Archive for June, 2008

80 Pakatan Rakyat MPs’ walkout in Parliament today (video)

This is the 30-minute video clip of the parliamentary proceeding today resulting in the first major walkout by almost one-third of the MPs in Parliament – the 80 MPs from PKR, PAS and DAP of Pakatan Rakyat.

A second substantive motion to review the Speaker’s decision to allow the unprecedented abuse of parliamentary standing orders by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will be submitted to Parliament to allow for a full debate next week of parliamentary practices, procedures and rules – provided time is allocated for such a substantive motion which requires only two days’ notice.

For video click –> Read the rest of this entry »


Gobind Singh Deo – two day suspension from Parliament (video)

This is the video clip of the parliamentary proceeding on the two-day suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo. Gobind was suspended in an altercation with the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin during question time today.

I had said subsequently in Parliament that Gobind’s suspension is unfair and wrong and that I would be moving a substantive motion to review the Speaker’s decision.

As only two days’ notice is required for such a substantive motion, I hope there could be a debate and vote on it in Parliament on Monday.

Part 1

Part 2


Walkout by some 80 PR MPs

Some 80 Pakatan Rakyat Members of PKR, PAS and DAP staged a “walk out” of the Dewan Rakyat this morning in protest against the reckless disregard of parliamentary practices, procedures and rules when despite strong opposition protests, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was allowed to misuse Standing Order 14 (1)(i) to make a “ministerial statement” on his support of the Report of the Mid-Term Review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

The “ministerial statement” by Najib should be made by the Deputy Prime Minister when he seconded the motion of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the Ninth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review in the Dewan Rakyat last Thursday.

For reasons best known to Najib, the Deputy Prime Minister did not say anything when he stood up to second the Prime Minister’s speech.

Having missed the opportunity to present his views on the Ninth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review when seconding the Prime Minister’s motion, Najib is trying to have a second bite of the cherry by giving a Ministerial statement on the Mid-Term Review, through a gross abuse of the parliamentary standing orders.

It sets a most dangerous precedent that the government front-benchers can abuse the standing orders at their whim and fancy. Read the rest of this entry »


Anwar seeks sanctuary in Turkish Embassy

Anwar Ibrahim is at the Turkish Embassy in Malaysia for his personal safety. He told me over the phone from the embassy that he had been advised by his friends to seek a safe haven in the country from those who want to do him physical harm.

Whether Anwar’s seeking sanctuary at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur will lead to a diplomatic row between Malaysia and Turkey is secondary to the primary question as to how to assure and ensure the former Deputy Prime Minister’s personal safety and security in Malaysia.

This is a responsibility the Prime Minister and the Home Minister cannot shirk.

Over to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Syed Hamid Albar.


Anwar expecting the worst

SMS and phone calls have been flying around of imminent police action against Anwar Ibrahim.

I have spoken to Anwar over the phone and he is expecting the worst.

Malaysiakini had filed the following report two hours ago:

Aide alleges sodomy: Report lodged
Jun 28, 08 11:03pm
Updated June 29, 08 01.30 am

A police report has been lodged against PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly sodomosing one of his aides – the second time that such an accusation had been made in over 10 years.

The report was lodged by the 23-year-old victim at the Jalan Travers police station at 6pm.

KL police chief DCP Muhammad Sabtu Osman has confirmed that the report had been made.

It is learnt that Anwar met with a number of party leaders at an emergency meeting late tonight.

At 11.15pm, PKR sent out an SMS message stating that the police had detained Anwar’s special aide Saiful Bahari this afternoon and forced him to lodge a police report about being sodomised by his boss.

It added that the police are expected to arrest Anwar soon. Read the rest of this entry »


Parliamentary barricade against the press – WhoDun’It?

This is a Parliamentary WhoDun’It?

Who gave the directive to put up the barricade in Parliament on Tuesday to bar the reporters and photographers, leading to the 24-hour downing of tools and cameras by some 100 journalists boycotting all media conferences and events outside the debate in the parliamentary chamber?

The Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin said its not him. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz also said its not him. I believe both. Who then gave such a directive?

While this Parliamentary WhoDun’It awaits resolution, a parliamentary sideshow is being enacted.

The Malaysian Insider carried the following story, “Nazri dares backbenchers to get him sacked”, which was picked up by the print media, deepening the mystery as to who actually gave the directive to impose the barricades in Parliament treating journalists like “wild and dangerous beasts” who have to be caged and cabined! Read the rest of this entry »


9MP Midterm Review – Tsu Koon’s “beggar politics”

(Speech by DAP MP for Ipoh Timor Lim Kit Siang at the opening of the DAP Tebing Tinggi service centre, Ipoh on Saturday, 28th June 2008)

One result of the March 8 “political tsunami” which saw the end of the Barisan Nasional’s unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority and its loss of five state governments, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan, is a bout of public soul searching by some Barisan Nasional leaders.

One such public heart-baring was by the Gerakan Adviser Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik who confessed that as Umno did not give the other component parties equal standing, Gerakan, MCA and MIC were reduced to the status of “beggars” in the ruling coalition – resulting in their massive rejection by the electorate in the March 8 “political tsunami”.

Gerakan Acting President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon has proven his predecessor right about the “beggar politics” and “beggar mentality” of Gerakan vis-à-vis Umno in Barisan Nasional in his response to the RM3.5 billion Ninth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review deferring of the PORR and Monorail projects in Penang. Read the rest of this entry »


Agony of foreign spouses for PR – the worst cases

Lets have the worst cases of the agony of foreign spouses of Malaysians to get PR (permanent residence) status, so that Parliament and the government can hear about them – with the Home Minister having to respond as well.

You can either write on this blog or email me.

A long-suffering foreign spouse has emailed her views and suggestions, which I am sharing here:


Visa rules

There are thousands of foreign spouses who are on Dependent or Employment visas renewable until last year on a yearly basis.

However since 2007, spouses are able to renew their visas for upto 5 years.

(Most often we cannot afford to pay the visa charges for 5 years at one time)

Spouses do not get Permanent Resident status even after spending more than 15 years in the country and we have Malaysian school going children. Read the rest of this entry »


Question on Ketuanan/Kedaulatan Melayu

(On Wednesday, I asked the Prime Minister what steps he had taken to promote the Bangsa Malaysia objective of Vision 2020 in the face of worsening racial polarisation with greater communal clamour for “ketuanan Melayu” and “kedaulatan Melayu”.

Placed No. 29 out of 97 questions, it did not come up for answer on the floor of the House in the 90-minute Question Time.

The following is the written answer from the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz which completely avoided the question by not touching on the rising crescendo in the assertion for “ketuanan Melayu” and “kedaulatan Melayu”:)

Tuan Lim Kit Siang minta Perdana Menteri menyatakan langkah-langkah yang beliau ambil untuk memupuk objektif Bangsa Malaysia sejajar dengan Wawasan 2020 memandangkan masalah polarisasi kaum kini semakin memburuk berikutan dengan bunyi riuh komunal mengenai “ketuanan Melayu” atau “kedaulatan Melayu”.

Jawapan: Sepertimana Ahli Yang Berhormat sedia maklum, perpaduan dan integrasi nasional sememangnya merupakan salah satu aspirasi utama Kerajaan. Kita percaya bahawa sebuah negara bangsa yang utuh hanya akan dapat lahir hasil daripada perpaduan yang teguh dan mantap.

Bagaimanapun, negara yang aman dan makmur tidak mungkin lahir dengan sendirinya. Atas kesedaran inilah maka Kerajaan senantiasa berusaha untuk memastikan agar pembangunan ekonomi negara terus berlangsung dengan pesat, di samping memastikan agar tiada mana-mana golongan yang merasakan mereka ketinggalan dalam arus perdana pembangunan negara. Read the rest of this entry »


9MP Mid-Term Review – BN Ministers/MPs struggling to keep awake

Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs had never found it more difficult than today to keep awake to go through a major government policy speech in Parliament – the tabling of the Ninth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Even BN MPs who wanted to thump the table to create an atmosphere of support for the Prime Minister found little cause to do so, except for two or three occasions when Sabah and Sarawak were mentioned.

The only time the Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs perked up were at the end of Abdullah’s speech, when he deviated from the prepared text distributed by the Treasury to make a political attack on those who wanted to “grab power” despite the general election result of March 8, 2008.

If the Ninth Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review Report is intended to give new hope and inspiration to Malaysians that the Abdullah administration has heard the message of the March 8 political tsunami, and is prepared to strike out in new directions to enable the country to face the challenges of globalization, the result is a negative one. Read the rest of this entry »


Religion and the Social Contract: Can Religion be reconciled with Civil Society?

