Archive for July, 2008

Anwar’s Sodomy II charge – very imminent

What are your impressions when you read the following AP report today?

PM rules out emergency rule

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today ruled out imposing emergency rule if street protests broke out in the event that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested.

“I don’t think we are going down that road; definitely not,” Abdullah told Associated Press in an interview today.

“Why should (protests) get out of hand? That would be very unbecoming of the party that intends to be the government of Malaysia – to take laws into their own hands and demonstrate as they wish.”

There are fears that Anwar could be arrested in the coming days as the police wrapped up their investigation into a former aide’s allegation that he was sodomised by Anwar.

Abdullah said that the 23-year-old ex-aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, deserved justice as much as any other Malaysian.

“This man pleads for justice,” Abdullah said. “We care about (Anwar) more than we care about this man? That is very odd. He needs justice; that is what he is crying for. We cannot ignore that.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Battle Royale – Anwar to contest in Permatang Pauh

The battle royale is on.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will contest in Permatang Pauh in a by-election to return to Parliament after a decade’s absence, following the resignation of Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as MP for the seat.

This has just been announced by Anwar in a media conference.


Why not BN-PR talks rather than Umno-PAS talks?

Who would have thought that the RM100 million spent last year to celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations proved to be so short-lived and ephemeral, making so little impact on the Malaysian psyche and nation-building process to unite all citizens with the common sentiment and vision that they are Malaysians first and Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans and Orang Asli second!

This is why one of the fundamental questions confronting Malaysians today is: –

Why not Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat talks instead of Umno-Pas talks if the top national priority is to save Malaysia from being a “failed state” and establish that on the eve of the 51st Merdeka anniversary, we are Malaysians first and Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli second and not vice versa?

This is particularly pertinent as the great challenges of Malaysian nation-building today concerning justice, freedom, solidarity, integrity and progress can only be addressed in an effective and meaningful manner through BN-PR talks and not through Umno-Pas talks.

The proposal by the PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat that the implementation of Islamic hudud and qisas laws, among other things, be the basis of Umno-PAS co-operation and even merger, has raised serious concerns. Read the rest of this entry »


At 84, the fire still burns!

By Ahmad Mustapha

Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore’s founding father, has always been very direct in his comments. This was the man who outsmarted the communists in Singapore (with the innocent help of Malaya then and the willing help of the British) and who later outwitted the British and outpaced Malaysia in all spheres.

Singapore practices corrupt-free meritocracy and Malaysia affirmative action. The former attracted all the best brains and the latter chased out all the brains. The Singapore cabinet consists of dedicated and intelligent technocrats whereas Malaysia has one the most unwieldy cabinets. Not only that, brain wise it was below par not even good for the kampong.

With that kind of composition, one that is very brainy, naturally Singapore , with no natural resources could outstrip Malaysia in every aspect of development. Malaysia, on the other hand, was too much preoccupied with its Malayness and the illusory ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ and was also more interested in useless mega iconic development rather than real social and economic development. Read the rest of this entry »


Hamid, what are you doing to carry out your basic duty?

Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar – What are you doing to carry out your basic duty as Home Minister to make the public places, streets and homes safe for Malaysians, tourists and investors?

Hamid declared yesterday that investigations into Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s sodomy allegations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will not be dropped.

Hamid has a lot of time for the sodomy charge against Anwar. But has he got time to restore to Malaysians, tourists and investors their most basic human right to be safe in public places?

Has Hamid read or been informed of the following letter which appeared in today’s Sun and can he declare what he has done about it? Or has he just got no time for these mundane things as compared to the sodomy allegation against Anwar?

Hamid, waiting for your public response to the following letter in the Sun today: Read the rest of this entry »


Umno-Pas talks – repudiation of transformational message of March 8 “political tsunami”

In the United States, Senator Barack Obama’s nomination as the Democratic Presidential nominees heralds a new milestone in American nation-building and race relations but in Malaysia, the UMNO proposal for Umno-PAS talks marks a regression in Malaysian nation-building and the Vision 2020 objective of a Bangsa Malaysia.

