Archive for August 3rd, 2007

What a shame — ignominous setback instead of historic 50th Merdeka breakthrough!

What a shame indeed! It should have been a major breakthrough for Malaysia giving special meaning to the 50th Merdeka anniversary but it has turned out to be an ignominous setback.

It would have been the first occasions all religions in Malaysia coming together in recent times to unite on common ground and speak on the human rights to water.

Even more significant, this one-day event entitled “United for Water: Religions Speak on the Rights to Water” is to be held at the Conference Centre of the National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur tomorrow, to be attended by some 200 people representing NGOs, civil society, religious groups and residents’ associations.

This program to bring together various religions in Malaysia to deliberate religious views on the human rights to water, with specific reference to the United Nations’ General Comment No. 15, seeks also to raise awareness among Malaysians to conserve water and respect and protect the human rights to water as a key responsibility.

But it was not to be. Although the National Mosque authorities were ever-ready to make available their Conference Centre for the path-breaking event, the police had scuttled the programme on the ground that there could be a protest demonstration. Read the rest of this entry »


Is Tsu Koon, new leader of Gerakan, “conscience of BN”, prepared to back Bernard Dompok?

The honest, principled and courageous statement by the UPKO President and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok yesterday that Malaysia is not an Islamic state was completely blacked out by the mainstream media, both printed and electronic.

This is the first time that an important pronouncement of a Cabinet Minister on a grave and fundamental national issue had been blacked out by the mainstream media.

It happened on the fourth year of the Abdullah premiership which had promised greater openness, respect for diversity of views and preparedness to listen to the truth from the people, however unpleasant. Such a “blackout” never happened in the 22 years of the previous Mahathir administration.

What does this foretell about the future of Malaysia in terms of freedom of expression, free press, human rights and democracy after the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations, especially after the 12th general election?

One can disagree with Bernard Dompok but why should his statement be blacked out when it is to correct growing misperceptions, both historically and constitutionally, that Malaysia is an Islamic state when the fundamental nation-building principle going back to the Merdeka social contract 50 years ago and the Malaysia Agreement 44 years ago was that Malaysia shall be a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

Has Malaysia reached a stage where through sheer majority rule and administrative fiat, the Constitution can be revised without any parliamentary amendment and fundamental rights subverted without any legal basis — like the ban on mainstream discussion of the 50-year nation-building principle for a secular Malaysia with Islam as official religion and not an Islamic state.
Read the rest of this entry »


2nd series of public hearings of PSCI – Malaysians can pass judgment on “All-Clean Verdicts”

It is a strange phenomenon. With the “All-Clean Verdict” pronounced by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Johari Baharum and the former Anti-Corruption Agency Director-General, Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor, the country should be suffused by the aroma of cleanliness and integrity that three top officers of the land accused of corruption have been proved clean and pure.

The perfume of cleanliness and integrity from the “All-Clean Verdict” should be blowing all over the country and be the high-water mark of the Abdullah premiership which had started some four years ago with the promise to make eradication of corruption and the promotion of integrity its top priority — especially as it has nothing else to show on this score, after the escape of the 18 “big fishes” into the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. More questions have been raised instead about national integrity confined not just to the independence, professionalism and credibility of the “All-Clean Verdicts” and their investigations, but the very independence, impartiality and professionalism of the Anti-Corruption Agency, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police.

This is why in the first week of Parliament beginning on August 27, I will be asking the Prime Minister to explain why the Attorney-General’s “All-Clean Verdict” for Musa, Johari and Zulkipli on corruption allegations have raised more questions about the government’s commitment to “zero tolerance for corruption” and whether he will introduce legislation to have an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and an independent ACA.

The Malaysian public will have an opportunity to give their views about this strange phenomenon as well as to pass judgment on the National Integrity Plan in the second series of public hearings of Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity in four states this month, viz

Johor Baru – August 8 – 10 am
(Bilik Gerakan Tun Razak, Dewan Undangan Negeri Johor, Johor Bharu)

Malacca – August 9 – 10 am
(Bilik Gerakan Tun Mutahir, Dewan Undangan Negeri Melaka, Melaka)

Ipoh – August 15 – 10 am
(Bilik Gerakan Negeri, Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak, Ipoh)

Alor Setar – August 16 – 10 am
(Bilik Gerakan Dewan Undangan Negeri Kedah, Alor Setar, Kedah)
Read the rest of this entry »


Health care proposals by Karl Karol


And what of Karl Karol, appointed by the EPU and MOH, to provide healthcare changes to a much vagaried population here in Malaysia not to mention health care staff. Well, they appeared to have zeroed in onto a few points and appear to be here to rubber stamp proposals by the same officials from the MOH who put us into our predicament in the first place. Government hospitals are today seen as giant, and on quite a few occasions, crumbling mortuaries with babies getting mixed up, dengue patients dying days later with no treatment, specialists who cannot string a proper sentence in English and of course now the home of the infamous petrolless ambulances.


1. Health care funding must come from the public’s purse and not taxes.

Meaning why in God’s name are we paying taxes for then? Our education system is in the gutter. Already our graduates have been made debtors for life and Mustapha has even taken it a step further by revoking their civil liberties by taking away their passports after, of course, humiliating them, their family, relatives and friends by splashing their names in our papers about their misdeeds of not paying up their PTPN loans although they may be unemployed. Our air force copters keep crashing. We pay tolls for our roads. And our soccer team doesn’t need our money because I am sure most Malaysians will now agree we ought not to have one. So why do you need our taxes. Oh OK. Inflation, etc, etc… .so whatever we are paying is just to “top-up” the short fall.

2. All government hospitals are to be corporatised for greater efficiency.

This sounds fair enough. Only problem is will the hospitals, just like MAS, Telekom and TNB supposed to continue employing deadwood or can we VSS them and will the government pay them off. And worse still as in MAS and PROTON, will the government continue with its lingering interference by placing retired Pengarahs to sit in as directors of these newly independent hospital boards complete with golf memberships, first class travel and holidays abroad? Will politicians walk in and scream “Saya tak mau bayar bill”. Read the rest of this entry »


DBKL high-handed policy

by “Angry Housing Developer”

What I am going to relate did happened and if you are doubtful you may check with other developers from the Klang valley who were called to attend a meeting at DBKL on 31st July 2007.

The meeting was for the purpose of releasing the overdue bumiputra quotas of houses which had remained unsold after having complied more than once the stipulated conditions of DBKL.

All the developers who attended the meeting had already complied with the conditions of publishing in the major newspapers for sale of bumiputra units and in addition we were told to book a space in Mid Valley or a designated place for further campaign to sell the bumi units.

The above exercise does not come cheap. Advertising space in the major papers and rental of space at Mid Valley cost us close to RM20,000. Can you imagine our frustration when we were told to repeat the whole exercise when we could not sell the bumi units.

In exasperation I told the DBKL officials that even if we were to give 20% discount to the Malays they would not buy our houses because it was located in Salak South, Sg Besi, an exclusive middle class enclave of the urban Chinese. Nearby there is a market selling pork and a Chinese school. Also in the vicinity is a food court selling non halal food. So would any Malays want to buy them? No said the official, “You have to advertise in the papers again and do the campaign at Mid Valley again” without any compromise.

We are a small housing developer and the total units built was 40 and the bumi allocation was 12. At RM420,000 per unit an amount close to RM5 million was tied down to the project. No wonder alot of small companies were forced to abandon their projects. We had complied with all the stipulated conditions and now after more than a year of waiting DBKL still did not want to release the units to be sold to non bumis. Read the rest of this entry »


The ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid!’ Minister

by Martin Jalleh
(3 Aug 2007)

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) Department, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, is living proof that it does not require much intelligence to be a Minister in Bolehland. Before one can be a Cabinet Minister one has to be a Member of Parliament (MP) of a component party of the Barisan Nasional (BN) — and this too is peanuts (nothing to do with monkeys, surely). One only needs to be spineless, silly, sexist and of course ‘stupid’.

Nazri has also very successfully shown by his trademark threats and theatrics, why he deserves the role of the Minister overseeing parliamentary affairs. When intelligent debate and delivery is demanded of him, he would choose to dish out a diatribe of great distinction.

Bark & Bull

Following the detention of blogger and PKR webmaster Nathaniel Tan on July 13 for an investigation under the Official Secrets Act, and a high-level police report lodged by UMNO against the web portal Malaysia Today, Nazri warned (Bernama, 24.07.07):

‘The government will not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 121b of the Penal Code against bloggers (who make ‘disparaging statements’). The government has exercised restraint in the matter for a long time and the time has come for it to act according to those laws.’

The government (read as ‘UMNO’) is desperate. For so long it has succeeded in dominating and dictating the thinking of the citizens of Bolehland. The age of information technology has changed this, but the nation’s political dinosaurs still living in an ice age refuse to budge but prefer to bark and bull with the same old tone, tune and threats.

Nazri accuses bloggers of making ‘disparaging statements’ — yet he comes from a party tainted with a culture of political assassinations, poison pen letters and provocative religious statements and racial slurs and stunts. He threatens bloggers with a slew of repressive laws — whilst inferring there is greater freedom now in comparison to the previous regime of the ‘lack of freedom and some dictatorial tendencies’ (NST, 20.09.06).

Nazri should give ear to the wisdom of woman activist Zainah Anwar (NST, 27.07.07): ‘I wish our political leaders and government servants would wake up to living in the information age. There has been a seismic transformation in how people receive information and form opinions. Those with formal authority are no longer the authorities in the age of information technology. The government can no longer maintain control over what people read, hear, watch, let alone think.

‘Mainstream journalists are no longer the gatekeepers over what the public knows. The ability of technology to cause change is much faster than the ability of government to control change… The big losers in this age are those who hold traditional power.’ Read the rest of this entry »