Archive for June, 2011

Why July 9 must go on

by June Rubis
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 30, 2011

JUNE 30 — I’ve noticed something interesting of late.

A few middle-class intellectuals back-pedalling on their initial support for Bersih 2.0. They say, yes I support this (in theory) but do we really need to march now? Haven’t we done enough to highlight the issues? Haven’t we won the PR (public relations, not Pakatan Rakyat) war?

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit confused.

The point of Bersih 2.0 isn’t about who gets best publicity, but rather for electoral reform. Read the rest of this entry »

15 Comments

23 Kajang councillors hauled up over Bersih T-shirts

Jimadie Shah Othman | Jun 30, 11
Malaysiakini

The clampdown against Bersih T-shirts continues, with 23 Kajang councillors being called up by police today for questioning for wearing the shirts at the full board meeting yesterday.

But of this number, only seven were present at the Kajang district police station this evening, while the others will give their statements in stages as they are not available today.

According to councilor Chandra Mohan ST, the police did not inform them under what section of the law they are being investigated. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Comments

EC Deputy Chairman Wan Ahmad showed his true colours of lacking 3Is of independence, impartiality and integrity when he launched attacks on Bersih as Pakatan Rakyat “stooge”

If there is a nation-wide quiz asking Malaysians who could be responsible for the two following headlines on online media today, “Bersih is Pakatan stooge in bid for Putrajaya” and “Bersih Pakatan’s catspaw”, I don’t think anyone who is not in the know could get it right despite everyone being given three guesses each.

The hot favourites for these guesses would be UMNO leaders headed either by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, while others named would include the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other Umno and Barisan Nasional (including MCA, Gerakan, MIC) leaders.

Nobody would have thought of any Election Commission high official as the culprit for these two quotes for they are completely out of character of what is expected of Election Commission officers. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Comments

Home minister ‘cooking up’ laws

By Tarani Palani | June 30, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition MPs today criticised Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for acting outside the law in banning the yellow Bersih 2.0 T-shirts and questioned the legal basis for the Bersih-related clampdown.”We have a minister who is making the law on the run without parliamentary sanction,” said DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, adding that even Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar’s warning that any paraphernalia related to Bersih as illegal was deplorable.

During a press conference in Parliament, the Ipoh Timur MP said that such interpretation of the law coming from the home minister who had a legal background was disappointing.

He added that the opposition MPs, who had elements of yellow in their attire, were protesting the clampdown by the authorities and to show support for a peaceful Bersih demonstration on July 9.
Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments

Bersih to cops: Name route, we will follow

Joseph Sipalan | Jun 30, 11
Malaysiakini

Despite the string of arrests and dire warnings from the police, the Bersih 2.0 committee today sought to make peace with the men in blue and asked for their help to make their July 9 rally a peaceful event.

Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga said they had a “very friendly” half-hour meeting with inspector-general of police Ismail Omar, where the latter expressed his concerns over public safety if the rally were to go on as planned.

“We told him that we will do everything we can to make sure it is peaceful…

“That is why we suggested that the police decide on the route we should take and we will follow their directions,” she told journalists at the Bukit Aman police headquarters after the meeting Ismail.

Ambiga, who was accompanied by Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah during the meeting, said the IGP was silent on their suggestion, but remains cautiously optimistic. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments

‘Yellow wave’ in Parliament by Pakatan reps

By Hazlan Zakaria | Jun 30, 11
Malaysiakini

Pakatan Rakyat MPs turned up in Parliament decked out in various articles in the distinctive yellow of Bersih to protest the police clampdown on the electoral reform rally.

Most of the men sported ties in the ‘official’ Bersih 2.0 colour or others in shades of yellow, while the women were attired in yellow.

The rest wore various articles of clothing in the same colour, while those more daring like Bukit Gantang parliamentarian Nizar Jamaluddin and Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa (right) donned the official Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, which has caused the arrest of many since the crackdown began, in open defiance.
Read the rest of this entry »

8 Comments

Anas responds to Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan

By Anas Zubedy

Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan,

Thank you for your letter. It is nice to see that you started your letter with a salam, although in zorro-unmasked.blogspot.com, they took out the earlier parts of your letter.

I would like to make a few comments.

Like you, I am not for race-based political parties. I have, on many occasions, in my blog, full page ads, and talks, proposed that BN and PR slowly but surely work to make themselves one big party each which is non-race or religion based.

