking over the government. But (was he) successful in terms of winning the hearts and minds of Perakians? I'm not sure.

(Was he) successful in trying to portray that he is the champion of the Malays, contrary to his public image and persona in his 1Malaysia concept? People know it is sheer hypocrisy, done to please some segments. I don't think he is convincing anyone.

The only issue is now, to me, the battleground is the Malays, because they tend to repeat this in their incessant propaganda and mechanism using instruments like Utusan Malaysia. (This is) clearly racist. The true Umno agenda is in Utusan Malaysia, the façade is Najib's 1Malaysia.

You mean to say that just because the Chinese and the Indians don't read Utusan they are completely ignorant? No. So the battleground is among the Malays, which means we, particularly the Malay leaders … and I've said to (DAP leader Lim) Kit Siang and Guan Eng is that even the Chinese leaders need to go down, not only to court the support of the Malays but to show that here in Pakatan Rakyat we have a breed of Malays who remain committed to the Malay and Malaysian agenda, which we will have to explain.

We have Chinese leaders who say, 'Look, this is the stark reality. We are not here to have a Chinese government'.

Do you think that Najib is a tougher opponent than Pak Lah?

Tougher in a sense that he is more vicious and ruthless. You can see it in the case of Perak. You saw that he was prepared to call (the former Perak Pakatan assemblypersons) to his house for days, which is not usual. I mean, he doesn't care that people associate him with dirty machinations, because he thinks he has Apco to cover his international image.

mohd saiful bukhari azlan 4 at jawi 271108(Najib) would have no qualms … look at the present case. That he could call up the young man, and (sodomy complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, right) admit to meeting him before the (police) report....this is not done if you are any decent sort of political player. Stalin, Hitler, I don't know. I have not heard or seen anything like this throughout my experience.

(As for) the judiciary, the (Perak) 5-0 decision in the Federal Court means that they don't care. The way they dismissed the (royal) commission report in the VK Lingam case. You can name it, one after another.

Clearly, we are in for a tougher challenge, which is also a sign of desperation. I'm sure his advisers would tell him, 'Look, we don't have an option. The (BN) component parties are in complete disarray. We have to hold on to Umno, get these Malays, hold the base and threaten the rest'.

Would you put Najib on the same rank as Mahathir, in the way he is using state institutions?

Yes, in some ways, because Mahathir is a very strong influence (on Najib). I don't see much difference, although Mahathir's strength is that he fights things head on. Najib is never known of having the capacity to face up to things.

More subtle in a sense?

I don't consider that subtlety. I consider it cowardice, because he has never in his entire political career had to face up to a challenge.

On one hand, he has 1Malaysia, and on the other he has Utusan. Some argue this is because of a split between him and deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin, who is seen close to Mahathir. Do you agree?

I don't know, and I am not keen to comment on that. The rationale that Najib is a true Malaysian leader … and then there's Utusan. Utusan is under him! It is totally naïve to think that here is the prime minister and president of Umno and he has no influence over the police, the AG, the judiciary and more so, the media.

utusan malaysia and umnoThe president of Umno has absolute control of the media, but more so Utusan because it is their mouthpiece. That, you can read, is the real Najib.

He wants to make sure to dilute some of the attacks because then he can turn around and say that he didn't say anything. He didn't say it, but Utusan (did and it) is under him. How do you deny it? Probably get some of his boys to say this might be Muhyiddin, that the prime minister has nothing to do with this.

So you think his fingerprints are there.

najib and rosmah 250608 02I am absolutely certain. I have been associated with Umno and I know how the prime minister and the president of the party controls (Utusan). It's absolute.

Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor came up with a statement recently denying that she is the one pulling his strings. Knowing Najib as you do, do you agree?

She may be right. It's not strings, we're talking about ropes. [Laughs]

Rosmah and Najib have also been alleged to be involved in the 'conspiracy' levelled against you in the sodomy charge. How confident are you of winning the case?

I don't know about winning, but they cannot even prefer a charge with compelling medical evidence. If they are determined, they have to fight it out, and it's not easy.

They have to send Abdul Gani of all people, the most discredited AG in the region, to defend the issues of law and governance in Washington DC. They will send him to Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Qatar … so I say, 'Good. You send the AG as the roving ambassador and save the country'.

The Australian MPs are backing you quite strongly.

Not only the Australian MPs. Some to do it quietly. I know of presidents and prime ministers of countries who have written to Najib and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

But based on the Sodomy I trial, it looks like they are hell-bent on getting you. Your bail wasn't granted and you went straight to prison.

(Judge) Augustine Paul is gone, but then the same thing is happening now. You see the change of judges, the issue with the charges … they think they have improvised and are more sophisticated in the charge, but they made enormous blunders too.

In the first charge, no medical evidence was required. In the second charge, they had medical evidence but that has actually forestalled the process. They can smear, and they will continue to do that to my reputation, to my character, they have done that for the past 11 to 12 years. They have done everything. Not that I like it, I am actually sick of this.

NONEIt reflects the worst of characters, (those) who claim a moral position. The worst form of hypocrisy. I'm now saying this, this is in public domain. I know their personal lives, I was their friend. Don't forget, I was deputy prime minister and had quite some powers, overseeing the Anti-Corruption Agency, and the Special Branch reported to me.

But what do I do? Do I choose to play their game? No, I don't. They should thank me because I have not been provoked to the extent of opening up the cases that I know of. But that does not stop them.

I remain confident not because I am naïve and unrealistic, but it is a tough sell. Mahathir did so, and he just couldn't be bothered, known to disregard every single rule. Of course, now, everything has been exposed in the Lingam tape. I have redeemed myself, I am vindicated. In fact, the Anwar case, for me, is strong enough.

Now we also have the billionaire list, which includes his son (Mokhzani). I don't need to pick a fight with (Mahathir).

We have Najib, who wants to portray himself as a liberal man, a reformist. He can't have this and at the same time think that Gani, the mediocre AG, will help resolve the problem. He can't.

So I am confident. (DAP adviser) Dr Chen Man Hin, (told me), 'Keep up the good fight'.

You are the central figure for Pakatan and PKR. Can the coalition and party hold it together if you go to prison?

lim guan engI don't think this is true, because many of the programmes, for example the ones that (DAP secretary-general Lim) Guan Eng (left) and (Penanti state assemblyperson Mansor Othman) organised in Permatang Pauh, they attracted a huge crowd even without me. In Perak, there are huge programmes.

But sometimes they do want to pull slightly larger crowds, (and) so okay, I can do that.