The latter repudiates March 8 “political tsunami” where for the first time in half-a-century of nationhood, Malaysians transcended race, religion and political affiliation to vote for change to give primacy and priority to justice, freedom, solidarity, integrity and progress.

The March 8 “political tsunami” marks a bold and visionary stride forward by Malaysians to rise above their communal selves to reach out to a common national identity. Read the rest of this entry »


Terengganu Proton/Mercedes imbroglio – public “slap-in-the-face” of Abdullah

I have asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give a cost-benefit report of the directive to use Proton Perdana as the official car for both the national and state governments on the first day of budget meeting of Parliament on August 18.

Abdullah is also asked to detail the problems encountered by all governments, national and state, in complying with the directive and whether Proton Perdana is a suitable vehicle compared to other makes.

Less than 24 hours after the Prime Minister issued the Cabinet edict last Friday that the Terengganu executive councillors cannot use the Mercedes E200 Kompressors and must use back the Proton Perdana V6 Executives, reserving the new Mercedes to be used only by VVIPs, Abdullah was given a public “slap-in-the-face” by one of the Terengganu Excos who publicly defied the directive in the Prime Minister’s presence.

This was reported by the media, although it was not spelt out so starkly. Read the rest of this entry »


Public apology to Anwar for fictitious charge of sodomy

by Dr. Chen Man Hin


The Home Minister appears to be in a hurry to close the Saiful sodomy case now that Dr. Mohd Osman medical report is widely known. Not so fast Mr Minister. There are many unanswered questions which he must explain to the people.

Gone are his old swagger and arrogant attitude. He is trying to run away fast now that the case has gone against the conspirators.

Do not let him off easy. Demand an explanation and there are lots for him to clarify and explain

Who instigated Saiful to make a police report accusing Anwar of sodomisng him? Read the rest of this entry »


Missing the point on the Terrenganu Merc purchases

by Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Much has been said regarding the purchase of 14 spanking new Mercedes E200’s for the use of Terengganu Exco.

MB Ahmad cited cheaper maintenance, DPM and PM declaring that they themselves use Protons, the press interviewing workshop mechanics, Proton Holdings defending their cars, ACA getting into the picture and many offered punditry and cost comparisons to entertain the rakyat with this dog and pony show.

Almost everyone is missing the point,the PM, ACA, The Terengganu exco and Proton Holdings.

The Treasury has sent out a circular which was blatantly ignored, this is the main issue.

Why are those who ignored this directive not taken to tas ? The policy is clear, so the PM should initiate disciplinary action. The next question would be how can the Treasury who is the one holding the purse strings not check whether policy was being followed.

If a system is open to abuse it should be revamped.

Why is the Treasury silent on this issue ? Makes me wonder what other directives are being ignored draining precious financial resources. Read the rest of this entry »


Top Cabinet agenda tomorrow – end sodomy of Malaysia’s international reputation NOW

The top agenda for the Cabinet tomorrow must be to wrestle with probably the nation’s worst global crisis in its 51-year history and end the sodomy of Malaysia’s international reputation NOW so that we would not be dumped in the dubious company of Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Sudan on the rule of law, transparency and good governance.

The very fact that the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar last week had to give a special briefing on the sodomy investigation against Anwar Ibrahim to 96 foreign diplomats on very short notice is the best proof of the national and international crisis of credibility faced by the present administration over the Sodomy II allegation against Anwar as well as the handling of other high-profile investigations.

The latest development in the Sodomy II allegation against Anwar – ten years after his Sodomy I charge which was later overturned by the Federal Court – as well as recent events, such as the disappearance of private investigator Bala Subramaniam after making two conflicting Statutory Declarations within 24 hours with far-reaching implications about the independence and integrity of the rule of law and system of justice can only heighten and intensify these national and international concerns.

