MB Perak minta dua ADUN PKR umum pendirian

IPOH: Menteri Besar Perak Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin hari ini meminta dua Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) dari Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) yang "hilang" sejak Isnin lepas supaya mengisytiharkan segera pendirian jika telah keluar daripada kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat Perak.

Beliau berkata kerajaan negeri telah bersedia untuk membuat persiapan dan strategi mengikut peraturan yang ada bagi menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan.

Dua anggota exco dari PKR itu telah ghaib dan mereka tidak dapat dihubungi termasuk oleh keluarga mereka sendiri sejak 26 Januari," katanya pada sidang akhbar selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat dengan pemimpin PAS, DAP dan PKR negeri di kediamannya di sini.

Mereka yang dikatakan hilang itu adalah Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (ADUN Behrang) dan Mohd Osman Jailu (ADUN Changkat Jering).

Mohammad Nizar berkata kerajaan negeri mungkin akan membuat laporan polis berhubung kehilangan dua anggota Exco itu selepas berbincang dengan keluarga mereka.

Jamaluddin, 52, adalah Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pembangunan Usahawan, Koperasi, Pertanian dan Perladangan manakala Osman, 57, adalah pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pelancongan, Pembangunan Insan dan Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan.

Kedua-dua mereka menghadapi tuduhan rasuah melibatkan kelulusan sebuah projek pembangunan bernilai RM180 juta di Seri Iskandar dan perbicaraan kes berkenaan akan didengar di Mahkamah Sesyen di sini pada 10 Feb ini.

Menteri Besar berkata kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat di Perak masih kukuh walaupun dalam keadaan sekarang kerana semua Adun yang lain masih bersamanya.

Pakatan Rakyat mempunyai 32 Adun termasuk Adun Bota Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim yang menyertai PKR minggu lepas manakala BN dianggotai 27 Adun dan jika dua Adun PKR berkenaan keluar, kerajaan negeri masih mempunyai majoriti satu kerusi.

Ketika mengulas lanjut mengenai perkembangan kehilangan dua Adun PKR itu, Mohammad Nizar yang juga timbalan pesuruhajaya PAS Perak berkata usaha menjatuhkan kerajaan negeri dengan melarikan dua Adun berkenaan adalah satu penghinaan kepada kerajaan negeri yang ada.

Yang turut hadir pada mesyuarat itu adalah Pengerusi DAP Perak Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, Pesuruhjaya PAS Perak Ahmad Awang, Pengerusi PKR Perak Osman Abdul Rahman dan Nasaruddin.

Sementara itu, anak Jamaluddin, Ali, 25, mendakwa bapanya tidak akan menyertai BN tetapi mungkin mengumumkan akan menjadi wakil rakyat bebas.

Ketika bercakap kepada pemberita di pejabatnya, beliau mengesahkan keluarganya tidak dapat menghubungi Jamaluddin sejak Isnin lepas tetapi seorang rakan bapanya menghubungi beliau semalam memaklumkan bapa akan keluar PKR untuk menjadi Adun Bebas.

"Saya tak percaya dia hilang...dia tahu jaga dirinya tetapi emak saya memang tertekan," tambahnya.

BERNAMA
01/02/09

No action against Ahmad Ismail's Racist Remarks


Datuk Ahmad Ismail, the man who put race relations on a knife’s edge with his comments about Chinese in Malaysia in August last year, will remain a free man — for the time being.

The police have wrapped up investigations into a sedition charge against him but thanks to the intervention of senior party leaders, the veteran Penang Umno politician is not likely to see the inside of the courtroom anytime soon.

Umno sources told The Malaysian Insider that several delegations of party officials from Penang made representations to the Umno leadership on behalf of Ahmad over the past week, arguing that he has already paid a severe price for calling Chinese “immigrants’’ and “squatters’’ during a political rally in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Ahmad was suspended from holding any positions in Umno for three years by the party’s supreme council. His supporters also pointed out that charging him in court would merely re-ignite debate on race and religious issues and further complicate relations between component parties in Barisan Nasional.

Party officials were also concerned on the impact action against Ahmad could have on the fluid political situation in Umno.

“There is still a concern that some state assemblymen and MPs may be considering jumping over to the opposition. Ahmad Ismail is a popular figure in Umno. He may be vilified outside the party but among party members, there is a great deal of respect for standing up for Malay rights,” said a party official.

Earlier this week, The Malaysian Insider reported that the police had completed their probe into the Umno warlord and that the Attorney-General’s Chambers was on the cusp of ordering that the politician be charged with sedition.

News of this impending action filtered to the party rank and file in Penang and they made a beeline to Putrajaya to plead and cajole on behalf of Ahmad.

The Malaysian Insider
01/02/09

Makkal Sakthi - Community Service Panthal for Thaipusam in Port Klang

THE TRUTH BEHIND TARNISHING MALAYSIA'S IMAGE.

The criticism on those presumably tarnishing the country’s image has been the focus of some who believe that playing the race card and discrediting the country’s image does not help to find permanent solutions to the problems at hand. Of late this were the views of the Malaysian Indian Youth Development Foundation (MIYDF) chairperson SA Vigneswaran who also stated that pinpointing the ruling government would not solve the issues and that everyone has a part to play. Previously KK Eswaran, the president of the Indian-based business group, the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Maicci), similarly lashed out at government critics for negative remarks on the country’s leadership. Both Vigneswaran and Eswaran believe these irresponsible acts of some were to push forward their respective agendas and serve their own interest.

The above refers of course to the activities of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Waytha Moorthy’s circulation of a booklet titled “Malaysian Indian Minority and the Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2008” during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Chennai. Waytha Moorthy had declared that Malaysian Indians are ill-treated and marginalised and called for the Indian government to impose trade sanctions against Malaysia in importing palm oil from Malaysia.

What both Vigneswaran and Eswaran fail to understand is that it is not Waytha Moorthy who is tarnishing the image of this country rather it is the ruling government and UMNO through its acts of racist and discriminatory policies and practices , injustices, religious extremism and marginalisation of minorities that has put our nation to shame. In the past 50 years the rights given by the Federal Constitution to the citizens of this country was well manipulated and manoeuvred to the advantage of UMNO and the BN Government. Corruption, cronyism and nepotism became so deep rooted into the society that it became part of the Malaysian culture. Basic human rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of press are noticeably deprived.

This is well portrayed in various international surveys and statistics. The dishonesty, lack of transparency and integrity of institutions such as the police, immigration and judiciary and high profile political involvements, have repeatedly brought the focus of the world to Malaysia. The humiliation involving high ranking immigration officers almost denied Malaysians their 6 month visa privileges with Britain. The scandalous Lingam Case, the mystery behind the death of Altantuya, the ambiguity of Anwar’s previous and present sodomy matters, various shoot to kill policies of the police and death in custody, already tainted Malaysia’s name. Not forgetting the use of ISA to suppress dissent and incarcerating human rights activist for indefinite periods.

These are only a few of the examples that tarnished Malaysia’s name internationally. The portrayal of Malaysia on the surface as being a democratic nation, peaceful and harmonious is false and it needn’t take Waytha Moorthy to demonstrate it. Read the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights in Malaysia and you will see.

On the matter of serving one’s own interest although Eswaran speaks up as the representative of the Indian community his intentions are scrutinised in relation to a company called Multi Vest Resources Berhad (MVest) a company he heads. Would Waytha Moorthy’s call for the Indian government to impose trade sanctions against Malaysia in importing palm oil from Malaysia have any effect on his company that has 4000 hectares of oil palm plantation in Malaysia and a further 75,000 hectares coming up in Kalimantan. It would be right to say than “self interest” here refers to Eswaran’s position as a businessman and that of his Bumiputra Directors. Further Eswaran should be particularly careful when questioning on the virtues of credibility, gratefulness and the sincerity of others especially that of Waytha Moorthy, when so much of his own sordid personal life has been exposed and particular reference made to his “ungratefulness and betrayal of the hands that once fed him.” Both Eswaran and Vigneswaran have clearly spoken not as representatives of the people but that of the BN Government. Or is this all merely to facilitate the government’s recent instructions via the Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam to counter Hindraf’s activities of bringing out the truth.

Please bear in mind that the advocates of human rights in Malaysia including Waytha Moorthy have no interest of their own to serve but that of the community that is undergoing turmoil, discrimination and marginalisation. They are led not by self-interest or egotism but rather by a burning desire to put right the injustices that continue to accur. They are not amateurs (unlike many others) and their actions of fighting for minority rights and the preservation of the Indian race, religion and culture goes back as far as 20 years. They have sacrificed their lives, some unlawfully incarcerated without trial and others having to live in exile away from their beloved home, family, livelihood, dreams and aspirations, all for the sake of the deprived community. Their personal happiness and future is bleak with a question mark. There is no secret agenda here.

Mr Vigneswaran holds the view that we should not blame the ruling government on issues concerning the police force however he fails to recognise that it is the responsibility of the ruling government to take stern, quick, uncompromising and adequate action to safe the reputation of the police force that has currently stooped so low. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that this institution is operated and administered in the most professional and skilled manner. The entire police force is in a state of mockery and ridicule both nationally and internationally not because of those who carry the messages of truth but because of the constant wrongdoing that contravenes the very core of being a dignified and respected institution that serves to protect its people. Instead continued misconduct, corruption, mistreatment and now murder after murder has brought the entire police force into disgrace. Vigneswaran’s ideas and points as to the causes and solutions to police brutality are well received but nothing new to those who have already proposed similar changes time after time. Criticism, analysis and proposals for changes in any good governance would be well accepted as a means of moving forward. Time after time intervention and suggestions by the legal fraternity, NGO’s, human rights groups, political parties, the opposition and individual citizen’s of this country have fallen into deaf ears. P.Uthayakumar now incarcerated under ISA worked rigidly under the Police Watch and Human Rights Committee to highlight the causes and solutions to police brutality. This can be seen in the scores of letters and recommendations he made to the Prime Minister and the Ministries concerned. In July 2002 he forwarded a document entitled ASSAULT AND DEATH OF THARMA RAJEN A/L SUBRAMANIAM (19) AND HUNDREDS OF OTHERS IN POLICE CUSTODY.

ARE WE HEADING TOWARDS A POLICE STATE to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) where reasons were given and safeguards and proposals made to end police brutality? If the contents of this document were even read perhaps Kugan wouldn’t be lying dead in a grave right now. It is then ridiculous and sheer stupidity to even suggest the exhausted terms such as “there is a proper way in approaching the government”. We suggest that Vigneswaran prepares a report under MIYDF on his prescribed solutions, present it to the relevant authorities and then WAIT to see the outcome.

