Archive for August 11th, 2008

PAC Chairman Azmi should step down in MRR2 flyover cracks inquiry – conflict of interest

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid should stand down in the PAC inquiry into the new Middle Ring Road (MRR)2 flyover cracks as the decision-making on the repairs of the RM238 million MRR2 by the previous Cabinet in 2006, of which he was a member, should also be the subject of current PAC investigations as well.

Azmi had announced after the PAC meeting this morning that the PAC will visit the defective MRR2 flyover in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning, two weeks after clumps of concrete and carbon fibre panels fell from the highway pillar into the path of the oncoming cars below.

It is not only most invidious, improper but also a clear and flagrant conflict-of-interest for Azmi to now preside over an investigation into the two-year RM70 million repairs of the six-year RM238 MRR2, including an examination of the rationale and justification for the final Cabinet decision on its repairs when he was a member of that Cabinet – as the whole repair decision-making process at various stages of decision-making, including at the Cabinet level, raises many disturbing questions about their propriety and wisdom. Read the rest of this entry »


Storming of Bar Council forum – Had Umno plotted for the extreme reaction?

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that the Bar Council’s persistence in going ahead with a forum on conversion to Islam has triggered extreme reaction from certain quarters, which in turn would threaten the country’s harmony.

He added that he had expected the extreme reaction to occur as the council ignored advice to call off the forum.

Is this an admission that UMNO had plotted for the extreme reaction to the Bar Council forum on religious conversions in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday – including the deplorable and disgraceful police conduct in submitting to the ultimatum by demonstrators threatening to storm into the Bar Council auditorium to disrupt the forum if the half-day forum was not ended by 10 am?

This must be the first time in the history of the Malaysian police force where it had openly and publicly submitted to the threats of demonstrators to commit an offence, i.e. to storm into a private property to disrupt a lawful meeting!

Can the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar defend and justify the shocking failure of the police to uphold law and order on Saturday? Read the rest of this entry »


No, this ‘Babi’ will Not ‘Balik Cina’

By Farish A. Noor

I have just read the reports on the internet about the goings-on that led to the disruption and early closure of the public forum organised by the Bar Council on Conversion in Malaysia over the weekend. Apart from the other rather offensive remarks that were featured in the various reports that I read, I also chanced upon a rather curious revelation: Apparently during the commotion caused when some of the so-called ‘defenders of the faith’ had entered the room where the forum was being held, there were calls for a certain ‘Babi’ to ‘Balik Cina’.

Now I have checked and double-checked all the photos that are available on the internet and have seen no image that corresponds to the ‘Babi’ in question. Therefore for the sake of academic consistency and objectivity, I am compelled to ask the Bar Council this: Was there a pig in the auditorium where the forum was held? And if so, how could the Bar Council invite a pig to attend a forum that was open primarily for Malaysian citizens (who are overwhelmingly human, as identity papers and passports have not been issued to pigs or any other non-human species as far as I know)

Furthermore I need to ask how the demonstrators knew that the pig (if one was present) was of Chinese origin? Did it carry a Chinese passport, and if so, why was it in KL when the Olympic games were being held in Beijing and the world’s attention was focused there?

(*ed. I can only assume that this was a rather anti-social pig from China who had come to Malaysia to avoid the throngs of tourists who have overtaken Beijing, which would be a sensible thing that I would have done myself, so I confess to having sympathy with this mysterious invisible pig.) Read the rest of this entry »