Archive for June 23rd, 2011

Seeing crackdown, Pakatan battens down hatches

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 23, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are bracing themselves for a possible repeat of the infamous 1987 Ops Lalang crackdown when election watchdog Bersih 2.0 stages its mass protest in the capital this July 9.

The leaders, many of whom were among those arrested during the crackdown, told a press conference today that they feared the government would again flex its muscles and embark on a spree to detain all leaders participating in the rally.

“As former Ops Lalang detainees, we must ask if they are preparing for an Ops Lalang 2,” said DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, one of the 1987 detainees. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Would Hisham have arrested Onn Jaafar?’

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 23, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Lim Kit Siang has reminded Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that his grandfather, Datuk Onn Jaafar, pioneered peaceful protests in Malaysia, and called on the home minister to ensure the smooth running of Bersih 2.0.

The DAP parliamentary leader pointed out that Umno was born in 1946 out of non-violent anti-Malayan Union protests helmed by Onn, and asked if Hishammuddin thought his grandfather’s actions constituted illegal assembly.

“Would Hishammuddin have arrested his grandfather Datuk Onn Jaafar for organising peaceful mass rallies and meetings resulting in formation of Umno if the latter had been alive today?” he asked in a statement today.

Lim also slammed Hishammuddin for putting electoral watchdog Bersih on the same footing as Malay rights group Perkasa by announcing yesterday that the police would summon Bersih, Perkasa and Umno Youth for planning separate rallies on July 9.

He said while Bersih has declared its commitment to peace, the Perkasa counter-protest was “a different kettle of fish” that was “born to create strife and unrest”. Read the rest of this entry »


Disclose RCI report tomorrow, Lim tells cabinet

Jun 23, 11

Veteran opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang has urged the cabinet to order the disclosure of the report by the royal commission of inquiry into Teoh Beng Hock’s death when it meets tomorrow.

In a statement today, Lim said that although RCI head Justice James Foong had said that the decision on whether the report can be made public lies with the Agong, the Agong still acts on the advice of the cabinet.

Citing Articles 39 and 40 of the federal constitution, Lim explained that the cabinet still had a large say on the matter.

“In another 23 days, it will be the second anniversary of Teoh’s mysterious and unusual death at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

“The cabinet should not sit on the RCI report but must act responsibly by releasing it immediately to the public tomorrow itself in line with the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance,” said Lim. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Hisham would have jailed his grandpa’

By Patrick Lee and Tarani Palani
June 23, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Taking Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to task over his handling of the Bersih 2.0 rally issue, DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang ropes in the Umno leader’s late grandfather.

“I would like to ask Hishammuddin would his grandfather be allowed to hold gatherings in Malaya (during the pre-independence period)?” he asked.

In 1946, Hishamuddin’s grandfather Onn Jaafar, along with many Malay leaders at the time, had rallied against the colonial government’s Malayan Union concept.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih to go global with July 9 rally

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
June 23, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Election watchdog Bersih today confirmed that overseas rallies will be held simultaneously with its upcoming July 9 event, and that these will be spearheaded by Malaysian citizens living abroad.

Rallies will be held in Seoul (South Korea); Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (Australia); Osaka (Japan); Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York (US).

“All the overseas solidarity rallies held were initiated by Malaysian citizens living abroad who supported the demands for Perhimpunan Bersih 2.0. They personally contacted Bersih 2.0 and expressed interest in organising [rallies] where they were. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Death threat against Ambiga deplorable’

By Joseph Sipalan | Jun 23, 11

Senior Pakatan Rakyat leaders today unanimously condemned the recent death threat against Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga, labeling the “deplorable act” a direct result of the government’s alleged whitewashing of extremist behaviour.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) said the death threat is a culmination of unbridled extremism that has been allowed to continue without fear of reprisal from the government.
“Extremists and racists are tolerated, and in some ways condoned. This is not the first time. I remember the threat on Nurul Izzah and her daughter and now against Ambiga,” he said after chairing a Pakatan presidential council meeting at Parliament’s tower block.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih: Death threat the work of cowards

By Kow Gah Chie | Jun 23, 11

Bersih 2.0 today slammed the “cowardly” move of those behind the death threat SMS targetting its chief Ambiga Sreenevasan, in relation to its planned July 9 rally.

“This is unacceptable, the SMS is not only life-threatening, but also has connotations of racism,” said Maria Chin Abdullah (centre in photo), a Bersih 2.0 steering committee member.

“Let’s be brave enough to come out and talk, instead of being so cowardly as to send threatening and racist SMSes. Let’s talk,” Maria told a press conference after lodging a police report at the Travers police station in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

Maria also urged the sender to stop such moves.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Release TBH RCI report immediately in line with principles of accountability, transparency and good governance

The Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the death of Teoh Beng Hock submitted its report to the Yang di Pertuan Agong yesterday, three days ahead of its deadline of June 25.

The RCI Chairman Tan Sri James Foong told a press conference yesterday that a copy of the 124-page report had also been submitted to the Prime Minister.

However, the contents of the report will remain secret, pending a decision from the Yang di Pertuan Agong if the report should be made public.

This means, under Article 39 on “Executive Authority of Federation” and Article 40 on “Yang di Pertuan Agong to act on advice” of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet on the question of making public the RCI report on the death of Teoh Beng Hock. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would Hishammuddin have arrested his grandfather Datuk Onn Jaffar for organizing peaceful mass rallies and meetings resulting in formation of UMNO if the latter had been alive today?

It offends all notions of good sense and fair play of rational Malaysians for the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to put Bersih on the same footing as Perkasa when he announced yesterday that the Police would summon Bersih, UMNO Youth and Perkasa for planning separate rallies on July 9.

Bersih is planning a Bersih 2.0 rally to call for free, fair and clean elections with the organizers repeatedly, unreservedly and unqualifiedly declaring their commitment to ensure that the rally will be a peaceful expression of the deeply-felt wishes of Malaysians transcending race, religion, gender, age and political affiliation for an a free and fair electoral system which would make all Malaysians proud in the world.

The Perkasa counter-protest is a different kettle of fish altogether – born to create strife and unrest. Its President Ibrahim Ali even declared himself a “war general” for the July 9 counter-protest to the peaceful Bersih rally, invoking provocative and inflammatory images of chaos bloodshed and May 13 – even threatening the Chinese community by warning the Chinese to stay home and stock up on food during the planned Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.
Read the rest of this entry »


MP doubts PSD will implement Najib directives

By S Pathmawathy | Jun 23, 11

A DAP parliamentarian has lauded Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s announcement of granting highly-coveted Public Service Department (PSD) at pre-university level.

In welcoming the move, Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) described it as a way to “resolve the perennial scholarship conundrum”.

Every year many top ranking students complain of double standards in the awarding of PSD scholarships to students excelling in their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan to march on with Bersih

By Clara Chooi | June 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders expressed determination today to press on with their participation in the upcoming Bersih rally despite the SMS death threat to Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan.

PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, after chairing the pact’s presidential council meeting at the Parliament building here this afternoon, described the threat as “deplorable”, saying that this should further inspire Malaysians to take a stand.

“We are clearly disgusted. But what is worse, it is not only about the purveyors but the fact that this system seeks to condone, allow and publicise this.

“So, all the more reason why members of the public must take a position — enough of this racist rhetoric and nonsense… we have to speak up,” Anwar (picture) told a press conference.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih rally – chill down BN’s spine

By Jeswan Kaur
June 22, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

There is something about the July 9 rally to be held by election watchdog Bersih 2.0 that has left the Barisan Nasional (BN) government shivering in its pants. Otherwise, there would be no reason for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his bandwagon of cronies to become jittery over what is planned to be a “Walk for Democracy”.

The squirming by BN, Perkasa and Umno Youth is self-explanatory – after all, it is this very government that has all along been squashing democracy in this country, manipulating election results, be they by-elections or general elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Motions on money politics and ‘corrupt’ CM rejected

By Joseph Tawie
June 23, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: The Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Asfia Awang Nasar yesterday rejected bids by opposition DAP to debate money politics in the recent state elections and allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

Citing various ground to support his decision, Asfia rejected Opposition Leader Wong Ho Leng’s move to table the two motions.

In tabling his first motion, Wong who is Bukit Assek assemblyman said that vote buying had been rampant in Tamin constituency in the April 16 election as alleged by Malaysian election observers. Read the rest of this entry »


Land Bill aimed at ‘punishing natives’

By Joseph Tawie
June 23, 2011 | Free Malaysia Today

KUCHING: The bill to bar Sarawak natives from seeking legal redress for grievances involving their native customary rights (NCR) to land is draconian, says Sarawak DAP.

State chairman Wong Ho Leng said the move clearly showed that the government of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud was bent on depriving the natives of their legal rights to their land.

“This bill is draconian in the topmost degree. It is unfair to stop the natives from going to court, even when they receive no dividends or benefits from joint ventures (to develop the land).

“It is a draconian law which only the Barisan Nasional (BN) has the audacity to introduce,” he said when debating the Land Custody and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill 2011 at the 10th State Legislative Assembly sitting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih 2.0 — is there a third alternative?