The problem here is not that we are short of ideas, plans or strategies on how to bring about changes but rather implementation of the changes which is the sole responsibility and only within the capability of the government. The Malaysian government has undoubtedly turned a blind eye on the grieviences of its people. It is ignorant and arrogant towards the racism, injustice, discrimination, and marginalization that is taking place in this country. When a much bigger nation can identify its faults and mistakes, acknowledge it, take stern actions and massive steps to rectify it even if it means its precious 200 year history would be changed forever WHY can’t we??????? A government that is willing to change when there is a dire need for changes is a responsible government. The Malaysian government has yet to take even the initial steps to demonstrate to its people how it is going to make right the enormous tribulations that encompass this nation. Perhaps this is unlikely to happen as bringing about any form of change would contradict the “the secret agendas and self-interest of those in governance and UMNO”.

For those who have recently accused Waytha Moorthy of spreading lies on the racism, injustices, discrimination and marginalization of the minority Indians in Malaysia please bear in mind that in the very short time that it took you to prepare your accusatory statement, 22 year old Kugan was severely beaten, abused and murdered while in police custody(INJUSTICE) , the Vallambrosa Tamil Primary School in Kapar was forced to conduct lessons for 69 primary two students at the school canteen(MARGINALISATION), a little girl named Darshini of standard 5 lives with a fear of being thrown out of school because she does not have a birth certificate(DISCRIMINATION), a Hindu woman fell victim to the obnoxious racist abuses of a fellow Malaysian Muslim passenger onboard a Malaysian flight (RACISM) and the government has decided not to pursue the obvious and desperately needed Race Relations Act.

ARE THESE LIES ???????????????

Politik wang: Umno tidak setuju SPRM siasat pemimpin~malaysiakini

Walaupun tanpa isu dakwaan penderaan seorang pemimpin bahagian Umno sewaktu siasatan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), Umno umumnya tidak bersetuju campur tangan badan itu dalam membanteras gejala politik wang dalam parti.

Pemuda Umno Padang Serai menyifatkan siasatan SPRM “tidak tepat pada masanya”, lebih-lebih lagi hampir dengan pemilihan parti, Mac ini.

Ketua Pemudanya Ismadi Abu Talib turut mempertikaikan tangkapan suruhanjaya itu terhadap sejumlah pemimpin Umno peringkat pertengahan baru-baru ini tetapi tidak menfokuskan pemimpin parti-parti lain.

“Tangkapan SPRM fokus pemimpin Umno sewaktu dekat dengan pemilihan, seolah-olah ahli Umno sahaja yang yang rasuah.

“Tidak semua pemimpin Umno mengamalkan rasuah,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini hari ini.

Lebih-lebih lagi, tambahnya, tindakan sedemikian menyebabkan wujud pertembungan bidang tugas antara SPRM dengan Lembaga Displin Umno untuk membanteras politik wang dalam parti tersebut.

“Akar umbi terkapai-kapai, yang mana satu nak ikut?” katanya.

Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) – sebelum pembentukan suruhanjaya baru itu – sudah memadai untuk mengawal gejala buruk itu, tambahnya.

Mengulas dakwaan insiden penderaan seorang ahli jawatankuasa Umno bahagian Maran, Pahang di tangan penyiasat SPRM, Ismadi berkata beliau membantah cara siasatan tersebut.

“Saya tidak nampak kebaikan SPRM. Saya tidak bersetuju dan tidak sokong tindakan itu,” katanya.

macc and umno acaDalam laporan polisnya kelmarin, Halimi Kamaruzzaman mendakwa mengalami penderaan serius sewaktu disiasat berhubung amalan politik wang anggota MT dan ketua Pemuda Umno Wilayah Persekutuan, Datuk Norza Zakaria.

Pemimpin Umno itu bagaimanapun menafikan mempunyai sebarang kaitan dengan Norza.

Halimi mendakwa tiga pegawai SPRM menumbuk, menendang dan memaksanya berbogel dan kemudiannya berguling-guling di atas lantai.

“Mereka telah mengugut saya bahawa isteri saya akan ditangkap dan dibogelkan jika saya tidak membuat pengakuan (mengaitkan dengan Norza),” dakwanya lagi dalam aduan polis tersebut.

Ismadi menambah, beliau difahamkan kira-kira 600 penyiasat ditambah bersama SPRM dan ia memberi tafsiran bahawa pemimpin Umno mengamal rasuah.

“Saya rasa kita membuka pekung di dada, seolah-olah memang pemimpin kita mengamalkan rasuah.

“Bagaimana saya nak beritahu kepada akar umbi bahawa pemimpin-pemimpin kita itu benar-benar bersih (daripada politik wang)?” katanya.

Sejak siri penangkapan SPRM terhadap pemimpin Umno, beliau juga mengalami perasaan fobia untuk keluar rumah walaupun berjumpa kawan-kawan.

Katanya, tangkapan tersebut menjadi satu kejutan kepadanya, tambahan pula beliau baru sahaja memegang jawatan tersebut pada pemilihan bahagian itu November lalu.

“Oleh yang demikian saya mahukan definisi politik wang yang jelas dalam Umno supaya akar umbi tidak terawang-awang dengan matlamat penubuhan SPRM,” katanya.

Sehubungan itu beliau mencadangkan agar masalah politik wang dalam parti tersebut dibincangkan dan dibahaskan dalam persidangan agung, mulai 24 Mac ini.

Manakala Naib Ketua Bahagian Umno Langkawi, Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid pula menjelaskan beliau tidak bersetuju sejak awal lagi isu politik wang Umno dibawa kepada SPRM.

umno money politicsKerana, tambah wakil rakyat Ayer Hangat, ia memberi gambaran kepada akar umbi bahawa pemimpin-pemimpin bahagian mengamalkan politik wang.

Mengulas dakwaan insiden yang menimpa Halimi sepanjang empat hari ditahan SPRM sejak 23 Januari, beliau berasa kesal dan menyifatkan insiden tersebut tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

“Dalam mana-mana siasatan, tidak boleh dijalankan siasatan dengan kekerasan, hatta orang yang ditahan atas dakwaan jenayah pun tidak boleh disiasat dengan kekerasan,” katanya sewaktu dihubungi.

Tambahnya, dakwaan insiden sebegini akan menyebabkan rakyat mempersoalkan kaedah siasatan yang dijalankan.

Sehubungan itu, beliau menggesa MT menentukan sama ada suruhanjaya itu boleh menyiasat berhubung amalan politik wang atau tidak memandangkan lembaga disiplin parti sudah berbuat demikian.

Sementara ketua Wanita Umno Melaka, Datuk Hazizah Mohd Sultan berkata dakwaan insiden penderaan oleh penyiasat SPRM tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

“Masalah politik harus di selesaikan dengan politik. Bukan cara begitu untuk menyiasat,” katanya.

Mengulas lanjut mengenai tangkapan ahli jawatankuasa, tangkapan tersebut memberikan gambaran tidak elok kepada Umno dan menjatuhkan imej parti itu.

“Tangkapan memburukkan lagi keadaan (Umno), seolah-olah memberi anggapan buruk kepada Umno.

Tambahnya, politik wang yang berlaku dalam parti tersebut adalah perkara kecil dan terpencil yang diperbesar-besarkan.

“Ada satu, dua orang sahaja daripada berjuta-juta ahli Umno yang melakukan rasuah,” katanya.

Hazizah menjelaskan, hukuman daripada lembaga disiplin seperti digugurkan keahlian atau digantung jawatan sudah mampu untuk membanteras politik wang dalam parti.

Abdul Rahim Sabri
Malaysiakini
01/02/09

Kenyataan Media PPN Perak

KENYATAAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA–
Ipoh, 31 Januari 2009

Kami ingin memaklumkan dua orang Ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri Perak dari Parti Keadilan Rakyat; YB Jamaluddin Mat Radzi dan YB Osman Bin Jailu tidak dapat dihubungi sejak empat hari yang lalu, bukan sahaja oleh parti tetapi juga oleh ahli keluarga mereka.

Kami percaya kehilangan mereka ada hubungan rapat dengan pertuduhan kes rasuah yang sedang mereka hadapi dan perbicaraan kes tersebut akan bermula pada 10hb Februari 2009.

Dari awal lagi kami amat yakin pertuduhan dalam kes tersebut adalah satu pertuduhan palsu yang direkacipta oleh UMNO dan BN sebagai satu ugutan politik.

Kami percaya ada usaha dari Barisan Nasional untuk memujuk kedua-dua Exco ini bagi menyertai BN dan sebagai imbuhan terdesak Dato’ Seri Najib termasuk menggugurkan kes rasuah mereka.

Namun kami berharap kedua-dua pemimpin ini berada dalam keadaan selamat dan berpegang teguh kepada prinsip perjuangan parti selama ini dan tidak terperangkap dengan muslihat UMNO-BN yang kononnya inginkan penyertaan mereka untuk membela nasib Melayu.

HAJI OSMAN ABDUL RAHMAN
Pengerusi Perhubungan PKR Negeri Perak

Dua exco Perak jumpa Najib di Pekan?~malaysiakini

Sejak beberapa hari lalu, dua exco kerajaan Perak daripada PKR mencetuskan pelbagai spekulasi akan menyertai BN susulan tindakan wakil rakyat Bota, Datuk Nasharuddin Hashim meninggalkan Umno hujung minggu lepas.

Petang ini, desas-desus mula bertiup kencang bahawa kedua-duanya Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (foto, kiri) dan Osman Jailu berada di Pekan, Pahang dalam usaha berunding dengan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak di kediamannya.

Malaysiakini difahamkan PKR sedang memantau dengan dekat perkembangan dua exconya ini, termasuk kemungkinan berada di Pekan setelah kedua-duanya gagal dihubungi oleh pemimpin negeri, parti dan keluarga mereka sendiri sejak empat hari lalu.

Difahamkan parti itu sudah mendapat maklumat bahawa kedua-duanya “berkemungkinan besar” bersetuju meninggalkan parti pimpinan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim itu.

Sumber-sumber parti itu memberitahu, BN paling cepat melalui Mohd Najib sendiri akan mengumumkan perkembangan mendebarkan ini esok - setelah ura-ura berbuat demikian petang tadi tidak berhasil.

Bagaimanapun sumber-sumber itu tidak dapat memastikan sama ada mereka berdua betul-betul berada di Pekan atau masih di Ipoh.

