Archive for May 19th, 2008

AG’s role in two decades of judicial darkness

The Star
Monday May 19, 2008
Call to order withdrawal of report against press

KOTA KINABALU: The Prime Minister should order the withdrawal of a police report made against several newspapers for publishing the Royal Commission of Inquiry report on the V.K. Lingam video clip before it was made public.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the Government’s police report over alleged contravention of the Official Secrets Act by the media was incorrect.

The Act could only be used if any leaked government confidential information had threatened national security, he said.

Lim said the contents of the Royal Commission of Inquiry findings into the video clip was of public interest.

He noted that in other countries, royal commission reports were immediately made public.

He also said the Cabinet’s decision in instructing the Attorney-General’s Chambers to investigate the various individuals named in the commission’s report was insufficient. Read the rest of this entry »


Sabah illegal immigrants – D-Day in Parliament tomorrow

The Star
Monday May 19, 2008
Lim to bring up Sabah’s problem

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s longstanding illegal immigrant problem may be discussed at length in Parliament this week if a motion concerning the issue is allowed.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said yesterday he would table a motion to amend the motion of thanks on the royal address on tomorrow’s sitting.

The amendment, he said, called for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, to the extent that there was legitimate fear that Sabahans were being outnumbered by foreigners in their own state.

Lim, the Ipoh Timur MP, said he had given notice to Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia on the motion on Friday.

He said the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry would become a reality if Barisan MPs lent their support to the motion. Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir playing racial card

The Star
Monday May 19, 2008
Kit Siang: Leaders shouldn’t play racial card

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian leaders including those who have retired should focus on enhancing unity among the nation’s diverse communities and not play up racial issues.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said results of the March 8 polls showed that Malaysians wanted unity instead of being divided by race, religion or political creed.

“We saw voters voting as one, regardless of race and religion. We had Malays, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan voters rising above their ethnic stereotype and voting as Malaysians,” he said.

Lim said that 50 years after the nation’s independence, Malaysians should be more “Malaysian-minded” instead of retreating into their “communal selves.”

The veteran politician was commenting on former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks in Johor on Saturday that Malays stood to lose much in the new political environment where non-Malays were unafraid to make demands. Read the rest of this entry »


Kampong Don Quixotes And Their Enemies

by M. Bakri Musa

Leaders of Kongress Permuafakatan Melayu (Malay Solidarity Congress) are obsessed with fighting imagined enemies of so-called Ketuanan Melayu. These kampong Don Quixotes are consumed with slaying foes that exist only in their florid imaginations. Like the deluded knight-errant de La Mancha, these leaders are oblivious to the fact that the world mocks them with undisguised contempt.

It saddens me that this Congress was led by Ismail Hussein and Osman Bakar, intellectual giants for whom I have the greatest respect. Ismail was the long-time head of the Malay Studies Department at the University of Malaya, while Osman was a former professor at Georgetown University.

It seems that every few years the Malay elite, as well as those who think that they belong there, go into spasms of agony and feel compelled to gather and pontificate on what ills our people.

The pattern is also predictable: a flood of shrill press releases, followed by an elaborate congress officiated by some “has-been” leaders, and the ensuing slew of high-minded resolutions calling on the government to “do something!” The hue and cry would persist for a few weeks, at most.

A few months later and all would be forgotten. Give a few more years and those same issues would again be resurrected, and the whole pattern repeated.

A few years ago there was the Badan Tindakan Melayu (Malay Action Front) led by Ghaffar Baba, after he lost his chance to be the country’s number one. A few years prior to that, there was the Forum of Malay Professionals. Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir says it again – others are more guilty

The nub of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s response to the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Tape scandal – whose finding can be summed up as “He looks like Lingam, he sounds like Lingam, he is Lingam!” – is that the offensive is the best defence.

As shown by the following press report, Mahathir is not putting up any defence that he has done no wrong but the ominous rebuttal that others, including judges were even more guilty than him if what he had done was deemed to be wrong or criminal. And he appeared to be implicating the former judges on the Lingam Video Tape Royal Commission of Inquiry.

As Prime Minister for 22 years, it is both pathetic and tragic Mahathir failed to see that while it is commonplace to lobby for appointments to be Ministers and Deputy Ministers, it is just not acceptable for any lobbying to be done for judicial appointments or promotions.

This is why the Judicial Appointments Commission must be set up immediately, which must affect every new judicial appointment and promotion including that of the next new Chief Justice, with the highest judicial office falling vacant in five months’ time in October.

The Prime Minister’s decisions on the appointment and promotion of judges must be based on the recommendations of the Judicial Appointment Commission. Read the rest of this entry »


Sabah/Sarawak should get 10-11 Ministers and not just 5 in Cabinet

After the March 8 “political tsunami”, Sabah has been in the eye of the political storm in Malaysia, when the political leaders, MPs and people of Sabah woke up to the realisation of the completely new and critical role they play in Barisan Nasional politics.

For 45 years, Sabah politicians and people have been treated as step-children and progressively marginalised by the Barisan Nasional in its political chessboard.

I remember that when I spoke in Parliament in April last year about the discrimination and marginalisation of Sabah, with the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community emerging as the new underclass in the state, the long-standing problems of illegal immigrants and the state having the highest rate of poverty in the country, no Barisan Nasional MP dared to speak up in support although privately outside Parliament they acknowledged the pertinence and relevancy of my speech.

The Barisan Nasional MPs and politicians from Sabah had not expected any change in their marginalised political role in the recent general election, but they were thrust into a completely unexpected status as a result of the March 8 “political tsunami” which saw Barisan Nasional suffering an ignominous debacle in Peninsular Malaysia – losing two-thirds parliamentary majority as well as power in five states, viz Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan.

Overnight, from a weak position of the marginalised, Sabah and Sarawak found themselves in the role of “king-makers” in Barisan Nasional in Malaysian politics for their 54 MPs from the two states were the crucial and critical ones which saved Barisan Nasional from becoming the Opposition at the federal level.

Sabah and Sarawak should have 10 – 11 Ministers in the Federal Cabinet of 27 not only because 38.5% or 54 of the 140 BN MPs come from the two states (Sabah 24, Sarawak 30), but also for saving the BN from becoming an Opposition in Parliament!

When this new critical role of Sabah and Sarawak dawned on the Barisan MPs and politicians from the two states, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had already formed his Cabinet, appointing three Ministers from Sabah and two from Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »