Malaysian Indians are with Anwar Ibrahim


SUNGAI PETANI: The Home Ministry’s directive banning Pakatan Rakyat leaders from mentioning Altantuya Shaariibuu at their rallies did not stop Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from bringing up the dead at the Bukit Selambau by-election campaign.

Speaking at his campaign stop here last night, the Opposition Leader told thousands of people present at a public rally that only Pakatan Rakyat leaders stood up against the authorities when Kugan Ananthan died in police custody last January.

“I want the Indians to be solidly behind us. When Kugan was beaten up, I spoke up. From Pas, Husam also spoke up. Did you hear any Umno leaders saying anything?” Anwar asked the multiracial crowd.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being mobbed by the waiting media as he arrives at Bukit Selambau, his first stop in the triple by-election campaign. – Pix by Shannon Teoh
“When the Umno assembly was held for three days, did you hear them talking about the Indian?”

He also ridiculed MIC’s plan to make a comeback through the by-election after suffering its worst electoral performance in March last year.

“If MIC wants to help the Indians, they should tell Umno now and speak up against them,” he said.

With the by-election campaign marred by internal bickering over the selection of S. Manikumar to contest under PKR’s ticket, Anwar last night defended the party’s choice, which he claimed was made after a lengthy process.

“Yes, he is only 35, he does not have much experience but he is clean,” said Anwar.

“I told him that he will be the representative for the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. This is not about one or two candidates, but it is matter of principle,” he added.

Anwar also reiterated his promise that the federal opposition would continue to fight for the release of the five Hindraf leaders who are currently held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The selection of Manikumar has drawn strong opposition from the party ranks which resulted in a resignation of its Jerai division chief B. Kalaivanar and Hindraf had also said that it is boycotting the by-election and expected a large number of Indians which formed 30 per cent of the voters not to turn up on polling day.

The race for the state seat is between Manikumar, MIC’s Datuk S. Ganesan and 13 independents with polling set for April 7.

MI
01/04/09

Anwar tak faham larangan KDN


Ketua Umum PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim tidak faham dengan arahan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) yang melarangkan dibangkitkan isu pembunuhan Altantuya Shaariibuu dan keputusan Sultan Perak, dalam kempen tiga pilihanraya kecil sekarang.

"Saya tidak faham kenapa Menteri Dalam Negeri, (Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar) tidak membenarkan (kita) bercakap tentang (isu pembunuhan) Altantuuya.

"(Arahan) Itu janggal. Tidak pernah ada larangan (seperti itu) dalam sejarah pilihanraya. Kalau subjudis, bawa ke mahkamah. Kalau rasa terganggu, Najib boleh saman," kata Anwar kepada pemberita dalam satu sidang media malam tadi.

Larangan tersebut dikeluarkan secara mengejut semalam kepada parti-parti bertanding di tiga kawasan pilihanraya kecil oleh menteri berkenaan, setelah masuk hari ketiga berkempen di Parlimen Bukit Gantang di Perak, DUN Bukit Selambau di Kedah dan DUN Batang Ai di Sarawak.

Kematian tragis wanita muda Mongolia itu sering dikaitkan dengan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan kes kenalan akrabnya Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda.

Dalam sidang media itu, Anwar yang juga ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh, turut menjelaskan bahawa bekas wakil rakyat Bukit Selambau, V. Arumugam menghubunginya beberapa hari lalu untuk memohon izinnya untuk pulang berkempen.

Bagaimanapun, Anwar berkata, beliau bercakap dengan bekas exco Kedah itu secara peribadi dan menasihatkan beliau tidak turut serta berkempen.

Perjelas pemilihan Manikumar

Ini kerana, kata Anwar, beliau tidak dapat memastikan keselamatan bekas ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Bukit Selambau itu.

Kata Anwar, Arumugam sekarang masih berada di luar negara, tetapi tidak menjelaskan di mana Arumugam berada.

Arumugam, meletakkan jawatan ADUN dan exco Kedah setelah mendakwa menerima ugutan yang mengancam diri dan keluarganya, awal Februari lalu.

Ditanya sama ada calon PKR, S Manikumar mempunyai kaitan dengan bekas wakil rakyat Bukit Selambau itu, Anwar menafikan perkara tersebut.

Manikumar yang turut berada di sebelah Anwar, turut menafikan beliau mempunyai hubungan kekeluargaan dengan Arumugam.

"Mungkin ada kerana daripada cucu Nabi Adam," sampuk Anwar berseloroh.

Sementara itu, dalam ceramah, Anwar turut menperjelaskan isu pemilihan Manikumar yang menjadi rungutan oleh ahli-ahli PKR.

ADUN untuk semua

Anwar mengakui bahawa Manikumar "tidak mempunyai banyak pengalaman dalam parti", sebalik pemilihannya antaranya "berdasarkan kepada komited" beliau terhadap parti.

"Beliau adalah anak muda, cerdik dan kuat daya tahannya. Beliau ada kelayakan, berani dan sederhana.

"Dia akan menang, Insyallah, tapi bukan untuk orang India sahaja, tetapi untuk orang Melayu, Cina dan India," katanya kepada hadirin yang hadir.

Anwar yang berkemeja putih dan berseluar hitam dan baru sahaja tiba dari Bangkok, menyampaikan ceramah di hadapan lebih 1,000 orang di Taman Kelisa Ria, Sungai Petani, malam tadi.

Tambahnya, pemilihan Manikumar sebagai calon, turut mendapat persetujuan Menteri Besar Kedah, Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak.

Anwar berkata, sekiranya Manikumar menang dalam pilihanraya kecil Bukit Selambau pada 7 April ini, beliau akan dilantik untuk menjadi exco Kedah bagi menggantikan tempat Arumugam.

Larangan menteri

Turut berucap ialah Pengarah Strategi PKR, Saifuddin Nasution, yang turut membantah keputusan Syed Hamid Albar melarang dibangkitkan isu pembunuhan Altantuuya dan keputusan kontroversi Sultan Perak.

Beliau mendakwa, larangan itu bertujuan untuk melindungi Najib, yang baru sahaja dipilih menjadi presiden Umno, Sabtu lalu.

"Isu Altantuuya tak boleh cakap. Keputusan Sultan Perak tak boleh pertikai.

"Kita ada hujah nak balas tapi tak boleh cakap. Kita nak cakap tapi tak boleh.

"Jadi siapa yang takut, siapa yang bimbang? (Datuk Seri) Anwar atau (Datuk Seri) Najib? (Datuk Seri) Abdul Hadi atau Najib? Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz atau Najib?" soal Saifuddin yang juga ahli Parlimen Machang kepada hadirin.

Lantas, hadirin yang hadir menjawab dengan berkata," Najib" beramai-ramai.

Malaysiakini
01/04/09

Malaysian High Court Judges are playing hide and seek in Nizar vs Zambry suit

The leave application by former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Jamaluddin to challenge the legitimacy of his successor Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir will be heard before a new judge on Thursday. High Court Justice Aziz Abdul Rahim will replace Justice Lau Bee Lan.

Court officials said it was an internal change and gave no reason for the change.

On March 10, Justice Lau had ruled that the four constitutional questions, raised by Nizar in his Feb 13 suit challenging Zambry’s legitimacy, must be determined by the Federal Court.

However, on March 23, The Federal Court ruled that the case of who the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak is should be heard by the High Court.

The Federal Court ruled that issues involving the interpretation of Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution must be heard and decided at the High Court and can only be brought to the Federal Court by way of appeal.

The five-member bench presided by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff made the decision after allowing a preliminary objection by Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's lead counsel, Sulaiman Abdullah, that the Federal Court was not seised of jurisdiction to hear the four questions to be referred to it for determination.

In the unanimous decision, Justice Alauddin said the High Court judge had no power to make the order for the four questions to be referred to the Federal Court under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act (CJA) because that section was confined to the Federal Constitution and not the state constitution.

He then set aside all the orders made by the Court of Appeal on March 20 including that which ruled that the four questions must be heard and decided by the Federal Court and remitted the case to the High Court, before the same judge, Lau Bee Lan.

Star Online
01/04/09

'Indian M'sians, let us stay united' for one purpose to overthrow UMNO@BN

‘Makkal Sakthi should continue the struggle and support the PKR candidate. Some people have failed to understand that PR is just one year old and it is now undergoing a testing period.'

Its really funny when you see these Hindraf leaders and former Jerai division chief B Kalaivanar throwing tantrums and demanding this and that.

Just because DSAI fielded someone other than these people, they now shout ‘Boycott' and some are even praying for PKR to lose in Bukit Selambau.

Hindraf, you want equality and rights for the Indian Malaysian community. The only way for this is to support Pakatan and throw the BN government out.

Then only can there be change. But now, great. Go ahead and boycott PKR in Bukit Selambau. Pray for their loss.

MIC and Samy Vellu have been able to control and abuse you all for the past 50 years. Let them abuse you for another 50 years or more.

Makkal Sakthi? I really doubt it. You all sound more like children to me.

B Kalaivanar, you quit just because DSAI did not field you as a candidate and you gripe about all the things you did for the party before. So what?

You became a PKR member to serve the people. But this goes to show you want to become the people's master instead of servant. You quit? I say good riddance.

What is your real purpose in running for a state assembly person's post anyway?

For the good of the people in Bukit Selambau or because you want to be state exco member? Only you know that yourself.

Anyways, with all the independents running around, I am not surprised if PKR loses the seat. Well, good. Return to BN and tyranny. Let them abuse the country for another 50 years.

I refer to recent statements by some failed leaders that they will not support the Bukit Selambau candidate from PKR.

This is disappointing. These leaders are greedy and only have personal interests. Makkal Sakthi should continue the struggle and support the PKR candidate.

Some people have failed to understand that Pakatan Rakyat is just one year old and it is now undergoing a testing period different fro before.