By Farish A. Noor

Modern nation-states are, for all intents and purposes, artificial entities that are the product of consensus and rational agency. Practically every modern nation-state in the world today traces its history to some founding moment and a founding document that lays down the terms of the social contract that brought together a disparate community of individuals to form a pact, which in turn sustains the nation as a whole and lends it sense of identity and cohesiveness over time.

Now of course the foundational moment of many a nation-state today is lost in the mist of history and some might ask the question of how and why should an agreement made by a handful of men (and it is nearly always men, not women, mind you) who lived centuries ago be relevant to the citizens of today? America’s founding moment, for instance, lay in the midst of battle and the struggle of the American colonies to break free from the yoke of British imperialism then. However even a cursory glance at the documents of the past will show that America’s founding fathers were a small band of landed white American capitalists, land-owners and slave-traders who cared little for the fate of the thousands of African-Americans who were the descendants of slaves brought there from Africa. Equally scant attention was paid to the plight of the native Americans who in time would be marginalised and corralled into their reserves and left out of the mainstream of society, relegated to the status of ‘savage natives’ unfit for modernisation. Likewise women who made up half of the colonies’ population are hardly mentioned in the founding documents of what later became the United States of America.

Be that as it may, there remained enough scope for expansion and development in the American Constitution to allow the country to adapt to the changing realities of the time, and crucial articles of the Constitution – which guarantee equality and freedom of speech, for instance – paved the way for the American Civil Rights movement and the American Feminist movement that came into being by the mid-20th century.

As in the case of the United States, so was it the case in many other secular democracies in the developed part of the world where social upheavals and transformation were facilitated by the looseness of their respective Constitutions, that in turn allowed for the continuous revision and re-reading of its meaning and intent. What is crucial to note in all these cases is the fact that the advances in terms of civil and political rights in these countries occurred via recourse to the Constitution and the rule of law. At no point was the Constitution rejected outright simply because the founding fathers of the nation all came from the same elite strata of white, middle-classed men. Read the rest of this entry »


PM and DPM – time to have new advisers after another round of savage but avoidable battering to their credibility with delayed denials

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have finally broken their silence on blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s statutory declaration with the “mind-boggling” accusation that Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was among three individuals who were also present when Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered on Oct 19, 2006.

Raja Petra also alleged that the Prime Minister “has received a written report from the Military Intelligence” confirming his allegations and this report was subsequently handed over to his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin for safekeeping”.

Raja Petra also claimed that “one of the Rulers has been briefed about this matter” and “is fully aware” of the allegations.

Abdullah and Najib should have broken their silence and made their denials five days ago when Raja Petra’s allegations in his statutory declaration dated 18th June 2008 first surfaced on the Internet, reported by Malaysiakini and picked up by the blogs.

This was why I had issued a media statement four days ago on Saturday calling for public responses from Abdullah, Najib and Rosmah to Raja Petra’s statutory declaration, warning that “the credibility and legitimacy of the Abdullah premiership and government will suffer a mortal blow if Abdullah, Najib and Rosmah remain silent on Raja Petra’s bombshell allegations”. Read the rest of this entry »


PR status & citizenship for foreign spouses

(The following is the reply given in Parliament by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar yesterday to my question on the long-standing PR problem. Lets have your reaction as to whether you find the answer satisfactory or not. It was given as a written answer as the question did not come up for oral reply during the 90-minute Question Time. It was placed No. 49 out of 95 questions yesterday, which saw only eight questions answered on the floor during the Question Time.)

Tuan Lim Kit Siang minta Menteri Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri menyatakan hasil langkah-langkah untuk mempercepatkan pemprosesan pengeluaran (i) TarafPenduduk Tetap (PR) dan (ii) kerakyatan kepada pasangan asing rakyat Malaysia; mengapakah ujudnya aduan mengenai kelewatan yang keterlaluan dan sila berikan bilangan PR dan kerakyatan yang dikeluarkan dalam tempoh 20 tahun ini.