Like you, I too believe strongly that all socioeconomic policies must be based on needs, not race or religion.
Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments

Good thing we are a democracy

By Natalie Shobana Ambrose | June 29, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 29 — In some countries, people get put in jail for speaking up against injustices. They then get left there for years and are sometimes forgotten. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.

In some countries, the media constantly practises self-censorship to avoid being shut down. Still they are regularly cautioned to ‘behave appropriately’ in accordance to government propaganda when unbiased reporting is what the media is trying to provide. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.

In some countries, citizens are told what to believe. Their religion has to be the religion of the state, if not bad things happen to them. So they hide and practise their faith in secrecy. All they want is their basic human right to religious freedom. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.
Read the rest of this entry »

10 Comments

The outing of Anas Zubedy

By Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan | 29 June 2011
CPIAsia

Introduction by CPI

Although this rebuttal to an open letter has been posed elsewhere, we feel it deserves wider public attention. This is because the subject matter with which the two letters deal, and the opinions expressed are representative of the divergent perspectives among the Malay and non-Malay elite regarding the rights of the various communities and their proper place in the country.

We will leave it to readers to decide on which one is the more persuasive perspective intellectually and morally.

******************

The outing of Anas Zubedy

Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan, Royal Malaysian Navy, is a regular kopi-tiam kaki of mine. He graduated from the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1965. His tour of duty saw him as Commanding Officer of KD Tombak, KD Gempita, KD Ganyang and Executive Officer on Training Frigate KD Hang Tuah.
Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments

Clampdown will only swell Bersih numbers, says Pakatan

By Shannon Teoh | June 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today that it now expects a larger turnout for the July 9 Bersih march as public anger grows over the ongoing dragnet against supporters of the group calling for electoral reform.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had declared Bersih T-shirts illegal yesterday after police arrested hundreds including PR elected representatives wearing Bersih apparel in the past few days before raiding the Bersih secretariat yesterday afternoon.
Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments

Why no raids on Perkasa and Umno Youth?

Malaysiakini Your Say | Jun 30, 11

‘Umno and Perkasa are showing unruly behaviour with their threats of violence, bloodshed, and arson. Yet the office that got raided is Bersih’s.’

Bersih HQ raided, 7 staff arrested

SMC77: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and PM Najib Razak must take note. It is PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) and BN which are inciting fear and chaos at this upcoming gathering. If there is any crime committed by any party, it can only be PDRM and BN.
Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments

‘Minority Report’ now playing in Malaysia

Malaysiakini Your Say | Jun 30, 11

‘For an assembly to be illegal, you must have actually held the assembly. Where does it say in the law that expressing support for a future ‘illegal’ act is illegal?’

Hisham declares Bersih T-shirt illegal

Anonymous_4196: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, why is wearing a T-shirt that represents the rakyat’s struggle for free and fair elections illegal?

How about just wearing a yellow T-shirt without any print? How about yellow trousers? How about wearing the yellow Digi teletubby mascot outfit? What if the polis ‘suka-suka’ (on a whim) arrest me for having something yellow on?
Read the rest of this entry »

5 Comments

Design problems, hazardous construction plague Lynas plant, reports NYT

The Malaysian Insider | June 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The controversial Lynas rare earths refinery in Kuantan is plagued by environmentally hazardous construction and design problems, the New York Times has reported, citing internal memos and current and former engineers on the project.

The report published today said the issues, including moisture in humid Malaysia, could potentially affect the RM700 million Lynas Corp plant being built to challenge China’s stranglehold in the key rare earths industry.

Malaysia is due to announce today the results of an independent international review of the plant that is scheduled to open this September. The listed Lynas Corp has asked for a halt in its share trading in Australia today pending the report.
Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments

Private broadcasters told to ignore Bersih, warn people against protests

By Jahabar Sadiq, Editor | June 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Najib administration has warned private broadcasters against mentioning the planned Bersih rally or the protest date but wants them to warn people against taking to the streets to ask for free and fair elections, media executives say.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) called in media executives in the past week to inform them of the new regulations apart from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein declaring Bersih T-shirts as illegal.