Seorang wakil rakyat PKR di Kedah juga dalam usaha didekati untuk melompat kepada BN.

Sementara itu PKR Perak mendakwa Mohd Najib sedang berunding dengan mereka agar menyertai BN, termasuk untuk menggugurkan kes rasuah terhadap mereka yang ditahan Ogos tahun lalu.

“Kami percaya kehilangan mereka ada hubungan rapat dengan
pertuduhan kes rasuah yang sedang mereka hadapi dan perbicaraan kes tersebut akan bermula pada 10 Februari,” kata pengerusi perhubungannya Osman Abdul Rahman dalam satu kenyataan lewat petang ini.

“Kami percaya ada usaha-usaha oleh BN untuk memujuk kedua-dua exco ini bagi menyertai BN dan sebagai imbuhan terdesak Najib, termasuk menggugurkan kes rasuah mereka.”

Osman menambah, beliau yakin pertuduhan terhadap kedua-dua exco Perak itu “palsu yang direka cipta oleh Umno dan BN sebagai satu ugutan politik.”

Jika Jamaluddin dan Osman sah meninggalkan PKR, kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Perak akan mentadbir dengan kelebihan satu kerusi - setelah mengambil kira penyertaan Nasharuddin.

BN buat masa sekarang menguasai 27 kerusi, sementara Pakatan Rakyat 32, termasuk lapan PKR dan 18 DAP (lihat jadual).

P/S: Sumber SMS dari Perak mengesahkan kedua-dua ADUN ini tidak dapat dikesan dan kemungkinan besar dikawal oleh Orang-orang yang berkepentingan..

malaysiakini
01/02/09

17 NGOs come forward to support cops in Kugan case

PETALING JAYA: At a time when the police have been heavily criticised by certain individuals and politicians over detainee A. Kugan’s death while in police custody, 17 non-govermental organisations (NGOs) have come forward to give their full support to the men in blue.

The NGOs, mainly from Puchong, have reiterated that they trust that the police would handle the case fairly and openly.

The NGOs’ legal adviser, Datuk Theng Book, said that the public should refrain from speculating on Kugan’s death as it could create unrest.

“Politicians also should stop exaggerating the issue as it may give the impression that crime suspects are above the law,” he said at the press conference.

Kugan, 22, who was held under a two-weeks remand order for investigations into several luxury car theft cases, collapsed and died at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya on Tuesday.

Theng urged the public to be calm and respect the Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail’s assurance that this case would be handled in a unbiased manner.

Sunday Star
01/02/09

Differences over ‘Allah’ reach a new level

KUALA LUMPUR: Two members of the Cabinet appear on a collision course over the right of freedom of worship in the country and the use of the word “Allah’’ by a Catholic publication.

Their disagreement is a microcosm of the percolating tension in the country among the Muslim authorities and non-Muslims over issues related to race and religion, and could pose one of the most formidable challenges which Datuk Seri Najib Razak will face when he takes over as president of Umno and prime minister next month.

But more immediately, the “Allah’’ issue could have an impact on a by-election in Pensiangan, Sabah, which is likely to be called when a court rules on election irregularities soon.

At the centre of the controversy is the use of the world “Allah’’ by the Catholic Herald, a weekly publication with a circulation of 14,000.

The Catholic Church said that it has used the word “Allah’’ in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the publication for years but the Home Ministry disagreed, saying that the word was the preserve of followers of Islam in Malaysia.

The issue is now before the High Court with the Catholic Church seeking a ruling on the right to continue to use the word “Allah’’.

In the interim, the ministry has ruled that the Herald cannot use the word and also directed the weekly to only publish an English section. Due to the intervention of the Cabinet, the Home Ministry withdrew the order preventing the church from publishing a Bahasa Malaysia section.

Since then, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, leader of the Upko political party in Sabah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, has urged the authorities to wait until the court decision before laying down the law.

He also noted that the usage of the word "Allah" should be viewed from the historical perspective since the terminology had come about when Bahasa Malaysia was used by the people even before Malaysia was formed.

He said it was the language used by the people of the Borneo territories even though English was used in most schools.

Dompok said the usage of "Allah" became more pronounced, especially after the importation of Bibles written in the Indonesian language, which refers to God as "Allah". He said the terminology is widely used in Indonesia and also in Arab countries by Christians.

"So it is a universal terminology used in the Christian world when they are praying in their vernacular language. There is no reason for the Home Ministry to continue harassing the Catholic Herald," he said.

His Cabinet colleague Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hit back at Dompok yesterday. He told Mingguan Malaysia: “There are some non-Muslim leaders who are asking that permission be granted so that the word Allah can be used, using Indonesia as an example.

“This is Malaysia. Do not equate us with another country. We are an Islamic country as stated in the constitution,” he said, adding that there was a hidden agenda to use the word “Allah’’ in the Herald.

In raising this issue, he said that a small group of non-Muslim leaders were trying to question the position of Islam in Malaysia. Islam is the official religion under the Federal Constitution while the right of non-Muslims to worship is also protected.

“Don’t play with fire and challenge the Muslims. We are willing to do anything to protect our religion,” he warned.

Muslims have long feared that Christian groups are bent on preaching and converting followers of Islam. They see the use of the word “Allah’’ as a subtle way of spreading Christianity to Muslims — a charge church leaders have dismissed.

It is unlikely that both sides will back down. The Catholic Church has said that it will continue using the word “Allah” until the court decides on the case and Dompok is no shrinking violet.

One senses that when he speaks on this issue, he is representing the Kadazandusun community in Sabah, many of whom are Christian and many who believe their less religious landscape in East Malaysia is being polluted by the narrow-mindedness and chauvinism from federal authorities.

Their sentiment will be tested soon in Pensiangan. In March 2008, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup won the seat uncontested but in September, the Election Court ruled that the result was null and void. Kurup filed an appeal and the case is before the Federal Court. The apex court is expected to rule this month.

In the meantime, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been meeting church leaders in Sabah to seek the support of the Christian community.

It is unlikely that Ahmad Zahid or other Umno leaders will back down and douse their fiery rhetoric.

This is the election season in the ruling party and candidates are expected to flag their commitment to the race and religion. Ahmad Zahid is seeking one of the three vice-president’s positions in Umno.

The Malaysian Insider
01/02/09

Perak politics in disarray

KUALA LUMPUR: Politics in Perak is in turmoil. One Umno state assemblyman has defected to the opposition — which rules the state — and this was followed shortly by the resignation of the state's top Umno official.

Yesterday, it emerged that two state councillors who were accused of graft last year had gone missing, as speculation swirled that they had jumped ship to join the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Perak Parti Keadilan Rakyat chief Osman Abdul Rahman said that Jamaludin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu could not be contacted for the past four days.

He said the party believed that BN had enticed the duo to defect in exchange for some rewards, including the dropping of the corruption charges against them.

Since the defection of Umno Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim last Sunday, speculation has been rife that the two missing PKR assemblymen would cross over to BN. Both have not commented on the rumours.

“We believe that there are efforts by BN to persuade the two to defect in exchange for a desperate reward on offer by (Deputy Prime Minister) Najib (Razak), including dropping corruption charges against them,” Osman was quoted as saying on the Malaysiakini website.

Last August, Jamaludin and Mohd Osman, along with three others, were charged with 16 counts of corruption involving a RM180 million housing project spanning 36ha in Sri Iskandar, south of Ipoh.

Their trial is scheduled to begin on Feb 10. If convicted, they could face a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the amount of gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

They will also stand to lose their seats as the federal law mandates for any elected representative who is convicted and fined more than RM2,000.

Perak has been embroiled in political turmoil since Nasarudin's defection to PKR.

It sparked rumours of more defections. There has also been speculation that PKR's recruitment of Nasarudin was aimed at unseating Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin, who belongs to Pas.

This is because Nasarudin is a graduate and a former high-ranking civil servant. PKR also holds eight of the 32 state seats belonging to the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat, while Pas has just six.

A Malay Mail report, quoting an unnamed Umno candidate, said that PKR should have had the menteri besar post, but it could not as it “did not have qualified candidates among its state assemblypersons” then.

The Pakatan Rakyat comprises PKR, Pas and the DAP.

But PKR and Pas leaders have denied there was a fight for menteri besar's post, and insisted that the incumbent would remain in office.

On Thursday, Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, was forced to take over as Perak Umno chief when Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, a former menteri besar, resigned over the embarrassment of Nasarudin's defection.

But reports say there has also been growing disenchantment within Perak Umno with Tajol Rosli's leadership.

With Nasarudin's defection, Pakatan now has 32 state seats, while BN holds 27.

But, if Jamaludin and Mohd Osman were to defect to BN, Pakatan would be reduced to just a one-seat majority.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had previously promised enough defections to topple the ruling BN coalition, which suffered major losses at the general election last March, but he has so far failed to deliver. — Straits Times

The Malaysian Insider
01/02/09

Police report to be lodged over missing PKR men

IPOH: Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin confirmed that neither the state nor family members have been able to reach the two Perak state executive councillors who have gone missing.

The state government will lodge a police report after consulting with their families, he told a press conference here Sunday.

Nizar urged the two PKR men -- Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu -- to come forward even if they have defected to another political party.

Jamaluddin, 52, is the Perak Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman while Mohd Osman, 57, heads the State Tourism and NGO Committee.

They were charged in a Sessions Court on Aug 25 last year with allegedly receiving bribes over the application for a RM180mil housing project in Sri Iskandar in Perak Tengah. Their case comes up for hearing on Feb 10.

State PKR chief Osman Abdul Rahman accused Umno and Barisan Nasional of trying to lure the exco duo, saying their disappearance had something to do with it.

After Umno’s Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim crossed over to PKR last week, PKR and Umno have been involved in a psychological war, with both accusing each other of trying to pinch their assemblymen.

Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman have not been seen in public since Nasarudin crossed over to PKR last Sunday, with the media also failing to reach them for comments.

Speculation had been rife in Perak that the exco duo were going to resign from PKR and become Independents before joining Umno later.

Pakatan Rakyat currently holds 32 state seats against Barisan’s 27 in the 59-seat State Assembly.

Star Online
01/02/09

PKR defection: Abdullah refuses to confirm or deny

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has refused to confirm or deny whether two PKR assemblymen have defected to his party.

Abdullah said however that if and when such a crossover took place, he would make an announcement.

When asked about the rumours of the two PKR men crossing over, Abdullah initially answered: “Insya-allah(God-willing).”

He then continued to say that they would want to join because they believed in the Umno struggle.

