NEM = NEP for UMNO’s Malay supremacy and designed to exclude especially the Indian poor

After much hype the UMNO led government announced it’s New Economic Model (NEM) promising among others:-

1)Our first priority must be eradicate poverty, irrespective of race. We cannot have the high-income, sustainable and the inclusive economy we seek, when disparities in income are not addressed.

2)It will put in place mechanisms to strengthen the capability of the 40% of households in rural and urban areas that earns less than RM1,500 a month.

3)The aim is to help the lowest income group take advantage of the opportunities to secure better jobs, raise productivity, and dabble in entrepreneurial ventures and other economic activities that will boost their income.

4)Stressing no one would be left behind, the council said a coherent and comprehensive need-based social safety net would support vulnerable groups, particularly those with disabilities.

5)For too long, the implementation of our affirmative action policies has not reached those who needed them most.

6)“We can no longer tolerate practices that support the behaviour of rent-seeking and patronage, which have long tarnished the altruistic aims of the NEP,” he said.

7)“Fishermen, petty traders and small farmers also fall under this category and not forgetting the orang asli and low-income urban dwellers seeking out a livelihood in tough economic circumstances,” he said.

Najib said the ultimate goal was no Malaysian to live in poverty.

9)All will get the chance to succeed and share in prosperity. For those who struggle with low incomes and live in harsh conditions, we will always provide special support to help lift them out of the poverty trap,” he said. (The Star 31/3/2010 headlines and at page N4).

When implementing the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970 the then UMNO Prime Minister Tun Razak, the current Prime Minister’s father had assured all Malaysians including the Malaysian Indians that the main objective of the NEP is the eradication of poverty irrespective of race. But in the 40 years of it’s implementation, especially the Indian poor were by UMNOs’ design, excluded from especially the upward mobility opportunities in the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

Today after 53 years of independence, the suicide rate arising out of or related to poverty is 600% higher than in the Malay community 500% higher single parent rate, also arising out of poverty or poverty related, than in the Chinese community, 90% of Tamil school students entering year one cannot read or write because they never went to kindergartens as their parents could not afford the same, 60% of the inmates are Indians when they form only 8% of the population, which is related to denial of upward mobility opportunities in education, jobs and the business and economic sectors. UMNO has by design made 70% of the Indians to be in the poor and hardcore poor category. For further details please refer Human Rights Violations Against the Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indians – HRP Briefing for foreign and diplomatic missions in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 26/3/2010.

But the shrewd excuse UMNO has been giving us is that the policy was good but it was it’s implementation vis a vis the Indians that was bad. But the coincidence is that the implementation for the Malays somehow reaches target. There seems to be no problems, no error in the implementation when it comes to Malays.

And today the present Prime Minister, after 40 long years of the NEP, is telling us the same thing, ie, NEP is replaced by NEM without a specific mention on specific affirmative action for the Indians to undo UMNO’s injustices to the Indians in the last 40 years of the NEP, and specific implementation mechanisms to bring the Indians into the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

In over the last 40 years of the NEP (and we believe to will be continued under the NEM), 1,016,799 (UM 21/6/09 at page 19) civil servants have been specifically trained under the Biro Tatanegara courses to implement UMNO’s racist, religious extremist and supremacist policies, and specifically to keep the Indians out of the national mainstream development of Malaysia.

The Equal Opportunities Commission proposed by the UMNO Prime Minister is a non starter unless these 1,016,799 racist Biro Tatanegara graduates are retrained to implement policies so as not to exclude the Indians from the national mainstream development of Malaysia. It would help and would in fact go a long way if the UMNO Prime Minister goes one step forward by instructing the Chief Secretary of the Government to issue a circular to all the government departments to stop all forms of discrimination in particular against the Malaysian Indians as the Prime Minister and the Government of Malaysia has decided that the Indians cannot and should not be excluded from the National mainstream development of Malaysia vis a vis the non implementing for the Indians the eradicating of poverty irrespective of race.

But UMNO won’t to this because they were ab initio (from the very beginning) never sincere in the inclusiveness as per the sub headlines in the Star herein below.

While UMNO implements these injustices by commission the Opposition parties namely PKR, DAP and PAS watch silently this “blood letting” and by omission perpetuate these injustices especially to these poor Indians.

To conclude in short the UMNO led Malay-sian Prime Minister’s NEM is actually the NEP in a new name ie, old wine in new bottles.

P.Uthayakumar
HRP
01/04/10

Hindraf to debate Article 153 – in British Parliament

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The debate over Article 153 of the Federal Constitution pertaining to the king’s powers being usurped by Umno and the federal government may shift overseas from Malaysia to the British Parliament, if efforts by Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy come to fruition.

hindraf in london  110310 waythamoorthyAccording to Waythamoorthy (right), a gathering of Queen’s Counsels (QC) will also debate, in the British parlliament, the shelf life of Article 153 in the light of declassified documents on the talks held between Tunku Abdul Rahman and officials of the British government pertaining to Merdeka.

While other details of the conference have not been finalised – it has yet to be determined whether the event will be in the House of Commons or the House of Lords – discussions are ongoing with QCs from Doughty Street Chamber, said Waythamoorthy.

The agenda for the conference, he added, will include debates on

  • whether the issue of special Malay privileges is a “myth” created by Umno in violation of Article 153 to facilitate carte blanc extension of the party’s highly-politicised version of the Article to every facet of life in Malaysia
  • the systematic violation of the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities which are protected by Article 153
  • the powers of the King in relation to Article 153
  • why Article 153 was not scrapped, as agreed, 15 years after Merdeka in 1957

“We will invite Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali and his mentor Dr Mahathir Mohamad to participate in the conference,” Waythamoorthy when contacted by Malaysiakini.

“We would definitely want the Attorney-General of Malaysia (Abdul Gani Patail) to be there as well to state the Malaysian government’s position before the international community,” he added.

Given Waythamoorthy’s call for Article 153 as a whole to be scrapped, however, de facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz had earlier said this reason alone compromises the former’s right to return to Malaysia.

Waythamoorthy, in self-imposed exile in London, has been granted political asylum by the British government and provided with a British UN travel document as a human rights lawyer-advocate.

hindraf london demo 060208 waythamoorthyWaythamoorthy said he does not rule out the participation in the conference of groups such as the Common Interest Group Malaysia (Cigma) headed by Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan as well as some Orang Asli associations.

Asked what he hoped to accomplish with holding a conference so far away from Malaysian shores, Waythamoorthy said such a discussion would never be allowed back home.

There is also the complication of his passport being revoked, he added, preventing him from traveling to Malaysia.

“What we are going to prove through the conference is that Umno has been misleading everybody on Article 153 and taking them for a ride,” said Waythamoorthy.

“We will easily establish this during the conference. We are backed by the Federal Constitution, including Article 153 and the declassified papers on the Merdeka talks,” he added.

‘Show me the money’


In place of the current Article 153 should be a new provision addressing the ‘underclass’ of all Malaysians, said Waythamoorthy.

Until that is done, he asserted, the current situation “denies us our rightful place in the sun.”

It also means non-native Muslims can seek its ‘privileges’ through the “backdoor” and claim to be Malays and natives”.

bagan  pinang 081009 indian voters“There is no basis in law for a non-native to claim that he’s now a native by the backdoor method of professing Islam and claiming to be a constitutional Malay,” stressed Waythamoorthy.

On the other hand, there remain ‘genuine’ Malays throughout the country and natives in Sabah and Sarawak who are claiming to have been overlooked and ignored by the government and the New Economic Policy (NEP), he said further.

“It’s time that the Malays and Sabahan and Sarawakian natives stand up and ask their leaders what has happened to the NEP money. Why isn’t it in their pockets?” he asked.

MK
31/03/10

Najib vs Muhyiddin - 'proxies' clash in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: A recent heated exchange between two top Sabah leaders is being viewed as a proxy fight between Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.

In the table-thumping incident, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman and Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal had reportedly locked horns right under Muhyiddin's nose.

Shafie, the MP from Sabah's east coast district of Semporna, is Sabah's first Umno vice-president and is seen as a blue-eyed boy of the prime minister.

Lately, local Umno circles have been spreading the word that Musa, who has been able to keep his influence as the state Umno liason chief, could be moved to the national capital in the next general election.

When Muhyiddin made an official three-day visit two weeks ago on the heels of Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam's trip to Sabah, he had officiated a meeting of Umno leaders.

Verbal tiff linked to allocations

According to Umno leaders present at the closed-door meeting, a discussion on federal government allocations for rural development sparked off the heated argument between Musa and Shafie.

Those present claimed that Musa had insisted that all federal allocations channelled through Shafie's ministry this year, should go through the state government.

They said Shafie however stood firm that federal allocations should be managed by his ministry as the state government had its own allocations for rural development.

The standoff, they said, led to Musa and Shafie banging the table to emphasise their points with Muhyiddin paying more attention to Musa's argument.

This set Umno tongues wagging that the deputy prime minister was supporting Musa against Shafie, who is said to be in line for the chief minister's post.

The feud between Musa and Shafie over Sabah Umno divisions is a well known story in local political circles.

During the last Umno division elections two years ago, Musa's supporters openly backed candidates who contested against leaders linked to Shafie.

The latest incident between the chief minister and the Umno vice-president has taken a different turn and is now being interpreted as a proxy fight between the premier and his deputy in preparation for next year's Umno elections.

The Musa-Shafie feud is seen by some observers as a tussle for the control of money flowing from Kuala Lumpur to strengthen their hold in Umno divisions in Sabah through the allocation of projects.

