Archive for June 30th, 2011

Why July 9 must go on

by June Rubis
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 30, 2011

JUNE 30 — I’ve noticed something interesting of late.

A few middle-class intellectuals back-pedalling on their initial support for Bersih 2.0. They say, yes I support this (in theory) but do we really need to march now? Haven’t we done enough to highlight the issues? Haven’t we won the PR (public relations, not Pakatan Rakyat) war?

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit confused.

The point of Bersih 2.0 isn’t about who gets best publicity, but rather for electoral reform. Read the rest of this entry »


23 Kajang councillors hauled up over Bersih T-shirts

Jimadie Shah Othman | Jun 30, 11

The clampdown against Bersih T-shirts continues, with 23 Kajang councillors being called up by police today for questioning for wearing the shirts at the full board meeting yesterday.

But of this number, only seven were present at the Kajang district police station this evening, while the others will give their statements in stages as they are not available today.

According to councilor Chandra Mohan ST, the police did not inform them under what section of the law they are being investigated. Read the rest of this entry »


EC Deputy Chairman Wan Ahmad showed his true colours of lacking 3Is of independence, impartiality and integrity when he launched attacks on Bersih as Pakatan Rakyat “stooge”

If there is a nation-wide quiz asking Malaysians who could be responsible for the two following headlines on online media today, “Bersih is Pakatan stooge in bid for Putrajaya” and “Bersih Pakatan’s catspaw”, I don’t think anyone who is not in the know could get it right despite everyone being given three guesses each.

The hot favourites for these guesses would be UMNO leaders headed either by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, while others named would include the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other Umno and Barisan Nasional (including MCA, Gerakan, MIC) leaders.

Nobody would have thought of any Election Commission high official as the culprit for these two quotes for they are completely out of character of what is expected of Election Commission officers. Read the rest of this entry »


Home minister ‘cooking up’ laws

By Tarani Palani | June 30, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition MPs today criticised Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for acting outside the law in banning the yellow Bersih 2.0 T-shirts and questioned the legal basis for the Bersih-related clampdown.”We have a minister who is making the law on the run without parliamentary sanction,” said DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, adding that even Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar’s warning that any paraphernalia related to Bersih as illegal was deplorable.

During a press conference in Parliament, the Ipoh Timur MP said that such interpretation of the law coming from the home minister who had a legal background was disappointing.

He added that the opposition MPs, who had elements of yellow in their attire, were protesting the clampdown by the authorities and to show support for a peaceful Bersih demonstration on July 9.
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Bersih to cops: Name route, we will follow

Joseph Sipalan | Jun 30, 11

Despite the string of arrests and dire warnings from the police, the Bersih 2.0 committee today sought to make peace with the men in blue and asked for their help to make their July 9 rally a peaceful event.

Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga said they had a “very friendly” half-hour meeting with inspector-general of police Ismail Omar, where the latter expressed his concerns over public safety if the rally were to go on as planned.

“We told him that we will do everything we can to make sure it is peaceful…

“That is why we suggested that the police decide on the route we should take and we will follow their directions,” she told journalists at the Bukit Aman police headquarters after the meeting Ismail.

Ambiga, who was accompanied by Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah during the meeting, said the IGP was silent on their suggestion, but remains cautiously optimistic. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Yellow wave’ in Parliament by Pakatan reps

By Hazlan Zakaria | Jun 30, 11

Pakatan Rakyat MPs turned up in Parliament decked out in various articles in the distinctive yellow of Bersih to protest the police clampdown on the electoral reform rally.

Most of the men sported ties in the ‘official’ Bersih 2.0 colour or others in shades of yellow, while the women were attired in yellow.

The rest wore various articles of clothing in the same colour, while those more daring like Bukit Gantang parliamentarian Nizar Jamaluddin and Bakri MP Er Teck Hwa (right) donned the official Bersih 2.0 T-shirt, which has caused the arrest of many since the crackdown began, in open defiance.
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Anas responds to Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan

By Anas Zubedy

Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan,

Thank you for your letter. It is nice to see that you started your letter with a salam, although in, they took out the earlier parts of your letter.

I would like to make a few comments.

Like you, I am not for race-based political parties. I have, on many occasions, in my blog, full page ads, and talks, proposed that BN and PR slowly but surely work to make themselves one big party each which is non-race or religion based.

Like you, I too believe strongly that all socioeconomic policies must be based on needs, not race or religion.
Read the rest of this entry »


Good thing we are a democracy

By Natalie Shobana Ambrose | June 29, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 29 — In some countries, people get put in jail for speaking up against injustices. They then get left there for years and are sometimes forgotten. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.

In some countries, the media constantly practises self-censorship to avoid being shut down. Still they are regularly cautioned to ‘behave appropriately’ in accordance to government propaganda when unbiased reporting is what the media is trying to provide. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.

