Archive for May, 2008

Motion on RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah – likely tomorrow

It is now 10.30 p.m.

Waiting in Parliament for the whole day – second one – for the end of the front-bench speeches in the Ministerial winding-up to move the amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address to propose the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the long-standing and intractable illegal immigrant problem in Sabah.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Ong Ka Chuan, is replying. I stood up to remark that it was all “a political sandiwara” when he replied to the MP for Kulai who is not only his brother but was the Housing and Local Government Minister (Ong Ka Ting) and should have the answers on his fingertips as the Minister responsible for the portfolio for two terms.

There are still two more Ministries before coming to the Prime Minister’s Department, which has four Ministers who should be replying individually on their respective portfolios.

Do not expect the ministerial winding-up to end by midnight – which means my amendment motion for the establishment of a RCI on the illegal immigrants in Sabah will be deferred until tomorrow.

More time for Sabahans and concerned Malaysians to contact MPs, particularly the Sabah Barisan Nasional MPs, to support the amendment motion to bring into being a Royal Commission of Inquiry to resolve the problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah and fulfil their dream of Sabahans for three decades to end their nightmare in the state.


Fulfilment of 30-year dream of Sabahans in the hands of Sabah BN MPs

The three-decade dream of Sabahans for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants in the state will be realized tomorrow if the 24 Barisan Nasional Sabah MPs join the 82 Pakatan Rakyat MPs to support the amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the establishment of such a Royal Commission.

For the past thirty years, calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the illegal immigrant problem had been made in Parliament, the Sabah State Assembly as well as in the public domain but they had been totally ignored.

Now, for the first time in three decades, it is possible for such a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the long-standing and intractable problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah, which had reduced Sabahans into a minority to foreigners, to be established provided the 24 Barisan Nasional MPs from Sabah walk the talk about their concerns about this issue and support my amendment to the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address to set up such a Royal Commission.

The support of the 24 BN MPs is all that is needed to secure the necessary majority in Parliament to direct the Cabinet to set up such a Royal Commission of Inquiry as there will be 82 Pakatan Rakyat MPs in support of the proposal. Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir ups the ante

Three immediate questions on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s shock decision to quit Umno:

1. Was it the direct result of the Cabinet decision on the Lingam Video Clip Royal Commission of Inquiry report directing the Attorney-General to investigate Mahathir and five others for any offences committed by them?

2. Was it part of a larger grand plan to escalate pressure both inside and outside Umno to force Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down as Prime Minister and Umno President?

3. Was it an act of desperation at his failure to influence events in Umno so far?

Time will soon tell.


Idiotic pride displayed for all to see

by Dr. Azly Rahman

Recently, Johoreans formulated a resolution on ketuanan Melayu. I do not know what this means at a time when our political-psychological landscape has changed.

They met at a time when Umno is so messed up and its old and new presidents are fighting like the Jacobins and the Girondins, and Parliament looks like the trading floor of the New York Stock exchange in the days of ticker-tape.

The Johoreans are doing the ketuanan Bahasa Melayu thing when Malays and Malaysians are in need of powerful mastery of the English Language to not only progress but also to understand why the majority of Malays are digressing while the powerful few are plundering.

Is this what Johor Malays are good at, in their critical analysis of society? Or is this the hypocritical sensibility the Melayu Bangsawan Johor possesses?

I do not know. Having been born and raised in Johor, I have a different view of this Johor hegemony.

This is the Berita Harian report on the resolution, as cited on the Malaysian Bar Council website on May 5, 2008:

Kongres Permuafakatan Melayu bertemakan ‘Kedaulatan Melayu Paksi Kewujudan Bangsa’ selama tiga hari di Johor Bahru yang berakhir semalam, menyaksikan usaha bersungguh-sungguh lebih 2,000 peserta mewakili 200 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan Melayu dari seluruh negara mahu bangsa Melayu terus unggul…. Mereka mahu kuasa, kedaulatan dan ketuanan Melayu terus dipelihara, bukan membiarkannya diancam oleh pihak lain.

It’s a very powerful resolution. Sounds like a reiteration of the ideology of the Biro Tata Negara. There is nothing wrong with holding a conference to reiterate the need to feel good about oneself from time to time. But I wonder if it is about critical sensibility or hypocritical one-dimensionality.

I am familiar with the mind of the Johor Malay, having being raised in that sub-culture. It has its progressive streak but it has its digressive streak as well.