The police response to Internet revelations of a medical report concerning the accuser of Anwar’s Sodomy II charge, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan – that there was no evidence of sodomy four hours before he lodged the police report of sodomy against Anwar on June 28 – has only confirmed national and international doubts about the independence, integrity and professionalism of the police handling of the case and strengthened belief in Anwar’s innocence.

In dismissing the revelation of the medical report as “another attempt to sabotage police investigations” and threatening to go after the whistleblowers, while studiously declining to comment on the existence and veracity of the Pusrawi Hospital medical report, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar has done a great disservice to police reputation and professionalism – as he had merely added flame to fan national and international conviction about the authenticity of the medical report. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s educational reform: can the yellow states lead the way?

by Azly Rahman
[email protected]

“To evolve into wiser individuals with enquiring minds, we must ask questions and reflect upon the answers suggested to us. If we are afraid to ask questions, our mind and consciousness will be owned and manipulated by those who think they have the right answers, or by those who wants to use force to tell us what the right answers shall be.”
– My thoughts on the nature of learning

“I currently firmly believe that education should first be a dialectical and dialogical tool to mediate and resolve the contradictions between Existentialism and Cyberneticism, and of Cultures of Disabilities, …and next be a Deconstructive-Reconstructivist tool and social force to engineer personal and social revolutions and progress towards the realisation of a personal republic of virtue, ethics, multiculturalism, and metaphysics; so that human beings endowed with the Natural Rights to be free may collectively become educated to rise above hegemony, domination, and oppression and in the final analysis, journey towards a Pastoral and Natural self .”
– my personal philosophy of teaching

Let’s take a break from thinking about Malaysian politics. Justice will take its natural course, the natural “way”, like how Lao Tzu would philosophize.

Let us talk about the possiblities in education.

I have some ideas on how we can evolve out of this current political quagmire and focus our attention to an ever-pressing national question: how best to educate the children of our nation.

We need to have the states governed by Pakatan Rakyat to experiment with a new paradigm of educational reform. To showcase what “human capital revolution”, “education across the life span” and “education for creative and critical consciousness” means. Read the rest of this entry »


Police cannot be silent a single second – latest shocking revelation on 2nd Anwar sodomy charge

The Police cannot keep silent a single second on the latest shocking revelation in the second Anwar Ibrahim sodomy charge – that the first medical report on Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan found no evidence of sodomy four hours before he lodged the police report of sodomy against Anwar on June 28.

The revelation, which first appeared in Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s Malaysia Today news portal, and is reported in Malaysiakini, is based on a two-page medical report by Dr. Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, the medical officer in Hospital Pusrawi (Pusat Rawatan Islam) in Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur after examining Saiful at about 2 p.m on June 28 – some four hours before Saiful lodged the police report against Anwar.

This is the account in Malaysiakini:

According to a copy of the two-page medical report obtained by malaysiakini yesterday, Saiful went to the hospital complaining of ‘tenesmus’ – a medical term for difficulty and pain in passing motion.

He was examined by Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, the medical officer on duty.

The doctor said that the patient had alleged he was assaulted by the intrusion of a piece of “plastic” in the anus.

Mohamed Osman, according to his medical report which was recorded at 2.14pm, found “zero active bleeding”, “zero ulcer or pus”, “zero tear and scar” in Saiful’s anus.

He also stated that Saiful appeared “alert”, “comfortable”, “not pale” and did not show any fever symptoms.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Courage To Be Different

by M. Bakri Musa

The Sultan of Trengganu’s decision not to bestow royal honors on the occasion of his birthday is worthy of praise. I also applaud his celebrating it in a low-key manner. With the nation facing trying economic times, this message of prudence needs to be conveyed from the highest levels of our leadership. Further, the Sultan’s gesture while seemingly symbolic portends far more significant changes.

