Archive for December, 2007

Remove the “national security” straightjacket!

by Azly Rahman

“Work with me …. not for me”

— Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled for 22 years, once spoke about the nine challenges called ‘The Way Forward-Vision’, said to be a culmination of his work throughout his tenure.

The document charted the challenges the nation must confront in order for it to develop on par with the advanced nations.

These challenges are summarised as follows:

1. Establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny

2. Creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity

3. Fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practising a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries

4. Establishing a fully moral and ethical society whose citizens are strong in religious and spiritual values and with the highest ethical standards

5. Establishing a mature, liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creed are free to practise and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation

6. Establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilisation of the future

7. Establishing a fully caring society and caring culture, a social system in which society will come before the self, in which welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system

8. Ensuring an economically just society… in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress

9. Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient

With the Internal Security Act (ISA), how do we then meet these challenges? How is it an antithesis to what a civil society means? Do we still deserve the ISA? Read the rest of this entry »


Fake thesis and pseud-PhDs – why no action by Mustapha and higher education ministry?

New Straits Times carried a scoop today with its front-page expose: “PSST, WANT YOUR THESIS WRITTEN” and its page 4 lead story “Phantom writers an ‘open secret’” on “Hundreds of master’s and PhD students are getting ‘professional thesis writers’ to pen their theses”.

The Higher Education Ministry is aware of such intellectual fraud and university scam but is not doing anything about it.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat admitted:

“I have heard that some students are even placing notices at campuses requesting for the services of thesis writers.

“There are also those who offer their services by placing notices at the campuses.

“The institutions should immediately find out who these people are.”

Ong advised students not to resort to such unethical means to obtain their degrees as they were not only cheating themselves but also society.

He said his ministry was unable to take action as neither the students, the professional thesis writers nor the institutions of higher learning had come forward with complaints or information.

The NST reported a case of RM8,000 paid by a mature student to get a Masters thesis written. Read the rest of this entry »


No IPCMC “lion” with teeth and claws but a toothless/clawless SCC mouse

The Parliamentary Roundtable on the Special Complaints Commission (SCC) Bill – the fake Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) – will be held in Parliament House next Friday, 28th December5 2007 at 9.30 am. Instead of the originally announced Thursday, 27th December.

This is because on Thursday, 27th December 2007, I will be in Shah Alam Sessions Court for the sentencing of the Batu Caves 26 for unlawful assembly and causing mischief charges.

Although the ludicrous “attempted murder” charges against the 31 – and the manhunt for at least another 30 on a similar charge of attempted murder of a cop – had been dropped, the ordeal of the total of 403 days which the 31 had to spend under incarceration in prison (i.e. 13 days each) as they were not allowed bail, is an unforgettable experience for the 31 who were innocent of the attempted murder charge and a blot on the system of administration of justice in Malaysia!

I will be at the Shah Alam Sessions Court on Thursday as a sign of solidarity with the Batu Caves 26 (as charges against five students had been withdrawn) and well as a gesture of protest against the system of justice which could deprive a total of 403 days of freedom from 31 innocent persons!

Is the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail prepared at minimum to publicly tender a public apology for the 403 days of incarceration he had caused the Batu Caves 31 when was a clear abuse of his discretionary prosecutorial powers – not to mention the sufferings he caused the families concerned as well as hardships for those who lost their jobs as a result of the unjust incarceration ?

Invitations to NGOs and NGIs, as well as the 16 Commissioners of the Royal Police Commission, to the Parliamentary Roundtable on the SCC Bill next Friday are in the process of being sent out.

Instead of an IPCMC “lion” with teeth and claws, a toothless and clawless SCC mouse has been produced wasting four years of the Abdullah premiership, making a total mockery of Abdullah’s pledge to reform the police and the Royal Police Commission Report with its 125 recommendations to create an efficient, accountable, incorruptible and professional world-class police service to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and uphold human rights.
Read the rest of this entry »


Political tsunami by Malaysian Indian voters in next general election?

There is a political awakening akin to a political “uprising” among the Malaysian Indian community, seeking to shake off their long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization by asserting their political rights as Malaysian citizens.

Can Malaysian Indian voters create a political and electoral tsunami in the next general election expected next March in 50 parliamentary and 133 state assembly seats where they comprise more than 10 per cent of the electorate, or in 21 parliamentary and 73 state assembly seats where they constitute more than 15% of the electorate?