As such, the Indians have to be united in the struggle if we want changes for our future. Let us stay united.

On PKR's Kalai quits over by-election snub

My question for Mr Kalaivanar and his supporters:

1. Why keep quiet about Anwar being a ‘pharaoh' only until you are not chosen as candidate? Why didn't your voice out your dissatisfaction about PKR long before a by-election?

2. All your hard work for PKR is only meant for you personally only? Not for the Indians and Malaysians in general?

3. Can I assume that Anwar made the right decision in choosing Manikumar and not you because you are only interested in rewards?

If he (Kalaivanar) was so disappointed with PKR, why was he even interested to be their candidate?

Malaysiakini
01/04/09

PKR focuses on smaller gatherings due to police interference

SUNGAI PETANI: With the police hot on their heels to break up large gatherings at ceramahs held in Bukit Selambau, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have been forced to resort to having numerous smaller gatherings in homes of members and supporters.

PKR Kedah election operations director Datuk Johari Abdul told The Edge Financial Daily it was getting too frustrating to deal with the flip flop decisions on permits made by the police.

"We go by the book to apply by submitting forms 48 hours prior to the event, as required," he explained. "Usually we have these at homes with compounds or even with open fields near the houses.

"We never encroach into the open areas but we cannot prevent those who come to listen to us from doing so as there is only so much space at the houses or compound from where we have to speak from.

"As long as we have the approval of the premise owners, we are usually allowed the permit.

"The police would come inspect the site and then issue the permit, but these are cancelled at the eleventh hour.

"Hence, we have to do things on the sly, have smaller gatherings at more places instead of having rallies which usually attract large crowds," he added.

He said while those from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) were often dealt with the wrong end of the stick, those from the Barisan Nasional got away with putting up tents with tables and chairs in open areas and even school fields.

The temperature in Bukit Selambau is expected to heat up with PKR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim making his first appearance in the constituency since nomination day.

Anwar, who has been abroad the past few days has his work cut out for him especially with allegations being levelled against him by disgruntled PKR members who have quit the party in a huff, including ex-Jerai division chairman B Kalaivanar who called Anwar a pharoah and dictator.

MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu confirmed that Kalaivanar would campaign for BN's Datuk S Ganesan in Bukit Selambau.

Kalaivanar is said to be a popular speaker whose services were always sought after by the PKR leadership to deliver fiery speeches in Tamil during ceramahs.

Another disgruntled PKR member is S Moganakumar, the personal assistant of former Bukit Selambau state assemblyman V Arumugam. Moganakumar is contesting as an independent after the party chose S Manikumar as their candidate.

Independent A Jayagopal is also an ex-PKR member.

With eight Indians contesting in this by-election, the chances of Indian votes being split is a reality.

There are about 29.5% registered Indian voters in the constituency numbering nearly 10,000 and the votes are crucial to PKR's victory.

During the 2008 general election, the BN only secured 20% of the Indian votes.

Towards the end of the campaign period, more PR big guns are expected to pass through this bustling constituency.

Among those who will come a calling include PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who has confirmed his presence in Bukit Selambau on Friday.
The Edge
31/03/09

Suara Keamanan ganti Suara Keadilan, HUJAH ganti Harakah


PKR mengambil strategi serupa PAS bagi menghadapi tindakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) yang menggantung permit akhbar mereka dengan menerbitkan Suara Keamanan mulai hari ini.

PAS merancang menerbitkan Hujah mulai Jumaat ini bagi menggantikan Harakah yang dikenakan tindakan mengejut itu selama tiga bulan sejak 23 Mac lalu.

Pengganti Suara Keadilan itu sudah boleh diperolehi melalui pengedar-pengedar organ PKR itu, kata satu kenyataan jabatan sidang pengarangnya.

“Disebabkan permit penerbitan Suara Keadilan telah digantung selama tiga bulan bermula 23 Mac lepas, PKR mengambil keputusan untuk tidak menerbitkan akhbar itu selama tempoh tersebut,” kata parti itu

“Suara Keamanan adalah sebuah penerbitan tidak berkala dari segi namanya, oleh itu tidak memerlukan permit penerbitan dari KDN.”

Tindakan menerbitkan akhbar baru ini membayangkan PKR mengendurkan pendiriannya minggu lalu yang menegaskan ingin mengabaikan larangan KDN tersebut.

Edisi pertama mingguan ini melaporkan tiga pilihanraya kecil - dua daripadanya disertai PKR - yang bermula Ahad lalu dengan tajuk besar “Kubur BN”.

Ia memuatkan foto muka depan calonnya di DUN Bukit Selambau, S Manikumar dan DUN Batang Ai, Jawah Gerang.

Ia juga menyiarkan foto-foto penamaan calon di Bukit Gantang yang ditanding oleh calon PAS Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.



KUALA LUMPUR, 31 MAC - KERANA permit penerbitan Suara Keadilan telah digantung selama tiga bulan bermula 23 Mac lepas, parti KeADILan mengambil keputusan untuk tidak menerbitkan akhbar itu selama tempoh tersebut.

Sebagai ganti, akhbar Suara Keamanan akan menemui pembaca, secara mingguan setiap hari Selasa mulai hari ini.

Suara Keamanan adalah sebuah penerbitan tidak berkala dari segi namanya, oleh itu tidak memerlukan permit penerbitan dari KDN.

Pembaca boleh mendapatkan akhbar tersebut dari pengedar-pengedar dan penjual yang sama yang mengedar Suara Keadilan sebelum ini.
Keadilan
31/03/09

Letter to Obama requesting foreign interference on Malaysian Indians genocide

Saravanan Pitchan
2018 Antwerpen .
Belgium 30th March, 2009

President of USA
Mr. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr .Gordon Brown
10 Downing Street,
London,SW1A 2AA
England

Ref: Requesting foreign interference on Malaysian Indians genocide issue before rice becomes porridge.

Dear Sir,

Please accept my best wishes and greetings.

Hope this letter meets you in a good health and pleasant day.

Hereby I'm humbly requesting the USA, Great Britain and the rest of the world to review the systematic Malaysian Indian genocide in Malaysia.

There are uncountable issues which I can address in this official letter but to make it short and clear, I would like to refer to the latest issues which made

Malaysian Indians uproaring.

a) On Jan 15th 2009 Kugan Ananthan aged 22 was detained.

Crime : suspected involvement in an international car theft syndicate.

On Jan 20th 2009 The young man was killed under police custody.

11 Police officers where involved in that killing. Even the attorney general of police classified it as a murder. All those police officers who were involved in the murder are transferred to a better position in Police HQ in Kuala Lumpur. Until today the police didn’t prove his crime. The state Selangor police chief said "During interrogation, the man asked for a glass of water and upon drinking the water, he collapsed and lost consciousness. To reveal the truth of this incident, I would like to refer to some facts which were saved in following websites:

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/01/man-dies-during-po...)

_(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wG5pCqncII&eurl=http://malaysiaindianabu...)

b) On Feb 19th 2009 , 6 suspected as armed robbers were shot dead by police, none of the persons that were shot survived to be arrested and charged. "When the policemen barged into the house and introduced themselves, six men between the age of 20 and 50, fired several shots at them, and in defence, the police fired back and the shots hit the six suspects," .

After doing an investigation by local politicians and human rights lawyers, none of them were criminal. Till today no evidence were tabled. The police shot them to protect themselves from the suspects.

Now the question rises: were they really armed? Why police officers were not hurt? Among these six men, one was an handicapped boy and according to one of the parents, another one was just back from pilgrimage in India. If the police really wants to prove that they are robbers, why didn’t the police officers try to arrest them or try to shoot them in their hand or leg?

As a prove of this incident I would like to give a link which was published in a blog:

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/six-shot-dead-in-k...)

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/kulim-shootout-ful...)

Our Indians in Malaysia have been again and again systematically killed by the police in Malaysia. We, as an ordinary citizen and marginalized community of Malaysia, are simply begging to foreign countries to uphold human rights in Malaysia.

This is not the first incident, but some of the reports were saved in:

http://malaysiaindianabused.blogspot.com/

I have no words to mention about our problems. Most of the Indians in Malaysia are considering all those issues as Malaysian Indian genocide. Where can we go?

What can we do with the systematic police terrorizing us, lead by the UMNO government ?

In many countries, UN and American coalition, are sending troops when the country is in real problem and when there is chaos. Why don’t the UN or other powerful countries in the world help the needy before the rice becomes porridge?

UN human rights council, America Human rights council, EU parliament Human rights council, Amnesty and so on is watching Malaysia closely, but most of the time all these organizations are writing letters and trying to help in a common way but it isn’t really an effective one for a country like Malaysia. My only hope is that all foreign countries take initiative to correct their egos and let us live happily in our birth place.

Yours Faithfully,
Saravanan Pitchan

Cc: Amnesty International
1 Easton Street
London
WC1X 0DW, UK

Cc: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Cc: EU Human Rights Council
Hans-Gert Pöttering
President of the European Parliament
Brussels, Belgium

Uthayakumar was tricked to eat beef

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar has lodged a police report against Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for ignoring Hindu sensitivities after allegedly being served beef at the Kamunting Detention Camp where he is being held.

syed hamid albarIn the report made last Wednesday, he accused Syed Hamid (left) of lying in saying that Hindraf leaders, being Hindus, are not served dishes containing beef in deference to their religion.

The minister had made the statement to rubbish previous claims by Uthayakumar that the camp authorities had insulted Hindus by allegedly serving dishes with beef.

Uthayakumar alleged that, despite the minister’s statement, he had found “pieces of beef” in the chicken sambal served for lunch on March 22.

p uthayakumar sedition trial 030209 01“I was served chicken sambal with rice. I (saw) what looked like beef pieces in the chicken sambal,” he said in the report, a copy of which was made available to Malaysiakini.

“When I checked with detainees working in the kitchen, they confirmed that the beef sambal and chicken sambal were cooked in the same pot. (The chicken was) dished out and put on separate tray and served to me,” he said in the report.

He also claimed that the authorities has yet to serve him meals appropriate for a diabetic, despite knowing about his health condition.

Uthayakumar said he will now eat only bread and will not touch any food cooked in the camp kitchen, in protest of the “violation of my religious rights” as a Hindu and of his constitutional rights.

‘No medical reports yet’

Uthayakumar further claimed he has yet to receive his medical reports after undergoing a check-up at the Taiping Hospital for a fractured toe.
“The home minister has refused to send me to a private hospital because he knows that he and the police special branch will find it more difficult to cover up and manipulate (my health condition).

“I demand my medical reports within 48 hours (of the date of his police report). I want to be sent to the Gleneagles Hospital (in Kuala Lumpur for treatment).”

Uthayakumar’s fiance, S Indradevi, told Malaysiakini that the medical reports have not been made available to either of them to date.

“The fracture is still bad despite the treatment and he is in pain. I’m very worried,” she said.

Uthayakumar is one of five Hindraf leaders who have been detained under the Internal Security Act since late December 2007.

Makkal Sakthi
31/03/09

Ban “Altantuya” name - Najib crackdown bordering on Najib madness

With Datuk Seri Najib Razak all set to be sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister on Friday, all stops are off for a Najib crackdown – the latest being the ban on a Mongolian name, Altantuya Shariibuu, from public discourse.

When I said yesterday that Najib’s ascension as the next Prime Minister marks an enveloping darkness descending in all fronts of human rights, as hardly a day passes in the past fortnight without a new encroachment and erosion of the fundamental liberties whether freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association or the right to information, I had not expected to be vindicated again within 24 hours.

Sad. Very sad. It would appear as if Malaysia has not become enough of an international laughing stock in recent times chalking up a lengthening list of most shameful episodes, like

• the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak orchestrated by Najib;

• wheelchair-bound DAP National Chairman and Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament, Karpal Singh mobbed by Selangor Umno Youth goons in the parliamentary precincts interfering and menacing him from carrying out his parliamentary duties and subsequently charged in court with sedition for stating what all law lecturers teach in the law schools in the country that Rulers are subject to the law and can be brought to court in their official and personal capacities;

• the one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo without parliamentary pay and privileges without giving him the right to be heard;

• my suspension from Parliament for saying that Umno is “gila kuasa” –which Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said as much in his farewell Umno presidential address the next day and which one Umno delegate adopted in the Umno Assembly general debate to pinpoint the causes of Umno’s downfall;

• the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan;

• Police and MACC violation of the doctrine of the separation of powers in harassing the Perak State Assembly Speaker and Perak State Assembly members for performing their State Assembly functions; and only two nights ago,

• the arrest of DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piaw for producing the “Democracy Tree” DVD.

What makes Najib think that getting the police to ban the mention of “Altantunya Shariibuu” in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections will end and release him from being haunted and hounded by serious swirling allegations about his suitability, integrity and legitimacy as the nation’s Prime Minister, particularly over the Altantuya Shariibuu murder case?

Will “Altantuya Shariibuu” become an unparliamentary term, justifying an MP to be suspended for a prolonged period or even expulsion for uttering the unspeakable Mongolian name?

Instead of quelling and quashing the swirling questions and allegations as to his role in the Altantuya Shariibuu murder case, the ridiculous ban on any mention of the Mongolian name will only have the effect of giving the questions and allegations a high-octane boost – giving even greater life, force and potency to them.

The Najib crackdown is bordering on a Najib madness – and all this even before Najib is sworn in as Prime Minister on Friday!

Lim Kit Siang

Cops ban PKR from raising Altantuya issue


In the run-up to the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7, PKR has been dealt with a severe blow by the police in restricting the issues that the opposition party can raise at its daily ceramah.
For instance, party leaders are barred from raising the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in their speeches.

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is expected to stop in Bukit Gantang tomorrow as part of his campaign trail.

According to a state PKR leader, the police imposed several conditions when issuing permits for the PKR ceramah.

Among the main restrictions are:

No instigating the crowd by questioning the Perak sultan's decision
No mention of the Altantuya issue must be made
No racial and religious issues can be raised
In addition, PKR must ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held. [see below]

The police have warned that action will be taken if the crowd spills beyond the permitted area, said Lau Teck Hai, who had applied for the permits on behalf of his party.

Lau, who is political secretary to PKR's Kuala Sepetang state representative Tai Sing Ng, was told to go to the Taiping district police headquarters yesterday where he was informed of the conditions.

Ready to defy
Addressing a press conference on the matter this afternoon in Taiping, Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang said the party is ready to defy the police on these restrictions.

He also said that it would not appeal against the police decision to impose such restrictions.

"These restrictions are new. They have never been imposed before," said Chan, who is also the Teja state assemblyperson.

"We will not be appealing against these restrictions and will be not be adhering to them as well."

He said the party is ready to face whatever action the police take against it for breaching the conditions.

"They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression," he said.

The controversial issues
However, PAS, whose candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is contesting the by-election, has not been barred from raising these issues.

It is learnt that PAS was only told to stop its ceramah by 11pm so that this does not cause any disturbance in village areas.

The Altantuya issue has been used by the opposition, especially the PKR, to implicate Najib in the death of the Mongolian, a charge which the Umno politician has repeatedly denied.

As in previous election campaigns, several posters of Altantuya and Najib have already found their way to Bukit Gantang.

Altantuya's remains were found scattered in a jungle reserve in Shah Alam, Selangor on Oct 19, 2006.

Two special elite policemen who were bodyguards to VIPs including Najib are facing murder charge. The verdict is expected early next month.

The opposition has also been highlighting the manner in which Perak Umno, led by Najib, ‘stole' the state government from Pakatan. They have questioned the manner in which an Umno representative was then named as the new menteri besar.

Mohd Nizar has refused to step down as menteri besar although the Perak sultan had ordered him to do so. This had led to him being accused of committing derhaka (treason) against the sultan.

The by-election will see a three-cornered fight involving BN's Ismail Saffian, Mohd Nizar (photo) and independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

It is being held following the death of PAS member of parliament Roslan Shaharum on Feb 9 from a heart attack.

In the last general election on March 8, 2008, Roslan defeated Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi of BN and independent candidate M Mohganan by 1,566 votes.

Meanwhile in Bukit Selambau, it is learnt that one of the restrictions imposed on political parties is that all ceramah must be held indoors.

Malaysiakini
31/03/09

Police barred PKR from raising Altantuya Shaariibuu in their speeches, under Najib's instruction.

TAIPING, March 31 – Campaigning for the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections has run into a bizarre roadblock, with the police stepping in to dictate what PKR cannot say or do in the intense battle to win votes.

They must not mention Altan … err, a certain Mongolian model, now deceased.

A PKR source said that was one of the conditions police imposed on the party when it applied for ceramah permits.

A certain Ruler’s decision, matters of race and religion and other “sensitive” issues are also forbidden.

In addition, PKR must also ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held.

Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang told a press conference that the party would not appeal against the restrictions but would defy them and face the consequences.

“They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression,” he said.

The same restrictions do not apply, apparently, to Pas, who have only been told to stop their ceramah by 11pm.

The murder of Altan … err, she-who-cannot-be-named, has proven to be acutely embarrassing for Umno’s new president and prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose aide was acquitted of murder.

Najib has repeatedly denied ever meeting the woman.

Malaysian Insider
31/03/09

Open Letter to the Incoming Prime Minister - Malaysian Think Tank

We at the Malaysia Think Tank look forward to your upcoming appointment. We apologise for not being able to address you by name yet, as that would transgress the prerogative of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Your judgment and wisdom will affect the fate of our democracy and the future of 27 million Malaysians.

We urge and beseech you to lead Malaysia to greater heights in your new office by pursuing the ideals espoused by our Proclamation of Independence and other founding documents, and by continuing the narrative towards freedom and prosperity that our various histories have woven to get to where we are today.

We implore you to act upon the following:

1. Defend the rule of law. Observe, protect and advance the Rule of Law, by: respecting the independence of the judiciary; restoring dignity to our courts; and upholding the Supremacy of the Constitution so that Malaysians from every background may understand and uphold it
too

2. Liberate the people. Free the people from the despair of poverty and the crutches of dependency, by: encouraging entrepreneurship, cutting bureaucracy and ensuring that the tax regime does not stifle growth and innovation; allowing individuals to mature and develop, to
make mistakes and learn from them, and to be able to work and play in an environment that suits them best; and by allowing Malaysians to Believe in God and to be Loyal to King and Country in their own manner

3. Limit the role of government. Reinforce our federal structure, by: acknowledging that central government does not have the answers to everything; restoring the rightful powers of the state governments; further decentralising power where it will result in greater competition and efficient delivery of services; and to gain the cooperation of states run by different political parties

4. Free the market. Uphold our inclination towards free markets; let the rakyat access the goods and services they prefer without the protectionism that cripples competition; and recognise that the welfare of the people can be advanced with the help of civil society collaborating with the private sector

We believe passionately and resolutely that effective leadership and urgent action on your part on these four principles will unite the people and ensure continued peace and prosperity, and enable Malaysia to become the envy of the world, so that every Malaysian citizen can
confidently say, as YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman so proclaimed upon the ancient fields of Malacca, that we are a nation "founded upon the principles of liberty and justice".

The Malaysian Think Tank is a collection of individuals.

Malaysian Insider
31/03/09

Malaysian Opposition Leader Warns of More Repression

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim warns of rising repression in the country as a new prime minister takes office this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to take over Thursday as prime minister of Malaysia, when Abdullah Badawi steps down.

But Malaysian opposition-leader Anwar Ibrahim told reporters in Bangkok that recent developments suggest the Najib administration could usher in a further stifling of dissent and a return to the authoritarian style of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

"We can only point out to the statements he has made, measures like banning newspapers, threatening tough measures the moment he took over the presidency [of his party, UMNO]," he said. "That is why the opposition People's Alliance views this with great consternation that Datuk Seri Najib represents the old order."

The government recently shut down two opposition newspapers for three months, preventing them from reporting on a series of high profile events, a hotly contested by-election in Perak state on April 7 and the verdict in a sensational murder case involving a close aide of Najib Razak two days later.

Najib Razak is seen as a protégé of Mahathir Mohamad. In an interview with the French news agency AFP, Mahathir said he expects Najib to govern more firmly than Mr. Abdullah, who was seen as a moderate.

Mr. Abdullah's exit came a year after the United Malays National Organization suffered its worst electoral defeat, losing more than a third of the seats in Parliament.

Opposition-leader Anwar was once UMNO's rising star, until he was fired by Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 and jailed on charges of corruption and sexual misconduct. He was released in 2004.

After the United Malays National Organization poor showing last year, the three-party opposition People's Alliance was close to taking control of parliament - which could have opened the way for Anwar Ibrahim to become prime minister.

The by-election in Perak state next week pits candidates from the Islamic party and the United Malays National Organization in what is seen as an early referendum on the Najib government.

But Anwar says with Najib Razak as prime minister, it would be a tougher battle to wrest control of Parliament.

"How do you enter elections where you do not even have one minute on television? I have been the leader of the opposition since August. Not one interview, not one minute on the Malaysian media," he noted.

Anwar Ibrahim is in Bangkok until Tuesday and will meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and other officials. Anwar and Mr. Abhisit are expected to discuss cooperation in addressing the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, which borders Malaysia. Anwar called for greater engagement, rather a purely military solution, to end the continued violence there.

By Heda Bayron
Bangkok
30 March 2009
VOaNews

'Free all ISA detainees, Abdullah'

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has the opportunity to do one last good deed before he relinquishes office - by releasing all those held under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

P Waythamoorthy (left), who heads the now-banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), made the call in the wake of Abdullah’s farewell speech at the 59th Umno general assembly over the weekend.

Waythamoorthy, who is living in self-imposed exile in London, noted in a statement that Abdullah had magnanimously acknowledged his shortcomings and that “Hindraf appreciates (this)”.

“There are currently over 65 ISA detainees with some (having been held) for more than six years... without any particular reason except for national security,” he said.

“Therefor we urge the (prime minister to) unconditionally release all the detainees as his one last good deed before his leaves the public office.”

Waythamoorthy’s brother Uthayakumar (left), is one of five Hindraf leaders detained since December 2007, shortly after a mammoth protest which saw some 30,000 Indian Malaysians taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur in protest against discrimination and marginalisation.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has justified the detention of the Hindraf 5, saying they pose a threat to national security.

All five have denied any wrongdoing and have unsuccessfully attempted to secure their release through the courts. Appeals via family members to the King, Abdullah and the home minister have gone unanswered.

MIC president S Samy Vellu has also appealed on their behalf, arguing that the five do not pose any threat to national security.

"The government should not hold them any longer as it will prolong the Indian community's ill-feelings towards the government,” he noted.

Malaysiakini
30/03/09

Does Najib want to turn Malaysia into a criminal state?

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are mortally afraid of the Democracy Tree under which the Perak State Assembly convened on March 3, 2008 although the Perak Speaker and the overwhelming majority of the Perak Assembly members were locked out of the Perak State Assembly in the State Secretariat building by an illegal and usurper Mentri Besar and State Executive Council.

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are mortally afraid of the Democracy Tree plaque commemorating the historic occasion where the spirit for democracy in Perak refuse to be quashed by arbitrary, high-handed and illegal exercise of “usurper” executive power.

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are now mortally afraid of information technology and the DVD on the Democracy Tree which recorded for posterity the events leading to the historic Perak State Assembly under the Ipoh Raintree!

This was why DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piow was arrested by the police for allegedly violating the Film Censorship Act 2002 in not getting approval and a B certificate from the Film Censorship Board before “manufacturing, circulating, distributing, displaying” the Democracy Tree DVD.

This is a draconian law which must be repealed. It provides for a mandatory minimum fine of RM5,000 and up to RM30,000, three years’ jail or both, for any conviction under the Act. In other words, an MP or State Assembly member found guilty under this charge would automatically be disqualified as an elected representative in view of the mandatory minimum fine of RM5,000 - as a fine of RM2,000 and above in a criminal charge is sufficient to cause such disqualification.

With such a law, Malaysia will not only become a police state but also a criminal state, as with the advances of information technology, IT-savvy Malaysians would all run foul of this draconian law for burning an extra copy of DVD without first getting approval and B certificate from the Film Censorship Board.

What message is Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the threshold of becoming the sixth Prime Minister, sending out to the nation and the world?

That his ascension marks an enveloping darkness descending in all fronts of human rights, as hardly a day passes in the past fortnight without a new encroachment and erosion of the fundamental liberties whether freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association or the right to information.

Does Najib want to turn Malaysia into a criminal state, with law-abiding but IT-savvy Malaysians becoming instant criminals?

If not, repeal the draconian and anti-IT provision in the Film Censorship Act and stop harassing Boon Piaw over the “Democracy Tree” DVD.

Lim Kit Siang
30/03/09

Bahayanya bila isu perkauman dijaja di Bukit Gantang

Siapakah di belakang penempatan penyokong parti-parti yang bertanding di Bukit Gantang Ahad semalam (29 Mac) kini menarik perhatian pelbagai pihak. Ini kerana, meletakkan penyokong Pakatan Rakyat di bukit umpama meletakkan pasukan pemanah di Bukit Uhud dalam sejarah Islam yang terkenal itu.

Ekoran kedudukan yang strategik, di mana-mana sahaja dalam blog atau laman web, gambar para penyokong Pakatan Rakyat di hari penamaan calon Bukit Gantang menarik perhatian. Ini kerana kedudukan yang baik menyebabkan ia jelas kelihatan dan nampak ramai pula.

Oleh kerana penyokong BN berada di bawah bukit, maka ia tidak kelihatan. Dan yang terlebih penting lagi memang jelas, para para penyokong Pakatan Rakyat jauh lebih ramai. Ia diakui oleh Timbalan Presiden Umno yang baru, Tan Sri Muhyidin Yasin apabila berkata, jumlah kedatangan penyokong tidak penting yang penting adalah pengundi.

Pilihan raya kecil ini bakal menyaksikan pertandingan tiga penjuru antara calon PR, Datuk Seri Muhamad Nizar Jamaludin, calon BN, Ismail Saffian dan calon bebas, Kamrul Ramizu Idris.

Sejak dari awal lagi, Umno memainkan isu calon tempatan. Ini kerana, sejak lebih 30 tahun lalu Bukit Gantang tidak pernah menerima calon tempatan yang mewakili BN. Lalu pemilihan Ismail Safian dianggap satu kelebihan kepada BN.

Isu utama yang dihadapkan kepada calon Pas pula adalah Nizar derhaka kepada Sultan Perak apabila menolak arahan baginda agar beliau meletakkan jawatan. Beliau juga dianggap calon DAP kerana pemimpin DAP Perak yang mula mencadangkan nama beliau sebagai calon.

Dalam menjalankan tugasnya sebagai MB Perak juga, Nizar didakwa hanya alat kepada DAP sahaja kerana Adun Pas hanya enam orang sahaja dalam Dun Perak. DAP 18 dan PKR lapan. Untuk itu, hasillah apa yang dinamakan pemberian geran kekal 999 tahun kepada 3,000 lot tanah kampung baru yang didiami oleh orang Cina di Perak.

Kini, Nizar telah dipilih oleh Pas sebagai calonnya. Ia dibuat dalam satu mesyuarat khas Jawatankuasa Pas Pusat di Perak menjelang hari pengumuman calon 23 Mac lalu.

Umno, dalam sebaran mereka mendakwa sebagaimana yang di atas. Nizar adalah calon DAP. Nizar adalah derhaka kepada raja. Nizar bagi tanah kepada orang Cina di Perak.

Apabila seorang rakan saya bertanya, apa pandangan saya tentang pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang, saya berkata, nampaknya Umno akan terus dengan politik perkaumannya. Umno belum sedar lagi, ketika semua orang berfikir kepada politik damai dan politik perpaduan, Umno terus dengan cara memecah belahkan rakyat.

“Biarlah Umno begitu, biar dia hancur,” kata kawan saya itu. “Masalahnya Umno kini sedang memerintah negara. Dia bukan hancurkan partinya sahaja, dia juga akan menjejaskan negara,” kata saya.

Apabila ditanya lagi, apa Pas akan buat, saya berkata, buat masa sekarang Pas hanya akan mencetak semula semua sebaran-sebaran perkauman Umno yang diberikan kepada orang Melayu itu. Pas akan edarkan sebaran itu kepada orang Cina dan India di Bukit Gantang.

Dalam pilihan raya Bukit Gantang 2004 lalu, calon Pas Dr Lo’ Lo’ Mohamad Ghazali mendapat 14,406 undi. Tan Lian Hoe (BN) mendapat 23,294 undi. Majoriti BN adalah 8,888. keputusan ini menunjukkan Pas mendapat kira-kira 40 peratus undi Melayu sahaja. Parti itu tidak mendapat undi bukan Melayu. Kalau adapun kurang dari 10 peratus dari jumlah undi keseluruhan mereka.

Dalam pilihan raya umum 2008, Allahyarham Roslan Shaharum mendapat 20,015 undi, Azim Zabidi (BN) mendapat 18,449 dan calon bebas M Murganan 872 undi. Majoriti Roslan adalah 1, 566.

Mengikut analisa yang dibuat, Roslan mendapat kira-kira 45 peratus undi Melayu dan 20 peratus undi bukan Melayu.

Ramai yang bersetuju, jika Umno habis-habisan berjuang untuk mendapatkan undi Melayu dengan memainkan sentimen perkauman dalam pilihan raya ini, undi untuk PAS tidak akan berkurangan dari undi yang diperolehi oleh Dr Lo’ Lo’ dalam pilihan raya 2004 lalu iaitu 14,400 undi.

Kini, dengan pendekatan Umno yang ada, BN akan kehilangan undi bukan Melayunya. Hampir 40 peratus pengundi yang berketurunan Cina dan India di Bukit Gantang ini akan pergi kepada Pas. Apatah lagi dengan kempen Umno bahawa Nizar adalah calon DAP.

Ramai yang meletakkan 80 peratus dari kira-kira 22,000 pengundi Cina dan India di Bukit Gantang ini akan mengundi PAS dalam pilihan raya kecil ini. 80 peratus bermakna 8,783 pengundi keturunan ini akan memberikan undi kepada PAS. Ini bermakna, 14,000 (undi untuk Dr Lo’ Lo’ 2004) + 8,783 undi Cina dan India akan diperolehi oleh calon PAS. Ini bermakna Pas akan memperolehi undi sebanyak 22,783 undi.

Dari pengiraan inilah, ramai yang membuat anggaran Pas akan menambahkan majoritinya dalam pilihan raya Bukit Gantang ini dari 1,566 ke sekitar 4,000 hingga 5,000 dalam pilihan raya kecil ini.

Anggaran ini akan menjadi kenyataan jika kempen BN berdasarkan perkauman ini akan berterusan dalam pilihan raya kecil ini.

Sebuah badan bebas, Ilham Centre dalam soalselidik yang mereka buat di Bukit Gantang pada 21 dan 22 Mac lalu mendapati 40 peratus penduduk Bukit Gantang yakin PAS akan menang dalam pilihan raya kecil itu nanti berbanding hanya 25 peratus yang menjangkakan BN menang, manakala 34 peratus lagi tidak pasti.

MI
30/03/09

Kenyataan Media AIC, berkenaan isu keluar parti

Seperti biasa, setiap Pilihanraya Kecil di Malaysia tidak akan sunyi dengan ‘agenda keluar parti’. Ia seolah-olah sudah menjadi satu lumrah bagi sesetengah pihak merencana kempen bagi parti mereka, membuktikan seolah-olah parti lawan sudah tidak relevan dan kehilangan sokongan akar umbi.

Inilah kebiasaan yang dihadapi oleh parti-parti pembangkang hususnya Pas dan KeADILan. Kedua parti ini tidak boleh tidak, pasti akan terkesan dengan ‘adegan keluar parti’ oleh sesetengah ahli mereka yang kononnya ‘kecewa dengan parti yang lari dari landasan perjuangan’.

Hari ini KeADILan Bahagian Jerai, Kedah telah dibubarkan oleh ketuanya, V. Kalaivanar. 500 orang dikhabarkan mengikut jejak langkah beliau. Alasan beliau, KeADILan dan Anwar Ibrahim ‘gagal’ melakukan apa-apa untuk masyarakat India di Kedah. Lebih menjelekkan, Anwar dituduh sebagai Firaun dan diktator.

Jika masyarakat sedar dan peka, hujah ini jugalah yang digunakan oleh Datuk S. Nalakaruppan sewaktu mengisytiharkan keluar parti dan menubuhkan Parti India Bersatu Malaysia (MIUP). Keluarnya Nallakaruppan kerana beliau gagal bertanding di PRK DUN Ijok dan juga kegagalan bertanding kerusi Naib Presiden KeADILan pada tahun 2007. Demikianlah halnya dengan Kalaivanar, yang bertindak keluar setelah beliau tidak terpilih sebagai calon bagi mewakili KeADILan-Pakatan Rakyat dalam PRK DUN Bukit Selambau.

Jika akar umbi KeADILan Kedah boleh menerima S. Manikumar sebagai calon Pakatan Rakyat bagi DUN Bukit Selambau, kenapa juak-juak tertentu yang dahulunya disenarai pendek tetapi tidak terpilih begitu marah dengan keputusan yang telah dibuat oleh Anwar? Apakah kerana jaminan MB Kedah, Datuk Seri Ustaz Azizan Abdul Razak bahawa calon Pakatan Rakyat yang menang akan dilantik menjadi Exco Kerajaan Negeri menyebabkan juak-juak ini terliur?

AIC yakin dan percaya bahawa kebijaksanaan dan kematangan yang tinggi telah dipertontonkan oleh kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat kali ini. Calon yang kelihatan berstatus underdog ternyata mempunyai latar belakang yang mengagumkan dan berpotensi mengekalkan kemenangan rakyat di DUN Bukit Selambau.

Sentimen ‘jasa dan pengorbanan’ semata-mata tidak boleh dipertaruhkan untuk memastikan DUN Bukit Selambau kekal di bawah penguasaan Pakatan Rakyat. Yang perlu diketengahkan ialah kepimpinan, kredibiliti dan kebolehan calon untuk menterjemahkan pegangan Pakatan Rakyat untuk menjamin keadilan buat semua, bukan keadilan buat segelintir pihak semata-mata.

AIC melihat ‘agenda keluar parti’ ini lebih bersifat ’satu proses penyucian Pakatan Rakya’t untuk memastikan Pakatan Rakyat bersih daripada golongan oportunis, yang tidak jujur dala perjuangan dan hanya mengharapkan balasan material sebagai ‘galang ganti kepada pengorbanan’.

Muhammad Shukri Md Saad.
Presiden,
Kelab Anwar Ibrahim (AIC)

Anwar Ibrahim needs to mend fences in Selambau

KUALA LUMPUR: Victory or defeat for the PKR in Bukit Selambau very much depends on how it persuades several of them to pull out before polling on April 7 and declare their support for Pakatan Rakyat candidate S. Manikumar, 35.

It also depends a lot on how it appeases its own leaders who were short listed as candidates but not selected but are not standing as independents.

They are either boycotting the by-election, staying home or worst resigning like Jerai PKR chief B. Kalaivanar who quit the party Monday taking about 350 members with him.

While Kalaivanar and his group are unlikely to join BN but quitting PKR and dissolving the PKR division does considerable damage to Pakatan Rakyat morale and comes as an unexpected boon for the BN.

The issue at the centre of all these unwanted problems is that Manikumar, a political novice, is unconnected with the Hindraf and Makkal Sakthi movement and was selected by a business tycoon close to Pakatan supremo Anwar Ibrahim.

The PKR connected independents are angry they had to go through a long selection process when in fact the candidate for the by-election had already been decided much earlier.

"He is a parachute candidate not because he is not a Bukit Selambau local but because he is unknown to us…we have fought the BN day and night in Kedah but we don't know him," said Kalaivanar when contacted today.

"How can Anwar do this to us," he said.

There is also some unhappiness among top PKR leaders in not only at the choice of Manikumar but over the growing influence of this tycoon over party matters and over Anwar.

Although Kalaivanar did not contest like Hindraf national co-ordinator R.S.Thanenthiran, other PKR leaders and key grassroots Makkal Sakthi leaders are contesting.

These include independents like A. Jayagopal, 55, Baling chief Radzi Lazim and S. Moganakumar who was special assistant to former assemblyman V. Arumugam.

It is people like them who had mobilised voters to give Arumugam a large 2,300 vote majority during the March 8, 2008 general election.

"These individuals should not be treated like other independents in other elections that are either bought over at the last moment or end up garnering a few dozen votes," said Thanenthiran.

"The independents in Butki Selambau are contesting out of hurt pride and for honour," he told The Malaysian Insider. "Together they can slash the Pakatan majority."

Last year Arumugam, standing as an independent, won by a handsome majority and the PKR is hoping Manikumar can do the same despite the protests and the damage from Hindraf/Makkal Sakthi followers who are unhappy with Manikumar.

The issue is whether the independents, together or individually, can take away the majority they had helped to raise on March 8 and give the seat back to the MIC/BN.

At least this is what MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is hoping would happen.

"The MIC and the BN's support remains intact in Bukit Selambau and with many local grassroots Indian and other leaders who had helped the opposition, now returning to the BN, we are hopeful of a victory," Samy Vellu said.

The critical issue from now until polling on April 7 is whether PKR leaders can persuade the independents to pull out and hit the ground in a effective enough way to counter the damage done by Kalaivanar and others.

A lot depends how Padang Serai MP N.Gobalakrishnan performs, PKR insiders said, to reduce the haemorrhage because he was close to Kalaivanar and others.

Pakatan supremo Anwar Ibrahim will also have to personally step in and turn on his charms and do some horse trading to minimise the damage.

"We have been discussing with the independents and have even offered other posts like a Senatorship to assuage the hurt pride," said a senior PKR leader.
"It is not that we are not willing to discuss but some of the independents are asking for the sky."

"We believe that with or without them, the voters are with Pakatan and they understand that this is a battle between a rising coalition in Pakatan and a discredited coalition in BN," the leader said requesting anonymity.

The BN is unlikely to let the division in PKR Kedah let pass and are already actively persuading several independents to pull out and declare their support for BN candidate Datuk S. Ganesan.

Baradan Kuppusamy
Malaysian Insider
30/03/09

Self Centred PKR Indians switch to BN in Bkt Selambau

SUNGAI PETANI: Nearly 400 Indian PKR members have switched support to Barisan Nasional in protest over the choice of the party's candidate to retain the Bukit Selambau state seat.

A record 15 candidates, including PKR's S. Manikumar, are in the race on April 7 which also carries a state exco post for the winner unless he is from the opposition Barisan Nasional.

Jerai PKR chief B. Kalaivanar said today he dissolved the division, adding he and 356 other members "will not support the PKR candidate or any of the Independents."

"We have lost faith in PKR especially in Anwar," he told reporters this morning, referring to de facto PKR leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Flanked by some 30 members, he claimed that PKR had deceived the Indian community by making false promises.

In an immediate response, PKR information chif Tian Chua said that he was not disappointed by Kalaivanar's move.

"PKR fights for multiracial reforms. If Kalaivanar is not willing to continue this struggle, then he is acting in his own self-interest and we are not disappointed by his leaving."

Kalaivanar also claimed there had been abuses of power by the Pakatan Rakyat state government as well as PKR Kedah, who have not held state-level elections since he joined in 2004.

No more true blue, for this trooper. A Jerai division leader takes off his PKR uniform to register his protest with the party. A slew of leaders and supporters have shown open dissent to the party's candidate for the Bukit Selambau by-election, S. Manikumar
"We have fought to the end behind him but now he has no respect for us. They manipulate the Indians to give them votes but then they do not do the work," the local Indian community strongman said.

"I hate this talk," he said of Anwar's use of the term "Makkal Sakthi", Tamil for "People's Power", during his ceramahs and said that he would continue a campaign via two NGOs that he leads and not join any party.

"We will campaign for true and transparent democracy," he said of his plans for the next seven days in Bukit Selambau.

He also accused PKR of playing up racial sentiments by saying one thing to Indians, another to the Chinese and yet another to the Malays, simply to gain support.

Overall, he said, it showed that the party had no right to criticise BN as it behaved in the same way.

While he admitted that he would like to be an elected representative for PKR, he claimed that the move had nothing to do with Manikumar's candidacy as he does "not really know him."

He said that he had already sent letters yesterday to the registrar of societies and PKR president and secretary-general, informing them of the decision to disband the Jerai division and Kedah PKR's Indian Community Development Committee, which he chairs.

He also claimed that other divisions will follow but refused to name them.

Let this be a lesson to PKR, the PR component party with the biggest challenges in terms of quality of candidates and what the party actually stands for. Taking on disgruntled umno members and opportunists will make it an opportunist party, no better than what they claim about their opponents.

I have no doubt in my mind that PKR will win Bukit Selambau. These antics are meaningless and don't work any longer. I remember, Umno media pooh pooing few disgruntled PKR elements during the Permatang Pauh by-election saying they have deserted PKR and PR, only for the PKR candidate to win with a bigger majority. 300 goons purporting to be PKR memebers or even if they are is irrelevant to THE STRONG 30,322 voters of Bukit Selambau. That said, Indians need to look at themselves and evaluate their situation.

They form the smallest number of voters in every constituency and also in the nation, yet they are so quarrelsome, too greedy and every one wants a seat. If one is given, the other cries foul and will throw tantrums. Now listen to this sour grape, he wanted to be selected but bcoz his inherent greed was recognized and by-passed, he says "PKR lies". So he was engaging in lies all along? Indians need to wake up and confront the scumbags in their midst. How comes Batang Ai competitors aren't fighting? What about Bukit Gantang? Why not the Malays or the Chinese of PKR in Merbok (Bukit Selambua). Shame on this Indian

When every one is reciting "REFOMASI" it mean at this present moment we still have a lot of job to do, we have to strke on to reach the peak regardless of races that share the same idealogy. When thetrudt is not there, it has no tendency to caryy on.

To reach the peak of the mountain, we need to have mature mind, unity thought and come together to discuss when there is a problem. All of us would want success, but it never come easy.

But now, we don't even reach the peak and the suspicion thought, the faith has gone....... do you think you can work alone or just by suppoting BN? stake your pillow high and think about it before you can go to bed.

By voting for MIC do you expect things to be better under Samy Vellu? You are changing allegiance just because you are not nominated to stand is that it? I am afraid to say you can't even look further than your nose.

How dispicable this people.That shows that there not fighting for a cause,rether their are fighting for themselves.BN is the party for them as their members always put their interest first.The issue here is the fact that Samy Vellu had betrayed the indian community,and these people due to dissapointment with party selection of candidate want to back Samy,the hell with them,we (PR)need members who are true to the cause and are fighting for the people at large not for personal gains.If what you want to be selfish then they should join BN.It is ablessing in disguise as now PKR is purified of selfish members.To the people reject these traitors untill they repent and return to the cause to serve the people at large.

malaysian insider
30/03/09

HINDRAF-PRESS STATEMENT- CALL TO PM TO RELEASE ALL ISA DETAINEES AS HIS LAST GOOD DEED FOR ALL MALAYSIANS.

RE: Prime Minister’s one last good deed for the entire Malaysian society

There are currently over 65 ISA detainees with some being there for more than 6 years. Some are even advised to be released by the Advisory Board but not done so without any particular reason except for National Security.

All the ISA detainees were incarcerated without trial and just cause during the era of the current Prime Minister when he was the Home Minister (under Mahathir’s premiership) and later when he became the Prime Minister.

In his speech at the 59th UMNO general assembly he stated “In my years of public service, there have been times that I have erred. I too have not been able to fulfill my promises," He further stated, that “I seek your forgiveness. I have tried to carry out my responsibilities with sincerity and honesty,"

In acknowledging his shortcomings, the Prime Minister is magnanimous.

HINDRAF appreciates the Prime Minister’s statement and urges the unconditionally release all the detainees held under ISA as his one last good deed before his leaves the public office.

In doing so, the Prime Minister can be assured that the Malaysian society that he served would forgive him for his errors made at the expense of the society.

Thank you.

P.Waytha Moorthy
Hindraf –Chairman

Sabahan Ibans: Vote for the rights of your future generations, not corrupted and racist UMNO

Nomination Day crowds are not a sufficient indicator of voting strength or the prospects for victory. So comparisons between the crowds that turned up at the sports complex in Lubok Antu for nominations at the Batang Ai by-election should be hedged at best.

Until returning officer Nelson Munjah announced on the public address system the opening of the nomination process at 9am, flag-waving supporters of both the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat were about of equal strength as they gathered in an open field ringed by the red artificial track. They numbered about 500 in each contingent.

Within 10 minutes, however, a roar went up as about 3,000 flag carrying BN supporters trooped up the hill from the Sarawak Electricity Board side of the sport complex to join their 500-odd compatriots on the field.

Meanwhile, the PKR-dominated Pakatan crowd had approached the complex from the opposite side – Kampong Rambai, an Iban concentration in this electorate of 8,129 voters where 93 percent are Iban.

In the forefront of the late-arriving BN reinforcements was Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, sporting a beige beret and in light-colored attire that showed prescience about what would be comfortable in weather that was turning from refreshingly cool in the earlier part of the morning to sultry.

The PKR-led contingent appeared to have a large number of supporters, bigger than the ones ranged on the field, coming in from the Sungai Rambai side in cavalier fashion, as if they were there just to see for themselves the unfolding events rather than being part of an organised show of strength.

The Pakatan crowd had a higher mixture of races as Iban mingled with Chinese, Malays and a sprinkling of Indians, likely doctors and other professionals working in this region of Sarawak.

DAP flags were prominent among a sea of PKR tricolor - blue, white and red. The white and green of PAS provided diverting variety, somewhat reflective of the ethnic, not to mention ideological, diversity collected behind the Pakatan political banner.

The dominant motif of the BN crowd, besides the blue dacing symbol emblazoned on their flags, was their superior strength, not so much racial diversity.

Pakatan breaks through racial divide

Douglas Alau, a former Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) leader, has this to say of the supporters who had gathered today: “In recent elections, the crowds for the opposition on Nomination Day were small. Not like this.”

He recalled hard-fought elections in 1987 and 1991 where he said there were crowds of comparable size, with one important difference between the those two years.

“In 1987, there were more multiracial candidates for the opposition that was then assembled under the Maju group. In 1991, the crowd for the opposition was entirely Dayak,” said Alau, who lost on the PBDS ticket in both years.

“This year the crowd for the opposition is even better than in 1987 because it is more multiracial,” he commented.

In 1987, the opposition in Sarawak obtained the support of the Dayak voters and a good portion of the Malay vote, but not the Chinese who stuck by the Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp).

“This time Pakatan appears to have broken through the racial divide, judging from this crowd,” said Alau as he surveyed the scene.

Malaysiakini
29/03/09

Rasuah politik dalam Umno tidak mungkin berakhir - Nik Aziz

Biar pun Umno kini diterajui pemimpin lain, namun gejala rasuah dan salah laku dipercayai tidak akan berakhir, malah akan terus 'membarah'.

Ramai percaya Umno akan terus berada di tahap lama biar pun beberapa pendekatan baru cuba diambil Dato' Seri Najib Razak selepas menerajui parti itu.

"Walau pun pemimpin tertinggi parti itu telah bertukar tangan, namun kerana asas perjuangan tidak pernah berubah menyebabkan kepincangan akan terus berlaku dalam parti itu.

"Masalah kemiskinan rakyat, rasuah, salahguna kuasa dipercayai tidak akan berakhir.

"Pertukaran pasukan dalam Umno hanya orang tertentu sahaja tetapi kereta masih yang lama (sekular) menuju ke destinasi dunia semata-mata," kata Tuan Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Najib semalam secara rasminya mengambil alih teraju Umno daripada Abdullah apabila menang tanpa bertanding jawatan tersebut. Dan beberapa hari lagi bakal mengetuai kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Mursyidul Am PAS itu berkata, walaupun sebahagian besar muka-muka baru membarisi kepemimpinan Umno sekarang, namun asas perjuangan parti itu tetap sama.

"Ibarat kereta yang tidak ada break, maka kenderaan itu yang dinaiki pemandu dan penumpang baru tetap berada dalam bahaya," ujarnya ketika ditemui di sini.

Beliau yang juga Menteri Besar Kelantan berkata, tiada apa pembaharuan yang dapat dirasai rakyat biar pun orang lain mengetuai Umno kerana haluan masih sama.

Menurutnya selagi parti itu terus membelakangkan agama, mengenepikan soal taqwa, mengasingkan politik dan agama, Umno akan terus bercelaru.

Kata beliau ia jauh berbeza berbanding perjuangan PAS yang berteraskan Islam dan ketakwaan, di mana ahli-ahlinya mempunyai asas agama lebih kukuh.

"Kekuatan akidah pemimpin PAS dapat dilihat pada penggal lalu apabila diuji dengan tawaran sehingga RM5 juta supaya melompat parti mereka tetap tidak berganjak," ujarnya.

Sedangkan beliau berkata, dalam Umno tidak timbul soal pahala dan dosa sehingga menjadikan amalan rasuah menjadi perkara biasa.

Menurutnya Lembaga Disiplin Umno sebelum ini sudah memutuskan ada pemimpin Pemuda Umno yang didapati bersalah dengan rasuah, namun masih dibiarkan bertanding sehingga menang.

Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz juga melahirkan rasa hairan memandangkan Umno hanya mengagungkan pemimpin mereka pada waktu-waktu tertentu sahaja.

"Contohnya Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ketika dilantik menjadi perdana menteri lima tahun lalu beliau diagung begitu rupa sehingga menggambarkan bekas presiden Umno itu anak seorang ulama.

"Namun selepas Umno kecundang teruk pada pilihan raya umum lalu, beliau pula didesak supaya melepaskan jawatan," katanya.

Harakah
29/03/09

Rifts in PKR over Bkt Selambau choice

SUNGAI PETANI: He may be de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s choice, but not all PKR supporters have fallen in line with the decision to field enterpreneur S. Manikumar as the Bukit Selambau candidate.

The Malaysian Insider understands that a group of local party members will pull out of PKR as a result of dissatisfaction with the choice of the 35-year-old political novice.

Also, PKR has a headache since no less than three of the independent candidates running in Bukit Selambau have past or current affiliations to the party.

This comes even after Anwar had to come to Bukit Selambau to soothe tensions among disgruntled members here.

After a spate of scandals involving PKR elected representatives recently, including V. Arumugam himself who was accused of bigamy, Anwar was forced to place a clean record ahead of other considerations in the selection process.

But with the Bukit Selambau seat offering the carrot of an executive council place for an Indian candidate, everyone including the DAP and Hindraf have been lobbying for it since Arumugam first vacated the seat in early February.

Within PKR, various candidates had also believed each of them was the best choice.

One of them is A. Jayagopal, the 57-year-old independent candidate who is likely to have his membership revoked.

He was one of 15 who went through the interview process with Kedah PKR chief Ahmad Kassim and was found wanting.

“Even before this, they would bring outsiders like N. Gobalakrishnan. Do we need them to teach locals about politics?” the Alor Setar native told The Malaysian Insider today.

After Manikumar’s candidacy was announced, there were murmurs of discontent over the selection of an ordinary member without any political distinction or service.

At today’s nomination, Manikumar seemed jittery and more than willing to let his vice president Azmin Ali do the talking.

Members from Padang Serai and Merbok divisions have gone on record to state their dissatisfaction and even Hindraf has warned that relations with PKR could suffer from this.

Hindraf were backing the choice of either its national coordinator S. Thanenthiran, lawyer R. Surendran or Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Vasantha Kumar.

Its national events coordinator R. Kannan had warned that Indians were unhappy with the choice of Manikumar.

The danger now for PKR is that a number of its local supporters would instead vote for Jayagopal or two other independents running with a PKR past, former Baling chief Radzi Md Lazim and S. Moganakumar who was Arumugam’s special assistant.

Malaysian Insider
29/03/09

Umno has keris, DAP the rocket, why not the 'clenched fist'?


KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA’S socialist party, which recently won a decade-long battle for recognition, faces a new hurdle after authorities rejected its ‘clenched fist’ symbol as too violent. The Socialist Party of Malaysia has used the symbol - an iconic image for the political left around the world - since 1998 when it first applied for registration.

‘The Election Commission has rejected our fist symbol. In a letter in February they said the symbol is morally not suitable and demonstrates violence,’ the party’s secretary-general S. Arutchelvan told AFP. ‘Now we can’t stand for an election since the logo is not approved. We are angry. The ban comes as a surprise to us,’ he said.

Mr Arutchelvan rejected any negative connotations linked to the symbol and said it was being unfairly singled out compared to the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno). ‘For us, it is a logo to reflect our struggle to uplift the welfare of the people and promote people’s powers,’ he said.

‘Umno is allowed to use the dagger logo while the opposition Democratic Action Party uses the rocket symbol. So why can’t we use the fist?’ The small opposition party, which has one lawmaker in the national parliament, finally won approval to be registered last August.

Mr Arutchelvan said the latest setback in its quest for full recognition raised fears that Malaysia faces an era of repression as new leader Najib Razak prepares to take power. ‘Now it looks like the government is tightening the screws. We fear it is the beginning of the rule of suppression in Malaysia,’ he said.

Najib is expected to be sworn in as premier in coming days, after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to agree to step down in the fallout from disastrous elections a year ago. Recent moves including the banning of two opposition newspapers, and the use of tear gas to break up a rally by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, have raised concerns Najib may adopt a hardline approach.

AFP
29/03/09

THE WORLD WILL END IN 2012?

Scientific experts from around the world are genuinely predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well finish. Some are saying it’ll be humans that set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it’ll be God himself who presses the stop button…

Mayan Calendar

The first mob to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things:

Building highly accurate astrological equipment out of stone and Sacrificing Virgins.

Thousands of years ago they managed to calculate the length of the lunar moon as 329.53020 days, only 34 seconds out. The Mayan calendar predicts that the Earth will end on December 21, 2012. Given that they were pretty close to the mark with the lunar cycle, it’s likely they’ve got the end of the world right as well.

Sun Storms

Solar experts from around the world monitoring the sun have made a startling discovery: our sun is in a bit of strife. The energy output of the sun is, like most things in nature, cyclic, and it’s supposed to be in the middle of a period of relative stability.

However, recent solar storms have been bombarding the Earth with so much radiation energy; it’s been knocking out power grids and destroying satellites. This activity is predicted to get worse, and calculations suggest it’ll reach its deadly peak sometime in 2012.

The Atom Smasher
Scientists in Europe have been building the world’s largest particle accelerator. Basically it’s a 27km tunnel designed to smash atoms together to find out what makes the Universe tick. However, the mega-gadget has caused serious concern, with some scientists suggesting that it’s properly even a bad idea to turn it on in the first place. They’re predicting all manner of deadly results, including mini black holes. So when this machine is fired up for its first serious experiment in 2012, the world could be crushed into a super-dense blob the size of a basketball.

Super Volcano

Yellowstone National Park in the United States is famous for its thermal springs and Old Faithful geyser.

The reason for this is simple - it’s sitting on top of the world’s biggest volcano, and geological experts are beginning to get nervous sweats. The Yellowstone volcano has a pattern of erupting every 650,000 years or so, and we’re many years overdue for an explosion that will fill the atmosphere with ash, blocking the sun and plunging the Earth into a frozen winter that could last up to 15,000 years. The pressure under the Yellowstone is building steadily, and geologists have set 2012 as a likely date for the big bang.

The Physicists
This one’s case of bog-simple mathematics. Physicists at Berkeley University have been crunching the numbers. And they’ve determined that the Earth is well overdue for a major catastrophic event. Even worse, they’re claiming their calculations prove, that we’re all going to die, very soon - while also saying their prediction comes with a certainty of 99 percent- and 2012 just happens to be the best guess as to when it occurs.

Slip-Slop-Slap- BANG!
We all know the Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field that shields us from most of the sun’s radiation. What you might not know is that the magnetic poles we call north and south have a nasty habit of swapping places every 750,000 years or so - and right now we’re about 30,000 years overdue. Scientists have noted that the poles are drifting apart roughly 20-30kms each year, much faster than ever before, which points to a pole-shift being right around the corner. While the pole shift is underway, the magnetic field is disrupted and will eventually disappear, sometimes for up to 100 years. The result is enough UV outdoors to crisp your skin in seconds, killing everything it touches.

If having scientists warning us about the end of the world isn’t bad enough, religious folks are getting in on the act as well. Interpretations of the Christian Bible reveal that the date for Armageddon, the final battle between Good and Evil, has been set down for 2012. The I Ching, also known as the Chinese book of Changes, says the same thing, as do various sections of the Hindu teachings…

IF THIS IS THE TRUTH…WHO CARES ABOUT ALLAH OR MONARCHY!

VIDEOS AVAILABLE: PT. 1, PT. 2, PT. 3, PT. 4, PT. 5, PT. 6

Mighty pen

29/03/09

UMNO adopt racist positions and practise discrimination & BN goons accepting it.

KUALA LUMPUR: With mere hours left as its president, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reminded Umno that it must never adopt racist positions.

He said that the loyalty of every Malaysian should be appreciated, and thus their rights protected, irrespective of race.

This comes at a time when pulling the race card is still a highly effective tactic employed by politicians.

Various statements — including those by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad — promoting right-wing Malay nationalism have surfaced in the past week.

These resulted in diplomatic but stern responses including those from the MCA, Umno's main partner in Barisan Nasional.

"Umno must never practise discrimination to the extent that non-Malays view it as a racist party. The rights of every citizen must always be protected, guaranteed and respected, as provided by the Constitution and as encapsulated in the Rukun Negara," Abdullah said.

