Archive for April 28th, 2008

Urgent Parliament motion on Wednesday for release of Hindraf 5 and 60 other ISA detainees

I have given notice to Parliament to have an urgent debate on Wednesday for the release of the Hindraf Five – M Manoharan, DAP Selangor Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan dan T. Vasantha Kumar – and over 60 other detainees currently held in Kamunting Detention Centre under the Internal Security Act (ISA), including some who had been incarcerated for over six years.

In calling on Parliament to urge the Abdullah administration to respect and comply with the wishes of the people as demonstrated in the March 8 “political tsunami” for a more democratic, accountable and progressive Malaysia, the government is reminded that the ISA detainees should not be denied their fundamental rights to an open trial if they are deemed to be threats to national security.

The refusal of the government to release the Hindraf 5 and the scores of other ISA detainees is proof that the Abdullah administration is not prepared to heed the people’s aspirations clearly articulated in the March 8 “political tsunami” to end its arrogant governance and to revoke its high-handed and undemocratic policies and laws.


Freedom From An Oppressive Government

by M. Bakri Musa

The greatest legacy the leader of a nation could bequeath would be freedom from an oppressive government. This realization comes to me when I compare Malaysia’s experience during the 1997 economic crisis to America’s current struggle with its massive debt mess.

The differences in reactions and consequences are attributable to one salient factor: Unlike Malaysians, Americans do not fear and are not dependent upon their government. Americans have a healthy skepticism towards their leaders and government, an attribute generally lacking among Malaysians.

With Malaysia in 1997 there was a general crisis of confidence, with widespread gloom and doom permeating the skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur as well as the suraus in Ulu Kelantan, and from the Prime Minister to the village penghulu. It also precipitated a deep and ugly split in the leadership that resulted in riots and ugly street demonstrations. The very symbol of our sovereignty – the ringgit – was devalued.

Like Malaysia then, America is today plagued with a mountain of debt on a scale a universe beyond what Malaysia suffered. The American dollar is also being debased, not by the government however as with Malaysia, but by the more powerful force of the marketplace.

The American tribulation is even greater, as the leadership – in particular President Bush – is viewed as ineffective and irrelevant. America is additionally burdened with an expensive and bloody war. Yet for all that, there are no riots or widespread doom and gloom. When Americans are disenchanted with their president or government, they throng the voting booths in record numbers to vote for a change. Read the rest of this entry »


12th Parliament Opens Today

The “political tsunami” 12th Parliament elected on March 8, 2008 convenes today for the swearing-in of the 222 elected Members of Parliament and the election of the Speaker and two Deputy Speakers.

Tomorrow, the Yang di Pertuan Agong will officially declare open the 12th Parliament with a royal address which represents the policy speech of the government.

On Wednesday, question time and debate will begin.

There are great expectations of the new Parliament. Let its curtain rise.