The resolution highlights very critical issues for the ‘survival’ of the Johor Malays, as they would contend. Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


RCI on illegal immigrants in Sabah can be established after Tuesday

I have given notice that I will move an amendment on Tuesday to the motion of thanks for the Royal Address in the name of the MP for Kulai, YB Ong Ka Ting, as follows:

“ by adding the following words ‘and resolves that a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be established to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah to the extent that there is legitimate fear that Sabahans are being outnumbered by foreigners in their own state’ after the words ‘Penggal Pertama Parlimen Yang Kedua Belas’”.

If Sabah and Sarawak MPs from Barisan Nasional support the amendment motion on Tuesday, a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah – a call which had been made in Sabah and in Parliament down the decades – would finally be established.

Are BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak as well as from Peninsular Malaysia prepared to do what is right?


Mahathir’s challenge – dare Abdullah pick up the gauntlet?

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has challenged the government to charge him following the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video Clip scandal.

Dare the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, pick up the gauntlet?

This is the AFP report of Mahathir’s cdare:

Malaysia’s Mahathir challenges govt to charge him

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (AFP) — Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday challenged the government to charge him for his alleged involvement in a judge-fixing scandal during his rule.

The government on Friday released a report that found evidence of an “insidious” conspiracy to influence the appointment of judges and had listed Mahathir, along with other top figures, as being involved.

Following the release of the report, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s cabinet agreed for the attorney-general’s chambers to immediately investigate the allegations against those identified in the report, including Mahathir.

“I welcome it,” the 82-year-old influential leader said at a meeting in southern Johor state.

“I want them to charge me in court. Only then will I have the opportunity to expose more conflicts faced by the judges, including those who have implicated me,” he told reporters. Read the rest of this entry »


Et tu Zaid Ibrahim?

While the Cabinet decision to make public the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip is to be applauded, one jarring note is the police report lodged by the Prime Minister’s Department against several newspapers under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for publishing earlier the findings of the inquiry and its recommendations.

Et tu Zaid Ibrahim?

Before his reprieve from the political wilderness as a result of the March 8 “political tsunami” and surprise appointment to the Cabinet, Zaid had called for a purge of the culture of secrecy “once and for all”, proposing that “official secrets” should be defined and limited to matters of “real” national security such as inter-governmental communications, information from the police and military intelligence, issues affecting public order and Cabinet minutes – “that is, where harm to the nation is actual and probable, not according to the whim and fancy of the government”.

What actual and probable harm had been done to national security or public order by the New Straits Times, the Star, Berita Harian and Sin Chew Daily and others for the publication of the findings of the Lingam Video Tape Royal Commission of Inquiry before Friday’s Cabinet decision to make the report public, as to justify Zaid Ibrahim’s directive to the Prime Minister’s Department to lodge police report against the newspapers concerned.

The police report against the newspapers also runs counter to the renewed pledge by the Prime Minister after the March 8 “political tsunami” for a more open, accountable and transparent society including the promise to introduce Whistleblowers’ Protection legislation. Read the rest of this entry »


Revocation of passport of Hindraf Chairman – Hamid should make ministerial statement in Parliament

The revocation of the passport of the Hindraf Chairman P. Waytha Moorthy by the Malaysian government is most undemocratic and deplorable.

The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar should make a ministerial statement for the government’s high-handed action when Parliament reconvenes next Tuesday.

The following is Waytha Moorth’s statement on the revocation of his passport:

I was travelling back to London from Geneva after the HINDRAF briefing with the United Nations High Commissioner’s office on Human Rights on April 21, 2008 and was totally shocked to be informed by the UK immigration officer at Gatwick Airport that the Malaysian government had revoked my passport thus making me de facto stateless.

I see only one purpose. The Malaysian Government had intended that I be deported back to Malaysia by the British authorities so that I too could be arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act and be detained for unspecified period of time without trial and be subject to torture and inhumane treatment for my political beliefs. I have not committed any offence or crime other than to champion the cause of the systematically marginalized, discriminated and alienated ethnic Indian community in Malaysia who remained a permanently colonized community despite achieving independence 51 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Amirsham’s Embarrassment – Thanks to KJ

Read the rest of this entry »


Donation drive for China and Burma disasters

At 11.30 am this morning, DAP National Treasurer Fong Kui Lun (MP for Bukit Bintang) accompanied by DAP National Organising Secretary Tan Kok Wai (MP for Cheras) and DAP Selangor State Chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah (Exco member and SA for Seri Kembangan) presented a cheque for RM20,000 to the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on behalf of DAP MPs and Assembly members as humanitarian aid to the victims of the massive earthquak disaster in Sichuan, China.