Musa is seen as the richest Umno leader in Sabah with his hold on the state coffers, timber concessions and state projects, while Shafie has been trying to gain ground with the latest allocations for rural development in Sabah.

Sabah, with the second largest number of delegates in the country to the Umno assembly, could well provide a turning point for the national leadership.

Axis being formed?

For quite some time now Musa, who has been chief minister for over five years, has been strengthening his grip on the party.

Some Umno members have been complaining that they are not receiving a fair share of state allocations through Musa as they are identified as supporters of his rival.

They described Musa as a shrewd businessman-politician and Shafie cannot not match him when it comes to using projects and money to keep power.

So when news of the table-thumping incident leaked, rumours begin to circulate that Musa was on his way out.

The talk in Sabah political circles is that Muhyiddin, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Higher Education Minister Khalid Nordin are forming an axis to test the political waters against the camp of Najib and his cousin Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Since Umno's entry into Sabah in 1990, the party's delegates have played a role as to how proxy fights at the national level could turn.

When former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad backed the late Ghafar Baba for the Umno deputy presidency, 14 Umno divisions led by Shafie's uncle Sakaran Dandai turned the tables on him.

They sent a memorandum supporting Anwar Ibrahim forcing Mahathir to drop his support for Ghafar.
31/03/10

Muhyiddin Yassin score: Malay 1, Malaysian 2

KUALA LUMPUR: Although the scoreline indicates that “Malaysian” won the match, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, however, said as far as he is concerned it is Malay first.

The Umno deputy president said if he called himself Malaysian first, he would be shunned by his own race.

However, Muhyiddin also stressed that he is very much Malaysian.

"I am Malay first but this doesn't mean I am not Malaysian," he told reporters in Parliament.

Muhyiddin was responding to a challenge by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, who asked the deputy premier to state which came first for him – being Malaysian or Malay.

Lim does not understand 1Malaysia

According to Muhyiddin, Lim has failed to grasp the true meaning of the government's “1Malaysia” concept.

"How can I say I'm Malaysian first and Malay second?” he asked. “All the Malays would shun me... and it's not proper.”

Earlier today, Lim said Muhyiddin should resign if he is not prepared to declare that in accordance with 1Malaysia goal, he is Malaysian first and Malay second.

The opposition stalwart was reacting to Muhyiddin's earlier comments, where he accused Lim of attempting to create fissures between Najib and him.

Muhyiddin had taken the Ipoh Timur MP to task for questioning his commitment to the 1Malaysia concept.

He explained that the concept is aimed at fortifying racial unity, and is not a form of assimilation where a person's indentity is erased and does not reject the special rights of the Malays as claimed by Lim.

'Malaysian first, Chinese second'

However, Lim, who declared himself Malaysian first and Chinese second, said it is clear that Muhyiddin believes in the maxim that the best defence is offence.

“He completely evaded the three questions which I described as the three acid tests as to whether he really supports Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and has the 1Malaysia DNA,” he added.

The three acid tests for Muhyiddin were:

Whether he agrees to the establishment of an opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia;
Is he prepared to declare that the basis of 1Malaysia is 'ketuanan rakyat' and not 'ketuanan Melayu'; and
Is he prepared to endorse the objective of 1Malaysia as defined by the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion or region second.
Lim said he also framed a fourth question as a result of the “evasion and prevarication” by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin during the exchange in Parliament.

The fourth challege to Muhyddin was: Whether he is prepared to declare that the basis of the Malaysian Constitution is ketuanan rakyat and not ketuanan Melayu?

'Desperate politician'

Lim lambasted Muhyiddin for going on the offensive to launch a baseless and scurrilous attack against him, “alleging that I had questioned Malay special rights and rejected the differences in identity of the different races and the spirit of the constitution”.

“Muhyiddin must be a very desperate politician that he had to make such a baseless charge, as I had refuted the allegation that I opposed Article 153 of the Constitution.

“Isn’t Muhyiddin’s refusal to make such a declaration the best proof that he does not fully support Najib’s 1Malaysia concept?” he asked.

However, Muhyiddin claimed that the "chauvinistic" DAP was rattled by 1Malaysia's success.

Arguing that there is nothing wrong in leaders fighting for the needs of their race, the deputy premier asked if Lim would state that he is not going to stand up for Chinese rights.

"It does not mean that when we help the Malays, we won't help the Chinese," he said.

Muhyiddin also took a swipe at DAP's 'Middle Malaysia', challenging Lim to prove that PAS and PKR supported compared to the 1 Malaysia concept which is backed by all BN component parties.

During his first Cabinet meeting after taking over the leadership reins last April, Najib had reportedly urged his ministers to think of all citizens as members of one team rather than people of different races.

He also made a plea for all Malaysians to discard their ethnic mentality and think and act as one people.

FMT
31/03/10

Has Umno Sabah now become a liability and did former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad eventually regret taking the party to Sabah?

According to PKR chief of Sabah and Sarawak, Dr Jeffrey Kittingan, Mahathir had his regrets.

"After I was released from detention (under the Internal Security Act), I was brought to his ( Mahathir's) office.

“During our conversation, he told me he actually regretted bringing Umno to Sabah, because its leaders only cared about themselves and not the party," said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey said he had asked Mahathir why was it so difficult to disband the party in Sabah, and Mahathir told him he could not do so because of "maruah (pride)".

"Since Mahathir cannot take Umno back to the Peninsula, the people of Sabah should send Umno back to the Peninsula," said Jeffrey when officiating at the opening of PKR Kota Kinabalu division AGM at its office here. Also present were PKR Sabah chairman Ahmad Thamrin and deputy president-cum-Kota Kinabalu division chief Christina Liew.

The opposition leader, whose brother Joseph Pairin Kittingan is Sabah deputy chief minister, called on Sabahans to give Pakatan Rakyat the next five-year mandate to help change the fate of Sabah.

"After so many years and until today, even after PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah) rejoined the Barisan Nasional, nothing has changed," he said.

He recalled that Pairin had told him once that the purpose of joining the BN was so "it would be easier for us to solve all problems like the illegal immigrants, poverty and so on".

"He told me this then. But after so many years, have they solved the illegal immigrant problem … the poverty problem?

“Poverty has become even bigger. Sabah is now the second poorest state in the country with the largest poorest population.

"Recently there was a news report quoting a state deputy chief minister as saying the poverty rate in Sabah has dropped by 7%. Do you believe this?

“If all the prices of goods have increased but the salary remains the same, is this possible? There are actually more poor people in Sabah now than the last two years."

He said despite a whole series of operations against illegal immigrants, nothing has actually changed and the problem remained unsolved.

Even the increase in allocations from the federal government to Sabah from RM2.7 billion to RM20 billion has made little difference, he said.

"What do we see from this (RM20 billion)? Maybe we see a little bit (development) here and there but the question is, where did the money go… I believe you all know where," he said.

He said if the opposition parties did not keep a careful watch "I believe all the development allocation would go into the pockets of the Barisan Nasional leaders”.

"So we need to take away the Barisan Nasional fixed deposit because we do not actually gain any 'interest' from it... transfer the fixed deposit to Pakatan Rakyat and you will get your rightful 'interest'," he said

31/03/10

Dr M, Father of the Regressing Malay

Mahathir forgets easily

Today, Dr M joins Perkasa in insisting and almost begging that the Malays remain a begging and handicapped community! Who indeed has insulted the Malays?

Recently, Bolehland’s Statesman Dr Mahathir (Dr M) launched Perkasa, a right-wing Malay group, (some consider it as an ultra-fanatical wing of Umno) at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

The former premier was the replacement for the much wiser Sultan of Selangor who turned down Perkasa's invitation. The Malay CEOs of government-linked companies (GLCs) also declined.

Dr M and his wife were greeted with a silat performance, strains of traditional music and a huge replica of a keris which stood out on the side of the stage. In the midst of speeches were shouts of "Hidup Perkasa".

Dr M said that the Malays’ faith in Umno has weakened since it’s disastrous performance in the 2008 general elections. The BN government was weak and all this was due to the then weak leader! He inferred that the Malays needed a strong voice like Perkasa.

They placed a sash on their “strong” Malay leader with the title 'Bintang Primbumi Perkasa’. Dr M then handed a kris to Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali who unsheathed, kissed and waved it high to cries of "Hidup Melayu".

Lim Kit Siang slammed Ibrahim Ali for blaming the DAP and its Malaysian Malaysia slogan as the main cause of the May 13 race riots, and for his keris-waving antics which to the DAP stalwart were meant to signify that Perkasa was ready to shed blood to defend Malay rights.

But the “greatest tragedy” according to Kit Siang was Dr M giving his patronage to Perkasa, an organisation “built on stilts of lies”. He lamented that Dr M “has come full circle – from an ultra back again to an ultra”.

Ibrahim Ali, an Umno reject (in the last general elections) was only making use of the supposedly retired Umno president who was slick and sly enough to outshine the hopper and used Perkasa too. They both needed their stage to stay relevant and adored – even if the script involved making use of the poor Malays!

Dr M and Ibrahim Ali would remain silent over the poor Malays having been for so long and so scandalously shortchanged by the Umnoputras and the blame for their struggles being put on the non-Malays. They were mum on those elite Malay leaders who have bled the country dry and gambled away her well-being with a racial-religious card.