"The loyalty of every Malaysian citizen irrespective of race must always be appreciated in the spirit of power sharing and friendship. We must be conscious to the fact that we have already reached agreement that we would together bear the responsibilities of building our nation; that we would sink or swim together.

"Let us concentrate on the commonalities that unite us, rather than the differences that can divide us," he told over 2,500 delegates at the Umno general assembly.

It remains to be seen how the delegates will respond to this call after yesterday's Youth wing assembly saw several calls to protect Malay supremacy and punish those who question the social contract.

He could have and should have started the ball rolling instead of falling asleep at this duties.

There is no way in hell that UMNO can change. Too many warlords to please. Also, this is somethng that Mahathir has created. It was created so that they can stay in power and so that their warlords can bleed this country dry.

As Lee Kuan Yew has mentioned.. they were too preoccupied with the race and the tresury that they were willing to forego the future of the country toline their pockets and keep their warloads fed. We could have been the richest country in Asia if only ....

If only.... How I wish....

Too late for that. The damage has been done. For over 50 years, the seeds of racism has been planted and grown into what it is now. It's not possible to take an axe to chop down the fully-grown tree which has been of very sentimental value to many people.

We have - for 50 years up to the last General Election - been waiting for a country in which everyone is treated equal regardless of race, where everyone respects each other regardless of skin colour, where everyone gets the opportunity to prove their worth without going through the back door. It has not happen, and it may never happen with the new breed of so-called leaders.

How can you ramble on like this yet omit such a central Islamic value in your own promotion of "Islam Hadhari"?

Mahathir is the most vicious snake ever existed in the history of Malaysia.
He is vicious to everyone, to non-Malays as badly as to the Malays.

Mahathir advocated that Malays needed help and protection.
He later contradicted himself by saying Malays shouldn't be relying on tongkat
Mahathir installed fake pride into Malays' mindset.
He then shattered their pride telling people that the Malays never paid tax, never repay loans
Mahathir started the delegate-elect-leader voting system
He then later accused the system of money politic.

Mahathir fools Malays to benefit his own devilish self.

Who has more reason to hate Mahathir? not chinese, not indian, but the Malays who had been grilled and buttered, grilled and buttered over and over by Mahathir.

For 5 years as president of the largest racist political party in the country, Badawaisudenly wake up talking sense, why? Last 5 years, what did he do to correct the wrongs? Did he mention any plan to correct UMNO leaders'arrogance?

His advice on corruption, race & change in UMNO has been mere rhetoric for the last five years. It has been one long period of frustration of 'all talk and no action'. He has been deaf and blind to the atrocities committed by his government members and totally indifferent to the pleas of the opposition and NGOS for action.

He was a lame duck PM. Had no guts to stand up to the excesses of his party members and his ministers. He may be a good man, but as a PM he is a total failure and a big let down to all Malaysians.
29/03/09

Will Umno heed Pak Lah's advice?

The time for soul-searching in Umno is overdue, and it must be said that outgoing president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met the challenge in his final speech as its leader yesterday by spelling out the worst threats the 63-year-old party faces.

To the question, what went wrong for the party in the 12th general election last year, Abdullah’s response is “We have failed to manage our own success.” Umno, he tells its members, has become intoxicated by its own achievements. “We believed that we had become all powerful. We have put our own positions within the party first, instead of being concerned over Umno’s position in the eyes of our citizens and the nation,” Abdullah says with a candidness that surfaces in times of crisis.

Abdullah, who will hand over the premiership to Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, is clearly mindful that Umno must give an exemplary account of itself in order to retain the support of all Malaysians. He reminds his party that if Umno continues in its current path, it will erode the spirit of cooperation and destroy the unity that has been built among its partners.

“We must sincerely endeavour with open hearts to rediscover the cooperation and mutual understanding that have formed the basis of our national unity, so that we may ensure a future that is peaceful, stable and prosperous for the coming generation,” says Abdullah. These are poignant ideas that all citizens surely cherish.

It is encouraging that Abdullah does not entertain any illusions about the treacherous nature of the journey that lies ahead. “If we revert to the old path I believe we are choosing the wrong path; one that will take us to regression and decay,” he admonishes. “It is a path that I fear will hasten our demise. If we do not take courageous steps to reform in the face of this dynamic transformation of society and the radical global changes taking place, then we shall live to witness the end of our beloved Umno.”

It is also abundantly clear that the process of reforming Umno must begin from its most basic levels. This will involve democratising the party’s representative processes by, among other things, enabling all its members to choose their key leaders. It will also require the party to confront the Hydra-headed problem of corruption, which is universally acknowledged by the euphemistic term “money politics”.

The time has come, however, to act decisively and fearlessly on this front. Abdullah also warned about returning to its high-handed ways. “Sadly, there are still those who feel that we do not need to pursue reforms. They believe that Umno will regain its glory if we revert to the old ways – the old order, by restricting the freedoms of our citizens and by silencing their criticism,” he said in obvious reference to fears that the new Umno leadership will return to the “Mahathirism” style of government.

Perhaps it is just as important for Umno to acknowledge, as Abdullah has done, that it is ultimately damaging to the party itself to perpetuate the divide between the Malays and non-Malays. “Umno must never practice discrimination to the extent that non-Malays view it as a racist party,” says Abdullah. “The rights of every citizen must always be protected, guaranteed and respected, as provided by the Constitution and as encapsulated in the Rukun Negara. The loyalty of every Malaysian citizen irrespective of race must always be appreciated in the spirit of power sharing and friendship. We must be conscious to the fact that a long time ago, we had already reached an agreement that we would together bear the responsibilities of building our nation; that we would sink or swim together.”

Abdullah’s frank parting words sum up all the things he believed in and wanted to do, but failed. The only question that remains is, will Umno listen to its outgoing president?

The Edge
29/03/09

Umno is tainted by greed

Outgoing M'sian PM surprises many with tough speech

THE Umno delegates seated in the cool, air-conditioned auditorium at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur suddenly felt the temperature go up.

The heat was emanating from the least likely of people - their gentle and quiet departing prime minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mr Abdullah did not mince words in his hard-hitting indictment of the ruling party yesterday morning, saying it was contaminated by greed, complacency and internal rivalries.

According to liberal news portal Malaysiakini, some considered it his best speech in his long public career

Mr Abdullah is due to hand over the prime minister's post to his deputy, Mr Najib Razak, soon after the 59th Umno general assembly ends this week.

Complacency and greed
In his last speech to delegates as Umno president, Mr Abdullah said: 'We were intoxicated by our own achievements and we became complacent. We believed that we had become all-powerful. We have put our own positions within the party first.'

Mr Abdullah said the 8 Mar polls, which handed the opposition control of a third of parliamentary seats in an unprecedented result, was a sign that 'Umno's glory has dimmed'.

'Materialism has seeped into the party, making a number of party members greedy and avaricious,' said Mr Abdullah.

'The path that we choose will determine whether we continue to remain relevant or whether we are reduced to a forgotten footnote in the pages of history.'

Mr Abdullah said they must answer the questions 'what went wrong?' and 'why and how did we go wrong?'

Last chance
Asking Umno to come to its senses, Mr Abdullah said many believe if Umno and Barisan Nasional do not change, then the 8 Mar election will be the last time BN forms the government.

'After this (if we do not change), the people outside this hall will not vote for us again. Many have voiced the view that 'Umno needs to change'.

'But what I hope to hear is for you to say 'I will change' and that we have the courage to follow up those words with actions.

'It would be a grave travesty if we do not understand that we are Umno and as long as we do not change, Umno will not change,' he said.

For Umno to remain relevant, it must be willing to make sacrifices, adhere to moderation and 'be governed by our humanity', Mr Abdullah added.

He said the party must 'rid ourselves of our arrogance and conceit that we are the only ones who are right, that we are the only ones who know all' and distance itself from corruption.

Whipping boy
Mr Abdullah said Umno has reached such a state that it is blamed for everything.

He said: 'Today, everything that Umno does is seen as wrong, everything that Umno says is believed to be untrue.

'Indeed Umno, as well as BN, has become everyone's favourite whipping boy, labelled as the cause of every defect and discordance, and blamed as the perpetrator of immoral behaviour and misconduct even when such actions are committed by those who are members of political parties opposed to Umno,' he said.

Opposition hammered too
Mr Abdullah said the opposition too has to get its house in order.

He said: 'Umno members should not be treated as garbage bins, merely to collect blame and slander.

'It is not reasonable to believe that members and supporters of the opposition parties are free from sins or flaws. Certainly they cannot all be saints,' he added.

He said recently, the Malays have begun to feel threatened by demands which are seen to be extreme and unreasonable by non-Malays upholding the 'Malaysian Malaysia' slogan that is vocally championed by the opposition alliance.

'There are those among the leaders of the opposition alliance who have ridiculed the sovereignty of the Malay rulers in an ill-mannered and uncouth fashion, openly insulted the Malays and heaped vulgar and crude abuse on Malay organisations,' he said.

Major changes
Mr Abdullah listed some of the changes that needed to be made:

Better discipline
He said regulations and procedures may be needed so that the party can be administered in a more disciplined and controlled manner.

Limiting terms
Mr Abdullah suggested limiting the number of terms for those holding office and giving every member a right to vote, which will also help eradicate money politics.

Race
Mr Abdullah also said Umno should not turn its back on its responsibility towards safeguarding the position of Malays and bumiputeras. At the same time, it must steer clear of a racist mindset.
'Umno must never adopt racial and religious positions that are extremist. Umno must never practice discrimination to the extent that non-Malays view it as a racist party,' he said.

Electric Paper
Singapore
29/03/09
Do feel free to provide suggestions, ideas, comments, complaints or articles. Thank you

EMAIL:
malaysianindian1@gmail.com

To post comments, you need not log in to the Google account, just click Anonymous.


Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government

Google