Archive for January 30th, 2008

Armed robbery – just happened to me

(received 10.23 am)
by NKK

I just faced up to four Indian armed robbers this 3am morning in Alam Damai Cheras, KL

This is a true story about my lifetime first-hand experience with an armed robbery on 30 Jan 2008. I was eating and reading a late-night newspapers in a “mamak” (Indian Muslim) restaurant at Alam Damai Cheras of Kuala Lumpur at about 3AM morning.

Suddenly four Indian robbers broke in from nowhere, three of them ski-masked and armed with 2-feet matchet each.

The gang leader ordered cashiers and all (four) customers, including me in the shop to surrender our money and phones. All were robbed except me, I managed to escape from their seizure. No advisable to fight armed robbers with your bare hands.

Two police patrol cars arrived at the scene after about 20 minutes of reporting. I will try to get CCTV photos from the shop-owner and publish robbers’ photos in this webiste.


Dr.Basmullah paying RM1,333 for every day in jail

Together with DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran, I visited the Kajang Prison and the authorities have confirmed that Dr. Basmullah Yusom is serving three-month jail term for failing to pay RM120,000 fine for operating a clinic without registering it under the Private Health Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998.

Every day of jail by Dr. Basmullah is equivalent to paying RM1,333 of the fine. He has been jailed for 12 days or equivalent to paying RM15,996 of the RM120,000 fine!

We were unable to see Dr. Basmullah and will try to contact his family members to see how we can be of help to ensure that he could be speedily freed from jail.

I find it most regrettable that there has been no response from the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail in the past three days to my appeal for his intervention by invoking his revisionary powers to call up the case to quash the most unfair and unjust three-month jail sentence – the first doctor to be jailed under the PHFSA despite assurances by both the Health Minister and Director-General of Health Services that private practitioners would not be jailed over a technicality.

Why is the Acting Health Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting keeping quiet about this gross injustice in the implementation of the PHFSA? Read the rest of this entry »


Keng Yaik wrestling with the truth and his dubious 36-year political legacy?

I received an email from a political observer who noted that Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, the retiring Minister for Energy, Water and Communications appeared to be wrestling with the truth and his dubious 36-year political legacy.

This is the email that I received referring to Keng Yaik:

“With his political career coming to an end after 36 years, LKY has been wrestling with the truth and his political legacy.

“Four days ago, LKY joked in Malacca that he wanted to retire as after being scolded by Lim Kit Siang-Lim Guan Eng father-and-son for his whole life, he did not want to be scolded by the grandson!

“It has been perceptively observed that there is always a kernel of truth even in jokes made by politicians, and LKY is no exception. In his subconscious, he is aware that he has left a dubious political legacy after 36 years which cannot stand scrutiny whether by the present or future generations.

“As one of the longest-serving Cabinet Ministers, together with MIC President Samy Vellu, LKY will have to accept full responsibility for the parlous state of the Malaysian nation today 50 years after Merdeka – in particular, in abandoning the Merdeka social contract on a secular nation by being the first national leader to support Mahathir’s declaration of Malaysia as an Islamic state, the rise in religious intolerance and extremism, the extension of the New Economic Policy from 20 years to 50 years, the plunge in educational standards and international competitiveness, the destruction of an independent judiciary and professional police, the rise in crime, rampant corruption, gross human rights abuses through ISA detentions and suppression of press freedoms.

“These are o failures by LKY to future generations. No wonder LKY is afraid of being scolded by Lim Kit Siang’s grandson, representing a third generation of Malaysians! Read the rest of this entry »


Samy Vellu dropped as BN candidate in next general election?

Would Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu be dropped as a Barisan Nasional candidate in the next general election?

This question does not sound so far-fetched and unthinkable now as the query which I posed a fortnight ago as to whether Samy Vellu would back out of contest in Sungai Siput in the next general election during my two-day 14-place “whistlestop” campaign in Perak to highlight the DAP national general election theme of “Good Cops, Safe Malaysia”.

I had said on 12th January that Samy Vellu had become the lightning rod of the long-suppressed anger and frustration of the Malaysian Indians over their long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization in the country and the very personification to the Malaysian Indian community of everything that is wrong and unfair about Barisan Nasional policies in the past three decades which have reduced them into the new underclass in Malaysia.

I said:

“If Samy Vellu re-contests in Sungai Siput in the next general election expected within 65 days, again leading the MIC election campaign, MIC parliamentary and state assembly candidates throughout the country will face massive rejection by the Malaysian Indian voters.

“Are MIC leaders trying to find a way to convey and convince Samy Vellu that the best service he can do to the MIC after being the MIC President and sole Malaysian Indian Minister for close to three decades is for him to fully absorb the anger and frustration of the Malaysian Indians at the MIC failure to check the marginalization of the Malaysian Indians by accepting full personal responsibility and not contesting in the next general election – thus saving the MIC slate of parliamentary and state assembly candidates from the full wrath of the Indian community in the polls?”

Undoubtedly, my statement a fortnight ago struck a chord in the MIC and there were moves behind-the-scene to prepare for an alternative leadership – which has angered Samy Vellu resulting in the reported sidelining of the MIC leaders concerned. Read the rest of this entry »


Lessons from the rise and fall of Suharto

By Farish A. Noor

The verdict of history is still not out yet following the demise of General-turned-President Suharto. For all his achievements in putting his country on the map and leading Indonesia towards industrial development, Suharto’s human rights record remains one of the bloodiest in the post-colonial history of Southeast Asia, matched only by that of Ferdinand Marcos, who was likewise one of the great strongmen of Asia.

Suharto presided over one of the most spectacular socio-economic transformations in Asia of the 20th century: His nation of more than two hundred million souls was transformed over a period of three decades from a faltering post-colonial economy on the verge of bankruptcy to becoming one of the most attractive destinations for foreign capital investment. Yet the social and economic costs were high: Indonesia was sold as a source of cheap human labour and natural resources, to be exploited and plundered by foreign multinationals as never before. During this period normal political activity in the country came to a standstill; political parties were either disbanded or forced to merge; political dissidents were routinely harassed, silence and incarcerated, with hundreds more liquidated at will by the armed forces and security agencies of the state. The Indonesian press was stifled; students told not to enter the arena of politics; feudal structures were reinforced; while corruption was allowed to run rampant.

Even after he was deposed in May 1998 Suharto left office as one of the most corrupt leaders of the Third World, amassing wealth to the tune of billions of dollars that had been expatriated to foreign banks. Until today there is still no accounting of the exact extent and magnitude of his and his family’s corruption; and their collusion with the forces of capital and the army that kept this entire system of patronage and state violence intact for so long.

There are, however, some important lessons to be learned from this complex and often painful – and extended – episode of Indonesian history: Read the rest of this entry »


Botched PHFSA – why the Director-General of Health must resign

by EJB

It is with regret that medical practitioners learn of a doctor being jailed under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 (PHFSA) for not registering his clinic. This is clearly not what was promised to doctors when both the current Director General of Health, Ismail Merican and the previous Health Minister Chua Soi Lek were all gung ho about implementing an Act that was clearly poorly drafted. When the PHFSA came into effect on Nov 1, 2006, there was great resentment and distrust among private doctors. The PHFSA was regarded as an insult to their integrity and demeaning the profession. Many were distrustful about the implementation of a haphazardly written law by a ministry known primarily for its incompetence.

Despite the misgivings of senior GPs, specialists, ex-DGs, ex-MMA chairmen and even a senior judge such as Datuk Mahadev Shankar who was an authority on medico-legal proceedings, both the Minister and the DG ran roughshod over their objections in implementing this law. Doctors still recall how Chua and the DG quickly convened a meeting when medical practitioners threatened to march to parliament. At the meeting, they promised various amendments to the Act. The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and other medical associations trusted the word of both the Minister and the Director General and did not even push for all the changes to be in writing before the law was passed.

But today it is clear that the word and the credibility of the Director-General means nothing as the regulation has now claimed its first victim, Dr. Basmullah Yusom, a USM graduate, registered with the Malaysian Medical Council with a valid Annual Practicing Certificate. He was fined an unbelievable RM120,000 and jailed subsequently for three months when he could not afford to pay this fine. He couldn’t even afford counsel. Anyone, long enough in the profession will tell you that there are many medical practitioners who serve their communities quietly without expecting too much in financial returns. Read the rest of this entry »