Tuesday, July 31, 2012

‘Do your worst, we will do our best’ | Free Malaysia Today

Do your worst, we will do our best’

July 31, 2012
The NGOs in Malaysia have found themselves 'between a ROC and a hard place…', says Suaram's adviser Kua Kia Soong.
COMMENT
By Kua Kia Soong

While the Registrar of Societies may now feign innocence regarding their selectivity in registering societies by questioning Suaram’s registration as a business, let me remind the young generation and those with short memories about our nation’s shortcomings relating to the freedom of association in our recent history.

As you know, ‘Operation Lalang’ was Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s autocracy at its worst when he arrested and detained more than a hundred innocent Malaysians without trial in October 1987.

Upon the release of the last Operation Lalang detainees in 1989, several of these detainees including my goodself and members of the Families Support Group formed this human rights organisation known as Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia). Aware of the obstacles in registering a human rights society under the Registrar of Societies, Suaram registered as a business under the Registrar of Business.

At the time, another human rights organisation, Hakam had taken more than two years to be registered in 1989 even though it boasted two former prime ministers (Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn) as its patrons. It had tried unsuccessfully several times to register as a society in the eighties.

The Malaysian chapter of Amnesty International also tried unsuccessfully for five years to register as a society under the Societies Act. Two applications and an appeal to the Home Minister were also rejected.

Consequently, quite a number of NGOs decided that in order to carry out their services to society, they had no choice but to register as businesses.

So why is there a sudden interest in Suaram’s status after its 23 years’ existence? Is it coincidental that this has arisen out of our recent request to the French judicial system to pursue suspected commissions embroiled in the RM7 billion Scorpene submarine deals?

It is no secret

Given the difficulties created by the Societies Act, some non-governmental organisations, including Suaram decided to register as companies or businesses.

As the corporate gurus say, “If something is not working, do something else.” Or, as Deng Xiaoping famously said, “It does not matter if the cat is white or black, as long as it catches the mice.” The mice, in the case of NGOs, are defending human rights, democracy and social justice.

NGOs registering as companies were certainly not a secret. In fact, in early 1997 the government threatened to force all NGOs to register under the Societies Act. Nonetheless, registration as a company has not completely protected NGOs from harassment by the government, as the recent intrusion by the SSM into Suaram’s accounts has demonstrated.

In 1996, the Institut Pengajian Komuniti (IPK), an NGO taking up the issue of rights of indigenous peoples in Sarawak was de-registered by the Registrar of Business over a legal technicality.

The ROC’s Tenaganita fiasco

In 1997, the Registrar of Companies raided the offices of Tenaganita, the NGO that had exposed inhuman conditions in immigrant detention centres, and confiscated their documents.

Tenaganita and two directors were subsequently charged in court in March 1997 under the Companies Act for late filing of audited financial statements of 1994. And most unusual was the fact that the charges were prosecuted by a Deputy Prosecutor from the Attorney-General’s Chambers instead of the usual officers of the Registrar.
The charges were subsequently withdrawn on July 9, 1997 when it was pointed out in court that the Registrar had already compounded the offences and accepted payment of a fine through Tenaganita’s accountants.

Then on Sept 5, 1997, the Registrar again issued fresh charges against Tenaganita and two directors on minor technicalities. This time around, the Registrar refused to compound the alleged offences for a fine.

After Tenaganita mounted a legal challenge to the prosecutions alleging mala fide prosecution, the charges were withdrawn on Nov 25, 1997.
As you can see, NGOs in Malaysia have found themselves “between a ROC and a hard place…”

PSM’s Greek tragedy

Opposition political parties have fared no better. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) only obtained its legal registration as a political party in 2008, 10 years after it first filed its application. The entire saga endured by PSM in its struggle to be registered reads like a Greek tragedy in modern Malaysia.

And of course, the Registrar of Societies can feign selective outrage yet again: “Wasn’t the Malaysian Indian United party (MIUP), whose founding leader is S Nallakaruppan swiftly registered in October 2007, just five months after he quit PKR in May 2007?”

“You mean the party that pledged to work closely with, and give its support to, the ruling BN coalition? Yes, we believe the ROS acted expeditiously on their application…”

Restrictions to the fundamental right to freedom of association are also imposed on trade union officials through the Trade Unions Act. Today, less than 10 per cent of Malaysian workers are unionised compared to more than 60 per cent at the time of Independence. What a transformation indeed!

Inspecting the good guys

We stress that the entire charade by the government to harass Suaram through a complaint by some nonentity in the public and CCM’s ‘routine’ inspection is political and uncalled for.

We do not even know if the complaint was made officially to the CCM. It would appear that the CCM is acting on every single complaint (offical or otherwise) from the public at a highly efficient rate.

We question if there is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) within CCM that provides guidelines on receiving and acting on a complaint.

We also question whether or not the SOP requires the CCM to first verify the background of the complainant prior to receiving and acting on a complaint.

From the evidence in the Paris (Scorpene Scandal) Papers, one would have expected that the CCM would know its priorities and begin “routinely inspecting” the highly dubious activities and accounts of Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Sdn Bhd, but have they?

Doing our best

Through 23 years of selfless work defending human rights in Malaysia, Suaram has established itself as the human rights centre of Malaysia. From Operation Lalang through the Reformasi period to the present day, many victims of state oppression have turned to Suaram for assistance in highlighting their plight.

The funding we get goes into nurturing young activists in human rights work. We employ a handful of dedicated young staff that has chosen this path of service in human rights work.

The elder members of the Suaram secretariat like me have always been non-staff volunteers in overseeing the running of the organisation.

Since 1989, Suaram has been the main coordinating secretariat for the Movement against the ISA and other detention without trial laws, the EO and the DDA. Our office serves as the refuge for those whose family members have been victims of state oppression. We send Urgent Appeals throughout the world whenever any detention or other violations of human rights happen.

Despite its small staff, Suaram publishes the only credible and detailed Malaysian Human Rights Report every year without fail and has been doing so since 1998. Such a report is an invaluable service to all the peoples of Malaysia irrespective of ethnicity, religion or creed.

Since its founding, Suaram has worked toward a healthy democratic movement in the country and we could well say that all the efforts by Suaram in the last 20 years have been instrumental in producing today’s two-front system and the political tsunami of 2008.

Throughout its existence over the last 20 years, Suaram staff and secretariat have been involved in human rights and environmental education, giving talks, organising seminars and providing training. Suaram has initiated campaigns against the Bakun dam and the Selangor dam to protect the interests of indigenous peoples, the environment and the interests of Malaysian tax payers.

We have also supported marginalised communities such as the urban settlers, estate communities and refugees when they have met eviction and state oppression.

Suaram has played a role in the “Stop the War Coalition” and has coordinated Anti-US demonstrations and protests against the US-led occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and Israeli atrocities in Gaza in recent years.
Suaram also played a key role in the last important peace conference for East Timor in 1996 together with other NGOs. We have been part of the campaign for democracy in Burma.

In other words, Suaram has always been in the business of fighting for justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Malaysia and spoken out against imperialism and militarism in the rest of the world.

For our efforts, Suaram was awarded the Human Rights Award for 2011 by the country’s Human Rights Commission (Suhakam). The only dividends we have gained in this business over these 23 years are the appreciation of the victims of oppression and exploitation, nature lovers and Malaysian tax payers.

And to all our detractors and oppressors we can only say:

“Do your worst and we will do our best”.

Kua Kia Soong is Suaram adviser.

Perilous in Perak — Sakmongkol AK47

Perilous in Perak — Sakmongkol AK47

July 31, 2012
Malaysian Insider-Side Views
 
JULY 31 — Perak has 24 parliamentary seats. In 2008, BN won 13 of those seats. Most of them were won on the slimmest of margins. So the argument goes, the opposition also won on slim margins. The counter argument is, the victory by the opposition was won on the courage of convictions while the victory of BN was won as a result of the erosion of confidence. These are two different things. One won as a result of convictions is hard to slip back while the one won as a result of erosion of convictions is extremely difficult to sustain.

Will the people of Perak forget that during the reign of Zamri, he has given out more land than Nizar did when the latter was MB? Many landless people who were without land titles and who have worked the land got it during Nizar’s stint as MB. What wasn’t told was that more Malays got their titles too during Nizar’s time.

During Umno’s time the grant of land was the hijacked prerogative of Umno divisional heads, Umno reps and merciless pengerusi JKKK. During Zamri’s time, more land was given to companies and cronies rather than people.

The people of Perak have never forgiven the manner in which a government of their choice has been usurped by Umno though extra legal means. Whatever the court says, the general perception was that their government of choice was snatched away from them by dirty means.

The people of Perak are not oblivious to the rampant corruption of BN leaders. The laundry list of corruption is too long to be repeated here and indeed much has been revealed in the alternative media.
Will the Perak people be swayed with the oft-repeated argument that if PR takes over they will do the same things like what Umno/BN does?

If Umno assumes this, they must be thinking that Perak people are dullards and impervious to the injustices and corruption. Umno assumes others are like them who are motivated by predatory instincts. No one can do any worse than Umno does.

People can see that every Pakatan administration has scored better than all other BN administrations on almost every measure. Balancing the budget, achieving budget surpluses, increasing state revenues, carrying out people friendly programmes. They do while Umno talks and talks. Doing and talking BS are like sky and earth.

With an allowance of five per cent regained by Umno and BN, PR should still have seven per cent reserve to win all but two of the parliamentary seats in Perak. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Karpal reminds PAS of welfare state goal

Karpal reminds PAS of welfare state goal

July 30, 2012
Malaysian Insider
Karpal said PAS had opted for the welfare state concept during its last assembly. — File pic
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Any attempt by PAS to espouse hudud law in the country now would reflect poorly of the decisions made during the last PAS Muktamar, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said today.
 He said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had, during the party’s 57th Muktamar last June, publicly stated there was no mention of Islamic state in the al-Quran but there was mention of welfare state.

He said this communicated that PAS had given up its aim to set up an Islamic state and opted for a welfare state.

In a statement here today, he said hudud was not included in the Pakatan Rakyat’s common policy framework Buku Jingga.

“Likewise, it will not be included in the common manifesto of Pakatan Rakyat, it cannot be,” added Karpal.
He was commenting on a statement by PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi that Karpal was a non-believer based on his (Karpal’s) consistent stand in rejecting the hudud.

Karpal said: “No one, no party, no organisation can claim to have monopoly of God. I must state, with all the force at my command, that I believe in God.” — Bernama

Monday, July 30, 2012

Govt only fighting for ‘rentier’ class | Free Malaysia Today

Govt only fighting for ‘rentier’ class

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | July 30, 2012 
 
A Felda settler earned RM607 in profit at the close of trading on June 28 as opposed to the 'rentier' class which raked in RM750,000 to RM3.75 million.
COMMENT
 
It was like a bingo night on June 28 as suited people gestured excitedly like lollipop-licking children. These were the people gathering around at Bursa Malaysia scoreboard urging the Felda Global Ventures (FGV) stock to go up.

The bell tolled sweetly for the market players, but for Felda settlers and Felda workers it was a bitter knell.
It’s chief executive officer, the man who lost RM120 million when he was heading Golden Hope, said the closing price was not bad.

If he holds two million shares, of course it is not bad.

If he had unloaded his stock the same evening, he would have pocketed RM1.6 million.
The Felda settler, however, holds only 810 shares.

At the closing of the stock exchange, the premium the settler got was 75 sen. That gives him a RM607 profit.
Now deduct RM200 being the loan processing fee (remember the settler borrowed from the bank to buy the shares). The settler now has a net profit of RM400.

Add this RM400 – a trifling amount to the advanced bribe of RM15,000 – the settler gets RM15, 400.

Vulgar disparity

Meanwhile, the bloodsuckers and leeches riding on their backs made big money. They were not even “linked” to Felda people in any way.

For every 100,000 shares, the owners made around RM85,000.And these selected Bumiputeras held anything from one million to five million units of share.

These people will get anything from RM750,000 to RM3.75 million.What can you call this kind of disparity? It’s usurious.
So we ask why the settler gets RM600 gross when those not at all related to Felda are able to get thousands and millions of ringgit?
Those with RM1 million worth of shares get RM750,000.
The settlers bought the FGV stock with bank borrowings too.
If the same facilities were extended to Felda settlers, they would have also been able to get more money.
The borrowings then would be entirely secured anyway.

Unjust listing

The Felda settler could have got 50,000 units per household yielding them a gross profit of RM35,000.
FGV’s payout to them would only amount to RM3.9 billion. That would be around 30% of the total earnings raised from this listing of around RM11 billion.

The government has deceived the settlers by making it out that they are looking out for settlers’ interest.
But the truth is that the interests that the Umno government is fighting for are the interests of the “rentier” class.
If the listing is not carried out, then the “rentier” class cannot milk the cow.
The most unsettling feature about the FGV listing is that it is unjust.
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but joined DAP earlier this year. He is a FMT columnist.

Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/07/30/govt-only-fighting-for-rentier-class/#ixzz224FkPDQB

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bumburing quits BN, pledges to aid Pakatan

Bumburing quits BN, pledges to aid Pakatan

UPDATED @ 05:42:00 PM 29-07-2012
July 29, 2012
Malaysian Insider
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing announced today he is quitting the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and pledged to aid the rival Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact in the run-up to key national poll due soon.

The former Sabah chief minister said he would kick off a state-wide tour in support of the federal opposition ahead of the 13th general elections, speculated will be called this year.

He cited the widespread influx of illegal immigrants into the eastern state and Putrajaya’s oversight on this issue as among the chief reasons prompting his exit.
“This is the mother of all problems in Sabah,” Bumburing (picture) said in a delayed video broadcast on the UStream TV Merdeka Rakyat website.

The deputy president of the BN component party, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation’s (UPKO), was speaking at the launch of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah, a new political entity aligned to PR in Tuaran, on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu earlier today

Bumburing pointed out that Sabah had seen an increase in illegal immigrants of 390 per cent, a rate that far surpasses neighbouring state Sarawak’s 146 per cent as well as the national rate.

“BN’s policy towards illegal immigrants is very dangerous because of (illegal immigrants committing) crime, making it difficult for citizens to get job opportunities, and threatening national security”.

“During Dr M’s (Mahathir) time, (there was a) policy to simply give identity cards to illegal immigrants, to foreigners,” said Bumburing, referring to allegations where BN had granted citizenship to illegal immigrants in exchange for votes.

“During the Parliament session, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that he will set up a royal commission about this illegal immigrant issue, but he’s been to Sabah three times already, but there were no announcements when he was in Sabah.”

“And these more than 250,000 illegal immigrants come voting under the guise of being a Sabah native such as Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Bajau and so on,” he said.

His APS movement was earlier reported to be dominated by those from the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities.

He also said that the Sabah government’s approach had caused residents to be like refugees in their own state.

“When the people apply for land titles, the state government doesn’t give (them), but sends bulldozers to knock down houses,” said Bumburing, alluding to the native land rights’ issue in the state.

Also present was PKR’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar praised Bumburing for being brave and willing to let go of a comfortable life for the sake of Sabahans.

“I have previously said there will be a surprise from Sabah. But the surprise that I meant is not just Wilfred Bumburing or Lajim Ukin, the real surprise comes from Sabahans themselves,” he said after a warm reception by the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities in Tuaran today.

In Sabah, the deep-seated issue of illegal immigrants will likely be used as a key campaign issue in the coming polls, with the Najib administration holding the trump card for having finally agreed to investigate the issue by forming a royal commission of inquiry.

Federal seats in east Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak are expected to be PR’s focal point when the elections take place, as both states, including the federal territory of Labuan, make up a whopping 57 seats, or 25 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats available.

In Election 2008, BN retained power over the Putrajaya administrative capital largely due to wins in east Malaysia and Labuan, where it made a near-clean sweep, winning 55 seats against PR’s two.

But the ruling pact lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority after only securing a five-seat margin ahead of PR in the peninsula, winning in just 85 constituencies while PR secured 80 seats.

In Sabah, a new political landscape takes shape

In Sabah, a new political landscape takes shape

July 29, 2012
Malaysian Insider
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 — A new political future may dawn in Malaysia soon as two senior Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, chafing at Putrajaya’s bit, move to launch their own parties aligned to the rival Pakatan Rakyat (PR) faction today in the run-up to key national polls.

Umno’s Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin (picture) and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation’s (UPKO) Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing will be launching two new political fronts Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) and Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) in Beaufort and Tuaran respectively later today, PKR-run news portal Keadilan Daily reported last night.

PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to be present as a special guest, according to his party’s official news site.

A former deputy prime minister-turned-opposition leader who aims to take federal power in the next general elections that must be called by next April, Anwar had flown into the BN’s eastern stronghold late last night and is expected to grace the two launches today.

Lajim’s PPS, scheduled to be launched at 6pm in Beaufort, is composed of mostly Malay Muslim members while Bumburing’s APS, slated to kick off earlier at 1pm, is seen to be dominated by the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community.

With this move, the two seasoned politicians are sending out signals that they no longer have qualms with shifting their allegiances away from the powerful BN coalition that has held sway for the past half a century, since Malaysia was formed in 1963.

Lajim is an Umno Supreme Council member, while Bumburing is deputy president UPKO, a BN component party.

Both of them have previously been coy about joining PKR, but had quit their positions in BN.

Lajim, who holds a federal position as deputy minister of housing and local government, had caused a stir yesterday when he made a surprise announcement at dusk that he was giving up all his positions in Umno and BN to work with PR for Sabah’s interest.

“From now on, I resign from all posts in Umno because (I am) no longer confident that the party is able to take care of Sabahans,” Lajim was quoted as saying by Keadilan Daily.

The Beaufort MP was reported pledging his allegiance to PR to rehabilitate Sabah from oppression and injustice.

He resigned as Beaufort Umno division chief and Beaufort BN chairman with immediate effect, after having quit his Kerambai Kebatu Umno branch chief post earlier.

The Sabah lawmaker said he would let the ruling party decide on his party membership and his post as deputy minister of housing and local government.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said a decision on Lajim’s position as deputy housing and local government minister would be made on Monday, even as he played down the withdrawal of the Sabah veteran at a crucial point ahead of elections speculated to be held in September, after Muslims celebrate Aidilfitri.

“I am not surprised by his decision. In any case no one is bigger than the party and it is loyalty that counts.
“We accept the fact that there is a difference in opinion between us but these can be resolved through the right channels and it is only whether it can be done quickly or not,” the PM and BN president was quoted by Bernama as saying after performing terawih prayers at Masjid Ubudiah Kampung Mambang in his home state of Pahang.

Najib said leaders quitting Umno was not something new as even party founder Datuk Onn Jaafar himself had taken this path, Bernama reported.

“Nevertheless, as an experienced party, we can overcome this challenge,” Najib told reporters.
Bumburing, who is also Tuaran MP, had relinquished his BN division chief post last week.

Both are seen as vocal champions of Sabah’s issues.

In Sabah, the deep-seated issue of illegal immigrants who have been fast-tracked for citizenship will likely be used as a key campaign issue in the coming polls.

The Najib administration had agreed to set up a royal inquiry panel on the issue last year but the ire from native-born citizens has been building up as Putrajaya is seen to drag its feet in carrying out investigations.

Federal seats in east Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak are expected to be PR’s focal point come the elections as both states, including the federal territory of Labuan, make up a whopping 57 seats, or 25 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats available.

In Election 2008, BN retained power over the Putrajaya administrative capital largely due to wins in east Malaysia and Labuan, where it made a near-clean sweep, winning 55 seats against PR’s two.

But the ruling pact lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority after only securing a five-seat margin ahead of PR in the peninsula, winning in just 85 constituencies while PR secured 80 seats.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kedah: Losers and victors — Sakmongkol AK47

Kedah: Losers and victors — Sakmongkol AK47

July 26, 2012
Malaysian Insider
 
JULY 26 — The Umno strategists in its war room deserved to get Oscars for their clowning performance. We are kept hilariously amused. A few years ago, it was the 1 finger in everything — 1 Malaysia, 1 Klinik, Kedai 1 Malaysia, etc. Earlier on, Malaysians puked at the alphabet soup — NKRA, ETP, PDP, GTP. Then it was one million dreams, one thousand hopes leading to “Janji ditepati”.

A few days ago, I wrote, the PM doesn’t have to play hide and seek whether a bonus for civil servants is expected. I said it will definitely come. So it did, but when I heard the PM say “kita nak bonus raya ketidak”, expecting a rapturous response like a cheerleader does. That shows he has no class at all.

But then that is expected of someone who solves problems by paying his way through. Can we stomach his indulgent ways? After announcing the bonus, he says, expectedly, this is proof of the government’s sincerity. Then, likewise the Selangor government proves its sincerity by giving water free up to a certain level, is more sincere in refusing to let Syabas fleece the people, sincere in also giving Selangor civil servants bonuses. That is also further proof that if you manage the finances carefully, state governments can give bonuses. Let’s see if any BN-managed states can give its civil servants bonuses.

We can go on. The ability of the Penang state government in allocating RM62 million a year for Islam in that state must be proof of the state government’s sincerity. Correspondingly, the Negri Sembilan’s ability to provide only RM10 million a year proves its insincerity. The Kedah government’s ability to increase revenue from the timber and forestry sector must be proof of its efficiency and corruption-free government. The Kelantan government’s achievement in repaying all federal debts must be proof of its financial probity as opposed to Umno’s profligacy.

After pulling all the stops, scare mongering and other alarming and ominous stories what do they resort to? Got to have some intellectual respectability to its now fast disappearing legitimacy. It has called in some academicians to bolster its standing. On one fine day, the professors are assembled and directed to give good accreditations to Umno. What a pathetic move.

One associate professor says BN has a chance to recapture Kedah and among three research subjects, Mukhriz son of Mahathir is the preferred choice as Kedah MB. Who are the research subjects? All three are Umno personalities — Mukhriz who can’t even compete with a lamp-post in terms of personality, Ahmad Bashah whose highest qualification is that he is an old friend of Najib and one who doesn’t even have MCE qualifications, and the former MB of Kedah who forfeited much larger revenue from the state’s timber industry when he led the state. Hello, you confine your choice among the three and ask respondents to identify whom they liked. Of course they will prefer Mukhriz who is young.

We must congratulate BN for its unbounded optimism. How did they come to that spurious conclusion?
It seems the Umno held a roundtable discussion or forum and to arrive at that conclusion, they called in tenured professors from public universities. One professor, reported as a distinguished media practitioner (how come we never get to read professors write blogs so that maybe we can spar with them?), produced the conclusion that BN will recapture these two states. He said that BN has carried so many initiatives under the exemplar leadership of the bodek-days-are-over PM.

Before we go on, can Malaysians believe bodek days are over? Najib can’t sleep if he doesn’t get adulations and ululations. He is an aristocrat for God sake; bodeking is his nectar of life.

Obviously, this professor has never been a member of any political organisation and by the way he came out with his prognosis has never indulged directly in the thrust and parry of real world politics. So we can only attach some academic curiosity as to his conclusions.

Since Kedah was mentioned as one of the two states BN is said to be able to recapture, let’s humour this good professor. Inadvertently, BN has resigned to the fact that it can never capture Penang and Kelantan. There goes the PM’s boast of making it a 14-0 win.

When Dr Mahathir went to Kedah a few months back, the good doctor invited Kedah Umno chiefs to attend. He was asking the chiefs to support his son’s bid to become the next MB. Not all came and those who didn’t come were furious, demanding to know who is this guy Mahathir trying to throw his weight around? That indicates the likelihood of internal strife that can only weaken Umno. The PM’s man in Kedah, his old friend Datuk Basah, wasn’t amused at being bypassed and so we can expect the usual backstabbing and betrayals from Umno cliques in the state.

Where will Mukhriz stand as ADUN? It does not matter as he will have to vacate his parliamentary seat of Jerlun and a new person will stand as parliamentary candidate. Once he vacates his seat, Umno will lose that seat. Mukhriz won in 2008 because the father came along and the PAS people held back from unleashing everything they got out of respect for a former PM. Umno? They didn’t respect Mahathir as he was not able to even become a delegate in his Umno division. That’s how the cookie crumbles in Umno.

If either Mahfuz or PKR’s Saifudin stand in Pokok Sena, Umno is doomed. In Kuala Kedah, Umno is likely to offer the affable Lat Shahriman as candidate. He had better watch out for the Umno Brutuses in the division. Umno’s hold in that seat is tenuous and a five per cent vote swing is all that is needed to ensure defeat for Lat Shahriman. Umno’s only remaining stronghold is Langkawi.

What was Kedah’s vote swing to the opposition in 2008? It was around 12 per cent. Let’s grant Umno a regain of 5 per cent. That still leaves Pakatan with a 7 per cent credit. Umno is left most probably with one singe parliamentary seat and maybe that’s in Langkawi.

Why should the good people of Kedah give the state to BN only to be faced with the prospects of battling a new government in Putrajaya? They are more practical than the simpletons Umno sees them as. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).


Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Right and Significant Verdict on Bersih

A Right and Significant Verdict on Bersih



Kee Thuan Chye   
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:13   
bersih_pc_27-4-12THE High Court has declared that Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) is not unlawful. And rightly so.
Although this comes as a blow to the Government, and especially the Home Minister, the Attorney-General (A-G) should not pursue an appeal.

Doing so would hurt the Government’s image even more. It would appear to sensible Malaysians that the Government refused to admit wrong even when the evidence clearly showed it was wrong.

Furthermore, the Government had responded positively to the Bersih 2.0 rally of July 9, 2011, by setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to look into electoral reform. If it continued to insist on the quibble that Bersih 2.0 is unlawful, it would contradict itself, call to question the sincerity of its PSC move. It would appear to act in bad faith.

After all, is it such a big issue to the Government whether Bersih 2.0 is unlawful or not?

The judge, Rohana Yusof, has pointed out that it’s not unlawful – on the grounds that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong granted Bersih 2.0 chairman Ambiga Sreenevasen an audience to resolve the situation even though the Bersih 2.0 rally had been declared illegal; that there were negotiations after that between Bersih 2.0 and the Government as to where the rally could be held; and that when the rally took place on July 9, Bersih 2.0 did not face any official censure.

She went on further to say that the Home Minister’s decision to declare Bersih 2.0 unlawful on July 1, 2011, was “tainted with irrationality”. She is also spot-on on that score.

Even at the time Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein made the declaration, sensible Malaysians were already rapping him for it. He looked like he came to that decision because the police had before then been arresting people for wearing Bersih t-shirts without any apparent legal justification. Declaring Bersih 2.0 unlawful gave them that justification, even though it was after the fact.

Hishammuddin deemed Bersih 2.0 unlawful because it was not registered with the Registrar of Societies. But now Judge Rohana has ruled that despite that contention, Bersih 2.0 can exist as an entity under Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966 although it is not registered.

More than this, after the King had met with Ambiga, Hishammuddin arrogantly maintained that Bersih 2.0 was illegal. He famously said that “just because Tuanku met them doesn’t mean they are no longer illegal”. Fine, but then why was the prime minister, Najib Razak, offering Bersih 2.0 a stadium to hold its rally?

Why would any government offer a movement a venue to hold its rally if that government considered the movement unlawful?

Therein lay the great irrational contradiction.

To compound it further, the same Home Minister even allowed the Bersih 3.0 rally to take place on April 28, 2012. He was satisfied that it was not a security threat. He even said that if Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) would not allow the rally to take place at Dataran Merdeka, “it does not mean they cannot offer other places”. He even suggested Bukit Jalil Stadium and Merdeka Stadium as alternatives.

He came across as being so accommodating – to an organization he had deemed unlawful. Was that not the height of irrationality?

If the A-G were to appeal the case, how would he address this point? That it was standard operating procedure for the Home Minister to behave irrationally?

Would it therefore not serve the Government better to acknowledge its incompetent handling of Bersih 2.0 than to pursue what would clearly be a wrong cause?

In fact, would it also not reflect well on the Home Minister to admit he made a mistake in acting irrationally and apologise for it? If he were to do so, he would surely win tremendous sympathy. After all, with the general election coming up soon, this is not the time for arrogance and face-saving. He has been caught out. If he tries to be defensive, he could actually lose more face.

Hishammuddin has embarrassed himself in public several times before in his capacity as Home Minister. The most recent occasion of this is unforgettable – when he said it was part of the police’s standard operating procedures to confiscate memory cards from the cameras of pressmen and the public during the Bersih 3.0 rally. The following day, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had to correct him. He should therefore be more careful not to embarrass himself again.

The way he is going, one wonders if he should even be fielded as a candidate for the general election. Would he be a “winnable” one for Barisan Nasional (BN)?

Speaking of the general election, this High Court verdict is likely to hurt the Government and, therefore, BN’s chances at the polls.

While sceptics say that this could be another wayang kulit performance and that the judge’s decision might be overturned on appeal, the fact remains that Judge Rohana’s pronouncements will be going out to people who have so far been brainwashed into thinking that Bersih is evil. It will be going out to fence-sitters and people who read only mainstream media.

It will be going out to the teachers who were summoned by the Education Department to a special meeting in Johor last month where they were told all the bad things about Bersih.

Now they will be questioning the truth about what the Government has been saying about Bersih, the truth of the Government’s intent.

Minds might change. Those who might initially have been ambivalent about Bersih might now see things afresh. They might begin to see the positive effect of the Bersih 2.0 rally in influencing the Government to initiate the PSC on electoral reform. They might begin to see that the call for free and fair elections is legitimate and justified, and not aimed at bringing down the Government, as has been so often alleged. They might even begin to see that the electoral system is actually flawed and unfair.

Given this, if there should ever be a Bersih 4.0, the Government should tremble.

All told, this is just vindication for Bersih after all the injustices that have been done to it and its cause. No doubt, many of us can still recall with sadness the irrational things that were done in late June and early July of 2011.

It started with the detention of the 30 Parti Sosialis Malaysia members under the Emergency Ordinance for supposedly resurrecting Communism and waging war against the King when they were merely going to Penang for a Bersih 2.0 roadshow. Then the police began arresting people for wearing Bersih t-shirts, and even Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye for just wearing a yellow T-shirt. Absurdity ruled when none other than the IGP threatened to arrest anyone using any medium to promote the rally, which included yellow shoes, cars, buses!

That was a time when it looked like the country’s leadership was going mad. Now, one hopes, it will begin to return to sanity.

* Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians. The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hamid cannot be more wrong, Hishammuddin should apologise for irrational, illogical and inconsistent ban of Bersih

Hamid cannot be more wrong, Hishammuddin should apologise for irrational, illogical and inconsistent ban of Bersih

--Lim Kit Siang  

July 25, 2012


Former Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar cannot be more wrong when he said his successor, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein need not apologise when the latter’s ban on Bersih as an “unlawful organisation” was quashed by Kuala Lumpur High Court as Hishammuddin was just exercising his powers as Home Minister. (TMI)

Hamid is not the most qualified to tender such an advice as he still owes a public apology for his gross abuse of powers in September 2008 when he was Home Minister and senior Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng was arbitrarily arrested under the Internal Security Act “for her own personal safety” together with DAP National Organising Secretary and Selangor Senior Exco for Investment, Trade and Industry, Teresa Kok.

There can be no doubt that in the present case, right-thinking and rational Malaysians agree that with the judgment of the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge, Justice Rohana Yusof yesterday, the time has come for the Barisan Nasional government to end its petty, vindictive and vengeful attitude to Bersih, with Hishammuddin setting the example by extending a public apology for his irrational, illogical and inconsistent ban of Bersih on the baseless and ridiculous ground of being “prejudicial to public order and security”.

Hishammuddin and the Barisan Nasional should end their irrational attack of Bersih xanthophobia (fear of yellow), with the ridiculous standing instruction to the police at one stage that anyone wearing yellow, and not just the yellow Bersih T-shirt, as anti-national elements to be arrested on sight!


Instead, Hishammuddin and the BN government should start acting in a more rational, level-headed and democratic manner and engage constructively with Bersih with the common goal to ensure that Malaysia has a clean, free and fair electoral system to usher a new era where Malaysia can mature to become a normal democracy.

The police must stop being the pawns of the ruling coalition helping to keep the present regime in power but instead, should be completely non-partisan in the electoral outcome of the 13 General Election, mindful its top priority must be its three core functions to keep crime low, eradicate corruption in the police force and uphold human rights (as recommended by the Dzaiddin Royal Commission of Inquiry 2005).

Is Hishammuddin capable of changing tack and represent the Barisan Nasional in a constructive engagement with Bersih?

If not, then the country needs a new Home Minister who can engage with Bersih instead of fighting imaginary demons like banning Bersih as an unlawlful organization –guilty of the 3is of being “irrational, illogical and inconsistent”.

Don’t appeal court ruling, Bersih tells Putrajaya

Don’t appeal court ruling, Bersih tells Putrajaya

July 24, 2012
Malaysian Insider
Members of the police force guard the front gate of the Bersih 2.0 headquarters during the raid of the secretariat in PJ last year. — file pic
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Bersih 2.0 has urged Putrajaya not to appeal today’s court ruling on its legal status and instead return all the materials it confiscated last year when the group was declared unlawful. The 84-member electoral reforms group also asked that the government withdraw all civil suits against it in court, saying it was a waste of public funds.

“We recognise that the government has a right to appeal today’s decision but for the sake of our country, we sincerely ask them not to pursue with an appeal and to drop all the civil suits against us.

“Instead, we hope that the government will take cognisance of the political realities in our country and deal with Bersih 2.0 as a legitimate representative of the interests and demands of the people for free and fair elections,” the group said in a statement from its steering committee members here.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court decided today to quash Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s order last year and declare Bersih 2.0, a coalition of over 84 non-governmental organisations, a legal entity.
In her ruling, High Court judge Datuk Rohana Yusof had said the coalition of civil societies known as Bersih 2.0, though not officially registered, can be considered a society under the Societies Act.

“The minister’s order is quashed because Bersih is a lawful society,” Justice Rohana said.

Prominent lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and 13 of her colleagues in Bersih’s steering committee had in July last year filed a judicial review seeking to get the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to lift its July 1, 2011 ban against the movement.
We hope that the government will take cognisance of the political realities in our country and deal with Bersih 2.0 as a legitimate representative of the interests and demands of the people for free and fair elections. — Bersih 2.0
Hishammuddin had declared the movement unlawful, citing Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966 as investigations had shown that Bersih 2.0 was not a registered organisation and that it was creating unease among the people.

A widespread crackdown on its members and supporters ensued, resulting in the arrest of a whopping 1,600 people during and after the July 9 rally in the city.

Ten days before the rally, police officers had raided the Bersih 2.0 secretariat in Petaling Jaya, carting away with the group’s materials for the event.

“The authorities should now return Bersih 2.0’s assets and materials seized... ranging from computers, video cameras, yellow T-shirts, posters, placards, pictures and a members’ list,” the polls watchdog said today.
Bersih 2.0 held another rally on April 28 this year, coining it “Bersih 3.0”, and is currently being sued by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall for some RM351,000 in damages.

The government’s statement of claim lists 15 vehicles, mostly belonging to the police, that had to be repaired at a cost of RM122,000.

The government also wants general damages, interest and a declaration that Bersih breached Section 6(2)(g) of the newly-passed Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.

Ambiga has countersued the government for allegedly violating her constitutional rights over the April 28 rally, saying the Najib administration had abused its power by ordering the police and DBKL to block the event from taking place at Dataran Merdeka.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said when tabling the new Act in Parliament last year that it would be “revolutionary” and allow Malaysians to participate in public gatherings “in accordance with international norms.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bersih 2.0 is legal, judge rules

Bersih 2.0 is legal, judge rules

UPDATED @ 02:24:52 PM 24-07-2012
July 24, 2012
Malaysian Insider
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Bersih 2.0 has been declared legal after the Kuala Lumpur High Court today quashed the home minister’s order last year that made the electoral reform group unlawful.
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In her ruling today, High Court judge Datuk Rohana Yusof said the coalition of civil societies known as Bersih 2.0, though not officially registered, can be considered a society under the Societies Act.
“The minister’s order is quashed because Bersih is a lawful society,” Rohana said.

The home minister’s decision to declare Bersih unlawful on grounds the movement was a threat to national security was irrational and was not based on relevant facts, the judge said.

She noted that the then-Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Shah, had granted an audience to the movement’s leaders in the national capital and the authorities had been willing to negotiate terms prior to the July 9 rally last year.

“It does not make sense, that a week later the reason is no longer valid... the government’s declaration that the organisation is unlawful cannot be accepted.

“Even if that is so, then the declaration should have been lifted accordingly,” Rohana said.
Prominent lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (picture) and 13 of her colleagues in Bersih’s steering committee had in July last year filed a judicial review seeking to get the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to lift its July 1, 2011 ban of the movement.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had declared the movement unlawful, citing section 5 of the Societies Act 1966 as investigations had shown that Bersih 2.0 was not a registered organisation and that it was creating unease among the people.

The loose coalition of 62 registered civil societies led tens of thousands to demand for free and fair elections in the capital city on July 9 last year, which resulted in some 1,600 arrests but ultimately resulted in the government agreeing to set up a bipartisan parliamentary polls panel.

Bersih 2.0 also want the court to issue a restriction order against the authorities to stop government officers from entering and raiding its premises and to return all the Bersih 2.0 property and materials seized last September, ranging from the yellow T-shirts, posters, placards, pictures, members’ list.

Apart from Ambiga, the 13 other leaders named in the court filing are Maria Chin Abdullah, Datuk Toh Kin Woon, Zaid Kamaruddin, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Arul Prakkash Sinnappan, Haris Fathillah Mohamed Ibrahim, Andrew Khoo Chin Hock, Liau Kok Fah, Wong Chin Huat, Datuk Yeoh Yong Poh and Yeo Yong Woi.

The group has since held another rally on April 28 this year to push for electoral reforms to be enforced before the 13th general election due soon.

“Bersih is now a legal organisation,” the group’s lawyer, K. Shanmuga, told reporters outside the courtroom.
It is not known if the government will appeal against today’s decision.

Senior federal counsel Azizan Md Arshad, representing the government, told reporters the decision was up to the Attorney-General.

Why police are impotent in dealing with growing crime

Why police are impotent in dealing with growing crime

Commentary

shotA few days ago a colleague sent me a copy of an email which read:
Though the government is denying it, we are seeing severe escalation of serious crime in the country. At lunch today, I learnt from a member of [respectable organization] that the xxxxxx Embassy is now holding briefings on crime and precautions. There is also a recent entry of some [foreign] crime groups. We are all living in fear….Most people would agree that the current crime rate is the worst we have ever seen. When victims lodge police report, often police will refuse the report as it affects their KPI. 

There is a witticism which states that “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”.

A reminder of the close proximity between statistics and damn lies should be sent to Pemandu, the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit in the Prime Minister's Department which has staunchly defended statistics showing street crime has fallen by 40 percent in the past two years. According to Pemandu too, the country’s crime index fell by more than 10% between January and May this year – a claim which has drawn hoots of derision from readers in the internet media.

It is a fact that Malaysians are cynical of the statistics put out by the government. Although the government has been at pains to argue that there is a declining trend in crime, the man in the street does not believe the government. The average Ali, Siva and Chong is even more agitated when the government blames the issue of escalating crime on public perception and blown-up media accounts.

The truth is that our government friendly media are underreporting rather than over-reporting on crime and violence. Let’s be frank and admit that the official statistics on crime, especially petty crime, are unreliable.

Unlike the statistics collected by the Department of Statistics, police statistics are generated by front line personnel who have a vested interest in underreporting. Everyone knows that police personnel have every incentive to avoid extra work through understating crime incidence. They also do not want to give a bad name to the police district if they can help it. Under-recording of actual cases of crime is very much the norm in most police stations.

No need to argue with the public 

It is difficult for the government to convince Malaysians that the police statistics are believable since there is no way the public can monitor how the statistics are generated or processed.

If we go by neighbourhood and other grassroots accounts, it appears as if episodes of house break-in, handbag snatching, armed robbery and other criminal acts have become commonplace instead of being the exception.

Rather than trying to argue with the public on crime statistics, it is more prudent for the government to acknowledge the surge in criminal activity, especially of petty crime and to take strong measures to prevent it from getting worse.

How to combat growing crime 

Amongst necessary measures, these should have priority:
  1. Instilling a greater sense of responsibility and urgency in the police top brass on tackling crime. Trying to defend the police or deflect legitimate criticism is the wrong approach.
  2. Requiring that a greater proportion of police personnel be assigned to work on the beat instead of at the office.
  3. Adopting William Bratton’s policing philosophy. This veteran police officer who is advisor to the British Prime Minister David Cameron on law and order is an advocate of the ‘broken window’ criminological theory of the norm setting effect of urban disorder andvandalism on additionalcrime and anti-social behaviour. The theory which has been well backed by empirical research argues that monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition stops further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime.
  4. Bratton is also a strong advocate of having an ethnically diverse police force representative of the population; maintaining a strong relationship with the law-abiding population; tackling police corruption; being tough on gangs and having a strict no tolerance of anti-social behaviour.
All of these are commonsense measures aimed at instilling a higher degree of professionalism and requiring our police and urban authorities to focus on protecting the public from criminals. They should be implemented without further delay.

Tackling police impotency at the roots

We also have to tackle the problem of an ineffective police force – the Special Brach may be a lone exception – at its roots. In the past, these root causes may have something to do with small size of the force and poor pay. Today they are unacceptable as reasons to explain the relative inefficiency or impotency of the police.

According to United Nations survey, the Malaysia police force is a very large one compared with other countries at similar stages of development. The United Nations recommends a minimum police strength of 222 per 100,000 people. Our number is much higher than this. In 2000, we reported having 354 police per 100,000 people. By comparison in 2007, Singapore had 239 police officers per 100,000 people.
As for poor pay leading to demoralized personnel, police salaries have recently gone up considerably for all ranks of personnel. Our police today cannot by any measure be considered to be underpaid.

The root causes of police impotency are found in at least two major factors. This description of crime and industrialization in Britain is instructive.

Crime was rising due to dislocation and poverty and the apparatus of criminal justice was …increasingly ineffective. During the period 1805-1842 the proportion of people per 100,000 of the population committed for trial rose 7 times. This is of course what we should expect: rapid urbanisation with people uprooted from their traditional rural ways of life and forced into the intolerable poverty and overcrowding of the early factory towns. These festering conditions were exacerbated by the fluctuations in the labour market and the fact that workers were periodically thrown out of work without any social security or unemployment benefits….” 

For us in Malaysia, the ‘broken window’ theory and the interaction of marginalized immigrant and local poor communities and rising inequality between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ amidst visible affluence provide the breeding ground for breaking rules and anti-social behaviour.

Effete social policies, tolerance of white-collar and high-level crime, and widespread uncivil behaviour of the general population also provide our underclass the justification for their attempts to subvert the system.

Our situation compares poorly with Singapore where there is zero tolerance of corruption in the police and civil service, the ordinary citizen is socialized (some would argue, regimented) to higher standards of civic norms, and ‘broken windows’ are mended unlike in Kuala Lumpur where not only the backstreets but also the main streets are littered with garbage, unrepaired pavements and other visible symptoms of urban decay and the indifference of the authorities.

Perhaps the most important root cause is the trend towards the political use of the police. Instead of focusing attention on fighting crime, our police are all too often ordered to perform political work aimed at suppressing the opposition and other opponents of the ruling government.

This politicization of the police force has become worse, with the recent massive police mobilization for the Bersih 3.0 demonstration serving as a prime example.

Potential election game changer

The government must recognize that the growing incidence of crime has political ramifications.
The more the government engages in spinning the crime statistics, the more it denies there are major problems with our police force, the more it orders the police to take political sides; the more the government is alienating itself from the public and inviting an electoral backlash.

It will be poetic justice if the politicization of our police force is one of the factors responsible for the Barisan Nasional’s downfall.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Speech at “Tamil Protection Conference”, Ipoh



Welcome speech by M.Kula Segaran MP Ipoh Barat at the “Tamil Protection Conference” in Ipoh

Prof Ramasamy, YB A.Sivanesan, Prof Kalaniasundram, Dr. Paul Newman, JP Samuel, En. Arafat distinguish guests, my beloved organizing committee, ladies and gentleman. Good afternoon and salam bahagia.


It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this great and aspious event. To my foreign guest let me abreast you about the late Chelivaniagam MP in the 40’s to the 70’s in Sri Lanka . He was born in this great city of Ipoh in 1898 where we are having our function today. He was a well known freedom fighter lawyer and politician.

So you all have step on the soil where the man who articulated for Tamil rights was born!




Malaysia has about 2million Tamils and they make up about 8% of the total population. Presently we have 2 Tamil Ministers and Pro P.Rama Samy as the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang state not forgotten the increase of Tamil MPs in the Malaysian Parliament after the last general election.

Tamils are found all over the world but in bigger numbers in re also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore , Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada, etc. It’s the continuous discriminatory police of Sri Lanka which resulted in a civil war where over 100 Thousands people were killed. Its bellowed leader Prabarakaran had the most formidable army in the world. If not for “ettapans” or “traitors” among the Tamils a new Tamil could have been born there! The waves of “ettapans” or “traitors” are even reached in this land Malaysia where we Tamils are beginning to kill each other for personal interest so there must be more unity where it enhances image and strength. First of we should kill the “attapans” or “traitors” before anything else.

Over the years I have at numerous occasions raised the issue of Global Tamils and Malaysian’s Tamils in and out of Parliament. Even motions were moved and debated.

Tamils Malaysians in Malaysia although a very multi racial populace the Tamils have been left out are even considered second class citizens or under class in their own country. Marginalization and lack of opportunities policy of the Government has resulted in the Tamils losing out economically.

1) After 54 years of Independence the Tamils present equity in our economy is less then 1.2%

2) Although Malaysia boosts of full employment- unemployed according to Government
statistic is less than 3%. Yet many Tamils are unemployed. Find it difficult to get employed
as specially in the government sector and far worse in the private sector.

3) Only 556 seats are provided for our Indian children in the matriculation course. Suddenly
the PM announced on the 27 February a further allocation of 1000 extra seats for the
Indians making it a total of 1556. But to date only 800 plus has been filled . Here too we can
clearly see the lack of seriousness to do something special for the Indians

4) Stateless people. It is said thousand of Tamils are stateless in this country. Yet since 2008
only 4,155 largely Tamils have hot citizenships. A far sighted and comprehensive is need to
find a solution on this issue. A common amenity programme for all local born to acquire
Citizenship will put this issue in the right context.

There are many more policies of the state which hurts the Tamils. The above are a few of those.

For a quick fix to the above there is a need for an affirmative policy to assist the left outs in particular the Tamils.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Last but not least If only We ( Pakatan Rakyat) Come To Power we need to consider seriously our moves on the following :-

1) Announce a boycott for the proposed CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka in 2013?

2) Call for an independent inquiry into Sri Lanka ’s war crimes. Recognize TGTE and allow an embassy to be opened similar to " South Sudan "

3) Recommend Indian Embassy in Malaysia to have a Tamil speaking High Commissioner in Malaysia as Tamils are the largest among the Indian community in Malaysia .

4) "World Tamil Protection Conference" to be held in Ipoh , Perak 2012?.

It is heartening to see over 1000 people have gathered here today to listen to the distinguish speakers. May all of you be enlightened and Global Tamil unity will be entrenched.

http://ipohbaratvoice.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/mkula
http://facebook.com/kulasegaran
http://youtube.com/user/ipohbaratkula

Malaysia lost RM893b in illicit outflows, research shows

Malaysia lost RM893b in illicit outflows, research shows

July 22, 2012
Malaysian Insider
 
The level of outflows was sufficient to mask the extent of income inequality in countries experiencing the capital flight, according to The Guardian. —File pic 
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 ― A colossal RM893 billion was siphoned out of Malaysia’s economy into tax havens abroad between 1970 and 2010, a London-based research has revealed, placing the country among the top 20 nation in the developing world labelled as “losers” of capital flight.
 The sum is more than triple that of Malaysia’s national debt total, which amounted to RM257.2 billion in 2011, according to previous media reports.

In the study commissioned by Tax Justice Network (TJN), a London-based organisation of professionals including economists and tax consultants, Malaysia is now ranked 12th on the list, two rungs above Singapore’s RM533 billion outflow and three below Indonesia’s RM1 trillion.

According to researcher James Henry in UK’s The Guardian today, the “offshore economy” is large enough to leave a major impact on the estimates of inequality of wealth and income in any nation, as well as the estimates of national income and debt ratios.

“Most importantly ― [it would] have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of ‘source’ countries,” Henry was quoted as saying in the daily.

The former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, in preparing the research report titled “The Price of Offshore Revisited” for TJN, had perused data from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to conclude that over the past four decades, an alarming estimate of RM66 trillion or possibly RM100 trillion has flooded out of their home countries across the globe to seep into “the cracks of the financial system”.

According to The Guardian, this was even larger than the size of the entire American economy.
The paper noted that the sheer scale of hidden assets abroad by those seeking to evade taxes suggests that the official Gini coefficient of a country suffering from capital flight would not reflect a true picture.

“Standard measures of inequality, which tend to rely on surveys of household income or wealth in individual countries, radically underestimate the true gap between rich and poor,” The Guardian reported.
TJN member John Christensen told the daily that this meant that inequality was likely to be “much, much worse” than official statistics have shown.

“But politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.

“This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: For three decades, extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich,” he was quoted as saying.

In December last year, US-based watchdog Global Financial Integrity reported that Malaysia had lost RM150 billion through capital flight in 2009 alone, the fourth highest in the developing world.

The watchdog also found that Malaysia had lost a total of US$338 billion (RM1.08 trillion) over the first decade of the century while RM930 billion had left the country between 2000 and 2008, growing to RM218 billion per year from an initial RM71 billion in that period.

The federal opposition has long railed against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) over its alleged fiscal irresponsibility, claiming its relentless spending and massive illicit capital outflow would soon plunge the country into a debt crisis.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Most cowardly, craven and irresponsible reply from Hishammuddin who is proving to be lousiest Home Minister in nation’s history

Most cowardly, craven and irresponsible reply from Hishammuddin who is proving to be lousiest Home Minister in nation’s history

- Lim Kit Siang 

July 21, 2012


It is the most cowardly, craven and irresponsible response from Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who is proving to be the lousiest Home Minister in the nation’s history.

How can a responsible Home Minister claim ignorance when a top Special Branch officer could go public to make the most damning allegations against Federal opposition parties as claiming that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and communists are infiltrating PAS and DAP respectively to stand as candidates in the next general election when there is no basis whatsoever?

All that Hishammuddin has got to say on the serious allegations by Special Branch’s assistant director of the E2 (M) national social extremist threat division head Mohd Sofian Md Makin is that he was “not sure” about the alleged infiltration of Islamist terrorists and communists into Pakatan Rakyat, that “I don’t have the relevant information at the present moment.Therefore, I cannot say whether it is true or not. I can only say this much, this topic is very sensitive.”

Would this be Hishammuddin’s response if Sofian had publicly alleged that terrorists and communists have infiltrated into UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, and the BN Sabah and Sarawak parties to stand as candidates in the next general election?

Of course not!

Is it conceivable that a responsible and diligent Home Minister would not have been informed or his approval sought before a top Special Branch officer go off on a rampage against the Federal opposition and that he would be completely clueless what Sofian was saying?

Was Sofian acting unilaterally and arbitrarily without getting clearance from the Inspector-General of Police and the Home Minister to make the “political attacks” on the Pakatan Rakyat? If so, Sofian had not only committed a gross breach of civil service discipline, he is guilty of an anti-national act and should be suspended immediately from his Special Branch position before he could do more mischief!

No sane or sensible person would believe that Sofian was acting independently on his own bat, like an unguided missile.

This is confirmed when Sofian told the press that he had given some 300 talks exposing the security risks represented by Pakatan Rakayat parties which he accused of being “anti-government”.

This would mean Sofian had been poisoning and brainwashing the minds particularly of the students and the young generation of Malaysians with his lies, falsehoods and ridiculous conspiracy theories for may be two years assuming he gives a talk an average of once in three days.

Sofian is the archtypical example of a “national social extremist threat” his division is supposed to be monitoring!

Imagine a Home Minister who does not know what his top Special Branch officer had been doing in public talks for some two years?

Is Hishammuddin admitting he is the lousiest Home Minister in the nation’s 54-year history?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kit Siang: Pakatan will help BN prevent May 13 repeat

Kit Siang: Pakatan will help BN prevent May 13 repeat

July 21, 2012
Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will work with its political foes in Barisan Nasional (BN) and do all it can to prevent a repeat of the bloody racial clashes of May 1969, Lim Kit Siang has pledged.
But the political veteran, whose enemies have blamed him for instigating the 1969 riots, also demanded the same cooperation from the ruling pact.

He expressed fear that the repeated mentions of the May 13 incident by BN leaders may contain a subtle threat to voters that the tragedy would reoccur should Umno lose power.

Lim (picture) pointed to the latest May 13 reference made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday and asked the Umno deputy president if he had meant to assure Malaysians that a similar clash would not repeat or warn them otherwise.

"I confess I am concerned at the way Muhyiddin raised the spectre of  May 13, which had been used in the past decades to create fear among voters as part of the scare tactics to force voters to vote for Umno and BN," the Ipoh Timor MP in his speech text from a ceramah last night.

According to news reports yesterday, Muhyiddin had called on the country's youths to stand united in order to avoid a another bloody racial clash like the 1969 riots, which is said to have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 Malaysians.

"We don't want May 13 repeated," the deputy prime minister had said.

But Lim said Malaysia's political and social landscape have changed significantly since the clash, pointing to the birth of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a coalition of three parties - DAP, PKR and PAS - which he said promotes multiracialism.

"So could there be another May 13 in the next general election? My answer would be a strong 'No'," he said.

"On behalf of DAP and PR, let me officially respond by declaring that we also do not want a repeat of the May 13 tragedy and we pledge to do all we can to prevent any such recurrence.

"DAP and PR offer to co-operate and work closely with Umno and BN to ensure that there will be no repeat of May 13 in the next general election," he said.

With such cooperation, the DAP adviser pointed out, Malaysians could then rest assured that a similar tragedy would not recur.

But he urged a personal commitment from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that a peaceful transition would be ensured should PR wrest federal power in the coming polls.

"Tell the world that Malaysia has become a normal democracy and even en route to become... 'the best democracy in the world'," he said, borrowing a quote from the Umno president.

More scare tactics before the polls? — The Malaysian Insider

More scare tactics before the polls? — The Malaysian Insider

July 20, 2012
JULY 20 — There is apparently a security threat in the country and the police Special Branch decides to tell only a collection of young leaders in Parliament yesterday. Was it not important enough to tell the prime minister, the home minister and the National Security Council (NSC)? Or do they know but have kept quiet about it?

It is mind boggling that Bukit Aman Social Extremist Division chief assistant director E2 (M) Datuk Mohd Sofian Md Makinuddin said yesterday the Special Branch detected several Jemaah Islamiah (JI) elements who attempted to infiltrate PAS besides some communist movement elements into the DAP.

“Several leaders from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) also frequent Bangkok and southern Thailand, believed to attend secret meetings with former Malayan Communist Party (PKM) leaders there.

“The effect is new political ideas which have the potential of threatening the nation’s core values have spread. The movement receives support from foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which assist in terms of finance, training locally and abroad as well as exposure to specific expertise in facing the general election,” the senior intelligence chief said.

New political ideas? From Islamists and communists? Is this the same kind of threat that the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia claimed last year from communists and Christian groups influencing Bersih 2.0, the coalition fighting for clean and fair elections?

Doesn’t this sound like the much-used dog-eared page from the same old playbook to smear the opposition?

On the face of it, this sounds and smells like another politically-inspired finding by the Special Branch. Put JI and PAS together to scare Chinese voters from supporting Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and combine the DAP and communists to put fear in the Malays from supporting PR.

Has the Special Branch heard that communism is dead and does not have much allure anywhere in the world? That political parties such as Umno itself have signed agreements with the Communist Party of China in 2010 for their Youth wings to have leadership exchanges.

And as a civil servant, isn’t Mohd Sofian supposed to be impartial instead of saying: “In this matter, we worry that the opposition parties and NGOs play up controversial issues to stir hatred among the public towards the government by the time the elections come.”

“Or (it’s) to increase demonstrations and incidents which can divert police attention... demonstrations will continue to be a trend in our country,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.

Are the threats real or just scare tactics before the polls? Only the Special Branch and Putrajaya can answer that. Or let people make up their mind about who they believe these days.

Friday, July 20, 2012

86pc of cops busy with paperwork, spying activities, says DAP MP

86pc of cops busy with paperwork, spying activities, says DAP MP

July 20, 2012
Malaysian Insider
Only slightly more than one of every 10 police officers were directly involved in handling crime, said the lawmaker. — File pic
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 ― Eighty-six per cent of the country’s crime busters are not fighting criminals but handling paperwork, “spying” activities and logistics, a DAP MP alleged today, citing figures from the Home Ministry in 2011.
 Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong revealed in a statement here that as of January last year, there were six uniformed police officers in non-crime sectors to every one officer tasked to tackle crime.
“Barely 14 per cent of the uniformed police force is in crime-related departments,” he said, referring to the criminal investigation, narcotics and commercial crime investigation departments in the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

“Meanwhile, a whopping 86 per cent of police personnel belong to the non-crime related sectors (like) management, internal security and public order, logistics, Special Branch, and special task forces,” he added.
He noted that the criminal investigation department (CID) made up only eight per cent or 9,346 of the total 105,929 uniformed police force.

“This means six times as many policemen are tasked with non-crime related jobs, than those who are fighting crime. No wonder we feel unsafe,” he said.
Liew (left) was citing parliamentary replies from the Home Ministry given during last year’s March sitting.

He also pointed out despite an increase of RM1.8 billion or 40 per cent in allocation for the police between 2010 and 2012, the CID had received only 8 per cent of the total budget.

The DAP lawmaker urged the government to prioritise police distribution instead of worrying over public concern, referring to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement yesterday that the public’s “perception” of security was more important than the actual crime rate.
“Police distribution is an important factor that has escaped public notice,” he said.
“There is no point to quarrel over statistics unless the Barisan Nasional government is willing to move beyond its own obsession with regime security and take measures to prioritise the safety of ordinary Malaysians.”

Earlier this month, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had alleged the federal government spent a whopping 71 per cent of funds for its Government Transformation Programme on public relations exercises this year instead of using it to fight crime.

The PKR president highlighted the Najib administration’s decision to spend a large slice of its 2012 Budget to boost public perception towards the police instead of helping Malaysians feel safer on the streets.

She also demanded the government redirect the police special branch towards fighting crime instead of spying on the public, citing parliamentary papers which showed that in 2010 the unit had used its manpower to produce reports on the activities of more than 700,000 Malaysians.

But despite the recent spate of assaults, robberies and kidnappings, the police, government efficiency unit Pemandu and the Home Ministry have held on to statistics showing that the country’s crime rate has dipped considerably since initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) were put in place two years ago.

Pemandu’s unit in charge of the crime reduction National Key Results Area (NKRA) recently held a briefing to allay public fears on the issue and released fresh statistics last week showing that the rate dropped again in the first five months of the year by 10.1 per cent.

It had previously released figures to show that index crime had dropped by 11.1 per cent from 2010 to last year while street crime dipped 39.7 per cent in the same period.

The agency even appealed to the media for assistance to help correct the public’s perception of crime, urging for more “balanced reporting”.

Islamists, Reds infiltrating Pakatan an SB spin, says Kit Siang


Islamists, Reds infiltrating Pakatan an SB spin, says Kit Siang

July 20, 2012
Malaysian Insider 
 
KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Reports that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and former communists are infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties to be fielded as candidates are a police Special Branch “spin” that reflects the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) desperateness, Lim Kit Siang said today.

The veteran opposition leader also dared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to get the police to explain who were such closet leaders and why they allowed the police to go public with the “cock and bull story” carried by state news agency Bernama yesterday.

“Have the Umno/BN leadership become so desperate in the face of the democratic electoral challenge from Pakatan Rakyat that they have to get the Special Branch to conjure up the latest scare, a ‘cock and bull story’ of the JI and communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties, in particular PAS and DAP, to prepare for an undemocratic pre-emptive strike against the Pakatan Rakyat?” the Ipoh Timor MP asked in a statement this morning.

Lim (picture) also questioned if this was an attempt by the Special Branch to justify its RM381 million allocation from the RM6.3 billion police budget for 2012.
The Bernama report yesterday quoted Special Branch chief assistant director of the E2(M) national social extremist threat division Mohd Sofian Md Makinuddin at the National Young Leaders Convention in Parliament yesterday, claiming that JI elements were trying to infiltrate PAS while the communist elements were trying to infiltrate the DAP.

Lim said the statement would have been laughed off and dismissed as the most sick and top political joke of the year “if not for the gravity of having such wild, scatter-brained and crackpot ideas influencing and determining policy-making at the highest government and security levels in the country”.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammmudin Hussein should explain why they are ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’ in giving the green light to the Special Branch to go public with the ‘cock and bull story’ of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) terrorists and former communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties and trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election.

“With the resurrection of the Islamist terrorist and communist bogeys infiltrating the Pakatan Rakyat parties, is the stage being set for a special operation against the Pakatan Rakyat parties to remove the democratic and legitimate threat posed by Pakatan Rakyat to continued Umno/BN hold on federal power in the 13th general election?” he asked.

Lim claimed it was an open secret that Najib would have dissolved Parliament to hold the general election before the start of the fasting month tomorrow if not for the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, which placed the ruling coalition in a disadvantageous position.

He also questioned the role of Biro Tatanegara (BTN) in the one-day convention, saying the agency within the Prime Minister’s Department last week was also involved in the 1 Malaysia Social Media Convention where it promised “to raise an army of 10,000 Umno/BN cybertroopers with the message that it was permissible to spin lies and falsehoods against the Pakatan Rakyat parties.”

“Is the Special Branch canard about JI terrorists and communists infiltrating Pakatan Rakyat parties the latest example of such permissible ‘spin’ of lies and falsehoods against PR, just like the earlier ‘spins’ of lies and falsehood about the DAP wanting to establish a Christian Malaysia and appoint a Christian prime minister as well as wanting to establish a republic by abolishing the constitutional monarchical system?

“I challenge Najib, Hishammuddin and Mohd Sofian of the Special Branch to identify the present DAP and PR leaders, MPs and state assembly members who are either closet JI terrorists or communists or name names of those who have ‘infiltrated’ the PR parties and trying to be fielded as candidates in the coming general election,” Lim said.

Otherwise, Lim told Mohd Sofian to withdraw and apologise “for such a serious and baseless allegation or he should face disciplinary action and even be sacked for making a most irresponsible statement unbecoming of a public servant whose top-most priority must be to serve the nation and not the political party currently in power”.

In the Bernama report, Mohd Sofian said the Special Branch had detected several JI elements who attempted to infiltrate PAS besides some communist movement elements into the DAP.

“Several leaders from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) also frequent Bangkok and southern Thailand, believed to attend secret meetings with former Malayan Communist Party leaders there.

“The effect is new political ideas which have the potential of threatening the nation’s core values have spread. The movement receives support from foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which assist in terms of finance, training locally and abroad as well as exposure to specific expertise in facing the general election,” he was quoted as saying when delivering a lecture titled “Keselamatan Negara Tanggungjawab Bersama” (National Security A Shared Responsibility) at the convention.

Mohd Sofian said the movement’s aim was to create local NGOs which would always be hostile to the government and create chaos to weaken the ruling government.

“In this matter, we worry that the opposition parties and NGOs play up controversial issues to stir hatred among the public towards the government by the time the elections come.

“Or (it’s) to increase demonstrations and incidents which can divert police attention... demonstrations will continue to be a trend in our country,” he said.

Mohd Sofian said the Bersih rally, Orange and Green rallies, organised by opposition supporters recently, were planned specially in the run-up to the coming general election.

“In addition, the campaign culture practised by Malaysia throughout the year has caused the public to be exposed to information with political values,” he added.