“We can’t mention Bersih, the July 9 date for the rally in our broadcasts but we must warn people against demonstrating. How to do that?” a senior media executive asked The Malaysian Insider.
Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Attracting the Best To Teaching

By M. Bakri Musa

Early this year the US Department of Education, together with OECD and the Asia Society, convened a summit of education ministers, master teachers, and union leaders from 15 countries. The theme was on attracting, training and retaining the best teachers. Those were no ordinary countries participating; their students had consistently excelled in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

America has some of the finest private and public schools, while its colleges and universities regularly dominate anybody’s list of the best. Yet there was US Education Secretary Duncan sponsoring this symposium and its opening speaker. That reflects the seriousness with which American leaders and policymakers consider education. It also shows their humility and commitment to learn from the best. I long for such traits in our leaders and educators.

The core assumption of the summit is that you cannot have excellent schools without excellent teachers. “Great teachers are not just born that way,” Secretary Duncan noted in his opening remarks. “It takes a high-quality system for recruiting, training, retaining, and supporting teachers over the course of their careers to develop an effective teaching force,” he continued.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Explain disparity between ‘actual’ and ‘approved’ FDIs, DAP tells Putrajaya

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The Najib administration must explain the wide disparity between approved foreign direct investments (FDIs) and actual investment figures, the DAP said.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua told reporters that a written reply by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) revealed that from 1996 to 2010 only RM179.8 billion out of the RM289.9 billion of approved investments had been realised.

“A shocking RM199.1 billion of declared FDI had disappeared without a trace,” he said in a statement today. Read the rest of this entry »

22 Comments

When will Hishammuddin or IGP announce that it is unlawful and a police arrestable offence for anyone to wear or sport yellow until July 9?

Just four days ago in Ipoh on Saturday, I had called on the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to “stop the madness where a person can be detained by the police for wearing the Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, as if he/she is more dangerous than Osama bin Laden”.

Clearly, I had directed my call at the wrong person as Hishammuddin is now at the heart of the “madness” with his announcement this morning that Bersih 2.0 T-shirts are illegal and that it is a police arrestable offence to wear them.

The question Malaysians must pose is whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “Government Transformation Programme” has reached a stage where Ministers can unilaterally make laws like Hishammuddin declaring Bersih 2.0 T-shirts are illegal to justify police arrests and seizures?

Hishammuddin did not mention under what law the Bersih 2.0 T-shirts could be considered illegal and unlawful. The reason is simple – there is no such law, unless Malaysia’s democratic governance has degenerated to a stage where a Minister could unilaterally declare a law “on the run” as the Home Minister has done this morning.

The question is whether the Malaysian judiciary has degenerated to a new low where it would uphold the such Ministerial abuses of power in arbitrarily and unilaterally making a law “on the run” without parliamentary sanction. Read the rest of this entry »

40 Comments

IGP says cops to arrest those with pro-Bersih ‘shoes, cars, buses’

By Yow Hong Chieh | June 29, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The police will not only arrest those sporting Bersih T-shirts but may also take action against anyone using any medium to promote the illegal rally, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has said.

“Not just T-shirts but shoes, cars, buses. If these are the tools used to encourage people to gather (illegally), this amounts to sedition,” Tan Sri Ismail Omar (picture) told reporters at Bukit Aman police headquarters here today.
Read the rest of this entry »

14 Comments

Police did not ask for permission, says Speaker

By S Pathmawathy
Jun 29, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia will look into claims by opposition MP Lim Kit Siang accusing the police of breaching parliamentary independence when they questioned several MPs yesterday.

“The police cannot enter Parliament grounds without the express consent of the speaker. The police can only provide policing function on the request of the Parliament officials, sergeant-at-arms and the speaker,” said Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timor) while interrupting the debate on the Money Services Business Bill. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments

Bersih T-shirts seized, seven activists held in raid

By Shannon Teoh
June 29, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, June 29 — About 20 policemen, at least one of whom was armed with an assault rifle, raided the Bersih secretariat here today, confiscating hundreds of the movement’s iconic yellow T-shirts and bringing seven in for questioning.

Seven staff members of women’s rights non-governmental organisation Empower, which hosts the secretariat for the group pushing for electoral reforms, were initially questioned at the premises that had been blocked by about 10 police vehicles, including a Black Maria.

Police then seized several items contained in seven plastic bags and five boxes as well as five banners before taking the workers to the Petaling Jaya police district headquarters. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Comments