In some countries, citizens are told what to believe. Their religion has to be the religion of the state, if not bad things happen to them. So they hide and practise their faith in secrecy. All they want is their basic human right to religious freedom. Good thing this doesn’t happen in Malaysia, especially since we’re a democracy.
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The outing of Anas Zubedy

By Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan | 29 June 2011

Introduction by CPI

Although this rebuttal to an open letter has been posed elsewhere, we feel it deserves wider public attention. This is because the subject matter with which the two letters deal, and the opinions expressed are representative of the divergent perspectives among the Malay and non-Malay elite regarding the rights of the various communities and their proper place in the country.

We will leave it to readers to decide on which one is the more persuasive perspective intellectually and morally.


The outing of Anas Zubedy

Commander (Rtd) S. Thayaparan, Royal Malaysian Navy, is a regular kopi-tiam kaki of mine. He graduated from the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1965. His tour of duty saw him as Commanding Officer of KD Tombak, KD Gempita, KD Ganyang and Executive Officer on Training Frigate KD Hang Tuah.
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Clampdown will only swell Bersih numbers, says Pakatan

By Shannon Teoh | June 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today that it now expects a larger turnout for the July 9 Bersih march as public anger grows over the ongoing dragnet against supporters of the group calling for electoral reform.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had declared Bersih T-shirts illegal yesterday after police arrested hundreds including PR elected representatives wearing Bersih apparel in the past few days before raiding the Bersih secretariat yesterday afternoon.
Read the rest of this entry »


Why no raids on Perkasa and Umno Youth?

Malaysiakini Your Say | Jun 30, 11

‘Umno and Perkasa are showing unruly behaviour with their threats of violence, bloodshed, and arson. Yet the office that got raided is Bersih’s.’

Bersih HQ raided, 7 staff arrested

SMC77: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and PM Najib Razak must take note. It is PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) and BN which are inciting fear and chaos at this upcoming gathering. If there is any crime committed by any party, it can only be PDRM and BN.
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‘Minority Report’ now playing in Malaysia

Malaysiakini Your Say | Jun 30, 11

‘For an assembly to be illegal, you must have actually held the assembly. Where does it say in the law that expressing support for a future ‘illegal’ act is illegal?’

Hisham declares Bersih T-shirt illegal

Anonymous_4196: Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, why is wearing a T-shirt that represents the rakyat’s struggle for free and fair elections illegal?

How about just wearing a yellow T-shirt without any print? How about yellow trousers? How about wearing the yellow Digi teletubby mascot outfit? What if the polis ‘suka-suka’ (on a whim) arrest me for having something yellow on?
Read the rest of this entry »


Design problems, hazardous construction plague Lynas plant, reports NYT

The Malaysian Insider | June 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The controversial Lynas rare earths refinery in Kuantan is plagued by environmentally hazardous construction and design problems, the New York Times has reported, citing internal memos and current and former engineers on the project.

The report published today said the issues, including moisture in humid Malaysia, could potentially affect the RM700 million Lynas Corp plant being built to challenge China’s stranglehold in the key rare earths industry.

Malaysia is due to announce today the results of an independent international review of the plant that is scheduled to open this September. The listed Lynas Corp has asked for a halt in its share trading in Australia today pending the report.
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Private broadcasters told to ignore Bersih, warn people against protests

By Jahabar Sadiq, Editor | June 30, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — The Najib administration has warned private broadcasters against mentioning the planned Bersih rally or the protest date but wants them to warn people against taking to the streets to ask for free and fair elections, media executives say.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) called in media executives in the past week to inform them of the new regulations apart from Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein declaring Bersih T-shirts as illegal.

“We can’t mention Bersih, the July 9 date for the rally in our broadcasts but we must warn people against demonstrating. How to do that?” a senior media executive asked The Malaysian Insider.
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Attracting the Best To Teaching

By M. Bakri Musa

Early this year the US Department of Education, together with OECD and the Asia Society, convened a summit of education ministers, master teachers, and union leaders from 15 countries. The theme was on attracting, training and retaining the best teachers. Those were no ordinary countries participating; their students had consistently excelled in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

America has some of the finest private and public schools, while its colleges and universities regularly dominate anybody’s list of the best. Yet there was US Education Secretary Duncan sponsoring this symposium and its opening speaker. That reflects the seriousness with which American leaders and policymakers consider education. It also shows their humility and commitment to learn from the best. I long for such traits in our leaders and educators.

The core assumption of the summit is that you cannot have excellent schools without excellent teachers. “Great teachers are not just born that way,” Secretary Duncan noted in his opening remarks. “It takes a high-quality system for recruiting, training, retaining, and supporting teachers over the course of their careers to develop an effective teaching force,” he continued.
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