“So we accept this choice. When it happens, there will of course be the submission of forms,” he said at a press conference after he officiated at the Federal Territories Day celebration Sunday.

Abdullah also would not confirm if there were more than two assemblymen who had crossed over.

When pressed again if such a crossover had happened or not, Abdullah said: “When it is confirmed, I will inform (you).”

Abdullah said that in the interest of expanding Umno’s membership, the party was open to all and it did not matter if those who wanted to join were from another party.

He did deny that Umno had ordered the pinching of PKR’s assemblymen in response to the crossover of Umno’s Bota assemblymen Datuk Nasarudin Hashim to PKR.

Perak PKR chief, Osman Abdul Rahman, said on Saturday that two of its assemblymen Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Osman Jailu -- had gone missing. Osman had accused Umno of trying to lure the duo.

ROYCE CHEAH
Star Online
01/02/09

Guan Eng challenges Tee Keat to make stand on LCCT

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng wants the Transport Minister to state clearly the federal government's stand on the controversial deal to build a new, separate airport for low-cost airlines in Labu, Negri Sembilan.

Previously, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat announced the proposed Labu low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) project had been given the green light by the Cabinet.

Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister called off the deal.

Lim expressed concern over the way the matter was being treated.

"This is a very big issue, not only because of the cost of the project but because of its implications as well. Now we are confused. Who is actually in charge?" Lim asked.

"Next time, if there are any questions on airports or transport, do we go to him or do we go to Najib and bypass Ong Tee Keat?" he asked.

Lim also wanted Ong to explain the federal government's reasons for building a new airport in an isolated location, saying that the suggested place did not "make economic sense".

He noted that AirAsia boss Datuk Tony Fernandes has accused Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) of being a "stumbling block" to the growth of the air transport industry.

But he also noted there was a need for a new LCCT to help boost economic growth and suggested that Penang can be the "logistics hub for the Northern Corridor Economic Region" as it is also the "gateway" to tri-lateral relations among the golden triangle of Malaysia-Thailand-Indonesia.

"I think Tony Fernandes feels he has not been given support. I think the government should give him that support," Lim said.

"If MAHB is the stumbling block, then they must facilitate and not block," he added.

Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
310/01/09

BN and Selangor Police Should Stop Practicing Vindictive and Vengeance Politics

DAP urges BN and the police the heed the voice of the voters in the Kuala Terengganu by-election on 17 January 2009 that threw out the UMNO candidate who was a Deputy Home Affairs Minister, in favour of the Pakatan Rakyat candidate PAS Mohamed Abdul Wahid Endut. The voters were unmoved by BN’s money politics of pouring in tens of millions of ringgit to try to distract attention from BN’s abuses of power, corruption and violation of human rights and failure to address poverty. Instead the voters chose PR’s version of a democratic, people-centric government with ethical leadership based on the principles of freedom, justice, truth, welfare and moral values.

Unfortunately BN and the police appears not to have heeded such calls for changes and continue such abuses of power with the decision to charge a total of 21 people in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court on 23 January 2009 with taking part in an illegal assembly and failing to disperse when ordered to do so.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Selangor state executive council member Ronnie Liu, Kampong Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San, Reverend Father Paulino Francesco Miranda of the Church of Divine Mercy and the rest were charged under the Police Act when they were protesting against the ISA in front of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) building on Nov 9 last year. By charging elected representatives who were peacefully meeting with their constituents to protest against a draconian law that has been condemned by international human rights bodies is a travesty of justice and a mockery of human rights.

The DAP unreservedly condemns the Selangor police and the BN government for practicing vindictive and vengeance politics after the loss of the KT by-election loss by charging PR elected representatives and supporters. The DAP calls on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to intervene by immediately dropping all charges to prove his commitment to democratic reforms and human rights.

Another sad human tragedy that highlights continued abuses of power and violation of basic human rights by the Selangor Police is the death under police custody of Kugan Ananthan at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya. Whilst we welcome Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail decision to classify the death as murder, there is no confidence in the credibility and integrity of the Selangor police to conduct an impartial and independent investigation.

There should be an independent investigation to ensure that there is no cover-up and a second post-mortem conducted to determine not only the cause of death BUT ALSO other injuries he had suffered. This is to ensure that there is a full accounting of other injuries to show that even though may not have been the cause of death but is evidence of torture by the police. DAP condemns the Selangor police for such unprofessional behaviour and urges the government to amend the procedures for post-mortem to include all other injuries that may not have led to death to determine whether a person was tortured or not.

DAP

Pakatan Rakyat Terus Menggasak!

Alhamdulillah, kejutan 8 Mac 2008, Pilihan Raya Parlimen Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, kebangkitan Dayak Sarawak (termasuk penyertaan YB Gabriel Adit) dan kini dengan keberanian YB Dato’ Nasaruddin bersama Keadilan tambah meyakinkan kita bahawa perubahan pasti berlaku, inshaallah.

Namun kita harus terus istiqamah dan waspada dengan muslihat pihak penguasa. Perhatikan cara mereka memutarkan kes jenayah terhadap A. Kugan dengan imbasan pertelagahan kaum, penguasaan media dan keangkuhan nada suara mereka.

Arakian, berwaspadalah dengan tekanan atau keganasan baru, ugutan dan sogokan. Pimpinan dan aktivis yang lemah atau punyai masalah akan menjadi tumpuan kalangan tersebut. Kita sudah mara jauh dari kegetiran pengalaman dilanyak dan dibantai oleh sang penguasa zalim lebih satu dasawarsa lalu. Ketika itu kita mampu bertahan. Dan kini kita diminta bersabar, istiqamah dan berjuang ditahap akhir dengan pecutan pantas, berhikmah dan yakin.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Politik wang: Umno tidak setuju SPRM siasat pemimpin

Walaupun tanpa isu dakwaan penderaan seorang pemimpin bahagian Umno sewaktu siasatan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM), Umno umumnya tidak bersetuju campur tangan badan itu dalam membanteras gejala politik wang dalam parti.

Pemuda Umno Padang Serai menyifatkan siasatan SPRM “tidak tepat pada masanya”, lebih-lebih lagi hampir dengan pemilihan parti, Mac ini.

Ketua Pemudanya Ismadi Abu Talib turut mempertikaikan tangkapan suruhanjaya itu terhadap sejumlah pemimpin Umno peringkat pertengahan baru-baru ini tetapi tidak menfokuskan pemimpin parti-parti lain.

“Tangkapan SPRM fokus pemimpin Umno sewaktu dekat dengan pemilihan, seolah-olah ahli Umno sahaja yang yang rasuah.

“Tidak semua pemimpin Umno mengamalkan rasuah,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini hari ini.

Lebih-lebih lagi, tambahnya, tindakan sedemikian menyebabkan wujud pertembungan bidang tugas antara SPRM dengan Lembaga Displin Umno untuk membanteras politik wang dalam parti tersebut.

“Akar umbi terkapai-kapai, yang mana satu nak ikut?” katanya.

Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) – sebelum pembentukan suruhanjaya baru itu – sudah memadai untuk mengawal gejala buruk itu, tambahnya.

Mengulas dakwaan insiden penderaan seorang ahli jawatankuasa Umno bahagian Maran, Pahang di tangan penyiasat SPRM, Ismadi berkata beliau membantah cara siasatan tersebut.

“Saya tidak nampak kebaikan SPRM. Saya tidak bersetuju dan tidak sokong tindakan itu,” katanya.

Dalam laporan polisnya kelmarin, Halimi Kamaruzzaman mendakwa mengalami penderaan serius sewaktu disiasat berhubung amalan politik wang anggota MT dan ketua Pemuda Umno Wilayah Persekutuan, Datuk Norza Zakaria.

Pemimpin Umno itu bagaimanapun menafikan mempunyai sebarang kaitan dengan Norza.

Halimi mendakwa tiga pegawai SPRM menumbuk, menendang dan memaksanya berbogel dan kemudiannya berguling-guling di atas lantai.

“Mereka telah mengugut saya bahawa isteri saya akan ditangkap dan dibogelkan jika saya tidak membuat pengakuan (mengaitkan dengan Norza),” dakwanya lagi dalam aduan polis tersebut.

Ismadi menambah, beliau difahamkan kira-kira 600 penyiasat ditambah bersama SPRM dan ia memberi tafsiran bahawa pemimpin Umno mengamal rasuah.

“Saya rasa kita membuka pekung di dada, seolah-olah memang pemimpin kita mengamalkan rasuah.

“Bagaimana saya nak beritahu kepada akar umbi bahawa pemimpin-pemimpin kita itu benar-benar bersih (daripada politik wang)?” katanya.

Sejak siri penangkapan SPRM terhadap pemimpin Umno, beliau juga mengalami perasaan fobia untuk keluar rumah walaupun berjumpa kawan-kawan.

Katanya, tangkapan tersebut menjadi satu kejutan kepadanya, tambahan pula beliau baru sahaja memegang jawatan tersebut pada pemilihan bahagian itu November lalu.

“Oleh yang demikian saya mahukan definisi politik wang yang jelas dalam Umno supaya akar umbi tidak terawang-awang dengan matlamat penubuhan SPRM,” katanya.

Sehubungan itu beliau mencadangkan agar masalah politik wang dalam parti tersebut dibincangkan dan dibahaskan dalam persidangan agung, mulai 24 Mac ini.

Manakala Naib Ketua Bahagian Umno Langkawi, Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid pula menjelaskan beliau tidak bersetuju sejak awal lagi isu politik wang Umno dibawa kepada SPRM.

Kerana, tambah wakil rakyat Ayer Hangat, ia memberi gambaran kepada akar umbi bahawa pemimpin-pemimpin bahagian mengamalkan politik wang.

Mengulas dakwaan insiden yang menimpa Halimi sepanjang empat hari ditahan SPRM sejak 23 Januari, beliau berasa kesal dan menyifatkan insiden tersebut tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

“Dalam mana-mana siasatan, tidak boleh dijalankan siasatan dengan kekerasan, hatta orang yang ditahan atas dakwaan jenayah pun tidak boleh disiasat dengan kekerasan,” katanya sewaktu dihubungi.

Tambahnya, dakwaan insiden sebegini akan menyebabkan rakyat mempersoalkan kaedah siasatan yang dijalankan.

Sehubungan itu, beliau menggesa MT menentukan sama ada suruhanjaya itu boleh menyiasat berhubung amalan politik wang atau tidak memandangkan lembaga disiplin parti sudah berbuat demikian.