You're confident that, without you, the party will survive?

So far, the programmes in Penang, Kedah, Perak are going on without me. And I'm not going to jail. No way are they sending me to jail. For doing what?

Even if you don't go to jail, hypothetically, will the party be able to survive if you are out of the picture? Because you are a personality cult, people are in it because they support you.

Of course, people talk about it. But I was out of the picture for six years and things were still going on.

People were backing your fight for justice. If we take Anwar out of the equation, will PKR…

Don't give them the idea of me going out of the picture. These guys are nasty. That's why I've stepped up my security. It's a bit annoying and people complain, they say, 'We can't even shake hands with him'. But we have our intelligence and people advise us, so I have my hands tied.

Relating to the sodomy charge, some people say, there is no smoke without fire. How do you react to that? People are saying that 'perhaps…

No, this is tak baik (not right). You accuse the people, then you smear them, which is unprecedented. Nobody in Malaysia, or throughout the world (has done this). Look at history, Chinese history, Indian history, Muslim history, there is nothing…

It just shows how vicious, how dirty the machinations, how desperate these people are. So a (police) report has been made, should I be investigated? Yes. Should a charge be preferred? No.

You ask any legal expert, any Muslim expert, internationally, to look at the charge. The charge says, 'Yes, the doctor said it's conclusive, but we don't think it's conclusive'. What is this? It's a joke.

Medical evidence is medical evidence. This is the first charge in the world that people know of where you can prefer against a person when there is medical examination and findings (against it). That's it. Why this 'smoke and fire' and all that?

My friend, a doctor in Washington told me, 'You can't have pretty girls in your office because your wife will not approve. You cannot have young, handsome men because it will lead to suspicion'.

So I asked, 'Then what happens?'

'Have 70-year-old ladies as your secretaries'. [Laughs]

NONEWhat Mahathir (right) did was to implant suspicion, and what Najib does is to reinforce this. But do you let these evil forces to succeed? Do you allow these dirty machinations to succeed?

Again, why this hypocrisy on personal lives and morality? Who is talking about morality here? In Islam - be it sodomy, adultery, drinking or corruption - who is talking about it now?

An immoral person cannot lead. But what is immorality in Islam? Who can pass the test? Name one person. Can Najib pass the test?

Speaking of campaigns, you are now being used as the poster boy for gay rights internationally. What do you think of that?

[Laughs] What did I do to them? I have quite a strict moral code myself but I don't impose.

I know some Malay friends who (are known to drink, so) what do I do? Do I not be friends with them? No, but I say, 'Please don't drink in front of me because it will embarrass me and cause problems'. Why this pretentious manner of imposing a moral code?

You can preach nicely. My understanding of Islam is that. There is a clear (understanding) that is not for you to probe, peep and then publicise to humiliate people.

These are the works of rogues who are trying to show as if they are so pious. I mean come on, oh my God … you know these characters, their personal character.

Watch this video on this issue:

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

BN’s whipping quandary

Digging...and digging...and digging

THE big hole our government found themselves in after Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was sentenced to caning for drinking alcohol has just gotten bigger. Stuck between pleasing those who thought moral offenders deserved caning and outraged human rights groups as well as the international community, the government decided to cane three other Muslim women instead.

The government's face-saving ploy is almost transparent — cane these women quietly then demonstrate how humanely it was done, thereby making their problems go away. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reportedly described the caning as "mild". Once everyone sees how wonderfully civilised we are, Kartika can then be caned without much ado. The government has also educated the public on what an effective deterrent caning is against moral offences. Problem solved, right?

Wrong. Seriously, whom is the government trying to kid here? What has the Barisan Nasional (BN) government actually been doing? It is politicising Islam for its own survival, and the caning of the three women is just the latest addition to this trail of expediency.

No kidding

Prior to 9 Feb 2010, Malaysia had never caned a woman for any crime, be it murder or kidnapping or armed robbery, whether under syariah law or otherwise. In fact, before Kartika's sentence, many assumed that caning only applied to men as Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code expressly excludes women from caning. Kartika's case also caused a further problem as caning procedures only apply with a jail sentence, and she had not been sentenced to imprisonment for consuming alcohol. This led to a botched attempt by the syariah judge to impose a seven day imprisonment, after the case had been concluded and his sentence passed.

So amidst all the fanfare about the joys and wonders of caning, the government has failed to answer this question: Regardless of how it's being carried out, why are we caning women now, after surviving 52 years as a nation without doing so? What's different? Are these caning sentences exceptions to the general rule? If so, then why don't we review the laws and abolish caning?

tunku saying 'we'd run out of stones'
Tunku Abdul Rahman
(public domain | Wiki Commons)

Do these punishments and government statements signal a greater focus on Muslims' moral misdeeds? How will the government ensure moral policing and punishments are applied fairly? After all, wasn't it our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who made a tongue-in-cheek comment in response to PAS that if all adulterers in the country were to be stoned, "there wouldn't be enough stones in Malaysia for the task?"

Disproportionate sentence

Rather than answering these difficult questions, our government has once again opted for the course of action calculated to garner maximum votes for minimum risk. Judging from their recent actions, Umno-led BN seems to be playing to a gallery it assumes agrees with women being caned for breaches of personal morality. By doing so, it is choosing to ignore or discredit those who oppose the caning. At the same time, it is wary of further ruining Malaysia's already tattered image as a moderate Muslim nation, hence the "caning is mild" rhetoric.

It would have been nice if our government could have demonstrated leadership, for a change. Instead of performing a song and dance about the glories of whipping, why couldn't it have taken a principled stand against it? International standards aside, the least the government could have said was that the punishments in these cases did not fit the "crimes".


Emeritus professor and constitutional expert Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi told The Nut Graph in a phone interview that the whipping in these cases could be challenged for disproportionality: "In Islam, the punishment must be proportionate to the crime. What is proportionate must be judged in the context of society. In Malaysian society, I think the idea of punishing [such offences] with whipping surely is out of tune with the general perception. After all, we didn't do it for 50 years."

Shad Saleem also said those who disagreed with the punishment for moral offences had a right to speak up. "In a theocratic system, the mandatory, religiously prescribed punishments have to be enforced if all the conditions for their enforcement are satisfied to the hilt.

"[However, our] legal system [consists of] mostly human laws, made and enforced by extremely fallible human beings," he said.

Thus, he said citizens should therefore not be forbidden from examining the substantive justice of the laws and the proportionality and equal application of the sentences.

"If there was violence committed on others — rape, theft with violence; I can understand even the moral argument that what you do to others should be done to you. But in crimes of pure improprieties or sins which do not harm others, education and rehabilitation may be more appropriate."

The road less travelled

The cane is like a magic wand for creating repentant Muslim women?

Unfortunately for Malaysia, this is not how our government has chosen to respond. Its chosen course of action instead involved parading the three women before the media to talk about how they deserved their punishment and how repentant it made them.

In a country beset with politically created divisions and diversions, this is not the time for religious grandstanding by our elected representatives. This is the time for leadership and clear thinking about how we are to progress as a nation.

Whether or not Malaysian law allows women to be whipped, these facts are plain: International standards view whipping as torture and corporal punishment as degrading. Many countries are progressively reviewing their corporal punishment laws and removing them, recognising that such punishment is no longer acceptable in present-day society. We, however, seem to be going in the opposite direction.

How will we foster national unity when Malaysian Muslims can be imprisoned and caned for "crimes" which do not affect their fellow non-Muslim citizens? Will there ever come a time when non-Muslims would also be subjected to Islamic laws to counter allegations of religious discrimination?

Isn't it inconsistent for Muslim women to be caned under Islamic law, while the Criminal Procedure Code disallows it? Shouldn't all state law inconsistent with federal law be deemed void?

Should state resources be devoted to hunting down moral offenders at a time when violent crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery have become rampant?

Malaysia is unlikely to review its whipping
laws in the near future
These are all questions that our government has chosen not to answer. Instead, it has chosen to answer this question: "How can we the BN get out of this Kartika mess without appearing weak or unIslamic to our electoral base, while also not appearing cruel to our international trading partners?"

By answering this question the way they have done, our government has closed the door on the possibility of Malaysia reviewing its whipping laws in the near future. In being guided by political expediency rather than principle, it has ended up digging an even bigger hole for itself and all Malaysians.

Ding Jo-Ann is tired of government manipulations and wishes they would just govern, for once.(courtesy of Nut Graph)

A Fairy Tale (Ketuanan Melayu is a fable. It does not exist)

Seventy-six Malay non-governmental organisations yesterday joined forces to form a consultative council, Majlis Perundingan NGO Melayu (MPM), to defend Malays rights and Islam in the country. -as reported by Star yesterday.

What a noble effort! I almost choked on my breakfast, coming across this article in The Star.

Ketuanan Melayu is a fable. It does not exist. It is just a fairy tale. The champions of these Rights are still living in a make believe world. Malaysia, however is real, and is a potpourri of diverse races. Why is there a consensus to champion one particular race. Is Malay domination on the verge of collapse? We dominate in numbers, but not in intellect, or economic might.

Why are they fighting for Malay Rights? Why not fight for Malaysian rights? Why not stop the racial rot, and hold hands with the rest of the nation, to forge a unity, that will ensure a prosperous nation? Slogans like this makes others feel that they are racially biased, greedy for more, while declining to share. Intellectually stunted, fanatical. Nobody really believes that they are fighting for race and religion. Even the Malays do not believe them.

If Malay NGOs want to champion Malay Rights, they have to study the problem in depth and identify the cause of Malay failure, and really what is slowing down the Malays from advancing against the others. Lead them out from their coconut shell, and show them a brave new world out there. Teach them about other people's culture, and to respect other religions, and be humble before God. Encourage Malays to be bilingual or multilingual. It is a fact that knowledge of an extra language is a plus factor.

Malays have fought hard to eke out a living, in rural areas which lack economic potential, just to earn a living and self respect. Over the years they have carved a life for themselves and their families. They thank God everyday for their blessed existence.

Then all this self respect is blown away by some people purportedly championing for their rights. They still want others to see that Malays are weak, in need of subsidies, and unable to stand on their own two feet. Is it a wonder, that after all the years of sweet talk, Malays are turning slowly away from BN. These NGOs talk as if there is no tomorrow, and at the same time making a laughing stock of the dominant Malays.

What subsidies are they talking about? A few thousand scholarships a year, for hundreds of thousands of Malay students? Fertilizer subsidy for Malay farmers? Are non-Malay farmers exempt from fertilizer subsidy? A bloated civil service that continues to employ Malays, that cannot fit in to society, or lack the social skills to fit into the private sector? Repairing rural roads before a major election is not enough. So, that is why the rural kampongs remain as rural kampongs in Malaysia while the rest of the world, their kampongs are turning into modern suburbs, and their villagers, intellectually more advanced than us.

And with 80 organizations joining the consultative council, it only paves the way for a radical approach, and completely destroying all hope for a united race.

It is definitely not good news. At a time when this nation needs to bond, organizations like these are tearing at the fabric of unity. At least the others are clever enough not to form a consultative council for Non-Malay Rights.

It is totally in contrast to Najib's 1Malaysia - acceptance of racial unity and not just tolerance. Why is the government,not lifting a finger to neutralize such blatant disregard for 1Malaysia?

Sincerely, we should stop all this nonsense, and concentrate on more fruitful causes, like uniting the country together, to combat outside enemies. Forming a consultative council is like fighting a psychological war ... no sorry! ... a psychotic war with an unseen enemy, or an imagined enemy. The threat to Race and Religion is only perceived, and these people have a really poor perception. True Muslims, when they speak, we can see from their body language that they are true believers, like Tok Guru for instance. That is why he commands a lot of respect from other Malays.

True Malays shake their heads at this circus of clowns, which keeps on shouting Malay Rights, although they know it is all hogwash. Such untruth keeps on surfacing and the Malay folk is made to look like fools.

Many years ago, Malaysians were united and it was an acceptable fact. Today, racial unity is only tolerated because the government refuses to wipe out the political opportunists that try so hard to create disunity. They lie through their teeth about potential racial conflicts and still hope that the Rakyat will believe them. They make the Malay look small, make them look stupid, make others think that Malays are still surviving on crutches. What else is further from the truth!?

These politicians have tasted the forbidden fruit, and are addicted to easy riches; and still they use the Malay Race as an excuse to further their deceit and to strengthen their hold on power.

They purportedly fight for Religion; but the words that spew forth from their mouths makes even an atheist shudder. The biggest threat to Muslims is not from other religions, but from Muslims themselves. Shiite teachings, Al Arqam, and other deviant teachings, are the ones that divide the Muslims, and not other religions. There is no threat to Islam in this country. Every available opportunity is used to build suraus and mosques, and the population of Muslims is growing at a healthy rate.

We always thought of politicians as wise people, genuinely interested in serving the nation and its people. And we are really disappointed when we see through their sheepskin and their moronic decisions to determine policy.

Article written by Capt. Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Anwar confident Sabah will lead the charge for change

Opposition big guns led by Anwar Ibrahim hit the town over the weekend to rally support from Sabahans to their cause.

Based on the turnout at many of the “open houses” organised by the Sabah DAP, support for the Barisan Nasional coalition appears to be waning.

Hundreds of cars stretching almost a kilometer lined the roadside near Kian Kok school just outside the city centre where Anwar and DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang spoke to a packed school hall here today.

In a speech, punctuated frequently with applause, Anwar urged Sabahans to take back power from their (BN) leaders, whom he said had failed them.

"I am optimistic that the people of Sabah will lead the change," he said.

He said the torrent of abuse and humiliations hurled at him was a desperate attempt by the government to divert attention from their failures.

"The Mongolian case, the missing engines, the submarine... These are all issues that they are trying to run away from," he said to laughter and applause from a riveted crowd that overflowed out of the school hall.

"Umno says they are defending the Malays but who is it that made the Malays poor?

"I am a Malay and I won't hide the fact that I will defend the Malays but I will also defend the rights of all Malaysians, the Chinese, the Indians, the Kadazans and Dusuns, the Bajaus.

"My message to the BN is don't underestimate the wisdom of the people.

"This is my message to the BN, to Prime Minister Najib and to (Sabah Chief Minister) Musa (Aman). I am warning you. Listen to the people."

news courtesy of Free Malaysia Today

Loyalty-royalty issue puts Ku Li in corner

Demands are mounting for action to be taking against Umno veteran and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for allegedly working together with opposition parties on the Kelantan oil royalty issue.

Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi said "Umno needs to take action on Tengku Razaleigh. He should not be given any special treatment," said Umno.

Mohd Puad, who is also Deputy Education Minister and Batu Pahat Umno division chief also added that special treatment is not warranted although Tengku Razaleigh had been a prominent member of Umno.

Mohd Puad's comments come in the wake of the party's decision to let its members decide on the type of action to be taken against the veteran party leader.

Tengku Razaleigh, in recent weeks, has come under severe attacks from Umno over his stand in the oil royalty issue in Kelantan.

He has also been involved in a series of talks that were organised by the opposition on the oil royalty issue.

He apparently, supports PAS' move to ask for oil royalty instead of the compassionate fund offered by the federal government.

Mohd Puad further added that Tengku Razaleigh's action against the party was intentional so that Umno would be forced to take action on him and turn him into a hero.

"His reason in taking part in the talks was to challenge the party (Umno) to take action on him so he could be a hero," he was quoted as saying in Bernama.

'No influence now'

Mohd Puad said Tengku Razaleigh's stand on the Kelantan oil royalty issue was inconsistent and differed from when he had held the post of finance minister in the past.

On Tengku Razaleigh's plan to carry out a series of talks on the issue, he said the party should not feel worried as the Gua Musang MP had little influence and mostly depended on the opposition.

Previously senior party leaders, including deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, have questioned Tengku Razaleigh's loyalty to the party.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin had accused Tengku Razaleigh of attempting to bait his peers in his decision to go against Umno on the oil royalty issue.

"He is looking for attention. He wants the party to take action against him so that he will be seen as a hero to his supporters," said Khairy.

Last week Tengku Razaleigh said that he was still loyal to the party's cause although he continues to voice out Kelantan's right in the oil royalty claim.

The calls for disciplinary action against Tengku Razaleigh come at a time when there are talks of attempts by certain PKR leaders to court the veteran politician to defect to the party.

news courtesy of Malaysian Mirror

An insult to our intelligence

IT has become something of a ritual lately that when certain Muslim NGOs run scared of a good debate, they eagerly go about making police reports.

Events of the past week have raised urgent questions about the political leadership in Malaysia. When various NGOs and Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS) lodged a police report against The Star's managing editor, P Gunasegaran, they said that he had no right to comment about Islamic matters because he is not a Muslim.

I disagree. As a Malaysian, his contribution is of immense importance.

In fact, there should be more voices to debate the issue. According to these protesting NGOs, I satisfy their requirements to comment on Islamic matters. However, I wouldn't be surprised to find that they will deem me unsuitable because I am not sufficiently scholarly in Islamic matters or that I am a woman. Therefore, just as Gunasegaran surmised, these issues have to be urgently aired.

Isn't it deplorable that a non-Muslim highlighted the inconsistencies with which our dual-system laws are interpreted? It shows how Muslims in Malaysia have been cowed into submission and have become fearful of taking the initiative.

Islam is also about critical thinking, reasoning and understanding. It was never meant to be by dogma and doctrine. What or who, do these NGOs and MAIS fear? Why are they acting like the class bully? A great debate will do our politicised religion a world of good.

star-caning-issueGunasegaran brought up valid points in his article and it is only by intelligent discourse that we are able to find amicable answers. Lodging police reports just shows the impotence of these NGOs and MAIS. Their apparent failure to act with dignity and intellect, fails Muslims in our country. Our political leaders, including the Minister for Women Family and Community Development, have not been expansive on these issues, and that is deplorable.

We are moving backwards

I remember a time when all of us lived under the one umbrella called Malaysia and got on well enough, regardless of our race, religion or gender. No one's saying we shouldn't move on from those good old days.

We have. Backwards! It seems that in Malaysia today, Muslim women's lives are under a microscope. When compared with their non-Muslim counterparts, they have relatively little freedom. The downside of this is that Muslim women will build up a lot of resentment. Is it any wonder that Malay women go abroad to find their first taste of freedom liberating; that some are unable to control themselves?

Somehow, I fail to see how the article 'Persuasion, no compulsion', would stir discontent among Muslims. Any unease surfaced days earlier, on Feb 9, when it was announced for the first time that three women had been whipped in Kajang.

All along, Malaysians were under the impression that Kartika, who consumed beer in public, was the first woman to be caned. How is it that none of the NGOs and women organisations was made aware of the plight of these women? To date, the only information we have is that they gave themselves up voluntarily, were 'pleased' to be whipped, and repented for their sins.

No information has been divulged about the men with whom these women had sex? Would it be possible for women organisations to have access to these women to check on their well-being? Did anyone know if they had legal representation and were able to exercise their full-rights? Or were they like lambs to the slaughter, and made show-case examples in a vain attempt to show us the might of the male sex, the might of the religious authorities and the authoritative indefatigable stamp of Islam in our society?

The furore and the international condemnation that ensued have caused a lot of backpedalling from our authorities, with a conference of caning to be hastily arranged. Taxpayers' money must not be wasted on this futile exercise. The answers can be found in this country and not from international participants. Moreover, the whipping laws have already been passed. Any discussion should have been done before implementation.

Some of the questions which we asked, but are denied answers, are simple ones such as why the women were whipped because of syariah law, even though civil law forbids it? Why did the women receive the harshest punishment, which is whipping? Why were they not given any consideration as first offenders, with fines or community service as alternatives?

Making a point

Are these religious authorities trying to make a point – that the government of the day is endorsing its Islamic identity? It is pathetic to use four (including Kartika) hapless women as pawns in their power-game. It is equally deplorable to waste police, as well as the Home Ministry's time to search for Gunasegaran's 'hidden motive' for the article he wrote? Do they think these institutions have nothing better to do?

If the ulama have so much time on their hands, they might care to reflect on the comments of Shahrizat that decaying family values and absentee fathers were compounding the problems in Muslim/Malay society. Maybe the state syariah bodies should finally sit down and formulate solutions to address these social breakdowns?

They could also decide when to standardise our syariah laws, which currently differ from state to state, and plug the various loopholes which men take advantage of.

Do they acknowledge the difference in severity: Kartika is to be whipped and fined RM5000 for drinking beer but the man who leaves his wife and kids and mistreats her is only fined RM1000? Do they notice the inconsistencies and injustice?

Furthermore, they could reassess the enforcement and raids of the religious police so they are conducted with less crudity, which strips people of their dignity. They might wish to reflect on individual human rights, too.

There is so much that these Muslim NGOs and the ulama could constructively do rather than be overly sensitive to statements from individuals.

If anyone has insulted the religion and brought it into disrepute, it is these NGOs and MAIS.

views courtesy of Mariam Mokhtar (Malaysian Mirror)

Anwar dismisses Fairus’ defection, Syed Husin slams him

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today played down the defection of ex-Penang deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin to Umno and indicated it was not unexpected.

“Are you surprise? Is it a major coup?” he quipped to reporters who met him at the Federal Court here.

He told reporters that PKR’s deputy president Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali has released a statement and he would like to see the statement before making further comments to the media.

The Opposition Leader is seeking leave from the apex court to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal last year for dismissing his RM100 million defamation suit against former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamed for calling him a homosexual.

In a statement released today, Syed Husin Fairus as a liability for the party and Penang government, saying the party should be grateful that the ex-Penang deputy chief minister had resigned.

The 33-year-old former Penanti assemblyman joined Umno last night, citing his disillusionment with PKR for its stand over the ‘Allah’ ruling.

“Parti Keadilan Rakyat should be grateful to Allah (SWT) that Fairus Khairuddin has left the party. Since he participated in Penang Government and his departure from that until now, he has always been a liability,” Syed Husin said in the statement.

He added that Fairus had to quit his state posts due to investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and “performing below par”.

“When he left, he demanded that the party cleared all debts on his two luxurious cars and pay him RM15,000 a month for as long as he determined. There was no reason to concede to these demands. Furthermore the party does not have the means to do so.

“In pity of his wife and children, a kind person gave him a ‘job’ for which he was paid RM4000 monthly. He was dissatisfied and continuously attacked the party leadership. Now he has found an Umno leader who can pay him much, much more than this,” he added.

Syed Husin also criticised Fairus’ reasons for leaving PKR.

“Fairus has given racial and religious reasons for leaving Keadilan. How shameful. He, his friends and Allah know best the truth,” the veteran politician said.

Apart from Fairus, 77 members of the Permatang Pauh PKR Youth left the party to join Umno last week following the departure of Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim.

It is understood that several more members, including Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng, could leave this week.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Nibong Tebal MP Tan quits PKR

Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng today became the second federal lawmaker to leave PKR, delivering another blow to the party that has seen sitting lawmakers leave nearly two years after their historic victory in Election 2008.

Tan made the announcement this morning.

Ex-Penang deputy chief minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin also quit the party last night for Umno while ex-PKR secretary-general Datuk

Salehuddin Hashim confirmed he quit two weeks ago.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Murugiah’s status: High Court to decide on April 14

The High Court will decide on April 14 whether to set aside a decision by the Malaysian Arbitral Tribunal Establishment (MATE) which declared that sacked PPP leader Senator T. Murugiah was the rightful party president.

High Court Justice Datuk Aziah Ali, who set the date in chambers today, also fixed April 23 to decide on an application by Murugiah who is seeking the enforcement of the MATE ruling.

The PPP filed the application last Dec 28, four days after the Registrar of Societies (RoS) filed to set aside MATE’s ruling.

The RoS is seeking a declaration that its statutory responsibilities and powers under the Societies Act 1966 could not be subjected to any arbitral action and to set aside MATE’s ruling, made on Dec 11 last year.

It is also seeking to establish that Murugiah’s referral of the matter to MATE was an abuse of the law process, invalid and illegal.

In its application, the RoS named Murugiah, MATE, its president Datuk Munsyi Muslim Yacob and arbitrator Datuk Prof Madya Abdul Halim Sidek as respondents.

According to counsel for the RoS, should the High Court allow its application on April 14, the decision over Murugiah’s application would merely be academic.

“We cannot allow for decisions made by RoS to be revoked through arbitration, then all other decisions we make can also be revoked in a similar way,” said senior federal counsel Datin Azizah Nawawi this morning.

Azizah, along senior federal counsel Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin and L. Chandra Dewi, appeared for the RoS while A. Vishnu Kumar and Sreekant Pillai appeared for Murugiah.

Meanwhile, PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas has also applied to be interveners in the application by Murugiah to enforce MATE’s decision on the grounds that he had a vested interest in the matter.

Lawyer Naran Singh said the application was made last Friday to the court.

“The PPP has to come in as interveners on this matter because if MATE’s decision is not set aside then the party and Kayveas’ position would be affected,” he said. Other lawyers on the team are James Monteiro and John Skelchy.

The RoS had in August last year ruled that the extraordinary general meeting in which Murugiah was elected party president was invalid.

Murugiah, who had initially filed a suit seeking an order of certiorari to quash that decision, withdrew the suit upon receiving MATE’s decision.

The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who has been at loggerheads with Kayveas since last year, was sacked from the party in May last year for allegedly using his government office to hold a press conference and defaming the party, its supreme council and leadership.

After his sacking, Murugiah is also now facing the possibility of being removed as a deputy minister.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Fairus’s move expected, says Penang DCM Mansor

Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman said he was not surprised by the decision of his predecessor to join Umno, adding that it was not a loss to PKR.

“It is not a surprise, we had already expected it,” Mansor told The Malaysian Insider.

Last night, former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin submitted his application to join Umno to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, making him the latest Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ally to abandon PKR.

Fairus said he decided to join Umno after considering the developments over the past three months after the controversial “Allah” ruling.

“Fairus was not an active member of PKR, even Zahrain’s departure does not affect the state,” said Mansor, referring to Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim who quit following his spat with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, whom he had called a “dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”.

Zahrain was the Penang PKR chairman until he was dropped in favour of Mansor last November.

Mansor also said the party will be more stringent in the selection of candidates for the next general election after what happened to Fairus and Zahrain.

Fairus, 33, quit as Penanti assemblyman in April last year, ostensibly to pursue post-graduate studies and spend time with his family.

Apart from being DCM I, he was also the Penang state executive councillor for entrepreneur and co-operative development, information and community relations.

His resignation triggered a by-election which Mansor won after defeating an independent. Barisan Nasional (BN) boycotted the election, describing it as a waste of public funds as it was caused by PKR’s internal problems.

Just two weeks ago, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) cleared Fairus and seven other high-profile politicians for graft.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Ex-PKR sec-gen Salehuddin quits party

Former PKR secretary-general Datuk Salehuddin Hashim, who resigned from his post in January, has now quit the party.

Salehuddin, when contacted, said he made his decision two weeks after ending his term of office.

“I did not want to quit the party when my term of office had yet to end. But when it ended, I informed the party that I was quitting,” said Salehuddin, who first held the post of organising secretary in the party before he was made secretary-general after the March 2008 general election.

His resignation from the party comes as a big blow to PKR as he once held a top post and was a senior party member who was part of de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's inner circle.

On whether he would join another party, possibly Umno, Salehuddin only said that “he was a politician who has retired”.

His name has been among those mentioned from PKR who were said to be joining Umno.

Yesterday, former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohd Fairus Khairuddin, who was also the former state assemblyman for Penanti, announced that he was joining Umno.

Salehuddin said he has never contacted Fairus since the ex-Penanti representative left the party last year.

Fairus’ move was announced at a Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia function which also saw the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Umno president.

Salehuddin was at a recent press conference held by Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim to announce that he was quitting PKR.

In January, Salehuddin denied that he was quitting PKR at that time but he was not so sure later.

In an interview, he also said the PKR leadership had treated him well but had not fully utilised him.

“I am not a staff ... I am the heart and soul (of the party secretariat),” he had said.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

Armed forces not involved in Aceh, says Zahid

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dismissed reports implying that Malaysian armed forces were involved in terror activities in Aceh, Indonesia.

He nevertheless called on the Indonesian authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Ahmad Zahid was commenting on reports about a raid in Aceh last week in which Indonesian police were said to have confiscated bayonets, money, DVDs as well as “Malaysian military uniforms”.

Zahid said Malaysia had never interfered in any conflicts in neighbouring countries.

He was speaking to reporters after sending off Malaysian armed forces for the International Monitoring Team-Mindanao at the Subang air force base here.

The team, headed by the army’s infantry director Maj-Gen Datuk Baharum Hamzah and comprises 12 armed forces personnel, three policemen and two civil service officers, left on a Royal Malaysian Air Force’s C130 military transport aircraft.

Zahid said that based on feedback, the international members of the monitoring team welcomed the mandate given to Malaysia to lead the mission.

The team would be deployed for 12 months in Mindanao, Philippines, covering areas like Cotabato, General Santos and Zamboanga. They would be joined by other teams including from Libya and Brunei. — Reuters

Alert withdrawn, no rise in the sea level in Sabah

The Meteorological Department has withdrawn its earlier alert on the possible rise in sea level in Sabah’s east coast following the earthquake in Chile.

The department said it had not detected any rise in the sea level in the state.

“It is now ascertained that the Sabah waters are free from the threat,” the department said in a statement.

Earlier today the department issued an alert, advising coastal residents in the state’s east coast to stay away from the beaches between noon and 6pm today as there were likely to occur rough sea conditions and a rise in the sea level.

The earthquake which struck Chile yesterday caused tsunami waves across the Pacific Oceans such as Mexico, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa Islands and New Zealand. — Bernama

No snap election in Perak, says Ahmad Husni

Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah today denied rumours of a snap election to be held in the state in September.

He said no instruction was also received by BN component parties in Perak to submit their respective lists of candidates in preparation for the election.

Ahmad Husni, who is also BN and UMNO treasurer, said that as the state BN chairman, he would have been informed if the election was to be held in Perak.

“The national-level BN held its meeting about two weeks ago, followed by UMNO last week and then Perak BN. There was no discussion at all on the snap election,” he told reporters after a function at Dewan Merdeka here today.

Rumours of a snap election in Perak have been circulating after a deputy president of a BN component party is said to have submitted the list of the party’s election candidates to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir yesterday.

A source from the party also claimed that the snap election would be held in September.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Husni, who is Second Finance Minister, dismissed fear by some Malay non-governmental organisations that the new economic model to be implemented by the government could result in the Bumiputera to continue to be left behind economically.

He said the government had taken into account the interests of all quarters when planning the new economic model.

“The government will not set aside any race. Everybody will benefit from the implementation of the new economic model,” he added.

He said the new economic model would be tabled once again to the Cabinet next month for fine tuning. — Bernama

Penang senior citizens to get RM100 annually

The state government will distribute aid of RM100 annually to each senior citizen in Penang who are eligible and aged 60 and above beginning April.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the aid, given under the Senior Citizens Appreciation Programme, was one of the efforts initiated by the state government to assist and appreciate the elderly.

“There are 132,000 senior citizens in the state but only 62,000 had registered at the State Assemblymen’s Service Centres to receive the aid and according to the statistics, the areas with the most number of senior citizens are in the North-East and Seberang Perai Utara districts,” he told reporters, here today.

Lim said that beginning tomorrow until March 8, senior citizens could check the name register and their personal particulars in the website which was launched today. — Bernama

State assembly reps get AP perk

All members of state legislative assemblies can now apply for one approved permit (AP) each to import a foreign car into the country.

With this additional perk, they join the ranks of members of parliament as well as car dealers and importers, diplomats and other privileged individuals permitted to apply for the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) for APs.

Atoyota car manufacturer loss of sales report 221208 03 letter by Miti's import and export division issued in February and addressed to Selangor assembly secretary Mohd Yasin Bidin said that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had agreed to the move on Oct 25, 2009.

This is in order to give recognition to the contributions of the 'yang berhormats' to "the people and the nation," said the letter.

Once obtained, the imported vehicle - which must five years old or less - cannot be transferred to any other party, it added.

It has yet to be determined whether the extension of APs to state assembly members mean they also will have to pay the RM10,000 fee for the permit they receive.

The new fee was announced by Miti in October after unveiling the National Automotive Policy last October following complaints that APs, among other abuses, were being sold to third parties rather than being used to develop bumiputera vehicle import entrepreneurs.

It remains to be seen how this move fits into Miti's October announcement that it would abolish the AP system for imports of completely-built-up vehicles, terminate open APs for used vehicles after 2015, and franchise APs (issued to dealers with distribution agreements with car companies) after 2020.

bukit antarabangsa landslide 071209 zuraida kamaruddinCommenting on the issue, PKR's Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin said while she welcomed the extension of the privilege to state assembly members, Miti's move has not settled the abuse of the AP system.

"State assemblypersons are given APs, fine, but this doesn't answer the issues of APs being given away to cronies and businessmen.

The whole system must be reviewed. How does this latest move fit into Miti's plans?" asked Zuraida when contacted.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

Saturday, February 27, 2010

PM Najib : Media must work for a united Malaysia

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the media have a social responsibility to work with the government towards nation building despite having differing policies.

"The media might take a different path...Sin Chew might take a different path...Utusan (Malaysia) might take a different path...other papers might take a different path, but although we take different paths, we must converge and we must reach our final destination," said the Prime Minister in his speech at the Sin Chew Media Group Chinese New Year Celebration at its headquarters, here Sunday.

Najib said the final destination for the media to converge was towards "a stronger, better, united, harmonious and prosperous Malaysia."

He hoped that the media, in implementing their differing policies, were aware that they were not pulling apart the society but bringing them together as Malaysians.

"We take different paths because we must allow some latitude in our society. We must allow some room for differences of opinion and even dissent but we must be conscious that we are not pulling apart this society, but we (must ensure that we) are slowly but surely bringing all Malaysians together," he said.

Najib also stressed that the demands made by a particular community should not be at the expense of other communities in the country.

"When we have differences in opinion we must always be aware...yes we can make demands...yes we can make statements but that should not be to the point that whatever we demand, whatever we say, whatever we do will be at the expense of some other community.

"It cannot and should not be a zero sum game. It should be on the basis that what is good for my community is also good for all Malaysians," Najib said.

He said that if all communities had the same thinking, "I am confident that we can have a colourful tapestry in our society".

Najib said there was no other society in the world that was as colourful as Malaysia.

"(And) in this part of the South East Asia you cannot get a nation that is more colourful than Malaysia. But that should be our strength and that should be our challenge. It should not be an obstacle. It should not hold us back," he said.

The Prime Minister said that the people must move together as one and as one nation in the spirit of 1Malaysia for a stronger and better Malaysia.

Talking about Tiger, since this year is the Tiger Year according to the Chinese calendar, Najib said although the tiger symbolised vitality and courage, the animal also was an endangered species.

"So if we don't look after the tiger, the tiger will surely disappear. If we don't look after this nation...this nation will go down," he said.

He called on the people to together build this nation so that a true legacy for Malaysia could be left behind. - Bernama

Moderate earthquake hits Banda Sea in Indonesia

A moderate earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit Banda Sea, Indonesia at 11.58am Sunday.

The Meteorological Department said the quake's epicentre is located 547km south of Riking, Indonesia and 1,782km southeast of Tawau, Sabah.

The quake did not pose any tsunami threat, the department said in a statement. - Bernama

Anwar needs divine intervention

Anwar can forget about getting justice from the Malaysian judicial system. Rules can be bent, rules can be ignored, rules can be overlooked when it involves Anwar. This is what the man in the street is saying.

We witnessed this nauseating so-called judicial process in both the trials concerning Anwar's sodomy and corruption trials in 1999. In the first sodomy trial the charges were amended three times because the authorities did not know the definite date to conclusively state when the so-called sodomy was believed to have taken place then.

In the corruption trial, the presiding judge made it so difficult for the defence to mount a serious challenge to the charge. The judge even decided that he should be convinced of the relevance of the point before the defence was allowed to question the prosecution witnesses. It was so outrageously unjust that it led Malaysians to believe that Anwar had to be convicted no matter what.

Unsettling effect

Are we witnessing a similar scenario in this instance where Anwar is on trial for the second time charged with - of all things - another sodomy.

The way things are moving, it seems, only a divine intervention can save him from the injustice he is being subjected to.

The Feb25 ruling by the Federal Court refusing to review an earlier Federal Court decision has an unsettling effect on our system of justice.

anwar-sodomySolicitor general II Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden had argued that the court is not empowered to review its decision. A review can only (be) granted if the applicant manages to prove that "there was an error in law" and only in extremely rare cases is a review granted.

There may not be "an error in law" but what course of remedy is open to the litigant when there was an error in justice? When such error involving justice is so apparent, should the court turn a blind eye to the injustice?

We are made to understand that Rule 137 of the rules of the Federal Court stipulates that the court had limited power to decide on a review of its own decision "to prevent injustice or to prevent an abuse of the process of the court."

Penetration is most crucial

Is this the reason why the law is sometimes referred to as an ass? Does this mean that an injustice and an abuse of the process of court can be tolerated and condoned by the court? Is this what rule of law is all about?

Why is Anwar being denied the list of witnesses? Why is he denied additional information and evidence which is so crucial to his defence? Is it meant to crucify him by all means as many believe it to be?

Shouldn't the court, in all fairness, order this vital information be given to him so that the three foreign experts who are here can advise Anwar's team of lawyers as to how to counter the so-called evidence with the prosecution?
Strangely, the court has also ruled that in spite of the fact that there was no penetration according to medical evidence, it will not dismiss the case as there is other corroborating evidence to support the charge.

Normally, penetration is most crucial in the case of rape and sodomy. In such an eventuality, other corroborating evidence may lend credence to the charge but without any positive evidence of penetration what credibility would this charge hold in any fair trial?

In the words of Lord Devlin, the court process "is to provide a civilized method of settling disputes. It is remove a sense of injustice."

Unfortunately, we have not witnessed this truth so far. The injustice has not been removed by any stretch of the imagination.

written by P RAMAKRISHNAN, who is Aliran president.