I had said in Ipoh yesterday that there are 62 parliamentary seats and 138 state assembly seats where Indian voters comprise more than 10% of the electorate and that there are 28 parliamentary and 78 state assembly seats where the Indian voters constitute more than 15% of the voters where they can play the role of “kingmaker” in the electoral outcome.

These figures are wrong as they were based on the 2004 general election electoral roll. The latest electoral data gives a different picture as there is a reduction of these constituencies – i.e. 50 parliamentary and 133 state assembly constituencies where Indian voters comprise more than 10% of the electorate and 21 parliamentary and 133 state assembly seats in Peninsular Malaysia where the Indian voters constitute more than 15% of the electorate.

On Thursday night, the MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet Minister for over 28 years, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu did the greatest disservice to the Indian community and Malaysian nation when he appeared on RTM1 programme 60 Minit Bersama Menteri as he continued to mislead the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the country in denying deep-seated, widespread and most legitimate grievances of the Malaysian Indians at their long-standing marginalization as to become the new underclass in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Unfree Penang Free School

by Allen Chee

I am your blog’s regular reader and an active follower of the Malaysian Politics.

Today I read your assertions on the various dysfunctional measures which the Government have undertaken that promotes racial polarisation and intolerance amongst the different races in Malaysia. I would like to point to Saudara Lim to a particular matter which I have taken a personal interest.

I believe Saudara Lim would know that the oldest school in Malaysia is Penang Free School. I am from this school and I am very proud to be associated with this school as an ex-student.

However the impression of Penang Free School being a premier school started to change over the past decade where efforts are covertly undertaken to islamize the school. The changes, have effectively change the landscape of education in the school with more islamic activities being conducted and so on and so forth.

I heard from anxious parents and ex-frees about all these and to be honest, I felt rather helpless on how to stop this from happening as technically speaking it is not legally wrong but perhaps only morally wrong. Read the rest of this entry »


Somnambulant Governance at work (2) – “Ban” of International Building Bridges Conference 2007 in KL

On Wednesday, I asked in Parliament whether the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was crafting a new form of governance – somnambulant governance. Oxford Dictionary defines “somnambulism” as “sleepwalking”.

I posed this question when Abdullah’s public response to the proposal by the Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC) for the establishment of a department for Non-Muslim Affairs to handle sensitive issues pertaining to religion resulted in two extraordinary developments:

Firstly, producing three different newspaper headlines the next day – that the government was setting up such a department, to the government studying the proposal and an outright dismissal of the proposal as “not necessary”.

Secondly, his “on-the-run” Cabinet appointments of MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting as Minister for Buddhist Affairs, MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as Minister for Hindu Affairs and President of United Pasokmomogun Murut Organisation (UPKO) as Minister for Christian Affairs – which rate as the most highly-kept secret of the Abdullah administration as it is not only the 26 million Malaysians and the various religious organizations directly involved who are not aware of such Cabinet appointments.

I had congratulated one of the Ministerial trio on Wednesday for his additional Cabinet responsibilities but he was so embarrassed as he did not know how to react to the Prime Minister’s announcement when he knew nothing about it!

I will give another example of Abdullah’s somnambulant governance which is also pertinent to the problem of increasing religious polarization in Malaysia, worst under any Prime Minister in the 50-year history of the nation. Read the rest of this entry »


Quo Vadis Malaysia

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

After 50 years of independence, Malaysia is in identity crisis.

Two main factors:

*Islamic state which casts a pall on inter-communal relationships. The divide became more and more apparent, and there is less mixing of the races.

*Umno rejection of Bangsa Malaysia and the Malay agenda. Bumiputraism became strident, and ketuanan Melayu was flaunted at Umno assembly of 2005.

Umno has subverted the constitution for their own agenda. PM Abdullah and DPM Najib declared Malaysia is not secular but is an Islamic state.

Quo vadis Malaysia?


EPF needs to explain why it discontinue the RM1.4 billion claim against it six former executives

by Richard Teo

EPF has an obligation to explain to its contributors why it has discontinued the suit filed in 2005 against Rashid Hussain and five former top executives.

A writ of summons to the value of RM1.4 billion was filed against the six by RHB Capital, RHB Securities Sdn Bhd and RHB Equities Sdn Bhd at the Kuala Lumpur High Court sometime in 2005.

The six former top executives were sued” for breach of fiduciary duties, breach of trust,breach of
contracts of employment/or negligence in relation to certain margin financial facilities granted by RHB Equities during their tenure as Directors and/or Officers of RHB capital, RHB Securities and RHB Equities.”

The suit was filed by major shareholder Utama Banking Group in 2005 and during the course of the trial evidence adduced seems to indicate a clear breach of fiduciary duties. Dubious huge loans for margin financing was given without any collateral and proper approval.

Surely such obvious dereliction of duty should eventually bring to book those responsible for the loan fiasco.The loan claimed in the suit was not a paltry sum but for a mind boggling sum of RM1.4 billion. Read the rest of this entry »


Something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world

by Loh Meng Kow

“Are the Malays that evil as to be accused of the horrific crime of ethnic cleansing? Are the Malays that ‘bad’ as to allow Chinese and Tamil Schools to continue to receive government funding – something that has no comparison anywhere else in the world?”—A statement by a Malay leader.

I shall deal only with the second question which concerns non-Malays since independence.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 reads:

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

The colonial government in Malaya respected the rights of the parents to choose the kind of education they wanted for their children, and we had Chinese, Indian and Malay schools, in addition to the English schools in Malaya before Independence. Read the rest of this entry »


General election expected in March – Indian voters “kingmakers” in 28 parliament/78 state assembly seats

I expect the 12th general election to be held in another two months’ in March 2008.

For the whole of this year, there had been periodic speculations about general election this year as early as before the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations on August 31, then almost monthly – September, November and December.

But such speculation of early polls had only made their rounds outside the precincts of Parliament as there had never been any buzz or fizz among Members of Parliament, including Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, that general election was imminent or around the corner.

If I had been asked a week ago, I would rate the chances of the next general election being held either before or after April next year (when Anwar Ibrahim regains his civil entitlement to contest in the general election) as 50-50.

There was however a quantum development in the political scenario in the past few days, when for the first time in the current term of MPs, the corridors of Parliament were infected by an air of expectation that MPs were seeing the end of Parliament and that they would not be gathering again as MPs of the 11th Parliament.

I would now rate the chances of the 12th national polls being held in March as 70-30.

The next general election will see a new factor in the political power equation – the role of the Malaysian Indian voters, who had always been regarded as a solid captive vote-bank by the Barisan Nasional in previous general elections.

This is no more the case as there is an awakening of political consciousness among the Malaysian Indians, particularly at the high-handed treatment of the Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur which saw the support of 30,000 Indians from all over the country, the unjust and unconscionable handling of the “Batu Caves 31” who were denied bail and incarcerated for 13 days for the ridiculous charge of “attempted murder” of one policeman and the dismissal of the legitimate grievances of the Indian community over their long-standing marginalization as equal and rightful citizens of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Religious polarisation most serious in 4 yrs under Abdullah as compared to four previous Prime Ministers

“PM: Religious festivals unite all Malaysians” is the New Straits Times headline today for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s statement yesterday at an Aidiladha ceremony, where he said:

“Malaysia can pride itself in knowing that regardless of what religious celebration it may be, its ethnic groups will come together as one to honour the event.”

This was very true in the early decades of our nationhood, but it has become less and less true as increasing religious polarization in the country is undermining and even threatening national unity.

In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that religious polarization is most serious in the past four years under Abdullah as Prime Minister as compared to the four former Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

It is most unfortunate that in recent years, there have been mounting instances of disrespect and insensitivity of those in power and authority for the rights and sensitivities of non-Muslim Malaysians.

The most serious example were the recent triple insensitivities during this year’s Deepavali – the Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus.
Read the rest of this entry »


Parliamentary Roundtable of MPs/NGO/NGI to salvage IPCMC next Thursday

I will convene a Parliamentary Roundtable in Parliament next Thursday, 27th December 2007 inviting concerned NGOs and NGIs, including the 16 members of the Royal Police Commission, to discuss how to salvage the original proposal of the Royal Police Commission to have an independent external oversight mechanism to check police abuses, misconduct and corruption.

As former Royal Police Commissioner Tunku Abdul Aziz, who was formerly President of Transparency International Malaysia, told the Emergency Public Consultation on the Special Complaints Commission (SCC) Bill – what I had described as the fake IPCMC bill – in Kuala Lumpur on Monday night, there is no police in the world which had been capable of or successful in policing itself, which was why the Royal Police Commission was unanimous in its key proposal for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Although the Cabinet has agreed to defer the second reading of the SCC Bill to the next meeting of Parliament starting on March 17, 2008 (provided there is no earlier dissolution of Parliament for the holding of the 12th general election), there are two matters which are most regrettable, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah plunging to new depth of shambolic government with “somnambulant governance”?