Jawapan: Pemberian taraf Pemastautin Tetap Malaysia merupakan ‘satu anugerah dan bukan hak’ yang boleh dituntut oleh warganegara asing. Dalam mempertimbangkan permohonan untuk taraf Pemastautin Tetap (PT), Kerajaan memberi keutamaan kepada aspek keselamatan negara dalam membuat keputusan. Berdasarkan kepada faktor ini, kerajaan sangat berhati-hati untuk membuat pertimbangan dan keputusan. Oleh yang demikian, setiap permohonan di WAJIBKAN melalui proses tapisan keselamatan oleh pihak Polis Di Raja Malaysia (PDRM). Di samping siasatan yang dijalankan oleh PDRM, pemohon dan penaja juga akan ditemu duga bagi memastikan bahawa maklumat yang diberikan adalah benar, dan juga untuk mengelakkan sebarang penyelewengan yang mungkin terjadi. Ini juga adalah bagi memastikan bahawa pemohon adalah tulen.

Kesemua langkah-langkah ini adalah amat penting bagi memastikan pemohon adalah seorang yang bebas dari gejala-gejala yang tidak sihat yang mungkin akan mengancam keselamatan negara. Hasrat kerajaan adalah bagi memastikan supaya hanya warganegara asing yang benar-benar ingin bermastautin di negara ini diberikan taraf Pendudukan Tetap. Di samping itu, semua syarat-syarat dan prosedur yang ditetapkan bertujuan untuk meminimumkan kebarangkalian berlakunya penyalahgunaan kemudahan yang disediakan seperti “marriage of convenience”. Read the rest of this entry »


Reporters “wild and dangerous beasts” who must be caged in Parliament?

Are reporters “wild and dangerous beasts” who must be caged in Parliament so that they do not run wild to “ambush” Ministers and MPs?

This is my protest in Parliament at the end of question time over the new restriction barring media representatives access to the lobby with an obscene barricade of the area.

At the beginning of the Parliament meeting today, Penang Chief Minister and DAP MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng had protested against the ruling as tantamount to a clampdown on press freedom.

In calling for the withdrawal of the clampdown on parliamentary reporters, he said: “There is no justification whatsoever for restricting reporters to a small corner as if they pose a grave danger to security and a threat to the safety of parliamentarians. No MP has ever suffered personal injury or threats from reporters accredited to cover the Parliament.

“By imposing such restrictions merely for the personal comfort and conveniences of certain individuals would contravene the basic spirit of democracy and respect the sanctity of Parliament where reporters can carry out their duties to communicate debate on policy in an accurate and professional manner.”

Regrettably, Guan Eng was booed by Barisan Nasional MPs for taking up the cudgel on behalf of parliamentary reporters, who have also protested and launched a boycott of all press conferences or events outside the parliamentary chamber. Read the rest of this entry »


Emergency debate in Parliament on Raja Petra’s allegations on Altantuya murder

I have given notice for an emergency debate tomorrow on Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s allegations on the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

My notice for an adjournment of Parliament tomorrow reads:

“That the House gives leave to MP for Ipoh Timor YB Lim Kit Siang to adjourn the House under S.O. 18 (1) to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance – the statutory declaration dated June 18, 2008 by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin implicating the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife over the case of murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“Raja Petra alleged that he had been reliably informed that between about 10pm on October 19, 2006 and early hours of the following day, the night Altantuya was murdered, three other people were also present at the scene of crime, viz:

(a) Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the DPM;

(b) Acting Colonel Aziz Buyong (then Lt. Col) a C4 expert;

(c) Aziz’s wife, Norhayati, described as ‘one of Rosmah’s ADC’.

“Raja Petra alleged that Aziz was the person who placed the C4 on various parts of Altantuya’s body witnessed by Rosmah and Norhayati. Read the rest of this entry »


All eyes on Parliament – everyone asking, confidence or not?

All eyes are on Parliament, with everyone asking, will there be a no confidence vote or not, although there is no such motion in the Order Paper.

However, as I had blogged last Friday, it is not necessary to have a proper motion of no confidence to create a “no confidence” vote in Parliament on the Prime Minister and the government-of-the-day.

This is the reason for the buzz and excitement in the House, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sitting through the entire Dewan Rakyat sitting since question time up to now (12.40 pm) which has never happened before, especially as the Prime Minister did not stand up to answer the two questions addressed to the Prime Minister during question time.

I am sure the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and veteran parliamentarians are aware that the motion moved by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad seeking support for the government’s measures over food, oil and commodities price increases, including the reduction of oil subsidies, will become a “no confidence motion” if it is defeated. Read the rest of this entry »


“First-world infrastructure, first-world mentality”?