I am surprised that this is not more recognized and lauded by our intellectuals and pundits. Perhaps they too are eagerly waiting for their own little title and accompanying tinplate.

The Sultan in his capacity as King is also imparting his important message to the Prime Minister. Abdullah, his humble beginnings in the village and his very public displays of piety notwithstanding, has shown a detestable fondness for things luxurious since becoming Prime Minister. Witness his RM 250 million corporate jet! Prudent spending is not his strength.

For a culture that does not normally recognize birthdays, Malaysians have taken up this Western cultural artifact with gusto. This is especially so with the royalty. The investiture ceremonies associated with such birthdays would stretch for days, with the Prime Minister and other top officials having to be in attendance at all times, thus distracting them from their regular work. Not that they are any good or effective when they are in their offices!

Apart from the King, Malaysia has nine sultans as well as four sultan wannabes in the person of state governors. With 14 head-of-state birthdays to celebrate and heaps of honorifics to bestow, there is a glut of these titles.

It is not so much that I detest these ostentatious celebrations rather that I resent the wasting of precious taxpayers’ money. I could not care less if those sultans and governors were to throw private parties at their own expense. Read the rest of this entry »


Declare Anwar innocent of sodomy allegations and drop all charges

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

Three international political and economic giants have called on the Malaysian government to drop sodomy charges against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on thursday 24th july.

They are Paul Martin former Canadian Prime Miniser, James Wolfenson former World Bank chief and Michael C amdesus former head of International Monetary Fund

A day earlier, US secretary of state Condolezza Rice strongly voiced her disfavour that Anwar was being singled our for sodomy charges again similar to the charges in 1998 ten years ago. Anwar was imprisoned for six years but the Federal Court absolved Anwar of sodomy charges in 2004.

In replly to foreign minister Rais Yatim’s objections on USA interventon in internal affairs, Rice maintained she would continue to raise Anwar’s issue in the interests of human rights and justice. She too implied the charges were fabricated and the sodomy charge should be removed.

Brad Adams, Asia directorThe world guardian of human rigts, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH on July 21 said “the Malaysian government’s record provides little basis to believe this is anything other than partisan political attack on Anwar. In the light of past FALSE ALLEGATIONS AND HIS UNFAIR TRIAL, Anwar has good reason to worry that his rights wont’t be respected”. Read the rest of this entry »


Proton/Mercedes fiasco – Big Ears’ Dilemma with Terengganu’s “one ear in, one ear out” defiance

“Defiant act – Exco men use Merc despite Cabinet order” – this is the screaming front-page headline in today’s Sunday Star on the latest twist in the Proton Perdana/Mercedes Kompressor fiasco, viz:

JOHOR BARU: At least four of Terengganu’s eight state executive council members are using newly purchased Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor cars despite a Cabinet directive against doing so.

Several of them were seen travelling in the cars to official functions and meetings.

Those who were seen taking rides in the car said they were waiting for Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said to make an announcement at Wednesday’s state executive council meeting on when to give up the cars.

Terengganu Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Za’abar Mohd Adib attended the Malaysian Flora Fest here yesterday in his gleaming new black Mercedes-Benz.

What is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who prides in having “Big Ears”, going to do in the face of the “One ear in, one ear out” defiance of the Terengganu State Government?

Is he going to crack the whip to impose discipline or is he going to close his eyes and ears and pretend such defiance does not exist? Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah buying time with 2010 quit plans

From the Economist Intelligence Unit

JULY 26 – Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s July 10 announcement that he plans to step down by mid-2010 seems an attempt by the prime minister to buy time – both for his own (probably doomed) leadership and for his party, Umno.

By sacrificing the second half of his current five-year term, the prime minister may hope not only to save the first half, and thus to stay in the leadership for two more years, but also to reduce internal feuding that is undermining the government’s stability.