Fong, who heads the DAP Donation Drive for China and Burma Disaster Victims, announced a week-long nation-wide humanitarian aid collection drive by DAP State committees . Public donation drives would be launched in Ipoh Timor and Ipoh Barat tonight.

Public can hand their donations to DAP MPs, SAs and the respective DAP State Offices. Receipts would be issued on request.

(Media Statement by DAP Headquarters on 16.5.05)


KJ comes to Amirsham’s rescue

After embarrassing the professional-technocrat non-politician Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Amirsham Aziz with a planted supplementary question and a planted answer during Question Time in Parliament this morning, the Prime Minister’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin (MP for Rembau) has aggravated Amirsham’s embarrassment in coming to the former banker’s defence!

Rebutting the suspicion that Amirsham was “under the thumb of the world’s richest unemployed” in reading out a prepared answer to a supplementary question which the Minister should have no prior knowledge, Khairy said:

“The minister is an intelligent man. He was the former CEO of Maybank and I’m sure he anticipated my question. The minister was looking at his facts to answer my question.”

The Oxford graduate is being most condescending in conceding the intelligence of Amirsham. But he was talking bunkum as there were no “facts” for Amirsham to “look at” in his answer to Khairy’s supplementary question. Amirsham was just reading word-for-word the “planted” answer to Khairy’s “planted” supplementary, as if afraid that he might miss out some words or phrases painstakingly prepared for him beforehand!

With such a friend, Amirsham does not need enemies!

KJ’s “kiss of death” is to be found in today’s online New Straits Times “Dewan Dispatches”, as follows: Read the rest of this entry »


Three Molotov cocktails thrown at Perak DAP premises must be deplored by all

The three homemade Mototov cocktails thrown at the Perak DAP premises in Ipoh opposite the Perak state assembly at 2.20 am must be deplored by all political parties, the civil society and all Malaysians.

Although no great harm was done, such contemptible action must be nipped in the bud and not be condoned in any manner by any party or individual as all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or political belief must demonstrate their democratic credentials and commitment to uphold the system of parliamentary democracy in the country and to peaceful democratic change.

Bernama report on the petrol bomb incident follows: Read the rest of this entry »


Amirsham Aziz – a professional/technocrat in Cabinet or just a Minister under the thumb of “world’s richest unemployed”?

When banker Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz was appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in the second Abdullah Cabinet after the March 8 “political tsunami”, he was hailed as a professional and technocrat to oversee the Economic Planning Unit.

Amirsham himself pledged on his Cabinet appointment on 18th March 2008: “I will use my banking experience in the best interest of the country and exercise professionalism in every step I take.”

But what a letdown by Amirsham during question time in Parliament just now. Amirsham’s professionalism was completely absent. What is worse – he shamed himself publicly when he was exposed to be a Minister completely under the thumb of the “world’s richest unemployed”!

This happened when Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau MP) asked the Prime Minister a highly slanted question on the New Economic Policy. In a supplementary question, Khairy distorted the statement by the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng on the eradication of NEP abuses of corruption, cronyism and economic inefficiency.

This was not surprising. What created a ruckus in the House was Amirsham’s response, reading from a prepared text to the supplementary question meant to be impromptu and extemporaneous.

It was not only a planted question but also a planted answer.

As I alleged in the House in the ruckus just now, it was clear to all that the “world’s richest unemployed” had not only asked the supplementary question, he had also prepared the answer to be read out by Amirsham! Read the rest of this entry »


Believe it or not – Malaysia’s improved anti-corruption performance

May 14, 2008 21:28 PM

Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Performance Has Improved – Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s fight against corruption has shown a marked improvement and it is placed among countries which had succeeded in tackling the menace, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International last year showed that Malaysia had done better than 76 percent of the 179 countries listed in the report.

“There was a 73.1 per cent improvement from 2006 while from 1995 it was 43.9,” he said in reply to a question by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur).

Lim had urged the government to form a royal commission to find reasons for Malaysia’s drop in the CPI ranking from 23 in 1995 to 44 and 43 respectively in 2006 and 2007. Read the rest of this entry »