As mentor to and godfather of Perkasa, Dr M, the great Statesman, would join in the rhetoric and heroics of the mentally challenged Ibrahim Ali. The latter would holler for the continued handicap and handouts given to the Malays He would clamour for their continued “crutches” and contracts.

Yet, a long time ago Dr M had very bravely declared: “The Malays should stop sending memorandum after memorandum to the government asking for aid and other things for themselves. Such an approach is no longer suitable because the time has come for them to stand on their own feet.”

He had boldly asked: “How much longer must the Malays depend on the government and the privileges accorded to them? How much longer must they remain mediocre?”

The then prime minister was delivering a speech at the ‘Reaffirming the Idealism of Undergraduates in the New Millennium’ symposium at Dewan Perdanasiswa, Universiti Malaya, in 2001 (the 30th anniversary of the NEP).

Speaking to the predominantly Malay crowd, Dr M continued: ‘How do you view the beggars on the street and then ask yourself what is the difference between their circumstances and yours? The government has done so much to elevate the position of the Malays, be it in business or education so that their achievement would be on par with the races, yet these efforts are never enough.”

“If the Malays could compete on the same level with other races there would no longer be a need for them to restrict themselves to the quota for everything. Must we lower the eligibility standard to the point where even useless students can go to the university just so that we can fill up the 55% bumiputra quota in the local public universities?”

“If so, we must remember that some of the students who go to the university in this manner will some day become doctors and engineers. How can we entrust our life to such doctors or what will be the quality of our infrastructures if they are built by such engineers? It would be much easier to tackle the problem affecting the Malays if they are proven stupid because all that is required would be to encourage them to study harder.”

“However, the underlying reason is much more difficult to address because it is caused by negative attitude and their reluctance to work hard.” (The Star, 2 July, 2001)

That was nine years ago! Today, Dr M joins Perkasa in insisting and almost begging that the Malays remain a begging and handicapped community! Who indeed has insulted the Malays?
31/03/10

Real Cost of NEP

I cant help but put in my two scoops worth over the recent discourse over the cost of the affirmative action policies we have undertaken over the years – which affected the most part of my life.

Numbers have been tossed in the air but essentially, the real costs cannot be quantified. Its ill implementation has affected our lives in more areas than we can sit up and observe

Lets look at a convenient 10

1) Education

Up to the late 60's our education was considered top class from primary to tertiary level. Even the diploma awarding colleges had a certain class about them eg the precursor to the now Universit Teknologi Malaysia

Thanks to the politicised implementation by our 'educators', our schools are now shunned. Tuition after hours becomes almost a standard. What our 'teachers' do not do in schools, the tuition teachers fill in. When the string of distinctions are announced, the schools and their teachers claim the credit.

I need go no further than my own two children.

Universities locally are generally avoided unless one cannot afford the alternative of overseas education or private sector university colleges.

The atmosphere in schools and public universities are so sterile that I wonder if I am sometimes in Brunei.

2) Health

I remember visiting our old GH in KL in the 60's and 70's and also the UH in Petaling Jaya.

The doctors and nurses were dedicated, pretty professional and you never really thought of going to a private hospital for better treatment.

Today, one has to ensure private health insurance is in place or 'endure' the public healthcare system.Sure there are exceptions out there but then, that should have been the rule. How many lower middle class and upward segments of our society opt to have their babies delivered in the government hospitals? That itself is a gauge of damnation.

3) Brain Drain

Suffice to say that if just half the Malaysian diaspora return to Malaysia and just are left alone to excel, we will be taking on Australia, S'pore, Taiwan etc. Just look at what Malaysians are doing in S'pore, Australia, US, UK, China, Canada etc. It makes we wonder if that was the underlying intention of our implementation in the 1st place!

4) Sports

Just look back at the time when we were powerhouses in football (at least in Asia), hockey and athlectics. Thanks to almost homogenous teams today, we are not worth a 2nd look. Corruption, endemic in our system, has nailed the final coffin to our football dreams. The tentacles of NEP permeated this arena where it was the best sphere to nurture nation building and cohesiveness.

The Nicol Davids, Chong Wei's and a few INDIVIDUAL cases are a result more of their own sacrificies and that of their parents. Our schools and clubs like TPCA play no part in this process.

5) Inferiority Complex

Like it or not, we have bred a society with an inferiority complex. Sometimes we seem to apologise for just existing!!!! Just study the behaviour of our tourists when they are overseas. Even our students overseas do not seem comfortable engaging with local students or other foreigners. Undeniably, we have our bright stars but we ought to have a multitude of stars given our latent talent as a nation. If anything, the NEP has cemented the JAGUH KAMPUNG mentality in our society

6) Judiciary

In trying to 'redress' the racial imbalance in the judiciary, we sidelined eminent judges and elevated Jaguh Kampungs who could read a few pages of English. Of course, our long serving PM destroyed the moral fabric of this institution in addition to other 'collateral damage' done

Any foreign investor worth his salt insists in their agreements that disputes are resolved through arbitration but OUTSIDE Malaysia. What deeper insult and perception does one need?

7) Segregation of Society

At pre school, segregation is not uncommon along religious lines – Islamic, Christian etc.

At primary, there is a scramble to register for Chinese medium schools and Tamil schools unlike pre 70's. The govt schools are sometimes like schools of indoctrination – teachers primarily of one race and religion and now mostly women (not that I have anything against women). At secondary, 'bumiputera' students are shunted to residential schools and colleges. Urban secondary schools become the 1st point of contact for Chinese and Tamil medium kids from primary.

After form 5, urban non-Malays will be sent to private colleges, Malays and other Bumis to matriculation courses and bright non-Malays enticed to S'pore.

At university, segregation gets more entrenched with each race clinging to their own kind with the exception of those from urban schools.

Employment time, non-Malays see the civil service as an alien arena. GLCs pick the cream of the Malays and other bumiputera who are not already snatched by the top MNCs. The others take what comes – usually creating a mismatch in what they do and what they studied. The armed forces and police are no attraction for non-Malays. The impression given is that they are tolerated, not welcomed. Ibrahim Ali will not shout that the non-Malays make up less than 33% in these areas.

8) Culture of Corruption and erosion of core values

Corruption has permeated every echelon of society – from the drain sweeper to the top leaders thanks to the NEP. Consequently, core values have eroded as much as our Ringgit. Even a place in the 1st class ward of the hospital can be found with some sumbangan. Even more macabre, a grave site to bury your loved one can suddenly be found.

Blue ICs, passports, parking fines, scholarships, tenders awarded, even sports are all commodities in the currency of corruption. Not to mention the judgements you want in the halls of 'justice'.

9) Lost generation

Perhaps our biggest loss has been the generation born in the 60's and later for it is they who now live through the muck and filth of the decay our society has degenerated into. Wonder who the prime culprit is. If we have the political will, it will take at least another generation to come back to where we were – if at all possible. If NEP is akin to cancer, then we are short of oncologists.

10) Rent Seekers

By far, this has been the 'profession' that flourished the most from NEP. And the Rent Seekers are worse than parasites but they have multiplied and grown to such an extent that they stare at your faces almost everywhere you go – from Parliament to the Mat Rempits (the cadres for future rent seeking MPs)

The list could go on but how does one encapsulate the blow out of 40 years of NEP in a few sheets other than toilet paper?

31/03/10

Muhyiddin should resign as DPM if he is not prepared to declare that in accordance with 1Malaysia goal, he is Malaysian first and Malay second

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in Parliament yesterday in his reply as Education Minister that he supported the Prime Minister’s message of 1Malaysia and instead accused me of trying to drive a wedge between Datuk Seri Najib Razak and him.

Muhyiddin said:

“Ipoh Timur has questioned my commitment to the concept of 1 Malaysia. For Ipoh Timur’s information, 1 Malaysia, which was created by the prime minister, is a pure idea aimed at strengthening racial unity which has been the basis of our strength as a nation.

“Unity reflected by 1 Malaysia is not a form of assimilation where one’s identity is erased and replaced with one identity. It is also not a concept which rejects the special rights of the Malays as propagated by Ipoh Timur through the concept of Malaysian Malaysia and lately Middle Malaysia.

“My relationship with the prime minister is very close and 1 Malaysia has the support of the nation. The allegations made are aimed at weakening Barisan Nasional. I am confident that Barisan Nasional lawmakers clearly understand the concept of 1 Malaysia.”


Muhyiddin said that 1Malaysia respects the nation’s constitution and accused me of questioning the special rights of the Malays.

He said:

“Ipoh Timur is questioning the special rights of the Malays and rejects the differences in identity of the different races and the spirit of the constitution which does not reflect real commitment to the concept of 1 Malaysia.”

Clearly, Muhyiddin believes in the maxim that the best defence is offence, as he had completely evaded the three questions, which I had described as the three acid tests as to whether he really supports Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and has the 1Malaysia DNA, namely;

Whether he agrees to the establishment of an Opposition-headed Parliamentary Select Committee on 1Malaysia;

Is he prepared to declare that the basis of 1Malaysia is “ketuanan rakyat Malaysia” and not “ketuanan Melayu”; and

Is he prepared to endorse the objective of 1Malaysia as defined by the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion or region second.

As a result of evasion and prevarication by Umno Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin during the exchange when I spoke in the debate on the Royal Address, I had framed a fourth question:

Whether he is prepared to declare that the basis of the Malaysian Constitution is “ketuanan rakyat Malaysia” and not “ketuanan Melayu”.

Instead, Muhyiddin had gone on the offensive to launch a baseless and scurrilous attack on me, alleging that that I “questioned Malay special rights and rejected the differences in identity of the different races and the spirit of the constitution”.

Muhyiddin must be a very desperate politician that he had to make such a baseless charge, as I had refuted the allegation that I opposed Article 153 of the Constitution.

Is Muhyiddin making the allegation because I had declared that I am Malaysian first and Chinese second, and he is evading my challenge to him to similarly declare that he is Malaysian first and Malay second?

Isn’t Muhiddin’s refusal to make such a declaration the best proof that he does not fully support Najib’s 1Malaysia concept?

Let me remind Muhyiddin what the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap said about the goal of 1Malaysia – “to make Malaysia ….a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society”.

During the debate in Parliament, I said this formulation of the goal of 1Malaysia is exactly the goal of Malaysian Malaysia and Middle Malaysia, proof that Malaysian Malaysia and Middle Malaysia are fully centred on the fundamental basis of the Constitution upon which this nation was founded when we achieved Merdeka in 1957.

In refusing to respond to my challenge to declare that he is Malaysian first and Malay second, isn’t Muhyiddin demonstrating that he does not fully support the 1Malaysia goal?

I challenge Muhyiddin to explain how my four questions on the acid tests of 1Malaysia had “questioned Malay special rights and rejected the differences in identity of the different races and the spirit of the constitution”?

Muhyiddin should resign as Deputy Prime Minister if he is not prepared to set the lead for all UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders and declare that in accordance with the 1Malaysia goal, he is Malaysian first and Malay second

Lim Kit Siang
31/03/10

Home arrow News arrow Legal/General News arrow Lawyers To Deliver Memorandum of Protest To IGP – 31 March 2010, 12pm

In response to lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad being manhadled and briefly arrested by police outside court last week, come Wednesday 31st March at 12pm, lawyers will deliver a Memorandum of Protest to the IGP at Bukit Aman. All are welcome to join in this peaceful protest against police brutality and preventive detention laws.

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad manhandled and briefly arrested by police outside court

1. On 25th March 2010 Amer Hamzah had obtained his client Khaeryll Benjamin Ibrahim@ Benjy’s release on bail on a charge of drug possesssion at the Jalan Duta courts.

2. Near the bail processing counter, about 10 policemen suddenly converged on Amer and his client and ordered the client to go with them. Present were the client’s mother Azean Irdawaty, pupil Sharon Khoo and some family members.

3. The policemen were in plainclothes, and Amer demanded their identity and police card. A police inspector claimed that it was an arrest under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act, i.e: detention without trial.

4. At this point, Amer was assaulted and briefly arrested. Two policemen grabbed Amer and held him back with force. Amer protested his treatment, and repeatedly asked the police not to touch him. Eventually Amer was released as his client was bundled away.
Our Protest

The unlawful, oppressive and arbitrary actions of the police on 25th March are a gross interference with a lawyer carrying out his duty to his client. Amer was discharging his duties in the best traditions of the Malaysian Bar, when he sought explanation from the police as to why his client was being arrested. Despite being surrounded by police, he continued to speak out for his client,as he was bound to do.

The aggressive and unlawful response of the police is a reflection of the general arrogance and lack of respect for the rule of law widely displayed by the police force. The matter is aggravated by the fact that Amer’s client was being arrested under an oppressive and unconstitutional preventive detention law.

The Malaysian Bar has forcefully and repeatedly called for the repeal of all preventive detention laws. The re-arrest of Benjy immediately after his release by the court is also a flagrant contempt of judicial authority. The Inspector General of Police must:

a) take stern action against the policemen who assaulted Amer Hamzah Arshad and the officer who was in charge of the operation;

b) undertake not to further interfere with lawyers carrying out their duties;

c) immediately stop the unjust practice of re-arresting under preventive detention laws persons released by court;

d) issue a public apology to all concerned;

e) undertake to respect the right of the Malaysian public for unimpeded and free access to lawyers at all times.

A MEMORANDUM OF PROTEST

MAKING THESE DEMANDS WILL BE DELIVERED AS FOLLOWS:

BUKIT AMAN (LAKE GARDEN ENTRANCE)
31 MARCH 2010 (WEDNESDAY)
12PM

All lawyers and concerned citizens are welcome to join!

Issued by,

N.Surendran 012-3207066

Latheefa Koya 012-3842972

Postscript

Dear fellow members of the Bar,

This mistreatment of Amer is a continuation of a long standing series of events and acts by the police that have failed to appreciate the role of the legal profession. The arrests of 5 legal aiders last year, the persistent denial of the right to counsel – section 28A of the CPC and Article 5 of the FC etc. The Bar had came out with strong resolutions on the arrest of the 5 lawyers, but unfortunately it remained a resolution without any outcome.

We must walk again. Today it might be Comrade Amer, we don’t know whose turn it will be next… It may be you.

It will be a hot day; please bring your sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas and of course your courage!

-Latheefa Koya

31/03/10

Protest on Weds: Lawyer assaulted & arrested by cops while attempting to defend client against detention w/o trial

Two events coming up. One is Norizan’s Salleh’s latest attempt to get justice, by delivering a memo to the Home Minister on Thursday (April 1st) at Parliament, 11.30am.

The other big one involves once again the maltreatment of lawyers who are just trying to do their job. This particular case involves comrade Amer Hamzah, who helped quite a bit in the aftermath of my own arrest.

He was assaulted and briefly arrested while attempting to defend his client, actor Benjy (that case in the news), who was rearrested under the Dangerous Drugs Act (which like the ISA and EO allows for indefinite detention without trial) immediately after being released by the court – once again displaying a travesty of justice.

I’m going to try my best to attend. When the rest of us find ourselves arrested and intimidated by cops, these lawyers are our first – often only – line of defense. They’ve stood up for us countless times, and we ought to do the same.

LAWYERS TO DELIVER MEMO OF PROTEST TO IGP
( BUKIT AMAN, WED 31ST MARCH 12.00pm)

Lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad manhandled and briefly arrested by police outside court

1. On 25th March 2010 Amer Hamzah had obtained his client Khaeryll Benjamin Ibrahim@ Benjy’s release on bail on a charge of drug possesssion at the Jln Duta courts.

2. Near the bail processing counter, about 10 policemen suddenly converged on Amer and his client and ordered the client to go with them. Present were the client’s mother Azean Irdawaty, pupil Sharon Khoo and some family members.

3. The policemen were in plainclothes, and Amer demanded their identity and police card. A police inspector claimed that it was an arrest under the Dangerous Drugs ( Special Preventive Measures) Act i.e: detention without trial.

4. At this point, Amer was assaulted and briefly arrested. Two policemen grabbed Amer and held him back with force. Amer protested his treatment, and repeatedly asked the police not to touch him. Eventually Amer was released as his client was bundled away.

Our Protest

The unlawful, oppressive and arbitrary actions of the police on 25th March are a gross interference with a lawyer carrying out his duty to his client. Amer was discharging his duties in the best traditions of the Malaysian Bar, when he sought explanation from the police as to why his client was being arrested. Despite being surrounded by police, he continued to speak out for his client,as he was bound to do.The aggressive and unlawful response of the police is a reflection of the general arrogance and lack of respect for the rule of law widely displayed by the police force. The matter is aggravated by the fact that Amer’s client was being arrested under an oppressive and unconstitutional preventive detention law. The Malaysian Bar has forcefully and repeatedly called for the repeal of all preventive detention laws. The re-arrest of Benjy immediately after his release by the court is also a flagrant contempt of judicial authority. The Inspector General of Police must:

a) take stern action against the policemen who assaulted Amer Hamzah Arshad and the officer who was in charge of the operation;

b) undertake not to further interfere with lawyers carrying out their duties;

c) immediately stop the unjust practice of re-arresting under preventive detention laws persons released by court;

d) issue a public apology to all concerned;

e) undertake to respect the right of the Malaysian public for unimpeded and free access to lawyers at all times.

A MEMORANDUM OF PROTEST MAKING THESE DEMANDS WILL BE DELIVERED AS FOLLOWS:

ALL LAWYERS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND!

31/03/10

Govt's relocation programme leaves S'wak natives in debts


KUCHING: Thousands of natives, displaced by the Bakun dam project, are being asked to pay for a one-room house in the new settlement area, according to the Sarawak Dayak-Iban Association (SADIA).

SADIA secretary-general Nicholas Mujah said the natives, from the Kayans, Kenyahs and Punan communities, were now being “relocated to Sungai Asap and asked to pay RM15,000 for a one-room house.”

He said like the natives in Batang Ai, these natives were also given small plots of land for farming.

“But now the natives in Batang Ai, who also received a small plot of land for farming, are struggling to make a living and are unable to pay for the house.

“The jobs promised to them have never materialized.

“In the words of Nyipa Bato, an Orang Ulu leader, the Bakun was supposed to create at least 200 millionaires, but now it has made more than 2000 Orang Ulu bankrupt,” recalled Mujah.

The Bakun project, which was approved in 1986 and shelved three times, will submerge about 700 square kilometres of land, the size of Singapore, destroying some of the most unique longhouses, traditional native farms and hunting land.

The Bakun region has some of the rarest species of plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere on this planet.

The construction of Bakun Hydro which was originally supposed to supply electricity to West Malaysia through undersea cables has now been abandoned.

Instead it will now supply electricity to an aluminium smelting plant in Similajau some 180 km from the dam.

Mujah said recently, some 400 families who refused to move out from the Bakun area had their houses demolished by officers of the Lands and Surveys.

Fortunately, they applied to the Court to stop the Lands and Surveys from carrying out their tasks.

Similarly at the Bengoh Dam, there were four Bidayuh villages affected and they were directed to move out, failing which action would be taken against them.

Now another 12 dams are to be built and should be completed by 2020.

The dams which are to be located at Batang Ai, Ulu Ai, Metjawah, Baleh, Belaga, Linau, Belepeh, Murum, Baram, Tutoh, Limbang and Lawas will increase the total capacity of electricity in the State to 7,000 MW including Bakun’s capacity of 2,400MW.

Imagine the size of the land to be submerged and the sufferings and miseries the natives especially the Orang Ulu will endure.

Mujah asked: “Do we really need all these dams?

“While the environmentalists are worried about the effects on our ecological systems and the damage to the rarest specimens of flora and fauna, the natives are worried about losing their livelihood, cultural heritage and their NCR land – farming land, their gardens (pepper and rubber) temuda, tembawai, pemakai menua and pendam.

“The government only thinks of economic returns and business opportunities. But we know that companies owned by certain families only are going to reap not millions, but billions of ringgits.

“Companies like SESCO Enterprise, CMS (belonging to Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s family) and Naim Cendera (owned by Taib’s relatives), and timber companies.

“ Plenty of money will come from clearing of forests, the construction of roads, bridges and cables as well as accommodations. SESCO Enterprise will play the leading role in all these dam businesses,” he said.

Meanwhile Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) senior manager (power systems planning) Dr Lee Hau Aik reportedly said on Monday that the power demands of Sarawak was expected to surge some 3,000 MW by 2020 to meet the needs of the industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

Dr Lee who presented a paper on “Hydropower for the long-term generation” at the third international conference on Water resources and renewable energy development in Asia yesterday, noted that industries in Score would initially be sourcing power from the Bakun and Murum hydroelectric dams.

The 2,400 MW Bakun dam is scheduled to begin power generation later this year while Murum dam comes on stream in 2013.

FMT
31/03/10

BN and PR in a Catch-22 situation in Hulu Selangor

KUALA LUMPUR: The upcoming Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election has put both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat in a quandary.

For BN, going by tradition, the seat belongs to MIC but with the change in the political scenario in the aftermath of the March 2008 political tsunami, the coalition may lose the seat again.

Indian voters comprise just 19 percent of the total constituents of 63,593 while Malays make up 53 percent, Chinese (26) and others (three).

BN may risk losing the seat if an MIC candidate is fielded because Umno members may decide not to cast their ballots.

Umno members’ support for MIC plummeted after the March 2008 debacle but the party launched an aggressive drive to regain the trust and confidence of the Indian community, largely ignoring the Malays.

Thus many Umno grassroots members felt slighted and since then they have not taken MIC seriously as a partner in the ruling coalition.

“This happens at the grassroots level, not at the leadership level... when you talk about voting, you are talking about the voters at large.

“MIC must remember this... even its president (S) Samy Vellu must remember that he himself was abandoned by the Malay voters in Sungai Siput in 2008,” said an Umno member.

Thus, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is faced with a dilemma – if he picks an MIC candidate, he risks losing the seat; if he doesn't, he risks losing the trust of a long-time partner.

A no-win situation

It is certain that fielding an MIC candidate will make BN an underdog: it will have to fight an uphill battle to calm down disgruntled Umno division members as well as the Malay voters.

BN has another problem: if it ignores tradition and fields an Umno man for the Hulu Selangor seat, it has to pick a man acceptable to the majority of the division members there. Otherwise, it will suffer a similar fate as in past by-elections where factionalism had contributed to its loss.

Names like former Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib have been circulating among division members. He seems to be the only acceptable candidate, but given the infighting in Umno, Muhammad faces opposition from the state Umno.

It is now up to Najib to call the shots and he cannot afford to make a mistake; any slip-up will mean that BN will not regain the seat.

As for Pakatan Rakyat, the seat belongs to PKR and if the party fields an Indian candidate, it can say goodbye to its chances immediately after nominations.

If PKR fields a Malay candidate, it will be up against great odds as PKR is not popular with the Malays there. Its 2008 election victory was more a result of a popular backlash around the country than its manifesto or the candidate’s charisma.

Moreover, Pakatan, the unregistered loose alliance, is facing a slide in fortune given Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case as well as allegations of backdoor conspiracy to take over Putrajaya on Sept 16 last year.

Against this background, PKR cannot leave it to lady luck to deliver the good news. In the absence of good national or local issues to play up, the party's chances may well hinge on the type of candidate it puts up.

When the Election Commission fixes the polling date on Friday, both sides of the political divide are caught in a Catch-22 position, a no-win situation.

FMT
31/03/10

'One Israel-1M'sia': Anwar implicates Khairy's old friend


Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has alleged that it was Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin's “old friend” Omar Mustapha who introduced the Malaysian government to US-based public relations firm Apco Worldwide.

He claimed that Khairy and Omar were partners in the consultancy firm, Ethos.

Anwar had revealed this in the Dewan Rakyat today, when he explained his “One Israel and 1Malaysia” jibe.

The opposition leader also furnished documentary evidence to substantiate his allegation that the government had links with the company, which, according to him, masterminded the “One Israel” concept more than a decade ago.

"Omar was reported to have introduced Apco to the government as its consultant, and its (Apco's) adviser was stationed in the Prime Minister's Office after Najib Tun Razak took over as prime minister. But this did not go down well with some of the government officials," he said.

According to him, there were two types of agreement that the Malaysian government signed with Apco on Aug 14 last year, in order to "improve the government's image".

The strange part, he noted, was that the agreement was not inked by any top government officials.

"It bears the signature of the press secretary to the prime minister Tengku Shariffudin Tengku Ahmad, which shows how close Apco is with the prime minister while in normal practice government agreements are signed only by government officers," he claimed.

“This was way before (Najib's) 1Malaysia was announced. Since its (Apco's) duties are to provide “communications support” to the government, Apco may have worked with Najib on 1Malaysia,” he said.

'Apco trying to confuse the dates'

WIth this, he rebutted Apco's statement on March 18 which denied its involvement with the 1Malaysia concept, claiming that the concept had been in effect prior to Apco's appointment.

"But this is only their (Apco's) effort to confuse the actual dates of the (establishment) of the firm with Najib's administration," claimed Anwar, adding that key figures in Apco had previously established themselves in Kuala Lumpur under a local brand name, Mind Teams Sdn Bhd.

"Paul Stadlen, who now heads Apco in Kuala Lumpur, is the same individual who had signed the agreement on behalf of the Mind Teams with the Malaysian government.

"Among the directors is Margery Kraus, Apco's CEO and the most important individual involved with the account in Israel," he said.

Anwar also said that he would furnish proof to Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia to back his claim that Apco was appointed by the Israeli government in 1992.

Previously, the public relations firm had denied having any links to the 'One Israel” concept.

Today marked the end of the seven-day deadline given to Anwar by the government to explain his “One Israel, 1Malaysia” jibe.

The government had considered referring Anwar to the Rights and Privileges Committee, which could see him slapped with a suspension from the House.

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said last week that Anwar would be given a chance to explain his allegation.

'How could we expect Apco to be forthright?'

Elaborating on the alleged deal between Apco and Israel, Anwar said the agreements signed at that material time indicated the role of Apco as a "lobbyist", which would warrant the safeguarding of government secrets made privy to the firm.

"Apco was also involved in the advising of a comprehensive strategic communication programme and must keep confidential all information pertaining to its operations.

"Under these circumstances, how could we reasonably expect Apco to be forthright about its actual role vis-a-vis 1Malaysia as well as the various government campaigns?" he asked.

Anwar also alleged that in Israel, one of Apco's associates was Asero Worldwide, headed by one Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, former head of the Division of Protection and Security of the Israeli Security Agency with the rank of Major General.

He, too, was one of the international advisers to Apco, added the opposition leader.

"Therefore, contracts involving Apco might not necessarily be structured directly between Apco and the government concerned in as much as they could be executed through their associates," he said.

In the case of Israel, Anwar said the contract of appointment on Jan 9, 1992, was between the government of Israel and an associate firm known as GCI International.

"A closer scrutiny of the fine print and contents would show that in this particular agreement the person to be charged with the major task of lobbying for Israel was in fact Margery Kraus, who is now the CEO of Apco," he said.

'Cleaning up the image of autocrats'

Anwar further alleged that Apco "is very much in the business of cleaning up the image of autocrats and tyrants" to present them with a new face particularly in the eyes of United States administrations.

"The personalities involved in Apco also maintain close ties with Israel as well as US politicians very much linked to the Israeli lobby as well as politicians who are not known to be coy about their antipathy towards Islam and Muslims," he said.

Anwar also quoted a report by investigative journalist Ken Silverstein back in 2007 in Harper's magazine, where the writer went undercover to pose as a representative of Turkmenistan and manged to secure the services of Apco.

"Silverstein exposed the role and modus operandi of Apco in helping to launder the image of dictators (including) Barry Schumacher, a leading consultant to Israel in 1992... and Dick Cheney whose record in the Afghan and Iraq wars are a matter of public knowledge," he said.

Explain doubled-faced positions

The opposition leader also lambasted Najib for appointing a firm like Apco, while trumpeting the government's support of the Palestinian cause.

"While, on the other hand, (they appoint) a firm like Apco who is well associated with leaders of the Zionist regime that has uprooted Palestinians, both Muslims and Christians, from their homeland, driven them into refugee camps and is now building more settlements on occupied land.

"Can the honourable prime minister in all honesty tell us how he could reconcile these double-faced positions?" he said, adding that Najib's government has "chosen to be deafeningly silent" on the matter.

As the opposition leader finished his explanation, deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee told the House that the ruling coalition could still refer Anwar to the Rights and Privileges Committee through a separate motion by voting.

One Israel's 'people first' slogan

Speaking at a press conference later, Anwar spoke on the similarities between the “One Israel” and “1 Malaysia” campaigns.

"The platform of One Israel was better access to education and health. (Hence), 1Malaysia, Clinic 1Malaysia," he said, adding that in Israel, it was designed to divert attention from the issue of settlements.

"1Malaysia is to divert attention from racial conflicts, bribery and corruption," he said.

Amwar also pointed out that One Israel's slogan was “People First”, similar to 1Malaysia's, “People first, performance now”.

"There are too many similarities between (former Israeli premier) Ehud Barak and Najib," he stressed.

Speaking to reporters later, Khairy denied having a working relationship with Omar, but admitted knowing him.

FMT
31/03/10

From judges to Gestapo-type police: Tyranny of abuse of powers by UMNO government

I read with disgust on March 29 in LoyarBurok about the manhandling and arrest of lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad by the Gestapo-type police.

When powers are abused, there is no tyranny like them.

We all know from the experience of recent events that those who have abused their powers have been the judges for not applying the law as it stands; not even the federal Constitution, and, in Perak by the pretensions of a constitutional monarch for exercising a non-existent power to appoint a mentri besar when the incumbent is still in office.

When the highest echelon of those who wield power have themselves abused their powers it sets off a chain reaction down the line from the civil servants down to the lowest rank policemen.

And what we see today in the manhandling of Amer Hamzah Arshad, an advocate and solicitor, is an abuse of power by the police. Such is the consequence or outcome from the bad example set by the judges when they refuse to apply the law as it stands or when they apply double standards in their judgments. Look at the cases which involved Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and those which concern the power grab in Perak.

We are reminded by the prophetic words of Lord Denning in “The Family Story”, page 179:

But powers may be abused, and, if those powers are abused, there is no tyranny like them. It leads to a state of affairs when the police may arrest any man and throw him into prison without cause assigned. It leads to the search of his home and belongings on the slightest pretext — or on none. It leads to the hated Gestapo and the police state. It leads to extorted confessions and to trials which are a mockery of justice.

Now you know why we must all work together to see that scums are not allowed to govern this country. They are such if they allow their judges to ignore the federal and state constitutions and to refuse to apply the law as it stands. Concentrate all your efforts for the next general election.

If we allow scums to rule, then as prophesied by Lord Denning, “there is no tyranny like them. It leads to a state of affairs when the police may arrest any man and throw him into prison without cause assigned. It leads to the hated Gestapo and the police state. It leads to extorted confessions and to trials which are a mockery of justice.”

NH Chan
(loyarburok.com)
31/03/10

The NEP is officially dead

KUALA LUMPUR: Every individual counts. Merit and effort would now count. With those words, Malaysia today buried the decades-old New Economic Policy which gave preference to Bumiputeras in all spheres of life.

Affirmative action would now be based on needs and merit, and the focus shifted from ethnicity to low income households and individuals.

Mutual respect and dignity would be accorded, said the National Economic Advisory Council in its first report of the New Economic Model that would guide Malaysia's development.

"All communities can contribute to and share in the wealth of the country," it said. "Every part of the country matters. Resources, jobs, contracts and licenses (will be) based on merit and effort."

In charting Malaysia's growth towards a high-income economy, with a per capita income of US15,000 a year, the report stated that the rakyat could expect:

More choices and higher purchasing power.
An upward spiral of consumption and high income career choices.
Better quality of life. Not only higher incomes, but quality healthcare and social support, for all.
Opportunities for upward mobility.
Readily available skills development programmes.
Access to resources, jobs, contracts and licenses based on merit and effort.
Reward for innovation and creativity.
A more developed, specialised, innovative, technology-driven and knowledge-based economic structure.
All rakyat will feel included as a result of:

Safe surroundings free from the fear of crime, the indignity of discrimination and the anxiety of need.
Equal and easy access to information.
Connected, sophisticated, modern cities, townships and villages.
All communities able to contribute to and share in the wealth of the country.
Every individual counts.
Affirmative action shift from ethnicity to low income households and individuals on the basis of needs and merit. Mutual respect and dignity accorded.
Every part of the nation matters.
Regional and sub-regional development will be given more emphasis, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
Everyone will be consulted and their voices heard.

30/03/10

Dr M, The Father of Re-Colonisation

Recently, Dr Mahathir (Dr M) reminded the younger generation, who will one day lead the nation, not to be taken in by the subtle tactics of foreigners who want to bring about neo-colonialism in the country.

He said that “foreign forces would take advantage on the basis of globalisation and liberalisation to fulfil their agenda. We are now “faced with various challenges from abroad…(and) threats from blog sites”.

He was speaking at the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Statesman Discussion organised by the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) of the Ministry of Information Communication and Culture (Bernama, 27.03.10).

It was one amongst the many of Dr M’s anti-re-colonisation rhetoric. Once when he was in power (in reality, he still is!) he declared that the rakyat must ensure that the BN “is returned to power with a big majority in the next general election so that the nation will be ruled by a strong Government capable of standing against any attempt by foreign powers to re-colonise the country”.

Alas, Dr M forgets very easily these days. Re-colonisation had in fact taken place in 1981 when he became PM. He had donned the mantle of British supremacy and with his Executive supremacy even outdid the white colonial master in many ways during the 22 years that followed!

Dr M and his cohorts who once detested the oppressive laws of the British, brandished a gamut of harsh executive powers during his reign which were deeply and undeniably derivative of authoritarian colonialism.

Many laws left behind by the British were amended and made even more draconian to contain, cripple and crush legitimate dissent by citizens and the Opposition. There were countless examples of this.

British “propaganda” was replaced by a powerful broadcast media owned by the Government and allied companies, and regulated by the Broadcasting Act, 1987, which gives the Information Minister vast powers of control and manipulation.

The Sedition Act (1948) was a British law used to stifle Malay nationalists (especially those in UMNO, a party born two years before the Act came to be). The Act was amended and made use of by Dr for selective prosecution of political opponents and to protect UMNO.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) (1960), a relic of colonialism, meant to combat the then communists, was amended more than 20 times to make it more repressive than the original. Its powers were abused to protect the “security” of Umno. Known as ‘white terror’, the ISA was and is still used by Malaysians on Malaysians.

The Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984) originated from the Printing Press Act (1948). Amended in 1987 by Dr M’s regime to exclude judicial review of the Executive’s action vis-a-vis publications it served as a stranglehold on the press and opposition publications.

The Official Secrets Act (OSA) (1972) was based on the British OSA of 1911. Amended in 1986 to provide for mandatory jail sentences, Dr M used it to reinforce the cult of secrecy and to hide his many misdeeds. It resulted in self-censorship by the press.

The Police Act (1963) was amended in 1967, 1981 and 1987 to enhance the wide array of police powers, thus making the constitutional right of assembly absolutely “irrelevant”. The late Tunku Abdul Rahman died a disillusioned man on seeing his independent Malaysia reduced to, in his very own words, a “Police State” by Dr M.

Even the Special Branch was a creation of Britain in 1887. It was meant as a direct response to Irish anarchist terrorism. It was perfected by the Malaysian police to “trace”, threaten, torture and “turn over” political dissidents, an infamous fact glaringly highlighted during the first sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim whom Dr M was bent on getting rid of!

Every trick and treachery by Dr M during his 22 years as PM – “divide-and-rule”, purveying a “culture of fear” or creating a “siege mentality”, manipulating ethnic and religious fears, trotting out a bogey – were tools of British Colonialism. Now the supposed “Statesman” tells the young to be wary of re-colonisation!

Alas, how can UMNO “re-invent” itself when its leaders who were the once-oppressed have now become the oppressors? As it happened to the all-powerful supreme British Empire, the day will come when the sun will set on UMNO….

30/03/10

Hindraf's Waytha seeks debate with Perkasa

KOTA KINABALU: Hindraf Makkal Sakthi will invite Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali and his most prominent supporter, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to a conference on Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, which it plans to hold in the British Parliament.

“This will be a chance for the duo to flog their racist cause before the world once and for all,” said Kelantan-born Hindraf chief Waythamoorthy Ponnusamy, who is in exile in Britain.

Speaking to FMT by telephone from Singapore, he said the proposed conference would also prove de facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz wrong about Article 153.

Nazri recently said the article could not be questioned and that it was because Waythamoorthy had broken this taboo that he could not be allowed back in the country.

“I did not merely question Article 153,” said Waythamoorthy. “I have repeatedly called for it to be scrapped.”

He said the proposed conference will see “a distinguished gathering of Queen’s counsel” debating Article 153 within the full scope of the Federal Constitution and declassified documents pertaining to the Merdeka talks.

“Hindraf will be holding talks with two QCs from the Doughty Street Chamber on April 6 in London in preparation for the conference,” he said.

“We have not finalised whether the conference will be in the House of Commons or the House of Lords, but most probably the latter.”

The conference will discuss at least four topics:

* Special Malay privileges is a myth created by Umno’s propaganda machine and does not exist in Article 153;

* Article 153 also covers the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities besides mentioning the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Malays;

* The powers of the King over Article 153 have been systematically usurped by Umno as a party and government since independence in 1957 and this must be viewed as treason; and

* Article 153 was supposed to be scrapped 15 years after independence.

