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Monthly Archives: October 2008

One Judge who dares to be different!
clipped from thestar.com.my

Komathy: Would it be safe to assume that the Prime Minister would have consulted the AG before making the statement?

Mohd Yusof: Yes, but the statement would not be binding on the AG.

Komathy: Yes, I know it would not be binding on the AG, but he is also the legal adviser to the Government. Would it not be safe to assume that the Prime Minister would have consulted him first?

At this juncture, judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah questioned the DPP if it was true that the AG was the legal adviser to the Prime Minister, to which he replied: “Yes”.

Mohd Yusof: The Prime Minister is also a politician. If people ask him, he would say something that people would want to hear in good faith.

Komathy: But it would be reasonable to assume that he would not make a statement without consulting the AG?

Mohd Yusof: That would be speculation. I don’t wish to speculate.

Komathy: But he is the Prime Minister.

Mohd Yusof: He’s not legally competent to make a statement which would give rise to such an expectation.

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There is one small item that escaped Hisham. Will Najib be a good leader with some baggage encumbering him? Altantuya, rest in peace.
clipped from thestar.com.my

To another question, Hishammuddin, who is Education Minister, said they were in good hands with Najib as the incoming leader.

He believed the deputy Prime Minister was in the right position to take over as he had dealt with many issues and was experienced and had the ability, support and confidence of those who he was going to lead.

“It is incumbent on those around him – Youth, Puteri and Wanita – and also Barisan component parties to give him the support. A man is only effective if he has the support of those who are going to struggle with him in the coalition,” he said.

As for the party polls, Najib has been securing all nominations for the Umno presidency. He looks set to win the post uncontested over the weekend when more divisions meet and make their nominations.

  blog it
Why all this. Vote Uncle Sam for life as President, he will die peacefully fantasising he has done enough and the best for the Indians. Let him have his last wish!

clipped from www.nst.com.my

The MIC has postponed the elections for its top posts, except that of president, to September next year, according to party sources.

They reveal that the decision to move the party polls from June to September was taken at a meeting of the MIC central working committee (CWC), the party’s highest decision-making body, earlier this month.

However, the election for the post of president would go on as scheduled in late February next year, the sources told Bernama.

Long-serving president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who took over the leadership of the party in 1979 and has retained the post for 10 consecutive terms, is the only candidate so far to announce his intention to contest the top post.
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Do we care?
clipped from www.nst.com.my

There was no political interference in the High Court’s decision here to acquit and discharge political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda of abetting in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, said Mongolia’s Honorary Consulin Malaysia Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi.

He said all quarters should respect the court’s decision to free the executive director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre of the abetment charge.

“We got justice today, but whether the justice will be respected by the world, only God knows,” he told reporters after the court handed the decision.

Abdul Razak, 48, was acquitted and discharged of abetting two members of the police force in the murder of Altantuya, then 28, between 9.54am on Oct 18 and 9.45pm on Oct 19, 2006.
  blog it

National Express

The Hundraf of Umno’s making

By Helen Ang

There is no typing error above; I did spell ‘Hundraf’ for Human Rights Action Force. Hundraf is the twin spirit of Makkal Sakthi, an expression translated as People Power, not Indian Power.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar is reported by Bernama as saying the Indians are not neglected in Malaysia. What he implied is that Indians have little cause for complaint and thus the complaining Hindraf have no basis for their struggle.

Syed Hamid in announcing the ban on Hindraf said the Indian community was quite well represented with 14 Members of Parliament, 21.4% in the legal fraternity, 18.4% in medicine and their income was 1.2 times higher than the Malays.

Out of his count of 14 Indian MPs, only three are from MIC compared to six from DAP. There are three from PKR and one from PSM — Samy-slayer of Sg Siput, the redoubtable Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj. If Indians are ‘well represented’, it is no thanks to BN. (I could only recognise 13 Indian names, maybe I missed someone or perhaps there is a Malay Dilemma-ed MP in the House.)

Regarding the statistics Syed Hamid cited, may I ask how many Indian lawyers and doctors got their degrees from Malaysian public universities? And secondly, how many had their education paid for by the state?

This is what blog commentator Parameswara tells me about one of the Hindraf-5 lawyers: “To my knowledge. R. Kengadharan the eldest son of a postal worker and housewife, completed his law studies on the meagre proceeds of a single storey house that was hocked to a financial institution to procure a study loan. Having returned from his studies, he not only paid off the loan but educated his siblings through the same house and earning from his law practice.”

And DAP’s Tony Pua says of another Hindraf-5 lawyer V. Ganabathirau:

“Gana never manage to have the privilege of completing his education at one go. After finishing Form 5, he had to take up various odd jobs to help support himself and his family. That however, did not prevent him from investing his earnings and taking up part-time courses to pursue his ambition of becoming an officer of the court. His dream came true in his late twenties when he graduated with a law degree from the University of London external programme.”

Those who hold external or foreign degrees are required to additionally have the Certificate of Legal Practice, a hard-to-pass Malaysian exam designed to block entry into the profession.

SPIN ON STATISTICS

Syed Hamid conveniently forgot other professional fields where Indians are under-represented. From the same table of statistics that he drew his figures, here’s what the Minister omitted: Of architects, 45.3% are bumiputera, 1.4% are Indian. Of engineers, 46.0% are bumiputera, 5.4% are Indian.

I have statistics as well: While Indians accounted for 9.8% of civil servants in the 1980s, they were 5.2% in 2003. Malays are fast increasing in numbers in the skilled professions and dominating government and GLC posts, while the Indians are regressing in proportionate numbers.

And more statistics: In the present Abdullah cabinet, there is one Indian out of 27 Ministers — 3.7%. The Indian share in 2004 of corporate wealth (ownership of capital at par value) is 1.2%.

Now with regard to those living under the poverty line, Syed Hamid said Indians comprised 2.9%, Chinese 0.6% and Malays 8.3%. Again, he has deliberately obscured the truth. He said ‘Malays’. Wrong, it’s bumiputera 8.3%. These figures come from the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The poorest, least helped among bumiputera are the Orang Asli of the peninsula and the indigenes of Sabah and Sarawak who are not Muslim.

How did the statistics measure ‘poor’?

Over 300,000 Indians have been displaced in the last two decades after they lost their jobs in the plantations. In 2005, it was reported that more than 30% of Indians did not own a house. Indians are squatters in urban centres or the periphery; Indian vagrants sleep in the street — you have seen them.

The poverty line income used for 2004 in Peninsular Malaysia was RM663 per month for urban areas, and RM657 for rural areas. The Department of Statistics, ior year 2000, reported that out of approximately 1.68 million Indians, some 80% were urban and the remaining 20% rural.

If one lived in his own house in the kampung, he does not have to pay rent. If one planted vegetables on his land and reared chicken, he spends less on food. The use of household income as a single yardstick (RM663-urban and RM657-rural; the RM6 differential fails to reflect the cost of living gap between the two regions) does not signal the true level of deprivation.

While on paper mean household income may look more for Indians, it is an average jacked up by the earnings of Indian professionals, and Ananda Krishnan. But the figures also indicate class differences within any one community. Just as the Tan Sri Chinese tycoons have absolutely no bearing on my daily life, how much does the monthly income of RM3,456 attributed to Indians reflect their salary overall?

Yayasan Strategic Sosial in 2005 put 30% of Indians in the bottom strata of society, and 20% in the top strata. My analogy would be that for the one doctor and one lawyer Syed Hamid mentioned, you have three low-wage earners in the labourer, cleaner and production worker. Drawing from the same statistical pool dipped by the Minister, while Indians made up 7.5% of Malaysia’s population, they constituted 14.7% in the elementary occupations.

Next, Syed Hamid said the overall income of the Indian was 1.2 times higher than Malay. Heck, if I’m Indian and took home RM3,456 a month, why would I want to go out and demonstrate? So where does the Tamil underclass that is the backbone of Hindraf come from then?

TEMPLES IN A ROW

Are the Indians a community in distress? How about looking at this set of social indicators? There were 2,555 suicides nationwide [Health Ministry report cited by NST in Sept, 2005], and 21.1 suicides per 100,000 Indians, 2.6 per 100,000 Malays. They are killing themselves in despair, it would seem.

Syed Hamid further claimed that there is a ratio of one temple to 149 Hindus and one mosque to 2,300 Muslims in this country. Aaah, the good Minister must have gone around the country tallying the little Hindu shrines under trees and altars lodged in rock crevices. I hope these ‘temples’ — one for every 149 Hindus — are marked on maps because tourists may like to visit them.

He also equated action against Hindraf to action taken against Al-Arqam, Al-Ma’unah and Kumpulan Militan Malaysia in the past, saying “The government’s priority is to protect the security of Malaysians”.

As a Malaysian, I do not feel threatened by the Muslims of Al-Arqam as I know the Malays to be a race full of kindness and budi bahasa. And as for the KMM, Syed Hamid as Home Minister should sign the order for their immediate release from ISA; prove their militancy in open court. Otherwise, I could think that Syed Hamid has committed fitnah, a grave sin in Islam, to allege his fellow ummah are militants.

Lastly, Syed Hamid said the government “cannot tolerate groups that propagate extremism and stir up racial and religious tension” and accused them of having “created fear among the people”. Yet it appears to me as if he is describing Umno factions. Is Umno going to be declared illegal soon too?
– Centre for Policy Initiatives

Rafidah Aziz, sometimes affectionately called ‘Fat Lady’, ‘Crying Mama’ etc, is predicted to leave her post as wanita chief in UMNO, in a dramatic manner befitting a lady quite often engrossed in theatrics. One cannot forget her prima donna performance at the time when Mahathir announced his stepping down as Prime Minister and she rushed to the man at the podium breaking her high heeled shoes. Some say at this moment she took centre stage and Mahathir was completely forgotten. Such was her legacy, a domineering character, unafraid of man or anything that came her way.

Her nemesis is going to be none other than Shahrizat her deputy. Though there is this tacit understanding that Rafidah will contest the No 1 in December, but will step down in June 2009, and the Deputy will take over, things are not working that way.

Shahrizat said she wont go for the top post, but surprisingly she has enough nominations, to vie for the top post, although she has requested UMNO wanita not to nominate her.

Now this is hair pulling stuff. Shahrizat is eligible to contest for the Presidency, and if she disappoints the 40 odd divisions, that voted her, her conduct will be looked as ungrateful. The other reason is if Rafidah gets elected and still hands over power in June next year, Shahrizat would still be an acting President before the next party elections which may be in 3 1/2 years time.

Human greed has no boundaries. They just don’t want to give in and call it a day. Give me more and more they say and the appetite knows no limitations. Rafidah has been in politics for 32 years, and at 65 should think about doing something besides politics. But then fame and power comes only to politicians and perhaps life hereafter will be boredom. Samy Vellu of MIC knows this and clings on to power, unashamedly even though practically every body, want him out.

Well, Shahrizat will have to decide, Rafidah has had her life, and any decision cannot be wrong.

Najib made some very assertive comments in the run up to the election of the UMNO Presidency. Depending on which side of the fence you are positioned, his remarks are very encouraging and makes you comfortable or you wonder what is this talk of supremacy and blood is meant to mean.

One wonders if such  strong words were advisable. After all there is a 101% certainty he will become the President. He has exceeded the minimum requirements of 58 nominations and has touched the 64 mark whereas his opponent Tengku Razaleigh is still waiting his first nomination. As it stands now, the certainty exists Najib will be unopposed. I can’t imagine any division backing a loser and invariably come under the glaze of Najib. The division leaders and members are not fools.

It is easy to rule out anxiety of non-Umnoputras by saying this is a party matter and the words were directed towards UMNO members. But unfortunately Najib also carries the responsibility of Prime Minister of the people, and if this attitude of blood and  supremacy exists it may cause uncertainty in their minds. Najib just cannot be Prime Minister of any particular race.

This blood reference is becoming a mockery, we have left behind the feudal thinking of drawing blood and the like, and now is the time of drinking the last drop of coffee over discussions over a table to find solutions.

Supremacy begets domination and subserviency and to be the best there must be some not the best.

It is common for our leaders go to great lengths advising people not to touch on sensitive issues and our Najib is no exception. It is a mantra used every time other component party members are addressed. But when emotive words like blood and supremacy are thrown about, the leaders are not following their own advice.

The Presidential manifesto of Najib also refers to a Council Of Presidential Advisors that also includes past Presidents. Is this Najib’s way of thanking Mahathir. Surely the supreme council is there and does Najib think this group is superfluous.

My family won’t be involved he says. But only yesterday his brother was in the papers claiming CIMB is going to help the government. He also reiterated that he will not be influenced by other countries. Was this a hint that Badawi was influenced by Singapore. Only he knows.

Another assumption of Najib is elements are out there to destroy the country’s stability and peace, that BN went to the elections with fear. Najib should ask himself if these are not fantasies, mostly induced by bad management of the country, and for which UMNO must accept the blame.

Reverting to the allegations against him, he is quick to point out that he did not take part in any Hindu ritual. He should have stopped at that. Bringing in Samy Vellu to prove he did not go with him to any Hindu ceremony, destroys his case, the allegation did not mention any involvement of Samy and Samy is not Najib’s keeper to know all that the later does.

In referring to Altantuya, and the SMS communication he says he is ready to face the court to clear his name. Now, who is going to bell the cat, why not think about a Royal Commission Investigation once for all to give him piece of mind to carry on the heavy duties of a Premier.

He also touched on Eurocopter. He says everything is in order. It may be too early to assume every thing is spick and span, sometimes things develop and in any case this helicopter thingy is fresh.

Having said these, do you think his manifesto brings hope of anything new to happen. I doubt it.

This reminds me of an old Tamil saying which goes, pinch the baby in the cradle and then sing a lullaby to appease the crying baby. Najib is good. He created the fiasco, made Badawi to announce the deal, and now without batting his eye, says, now you PAC fellows see what you can do, after all my Defence Ministry Secretary General sees nothing wrong. Good ingenuity and we will be fortunate to have him as our waiting Prime Minister.

The New Straits Times Online…….

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the cabinet had agreed that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) scrutinise the acquisition of the Eurocopter EC725 helicopters to replace the ageing Nuri helicopters.
The deputy prime minister, who is also finance minister, said even though the Defence Ministry’s Secretary-General Datuk Abu Bakar Abdullah had issued a statement clarifying that the acquisition was in accordance with the set regulations and without the influence of any party, it was proper for the PAC to look into the matter.

“At the cabinet meeting last Friday, I suggested that the issue be scrutinised by the PAC… the PAC can then make its conclusion over the issue,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house here today.

Najib said the PAC would begin the process as soon as possible.

Abu Bakar said on Friday that the decision to acquire the Eurocopter aircraft was based on the comprehensive bid made by the company and after it scored the highest marks covering the technical assessment and the offer of a reasonable offset price.

In summarising,

  • No Sil without FIL
  • Khairy is now the underdog
  • He struggles along to get nominated – how would he have loved it if there had been no restriction
  • Mahathir hand is apparent since he wanted all Abdullah’s men out
  • Even Datuk Zaki Zahid is also a special officer to the Prime Minister could not help in the Putra Jaya UMNO elections
  • Mukhriz’s campaign work helped him

So, Khairy has been brought down to earth, and would appear his dream of PM before he turns 40, is just a dream.

Khairy is now underdog in Umno Youth race

Khairy is now underdog in Umno Youth race
By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 – With only two weeks left to the end of Umno divisional delegates meetings, Umno Youth deputy chief, Khairy Jamaluddin, with only 33 nominations, remains the underdog for the contest to lead the wing, trailing far behind Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who has received 60 nominations, while Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo, received 26.

Mukhriz obtained the minimum 38 nominations required to contest for the post on Oct 12, just three days after the start of divisional meetings, while Khairy is still struggling to get the 20% nominations.

Some observers blamed it on the decision by Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi not to defend the party presidency. At the same time, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also urged Umno members to get rid of Abdullah’s men in the new administration.

The Rembau MP even failed to get a nomination from Putrajaya Umno, a division perceived to be inclined towards him as the Youth chief, Datuk Zaki Zahid is also a special officer to the Prime Minister.

He obtained only 22 votes, while Mukhriz got 33 and Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo, 22. A total of 90 delegates attended the meeting on Saturday afternoon that lasted for more than six hours.

However, Zaki retained his position, beating former Putrajaya Umno Youth exco member Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, by merely three votes. Some delegates had predicted that Zaki would be another casualty in the uprising against Abdullah and his men.

Zaki was laughing when asked to interpret the voting trend, but admitted he would prefer someone else to be nominated for the Umno Youth chief post.

“I wish him congratulations; I was there when he came on Thursday, he was welcomed here in Putrajaya, although my personal preference is different, but we abide by the choice made by the delegates here,” said Zaki.

But for Tun Faisal, who is also a special officer to Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Husein, the signal for change from the delegates was very clear. He agreed that he did not totally lose the fight, as the division had nominated Mukhriz.

Newly elected Putrajaya Umno Youth deputy chief, Hishamuddin Yahya however was a little shocked by the nomination but not surprised with Zaki’s victory.

He added that less than 48 hours before the start of the meeting the fight for nomination was between Khir and Mukhriz.

“All three candidates were here to meet the delegates, Khairy came on the last day, the delegates have already decided to choose either Khir Toyo or Datuk Mukhriz,” said Hishamuddin, who initially thought Khir would be nominated by the division.

“Maybe the delegates were more impressed with Mukhriz’s campaign work,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said that Zaki’s victory shows that leaders linked to Abdullah are not rejected by the party grass roots.

“It is not right to reject someone just because he is connected to the Prime Minister, every leader must be judged individually, it is unfair, just because the Prime Minister is retiring. And Zaki is an active Youth leader, so he was judged based on his performance,” said Hishamuddin.

Everyone is under the impression that Prime Minister Badawi simply said no to review of the ISA. Now the new President Ong Kee Teck has got to give a twist to the issue by saying Badawi did not rule out future review of the dreaded act. In one his first statement, in his new capacity, Ong is telling a lie. I presume once in power, the MCA President does not want to antagonise UMNO and its leaders, and unashamedly toes the line of the ruling party. Is this not one of the reason for the heavy defeat of  MCA in the last elections.

And as a politician, who becomes a boot-licker, once in power, he has the guts to say “what he said was different from what you said”. Clever isn’t he.

Next he goes on the defensive, and says this issue won’t be dropped, but action will be fortcoming until such times the cows come home.

If lying is the trend of a leader, forget about MCA re-inenting itself.

MCA to keep pushing for ISA review