Sementara ketua Wanita Umno Melaka, Datuk Hazizah Mohd Sultan berkata dakwaan insiden penderaan oleh penyiasat SPRM tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

“Masalah politik harus di selesaikan dengan politik. Bukan cara begitu untuk menyiasat,” katanya.

Mengulas lanjut mengenai tangkapan ahli jawatankuasa, tangkapan tersebut memberikan gambaran tidak elok kepada Umno dan menjatuhkan imej parti itu.

“Tangkapan memburukkan lagi keadaan (Umno), seolah-olah memberi anggapan buruk kepada Umno.

Tambahnya, politik wang yang berlaku dalam parti tersebut adalah perkara kecil dan terpencil yang diperbesar-besarkan.

“Ada satu, dua orang sahaja daripada berjuta-juta ahli Umno yang melakukan rasuah,” katanya.

Hazizah menjelaskan, hukuman daripada lembaga disiplin seperti digugurkan keahlian atau digantung jawatan sudah mampu untuk membanteras politik wang dalam parti.

Zaid: Umno disciplinary board forced to prosecute selectively


Former minister and Umno member Zaid Ibrahim believes that the corruption cases investigated by Umno disciplinary committee are selective

KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno disciplinary tribunal cannot function effectively as it is forced to practise selective prosecution for the benefit of certain top leaders, former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says.

In a press statement today, he also slammed the party for dismissing the suggestion by disciplinary chairman Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen to do away with the Youth, Wanita, Putera and Puteri wings of Umno.

“He is exasperated with the extent of the corruption permeating the party at all levels,” said Zaid who was sacked from Umno in December for attending PKR’s national assembly.

According to Zaid, Rithauddeen was intimating that the disciplinary board could no longer cope with the level of corruption within the party and was trying to tell the party leaders that Umno could no longer be salvaged under the present structure, “and under the present crop of leaders”.

“What makes it so difficult for the tribunal to effectively carry out its functions is the selective prosecution it must practise in the discharge of its duties. Actions can only be taken if required or useful to certain top leaders,” Zaid claimed.

Leaders of the respective wings and Umno’s top two, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had categorically rejected Rithauddeen’s suggestion over the past few days, preferring to “add assistance” to the disciplinary board to expedite investigations.

But Zaid maintains that the board has no clear mandate from the party leadership to deal with money politics.

“When I was suspended for allegedly being involved in money politics, I knew that Tengku Din, although chairman, was not involved in making the decision. Someone else in the management wanted me out,” he said of his suspension when he was still Kota Baru chief.

Zaid added that Umno members will be subject to investigation “if he does not belong to the right camp” but others will “escape with impunity”.

Stating that Rithauddeen now realises the futility of his task, Zaid called on the veteran Umno man to retire and resign from the tribunal.

Zaid also sent a sarcastic warning to Umno leaders not to criticise the disciplinary board as it violated party ethics.

“Look what happened to me for criticising the tribunal and not wanting to apologise. I got suspended because they said I violated party ethics,” he said.

“So the same fate will fall on Najib and his friends in the supreme council,” he stated sarcastically before adding that this was “wishful thinking, as there are rules in Umno that apply to some but not to others”.

The Malaysian Insider
31/01/09

Second post-mortem results very different: lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29, 2009): The second post-mortem carried out on lock-up detainee A. Kugan who died in police custody last week is said to differ significantly in its findings.

Lawyer N.Surendran, who is representing the family of the deceased, said today the post-mortem report was not comprehensively ready as several tests are still being done.

He declined to reveal details of the preliminary findings of the post-mortem except that it was significantly different from that conducted initially at the Serdang Hospital soon after Kugan's death.

He said the report will be submitted to the relevant authorities when it is ready.

Earlier, Surendran and Kapar MP S.Manikavasagam lodged a police report at the Brickfields police headquarters against Selangor police chief DCP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar for allegedly making inaccurate and false statements to the media pertaining to the case.

Manikavasagam said Khalid's allegations of trespass and tampering of the body by the family and others who turned up at the mortuary the day Kugan died were untrue.

He said he had proof in the form of a CD and had showed the video footage to the investigating officer who is probing the report lodged by a mortuary attendant at the hospital.

"The investigating officer came to my office to record a statement from me earlier today and he was shocked on seeing the video footage. It clearly showed a hospital attendant opening the doors and gesturing to us to enter the place to see the body. There was neither any forcible entry nor did anyone threaten hospital authorities or tamper with the body.

The investigating officer agreed with me that no offence of trespass had been committed," he said.

Surendran also expressed regret over media reports today which quoted Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar labelling Kugan a criminal and that he should not be made a hero.

"Kugan's family is upset over this statement. As a minister, he should be more familiar with the law. A suspect is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and Kugan did not have any criminal record nor was he ever charged in court," said Surendran.

He also said Syed Hamid Albar's other statement that raising such issues could spark racial unrest and hence should be avoided did not make any sense as it appears that only he was getting racial over the matter.

"Such incidents are happening to dozens regardless of race and that's what we are concerned about. Everybody regardless of race is concerned over this incident," said Surendran.

Manikavasagam said it was the police who turned Kugan into a hero by their actions.

"The police should be protecting and if they need to take action then charge the suspect in the court of law," said Manikavasagam.

Charles Ramendran
The Sun
30/01/09

Keris UMNO makan tuannya sendiri

Isu wakil rakyat melompat parti agak melucukan bagi penonton politik, menggembirakan bagi parti yang menerima anggota baru itu dan amat memilukan bagi parti yang ditinggalkan wakil berkenaan.

Penonton politik sering melihat drama di mana jika yang melompat itu dari parti A, maka parti itu akan bising dengan soal maruah, kesetiaan dan pengkhianatan terhadap mandat rakyat. Malah mahu digubal undang-undang anti lompat. Sebaliknya, parti B yang menerima wakil rakyat melompat itu menganggapnya sebagai hak dan kebebasan dalam amalan demokrasi.

Suatu ketika dahulu, yang menentang undang-undang anti-lompat adalah Umno dan Barisan Nasional. Kini yang menjadi juara anti-lompat adalah Umno dan BN, khususnya selepas pilihan raya umum Mac 8 tahun lalu kerana ada ura-ura beberapa Ahli Parlimen BN mahu menyeberang ke sebelah Pakatan Rakyat.

Tetapi adakah mereka ini jujur mahu menjamin dan mempertahankan mandat rakyat?

Sedangkan 25 tahun lalu sudah ada usaha serius untuk melaksanakan undang-undang anti-lompat. Malah ada kerajaan negeri yang telah pun meluluskan rang undang-undang anti-lompat hampir suku abad yang lalu.

Parti Bersatu Sabah pimpinan Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan telah berjaya menewaskan Berjaya yang menerajui BN Sabah dalam pilihan raya negeri pada April 1985 dengan memenangi 25 daripada 48 kerusi yang dipertandingkan. Namun gangguan dan demonstrasi jalanan dari penyokong BN menyebabkan Pairin terpaksa mengadakan pilihan raya negeri sekali lagi pada Mei 1986.

Kali ini PBS menang besar di 34 daripada 48 kerusi yang dipertandingkan. PBS kemudian menyertai BN tetapi sepanjang tempoh penyertaannya, ramai pemimpin kanannya merasakan mereka dianaktirikan oleh pucuk pimpinan di Kuala Lumpur.

Dalam pilihan raya umum 1990, PBS membuat keputusan mengejut apabila ia keluar dari BN sewaktu kempen pilihan raya. Parti itu kekal memerintah Sabah tetapi keputusannya untuk meninggalkan BN membuka ruang bagi Umno untuk masuk ke Sabah.

Bermulalah politik tawar-menawar dan cubaan membeli Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri PBS dalam usaha menjatuhkan kerajaan negeri pimpinan Pairin. Menyedari keadaan itu, kerajaan negeri Sabah memperkenalkan undang-undang anti-lompat tetapi telah ditolak oleh Mahkamah Tinggi pada 1992.

Pada 19 Februari 1994, pilihan raya negeri Sabah diadakan lagi, dan walaupun BN berkempen dengan rasuah pembangunan dan taburan wang yang hebat, PBS terus diberi mandat oleh rakyat Malaysia di Sabah apabila ia memang tipis dengan 25 kerusi berbanding BN 23.

Apa yang berlaku selepas keputusan diumumkan adalah satu sejarah baru dalam politik negara pada masa itu. Pairin terpaksa menunggu di luar pagar Yang Dipertua Negeri selama tiga hari siang dan malam semata-mata untuk mengangkat sumpah sebagai Ketua Menteri.

Dua minggu selepas melantik kabinet negeri, beberapa Adun PBS mendakwa mereka ditawarkan berjuta-juta ringgit untuk melompat menyertai BN. Pada 12 Mac pemimpin PBS Datuk Lajim Ukin, Rubin Balang dan Datuk Zaini Isa, salah seorang dari Adun dilantik (selain 25 Adun yang menang pilihana raya, perlembagaan negeri membenarkan enam Adun dilantik oleh parti yang menang) mengumumkan keluar parti.

Sewaktu kekecohan itu, Kementerian Dalam Negeri mencatatkan rekod kepantasan tugas dengan meluluskan permohonan beberapa parti politik dalam masa beberapa hari sahaja untuk membolehkan mereka menjadi parti kepada Adun-Adun yang melompat dari PBS.

Pada 17 Mac 1994, Pairin secara gentleman telah menyerahkan surat perletakan jawatan sebagai Ketua Menteri kepada Yang Dipertua Negeri setelah hampir70 peratus barisan Adunnya melompat parti.

Dari 25 kerusi yang dimenangi serta enam Adun dilantik, iaitu 31 kesemuanya, PBS hanya tinggal lima Adun. Dengan itu, tidak sampai sebulan setelah memenangi pilihan raya negeri secara sah, PBS kehilangan kuasa apabila Umno dan BN berjaya membeli hampir kesemua Adun-Adun berkenaan.

Bekas Adun-Adun PBS itu pula telah berpecah kepada lima parti negeri di mana keadaan itu membolehkan Umno menguasai majoriti kerusi dalam DUN Sabah dengan memegang 22 kerusi.

Namun ia tidak mematahkan semangat PBS apabila mencuba nasib sekali lagi dalam pilihan raya negeri pada Mac 1999. Walaupun ia tewas kepada BN, kerusi yang diperolehinya meningkat semula kepada 17 manakala Umno juga menambah lagi kekuatan kepada 24 kerusi. Parti-parti komponen BN lain semakin mengecut kekuatan mereka.