Abdullah’s move comes as pressure continues to mount on him to step down to take responsibility for the political crisis as well as for rising inflation. This pressure is coming both from within the highly factional Umno – where some elements regard Abdullah as an increasing liability to the party or see his problems as an opportunity to make their own power bids – and from the parliamentary opposition, which has been emboldened by its gains in the March 2008 general election.

Although the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, of which Umno is the dominant member, comfortably won the election, the loss of its two-thirds majority for the first time in nearly 40 years was a humiliating setback. Read the rest of this entry »


PM has turned Terengganu Perdana/Mercedes controversy into pure fiasco

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has transformed the Terengganu Proton Perdana V6 Executive/Mercedes E200 Kompressor controversy into a pure fiasco.

What is the solution? The 14 RM245,000 Mercedes E200 Kompressors purchased by the Terengganu government for RM3.43 million are to be used only by VVIPs – “foreign dignitaries” for “major functions” – while the State Excos must continue to use the fleet of 16 RM130,000 Proton Perdana V6 Executives bought in 2004.

Reason? This is from Abdullah’s own words, explaining the Cabinet decision: “Since the cars have been bought and to sell them would only result in a loss, all of them must be used for state guests or dignitaries.

”This is the decision, nothing more, nothing less.”

Wouldn’t this ridiculous and laughable solution result in greater losses to the public coffers?

Who are the VVIPs or “foreign dignitaries for major functions” who would qualify to be chaperoned around the state in the 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressors? Read the rest of this entry »


One “black eye” after another – Hamid’s special briefing to diplomats on Anwar “a big flop”

The special briefing on Wednesday by Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to 96 foreign diplomats on government action and police investigations into the sodomy allegations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is clearly a big flop, with the caustic criticism by the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice within 24 hours with her call for transparency and the rule of law into the new allegations against Anwar.

Rice rejected the earlier claim by her Malaysian counterpart, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim that the United States was meddling in Malaysia’s internal affairs by raising concern over Anwar’s arrest.

She said the United States would continue to speak on cases involving human rights and politics although it did so “in a spirit of respect for Malaysia”.

She stressed that the United States “doesn’t recognise this very firm barrier that it is simply internal affairs when a case of this kind comes up, but we are going to continue to work with Malaysia”. Read the rest of this entry »


Third World Reality Beneath Malaysia’s First World Veneer

Book Review: Beyond the Veneer: Malaysia’s Struggle For Dignity and Direction
(Ioannis Gatsiounis : Monsoon Books, Singapore. 2008 : 273 pages Indexed : US $15.95)

By: Bakri Musa

Soon after Abdullah Badawi led his Barisan Nasional coalition to a landslide electoral victory in 2004, I wrote a blistering critique of his leadership. He had hoodwinked voters, I wrote, with his slick “feel good” campaign, and that sooner or later Malaysians would see through his emptiness. I had the piece previewed by my friend and frequent collaborator Din Merican. He suggested that I hold back and instead give Abdullah a chance. I did.

Little did I know that at about the same time (October 2004) an American journalist in Malaysia, Ioannis Gatsiounis, had written for Asia Times an essay titled, “Abdullah’s Honeymoon is Over in Malaysia.” Although more restrained in tone, nonetheless as judged by the title, he revealed a similar lack of enthusiasm for Abdullah as a leader. His “soft but firm” leadership, Gatsiounis wrote, “has shown … to be more soft than firm.”

That kind of perceptiveness is rare for a foreign observer, or a local one for that matter. Today, as judged by the current headlines, Gatsiounis’s judgment of Abdullah has become the common wisdom. Read the rest of this entry »


PAS: Caught between Old and New

By Farish A. Noor

Now that the cat is out of the bag and the whole of Malaysia knows that there have been secret backroom dealings between UMNO and PAS; ostensibly to bring the two parties together in the name of Malay-Muslim communal solidarity, we need to pause a while and look at the political factors at work.

I highlight the political factors at work here for frankly, I see little of Islam or Islamic ethics at work in this latest round of UMNO-PAS dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »