Hindraf capable of doing many more things to right what was wronged over 57 years in Malaysia

How many, political parties, NGOs and voluntary organizations in Malaysia dared to publish their accounts as the real Hindraf has done. None that I am aware of.

This article alerts the DAP and the PR leaders to open their eyes and not be fooled by implants.

In your craze for Malaysian Indians support you seem to be easily fooled. We are more alert to “Saifuls” of this world.

The real force and support of the working class Malaysians of Indian ethnicity are massed behind Waythamoorthy and Unthaykumar leadership, leadership that is incorruptible and courageous, the same leadership of vision that provided the stimulus for the 308 sweep for the 5 states.

As YBH Lim stated in a early piece of posting, that in some States the Indian are the “King Makers “. It was proven correctly, and it was the real Hindraf Indians.

Vasanthakumar is Najib’s Indian force, a force that can be easily squeezed into public telephone booth. Don’t be fooled.

For security and efficiency the real Hindraf leadership is working discreetly behind the scene to bring about change in the next election. We do not stand and shout with hot air. Each one of you leaders will loose the grip on the Indian votes if you decide to throw you lot with people like Vasanthkumar .

The real Hindraf’s powerbase and pull factor with silent majority remains with Waytha and Uthaya, and is spread globally, from the UK o the USA to Australia to Indonesia to Singapore, wherever the Indians and fair minded people understand the power and deprivation of minorities.

You may recall how the previous Malaysian Home Minister attempted to clip the travel rights of Waytha by cancelling his passport and telling a blatant lies in Parliament. You would have not have not known that we harnessed our international support team to secure urgently unrestricted travel document from the British Home Ministry within days and put Albar to public shame as a liar. Now Waytha can travel anywhere at will. We are capable of doing many more things to right what was wronged over 57 years in our country with birthrights.

Through our discreet campaign we are grounding Samy Velu and mark our words he will be history very soon.

The purpose of this email is to alert you to be reconsider your alliance with Vasnathakumar and his kind, if you do want to gain the support of the silent majority of Malaysian Indians.

Please think about this, as these are not hollow words.


Sabah and Sarawak schools treated as 2nd class

KOTA KINABALU: The failure of Sabah and Sarawak schools to make it to the list of the country’s top 20 is proof of the Federal government’s neglect of schools in the two states, said the Sabah Progressive Party.

The list, announced recently by Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, did not have any school from East Malaysia on it.

SAPP’s Wong Yit Ming (picture) said this was demoralizing and an insult to teachers and students in the two states.

“It’s a known fact that till today Sabah is still facing acute shortage of teachers, mainly due to insufficient allocations from the Education Ministry,” he said in a media release.

“Many schools in the rural areas of Sabah still lack such basic amenities as power and water supply, making a mockery of the constant proclamations of teaching Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the schools.”

He lamented that the many so-called mega-school built in the rural areas of Sabah, some costing hundreds of millions of ringgit, had now become white elephants because poor planning had resulted in poor student enrolment.

He urged Sabah BN leaders to demand that the Federal government pay serious attention to Sabah schools and provide more funds to improve education standards in the state until schools there can compete with the top schools in the country.


Khairy may face no-confidence vote

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno insiders say the Umno Youth executive committee plans to table a no-confidence vote against their chief Khairy Jamaluddin (picture) soon.

There is growing unhappiness in Umno Youth over Khairy’s leadership and his liberal beliefs. The final straw apparently came with his recent admission that Umno had unwittingly become an extremist party.

His comment is believed to have angered top Umno officials, including Prime Minister and Umno President Najib Abdul Razak.

According to Harakah Daily, the Umno Youth committee had already secured enough votes to oust him.

The move reportedly had the blessings of Najib, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has for a long time been scornful of the son-in-law of his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

PKR strategist Tian Chua reckons it is not impossible that Khairy will survive the move to boot him out of the system.

“There may be a tough fight but let’s see whether Khairy can survive this,” he said. “He may surprise everyone by turning the tables on his enemies.”

PAS strategist Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad echoed Tian Chua’s view, saying it was premature to write Khairy off.

“It is actually strange for Umno to want to push him out,” he said. “I would rate him as a definite asset to Umno because he can provide the check and balance the party needs against the hardliners and those with self interest like Dr Mahathir, who just refuses to go away.”

Dzulkefly said he would welcome Khairy into Pakatan Rakyat if he was sincere in his intentions to serve the rakyat.


Zahrain was actually “politically frustrated” because the state government had rejected his recommendation for a company to be awarded a contract.

IPOH: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture) is of the view that Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim, who has publicly criticised him, could “burn bridges” with the state government if he chose to.

“If he wants to burn bridges with the Penang Government, that is his choice. Let us wait and see if other Penang leaders will support him,” the DAP secretary general told reporters yesterday after opening a national workshop for DAP local councillors here.

Last week, Zahrain told Lim to step down, calling him a dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded leader who was unfit to lead the state.

In response to Zahrain’s attack, the state DAP claimed that Lim had informed the party that Zahrain was actually “politically frustrated” because the state government had rejected his recommendation for a company to be awarded a contract.

Yesterday, the PKR supreme council decided to haul Zahrain in before the party’s disciplinary committee.

PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim said the party condemned Zahrain’s views on Lim and that his statement was uncalled for.

Lim said Zahrain’s statement had not affected the running of the statement government and that they had not been in communication since the media frenzy over the issue started.

“It is business as usual in Penang," he said. "After all he is not an assemblyman.

“Of course, the media will try to create a sense of crisis and that is what Barisan Nasional wants to achieve."

He said he was nevertheless surprised by Zahrain’s attack.

“This just came out of the blue and I feel we have addressed the real reasons behind it,” he said.

On Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s statement that the open verbal spat involving Pakatan leaders was a sign that there was a serious split within the fragile coalition, Lim said he had expected Barisan to try to turn the matter into a full-blown crisis.

“But one swallow does not a summer make,” he said.

He said it was unusual for the Prime Minister to express his views on such a matter.

To prove his confidence in his colleagues in the state government, Lim said, he would leave on Monday for a short trade mission overseas.


UMNO supreme council to decide Ku Li’s fate

JELI: Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairman Mustapa Mohamed said today only the party’s Supreme Council could determine the action to be taken against Gua Musang Umno chief Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (picture) for making a stand contrary to the Federal Government’s on the payment of oil royalty to Kelantan.

“It is not within the jurisdiction of the Kelantan Umno,” he said. “Only the Supreme Council can decide on the action to be taken against Tengku Razaleigh.”

Mustapa, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, was asked whether Kelantan Umno would act against Tengku Razaleigh for having said on Thursday that the Kelantan state government should be given oil royalty instead of a compassionate payment.

Following that statement, Prime Minister and Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the party leadership would scrutinise the speech Tengku Razaleigh made at a gathering at the Sultan Mohammed IV Stadium in Kota Baharu.

At a meeting with the Pasir Puteh Umno division last night, Mustapa said the Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee would meet Najib to propose projects to be financed by compassionate fund.

Mustapa had said recently that the Federal Government would provide RM20 million in compassionate payment to Kelantan, which was five per cent of the 2008 revenue from oil and gas production off the Kelantan shore.


Umno’s irrelevance to Malaysians

The last time these bitter rivals clashed, Umno was split into two and broke down as a party.

Today, the party that calls itself Umno appears irrelevant to both Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh.

To be sure, there is no love lost between these two men, but perhaps there remains affection for Umno and the man who gave them a base for their future as party titans, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

In Dr Mahathir, Abdul Razak entrusted the young minds of the 1970s, reeling from the shock of the May 13 race riots.

In the Kelantan prince, the country’s second prime minister gave control of ‘black gold’ for a secure financial future and latitude to control a media empire to project its view of ‘development politics’.

The intervening years had been kinder to Dr Mahathir as he steadily moved up and became party president in 1981 but nearly losing the top job to Tengku Razaleigh six years later — a testimony to their love for the party that lead then then Malaya to Merdeka in August 1957.

But today, during the administration of their beloved leader’s son, Datuk Najib Razak, both Umno statesmen appear to have lost faith in their party.

Dr Mahathir is actively promoting and endorsing Perkasa, a right wing group that is still talking about defending Malay rights almost 53 years after independence and 40 years after May 13.

In some ways, he has turned the clock back to the 1960s when he was viewed as Malay nationalist/ultra and much distrusted by those chasing the idea of Malaysia. But this time, he has ditched Umno, preferring a group with a narrow world view mirroring that of his youth.

Ku Li himself is pushing for a multiracial platform, good governance and respect for the Federal Constitution and what it means in the context of a state-federal relationship.

He is arguing for a Malaysia that Tunku Abdul Rahman and his successors had fought to fashion from independence and through the communist insurgency and the dark days of May 13.

And he seeks it beyond the pale of his party, Umno.

Yet both refuse to leave Umno, perhaps out of deference to the legacy and memory of Abdul Razak’s presidency and earnestness in getting the best and brightest to vault the party and country to a better future.

But their warm embrace of ideals and like-minded people outside Umno should be a cause of concern for Najib who seeks to recapture lost support, states and federal seats from the Pakatan Rakyat.

To paraphrase most people’s first typing lesson, this is the time when all good men should come to the aid of the party, if not the country.

Both Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh feel they are doing it. But not from within Umno.

Can two men who are so different in their views and wants for the party and country share the same opinion that Umno is irrelevant or incapable of bending to their will and vision? The answer appears to be yes.


State Anthems

Are the non malays citizen of Malaysia? Are they allowed to sing Malaysian state anthems or should they boycott these anthems. The decision is with UMNO....
Duli Yang Maha Mulia
Selamat di atas takhta
Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku
Rakyat mohon restu bawah Duli Tuanku
Bahagia selama-lamanya
Aman dan sentosa
Duli Yang Maha Mulia

Allah selamatkan Sultan Mahkota
Berpanjangan usia diatas Takhta
Memelihara agama Nabi kita
Negeri Kedah serata-rata

Dilanjutkan Allah usianya Sultan
Adil dan murah memerintah watan
Ditaati rakyat kiri dan kanan
Iman yang soleh Allah kurniakan
Allah berkati Perak Ridzuan
Allah selamatkan Negeri dan Sultan.

Allah peliharakan Sultan
‘Nugrahkan dia segala kehormatan
Sihat dan ria, kekal dan makmur
Luaskan kuasa, menaungkan kami
Rakyat dipimpini berzaman lagi
Dengan Merdeka bersatu hati
Allah berkati Johor
Allah selamatkan Sultan

Ya Allah Yang Masa Kuasa,
Lanjutkan Usia Duli Yang Maha Mulia,
Dirgahayu, Darul Makmur,
Aman dan Bahagia Sentiasa,
Ya Allah Selamatkan Duli Tuanku Raja Kami

Allah daulatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Terengganu Darul Iman,
Allah peliharakan Tuanku Sultan,
Sejahtera sepanjang zaman,
Allah rahmatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Memerintah rakyat aman.

Lanjutka usia Al-Sultan kami
Sultan Kelantan raja ikrami
Aman sentosa Tuhan sirami
Kekal memerintah kami
Kasih dan taat setia disembahkan
Keriangan diucapkan
Segala kebesaran Allah cucurkan
Bertambah kemuliaan

PM Thaipusam letter, UNESCO World Heritage Status for Batu Caves

NO.6, Jalan Abdullah,
Off Jalan Bangsar,
59000 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: 03-2282 5241
Fax: 03-2282 5245
Website: www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com

Your Reference :

In Reply : Misc/Jan 2010 Thaipusam

Date : 26hb Januari 2010

YAB. Dato Seri Najib Razak
Perdana Menteri Malaysia,
Blok Utama Bangunan Perdana Putra,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
Fax: 03-88883444
62502 Putrajaya
E-Mail: najib@pmo.gov.my

YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim
Menteri Besar Selangor,
Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor,
Tingkat 21,
Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin,
Abdul Aziz Shah,
Fax: 03-55190032
40503 Shah Alam,
E-Mail: khalid@selangor.gov.my

Re : 1) SOS Batu Caves & World Heritage Site Declaration by UNESCO

2) Stop Work Order on housing project in Batu Caves Reserve.

3) National Public holiday for Thaipusam

In 1930 even the colonial masters saw and deemed the Batu Caves Hill as a Malaysian heritage and reserved the same as a site for public recreation. But only in 1980 did the UMNO Selangor State government agree to stop quarrying works at Batu Caves and protect the remaining hill and caves.

Finally in 2007, the Federal government declared the 272 hectre Batu Caves Reserve a National Heritage site, affirming the status of Batu Caves as a unique site of national interest. (refer Star Metro 26/1/2010 at page M9 quoting the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS).

However, in 2008 even the (Parti Keadilan Rakyat ruled Selangor state government’s) local government unlawfully permitted housing development right up to the base of the Batu Caves hill directly causing high-rise buildings and billboards to obscure the site.

The newly released Draft Selayang Municipal Council Local Plan 2020 by the PKR led Selangor state government zones the eastern part of the Batu Caves Reserve (Kg Melayu Wira Damai Selatan and Kg. Seri Gombak Tambahan) as high-density housing redevelopment contradicting the protected status accorded to the site under its gazette.

MNS had referred to the Minerals and Geosciences Department’s guidelines that stated that houses should not be built within 250m of the base of the hill (to avoid danger from rock-fall and sinkholes). Should the housing redevelopment plan be carried out it would directly contradict these guidelines, as well as posing a danger to the residents.

The same plan also proposes to put giant “MPS” lettering on the side of the Batu Caves hill which does not seem to serve any purpose other than defacing a natural rock formation for little publicity gain.

We hereby call upon your goodselves to forthwith issue an immediate stop Work Order and thereafter stop all further plan for housing development inside the said Batu Caves Reserve area and to manage this Nature Park reserve in accordance to its recreation rather than housing development.

Malaysia is a very big country measuring 329,845 square kilometers. We are sure that there are hundreds of thousands of other suitable sites that can be found for this housing development. Why then this greed? This our Heritage Batu Caves should be saved and preserved for our future generations.

In the circumstances we call upon your goodselves to:

1) Forthwith issue an immediate Stop Work Order on all development works in the said Batu Caves Hill Reserve Area.

2) The Federal and State Governments of Selangor gives effect to the original 1930 Batu Caves Hill Reservation gazette as a site for public recreation.

3) The Federal and Selangor State governments announces the proposed submission of Batu Caves as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Bearing this Unesco proposal in mind Thaipusam Day be declared a National Public Holiday accordingly with effect from next year (2011) onwards and that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces the same accordingly on the eve of Thaipusam this year (29/1/10)when he becomes the first ever Malaysian Prime Minister to visit Batu Caves for Thaipusam

4) Moving forward and in recognition of and as a prelude to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the pain, suffering, oppression, marginalization and discrimination of the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia and with the view to a new beginning that would put a stop to all further discrimination and marginalization of especially the ethnic minority Indian community in Malaysia this our aforesaid proposals would go a long way.

5) All unlawful housing or development within the said reserve area

should also be removed and/ or relocated to outside of the boundaries of the Batu Caves Reserve area.

6) Direct the issuance of an urgent circular by the Chief Secretary to the government and the Selangor State Secretary directing the aforesaid authorities that all operations of illegal touts preying on motorcycles, cars, buses and lorries parked and in and around the Batu Caves area especially during the Thaipusam festivities season this year and every year from now onwards put be to a stop.

7) Direct the Traffic Police and the Traffic Wardens from the Selayang Municipal Council to go easy on the issuance of traffic and parking summonses and tamper their enforcement practices with mercy during this year’s and every future year’s Thaipusam festivities as they rightly have been doing in particular during the peak hour weekly Friday prayers outside major mosques nationwide.

Note: Items 6 and 7 has become a yearly occurring complaint with no or very little action having been taken by the aforesaid authorities despite our almost yearly complaints in over the last fifteen years or so.

P. Uthayakumar
Secretary General (pro tem)
Human Rights Party

Is Anwar that naive or stupid that he cannot see the false façade that Zul is wearing on his face?

Anwar may need to spend a second term in the Sungai Buloh Prison to wake him up to the reality of what is going on in the real world.

The Member of Parliament for Kulim, Zulkifli Noordin, is keeping his options open. If and when his party sacks him then he will decide where he goes from there. Well, for sure, he will not be joining PAS because he is at war with PAS. That is why he always takes the opposite stand to that of PAS.

Zul’s personal feud with PAS actually goes back a long time, back to the time of the late PAS President, Ustaz Fadzil Noor. Ustaz Fadzil did not want to have anything to do with Zul. He would not touch Zul with a ten-foot pole.

There was one occasion when Ustaz Fadzil was on the way to an event and when he was told that Zul was also going to be there he told his driver to turn the car around and take him home. Ustaz Fadzil would try to avoid any event that Zul would be attending.

But why was Ustaz Fadzil so against Zul? Those who personally know Ustaz Fadzil would tell you that this is one very kind old man who carried no grudges. But why was he so ‘extreme’ when it came to Zul?

It is not that Ustaz Fadzil was taking it a bit too personal when it came to Zul. It is that Ustaz Fadzil did not trust Zul and felt that he was just a plant, a Trojan Horse, who should not be trusted further than you can throw him.

Zul is very ‘Islamic’. He is in fact even more Islamic than PAS, almost Taliban in attitude. So why did he not join PAS? Does he not want to join PAS?

It is not that he does not want to join PAS but more that PAS does not want him. And it is not because Zul is too Islamic even for PAS’s standards that the party does not want him. It is just that PAS does not trust him and suspects that there is more than meets the eye as far as Zul is concerned.

Don’t forget, in the Art of War you need ‘sleepers’. These are plants or Trojan Horses you send into the opposing camp to create damage from the inside. During the Cold War, the superpowers used sleepers a lot. Russia had scores of sleepers in the British government, some very high up the ranks.

And Umno too uses this very effective sleeper strategy. People are sent into the opposition camp as plants or Trojan Horses. They are in PAS. They are in DAP. And they are most certainly in PKR.

Do you know that back in 1999 one Special Branch officer became the head of one of the Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) branches? Yes, that’s right. A Special Branch officer was a PKN branch chairman and the party did not find out until much later. How much damage do you think he had done by the time they found out?

Do you know that some of the staff in the PKN headquarters back in the early years reported to the Special Branch? Their job was to print out the membership list and other documents and reports and pass them on to the Special Branch. Yes, but what they did not know is there are also Special Branch officers who report to me. So I was fully aware of the ‘black ops’ going on in the party headquarters.

After I detected the Special Branch agent, I used him to leak false information to Bukit Aman. This is called a ‘disinformation’ campaign. In a disinformation campaign you leak false information to confuse the enemy.

I then placed my son -- who is now in the Sungai Buloh Prison -- in the party secretariat and his job was to key in members’ details into the computers. But we had two membership lists. One showed only 20,000 members, which we left ‘exposed’ for the Special Branch agent to copy and pass on to Bukit Aman. Then we had the second list, which actually had 250,000 members, but which we kept hidden.

We did not allow even the party Supreme Council Members to see this list. This is because we did not trust our own Supreme Council Members and suspected some of them to be Special Branch agents as well.

The only two people allowed to sight this genuine membership list was the Secretary-general, Anuar Tahir, and the Deputy President, Dr Chandra Muzaffar. Even Dr Wan Azizah was only told how many ‘real’ members we had but she was not given any printout. And the Supreme Council, much to its chagrin, would not receive a membership report during the monthly Supreme Council meetings.

Can you imagine the difficulty we faced when we could not trust our own party leaders in the Supreme Council and had to hide information from them and mislead them because we were worried if we told them the truth then Bukit Aman would get this information within the hour?

And there are still many plants, spies, agents and Trojan Horses in the opposition, in particular in PKR. Anwar Ibrahim knows this. Dr Syed Husin Ali knows this. Dr Wan Azizah Ismail knows this. Zaid Ibrahim knows this. Azmin Ali knows this. Datuk Kamarul Bahrin knows this. Saifuddin Nasution knows this. Tian Chua knows this. R. Sivarasa knows this. In fact, every bleeding party leader knows this and they have known this from way back in 1999.

Do you know how good these agents are? One day, back in 2000 or so, they downloaded all the data from the party’s computers and short-circuited the computers after that. We came to office one morning and found that all ten computers had practically ‘melted’. It was definitely an inside job and we suspected who that person might be.

This particular guy sleeps in the office -- so in that sense he is the first one in and the last one out. One night, I too slept in the office, without him knowing of course, and I monitored the telephone switchboard. When I saw the light come on to show which extension was being used, I sneaked up and eavesdropped on the conversation. Yes, he was sending in his daily report.

From then on I used him to send Red Herrings to Bukit Aman. I still smile when I think of all that crap I was feeding the Malaysian intelligence agency that at one time in the 1950s was acclaimed as the best in the world, far superior to even the KGB and CIA.

In another incident, one Special Branch officer penetrated Ruslan Kassim’s office. Ruslan Kassim was then the party Information Chief. I suspected he was Special Branch because during the ‘Arsenic Demonstration’ in the National Mosque (Masjid Negara) he wore a pink wristband. (Stupid isn’t it?)

I grabbed him by the arm and tugged at his wristband and asked him, “Ini apa?” He replied, “Takde apa. Saja.”

From that day on I kept an eye on him and one day he came to my office and asked whether he could leave his bag in my room for an hour or so as he needed to run out for lunch.

“No problem,” I replied, but as soon as he left I searched his bag and found a tape recorder. And it was running on record mode.

I then made many phone calls and spoke to ‘phantoms’ on the other end. I engaged in all sorts of conversations with imaginary people. And of course, in my ‘conversation’, I ‘revealed’ a lot of party secrets.

This chap came back after lunch to collect his bag and till today I still wonder how useful Bukit Aman found all those ‘secrets’ that were recorded.

Back in 1999, during the Tenth General Election, we had to ‘sweep’ the operations room a few times every day. And it was mind-boggling the number of ‘bugs’ that were discovered. How did they plant these bugs if not for the fact that it were insiders who were doing it -- because for sure outsiders and police officers could never get past the front door, let alone all the way up to the tenth floor. And we are not talking about lower level insiders, mind you. They were not allowed into the operations room. We are talking about high-level insiders, top party leaders, those with ‘security clearance’.

Anyway, I am rambling. But the point I want to make is for more than ten years we have had to live with this problem and always had to be one step ahead of these agents of Bukit Aman. And we did not trust even the top party leadership because all were suspects as far as we were concerned.

So who is Zulkifli Noordin? He is not even of that level I would call a top party leader. And if we do not trust the top party leadership and suspect the top party leadership of being police and/or Umno spies and agents, what more a person like Zul Noordin?

So, freedom of speech is fine. Democracy is fine. And we should not block anyone from exercising his or her right of expression. But was Zul merely doing this? Or is there something more sinister to what he is doing?

The late PAS President did not trust him. We too never trusted him since his second ISA detention because our sources in Bukit Aman told us he had been ‘turned’.

I would urge Anwar Ibrahim to exercise caution. Anwar sat in jail from 1998 to 2004. So he did not have to manage the party office. I was in the party office right up to the end of 2004. So I know more than Anwar himself about what was going on in the party office and the problems we faced in always having to be one step ahead of plants and Trojan Horses.

And we say that Zul Noordin has a hidden agenda. His agenda is not to uphold Islam or to exercise his right of expressing his opinion. His agenda is to create a split in Pakatan Rakyat, in particular in Selangor, so that Najib Tun Razak can grab back the state as he plans to do. And he had planned to do that this month. And this month has only a few days left. So expect them to become more desperate.

Is Anwar that naive or stupid that he cannot see the false façade that Zul is wearing on his face? I think Anwar may need to spend a second term in the Sungai Buloh Prison to wake him up to the reality of what is going on in the real world.

By the way, Anwar, now do you believe that Saiful, the man Najib sent to work in the party office, is a plant? You have only one plant to worry about. We have had so many. But we ‘killed off’ all the plants they sent. We used them to mislead the enemy. You allowed that one plant called Saiful to kill you. Now you want to allow another plant called Zul Noordin to kill Pakatan Rakyat as well?


Zaid slams PKR over Zul’s case

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — Pakatan Rakyat ideologue Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today slammed PKR for treating Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin with kid gloves, saying the party could become a “poor man’s version of Umno” that was incapable of defending its principles and bringing reform.

The political maverick also accused certain quarters in PKR of fearing to take action against Zulkifli as they felt the lawyer was popular among the Malays for his Islamic issues.

“Many feel that PKR is not serious in taking action. In fact, there those who predict it won’t take strict action within the time given,” Zaid wrote in a post headlined “Little Napoleon” in his weblog this morning.

PKR’s political bureau yesterday slapped a gag order against Zulkifli who went against the party line to lodge a police report against Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad over the “Allah” issue.

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had said the bureau had also referred Zulkifli to a disciplinary panel for further action within 30 days.

It is understood that the political bureau meeting was fiery with many asking for action against the former Anwar lawyer who has crossed the party line a few times since being elected in Election 2008.

But a few felt action against the former PAS member would jeopardise the party’s standing among the majority Malay Muslim electorate.

Analysts said the episode exposes the soft underbelly of Anwar’s party — the desire to portray itself as multiracial but living with the constant fear of losing its pull with the Malay voters.

Zaid lamented that Zulkifli has ignored the gag order and has continued to insult the pact’s stand in rival Umno-controlled media.

“It’s strange that Zulkifli Noordin is an ‘untouchable’ in the party; one wonders why there is something special here.

“That is why he can criticise anyone as a ‘Little Napoleon’ or those who are powerless, people like me ,” he added.

The former Umno minister said the episode has convinced him that PKR cannot defend core principles in its struggles.

“Only the easy and expedient. PKR today is not that different from Umno, only its mold or just ‘a poor man’s version of’ Umno,” Zaid wrote.

Saying it was clear that Zulkifli’s action was to destroy the party from within, Zaid noted those who fear taking action against Zulkifli felt they risked alienating his supporters.

“But Zulkifli Noordin is not a warrior of Islam, not a Malay warrior. His attitude, action and words are the same as Umno champions,” he said, adding the politician had clearly made statements that are against decisions of the party and Pakatan Rakyat.

“He has given the impression to the people that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat have betrayed the Muslims and Malay Rulers for allegedly allowing those of other faiths to insult Islam especially in the “Allah” issue.

“For me, if we are not confident of our stand in the ‘Allah’ issue and other issues brought by Zulkifli Noordin, then just follow Umno and Zulkifli Noordin. But if we are confident and we hold to principles in the Federal Constitution, and the religious scholars, we must persist with our stand.

“Until when do we want to play politics in two worlds, sticking to one principle there and switching to another here,” he wrote.

Zaid noted there are party colleagues who will now ask him to be patient and follow the legal steps for action to be taken against the recalcitrant Zulkifli.

“I agree. That’s why we should suspend Zulkifli Noordin until the investigations are completed because his offence is clear and continues for those who can and want to see,” he added.

Zaid said PKR must be fair to Zulkifli but also equally fair to the thousands of members who need to be protected when defending party and Pakatan Rakyat principles

“In saying all this, I might be sacked by PKR because I don’t have invincibility like some PKR leaders. But I am used to being sacked and I will continue to voice political struggles that are principled and healthy for the good of PKR and Pakatan,” said Zaid, who had joined PKR after being sacked by Umno in late 2008.

“We are incapable of being a party to bring reforms to national politics and administration if we can’t settle the Zulkifli Noordin issue in the appropriate way,” he added.

Zaid concluded by saying PKR ally PAS has shown its principles and courage for taking action against Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, “but PKR is afraid of the Kulim Bandar Baharu MP”.

Maaysian Insider

Pig heads left at two separate mosques, Is Malaysia heading towards holy war?

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 —Pig heads were reported found at two separate mosques near here this morning and comes just days after about a dozen fire-bombing attacks and acts of vandalism were perpetrated on Churches and a Sikh temple in the wake of the “Allah” controversy.

Mosque officials found what appeared to be two wild boar heads wrapped in plastic bags and surrounded with Ringgit notes around 5.30 am this morning.

The two mosques in question are the Masjid Jumhuriyah in Taman Dato Harun and the Al- Imam Tirmizi mosque at Taman Sri Sentosa.

The heads of the wild boars could be construed as attempts to escalate unrest between Muslims and non-Muslims as pigs are considered unclean in Islam and therefore their presence in the mosques, an act of desecration.

Following the attacks on churches however, there was little tension between the various communities as a chorus of voices on both sides condemned the attacks and it is likely that it will be the same in this case.

No motives or suspects have surfaced so far but police and community leaders were on the scene.

Al-Imam Tirmizi mosque chief, Zulkifli Mohamed said that the heads were found by congregants going for their morning prayers, who thought at first that it was an abandoned baby.

“I am shocked by the incident as it is the first to happen to a Wilayah mosque. I plead for people to remain calm and don’t speculate but wait for police to complete their investigations,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

PKR’s MP for Petaling Jaya Selatan, Hee Loy Sian which is the constituency where Masjid Jumhuriyah is located said that the case was unusual as many RM1 notes were scattered around the plastic bags containing the boar heads.

He also noted the sensitivity of the location of the mosque as Taman Datuk Harun is near where the infamous Taman Medan racial clashes took place in 2001.

“I hope this is not related to the Allah issue and that the police find the people behind it. I also hope that Muslims can be patient,” he told The Malaysian Insider after visiting the mosque compound.

Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar also confirmed the incident at Masjid Jumhuriyah but mosque official Hazelaihi Mohd Abdullah could not be contacted at press time.

PKR Vice president Sivarasa Rasiah who visited both mosques said it looked to him like an organised operation that was an attempt to incite racial tension.

“I am not surprised if the same group that did this is the same group that attacked the churches. This group clearly has political motivations,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Meanwhile the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan called for calm.

“I have directed that extra patrols be conducted at places of worship throughout the country.

“We will not compromise as far as peace and security is concerned and will do everything within our means to ensure no untoward incident happens,” he said.


The socioeconomic situation of the Indian community in Malaysia

The socioeconomic problems of a large number of Indians are rooted in the plantation economy. For several generations, they have been dependent on the plantation companies for employment and housing. These plantation resident communities earned low wages, lived in poor conditions without adequate facilities, experienced low levels of health care and personal wellbeing while their children were educated in poorly equipped Tamil primary schools. Government rural development programmes in the 70s and 80s never reached them because the plantations, including the workers’ living quarters, were classified as private property. Though the government recognized plantation workers as a poverty group and indicated that specific strategies would be adopted to improve the housing and quality of life of the estate population, little was done to improve their lot.

As the country progressed, recording impressive economic growth rates from the 1980s, the largely Indian plantation resident communities were left behind as well as became victims to the overall national development. Over 300,000 Indian poor have been displaced after the plantations were acquired for property and township development in the last two decades. When evicted from the plantations, these people not only lost their jobs, but, more importantly, housing, crèches, basic amenities, sociocultural facilities and the estate community support structure built up over decades.

They also lost the plots of vegetable farming and cattle grazing land allotted to them by the plantation companies to cultivate and supplement their modest household incomes. It was not unexpected that these people would face difficulties and hardship in negotiating the transition from the plantations to urban living. Despite the very large number of people involved in this involuntary stream of migration and full knowledge of the traumatic impacts of this displacement, little or nothing has been done to provide skills training and resettle these communities in more sustainable and improved livelihoods.

Consequently, the displaced plantation communities, with no skills and little savings, have swelled the ranks of urban squatter settlements and low cost dwellings. Most of these communities have began and ended in the lower rung jobs, competing with foreign migrant workers for meager incomes. The youths especially feel alienated in the new urban environment, and some have turned to antisocial activities due to the lack of opportunities in their lives.

Overall, two main groups of Indians come within the lowest 30 per cent income category
of Malaysians. The first group comprises the Indian poor living and working in the plantations and who are not included in the many rural based poverty eradication programmes.

The second group comprises those uprooted from the rubber plantations in recent decades and presently living in urban centers or the urban periphery. The Indian urban poor, together with urban poor from other ethnic groups, comprises a critical target group that needs urgent attention.

There has been a noticeable absence of programmes and budgetary resources by government provided to assist the community. This needs to be corrected in urban development sector plans and must be put in place to target them.

The development strategies, policies, programmes, and the distribution of benefits have been highly skewed. Sharp contradictions have arisen as the country’s strategies have become focused on creating a Malay commercial and industrial community. The poverty eradication programmes have also assumed a rural Malay bias.

Although the incidence of rural poverty remains relatively high and the Malays form the largest group among the poor, the numerically small and economically weak ethnic minorities are increasingly feeling alienated, neglected and marginalised. The Orang Asli, the bumiputera minorities in Sabah and Sarawak and the Indian low income groups have long standing complaints that the various development plans have not resolved their socioeconomic problems.

Orang Asli remain the country’s poorest and most marginalised group. Persistent poverty also characterises the lives of bumiputera minorities in Sabah and Sarawak, in part due to neglect and in part because of the inability of conventional approaches to reach these groups due to inaccessibility and other structural constraints. In the case of the Indians, the changes in the plantation sector have rendered very large numbers homeless and forced these unskilled people to eke out a precarious living in the urban areas.





HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi will be organizing “A Special Candle Light Vigil Procession ” accompanied with 18 pots of milk offerings (PAAL KUDAM) to Lord Muruga in conjunction with the auspicious Thaipusam Festival together with the fulfillment of the HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi 18 points demands and for the save return of HINDRAF- Makkal Sakthi’s Chairman,

Mr.P. Waythamoorthy to Malaysia .

Starting Venue : Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthaanam Buntong, Ipoh

Ending Venue : Kallumalai Sri Subramaniar Devasthaanam, Ipoh.

Date : 30th January 2010

Time : 6.00 pm

In accordance to this special festival, we invite all devotees to join us hand in hand . We encourage devotees to wear dhoti (vesthi) with safron/orange colour shirt (Kaavi colour).

Lets all pray together “ VALGA HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI”

For more details, please s contact:

P.Ramesh : 019-5235528

N.Subra : 012-4826957

S.Siva : 016-5347834

P.Bala : 016-2109545

D.Nagen : 012-2065424

Mr Mohan : 016-5548426


Please forward to all.

This will be the 3rd consecutive year HINDRAF – MAKKAL SAKTHI is having such a candle light vigil in Ipoh

We need volunteers or individuals who are keen to do their part for our community. We can team up and make a big change for the sake of our community. We should not neglect our own community. Our community

is our responsibility.

Please come forward to make the changes. The famous quote,

“When you want to see changes you must be part of that changes”

~ Mahatma Ghandi.

Thank you,


HINDRAF Makkal Sakthi

Perak Chief


P.Uthayakumar: Forum Masalah Kritikal Semasa Masyarakat India di Malaysia.

Tarikh: 6/2/2010 (Sabtu)

Masa: 7.30pm (Malam)

Tempat: Tan Kongsi Hall, Jalan Simpang,

Taiping, Perak.

Untuk maklumat lanjut sila hubungi:-

S.Siva (Taiping) 016 534 7834

S.Karuna (Taiping) 016 567 8413

Forum: Malaysian Indians excluded from National Mainstream Development of Malaysia

Date: 7/2/2010

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: Setiawan Recreation Club (SRC),

Setiawan, Perak.

For more information please contact:

Mr.Subra (Setiawan)- 012 482 6957

Mr.Siva (Taiping) - 016 534 7834

Mr.Ramesh (Perak Cheif)- 019 523 5528

Please forward this to friends.

Thank you,


HRP Information Cheif



Anwar Ibrahim: The Speech That Prompted The Police To Act

Muslims have no monopoly over ‘Allah’ — Anwar Ibrahim

Malaysia has once again resurfaced in international headlines for the wrong reasons. Over the last two weeks, arsonists and vandals attacked 10 places of worship, including Christian churches and Sikh temples. Though there were no injuries and the material damage is reparable, the same cannot be said about the emotional and psychological scars left behind. After numerous conflicting statements from government officials, the underlying causes of the violence are still unaddressed. Malaysia’s reputation as a nation at peace with its ethnic and religious diversity is at stake.

Malaysia’s poor handling of religious and sectarian issues is not unique. The ill treatment of minority groups in Muslim countries is often worse than the actions Muslims decry in the West. I have called attention to the broader need in the Muslim world for leadership that demonstrates consistency and credibility in our call for justice, fairness and pluralism. These values are embedded in the Islamic tradition as the higher objectives of Syariah expounded by the 12th-century jurist al-Shatibi.

We have seen Muslims around the world protest against discriminatory laws passed in supposedly liberal and progressive countries in the West. Yet just as France and Germany have their issues with the burqa and Switzerland with its minarets, so too does Malaysia frequently fail to offer a safe and secure environment that accommodates its minority communities.

The recent arson attacks exemplify what’s wrong with the way Malaysia regards its non-Muslim citizens. The attacks were provoked by a controversy over the use of the word “Allah” by Malaysia’s Christian community, which numbers over two million, or about 10 per cent of the population. In late 2007, the Home Ministry banned the use of the word by the Herald, a Catholic newspaper, and later confiscated 15,000 copies of Malay-language Bibles imported from Indonesia in which the word for God is translated as “Allah.” A Dec 31, 2009 ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court overruled the earlier ban, asserting constitutional guarantees regarding the freedom of religion in Malaysia. Since then, an already tense situation boiled over, largely due to incitement by a few reckless politicians, the mainstream media and a handful of nongovernmental organisations linked by membership and leadership to the United Malays National Organization (Umno), the ruling party.

For example, Utusan Malaysia, the nation’s largest Malay-language daily — which is also owned by Umno — has inflamed Muslim religious sentiments by accusing non-Muslims of desecrating the name of the “Muslim” God and alleging a Christian conspiracy to overrun this predominantly Muslim nation through conversion. I have seen these incendiary propaganda techniques used before, when politicians and demagogues exploit public sentiment to garner support by fomenting fear. Such tactics are useful diversions from embarrassing scandals ranging from controversial court decisions, to allegations of exorbitant commissions extracted from military procurements, to the theft of two jet engines from the inventory of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. This behaviour has been exacerbated since the ruling party lost its two-thirds majority in parliament last year. Umno is now desperately struggling to regain public support.

Few Muslims around the world would endorse the claim that we have a monopoly on the word “Allah.” It is accepted that the word was already in the lexicon of pre-Islamic Arabs. Arabic’s sister Semitic languages also refer to God as “Allah”: namely, “Elaha” in Aramaic, and “Elohim” in Hebrew. Historical manuscripts prove that Arabic-speaking Muslims, Christian and Jews have collectively prayed to God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, as “Allah” for over 1,400 years. The history of Islam in Southeast Asia is known for its pluralistic and inclusive traditions, and amicable relations between Muslims and non-Muslims have been the norm for generations.

Muslim scholars outside of Malaysia thus find our “Allah” issue absurd and cannot fathom why it has sparked protest and outrage. Minority Muslim populations living in the West, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11, have diligently tried to remind the public that Muslims, Christians and Jews share common Abrahamic roots and ultimately worship the same God.

Local sensitivities have been aroused over this issue. They should be handled through dialogue and engagement. Instead of permeating a sense of insecurity or a siege mentality, Muslims must be encouraged to engage and present their concerns to the Christians in a constructive manner. The example of Muslim Spain is a moment in our history to which Malaysian Muslims should aspire. But efforts toward fostering a convivencia are not only found in the past. The ongoing “Common Word” initiative, a global effort launched in 2007 that captured the support of over 130 of the world’s most prominent Muslim scholars, has made historic progress towards building goodwill among Muslims and Christians to find ways to live in sincere peace and harmony. It is ironic that noble efforts such as these are being undone by the actions of Muslims themselves.

Malaysia’s international reputation has taken a beating since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was sworn in last year. Despite his efforts to promote national unity, news about the caning of a young Muslim woman charged with drinking, the mutilation of a cow head in protest of the construction of a Hindu temple, ill treatment of Muslim converts who revert to their earlier faith and even the outlawing of the practice of yoga by Muslims have many at home and abroad wondering which direction Malaysia is headed under Najib’s leadership. There are already misgivings about governance, human rights, the rule of law and rampant corruption; Malaysia dropped 10 spots on Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perception Index, our worst showing in over 15 years. The vision of Malaysia as a peaceful and stable location for investment, tourism and migration is now in peril.

This matters most for Malaysians who have to contend with an increasingly polarised social and political landscape. Malaysia cannot afford to be held hostage by the vested interests of a few who manipulate faith and identity as a means to elicit fear for political and economic gain. This is old politics, and it has become clear that those who incite hatred are only doing so to prolong their monopoly on power. The majority of Malaysians reject this approach. They realise that overcoming the challenges we face—a stagnant economy, declining educational standards and rising crime—depends on our ability as a nation to internalise and make real the principles of fairness and justice to all. — Wall Street Journal

* Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh and federal opposition leader.

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


Sack Zulkifli Nordin, says Zaid Ibrahim

KUALA LUMPUR: Kulim Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin, who lodged a police report against his peer Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, could face expulsion if PKR supreme council member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (picture) had his way.

“If you say the amending the law is wrong, that’s okay. But don’t lodge police reports as this is a form of intimidation,” he told a press conference.

Last Saturday, Zulkifili lodged a police report against Khalid for allegedly insulting Islam and the Selangor Sultan. He was unhappy that Khalid had said non-Muslims could call God “Allah” and that certain Islamic enactments needed to be reviewed.

At a function last night which was part of a Pakatan roadshow, PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Zulkifli had “crossed the line,” going against his advice not to “cause tensions.”


Why is your Allah not my Allah

AS an East Malaysian, I am neither surprised nor angry about Malay/Muslims being up in arms over the ‘Allah’ High Court ruling. It was to be expected, really.

What does anger me is getting comments from West Malaysian Christians that it is ’silly’ for Christians to lobby to use the word ‘Allah’.

One rather un-enlightened Christian said that “Allah is also a word used to describe one

particular god in a pagan religion, so for Christians to use ‘Allah’ is strange and silly.”

The whole ‘Allah’ debacle highlights a bigger, more endemic problem in the Malaysian, or should I say West Malaysian mentality: General ignorance of how the ‘others’ or ‘lain-lain’ live.

It seems very hard for most West Malaysians to understand that:

Not all bumiputeras are Malay.

Not all bumiputeras are Muslim.

It isn’t just West Malaysian Muslims who have a very limited worldview but Christians as well. They don’t understand that in East Malaysia, with its high population of indigenous Christians, Bahasa Malaysia is used in services.

Most of these Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians have spent their whole lives thinking, praying and referring to their God as Allah Bapa (Father God).

And now the government says they can’t. That only Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ when that isn’t true in other countries.

Look at Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, which allows the printing and dissemination of bibles in Bahasa Indonesia that refer to God not as ‘Tuhan’ but as ‘Allah’.

The Indonesian Muslims don’t worry that their brethren will be ‘confused’ by these bibles. So why is our Home Ministry and all these religious groups up in arms?

The answer to that is politics. Religion is, unfortunately, something as mixed up with politics as is race. Political parties unabashedly use religion as a tool to win debates, with Umno often accused of trying to ‘out-Islam’ PAS.

Religion is not a private matter in this country and is, instead, aired like so much dirty laundry. What other Southeast Asian country has officially sanctioned civilian peeping Toms who consider it their civic duty to weed out fornication? Malay is our language, too.

Despite the many varied ethnicities in Sabah, they have managed to get along without bloodshed or May 13-like incidents.

How have we managed it when West Malaysia’s three main races mostly give each other a wide berth? It’s called tolerance, people.

All Sabahans speak a slightly modified version of Malay with the funny little suffix ‘bah’ tagged behind a lot of words or sentences..

In rural areas, this heavily-accented version of Malay is the only means for most people to communicate with each other. They speak, think, dream and yes, even pray in the language.

Sabahan Michelle Quek asks: “Is it more important to recognise that some Muslims lay claim to the word as being exclusive to their faith, or recognise that a practical need for the word exists for East Malaysian Christians?”

Her question embodies the difficult balancing act that Malaysia has in attempting to address the needs of its varied peoples as well as the gulf between East and West Malaysia.

Kavin Ch’ng, who is married to a Sabahan says that locally, for many generations, Malay-speaking Christians have always referred to Allah and Tuhan in the same breath.

“Why only now does the government kick up such a fuss?” he asks. What is important, Ch’ng says, is mutual respect.

“I think there is a way to co-exist – if only our government can actually wrap its head around the concept of context.”

Sarawakian El’Bornean finds it disturbing that West Malaysians now want to dictate how one’s personal faith is practiced.

“The true Malaysians are here in Sabah and Sarawak,” he says, citing examples of his Muslim friends who have no qualms sitting with friends in non-halal stores and visiting churches.

Despite being surrounded by Christians, East Malaysian Muslims do not consider their faith easily shaken, he asserts. Sabahan Dusun Zara Kahan has a humorous, if facetious, solution.

“If (some) Muslims insist on ownership of the term ‘Allah’ then Christians must do the same with the term ‘Tuhan’. Do you know how many Hari Raya songs will be in jeopardy? End of issue!”

No, we don’t want to convert you

In West Malaysia, technically Christian worship services in Malay are illegal. But Sabahan and Sarawakian students ask for them anyway.

Many of these Malay-speaking East Malaysians feel uncomfortable attending worship services in English because the terms are unfamiliar. Muslims often cite the 99 names of Allah and for Christians in East Malaysia as well as Lebanon and Syria, Allah is their name for God.

All this talk about ‘confusion’ is really the product of West Malaysians not mixing with their East Malaysian brethren.

If you visit the Dusuns in Ranau, you could well meet locals as fair as highland Chinese with slanted eyes who would greet you with the traditional Muslim salam.

Wander into an East Malaysian Chinese coffee shop and you would see tanned, Malay-looking locals happily digging into char siew or other pork dishes

In East Malaysia, you can’t easily tell what faith someone professes or what race his forefathers were just by looking.

This is very disturbing to the West Malaysian psyche. I have met West Malaysians who get very agitated when I refuse to tell them either what religion I profess or what race I am.

They don’t know what to do with me because they can’t categorise me. I don’t fit into their safe little boxes which decide how they will treat me.

What annoys me as well is this West Malaysian paranoia that Christians have a secret ongoing campaign to convert Muslims on the sly.

Let us be honest. If converting Muslims to Christianity was as easy as pouring holy water into your drinking water or putting the word ‘Allah’ in all available religious literature, the Pope would have sanctioned it years ago.

Christians don’t get ‘brownie points’ by forcibly converting unwilling Muslims.

I suppose all the Malay-looking Christian East Malaysians really confuse the locals to the point they rabidly proclaim that churches are succeeding in their nefarious campaign to take over Muslim souls.

In East Malaysia, Christians and Muslims come in various sizes, shapes and colours. Even huge extended families often have different religions, sometimes staying under one roof.

It is not unusual for an East Malaysian to have not just Christian, but Buddhist, Muslim and animist relatives. A friend of mine says it is a convenient excuse to celebrate the many public holidays with more gusto.

When told that someone is marrying a person of another race, the common reaction is: “Oh, your kids will be cute!” No heated discussion about traditions or religious differences because the unspoken assumption is that the couple will work them out.

Because they do.

Be Malaysia, not 1Malaysia

A well-known comedian talked about the recent Al-Islam undercover foray into churches. Its so-called investigative journalists entered churches on false premises and desecrated the communion wafer.

Did the Christians protest? asked the comedian.. Did they declare bloody war? Did they have angry sermons and plan noisy demonstrations outside churches on Sunday?

No. What did the Christians say? “Forgive them-lor. Pray for them-lor.”

The comedian mused that the incident was actually excellent public relations for the church.

Despite our annoyance with West Malaysian intolerance, do you see East Malaysians picketing?

We gripe, we grumble, we send politely worded statements. Yet we still believe in the Malaysia that our Tourism Ministry tries to sell, but which seems to be a myth in West Malaysia.

Do you want to know why? Deep in the heart of most East Malaysians, we truly believe in tolerance. We believe in the ideals of Malaysia.

We don’t have to give ‘muhibbah’ a name because we live it. Since 1963, we have lived as Malaysians, believing in true tolerance and that race or religion matters little.

We truly do believe that West Malaysians can and should get over us using ‘Allah’ to worship God. Isn’t Allah the God of all mankind? Isn’t your Malaysia our Malaysia too?


Bastard Ibrahim Ali is stirring up racial clash and no action from police since it's organised by UMNO, Bravo to Najib's 1Malaysia

Perkasa to defend against ‘disrespectful non-Malay leaders’

SHAH ALAM, Jan 25 — Malay nationalist group Perkasa has said it is not afraid to play the race card in order to rally support for its causes.

Its leader Datuk Ibrahim Ali, at a ceramah organised by Umno here last night, said that since Election 2008 the country has seen the rise of arrogant non-Malay leaders who no longer respect Malays as the dominant race in the country.

“I first came in (as MP) to Parliament in 1986. I remember, in those days, the (non-Malay) opposition leaders were of a different class,” said Ibrahim to some 400 Umno supporters who attended the party’s inaugural Juara Rakyat programme in Shah Alam.

“But after the 12th general election, we have seen the rise of a generation of more ‘biadap’ (disrespectful) opposition leaders,” added the former Umno leader, who left to become an independent in 2004 after a falling out with then party president Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Ibrahim, well-known for his oratory skills, fired up the Umno crowd when he said the “Allah” issue was reflective of the “kind of disrespect” that the non-Malay leaders, particularly from the secularist DAP, have for the Malay-Muslims of this country.

“Look at the current political situation now, we have the Taiping (DAP) parliamentarian questioning the allocation for suraus; we have Teresa Kok (Seputeh DAP parliamentarian) and the azan fiasco.

“We have Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng stepping on the pictures of the two Perak Malay lawmakers. If they want to step on the pictures of Chinese photos, it’s up to them but never do it to the Malays,” blasted Ibrahim.

Ibrahim used all these examples to back his claims that the Malay position as the ruling and dominant race, which he claims is enshrined in the Federal Constitution, is being degraded by the non-Malay opposition leaders.

But the Pasir Mas MP, who contested and won under a PAS ticket in 2008, blamed the alleged predicament of the Malays on PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said Anwar, as a Malay leader himself, had opened the floodgates that allowed non-Malay leaders to “step on the Malays’ heads.”

He said that from the moment Anwar was released, there “was an air of trouble brewing”, referring to the growing influence of the Anwar-led opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Ibrahim said it is this “new politics” propagated by Anwar that has “nurtured” a culture of “rudeness” towards the Malays.

Both Ibrahim and Anwar were arrested in the 1970s under the ISA while they were still university students.

“The Malays have been tolerant enough. God willing, we will lead the Malays against them,” he said to thunderous applause from the crowd.

Perkasa began as a one-man group after Election 2008 but is now rapidly shaping up as a national pressure group for Umno, representing those seeking to defend the constitutional position of the Malays and the “social contract”.

Political observers believe that its rapid growth is possibly fuelled by the heated political climate induced by the “Allah” issue, which has sparked uproar among the country’s Malay majority.

Many of those joining Perkasa are Umno members who feel that the party has strayed from its original ideals of striving for and maintaining Malay dominance in the country.


Sack this idiot out from PKR or dooms day for Pakatan

Zul Noordin faces PKR disciplinary action

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said last night that Kulim MP Zulkilfi Noordin will face disciplinary action by the party.

Anwar said Zulkifli had crossed the line and that he was disappointed with him.

“I have always given him room to express himself but I have not always agreed with him.

“I have advised him not to cause any tension among our partners but he has crossed the line this time,” Anwar told reporters at Pakatan Rakyat’s road show here.

Zulkifli, known for his hardline Islamic views, had lodged a police report against the PAS’ Khalid Samad for making a statement that a Selangor enactment which prohibited non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” and other Islamic terms was “outdated.”

Anwar confirmed that he has written to Zulkifli and was expecting an explanation before Tuesday.

“I have emailed him so that he will give an explanation because I want to refer this case to the party’s disciplinary committee and political bureau which will hold a meeting this Tuesday. I hope he can provide his answer before that,” he added.

Anwar also questioned why Zulkifli never referred his grievances to the party leadership.

“I am forced to ask the party leadership to propose appropriate action against him.

“He should have come to us; why can’t you bring it to the party leadership? He never conveyed [the matter] to us,” he said.

The PKR Youth wing has also blasted Zulkifli and described his action as “very Umno-like.”

Youth leader Syamsul Iskandar called on party leaders to take stern action.

However, Anwar believes that Zulkifli should be given a chance to explain himself.

“I don’t believe in the demand of sacking before due process and [I am now] allowing him to explain,” he explained.

The police report against Khalid is not Zulkifli’s first “renegade” act that has placed him at odds with his party and Pakatan Rakyat as a coalition.

The Kulim MP, who was formerly with PAS, has acted in ways seen to be detrimental to the opposition pact in the past.

One example was when he played a role in the demonstration against the Bar Council outside the body’s headquarters.

The protest, held by far-right Umno-affiliated groups and other conservative NGOs, was organised to disrupt the Bar Council’s seminar on the jurisdiction crisis between the Syariah and the civil courts.

Despite his involvement, action was also not taken against him then.

Malaysian police is UMNO's tool to stay in power

Anwar forum ends in chaos, cops move in

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s first public forum in Lembah Pantai, his first since his release in 2004, ended in chaos here last night.

The police interrupted Anwar 30 minutes into his speech at 11.35pm at the PKNS flats in Kampung Kerinchi.

The PKR advisor was telling the public about his upcoming sodomy trial when six uniformed officers led by Brickfields OCPD, ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Talib, walked into the crowded parking lot where the forum was held.

As the police got closer to the stage, the 500-strong crowd became agitated and started insulting the officers.

At that point, Anwar tried to calm the crowd: “Everybody please calm down. Let me deal with this.”

He tried to recite a prayer when Abdul Bari got on the stage.

“Just give me five minutes to recite the prayer,” Anwar asked but the police stopped him without warning and moved to grab the microphone away.

This caused momentary chaos as Anwar’s men rushed to protect him from being apprehended.

Abdul Bari looked visibly worried when the crowd became agitated and began chanting, “Reformasi!”

After 10 minutes of heated arguments with Abdul Bari, the veteran politician was then allowed to be escorted into an apartment in a nearby flat.

The police, including Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohamad Sabtu Osman, then ordered the crowd to disperse as a small group of FRU personnel began to line up near the parking lot entrance.

The organisers also tried to ease the tension and asked the supporters to leave peacefully.

“Please calm down. They are only doing their jobs. Please leave,” one of the organisers shouted.

Twenty minutes later, Anwar came out smiling from the apartment and walked to his car.

The car drove off while the remaining few remaining shouted, “God is great!”

A distressed-looking Nurul Izzah, Anwar’s daughter, criticised the OCPD for stirring up public emotion.

“I think it is a clear provocation because you certainly do not have to do that. We stress again this is merely supposed to be a briefing.

“This is terrible because it showcases how politics has gotten involved in police dispensing their duty,” she told reporters here.

The Lembah Pantai MP also argued that they were supposed to have been allowed to hold the talk because it was PKNS land.

“We should have been able to use the hall (of the PKNS flats) but it was denied by the Umno leadership here.

“Since we were not given the hall, the OCPD said that it was fine to hold the talk here (in the parking lot) but a permit was not given,” she added.

Abdul Bari later explained that it was Anwar who provoked the police to act.

“We were okay in the beginning but with the presence of Datuk Seri Anwar... his speech was political in nature which was not in line with why they gathered.

“So we were forced to act,” he said.

He also stressed that he had warned Anwar to stop before the police moved in.

Najib-Anwar rivalry spreads to Indian chambers

KUALA LUMPUR: The “two-chiefs disease” that has blighted the PPP and the Makkal Sakti Party has spread to the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry with council member and former president Datuk V.K.K. Teagarajan claiming that he is the rightful president and not Datuk K.K. Eswaran, who bested him by a one-vote majority in elections last June.

The source of their bitter feud, which is the talk of Indian business circles, may well be politics and not business rivalry.

The origins of the feud is a press statement Eswaran gave soon after winning as president, in which he attacked Hindraf, criticised the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and, in the same breath, praised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The statement did not go down well with some members who are overtly pro-Hindraf, pro-PR and pro-Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Subsequently Eswaran, according to Teagarajan, continued to use the chamber’s name to propagate his political beliefs and promote Najib’s interest over the main role of the chamber, which is to help and promote Indian businessmen.

Eswaran also allegedly, and on numerous occasions, made political statements favourable to Barisan Nasional.

However, critics say that Teagarajan, who was once an MIC and BN supporter, had also done the same when he was president.

Teagarajan countered, however, that he had never put politics above chamber matters or interests.

He told The Malaysian Insider that he might close one path and open another, politically speaking.

“I keep my options open,” he said when asked if he was considering joining a PR party.

The Najib-Anwar rivalry is notably causing a major split in the Indian chamber, because many of its members are openly backing Hindraf and PR.

According to Teagarajan, members were put off by Eswaran’s alleged “blatant” disregard for the rules and interest of the chamber, his alleged disregard for the ROS directives and “arrogance” and disruptive way of running the chamber.

“His arrogant way of way management has alienated many chamber members,” Teagarajan claimed.

He also claimed that Eswaran failed to hold a special delegates conference, as directed by the ROS on Sept 9 last year.

“He also failed to convene the annual delegates’ conference for 2009 by June 30 last year and got an extension until Dec 30 but also failed to convene in that time,” Teagarajan said,

Teagarajan said that seven out of the 12 state chambers held a special meeting on Oct 5 last year and formed an interim committee to organise a special delegate’s conference.

The conference was held on Jan 11 and during which Teagarajan claims he was elected president.

Eswaran could not be contacted but the Sunday Star quoted him as saying the Jan 11 meeting was illegal and that he had the backing of 58 of the 72 chamber delegates.

He also said the ROS had been informed of the decision to postpone the conference.


Hot News updates

Anwar, on possibly borrowed time and a charm offensive. — file pic

By Clara Chooi - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Jan 23 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim promised last night to bring reforms and to turn the country’s economy around within six months if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is voted into power, pointing out that the coalition of PAS, PKR and DAP were prepared to carry on even if he is sent to jail.

Speaking before large crowds at two separate rallies in Slim River and Sungai Manik here, he said PR’s strategies and plans were already in place, in preparation for the possibility that he may again be jailed because of the sodomy charges against him.

“I know; they want to kill me off. They say that Anwar is dangerous for when he speaks, the Malays listen, and he also commands the support of those in PKR, PAS and DAP.

“So they plan to expedite my trial and throw me behind bars, to get rid of me. But let me say this — Najib, do not think you are God,” he said.

Anwar said that plans and strategies had already been ironed out among the parties of the PR coalition.

“So you can drag me to jail but we have agreed that should this happen, our fight will be even stronger. We will fight you (BN) to the end,” he said.

He also told the thousands in attendance that his colleagues in the PR would stay the course, despite his upcoming trial.

The opposition leader indirectly noted that his trial could very well result in a conviction but promised that such an outcome would not mean the end of Anwar Ibrahim.

His upcoming Sodomy II case, a major corruption crackdown and PR being painted as anti-Islam have pushed the informal alliance to hold nationwide rallies to keep its support against a Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught.

Anwar, the PR and PKR de facto leader, held two back-to-back rallies in Selangor earlier this week before heading north to Perak last night.

The former deputy prime minister, who led PR to a historic win of 82 parliament seats and five states, did not waste any time in demonising his former comrades in the Barisan Nasional.

“Actually, there is no need for me to give further explanation to you over Umno/BN’s reckless ways.

“What more can I say? We have a state, it gets grabbed; we have a stadium, it collapses; we have jet engines, they get stolen; we have Balasubramaniam, he goes missing; we have Altantuya but she gets exploded. What more explanation is needed?” he said, to rousing applause and laughter.

“Let me ask you today, how many former army servicemen are here in our midst? How much are your pensions? RM600? It is a shame to even say it. After 21 years of service and you earn RM600 while they, after working for just five minutes by signing a document, they get a commission in the hundreds of thousands. And yet, most former servicemen still support Umno,” he said.

He added that it was because of the BN’s incompetency and corrupt rule that Malaysia’s economy is in such rapid decline.

“We have lost our competitive edge. Let’s not talk about competing with economies like Japan and Korea.

“We have also lost to Thailand and Indonesia. When it comes to economic growth, the Indonesians have surpassed us.

“Why? Are we a poor nation? We do not have oil? No oil palm? No manpower? We have everything but it is because of our corrupt politicians who hoard power at the expense of the rakyat that has created this sad reality today.

“How can Malaysia arrive at a stage like this?” he said.

Anwar promised the crowd that if the PR took over Putrajaya, it would change all of BN’s corrupt policies and turn the country’s economy around.

“Give me six months and I promise you we will bring the most lucrative change that we can manage for the people and the country,” he said.

For a start, Anwar said, with a sardonic laugh, that he would take on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Selangor.

“Najib wants to take over Selangor and this is why, over the past few months, the Selangor government has been attacked from all directions.

“(Mentri Besar Tan Sri) Khalid (Ibrahim) told me, ‘Anwar, Najib has taken over as the Selangor Umno chief. We need your help’. Therefore, I have been appointed as the economic advisor for the state.

“Oh, this is good, very good, because now, I have entered the arena and Najib, I will take you on. Insyaallah, we will prevail there,” he said.

Husni: Malaysians ‘wrong’ to abandon country

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani - The Malaysian Insider

Some 300,000 Malaysians left the country last year. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah today criticised Malaysians who have emigrated, saying it was “wrong” and insinuating that they were betraying the sacrifices of their forefathers.

Husni, who is second finance minister, explained that “our forefathers” settled here because they believed that their children would have a future in Malaysia.

“You and me, our children, we build our lives here and we have our homes here. This is our homeland. I get very sad when I hear we have people migrating to foreign shores. To me, this is wrong.

“Our forefathers have come here, many years ago, bearing much hardship and deprivation. Why did they endure this? Because they believed that their future generations will reap the fruits of having to live on this blessed land,” he said in his speech when launching the Annual Real Estate Agent Convention 2010 at PWTC here.

He then went on to dismiss public complaints as mere “discomfort”.

“There is much here to strive for, there are many reasons to stay. Our fathers have given up so much and they went through so much. Surely, our complaints are merely discomfort compared to their sacrifices.

“Let us build our future in this homeland of ours and work hard together to make things better,” he said.

Husni stressed that the government has always ensured that Malaysians are able to own their own homes.

“It has always been the government’s policy to ensure that every Malaysian is able to own his or her own home. Home-ownership is one of the most fundamental and basic tenets of a market economy.

“We do not want to see the establishment of a landlord class nor do we wish to see the prices of homes being out of reach for the average Malaysian.

“We do not want houses to be the subject of reckless speculation and the rise of an inflationary asset bubble. Every Malaysian must have every opportunity to own a home as a basis of his domestic comfort and financial security,” he said.

Husni pointed that government policies have made Malaysia into the country with the largest number of middle-class homeowners in the region.

“All these years, we have seen home-ownership grow tremendously amongst all races.

“Malaysia, in fact, has the largest number of middle-class homeowners in Southeast Asia. This, you will not get if you are a citizen of any other Asean country,” he said.

Husni also emphasised that he is confident the country will be able to reach the targeted five per cent economic growth for 2010.

He added that the Najib administration has always been a “listening government.”

“I want to let you know that you have a listening government. This government listens. We heard your voice in regards to the RPGT (real property gains tax). We responded accordingly.

“The prime minister had announced on De 23 last year that the five per cent RPGT would now only be imposed on properties sold within five years from the date of its purchase. I hope this is okay with all of you,” he said.

Malaysians bought up 20pc of several high-end property projects in UK and Australia. — Reuters pic

With many high-end condominium projects being launched in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians were still opting to invest in foreign properties, especially in the UK and Australia.

These include projects such as the Lumiere Residences in Sydney, which is priced between A$1.16 million (RM3.59 million) to A$2.88 million (RM8.91 million) and the Waterline House and Woodberry Park apartments in London that start at £340,000 (RM1.856 million) and £199,950 (RM1.1 million) respectively. From a news report, Malaysians made up 20 per cent of all buyers in November last year.

According to sources, one Kuala Lumpur office of a London-based real estate agency managed to garner sales of UK properties worth £70 million (RM382 million) last year and expects to do £140 million (RM764 million) this year.

Meanwhile, the Australian Trade Commission says Malaysians invested about A$4.9 billion (RM15.3 billion) in Australian property in 2008.

The amount invested in overseas property also suggests a continuing trend of brain and money drain from the country, as those who can afford to purchase property in Australia and UK tend to be educated and skilled and many do so with an eye on migration, either for themselves or for their children.

It also contributes to the outflow of capital from Malaysia, which has exceeded inflows for the past decade.

However, interest in these real estate markets is not only limited to Malaysians but has become a trend among Asians, led by China.

Khalid says biding time to strike

“When the time is right to attack, we will attack.” — file pic

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian insider

SHAH ALAM, Jan 23 — Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim brushed aside today the attacks by fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership was slow to react against the ongoing assault by its political rivals.

The state’s PR government is currently facing an ongoing probe by graft-busters, MACC, and is also the target of a campaign by Umno portraying them as anti-Islam due to their moderate views on the “Allah” controversy.

PR have called it an onslaught to “destabilise” the state’s administration.

Talks are also rife that all this is part of a concerted bid to oust PR from the nation’s richest state and Raja Petra, a known PKR supporter, has been relentless in blasting Khalid and his allies for their supposed lack of eagerness to retaliate.

Khalid, however, said today that the coalition has different ways of doing things.

“The way we react to the Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) attacks is by doing our job (as a government), by calling for such an event as today’s,” he said in a press conference after launching a convention held by Selangor’s PKR women’s wing.

The event became a platform for the state’s government leaders to launch various programmes aimed at elevating the status of women in the state through education and skill instillation initiatives.

“What BN wants to do is unsettle us but our reaction to this is to keep doing our job. Voters of Selangor voted us [in] so we would perform,” he said.

Khalid and his administration have been energetic in their charm offensives, often going to the ground to directly engage voters and promote what his government has described as “people-oriented” policies.

Among some of the many policies are the free water programme and burial allowances for the state’s inhabitants.

PR are also attempting to introduce participatory events where the electorate and government officials can directly address local issues.

Khalid said PR was well equipped to retaliate but the coalition must play its cards right.

“When the time is right to attack, we will attack,” commented the Selangor MB.

Four nabbed over arson in Muar

Firefighters inspect the damage on a prayer hall in Muar. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Four men, one of whom is a son of a police officer, were arrested today over the arson attempts at two suraus in Muar, Johor on Jan 21, according to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

In the attacks on Thursday, the Sirratulrahim Surau in Kampung Sabak Awor, Jalan Ismail suffered burns to a window and some curtains, while another surau in Parit Beting was also badly damaged, with scorch marks found on a door, a window, and carpet.

A police forensics team which took evidence at the first surau discovered traces of splashed kerosense at the site, leading to suspicions that the fires were intentionally set.

Political leaders have been quick in condemning the attacks in Johor.

Via a statement, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng slammed “the destructive behaviour of the perpetrator of such irresponsible attacks, who clearly intended to provoke suspicions among our multi-racial and multi-religious communities”.

The latest attacks come on the back of a lull in tempers following a Dec 31, 2009 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use the term “Allah” to describe the Christian God in their Bahasa Malaysia section.

The ruling sparked Muslim outrage across the country, as some Muslims claim that the term “Allah” is exclusive to Islam and must not be used by anyone else.

In the wake of the on-going controversy and prior to Thursday’s attacks, nine churches, a mosque, a surau, a Sikh temple and a convent school have been damaged by fire, paint or stones since Jan 8.

The government has appealed against the decision and obtained a stay of execution.

On Facebook, Twitter, and the death of Malaysian media

All government newspapers are tools of state propaganda. Even a first-year Universiti Sains Malaysia student of journalism can tell us that. Even a padi farmer in Arau can preach that pertinent point to his children. Those who buy and read government-owned newspapers are news junkies subjecting themselves to Official Knowledge crafted to suit the need of the owners of the means of producing propaganda.
Azly Rahman
on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Azly-Rahman/689079971
on twitter: http://twitter.com/azlyrahman
on blog: http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/

“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” (Noam Chomsky)

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826)

Is the death of distance nearer to us than our jugular vein?

Which stream is the mainstream media drowning in? It has forced us to drink too much from the River of Forgetfulness. It has shaped the consciousness of Malaysian citizens - they are now happily indoctrinated, blessed to be alive in a totalitarian state and constantly reminded by the state to count their blessings.

Nicollo Machiavelli once said that, to maintain power, pretend that you are religious and moral, even if you are allowing the Devil within to take charge.

That public image must be doctored by the media, the fourth estate. ‘Perception management’ is big business, especially in this age of political makeovers.

The business of Asian-despotic style of journalism is to tell doctored, nursed, and massaged truths that mask the ugliness of class and the modern caste system.

Perhaps our system of education has helped us become educated at a level enough to consume truth that is produced by the state-owned media companies - to have enough education to believe that what is real is actually an illusion constructed by those who owns the means of constructing reality.

Basic literacy means to have enough skills to read the newspapers, never having the skills to question the truth produced by these artifacts of state-propaganda.

Death of state propaganda

Totalitarian regimes thrives on a seemingly ‘free media’. When the media become conglomerates and giants, gobbling up small alternative media that tells alternative truths, the people will be in danger. The media becomes a King Kong atop the Empire State building, arrogantly pounding its chest after gobbling up production-houses of little truths.

When media control becomes interlocked with political parties and business interests, the selling of lies and half-truths become more savvy, sophisticated and salivating. The story of poverty and why people become poor will not be told - the truth will hurt and bring governments down.

In the movie ‘Entrapment’, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, this point is made clear: we allow Hollywood to promote the Petronas Twin Towers and we make sure that the world does not see the ugliness of our bantusaan/setinggan areas.

But the point on the print and broadcast media was mainly relevant before the advent of the Internet - before the birth and proliferation of bloggers. We now have a post-modern condition that threatens the survival of whatever dignity and respect is left of the government-controlled media. Welcome to the age of the imminent death of state propaganda.

The story of how we discriminate flood victims and take advantage of the helpless will be told in greater detail. The story of how much we pay our voters in a democracy that is hideously deformed will be narrated, published, and pod-casted.

We are all, in our own way, turning into journalists telling our own truth. We will soon no longer need daily newspapers to tell us half-truths. We need our cell-phone cameras, our blogs, and our will to speak truth to power.

Gutenberg’s legacy

The Internet is now such a powerful medium that it is threatening the print media - the Gutenberg creation that is being crushed under its own weight. Never underestimate how the Internet will become a powerful tool that will transform nations or even bring down corrupt governments.

I recall in the summer of 1998, in a discussion with classmates interested in anthropology at Columbia University. I presented a scenario of the changes in Malaysia as the nation becomes ‘cybernated’.

Taking the Laman Reformasi and Free Anwar websites as cases in point, I argued that this will be the next wave of democracy and free speech. It is going to be a war between the Grand and the Subaltern narratives, between Print and Digital Technology, between the elite of the print media and the digital proletariats.

Manuel Castells, Lorenzo Simpson, and Robert McClintock - scholars of Internet and social change - have written a great deal on this.

The fast rate of Internet penetration in Malaysia will see the proliferation of ‘citizen journalists and commentators’ who will continue to exercise their rights to free speech. Nothing can stop the bloggers from providing alternative truths or truths that matter or even - as of late - truths and nothing the truths.

The bedrock of the print media will be shaken as the microbes of voices in the wilderness continue to brew. The screenshots of social change will become a collage of radical social criticism and become a tapestry of voices of conscience that will engulf print media from head to toe. Such is the case of the metaphor of change.

There is a sense of panic, fear and trembling of the world of Print and Broadcast Literacy that Cyberspace a.k. a. the Internet is threatening the foundation of how knowledge is produced and propaganda crafted.

Tools of domination

All government newspapers are tools of state propaganda. Even a first-year Universiti Sains Malaysia student of journalism can tell us that. Even a padi farmer in Arau can preach that pertinent point to his children. Those who buy and read government-owned newspapers are news junkies subjecting themselves to Official Knowledge crafted to suit the need of the owners of the means of producing propaganda.

All government newspapers are used to skillfully silence and kill opposing viewpoints, albeit couched in some proclamation of free speech. It has been used to engineer risings, uprisings and downfalls. It has been bought and sold by those who have the means to buy and sell politicians.

The same goes for the government-owned television stations. They are shapers of consciousness. As a professor of media Neil Postman once said about television, "… thanks to television… our children (have) four eyes and no mouth".

Look at what is shown on television. What are our children watching? How much are they reading? How much junk is being funneled daily into the heads of our children? Through the television programmes, how much money is spent by advertisers to shape us and our children into consumers; those who buy things they do not need and consequently suffer by having to crave for objects of desire that define the symbols of social class they are in?

How many television channels do one need? Who benefits from the selling of mental junk to our children?

Can't we Malaysians organise a week of no-newspapers and a week of no-television campaigns to teach us to flush out junk from our consciousness?

The print and broadcast media has become tools of mental domination and purveyor of the post-modern totalitarianism. Those who participate in owning, writing, producing, editing and selling the ideology are partners with the regime of totalitarianism. They have become a citizen of the state of ‘Oceania’ as in George Orwell's novel 1984. They are, in the word of media theorist Stuart Hall, decoders and encoders of state propaganda.

The Internet is different. It is a protean technology – it is multi-medium and still has the potential for more interactivity. It speaks to us and lets us speak - unlike newspapers, radio and television.

The death of distance is near. How much longer will newspapers and television survive?.

Warning and Information (Najib' visit to India)

I have reliable information that the recent visit to INDIA by Najib and govt delegates (UMNO/BN) is mainly to recruit IT professionals and hackers from India for a 3 year contract. It's estimated that more than 200 will be recruited at MYR300 million per annum.

By Wan (Putrajaya)

Dear MT Admin,

I have reliable information that the recent visit to INDIA by Najib and govt delegates (UMNO/BN) is mainly to recruit IT professionals and hackers from India for a 3 year contract. It's estimated that more than 200 will be recruited at MYR300 million per annum.

Their only task is to jeopardize, intercept and make blog sites and bloggers who are anti-govt handicapped. Since mass media which is govt-controlled and Internet and local blog media is out of govt's control, this time Najib and UMNO/BN out of desperation are going all out to weaken local anti-govt blog spheres and bloggers by having these IT pros and hackers to infect viruses and trojans into individual IP addresses through TMnet and Celcom Internet service providers. Najib, Hishamuddin and Rais Yatim, along with a few UMNO/BN cabinet ministers had a closed door meeting with Telekom and Celcom Top gun CEOs to discuss these matters before Najib left for India.

This is planned to affect login passwords, local publication access, slow down systems, and even to the extent of destroying data in hard disks if anyone accesses any anti-govt blog web sites and to avoid blog websites from posting anti-govt news.

This will not affect pro-govt blog sites due to the fact that the interception is based on IP and POP proxy addresses of individual sites and individual access. So, if you access pro-govt blog websites, you won't be affected. Out of desperation, Najib and the UMNO/ BN govt will ensure that Malaysians won't be able to access news from any anti-govt blog portals and these websites won't be able to publish the truth of their corrupt activities and strategies to topple the PR govt in the Internet local access.

Rais Yatim, DPM and Hishamuddin had recently touched on Blogs, Facebooks, and Twitters that can destroy our culture. Besides these they also plan to get the police and army to apply for MyKad identification cards mainly not due to petrol subsidies and other uses but for the coming GE to vote for BN. The recent Allah issue was also another plot by Najib and UMNO to gain more Malay support. Lately, the burning of 2 suraus in Muar is to anger the malays and also gain support. It's apparent that Najib and UMNO will try all means to remain in power to continue robbing the nation of its wealth for another term or longer.

The Mosques on Friday prayers and Islamic cheramahs were lately told to press on kafir issues for the years 2010 and 2011, mainly for UMNO to gain Malay Muslim support. Buying over key politicians and representatives and voters from PR govt is also part of their plan to weaken the opposition so that they can remain in power. They also have plans to increase the incomes and allowances of all royal family discreetly, to gain support to remain in power.

To mourn or not to mourn

When I am asked to mourn for him as a Johorean, the fundamental question is bound to be asked of myself: what loss is it to me personally?

By A patriotic Johorean

When my son of Primary 1 woke up early this morning, he was faced with a dilemma: to school or not to school. It was so happened that his school has designated this Saturday as replacement school day for the long Chinese New Year break. And the news the previous evening of Johor sultan gravely ill is his source of dilemma. If he indeed had passed away by then, it was certainly an off-day for the school. As it turned out eventually, it was a 'happy' day for him as HRH has indeed passed away.

And for me a Johorean, I am faced with an even bigger dilemma: to mourn or not to mourn. It is a sad day whenever anyone passes away. In this case, I am sad that HRH has passed away as surely it's a great loss to his family and circle of friends. Every passing life is a loss to me.

But when I am asked to mourn for him as a Johorean, the fundamental question is bound to be asked of myself: what loss is it to me personally? As the Sultan of Johor and, for a period of time, Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, what has the HRH done in discharging his duties? All of us exist for a role, being a father, a mother, a child, an employer, an employee or a sultan and king. We strive to give our best under each role for a meaningful life.

My impression of the HRH are listed as follows: his name was used in Iskandar Malaysia economic development zone, which was originally called South Johor Economic Region but the name change was never explained; his fondness to be displayed in military attire although I do not know his military skills or achievements; riding and showing off on a large motorbike during Merdeka parade. And that's it, really.

But then I read many commentaries and analysis of Malaysia's history especially during his tenure as Agong. First, he was alleged to have assaulted a golf caddy and caused the latter's death, simply because the latter laughed at him after seeing HRH miss a golf hole. The incident was promptly noted by the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir, but he did not take any action again the HRH. A great expert of manipulation and maneuver in politics, Dr Mahathir exploited HRH's vulnerability when needed. The moment came in 1988 when Dr Mahathir wanted to sack the Lord President Salleh Abas, who headed the judiciary that had become an obstacle in Dr Mahathir's fight with his strong opponent Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. HRH, who was then the Agong, complied and sacked Salleh Abas. That was the moment when Malaysia's judiciary, which at that time enjoyed worldwide respect for its integrity and sound judgements, took a dramatic turn and started its disastrous decline until today. You can almost say the rot started then, under the hand of HRH.

HRH had failed to discharge his duty as the Agong to protect the judges from interference of the Executive. This failure of HRH was confirmed when HRH invited Salleh Abas to the Johor palace four years after the incident and sought Salleh Abas's forgiveness, according to Salleh Abas himself.

(The recent book, Malaysian Maverick, by Barry Wain has a detailed account of what has transpired then. Or visit Wikipedia.)

So, what loss have I, a patriotic Johorean and Malaysian, on HRH's demise? To mourn or not to mourn, indeed.

Let's See if PDRM and/or MACC got the balls to batch this loan shark (ah long)
I work for an engineering company and the company has got jobs but not enough money to execute them. So, my boss, after trying very hard to get some bank loans and failed had no choice but to borrow some money from a loan shark. This arsehole charges 13% per month and my boss struggles to pay salaries for us. I have not received my salary for the last 5 months but just trickles in at RM$200 or $300 to maintain myself and my family. This has been going on for a long time now.

By Anti-loansharks

Now the loan shark sends thugs to threaten my boss to collect interest on a RM70,000.00 loan he has taken and my boss has repaid RM120,000.00 to this loan shark already.

The mighty loan shark is Dato’ Veerapan A/L Muthaiyah, NRIC No. xxxxxx-xx-xxxx, who lives in Bandar Baru Selayang, driving a car 1129, brags that he has paid RM50,000.00 for his Datoship and paid RM20,000.00 under the table to custom officers for his Mercedes S320 and got the car for a mere RM120,000.00 from the customs yard. ( I have lost all respect for the Sultan who for a mere RM50,000.00 has given this lorry driver a Datoship who has not done any good for anyone.)

He even bravely says “go report if you want, we know how to handle the police”. This is how our beloved IGP has grown the loan sharks locally. This idiot from Johor, having had a transport business before has become Batu Caves Temple’s committee member and owns 3 shops inside the temple grounds under the name “Lucky Star Cash and Carry” and escapes taxation with flowery audit reports has become ruthless and merciless. (Batu Caves Temple’s regulation is that one can only have one shop lot inside the temple grounds which is gravely violated.)

It is very simple to get this arsehole:

  1. Get a warrant to search his car, and get hold of the many different company cheques he holds.
  2. If he does not have any documents to prove he is doing business with these companies, why should he be holding their cheques? (He holds about 4 chequebooks from the company I work and am willing to testify to this.)
  3. He maintains 2 journals which has all the information of who he loans to and their phone numbers and how much he loaned etc. (One book he keeps in his house and another he carries in his car.) I am very sure many of them will be willing to testify against this loan shark who have been suffering to pay his 13% per month take.
  4. Lucky Star Cash and Carry maintains an account at RHB Bank Selayang and his personal savings and fixed deposits are maintained at HSBC Jalan Ipoh.
  5. It will be so easy for the PDM and/or MACC to check this and find out how much tax he pays.
Now with this information, lets see if the IGP has got the balls to get this arsehole or just have a cup of tea with him to collect his dues. For the IGP, the PDRM and MACC to earn their respects, lets see if they can get this guy. Or maybe they need an official complaint to open a file!!!??

Greater unity under a Middle Malaysia
PETALING JAYA: Lim Kit Siang said the Middle Malaysia concept mooted by DAP stresses national transformation in bracing future economic challenges while more effectively uniting all Malaysians.

He said we must not interpret the new economic model purely from economic perspectives, but must first put in place a new model of governance.

“Although prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has proposed a new economic model, the many issues that have taken place lately such as the disappearance of military aircraft engine and the ‘Allah’ issue have shown that the Barisan Nasional government does not have a new model of governance to give rise to a new economic model”

He said during an interview with Sin Chew Daily that Middle Malaysia means the majority of Malaysians.

“If Middle Malaysia could get the support of majority of people, it would create a favourable prerequisite for the country to face future economic challenges.”

He said the continued deterioration of Malaysia’s global competitiveness shows that investors’ confidence in the country’s system was sliding. At the same time, the country’s ranking in Transparency International’s corruption perception index also went down last year.

“Countries like China have made significant improvements in both the ranking and score in the corruption perception index,” he said, adding that cases like a senior judge sentenced to life imprisonment in China would never happen in Malaysia.

“People’s Champion” only serves to consolidate the support of Malay grassroots

He said the People’s Champion campaign initiated by UMNO was meant to consolidate the support of Malay grassroots, not tailored towards the needs of all Malaysians.

He said that was just UMNO’s political gimmick for the Malays which was going against the 1Malaysia principles.

“Does the People’s Champion campaign launched by UMNO conform to the 1Malaysia spirit? Why was this campaign carried out only by UMNO and not the entire Barisan Nasional?”

He felt the campaign had been launched by UMNO with the next general elections in mind.

“UMNO’s biggest objective has been to consolidate its support and status among the Malays so that it can continue to rule after the next general elections.”

He felt that Najib was conscious of the implications of the RAHMAN predictions that after he took over as the country’s sixth prime minister, the RAHMAN predictions would be materialised, and that he could be the last prime minister from UMNO.

He said all new prime ministers would come up with some kind of new slogans, such as Dr Mahathir’s “clean, efficient and reliable government” in 1981 had helped him secure a landslide victory in the first general election after taking over the office.

Tun Abdullah, meanwhile, also came up with an impressive manifesto that saw him scoring the best ever results for BN in the general elections.

1Malaysia fails to manifest itself

“The 1Malaysia concept mooted by PM Najib may not get the desired results. Malaysians are not against the 1Malaysia concept, but the concept fails to manifest itself in many issues.”

He also said Pakatan Rakyat would not disintegrate even if PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were convicted in the sodomy case. Instead, he said the Pakatan leaders would boldly face the problems and make sure that the opposition pact would continue to forge ahead towards its target of running the federal administration.

He said that was why DAP had come up with the “Middle Malaysia” concept and stressed the importance of a “Middle Malaysia.”

“After the 2008 general elections, parties in the opposition pact came to the realisation that the establishment of Pakatan Rakyat had a pivotal role on the political development in this country. Anwar’s role was indeed very special prior to the 2008 elections. He brought PKR, DAP and PAS together. Without him, there wouldn’t have been Pakatan Rakyat.”

He said Pakatan had been established for almost two years now, and he believed the component parties realised the importance of the pact.

He said no one would like to see what UMNO like to see most, that is Anwar would be convicted and jailed, and completely taken out of politics.

However, even if something were to happen to Anwar, he believed Pakatan would not crumble because of that.

He said it was not time now to talk about the successor, as the more important thing was to consolidate the direction of Pakatan towards a “Middle Malaysia” so that it could win the confidence of more people and eventually take over the place of BN in the future.

Ku Li to lead Pakatan?

When asked whether DAP would replace both MCA and Gerakan to become the dominant party for Chinese Malaysians, Lim Kit Siang said, “I agree that MCA and Gerakan are going downhill now, especially in view of their failure to express their stand in the ‘Allah’ issue. However, DAP does not aspire to replace MCA or Gerakan in their gradually diminishing roles. Instead, we want to promote ‘Middle Malaysia’ to get the recognition from the new government, and this should lead the country towards a brighter tomorrow and greater openness.”

On rumours that if something were to happen to Anwar, Pakatan would likely pick Tengku Razaleigh as his successor, Lim Kit Siang said he knew many people were talking about this thing, but he didn’t want to speculate on this and there was no need for him to rebuke such presumptive questions either.

“Some people were saying this, and I heard it. But there is no reason that we must get someone from UMNO to lead Pakatan Rakyat.” (Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Terror Against Religious Freedom - the State’s Duty

The violent attacks against churches and other places of worship that ushered in 2010 have brought into sharp focus the intolerance of an unruly minority determined to destroy the delicate balance reached through compromise and consensus in a plural society by the founding fathers, which form a critical component of the social contract under the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Rage and emotion must not take centre stage of national life. Instead, a calm and reasoned analysis of the constitutional position of religious freedom, which has served the nation well for half a century, must be undertaken.

I suggest the following propositions:-

1. Islam is the religion of Malaysia but other religions can be freely practised;

2. All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression;

3. Everyone has the right to profess and practise a religion of his choice;

4 Every religious group has the right to manage its own religious affairs and activities, free from state interference, and the right to acquire and own property;

5. Every religious group has the right to establish schools and other educational institutions for the education of children in its own religion;

6. As religion is a state matter, there is no national head of Islam for the whole of Malaysia. Instead, the nine Malay rulers are the Heads of Islam in their respective states, and the Yang DiPertuan Agong is the Head of Islam of the Federal Territories;

7. As part of the religion of the nation, federal and state laws have been passed regulating the worship of Islam. Such laws however only extend to Muslims and do not apply to non-Muslims;

8. No similar laws have been enacted for religions other than Islam. Thus, insofar as religions other than Islam are concerned, there is a wall of separation between the state and those religions. It follows that state action cannot regulate or govern the practice of religions other than Islam.

9. It is therefore not the state’s business how religions other than Islam conduct their worship in the churches, temples or gurdwaras, how priests are trained or appointed, what religious books are read in places of worships, what songs are sung, what sermons are delivered and in what language and by whom, and the like. All these are matters solely and exclusively for the religious group to determine.

10. The right of every person to profess and practise a religion of his choice, and for every religious group to govern its own affairs and own property – that is, the individual and collective rights to religious freedom – are fundamental liberties enshrined in Part II of the Federal Constitution. They are inalienable rights, and cannot be diminished by the state even during an Emergency. Indeed, religious rights form the backbone of fundamental rights which are themselves part of the basic structure of the Constitution, and therefore cannot be the subject of Parliamentary repeal.

11. It follows that, save for Islam, the state has no power over the religious books that any religious group worships or treats as holy. That is a matter entirely for the religious group concerned. The state has no power over the contents of the Bible, Vedas, Buddhist Sutra, Guru Granth Sahib and other holy books. They are the Word of God. The state cannot censor or rewrite these holy books. Neither a comma nor a full stop in these holy books concern the State, whether in their original languages or translations into other languages.

12. In consequence, it is beyond the legal power of any government officer to stop the distribution and use of Bibles and church publications which are restricted to Christians in whatever language containing whatever words, save for the very limited power to do so if they are intended to be used for propagation of Christianity among Muslims because converting or attempting to convert Muslims is prohibited under the Constitution. Once a religious group declares that its holy book and other medium of worship are not intended for purposes of conversion of Muslims, the State’s writ ends. This is fundamental to the social contract and to the Federal Constitution.

Accordingly, in my opinion, in constitutional law terms, the High Court was correct in holding that a civil servant had no power in law to prohibit the use of the word “Allah” in a Catholic publication, the Herald, in circumstances where there was no evidence of conversion of Muslims. It was profoundly disappointing to read in the mass media the massive criticism leveled against the High Court decision by Government leaders and politicians. The only possible inference is that pressure was being applied on the appellate Courts to overrule the High Court decision. It is one thing for chauvinists to play the religious and racial card, for political reasons, which they do with masterly effect. But it is altogether another thing for Ministers of the State not to uphold the law of the land. Confidence in the Judiciary is damaged when the Executive publicly goes on a war footing against the decision of a Court. That is exactly what Prime Minister Mahathir did against Justice Harun Hashim in 1986-7 which immediately led to a collision between the Executive and Judiciary, and ultimately to the dismissal of Tun Salleh Abas and 2 Judges of the Supreme Court in 1988. Until an appellate court sets aside a decision, the State must use all its powers to give effect to it. If the government of the day does not respect the decision of a court, it should not expect its citizens to show respect.

The Home Minister’s handling of the violent Church attacks has been dismal. He seems to be powerless to act. If he needs historical precedent, he should be reminded of the firm and fair handling of law and order issues by his most famous predecessor, Tun Dr Ismail in the wake of the 13th May 1969 riots which helped to restore calm speedily.

And what can one say about the police? Their raison d’etre is the protection of the weak, the powerless, the minority and the marginalized. In these difficult days it is the task of the police to protect the minority Christians and their places of worships. There can be no compromise on the matter. The police should get on with that task. Despite more than a dozen attacks in the past 2 weeks, not even one person has been arrested or charged. Only the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the dastardly acts will restore public confidence. Again if precedent is needed, mention should be made of the Hussein Onn administration’s speedy prosecution of those who destroyed idols in Hindu temples in the late 1970’s which immediately stopped that criminal activity.

20th century history is replete with illustrations of religious persecution of the minorities, whether Jews in Hitler’s Germany, Christians in Stalin’s Russia, Muslim’s in Mao’s China, all religions under Pol Pot’s brutal regime and Palestinians in Israel. This note was substantially written while I was away for a fortnight in the United States, where the mass media highlighted our religious intolerance. When I was asked where I came from and Malaysia was mentioned, the invariable response was “that’s where they burn churches”. If Malaysia does not wish to attain that kind of notoriety in the international arena, the government must take all immediate steps to arrest the descent into violence and anarchy by a minority group of Nazi storm-troopers. This is the appropriate time for Prime Minister Najib Razak to demonstrate that 1Malaysia is not limited to symbolic window-dressing but includes taking right decisions for the public good, even if they are electorally unpopular in the short run. There should be immediate condemnation of these acts and assurances of protection to members of the minority faiths. The Prime Minister should use the prestige of his office to solve the problem politically, which would mean consultations among all the relevant stake-holders, as occurred in the run-up to Merdeka some 50 years ago, and to which his illustrious father made a notable contribution. In addition to establishing the long overdue Inter-Faith Commission, I call upon the Prime Minister to demonstrate statesmanship, courage and the political will by urgently inviting leaders of all the political parties, leaders of all religions and civil society to a dialogue to resolve the matter in a calm, civilized and peaceful manner and in the national interest.

Tommy Thomas
20th January 2010

9 pro-democracy students held in Dang Wangi - Anil Netto
The nine students arrested in front of Sogo this morning are now being held in Dang Wangi.

The nine were among were among 200 who had gathered this morning for a rally organised by Solidarity Mahasiswa Malaysia reportedly to express concern over campus elections procedures.

Latest update from Suaram:

Altogether 9 persons were arrested by police for demanding campus autonomy and freedom of academic on 23 January 2010, between 11.30am and noon in front of Sogo shopping mall. Until 1.45pm, they are in IPD Dang Wangi.

Those arrested were:

  1. Mohammad Za’im Mustapha
  2. Ahmad Shukri Kamaruddin
  3. Ahmad Syukri Abrazab
  4. Mohd Idris Bin Mohd Yussoff
  5. Mohd Fikhri Harun
  6. Muhammad Hilman Diham
  7. Syahriul Ismail
  8. Mohd Aizat Bin Mohd Salleh
  9. Mohd Ridhuan Bin Muhammad Jamil

Solidarity Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) had organised a peacefully rally to express their demand on campus autonomy and freedom of academic from Dataran Merdeka and they have been arrested in front of Sogo.

The Ipoh High Court will decide on Feb 3 whether it has jurisdiction to hear a custody battle involving three children who were converted to Islam by one parent.

Justice Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim met the three children in chambers for about 10 minutes and ordered that they be brought to court again when the case resumes.

mccbchst religious society conversion pc 220409 04The case was brought by kindergarden teacher M Indira Gandhi, 35 (left), to seek custody of her two girls, aged 13 and two, and son, aged 12.

She claims that her ex-husband K Patmanathan @ Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, 41, converted to Islam along with their three children in April 2009.

He later sought custody of the three children through a declaration from the Syariah court.

On Wednesday, Indira had attempted to quash conversion certificates at another High Court, but Justice Tarmizi Abdul Rahman dismissed the application because he said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.

On the same day, she also filed an application at another High Court to challenge the Syariah court's declaration which granted custody to the father. This case has been set for mention on Feb 8.

Brief emotional reunion

Outside the courtroom, Indira broke down in tears when she told the press about the few minutes she had with her children inside the courtroom.

“I am meeting them after 11 months and I am very happy (my two-year-old daughter) can still recognise me when she smiled at me after so long. She kept calling me 'Amma! Amma!',” she said.

To a question, Indira said she was only allowed to cuddle her baby for a few minutes as her ex-husband was “not very cooperative”.

Indira's lawyer M Kulasegaran told reporters that the government should set up Family Courts to resolve such cases quickly and avoid causing trauma to families.

“The slowness in implementing this (family court) is causing a lot of family problems and mental stress and agony to the members especially the children. Also many lawyers are having problems taking up such cases (which involve conversions),” he said.

Anwar Ibrahim: Is This 1Malaysia or 1Jungle?

Bringing Britain to Penang

Pengumuman siasatan Dr Hasan, Khalid 29 Januari

Nizar: Investors 'sceptical' on Perak

Snap polls? We're ready, says Nizar

UMNO: Poor human rights marks Indians in particular

UMNO: Poor human rights marks Indians in particular (refer The Star 22/1/10) and “Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2009 Malay-sia Truly Racist


Malaysia and the Myth of Islamic Tolerance

At last count, eleven Christian churches and one Sikh temple have been attacked in Malaysia. That makes twelve attacks against places of worship in half a month’s time. What does it say about Islamic values when the impetus for these attacks was the use of a particular word?

Rich Trzupek, FrontPage Magazine

Malaysia is often held up as the model of what a modern Muslim-majority nation can be. The ruling class, the bumiputra (literally “princes of the earth”) are largely, though not entirely, Muslim. But when Malaysia’s High Court ruled in late December to lift a government ban on non-Muslims using the word “Allah,” Christian churches became the targets of fire-bombing attacks. This eruption of violence suggests that there is trouble brewing just beneath the surface even in this supposed paradise of Islamic moderation.

At last count, eleven Christian churches and one Sikh temple have been attacked in Malaysia. That makes twelve attacks against places of worship in half a month’s time. What does it say about Islamic values when the impetus for these attacks was the use of a particular word?

Everyone agrees that the word “Allah” pre-dates the birth of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In Malaysia, as in most of the Muslim of the world, Allah simply means God, the same God that, according to the Quran itself, both Christians and Jews worship. Nonetheless, use of the word Allah among non-Muslims has long been prohibited by law in Malaysia. A December 31 ruling by a Malaysian court overturned that law, a move that upset many of the nation’s Muslims, who make up about sixty per cent of the populace. They claim that non-Muslims will use the word to corrupt Muslims into accepting infidel beliefs.

Once again, we are presented with evidence of Islamic intolerance and insecurity. To his credit, Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib condemned the attacks, which undermine both his “One Malaysia” policy and his re-election prospects. But no matter how much tolerance the leader of this nation may preach, the actions of his co-religionists speak much louder. Emboldened by an increasingly aggressive, violent, world-wide Islamic resurgence over the last few decades, this episode reveals what expatriates who have lived in Malaysia have long claimed: that the supposed harmony of Malaysia is nothing but a glossy veneer that barely covers up the inequities and prejudices of this society.

The Malaysian constitution grants special privileges to the bumiputra, or as they are called in the constitution, Malays. Malays are defined as those citizens who profess the religion of Islam, habitually speak the Malay language and conform to Malay customs. The constitution directs the King of Malaysia (Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy) to safeguard the special position of the Malays and to ensure that a certain percentage of public services and scholarships and other similar educational privileges are reserved by the federal government for the benefit of Malays.

The bumiputra enjoy other advantages as well. A certain percentage of stock in publicly-traded companies is reserved for the bumiputra. Traditionally, they pay less for real estate than other Malaysian citizens. This is clearly a separate and unequal society. Which is not to say that Malaysia is not governed in a more liberal fashion than reactionary Muslim nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Western clothing can be found on the streets of Kuala Lampur. Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, if less than equal compared to their Muslim masters, are at least allowed to practice their faith in relative peace.

Or rather they were allowed to worship in relative peace. The government of Malaysia has officially condemned the attacks, even as it tries to have the troublesome court ruling that set off the firestorm reversed. Troops have been dispatched to protect non-Islamic houses of worship, but it seems unlikely that many of the 2.3 million Christians who live in Malaysia feel safe going to church.

Even in this most mainstream of Muslim-ruled nations, supposed Islamic tolerance has been once again shown to be a matter of style, not substance.

Attack against one faith is an attack against all faiths

By Haris Ibrahim,

Civil society initiatives issued a joint statement on the matter of the arson attacks on two surau in Muar yesterday.

The same is reproduced below.

It is expected that more civil society initiatives, other than those who have already endorsed the statement as listed below, will shortly lend their names to the same.


We the undersigned Malaysian civil society groups from different spiritual, cultural and ideological backgrounds condemn unreservedly in the strongest possible terms the latest arson attacks against two suraus in Muar in the early morning of January 21.

Any attack on any faith in Malaysia is an attack on all faiths in Malaysia. We express our solidarity with the Sirratulrahim Surau in Kampung Sabak Awor and Parit Beting surau, and to the Malaysian Muslim community at large.

The attacks on the suraus seem to be a deliberate and desperate move to provoke Malaysians into sectarian conflicts. The earlier attacks on nine churches, a mosque, a surau, a gurdwara and a convent school, have failed to trigger even distrust as Malaysians of all faiths and creeds stand united in the wake of violence.

While the Police must act swiftly in investigation and defeat any act of violence and terrorism, we call upon all Malaysians to have faith in peace, freedom and reason.

After all, these attacks are at most a crisis of law and order caused by a failure of the Malaysian state, not a crisis of religious harmony indicating a failure of the Malaysian society.

Let us stay calm and support each other. Let our spirit of fraternity defeat any unscrupulous conspiracy to tear Malaysian society apart, to censor media, to compromise on rule of law or to justify draconian measures like ISA.

As Malaysians stand united, terrorism and authoritarianism shall have no place in this blessed country.

Endorsing Civil Society Groups

  1. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  2. Bar Council of Malaysia
  3. Civil Right Committee, Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
  4. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre Bhd (LLGCSC)\
  5. Civil Society Initiative for Parliamentary Reform (CSI@Parliament)
  6. Friends in Conversation (FIC)
  7. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  8. Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST)
  9. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
  10. Penang Du Zhong Education Society
  11. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
  12. Sarawak Central Region Friendship Association
  13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
  14. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
  15. The Coalition of Malaysian Indian NGOs
  16. The Micah Mandate (TMM)
  17. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Endorsing Political Parties

1. Democratic Action Party (DAP)

By Lim Kit Siang

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “1Malaysia” slogan is facing its most critical test less than a year of its coinage in the “Allah” controversy, which has catapulted Malaysia into three weeks of adverse international attention raising the question whether we qualify to be a model modern nation-state of racial and religious diversity.

Three generations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion have been singing the state anthems of seven states, Johore, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu invoking the name of Allah to bless and protect the Sultan and people. Were they wrong?

The six-line Perak state anthem invoked Allah’s name four times, viz:

Dilanjutkan Allah usianya Sultan
Adil dan murah memerintah watan
Ditaati rakyat kiri dan kanan
Iman yang soleh Allah kurniakan
Allah berkati Perak Darul Ridzuan
Allah selamatkan Negeri dan Sultan

Allah, grant the Sultan a long life
Just and gracious, ruling the homeland
Obeyed by the people left and right
Allah endow the righteous faith
Sanctify Perak Darul Ridzuan, O Allah
Salvage the State and Sultan, O Allah

Allah’s name is invoked thrice in the Terengganu state anthem, viz:

Allah daulatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Terengganu Darul Iman,
Allah peliharakan Tuanku Sultan,
Sejahtera sepanjang zaman,
Allah rahmatkan Tuanku Sultan,
Memerintah rakyat aman.

God may his majesty remain sovereign,
Terengganu the abode of faith,
God bless his majesty,
Blissful throughout his reign,
God bestow mercy upon his majesty,
Govern the people in peace.

The Johore anthem starts with “Allah peliharakan Sultan” and ends with:

Allah berkati Johor
Allah selamatkan Sultan

The Pahang anthem starts with

Ya Allah Yang Masa Kuasa,
Lanjutkan Usia Duli Yang Maha Mulia,

and ends with

Ya Allah Selamatkan Duli Tuanku Raja Kami

The name of Allah is invoked in Selangor state anthem’s “Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku”, Kelantan state anthem’s “Segala Kebesaran Allah cucurkan” and Kedah state anthem’s “Allah selamat Sultan Makhota”.

Have three generations of Malaysians, particularly non-Muslims in the seven states of Johore, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu done wrong and been offending the sensitivities of their Muslim contemporaries in using the name of Allah to bless and protect and the Sultan and people when singing the respective state anthems?

Were the Muslims particularly in these seven states in the past 52 years offended that non-Muslim Malaysians were also using the word “Allah” in these state anthems?

The answer can only a powerful “No’. If so, why should the “Allah” controversy reach its present level as to seriously tarnish Malaysia’s international reputation, undoing all efforts to attract foreign investors, tourists and students with the spate of arson and vandalism of places of worship, totalling 14 cases of attacks on churches, mosque and surau, a gurdwara and a school in several states since Jan. 8.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet must end its paralysis to be able to represent all Malaysians to resolve the “Allah” controversy. Its Achilles’ heel is that has defaulted from its mediator role to resolve the “Allah” controversy because it has become a major protagonist itself.

This is why the Prime Minister and Cabinet should revert to their role as representing all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

As a first step, the Cabinet should withdraw the Home Ministry’s appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment of judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan so that it could play the role of mediator to resolve the “Allah” controversy through an inter-religious dialogue to restore the religious equilibrium and harmony that was so imprudently disrupted by the then Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar in 2007 in banning the Catholic weekly Herald from using the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia publication.

Sultan Of Johor Dies

JOHOR BAHARU, Jan 22 (Bernama) -- The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail, 77, died Friday night after ruling the state for almost three decades.

The Sultan breathed his last at 7.15pm at the Puteri Specialist Hospital after he was admitted to the hospital earlier following an illness.

The death of the sultan was announced by Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, here Friday night.

The ruler left behind his wife, the Sultanah of Johor Sultanah Zanariah and 10 children.

Sultan Iskandar was born in Istana Semayam, Johor Baharu on April 8, 1932, and was made the Sultan of Johor on May 11, 1981.

On Nov 15 1984, he was installed as the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Nov 15, 1984.

Earlier Friday, his eldest son, Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail was appointed the Regent of Johor and the sworn-in ceremony was held at the Istana Besar Johor Baharu.

The Head of the Johor Council of the Royal Court, Tunku Osman Temenggong Ahmad, announced that Sultan Iskandar had been admitted to the Puteri Specialists Hospital at 5pm Friday.

Sultan Iskandar was the third son of the late Sultan Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and the great grandson of the Father of Modern Johor, the late Sultan Abu Bakar.

He received his early education in Johor Baharu, before pursuing his studies in Australia and united Kingdom.

He was also the Colonel-in-Chief of the Malaysian Special Service Regiment (Commando) and was always seen clad in a military uniform during official events due to his passion for military service.

His name was associated with many schools in Johor, as well as sports events like the Iskandar Johor Open Golf Tournament and southern Johor development corridor, the Iskandar Malaysia.

Clarification regarding Malaysian Digest article reporting Ragunath Kesavan’s comments on the court case involving the use of the term “Allah”

ImageThe Malaysian Digest article titled “Bar Council Chairman: 'Allah' Usage Issue Shouldn't Be Brought to Court” (see below) does not accurately express Malaysian Bar President and Bar Council Chairman Ragunath Kesavan’s comments on the reported issue. The article was published on the Malaysian Digest website on 15 January 2010.

It is not the Malaysian Bar’s position that “the ‘Allah’ word usage matter should not have been brought to court in the first place”. On the contrary, as stated in our press release dated 14 January 2010:

    We are dismayed at the stark lack of respect for the fundamental right of any person or group to take any matter to the courts for determination and resolution. Both litigants and their lawyers must be protected from any form of intimidation in the exercise of this right [emphasis added].

It is in this context, however, that we recognise that courts may be limited in what they can achieve. As elaborated in our press release dated 12 January 2010:

    We must all uphold, and accord respect to, judicial decisions. However, in some complex matters, a court decision may not produce the best solution, as the powers of a court are limited. A court interprets the law, and applies the law to the facts of a particular case, but certain issues require more, and would be more effectively resolved outside of the courts, through healthy dialogue and constructive debate.

Finally, as stated in our press release dated 8 January 2010:

    We remain firm in our view that the most effective and progressive way of resolving disputes is to promote dialogue and an understanding of dissenting views amongst all the parties involved, regardless of how complex the issue is.

These three recent press releases speak for themselves

We request that the Malaysian Digest publish a clarification on its website to set the record straight on this matter.

Ragunath Kesavan

President, Malaysian Bar

22 January 2010

Bar Council Chairman: 'Allah' Usage Issue Shouldn't Be Brought to Court

©MalaysianDigest.com (Used by permission)
by Adli Shahar

PETALING JAYA, 15 JAN, 2010: Bar Council Malaysia Chairperson Ragunath Kesavan said the ‘Allah’ word usage matter should not have been brought to court in the first place during his speech at the launching of Bar Council's second phase of MyConstitution Campaign at Sunway University College in Bandar Sunway today.

“We think the best way to settle the issue is for involving parties is to have dialogues. We must find out why there are Muslims who are very sensitive about the usage of the word (‘Allah’) as well as why there are Christians who insists on using it,” he said.

“It is possible to settle the case if the involving party can come up with a new gazette which is agreeable to both sides before the hearing at the Court of Appeal,” he added.

Ragunath also hopes the issue could be concluded before the hearing of the case at the Court of Appeal.

MyConstitution is Bar Council Malaysia's initiative which aim is to educate all Malaysians on the role, function, and content of the Federal Constitution, which is the most important document of our nation.

“The Constitution, being the rule book for our country, has set up our system of government which consists of Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary, as well as the division of power between the Federal Government and the State Government,” Ragunath said during the launch ceremony.

He added that the campaign will explain the main content of the Constitution in simplified form.

“Federal Constitution has always been viewed as a complicated set of law by our society, but we want to change that perspective,” he said.

He also said the campaign’s main target for the next two years is to reach and educate the youths and young adults between the ages of 15 to 35.

There will be nine phases of the campaign and each phase will be delivered by via pocket-sized booklet as well as a one-minute public service announcement video. Each phase will deal with a particular theme of the Constitution.

The first phase was launched on Nov 13 last year with a theme entitled What is the Federal Constitution? while the newly-released second phase is entitled Constitutional Institution and Separation of Powers.

The other seven upcoming phases will explain about Federal-State Relations, The Fundamental Liberties of the Peoples, Parliament, The Executive, The Judiciary, Election & Democracy and Sabah & Sarawak.

So far the response to the Bar Council’s educational initiative has been positive and the members of MyConstitution Facebook fanpage has reached 4,000.

Sultan summons PAS MP Khalid Samad - Malaysiakini

Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris has summoned Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad to his palace, and speculation is rife that it could be related to the allegation that the outspoken PAS leader had disrespected the monarch.

NONEOn Monday, 16 police reports were filed against Khalid (right) after he accused state Islamic bodies Jais and Mais of being involved in the demonstration held at the Shah Alam mosque two weeks ago over the High Court's Allah ruling.

Following this, Khalid was criticised for disrespecting the sultan since the two bodies fall under royal jurisdiction.

When contacted, Khalid confirmed that he has been summoned to meet the ruler.

The PAS leader said he had submitted a letter two months ago to have an audience with the Sultan to get his vision and wisdom over the state capital's development.

However, he did not discount the possibility that the Sultan might also ask him to explain his position regarding the Allah issue.

‘Allah’ row exposes racial, religious fissures

Can Malaysians come to a compromise? — file pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — The row over the “Allah” ruling and the recent attacks on houses of worship suggest to commentators and some politicians that Malaysians appear incapable of agreeing on the issues of religion and race.

The fault lines that cut through the “Allah” debate also exposes the deep divisions among Malaysians, which have been made worse by the country’s economic problems.

For Muslims, or Malays, giving in on the “Allah” issue would open the floodgates of giving up more rights to non-Muslims. For non-Muslims, losing the debate would mean Muslims are dictating to them and encroaching on their decreasing space.

Political scientist Farish Noor argues that the issue is not so much about religion but of control because significant sections in the country still think of their rights in very “communal” terms.

“No one is thinking about national interest. What we have to understand here is that it is not an issue about compromise.

“If the Christians in East Malaysia were forced to give up using the name ‘Allah’ in their daily prayers, it would be denying them their history and identity. In learning to live in a plural society, you have to recognise people who have had a history of their own,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Farish also blamed both Barisan National (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for fanning the racial and religious flames to fit their own narrow agendas.

“Right now, we are seeing Malaysian politics at its worst — parochial-like politics which only aim for short-term, narrow-minded interests. We still project this ‘kampung-like’ mentality... and I place equal blame on both the opposition parties as well as the government.

“Both sides are playing up the issue when neither has the guts to admit that we have to learn to live with this contradiction,” said Farish.

However, Farish defended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by stating that the current situation did not favour his administration in any positive way.

He described Najib as a realist who “is aware of the fact that Malaysia is a small nation” and by no means a major player on an international level.

“No one wants to invest in a country where its society is in turmoil. If this issue exacerbates any further, watch as the capital leaves the country. International capital is not going to wait for things to get better,” he said.

Social rights group Aliran feels the issue boils down to a question of fairness and justice.

“The word ‘Allah’ was not associated with any controversy until recently. It wasn’t a contentious issue for centuries. No one in the past had claimed exclusive ownership to this word.

“It was commonly used and accepted as a universal reference to the Almighty without any confusion. When the word was used, it was understood in the context that the reference was made. It was very clear what was meant and each community had no problem in comprehending the word and its meaning,” said Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad of Umno described the situation as a feeling by some Malays of a loss of empowerment.

Allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” signalled the insecurity among some Malays that they were losing their “special rights,” he said.

“The whole question of Malay special rights, at the end of the day, point to the insecurity of the Malays. They have a problem in trying to be successful. Amid all the economic, educational advantages given to them, they want to see the benefits of the system. They are highly insecure of losing all this,” said Nur Jazlan.

He said the economic uncertainties had also pushed many Malays, who had grown more secure with wealth, to regress into such insecurities.

The “Allah” issue, he argues, was tied to such economic and racial insecurities.

“In the end, everything boils down to the economy. If the economy was stable, no one would be arguing about special rights. Sure, they may complain about it but if people’s lives and means of living were comfortable, no one would react in a negative manner.

“Times are difficult now... who wants to give up any of their ‘rights’?,” said Nur Jazlan.

Pakatan rallies support against Barisan onslaught

“Malaysia must be saved!” — file pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal and Syed Jaymal Zahiid - The Malaysian Insider

PUCHONG, Jan 22 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s upcoming Sodomy II case, a major corruption crackdown and being painted as anti-Islam have pushed Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to hold nationwide rallies to keep its support against the Barisan Nasional (BN) onslaught.

Anwar, the PR and PKR de facto leader, held two back-to-back rallies in Selangor to discuss his case, the “Allah” ruling, and the anti-graft swoop on illegal sand-mining that netted a party colleague as he went all out to remind voters of BN’s alleged “cruelty.”

“It is important for people to be aware that Malaysia must be saved!” Anwar exclaimed to a 1,000-crowd who filled the Subang municipal hall here.

The former deputy prime minister, who led PR to a historic win of 82 parliament seats and five states, also slammed BN for failing to “learn” their lesson during the last general elections when Selangor fell into the hands of PR.

“Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister has been talking about 1 Malaysia. Well, let me tell you this. Under his leadership, racial tension has been at its worst since decades ago,” claimed Anwar.

The statement was believed to be in reference to the controversy surrounding the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims, which has escalated into attacks on places of worship in several states.

Anwar then went on to highlight and list down the many “failures” of the BN-led federal government: the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, the Altantuuyaa murder case, investigations into DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death, as well as the case of the two jet engines stolen from the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

“It is the law of the jungle here in Malaysia, where the rich escape and the poor pay the price. Until now, the only people charged for the stolen jet engines is a low-ranking army officer,” he noted.

The opposition leader also used himself as an example, where he claimed that the government had tried to end his political career by incarcerating him on trumped-up charges.

Anwar was tipped to replace mentor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister until he was sacked in September 1998 on charges of sodomy and abuse of power. He was convicted but later acquitted in September 2004.

He is now facing another sodomy charge.

He said that it was his duty to ensure that other people did not suffer the same treatment he did while he was incarcerated.

“The moment I got out of prison, I started fighting for the people’s rights, so that what had happened to me will not happen to another person,” Anwar added.

He blamed the corruption within the country’s legal system, which in turn further damaged Malaysia’s integrity.

“In Islam, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the safety and well-being of the people; their security. And the Attorney-General is supposed to be principled, sadly that is not the case in (our Attorney-General) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.”

Najib’s 1 Malaysia campaign of being nothing more than hollow sloganeering and reiterated that under BN, only Umno leaders and their “henchmen” stood to gain, Anwar said to rousing applause from the crowd.

Anwar, who is also Selangor economic advisor, lamented on how Malaysia was trailing behind its Asean counterparts in terms of economic advancement but, at the same time boasted that foreign investors have expressed their interest in starting up projects in Selangor.

The Permatang Pauh MP noted his success has led to jealousy among his former colleagues in Umno.

“Last time, they called me an agent for the Jews, now they call me an agent of the Chinese because PKR, PAS and DAP are united. Let me tell you this. You only become an ‘agent’ for someone when you are corrupt.”

The series of talks by PKR is also seen by some as an effort by Anwar to gather support from the public as the Feb 2 date for his sodomy trial draws closer.

“Najib knows that PR is strong, that is why he is doing this to try and bring me down. We have the power of the prayer with us.

“They will try everything... look at Umno Youth in Kelantan accusing of Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz (Nik Mat) of corruption. Nik Aziz is one of the cleanest and [most] honourable leaders I know,” exclaimed Anwar.

The same speech was given at another PKR function in Bandar Tun Razak later last night, in front of another 1,000-strong crowd.

Other leaders present were Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and PKR vice-president Azmin Ali, who both vowed that PR will continue to do its best to protect the interest of the voters through good governance.