Declassified papers

Waythamoorthy said he would also invite the Attorrney-General “to state the Malaysian government’s position before the international community”.

He rejected a comparison between Hindraf and Perkasa and the allegation that both are racist organisations.

“It doesn’t mean that we are racist just because we talk about the plight of the Indians all the time,” he said. “We are only seeking our rights under the Federal Constitution which have been denied us. We are not out to deprive anyone of his place in the sun, unlike Perkasa, although they will deny it like all racists.”

He does not rule out participation in the London conference by apolitical groups like the Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa) headed by Jeffrey Kitingan and various Orang Asli associations who were involved in a rare demonstration recently in Putrajaya.

However, he said, he saw little point in Umno taking part in the conference since the party, he alleged, had out-sourced its racist ideology to Perkasa in order to stay relevant in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

“We are going to prove through the conference that Umno has been misleading everybody on Article 153 and taking them for a ride,” he said. “We will easily establish this. We are backed by the Federal Constitution, including Article 153, and the declassified papers on the Merdeka talks.”

He pointed out that the declassified papers, although still considered official secrets in Malaysia, were no longer so in Britain.

The bottomline is that Hindraf wants Article 153 scrapped but would consider supporting a new article guaranteeing protection for the underprivileged of all races.

“The weakness of the present Article 153 is that it has been ignored and the legitimate aspirations of the non-Malay communities have been legislated against subsequently by Umno and institutionalised in various forms to discriminate against them,” fumed Waythamoorthy.

He conceded that the Malays, as well as the natives of Sabah and Sarawak, were still claiming that they were backward and needed affirmative action by the state.

“Over one trillion ringgit was poured into the Malay economy alone under the New Economic Policy,” he said. “It’s time that the Malays stood up as a community and asked their leaders what happened to the money. Why isn’t it in their pockets?”

Free Malaysia Today
30/03/10

What is the real cost of the NEP? Do we really know?

Seriously, I am only ‘guestimating’ here. I honestly do not know the real figure. But if you take into consideration everything I have mentioned above and total up the real cost of the NEP, you may probably see that it is a colossal figure. You might even fall off your chair when your calculator clocks a figure of RM500 billion in total.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

March 2010 appears to be the month of debate regarding the NEP, the Bumiputera share of the economic pie, and whatnot.

Okay, never mind if it is 3%, 19%, more than 30%, or should be 67% (Chinese say 67 is ‘lok chat’ or cock). No one appears able to give the real figure or show how much the Bumiputera share of the economic pie really is.

The issue currently being raised by Lim Guan Eng is not how much the Bumiputeras still own but how much the Bumiputeras were initially given. What they still own might no longer be 30%. It could even be 19% or 3% or whatever. That is not the real issue. That is what they have left. We need to talk about what they had before it was reduced to 19% or 3%.

Do you know that many Malays own expensive properties in other countries, huge sums of cash in overseas bank accounts, large foreign investments, and whatnot (Daim alone owns 10 banks)? Maybe you do not see all this in Malaysia. So it appears like there are no filthy rich Malays. This is a fallacy. There are many filthy rich Malays but they have ‘hidden’ their ‘worth’ in other countries.

This makes sense of Lim Guan Eng’s statement that the Malays were given RM54 billion worth of shares and that RM52 billion have ‘disappeared’. It has not disappeared. It is just hidden from view. It does not mean it is no longer there just because you do not see it in Malaysia.

Now, note one thing, those RM54 billion worth of shares were given at par value, which was far lower than market value. When did these people cash out? You would normally cash out only when you can make a huge profit. So what was the ‘missing’ RM52 billion worth when they cashed out and moved the money overseas? Can I safely assume that the RM52 billion would have easily been RM100 billion at the time these Malays divested? I mean, the TNB and Telekoms shares alone, which were RM5 and RM4.50 per share, shot up way past RM10 per share when many started selling them.

That was more than double.

Okay, that is only as far as shares are concerned. And that is something which is easily enough to calculate and is no secret. What about contracts given to private Bumiputera companies? How much contracts went to sendirian berhad companies over the last 40 years since 1970?

Okay, let’s make an educated guess. RM2 billion a year? That’s a paltry sum. The development budget itself is 20 or 30 times that. You mean only 5% to 10% of the contracts went to Bumiputeras? It is actually more. But even if you take that paltry sum it is still RM80 billion over those 40 years. (And I am not even going to talk about APs, which Tun Dr Mahathir himself admitted will run into hundreds of billions of Ringgit).

Alright! Lets move on. Forget about shares and contracts. Let us now talk about education.

I personally know a Malay doctor who the government spent RM1 million to educate in England over seven years. I can believe that because it cost me RM300,000 to educate my daughter in England over three years. And if she had done medicine it would have cost me much more than that -- I checked.

How many Malays received a college/tertiary education because of the NEP over the last 40 years (both local and foreign)? I don’t know the answer. But for argument’s sake let us just take a figure of one million students although we know it is higher than that.

How much did it cost the country to build all those colleges/universities and run them since they were built? Add that cost to the cost of sending Malays overseas since 1970. How much would it come to in total? I don’t know the figure but even if we take an aggregate figure of RM100,000 per student, one million students would come to RM100 billion.

And trust me, RM100,000 per student and one million students is very much on the low side if we not only take the cost of the overseas universities but also the cost of building, managing and maintaining local colleges/universities as well.

In business there are always hidden costs. In the NEP there are hidden expenses. If you add up all these ‘NEP expenses’ to the value of the RM54 billion shares given to the Bumiputeras, then you can see that a hell of a lot was given to them.

The NEP is not just about shares. It is also not just about government contracts. It is many things. What about all those FELDA, FELCRA, RISDA, KADA, MADA, KEJORA and God knows how many more land settlements and agricultural schemes?

What about the many agriculture subsidy schemes involving subsidised fuel plus free fertilizers, tractors, fishing boats, marine engines, outboard motors, fishing nets, wire netting (bubu), artificial reefs (tukun tiruan), and a host of other things?

What about the bloated civil service and GLCs (that never make any profit but money keeps getting pumped into them anyway) that employ a large percentage of Malays (who were educated at the cost of the taxpayers) which costs us loads of money over the last 40 years? And even when they retire we shall still be paying their cost,

Yes, let us look at the TOTAL cost of the NEP, not just the RM54 billion shares where RM52 billion has already ‘disappeared’.

Seriously, I am only ‘guestimating’ here. I honestly do not know the real figure. But if you take into consideration everything I have mentioned above and total up the real cost of the NEP, you may probably see that it is a colossal figure. You might even fall off your chair when your calculator clocks a figure of RM500 billion in total.

And I am not exaggerating here.

Malaysia Today
30/03/10

Perkasa, Racist Mahathir and Ibrahim, GLCs and the New Economic Model

During the recent Perkasa meeting on March 27, Ibrahim Ali expressed his displeasure with the CEOs of government-linked companies (GLCs) for not attending his Malay rights group inaugural congress.

He also criticised the GLC heads for being more concerned about their personal interests instead of the interests of the Malay community.

Introducing a note of intimidation, he warned that Perkasa will scrutinise the GLCs. “We are not only looking at their performance but also the role they play in helping Malay entrepreneurs.”

The GLC rebuff is indicative of a rejection of the Perkasa agenda by the Malay captains of industry who recognize the negative implications of the policies being espoused.

It is also salutary that apart from Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Mukhriz Mahathir, no other significant member of the cabinet took part in the gathering of the ultras at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

The Malay and Malaysian public should look forward to hearing the outcome of Perkasa monitoring the GLCs and learning the truth about how these bodies are standing in the way of, or seriously implementing, their mission of fulfilling the Malay agenda.

The importance of GLCs to the Malay agenda can be ascertained from the following facts:

• GLCs are major shareholders of corporate equity. They comprise 36 per cent and 54 per cent of the market capitalization of Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index.

• Seven out of the top 10 listed companies are under majority ownership of the government.

• Senior GLC positions are largely determined along ethnic lines. GLC directors, management and staff are largely Bumiputeras.

• Non-Malay owners of listed and unlisted companies often have no choice but to work with influential Bumiputera and GLCs to help protect their interests through obtaining sub-contracts or becoming suppliers of goods and services.

• Non-Malays may own 40 per cent of corporate equity based on the government’s flawed calculations but GLCs are the major players and have control over the economy.

Because they have done very well for the Malays (including the likes of Ibrahim Ali and many of his supporters who have benefitted from GLC patronage and largesse), it is rather dumb of Ibrahim Ali to expect these GLC leaders to openly attend the meeting and to proclaim to Perkasa members and the world the various ways in which they are protecting and advancing the Malay socio-economic position.

In fact, Ibrahim Ali and many GLC Malay leaders may be on the same wavelength on the issue of enhancing the Malay socio-economic position. However, the main difference might only be that the Perkasa head is a politician using crude racist tactics whilst shouting from the top of his voice at the PWTC while the GLC chiefs are likely to pursue the Malay cause through more subtle means. As corporate figures, they recognize that growth is a prerequisite to fulfillment of long-term Malay and national goals.

Quite apart from this, many of these GLC leaders also recognize the realities and implications of policies that have contributed to capital flight, the virtual drying up of FDI flows, a sizable brain drain and a general loss of competitiveness. These negatives have been acknowledged by the Second Minister of Finance and are indeed implicit in the call by the Prime Minister to adopt a New Economic Model (NEM).

A New Economic Model devoid of a course correction —via adoption of more market friendly and less racially skewed policies —would be an exercise in futility. Ibrahim Ali’s formula constitutes an abandonment of much needed pro-growth strategies in favour of a discredited policy package that is centered round the distribution of existing wealth. No country in the world in this era of globalization and liberalization has chosen such an economic strategy.

Similarly with the refusal by Umno to respond to Ibrahim Ali’s unfounded charges that the Malays have been marginalized in the country. All Umno leaders (except perhaps Mukhriz) are aware of the overwhelming dominance of Malay power in the country. Far from Malay constitutional rights being eroded or usurped by other communities, it is the other way round. This is acknowledged by many Malay leaders including Anwar Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

If one is using a purely racial lens approach it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Malay hegemony has never been so strong or firmly entrenched as it is today. Ibrahim Ali and his cohorts are opportunistically delusional and appear to be living in a cocoon of their own. They fail to factor in the fact that the political and economic model that they espouse will bring irreparable harm to the nation and future generations of Malaysians, including Malays.

Tackling Malay poverty

In the economic sphere whilst there is still much work to be done to uplift the lot of the poor Malays, the task is less formidable than official statistics may make it out to be. This is because Malay poverty — as distinct from Bumiputera poverty — is likely to be considerably over-estimated by the present statistical practice whereby the Malay figures are lumped together with the figures of recent migrants from Indonesia who have obtained Bumiputera status as well as the other Bumiputera from East Malaysia.

The great majority of the former group — Javanese, Sumatrans, etc — who have now assimilated into the country’s population in very large numbers especially after the 1970s came with virtually nothing in terms of assets or income. Inclusion of these poor “pendatang”, despite their upward mobility after settlement, has had much impact in distorting the racial distribution of household income. Without them (and also Bumiputra communities in Sabah and Sarawak), the ‘native’ or ‘indigenous’ or ‘local’ Malay achievement, as distinct from Bumiputera achievement, will be much higher on all the social and economic indicators used by the Department of Statistics to measure inter-ethnic differences.

At the same time, Ibrahim Ali and his supporters are wholly mistaken in their view of poverty. The government’s own statistics indicate that poverty, however defined, has been drastically reduced. The stark issue is the unconscionable and widening income disparities that prevail within the Bumiputera community. Ibrahim Ali and his keris waving Umnoputra crowd are totally silent on this aspect of the Malay dilemma.

Malay wealth

Umno leaders are also fully aware that much of the new wealth in the country is in Malay hands. These sources of wealth include the plantation sector which is dominated by Felda and PNB companies; the smallholding agricultural sector where the Malays are the major group amongst the 112,635 Felda settlers; the hi-tech aerospace industry; the highly lucrative defense industry; the petroleum and gas industry where apart from Petronas and MMC, the Malays have substantial holdings in key MNCs such as Shell, Exxon, BP; the finance and banking sector where eight out of 10 banks are Bumiputera- owned and controlled; the automotive sector where Malay interests are dominant in Proton, Perodua, DRB Hicom, UMW and Naza, and where the system of APs ensures a steady stream of income for select Bumiputeras; as well as the energy and utilities sector where TNB and Malakoff are key players; and so on.

Perhaps the ace in the pack in Umno’s claim to have successfully stood up for Malay interests (besides its own) is that a key target of the NEP restructuring programme — the building of a strong Malay professional and technical elite class — was attained some years ago. From a very small base of professional and technical workers in 1970 (Bumiputera comprised 4.9 per cent of registered professionals at that time) the Malay component of the country’s professional and technical workers today is the biggest amongst the various racial groups. According to the Malaysian government’s Third Outline Perspective Plan (2001-2010), the Bumiputera community comprised 63.5 per cent of the ‘Professional and Technical’ category of employment in 2000.

This growth of a strong Malay professional class within a short period of 30 years is possibly the fastest recorded by any marginalized community anywhere in the world. That this information is not widely known or disseminated is not due to modesty but carefully controlled political spin aimed at under-reporting Malay achievement and emphasizing non-Malay dominance of the economy.

Meanwhile, the employment pattern in the public sector at all levels is overwhelmingly Malay because of discriminatory policies in hiring and in promotions. If there is any prong of the New Economic Policy that has not been fulfilled, it is the restructuring of the public sector.

The New Economic Model and the country’s future

In a few days’ time, the Prime Minister will unveil the New Economic Model which is intended to replace the New Economic Policy and its racially divisive policies. At that point, we will be able to see if Perkasa, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other carpetbaggers have been able to successfully hijack the NEM and set the country up for another round of Malay preference policies that will destroy the promises contained in the Najib Razak vehicle ‘1 Malaysia’.

Were these fears to come to pass, Malaysia will take another step downwards to joining countries such as Burma and Zimbabwe which squandered their prospects for prosperity because of the greed of a small elite group that hijacked national wealth.

It is time for all Malaysians to firmly and clearly reject the strident siren calls of Mahathir and Ibrahim Ali to return to policies that hold no hope of serving the country’s needs. It is also important that the NEM reflects the aspirations of all Malaysians rather than the myopic views of yesterday’s men. Najib has a solemn duty to resist those that would derail moves to put right what has been wrong.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or the newspaper. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

MI
29/03/10

MCA Poll, Live report

For latest updates click here or Twitter

2.55pm Sorting ends. The process of counting starts. Dewan San Choon where the electoral process takes place is empty of leaders and delegates. Only scrutineers and election agents/supervisors are inside.

2.45pm Tan Seong Lim, 44, of Kelana Jaya division says that "all three leaders are capable people but I feel that Ong Tee Keat would be able to bring real changes and transform the party.
Ong Chong Swen, Kelana Jaya division chief gives his personal views. "I feel that it doesn't matter who wins, as long as the top leaders are able to figure a way to work together and fix the party. The party's national elections are due next year – probably by August – and this is only if general elections are not called by then.

2.30pm Liow Tiong Lai in high spirits. The deputy presidential candidate is confident of winning. Youth chief Wee Ka Siong says 450 votes from the Youth section will go to Liow.

2.10pm Ng Chok Sin, 42, Sepang division chief (CC candidate) says "Today's elections shows that the election process is still functioning and healthy. Hopefully the results would reunite all factions and we'll become one MCA. Whoever becomes No. 1 should sit down with the other contenders and reconcile.

2.00pm An announcement says that a total of 2,315 ballots out of the total 2,318 delegates have been received. It's possible that three wish to abstain, the annoucement says.

1.45pm It is decided that the voting closes as all the delegates have voted. Sructineers are instructed to start sorting the ballot papers.

1.40pm A traffic policeman tells MM outside the party hq that traffic control has been well the whole morning along the busy Jalan Ampang. Most have been cooperative and there was no double parking. "As long as it's a single row parking, we can tolerate".

1.20pm Met inside the Gent's. a delegate doing his job at the urinal, complains to our reporter that he couldn't get his lunch, as most of the dshes have been 'walloped'. Upon checking, what he said is true. Only a plate of vege and a bowl of curry chicken are left. Well, don't be late for lunch next time.

1.00pm Most of the delegates have left the party HQ, back to their hotels to rest. One of them says, " during election time, we are put in top notched hotels. At other times, we have to bunk in at budget hotels. So might as well make full use of the hotel facilities la". While others may return to their hometowns, most are expected to stay till the results are announced and enjoy the victory dinners. Others to lick their wounds after the defeat.

12.50pm The very busy MCA sec-gen Wong Foon Meng is constantly supervising the election process. At times, he cuts a lonely figure, observing scrutineers at work, arms folded and unsmiling. One of his staff commented, "That's my boss, he's very serious in his work".

12.30pm As human must take a break, so must the voting. EGM chair announces voting is taking a lunch break and will resume at 2pm. But so far, it appears that most have cast their votes.

12.10pm Some delegates were seen crossing over to Ampark Park, a popular shopping complex opposite Wisma MCA, possibly for some 'private' lunch and last-minute strategising. Lunch is served for all in the MCA csr park.

11.50am Tee Keat briefly tells reporters who caught him near the 3rd floor lift that he wishes to thank and congratulate the election committee for a job well done.

"They have put in a lot of hard work to ensure that today's proceedings go well. "

Asked on the mood of the delegates, he said: "Well, as you can see, the mood is good, everyone is happy".

Earlier, Tee Keat told reporters after casting his vote that he does not believe that he is trailing in the contest, saying that "it is a media spin".

11.35am Before leaving Wisma MCA, Ka Ting told the media he is happy with the voting process. Asked if he was confident of winning, he replied, "Everone has to be confident".

11.30am Dr Ng Yen Yen says she is happy and relieved that things are going on smoothly. "Everyone is behaving well. There is no booing." Yen Yen is defending her post as a vice-president.

11.10am Presidenttial candidates Ong Tee Keat, Ong Ka Ting and Dr Chua Soi Lek are seen on different floors of the MCA headquarters. Chua on the ground floor, Tee Keat on the third floor and Ka Ting on the second, each accompanied by a handful of supporter

10.45am Assembly chairman Yip Phooi Hong announces that 2, 316 out of 2,318 central delegates are present. This is a 97.57% turnout rate. An FT delegate remarks it's not surprising, considering the importance of today's polls.

10.20am Minimal police presence outside Wisma MCA. No untoward incident. Delegates appear civil towards each other

VOTING took off at 10am for the crucial MCA party elections. It looks an orderly process. Things look smooth. The seven-hour process will end at 5pm.

MM
28/03/10
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