By Anas Zubedy
June 23, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 23 — Bersih 2.0 is scheduled for July 9 in the KL city centre. Even now supporters are rallying people to take part. The news has gone viral; many are excited.

At the other end, Perkasa wants to retaliate by having a counter-rally with its own supporters. It is talking about a face-off to see who has the bigger group, perhaps who can shout the loudest. Both parties want to prove a point. Both parties have their right, although I see more sense if Perkasa were to organise its rally on another day, another time.

Meanwhile, a number of police reports have been made by business owners and NGOs opposing the demonstration.

Let me present a centrist’s point of view. I think both Bersih 2.0 and Perkasa should be provided an avenue to have peaceful demonstrations in a space where is non-disruptive to others. Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr M blames press for worsening race relations

By Shannon Teoh | June 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad blamed press freedom today for poor race relations which, he claimed, had worsened since he stepped down as prime minister in 2003.

He said that this was because press freedom has allowed racial and religious tension to ferment in Malaysia.

“Those days we didn’t talk so much about race, showing disrespect to others. Today we talk about race and religion, putting a wedge between the different races.

“Race relations today are not as good as when ‘a dictator of 22 years’ was leading the country,” the former prime minister told a forum of chief executives today.
Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga receives SMS death threat

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | June 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has received a death threat via text message which was also sent this morning to reporters and some members of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih).

The text message warned Ambiga as well as PAS and PKR leaders from going ahead with the July 9 Bersih rally, and said her life would be in jeopardy should it (the rally) proceed.

“Korg ni buta hati ke?? buat apa sokong ambiga keling paria haramjadah tu? dia ni kapir laknat. korang tau tak dia ni jadi alat anjing2 politik untuk musnahkan keutuhan melayu. dia kata je nak BERSIH kan SPR. bersih kepala bapak dia. puak2 PAS n PKR pun buta tuli n pekak badak.. kalau SPR tak bersih, boleh ke diorang menang kat Sgor, Kedah, Penang, Kelantan n perak dulu?
Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih 2.0: Why I will march

By June Rubis
June 23, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 23 — We can only look back at our past to recognise the pivotal points that have brought us to where we are today.

Today, I am blessed to have a boss who supports and shares the same passions as I do: playing a role in strengthening civil society in Malaysia, along with wildlife conservation and rural community-based initiatives.

I particularly look forward to her mentorship as she has played a very significant leadership role in Green Surf, a home-grown Sabah coalition that successfully fought to stop a coal power plant being built in the state. Read the rest of this entry »

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We’ve made a big mistake, says Lynas boss

Malaysiakini | Jun 23, 11

Lynas boss Nicholas Curtis has conceded that his company made the mistake of failing to adequately engage the community in Kuantan over fears of radioactive waste from its controversial rare earth plant.

“We made a mistake, and it was a big mistake, of thinking that because we have met the (Malaysian) standards (of safety), that it was enough. It was not enough. Our obligation is to continue to engage the community in Kuantan.”

The Lynas chief’s mea culpa came after the emergence of stringent opposition to the plant, which is being built in Gebeng Industrial Estate, about 50km from Kuantan. The RM700 million plant will be completed by the end of September.

“I respect that emotions have (become) very high, but these are emotions, not facts,” said Curtis. The detractors of the project, he said, are “pushing emotional stories for political gains”.
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Through my aging eyes: We are at the mercy of Nature

By Edwin Bosi

When I visited Tambatuon village in Kadamaian Kota Belud in April 2011 with YB Jimmy Wong and DAP Sabah political leaders it was actually partly a fact-finding mission. We heard so much of Tambatuon through the news media, their fight for survival against a proposed dam that will in the word of Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, BN Member of Parliament for Kota Belud, obliterate them from the map of Sabah. Our casual visit, meeting and walking around the village gave us a feeling that the villagers were genuinely not in favor of the dam at all cost. It is not only showing in their faces but also their environment. They have built a beautiful yet simple and decent life in Tambatuon which they call home.

Sdr Lim Kit Siang took time on 28 May 2011 to visit and meet up with the ex-village chief Singkui Tinggi and other community leaders. He too was convinced of the peoples’ stance against the dam. When the plea of the villagers touched the very heart of Sdr Kit Siang, it does not take long for him to commence the battle for and to save Tambatuon, via the Twitter world. Sadly on that night, Kit Siang soon found out that there is no internet coverage in Tambatuon so the “Twitter war” has to be conducted in Kota Kinabalu.
Read the rest of this entry »

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