I wondered this morning whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is crafting a new form of governance – somnambulant governance – making Cabinet appointments on-the-run, with the public and the Ministers themselves completely unaware of the existence of such Cabinet portfolios and responsibilities.

This is from Abdullah’s reaction to the proposal from a coalition of Indian NGOs asking the government to set up a Non-Muslim Affairs Department to handle sensitive issues pertaining to religion.

Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC) president A. Rajaretnam suggested that such a department should come under the Prime Minister’s Department and should look into issues such as conversions and temple demolitions so that these problems are handled department-to-department and not between NGOs and departments.

The Prime Minster’s response is utterly befuddling and confusing, as no one can make proper sense out of it, as illustrated by the contradictory media headlines, viz:

Kerajaan tubuh Jawatankuasa Hal Ehwal Bukan Islam Berita Harian

“Government considers setting up panel for non-Muslims” New Straits Times

“Non-Muslim affairs dept, if necessary’ The Sun

Non-Muslims looked after –We already have panels to handle their affairs, AbdullahThe Star

Not Necessary For Non-Muslim Affairs Dept Now, Says PMBernama

How can Abdullah’s one response produce three different perceptions as to what he meant – from the government setting up such a department for non-Muslim affairs, to studying the proposal and an outright dismissal as “not necessary”.
I do not blame the journalists, whether reporters or sub-editors for getting three completely different versions from one response, as nobody really knows what Abdullah was talking about. Read the rest of this entry »


Record 68 Golds by Malaysian sportsmen and sportswomen in SEA Games – a lesson for all of us

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

Malaysia can stand proud because it has won 68 golds to earn second place among the nations of se asia

The sports men and women had one objective in mind – to win for the honour and glory of Malaysia.

They competed as Malaysians for the country that they love. On the track there was no distinction of bumiputras or non-bumiputras, no ketuanan Melayu or second-class citizens. Because of their unity and common brotherhood they won 68 golds.

Their success holds a lesson for the leaders of our country Malaysia. Their duty is to foster unity and treat all citizens on an equal basis.

In the face of competition in a global world, to earn an honourable place it is vital that there be unity and all citizens should have the status of only one class – MALAYSIANS. Read the rest of this entry »


Fake IPCMC Bill deferred to March Parliament

I spoke to the Minister responsible for piloting the Special Complaints Commission (SCC) Bill (the fake IPCMC Bill) Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz before the Cabinet meeting today conveying to him the unanimous sentiments of the Emergency SCC Bill Public Consultation last night that the Bill be deferred for a proper public consultation process to take place in view of the many powerful objections to it.

I suggested that a Parliamentary Select Committee on the SCC Bill should be informed as part of this public consultation process with NGOs and NGIs.

Nazri has just returned to Parliament from the Cabinet meeting, which has agreed to the deferment of the SCC Bill to the next Parliamentary meeting which, barring electoral mishaps like the dissolution of Parliament, will sit again on March 17, 2008 with an Official Opening by the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

There is however no Parliamentary Select Committee on the SCC Bill.

This is where the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance should pick uip the gauntlet to organise a series of public consultations in the country on the fake IPCMC Bill.


Gani owes public apology to Batu Caves 31 for travesty of justice of total incarceration of 403 days

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail owes the Batu Caves 31 who were unjustly incarcerated for 13 days and their families a public apology for the sufferings and hardships they should not have been made to go through.

Gani’s explanations why he dropped the charges of attempted murder against the Batu Caves 31 in the Shah Alam Sessions Court underline the grave injustice which the Attorney-General had caused the 31 with the ridiculous charge of attempted murder and collective punishment of the 31 with the denial of bail for 13 days, resulting in a number of victims losing their jobs.

Two reasons had been given by Gani.

Gani said: “We can’t pinpoint who exactly did it or rather who was the one who threw the brick at the person who was badly injured”. If so, why did he charge the 31 with the capital offence of “attempted murder” with the maximum sentence of 20 years’ jail and fine, and what’s worse, denying bail to them for 13 days on a completely baseless contention of their being threats to national security! Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah just don’t get it – that he has already disappointed Malaysians after biggest-ever electoral mandate 4 yrs ago

In Puchong Indah, Selangor yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi declared: Support me and I will not disappoint you.

He said the support of the people give him greater sense of responsibility to strive even harder to ensure prosperity, harmony and development without leaving out any group.