Fadillah, Empiang retain PBB posts

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof and Senator Datuk Sri Empiang Jabu returned unopposed as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth and Wanita chiefs respectively.

Their deputies, Daniel Jubang Kanyan and Datin Fatimah Abdullah respectively, were also returned unopposed at the wings’ elections today.

The wings’ top leadership now comprise:

YOUTH Chief: Fadillah Yusof Deputy chief: Daniel Jubang Kanyan Vice-chiefs: Ensaring Suel, Dr Simon Sinang Bada and Pandi Suhaili.

WANITA Chief: Senator Datuk Sri Empiang Jabu Deputy chief: Datin Fatimah Abdullah Vice-chiefs: Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim, Dayang Madinah Tun Abang Openg and Elizabeth Deng. – Bernama

Marked increase in investor confidence, says Mukhriz

There has been a marked increase in investor confidence among local and foreign investors to invest in various economic sectors in Malaysia since early this year, says Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

The investors’ keen interest was a positive development, signifying that the country’s economy was well on the recovery path, he said, but did not disclose the number of investors who have expressed interest to invest or made enquiries.

“Even in trade, we find that there has been significant growth. In line with what the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) has said, we are confident that, barring any unforeseen circumstances and developments beyond our control locally and globally, we will witness marked improvements in our economy this year,” he told reporters when asked to comment on the country’s economic prospects this year.

Earlier, Mukhriz attended the Kedah Umno liaison committee meeting at Pulau Mabul, about 30 minutes speedboat ride from Semporna town.

Mukhriz said that although the export sector was the main driver to the country’s economic recovery, the manufacturing and services sectors, which registered positive growth in the fourth quarter of last year, are also being given attention.

“While we are trying to boost exports, we are also giving specific attention to domestic investments and the services sector. These are our new approaches that will assist us to stabilise the economy,” he said.

On initiatives to woo Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to the country, Mukhriz said Malaysia welcomed FDIs from all countries, including traditional investors like China, India, the United States, Europe and West Asia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when announcing the 2009 fourth quarter economic performance on Wednesday, said the worst was over for the country.

The 4.5 per cent economic growth registered in the fourth quarter of last year was beyond expectation, amid strengthened domestic and external demand, said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

For the year 2009, the economy contracted by 1.7 per cent, lower than the -3 per cent projected earlier, he added. – Bernama

Penang bridge turns 25 this year

When veteran politician Dr Lim Chong Eu (now Tun) spoke about building a bridge linking Penang Island to Butterworth on the mainland way back in the 1950s and 60s, there were many sceptics.

Disbelievers felt that such a massive infrastructural undertaking would not be feasible because no bridge of such scale had been built in the region before.

But Dr Lim, who went on to become Chief Minister of Penang between 1969 and 1990, persevered with the idea of this important linkage.

His efforts bore fruit finally on April 13, 1985, when a 13.5km bridge, with four towers in mid-span and standing 33 metres above water, was completed within four years after the federal government pumped in RM850 million for the project.

Before it was built, people relied on the ferry services to cross the Penang Strait, making the conception of the bridge one of the most important developments in the history of Penang.

The bridge was designed by a Penangite, the late Tan Sri Prof Chin Fung Kee, a well known authority on geotechnical engineering and a former acting Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya. He opted for the cable-stayed concrete girder instead of the steel-tied arch in the style of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Penang Bridge, which has carried millions of vehicles and passengers since it was officially opened to the public on Sept 14, 1985, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Over the past 25 years, it has contributed significantly to the development of Penang both as a tourist and industrial centre, said a spokesman of Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd, the concessionaire responsible for managing, operating, upgrading and collecting toll from the bridge under a 25-year concession from Aug 15, 1993 to May 31, 2018.

He said that with the expansion on the Penang Bridge’s third lane, which opened in August last year, the bridge can now accommodate 155,000 vehicles a day compared to 120,000 before the expansion project.

“The new lanes are designed to reduce travelling time during peak hours from 20 to 11 minutes,” he said, adding that the entire length of the bridge has three lanes going each way.

The Penang Bridge was widened by an extra 4.8 metres on both sides. There is also a 2.0 metre-wide motorcycle lane.

To ensure smooth traffic flow, 24 toll lanes had been built of which 10 are for motorcycles, taking into cognisance this popular mode of transport in Penang as about 30,000 motorcycles pass through the bridge daily, he said.

Being an iconic symbol for Penang, he said the bridge, which ranks as the longest bridge in Asia and fifth largest in the world, also plays host to the annual Penang Bridge Run, a popular athletics event since its inception.

From a historical and construction perspective, Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister, had initiated the idea to set the process moving to build the bridge in the early 1970s.

The bridge was planned during the term of the third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn, in the late 1970s.

In April 1982, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s fourth prime minister, sank the first pile to officially kick off the construction of the project.

On Aug 3, 1985, Dr Mahathir drove across the bridge in a red Proton Saga, carrying the national flag to officiate at the opening ceremony. By his side was his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, and in the back seat were Dr Lim, then Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and then Proton Chairman, Tan Sri Jamil Jan.

In terms of engineering, the total length of piling for the bridge is 648km, equal to the distance from Butterworth to Johor Bahru. It can withstand earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter scale. Of the entire length of 13.5km, 8.4km of the bridge is above water.

True to Penang’s motto of “Penang Leads”, the bridge’s toll plaza operator was the first in Malaysia to obtain MS ISO 9002 certification. It was also the first to introduce toll payment by Contactless Smart Card.

To monitor traffic flow and bridge security, the PBSB spokesman said the company has established the Penang Bridge Communication Centre (PBCC), a comprehensive monitoring centre equipped with 24-hour closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at 24 locations.

The spokesman said Penang Bridge is also equipped with 12 emergency telephones (ET) at 1.2km intervals on bridge lay-bys and the main span. This facility allows communication between the ET call boxes and the control centre at PBCC.

In addition, the 24-hour bridge patrolling vehicles handle minor breakdowns along the 12 lay-bys on the bridge. Beside the 24-hour patrolling and handling minor repairs, the patrol teams are also equipped with towing facilities.

“The tow trucks are being placed on standby at both sides of the bridge during peak hours to expedite the response and evacuation times,” the spokesman said.

Penang Bridge also operates an Online Traffic Information Management System to provide real-time information on the traffic conditions on Penang Bridge via SMS.

“It gives the public the latest information within minutes to help them plan their journey,” he said. – Bernama