Dalam pada itu berlaku lagi lompat parti dari PBS ke Umno. Ini menyebabkan PBS tiada pilihan lain kecuali memohon untuk menyertai semula BN pada 2002.

Apa yang ingin diperingatkan di sini adalah sewaktu episod lompat pada Mac 1994 dan kemudiannya berulang selepas Mac 1999 adalah pendirian pemimpin-pemimpin kanan Umno dan BN di Kuala Lumpur. Rata-ratanya mereka menghalalkan lompatan dari parti lain untuk menyertai mereka atas dasar kebebasan wakil rakyat membuat pilihan sendiri.

Kini fenomena lompat ini kembali menghantui Umno dan BN. Selepas kebimbangan Ahli-Ahli Parlimen BN melompat parti selepas Mac 8 tahun lalu dikendurkan berikutan tiada apa-apa yang berlaku pada tarikh 16 September sebagaimana yang diramalkan oleh Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, kini ketakutan sekali lagi melanda kepimpinan BN.

Keputusan Adun BN Datuk Nasarudin Hashim yang mewakili Umno di kawasan Bota, Perak telah menimbulkan pelbagai spekulasi berhubung kemungkinan beberapa Adun lain yang akan mengikut jejak langkahnya.

Buat pada masa tumpuan diberikan di Perak. Namun ada juga khabar-khabar angin mengenai Adun-Adun di beberapa negeri lain yang mula berminat untuk berpindah parti.

Sama ada mereka mahu meninggalkan Umno dan BN kerana masalah dalaman parti sendiri atau kerana yakin dengan perjuangan Pakatan Rakyat, ia bukan lagi soal perundangan kerana Malaysia memang tidak mempunyai undang-undang anti-lompat.

Malah, wakil rakyat masih dicengkam undang-undang yang melarang mereka bertanding semula dalam tempoh lima tahun jika mengosongkan kerusi.

Keadaan ini memaksa mana-mana wakil rakyat yang ingin berpindah parti terus melompat sahaja kerana sebarang usaha untuk menguji kekuatan dalam pilihan raya kecil dilarang oleh undang-undang. Yang membawakan undang-undang itu adalah Umno dan BN juga.

Bagi Umno dan BN sekarang, mungkin ini agaknya maksud pepatah Melayu "keris makan tuan".

Wan Hamidi Hamid
The Malaysian Insider
30/01/09

10 ways to cut custody deaths and abuses

Police need to submit to checks and balances and be open to public scrutiny and feedback if it is to improve its operations and image.

QUESTION TIME

THE death of A. Kugan while under police custody has raised yet again serious questions as to how detainees are being handled in police lock-ups, and how police conduct their investigations.

To improve and maintain public confidence in the police, and to ensure that police conduct themselves lawfully and treat everyone equally under the law, they must ensure a number of things and agree to others.

Follow the letter of the law, and ensure fair and equal treatment to all so that no one, guilty or innocent, is deprived of their legitimate rights under the law while under police detention.

Here are 10 ways the police can avoid instances such as Kugan’s.

1. Make an open and public commitment to treat detainees lawfully.

I have had comments like these made to me: “You know, lah, if the police don’t beat them, they won’t be able to solve crimes.”

That’s an attitude that some Malaysians need to change, and change fast. And they will if someone dear to them ever has had the misfortune to come under such treatment.

The 2004/05 Royal Commission on the Police, headed by a former Chief Justice and with a former Inspector-General of Police as one of its members, cautioned against confession-based solution of crimes, favouring instead investigation-based solutions.

The public must impress on the police, and the police must make the commitment, to conduct themselves to the letter of the law at all times – no ifs and buts.

2. Stop all forms of physical torture and abuse immediately.

Under no circumstances must physical torture and abuse be condoned, and all such practices must be stopped immediately.

That may make the police job more difficult in many cases, but the police cannot be permitted to descend to the level of criminals to do their work – they must at all times be above them. There will be much abuse otherwise and many innocent people will suffer.

3. Make sure that CCTVs are installed and operational in all interrogation rooms.

Closed circuit TVs in strategic areas are just one way of ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure that no abuse takes place during investigations.

But there also needs to be a change in culture and mindset to inculcate in all police personnel the need to uphold the sanctity of the law at all times.

4. Investigate every case of death and injury under police custody fully.

Police will take much more care of detainees if they know that each and every case of death and obvious injury will be investigated fully.

In fact, the successful conclusion of such inquiries and due prosecution is the only way to maintain public confidence that the police are following the law in the treatment of detainees. To ensure that investigations are full, fair and impartial it is necessary for step 5.

5. Agree to the setting up of an independent investigative commission.

This will investigate all allegations of police brutality, mistreatment and misbehaviour.

The Royal Commission on the Police, in its 2004/05 study, recommended just that, but the Govern­ment thought it fit to come up with a watered down version.

The important thing is that investigations must be free, fair and full and seen to be such.

6. Punish the guilty.

After all the investigations, there must be the will and conviction to bring those guilty to account, and for the full weight of the law to be put on them.

Those who are suspects in ongoing investigations of police brutality must be suspended from their jobs for the duration of the investigations until cleared.

While we can sympathise with the police for the difficulty and danger of their jobs and give them everything possible to help them do their job properly, we simply cannot tolerate the breaking of the law by the police – no matter what.

7. Provide full and detailed statistics on deaths in police custody.

In July last year, according to a news report, Deputy Home Minister Wan Fairuz Wan Salleh, in reply to a question in Parliament, said 85 deaths occurred in police custody between 2003 and 2007.

According to him, 77 out of 85 deaths that had occurred in police custody were caused by infections and diseases, while seven committed suicide and one died in a fight with his cellmate.

There were no details, including of race and what the police had held them for. If we are to believe the account, not a single one of the deaths was due to police action, which is rather unbelievable given anecdotal accounts of police brutality.

If each of the deaths had been independently investigated, things might have been different.

If we were to assume that at least some of the deaths were due to police brutality then we have to ask ourselves the question as to how much police brutality there is on those who come under police custody.

8. Eliminate racial discrimination and racial stereotyping in the force.

It needs to be impressed on the police the need to be racially neutral, especially since the bulk of the force is made up of one race – Malays. No racial group should be targeted just because they are more disadvantaged socially and economically. Statistics according to racial breakdown can help identify such tendencies.

According to the 2004/05 Royal Commission on the police, between 2000 and 2004, a total of 76 deaths under police custody were noted. Of these 38 (50%) who died were Malays, 16 (21%) Chinese, 15 (19.7%) Indians and the remaining seven (9.3%) foreigners.

Tellingly, Indians were roughly two-and-a-half times their proportion in the population of around 7%-8%, while Malays and Chinese were significantly lower than their population proportions.

The Royal Commission also noted that in the majority of cases no inquest was held to determine the cause of death. Inquests were held only in six cases. These raised doubts on the credibility of the police, the Royal Commission concluded.

9. Hire more non-Malays for the force.

This will help to better reflect the racial composition of the country in the police and to ensure that investigation teams are multi-racial and multi-ethnic to reduce the possibility of racial discrimination in the police force. In fact, this was one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the police.

10. Treat all offenders equally.

The way some demonstrators are treated more forcefully than others is clear indication of discrimination. Indian groups’ assertions that the police were harsher with them are borne out by videos posted on the Internet, while those demonstrating against legally held forums, for instance, were let off lightly.

Under such circumstances, the public is likely to believe that such discrimination extends to the lock-up. The police must ensure that all offenders are treated equally.

No one denies that the police have a very tough job to do. However, because of their position of authority, there is need for independent check and balance to make sure that abuses do not occur.

The sooner the police submit themselves to such checks and balances – so vital for the functioning of a robust democracy for all those who wield considerable power – to weed out the actions of miscreants in their ranks, the sooner will the confidence of the public in the police force increase.

And that will in turn engender greater cooperation between the public and the police force in the common fight against crime.

The police, like any other authority wielding power, must be open to public scrutiny and feedback if it is to at all improve its operations and its image.

P. Gunasegaram is managing editor of The Star. He believes all public authorities, including the police, must be accountable in a transparent way for their actions.

P. GUNASEGARAM
THE STAR
30/01/09

Umno discipline and ethics - rules that apply to some but not to others

1. The call by Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, Chairman of The Disciplinary Tribunal, for UMNO to disband its youth, wanita and puteri wings, as part of the measures to curb corruption, has attracted much flack from the party’s senior leaders including Dato Najib Razak. Instead of brushing aside the suggestion, as is the standard response of the party when confronted with something new, they should reflect and try to understand what Tengku Din was trying to tell them. Tengku Din was exasperated with the extent of the corruption permeating the party at all levels. He was saying that the Disciplinary Tribunal alone could no longer cope with the practice and culture of corruption within the party. As a loyal party man he was trying to politely tell the party leaders that UMNO could no longer be salvaged under the present structure, and under the present crop of leaders I might add.

2. What makes it so difficult for the Tribunal to effectively carry out its functions is the selective prosecution it must practice in the discharge of its duties. Actions can only be taken if required or useful to certain top leaders. The Tribunal lacks clear mandate from the party management in dealing with money politics, UMNO’s euphemism for corrupt practice. When I was suspended for allegedly being involved in money politics, I knew that Tengku Din, although Chairman, was not involved in making the decision. Someone else in the management wanted me out. So an UMNO member will be subject to investigation and harassment if he does not belong to the right camp. Many others will escape with impunity and they can bribe the delegates as much as they want and not get the attention of the Tribunal. So even Tengku Din now realises the futility of having the Disciplinary Tribunal to deal with corrupt practice. I therefore urge Tengku Din to retire and resign from the Tribunal.

3. UMNO leaders who are critical of Tengku Din should also be mindful that they are not supposed to criticise him or the Tribunal. Look what happened to me for criticising the Tribunal and for not wanting to apologise when asked. I got suspended because they said I violated party ethics. UMNO got ethics? Well that’s the true story. So they same fate will fall on Dato Najib and his friends in the Supreme Council. They too may get suspended if they continue to criticise the Disciplinary tribunal or its Chairman.This is of course wishful thinking, as there are rules in UMNO that apply to some but not to others.

by Zaid Ibrahim

Kugan’s family want nothing less than a murder charge


Family members of A. Kugan grieving at the funeral two days ago in Puchong

KUALA LUMPUR: The family of A. Kugan will accept nothing less than a murder charge against the policemen they say are responsible for the suspected car thief's death while in police custody.

Kugan's uncle V. Raviroy said charging the culprits responsible for the death of the 22-year-old with any lesser charges was unacceptable.