Abdullah just don’t get it – that he has already disappointed Malaysians who had given him the greatest mandate ever secured by a Prime Minsiter in any general election in the nation’s 50-year history in 2004.

Is Abdullah’s denial so serious and even terminal that he is simply not aware of the widespread and deep-seated popular disenchantment over his failure to honour his catalogue of pledges when he became Prime Minister in October 2003 and during the 2004 general election to be the Prime Minister for all Malaysians, to hear the truth from the people however unpleasant, to wipe out corruption and abuses of power, to open up spaces for greater democracy and press freedom and to lead an administration of excellence and meritocracy towards a First-World Malaysia?

I cannot but ask whether the recent spate of unprecedented events had failed to make any impression on him whatsoever to shake off his denial complex – whether the nation-wide pickets of MTUC and workers for fair wage, the March for Justice of the 2,000 lawyers in late September to demand judicial independence and integrity, the 40,000-strong BERSIH demonstration on Nov. 10 for electoral reforms for free, fair and clean elections or the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration to end the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians? Read the rest of this entry »


Defer the fake IPCMC Bill to allow for proper public consultation

No, it was not an empty auditorium but quite a full house for the Emergency Public Consultation on the Special Complaints Commission Bill (or fake IPCMC Bill) at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.

It vindicated my faith and confidence in Malaysians that despite the impossibly short two-day notice falling on a weekend and end-of-year holiday season, minimal exposure in print media and total lack of leafleting, there was a strong turn-out of Malaysians for the Public Consultation to demonstrate their concern, commitment and seriousness about their citizenship rights.

Many thanks to you all on this blog for your encouragement and support as well as other netizens and bloggers who helped to give the Public Consultation a plug, including:

Fake IPCMC Bill consultation tonight (rocky’s bru)

Emergency Public Consultation on fake IPCMC Bill (the meesh experience)

It’s a fake IPCMC! – Lim Kit Siang
(Kembara Minda Perjuangan)

Emergency Public Consultation on fake IPCMC Bill (carboncopy)

Urgent: Emergency Public Consultation on the SCC Bill
(Blog for Positive Changes)

What the…?! Coming to KLS Chinese Assembly Hall tonight? (Dan-yel)

Lulu Thinks This Poor Replacement of An Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Bill Looks Like A Rush Job

And congrats to jedyoong for being the first to blog about the Public Consultation although “Am tired. Wanna sleep”.

Don’t have time to write a fulsome account of the Public Consultation. Just the highlights: Read the rest of this entry »


Who are the opportunists?

by Richard Teo

The Council of Former People’s Representative (Mubarak) President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang described the Hindraf leaders as “opportunists and traitors to their race and country.” He further added that these people were extremists and that they should rightly be detained under the ISA.

Referring to his assertion, I would like the former Mubarak to carefully reflect on past history and see who are the opportunists.

After May 1969, with the introduction of the NEP, the Malay bumiputras were the sole beneficiary of govt policies. However somewhere along the course of implementation the NEP was hijacked by the UMNO elite Malays who only seek to enrich themselves and their cronies.

Based on such factual events how could the former Mubarak President condemned the Hindraf supporters as opportunists?Rightly the real opportunists were the UMNO elite Malays. Read the rest of this entry »


Why does the BN government choose to do the wrong things almost all the time?

by Loh Meng Kow

Zainuddin, the Minister of (dis) Information said the government rejected the concept of democracy promoted by the West, with street demonstrations being part of the democratic process. “Have the countries with frequent street demonstrations managed to achieve the prosperity and stability that we enjoy? Most of these countries are mired in conflicts or chaos,” he stressed.

The Prime minister said that the silent majority had spoken that they were against demonstration. Yes, the people who took part in street demonstrations did not prefer to do it, if they did not consider it important that they took part to call government attention. They demonstrated because that was the only way that attention could be drawn to the wrongs perpetuated by the government. The way to stop demonstrating is to govern with fairness in the interest of the nation, and not in personal interests, so that the citizens do not find the need to demonstrate. The approach adopted in declaring street demonstrations illegal, charging participants for high crimes would see fewer demonstrations. But unless the problems which the people were calling attention are resolved, that resentment would not go away.

Countries that have frequent demonstrations could be divided in two categories. One takes heed of the demonstrations, and so government actions are guided on the path to prosperity and stability. The other tolerated demonstrations but was not prepared to take remedial actions. Malaysia considered itself capable in using bullying tactic to deny demonstration. Read the rest of this entry »