(This is from the blog of Hannah Yeoh, DAP Selangor Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya)

SMKSU Prefects’ Reunion
Friday, June 20, 2008

Few months ago, I was invited to the Prefects’ Reunion of SMK Subang Utama to be held next week. I just received news that I could no longer attend the function because I’m an assemblyman from Pakatan Rakyat.

Two prefects have confirmed that the teachers have issued a threat to the prefects to withdraw their invitation to me and if not, the event would be cancelled.

I am upset with this. Let me explain to you why this threat by the teachers is so fundamentally wrong:-

this is a private function to be held outside the school; every past and present prefect is entitled to attend this event; and

I was the Head Prefect for 1995/1996 and was one of the pioneers to start this yearly reunion for the prefects.
I am not a criminal or a bad role model. All I did was this, exercised my right to vote, exercised my right to stand for election, to stand up for my generation and to fight corruption. As a young person, I am not afraid to stand up for righteous principles, not afraid of intimidation by the ‘supposedly powerful’ groups but today I am told that I am not a welcoming sight at a function which I championed and fought for many years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


RPK’s bombshell allegation on Altantuya murder – Abdullah, Najib, Rosmah cannot remain silent

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor cannot remain silent on the latest bombshell of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

In a statutory declaration on June 18, 2008, Raja Petra accused Rosmah as among three individuals who were present when Altantuya was murdered on Oct 19, 2006.

Raja Petra alleged in his statutory declaration: “I have been reliably informed that between about 10pm on October 19, 2006 and early hours of the following day, the night Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered, three other people were also present at the scene of crime.”

He named the two other individuals as one acting colonel Aziz Buyong, who is described as ‘a C4 expert’ and the latter’s wife, known only as Norhayati, who is also said to be Rosmah’s aide de camp.

Raja Petra further alleged:

“My informer states that Aziz was the person who placed the C4 on various parts of Altantuya’s body witnessed by Rosmah and Norhayati.

“I make this statutory declaration because I have been reliably informed about the involvement of these three people who have thus far not been implicated in the murder nor called as witnesses by the prosecution in the ongoing trial at the Shah Alam High Court.

“I also make this statutory declaration because I am aware that it is a crime not to reveal evidence that may help the police in its investigation of the crime.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Govt motion on price increases on Monday can be turned into “no confidence motion” if there are the numbers

After a marathon meeting, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee has received endorsement by SAPP supreme council for his call for a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Up to now, Parliament has not received any notice from any Member of Parliament for a no-confidence motion.

However, it is not necessary to have a proper motion of no confidence to create a “no confidence” vote in Parliament on the Prime Minister and the government-of-the-day.

I have been informed that the first item of parliamentary business after the 90-minute question time on Monday will be a motion by the Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad seeking support for the measures taken by the government over price increases of food, oil and commodities, including reduction of oil subsidies.

This government motion on price increases in Parliament on Monday can be turned into a no-confidence motion if there are enough numbers in Parliament to defeat it. Read the rest of this entry »


No confidence motion – will incipient revolt by BN MPs in support of Yong Teck Lee be crushed by BN SC emergency meeting?

Following the bombshell by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee yesterday announcing that its two MPs Dr. Chua Soon Bui (Tawau) and Eric Enchin Majimbun (Sepanggar) would move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, many questions are swirling for answer, including whether it is possible for a no confidence motion to be moved in Parliament on Monday when it looks procedurally impossible as up to yesterday no such notice of motion had been submitted to Parliament.

In fact, although a proper motion of no confidence has not been submitted to date to Parliament, it is not impossible to duplicate a no confidence vote in Parliament on the Barisan Nasional government on Monday.

Whether a no confidence motion could be moved, debated and voted upon in Parliament on Monday, however academic it appears, is however not the foremost question created by Yong Teck Lee’s announcement yesterday.

The most important question from the SAPP action, which has dealt another mortal blow on the Barisan Nasional government after the March 8 “political tsunami”, is:

Will the declaration by the two SAPP MPs of no-confidence in Abdullah as Prime Minister trigger support from other BN MPs in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia or will the incipient revolt by disaffected BN MPs be crushed with SAPP expelled by BN today with the engineering of a SAPP Baru?

Read the rest of this entry »