The 42-year-old businessman was responding to an article posted online in a news portal (Malaysiakini) yesterday, which said that that the policemen could be charged with culpable homicide, causing hurt or causing grievous hurt to extort a confession.

Murder carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction, while the sentences for the lesser offences are imprisonment of between seven and 10 years, or life imprisonment for culpable homicide.

"Even the Attorney-General has classified the case as murder. Why would they charge them with anything else?" he asked.

Lawyer Gobind Singh Deo said the A-G may have absolute discretion on what charges to prefer against those responsible, but not charging the culprits with murder will be met with strong opposition and a public outcry.

Lawyer N. Surendren said he would be very surprised if the policemen involved are not charged with murder because anything else would smack of double standards.

He said previously the A-G had charged 31 protesters with attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail, when a stone was thrown at a policeman during a protest involving the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) at Batu Caves on Nov 25, 2007.

"Of course, the charges were later amended (to illegal assembly and causing mischief) but it illustrates bias if the culprits in this case are charged with anything else than murder."

From the nature of the injuries on Kugan, those responsible must have known their actions would kill or likely cause death, which is enough to charge the culprits with murder, he said.

Surendren criticised the police for not keeping the family informed about the investigations into the case.

"The police have never bothered to contact the family and all they know about the case is what they read in the Press."

To date, 11 rank-and-file policemen from the USJ8 police station have been reassigned to desk duty at the Selangor police headquarters pending investigations.

Neville Spykerman
The Malaysian Insider
30/01/09

Sarawak the Key to a Mood for Change

Abdul Taib Mahmud drives a cream Rolls-Royce, wears a gem the size of a walnut on his ring finger and is said to have once paid $US2 million for a piano owned by Liberace.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak, like the late American entertainer, is certainly flamboyant and he’s been well rewarded for his 28-year rule of the resource-rich province. But his time at the top is coming to an end.

Having celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary last week, the man known as the “White Haired Raja” has begun talking about succession. The likely departure of the 72-year-old is sure to shake up local politics on the island of Borneo, but it could also have a profound impact at the national level.

The theory is that if Abdul Taib were to step down, fresh elections could be required in the East Malaysian state, as any successor would lack the influence to hold the local legislature together. This is an opportunity for national Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his three-party coalition, which has been working hard for some time to woo voters outside peninsula Malaysia.

If Anwar’s People’s Justice Party and its allies were to control the Sarawak parliament, analysts believe it would be only a matter of time before members of the national parliament from Sarawak tapped the public mood and crossed the floor in Kuala Lumpur. This would hand the government to Anwar and bring about the biggest political change in Malaysia since independence in 1957.

Such a scenario is some way off, but it’s the one confronting prime minister-in-waiting Najib Razak.

That’s why his government pulled out all stops to win a byelection in the state of Terengganu on January 17. It failed, handing another seat to the opposition, but the contest in the country’s north-east is a case study of what to expect when the battle for Sarawak begins.

Even by Malaysia’s lofty standards of political patronage, the Kuala Terengganu byelection was expensive. Najib and his ruling National Front coalition, desperate to arrest its electoral
fortunes, tried to spend its way to victory. The numbers are both appalling and beguiling.

All told, Najib, who is expected to take over from Abdullah Badawi in March, handed out $4.4 billion to voters. That works out at nearly $55,000 for each voter in the seaside electorate. The big-ticket items were the establishment of a $4.2 billion trust to manage the state’s oil revenue and the well-timed
handover of $169 million in petroleum royalties.

But this was not the headline act. In a ceremony the local press described as “controversial”, Najib Razak handed out $25 million in government contracts to 600 local firms at a party rally. Even more cynically, the government gave $21 million to Chinese schools in the district, just as it looked like the parents of these students would determine the election.

In the end, they didn’t and the government lost because Malay voters deserted it, while the ever-cautious Chinese either sat out the election or voted for the opposition. And while a 2.5
per cent swing against the government is hardly a landslide, the byelection loss would be very worrying for Najib given the amount of money thrown at the problem.

“The government’s traditional strategy of just buying votes failed,” said political analyst Wong Chin Huat, who lecturers at Monash University’s campus in Kuala Lumpur. “The win by the opposition showed the mood for change still exists in Malaysia.”

This mood for change is also breaking down traditional rivalries in a country long divided by race and religion. The opposition coalition won in Terengganu despite fielding a candidate from the deeply conservative Pan Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS). Not only did PAS gain more secular Malay voters, thanks to a moderating of its language, but it also did not scare off the Chinese.

This was despite Najib and the government doing their best to stoke racial and religious tension.

The victory is also a direct result of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim being able to hold together a coalition containing PAS, the Chinese moderates of the Democratic Action Party and his own
multiracial People’s Justice Party. It is, to say the least, a diverse coalition, united in many ways only by its hatred of a government that has ruled Malaysia since independence.

Finding common ground will be the challenge if the opposition ever comes to power, but for now it’s still focused on how to get there. Sarawak holds the key, and while patronage failed the government in Terengganu, it has long held sway in Borneo.

Angus Grigg
Australian Financial Review

Guan Eng, PAS ucap takziah kepada keluarga Kugan

GEORGETOWN: Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng menjadi orang pertama menandatangani takziah kepada keluarga pemuda India A. Kugan sempena majlis pelancaran ucapan takziah dan simpati anjuran Lajnah Kebajikan dan Kemasyarakatan PAS Tanjung di pejabatnya tingkat 28 Komplek Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) pagi semalam.

Orang ke dua dan ketika berbuat demikian ialah Timbalan Ketua Menteri 2, Profesor Dr P. Ramasamy serta Exco Kerajaan Negeri, Abdul Malek Abul Kasim.

Demikian kata, Pengerusi Lajnah tersebut, Rasidi Salim pada Harakahdaily dan menurutnya, kertas tandatangan itu akan disebarkan kepada keseluruhan rakyat di sekitar Tanjung tanpa mengira warna kulit, agama mahupun fahaman politik.

"PAS Tanjung ucap terima kasih pada Ketua Menteri, Timbalannya dan Abdul Malek Abul Kasim kerana sudi melapangkan masa bersama kami melancarkan program tersebut, " jelasnya.

Seandainya pihak polis mengamalkan kerja yang baik dan sopan beliau yakin kes sebegini tidak akan berlaku dan berharap ia menjadi pedoman kepada pasukan keselamatan supaya tidak mengulangi kesalahan seumpama itu.

Tambah Rasidi lagi, harapannya PAS di seluruh kawasan di Pulau Pinang kena prihatin dengan mengumpul sebanyak mungkin tandatangan daripada rakyat yang tidak suka kepada kezaliman.

"Saya cadangkan PAS Kawasan lain di Pulau Pinang bertindak serupa dengan kami untuk menghimpun sebanyak mungkin tandatangan membantah tindakan polis yang menyebabkan kematian mendiang K.Kugan, " terangnya.

Perjuangan PAS bukan untuk orang Melayu Islam sahaja malahan kini untuk semua yang berminat bersama memperjuangkan hak yang adil dan saksama.

Jika mereka Islam kata Rasidi, memang kita alu-alukan tetapi jika tidak mereka boleh membantu dan melancarkan kempen jom sokong PAS yang dilancarkan oleh Presiden PAS, Tuan Guru Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang menerusi Kelab Penyokong PAS.

"Inilah yang dikatakan hikmah dalam perjuangan kejayaan akan meniti pintunya jika umat Islam yang menjadi pengerakan bertindak adil tanpa mengharap pembalasan, " kata Rasidi.

Harakah
30/01/09

Rithauddeen akui Umno semakin menjunam

KOTA BHARU: Bubar sayap Umno - bagi membanteras politik wang kata Tengku Rithauddeen'. Sesuatu yang cukup mengejutkan biar pun ditolak pemimpin lain Umno.

Sebagai orang lama dalam Umno, Pengerusi Lembaga Displin Umno itu merasakan sudah sampai masanya Puteri, Putera dan Pergerakan Wanita Umno tidak perlu lagi kerana menyebabkan berlaku politik wang akibat berebut jawatan.

Inilah luahan yang semakin nyaring. Ia tiba-tiba muncul ketika demam pilihan raya kecil Kuala Terengganu 17 Januari lalu belum kebah lagi.

Bagi Timbalan Pengerusi Kelab Penyokong Kerajaan Kelantan, Drs Zainuddin Awang Hamat petanda yang menimpa rumah tangga Umno sekarang semakin jelas, retak menunggu belah.

"Kalau sebelum ini media yang mengampu Umno mendakwa Pakatan Rakyat retak menunggu belah, sedangkan hakikat sebenar situasi itu berlaku dalam Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

"Petanda yang berlaku sekarang tidak mampu lagi dinafikan, bukankah keruntuhan tamadun bermula dengan konflik dalaman dan disokong gerak geri musuh dari luar," katanya di sini.

Menurutnya kenyataan yang dikeluarkan veteran Umno, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen sebenarnya tidak mengejutkan kerana pemimpin Umno sendiri mempamerkan parti itu menuju ke arah kehancuran.

Kata beliau kes demi kes politik wang yang sudah lama membelit pemimpin Umno kini terpaksa diserahkan kepada Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) apabila gagal ditangani Lembaga Disiplin Umno.

Zainuddin berkata, 'lelangit' tempat bergantung Umno sekarang sudah gonyang sehingga ada di kalangan pemimpin Umno mencadang digubal undang-undang antilompat parti bagi mengelakkan parti itu merudum dengan lebih cepat.

Mereka sedang merasai betapa resahnya tanpa kuasa politik selepas tindakan nekad Adun Bota, Dato' Nasaruddin Hashim meninggalkan parti itu dan menyertai KeADILan.

Sedangkan cadangan seperti itu sudah lama dilaksanakan di Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan, namun ditolak mentah-mentah Mahkamah Agung.

Dun Kelantan telah meminda perlembagaan negeri Perkara XXX1A yang menyatakan sekiranya seorang Adun meninggalkan parti atau dipecat maka kerusi yang dimenangi dalam pilihan raya menjadi kosong.

Bagaimanapun Mahkamah Agung menolak pindaan tersebut dengan alasan bertentangan dengan Perkara 10 (1)(c) Perlembagaan Persekutuan yang menjamin kebebasan berpersatuan.

Zainuddin yang juga Adun Limbongan berkata, kerajaan PAS di Kelantan sudah merasakan apa yang ditanggung Umno sekarang, namun Umno dilihat cukup gawat dan amat bimbang.

Oleh itu beliau mengajak wakil-wakil rakyat BN berhijrah ke Pakatan Rakyat sebelum mereka jatuh bersama parti itu, yang mana kini sedang bergelosor turun.

Harakah
30/01/09

How Many Deaths Does it Take?

Commenting on the loss of credibility and legitimacy of the Burmese state security forces in the eyes of the Burmese people and the international community, the Burmese activist leader Aung San Su Kyi once said: “All they have left are their guns”.

Indeed, if the possession of a badge is the only thing that differentiates a law enforcement officer from the ordinary public or the criminal fraternity, then it can be said that the line between law enforcement and the absence of law and order is a fine one. It has become a truism worldwide that once that line is fatefully and fatally crossed, it would be next to impossible to redeem the reputation and standing of any law enforcement agency again. This was the case of the police in South Africa during the days of Apartheid, whose job it was not to protect all South African citizens but rather to prop up the Apartheid regime at the cost of the freedom of others. The same applies to the stained reputation of the security forces of many other developing countries, from Zimbabwe to Pakistan to Sri Lanka to the Philippines, whose job it seems is to protect the ruling parties and the political elite rather than to provide for the safety of the population at large.

Today Malaysia seems to be heading down the same path as more and more revelations of misdemeanours among the state security forces come to light. The most recent case being that of Kugan Ananthan, a 22-year old who was arrested by the Malaysian police on suspicion of being part of a luxury car-theft racket. Kugan was later found dead at the Subang Jaya police station, and the initial explanation for his death was ‘water in the lungs’.

However the relatives of Kugan were able to get photographs of the young man’s body that showed signs of physical abuse and fresh wounds. Once again the Malaysian police is in the limelight for the wrong reasons, and several police officers have been called to an enquiry.

What is deeply troubling about the death of Kugan is the fact that there seems to be a pattern of young Malaysian men of Indian descent dying under police custody for some years now. Among the other notorious cases that have made the headlines are that of B Prabakar, who reported that he was not only beaten and kicked by policemen but also had boiling water thrown upon his body. Then there is the case of Sanjeev Kumar who alleged that he was not only forced to drink urine but was also sodomised with a broom. Deaths in custody have now become a regular occurrence, and other Malaysians of Indian ancestry like K. Letchumanan and Uthaya Chandran were found dead in their cells.

Coming at a time when race relations are at a low point in the country, the death of Kugan in police custody has presented the administration of Prime Minister Badawi with another problem. With less than two months at the helm to go before his declared date of retirement, Prime Minister Badawi’s action over the Kugan case may well determine his fate and how he will be judged in the months and years to come.

But the Malaysian government’s official position thus far has been to maintain that order must be maintained and that there should be no outpouring of support for Kugan. The Minister for Home Affairs, Syed Hamid Albar has taken the line that Malaysians ‘should not regard criminals as heroes or the police as demons’. Though in this case the controversy lies not in the arrest of Kugan, but what was done to him and the circumstances of his death.

For politicians on the opposition benches, the case of Kugan’s death under police custody marks yet another dip in the reputation of the Malaysian government and its capacity to maintain law and order. For Parliamentarian Sivarasa Rahsia of the People’s Justice party (PKR), ‘Kugan’s shocking death by torture has unleashed an unprecedented level of outrage’ among the Malaysian public, notably the Malaysian Indian community. Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad of the Malaysian Islamic party (PAS) noted that ‘this must be the last case of police brutality and death in custody. Our civilised society can no longer stomach this.’ The final judgement, however, will fall on the performance of the Badawi administration during its last weeks in power according to Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action party (DAP), for ‘Kugan’s death marks the abysmal and final failure of Abdullah (Badawi’s) reform programme – standing out as a tragic symbol of the pathetic end of his pledge for police and institutional reform’.

Just how the Badawi administration will handle the outpouring of grief, anger and frustration from the Malaysian public – and the Malaysian Indian minority community in particular – remains to be seen, but for the moment it can be concluded that the death of Kugan in police custody has once again driven a wedge among the communities in Malaysia and has emphasised the marginalised position and status of the Malaysian Indian minority especially.

With a weakened Badawi about the exit the stage of politics for good and hid deputy Najib Razak poised to take over control of a ruling UMNO party in disarray in March, the ship of the Malaysian state is in chopping waters for certain. Coupled with the global economic downturn that will also contribute to further demands from the Malaysian public for state assistance and protection, whoever runs Malaysia will have to cater to a myriad of needs; all of which are equally urgent and all of which need to be satisfied now.

But one thing is certain at this juncture at least: Whatever the state of the Malaysian economy and government may be in the months to come, the state-apparatus will only work if it has credibility in the eyes of the Malaysian public. At the moment the institution of the Malaysian police force has lost credibility and standing among a significant section of the Malaysian people, and unless there emerges the political will to deal with the record of abuses in the police seriously and openly, this credibility is not about to be recovered soon. By then, as Aung San Suu Kyi once said, ‘all they will have left are their guns’.

Farish A. Noor

Abolish Umno, not just wings, says Kit Siang

PETALING JAYA: Umno disciplinary board chairman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithaudeen’s call to abolish Umno’s Wanita, Youth, Puteri and Putera wings to curb money politics in Umno is insufficient but the entire party should be done away with, says DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang.

“Just as no one expects Rithaudeen’s proposal would be taken seriously by an Umno leader, nobody believes that it is possible to eradicate corruption in the country’s most corrupt institution, Umno, because of the sheer absence of such political will,” the opposition stalwart said.

“Rithaudden’s sense of despair and futility in the impossible battle against corruption and money politics in Umno caused him to make the radical proposal to abolish the various Umno wings.

“When will an honest and upright Umno leader make the next logical proposal – that UMNO be abolished altogether?” Lim asked rhetorically in a press statement.

Rithaudeen’s proposal has met immediate objection from vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Wanita chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Puteri chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad.

Today, the top two in the party also rejected the idea as deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that Umno will not abolish any of its wings as they are important in nurturing future leaders of the party while president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said that money politics would be dealt with other means.

“If Rithaudeen is right — and he is right — that the many elections for the Umno Youth, Wanita, Puteri and Putera wings created opportunities for money-making, all that Najib meant about ‘nurturing future leaders of the party’ is to give them opportunities to be adept in the art of corruption in Umno party elections,” Lim added.

The DAP supremo also questioned Rithudeen’s justification for not allowing the newly-minted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) full jurisdiction over alleged corruption in the party.

In a New Straits Times report, Rithaudeen used the analogy of a doctor trying to operate while drunk, stating that the doctor can be charged for criminal negligence but also sued in a civil suit and stripped of his ability to practice by the Malaysian Medical Council.

In the same way, Umno’s disciplinary board conducts its investigations with the option of suspending a member independently of any action by the MACC.

Investigations by the MACC and the board will be done separately by each body and any sharing of information will be done on a case-by-case basis, he said.

However, Lim stressed that the board would be violating the law and committing crimes themselves if they withhold from the MACC any case of Umno money politics — which MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan had categorically called “corruption” in a separate New Straits Times interview on Jan 25.

The Malaysian Insider
30/01/09

Police report lodged against Selangor police chief

KUALA LUMPUR: The Member of Parliament for Kapar, S. Manikavasagam, today lodged a police report against Selangor police chief, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar who claimed that two deputy ministers and the family of car theft suspect, A.Kugan, had barged into the Serdang Hospital mortuary on Jan 20.

Manikavasagam and lawyer N.Surendran lodged the report at the Brickfields District Police Headquarters at 12.10 pm.

“We not only lodged a police report, we also handed over a CD recording to the police to prove that the allegation that the two deputy ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator T. Murugiah and Datuk S.K. Devamany, and the victim’s family had barged into the hospital mortuary was totally incorrect,” he said.

Manikavasam said the CD recording clearly showed that the two deputy ministers concerned were not at the scene when the people entered the mortuary, and were only present several hours later.

“The police allegation that the victim’s family had trespassed into the mortuary was also not true because the recording showed that the staff at the mortuary had allowed all family members of the victim to come into the room,” he said.

Manikavasagam said that as such, action should be taken against the Selangor Police Chief for making a false statement.

Kugan, 23, who had been detained on suspicion of being involved in the theft of luxury cars in Sungai Chua, Kajang, was found dead while in custody at the lock-up of the Subang USJ Police Station.

Brickfields OCPD, ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Talib, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed receiving the report at 2.20 pm.

Khalid, when contacted by Bernama, declined to comment on the police report lodged against him.

Bernama
30/01/09

Can Umno save itself from corruption?

CAN Umno save itself from corruption? It is telling that Umno disciplinary board chairman Tan Sri Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail has called for all the party's wings - Wanita, Youth, Putera and Puteri - to be abolished in order to reduce corruption in the system.

Such a radical message - from a party elder and custodian of its integrity - means that the rot has gone so deep that only the most drastic action can save the organisation from an ignoble fate.

Indeed, it is relevant to ask today whether Umno can salvage its reputation, or whether it is too late for that already.

Harsh as that may sound, the question now reverberates through the public space, since all efforts to rid the party of corruption for over two decades have failed to cure it of the malaise.

What has brought Umno, once the most formidable political force in the country, to its current crisis of credibility?

The answer is simple - the system of checks and balances that can prevent people in power from abusing their positions to reward their supporters is not working.

For Umno to stop corruption from spreading, it must open itself to scrutiny, so that people who are not able to benefit from their proximity to the seat of power can object when favours are granted by the powerful to their family members and friends.

If Umno can rise to the challenge, perhaps there is hope for its political renaissance.

If it cannot, it must live with the taint of money politics, as the scourge of corruption in its ranks has been euphemistically called, and deal with the consequences of its inertia.

Today, the odour of corruption that envelops Umno cannot be masked by the failure of those who make such accusations to provide concrete evidence of the practice. It is well reported that Umno leaders themselves have been loudly complaining about vote-buying for the longest time.

This has become standard fare whenever an Umno election looms, and reports of money politics on a mind-boggling scale have become an inseparable part of the political scenario. Who cannot recall the episode of a candidate for a division chief's post who spent RM6 million in 1995 on his campaign?

In such a milieu, is it possible that Umno leaders at all levels are free of money politics?

Further, with Umno's standing at such a low ebb, how can it hope to renew the Barisan Nasional after the mauling that the coalition received in the last election?

Indeed, the current generation of Umno leaders deserve to apologise to the likes of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Dr Ismail and Tun Hussein Onn, who laid the foundations of the nation's progress, for bringing the political situation to its current abyss.

The Edge
29/01/09
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