Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Salam Aidil Fitri

Wishing everyone a Selamat Hari Raya Eidul Fitri. Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

2,000 People At Anti-ISA Peaceful Gathering

About 2,000 people from non-governmental organisations and opposition parties staged a peaceful gathering near Puduraya, here Saturday night, calling for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

They started gathering there at 8pm and dispersed one hour later.

Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman said police had received information that a gathering was scheduled to be held at Dataran Merdeka, according to Bernama.

Police had had been placed at various roads leading to Dataran Merdeka and this had caused the group to change the location of the gathering to an area near Puduraya.

Malaysiakini reports (Anti-ISA vigil turns into peace march) that the crowd was peaceful throughout and there was a festive atmosphere.

Several supporters of detained blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin were also at hand to sing ‘Happy Birthday Raja Petra’ as today was his birthday.

In a statement immediately after the crowd had dispersed, Hindraf leader-in-exile P Waytha Moorthy thanked the police for allowing the march to proceed.

“The government should now accept that Malaysians have sent a loud and clear message that the use of the ISA cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Pictures: Courtesy of Malaysiakini

Report & more pictures by Zorro-unMasked here .

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Kuli: Reject delay of party polls

Malaysiakini reports.

Andrew Ong Sep 27, 08 2:52pm

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has called on Umno members to reject the postponement of party elections to March next year, purportedly to facilitate a smooth transition of power, as it is not provided for in the party constitution.

“This is extra-constitutional. If there is a transition of power, according to the party constitution, it must be done every three years at all levels,” he said.

He said that the plan for Prime Minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hand over reign to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak was akin to “passing property” from one to another.

He told a press conference at his Kuala Lumpur residence this afternoon that the new Umno plan unveiled by the party's supreme council yesterday was not acceptable because office bearers should be decided by party members according to party rules.

“If Umno members still believe in the struggle and if they still love the party, to which I have no reasons to doubt, I’m sure they will reject the plan.

“This is not a sandiwara nor a game; First it was on, then off; December, then March, then June. Decide! It is not a small thing. The whole country is waiting to see what happens to the leadership of Umno and the country,” he said.

Tengku Razaleigh stressed several times during the 50-minute press conference that the transition plan was undemocratic and had made Malaysia an international laughing stock.

He said that public anxiety was on the rise as a result of the confusion being caused by the transition plan.

“Even I am getting a bit confused,” he said.

Still gunning for No 1

To a question, Tengku Razaleigh said he is still seeking nominations to contest as party president, regardless whether Abdullah would be defending his post or not.

“I’m praying that I will obtain 140 nominations (to win by default),” he said in jest.

Abdullah is currently under pressure to quit before the party polls and is said to be able to obtain the mandatory 58 nominations from 191 Umno divisions, which will start meeting on Oct 9.

Abdullah now has up to Oct 9 to decide on his fate.

Asked if he would ever reconsider offering himself as a candidate for the party elections, he replied, “I was the first to offer myself (for the post). I don’t normally make ‘flip-flop’ decisions”.

Tengku Razaleigh said that he has not been campaigning because party rules forbid him from doing so, but he would reveal his plan to revive the economy soon, which he will implement if made prime minister.

He claimed that his plan would increase per capita gross domestic income from US$4,000 to US$10,000 in less than five years.

Tengku Razaleigh also brushed aside Kelantan Umno liaison chief Annuar Musa’s claim that the transition plan has the full backing of the state.

“I didn’t attend the meeting, nor did several other division leaders. How can it be unanimous?” said Tengku Razaleigh, who is also Gua Musang Umno division chief and the constituency’s MP.

He said it was likely that there were attempts by certain state leaders to pander to those in Kuala Lumpur and that the grassroots did not agree with the plan.

Malaysikini earlier report

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has called on Umno members to reject the postponement of party elections to March next year as it is not provided for in the party constitution, Malaysiakini reports.

He told a press conference at his Kuala Lumpur residence this afternoon that the new Umno plan unveiled by the party's supreme council yesterday was not acceptable.

Today's press conferences by Razaleigh was a follow up of his press statement yesterday where he slammed Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak over the power transfer plan.

"I think I speak for the country when I say we are embarrassed at the sight of two grown men playing this endless children's game of 'yours and mine' with the most important responsibility in the land, oblivious of the law, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the nation.

"Instead of a national economic plan or any kind of reform all the Umno leadership has given us since March 8 is a transition plan designed to save two individuals from the inconvenience of facing elections.

"Their personal careers appear to be more important than the future of the nation," the Umno stalwart said yesterday.

(full report to follow) - Malaysiakini

Friday, 26 September 2008

Umno postponed party polls and AGM to March next year


AGM postponed, PM may quit in March - Malaysiakini
Sep 26, 08 12:17pm

The Umno supreme council dealt a blow to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by putting off party polls and its annual general meeting to March next year in the bid to force the party leader to hand over power to his deputy.

The Umno annual general meeting, along with party elections, was originally scheduled to be held in December.

However divisional elections will proceed as scheduled from Oct 9 to Nov 9.The decisions were made at an hour-long emergency supreme council meeting held this morning at Umno headquarters.Abdullah had earlier said he would hand over power to his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak, in two years' time.

Speaking to reporters later, Abdullah refused to comment if he would defend his president's post at the March party polls, saying that he would decide before the division-level meetings on Oct 9.

"I have not made any decision as far as this particular point is concerned, I intend to do it before the division meetings begin," he said.

"The decision is mine, you can go on guessing. As far as I'm concerned, I love the party."

Abdullah conceded that several members of the supreme council were pushing him to quit and explained that that was the reason why the party polls had been postponed.

"The postponement of the AGM is to facilitate the transition plan," he added, hinting that he may step down at the party meeting in March.

Asked by reporters if he would be going on leave soon, Abdullah said: "I'm not going on leave?... I have lots of work to do."

Half-hour private meeting

Najib was also present at the press conference but did not make any comments throughout 9-minute session.

Before the start of the supreme council meeting this morning, Abdullah and Najib had a private 30-minute meeting.

The original deal was for the power transition to happen in June 2010.

However, Abdullah has come under tremendous pressure in recent weeks to bring forward this date, preferably to the middle of next year.

This was the second time this month that the highest decision-making body of the party had met. It held its monthly meeting last Thursday.

Meanwhile, party information chief Muhd Muhd Taib told reporters that the decision to postpone the party polls was good for all, "for the president and the party".He said that all supreme council members welcomed the decision as it helped ease the tension surrounding the party's transition plan.

Reactions from Muhyiddin, Rafidah, Najib

Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, one of those pushing for a revamped leadership, indicated that the 2010 handover plan was now abandoned.

"As far as I'm concerned it's a new deadline that has been set. I sense he is showing some magnanimity," he told reporters.

Muhyiddin backed the decision to fix a new date for the Umno polls, a move seen by observers as a face-saving way for Abdullah to avoid an embarrassing leadership challenge.

"In a way it is to bring forward the deadline," he said, calling for an end to the rift in the ruling party over the timetable for Abdullah's departure.

"It is time for us to close ranks," he said.

Rafidah Aziz, the party Wanita chief, also suggested the premier would step down earlier than planned.

"We agreed with what was said, it was a comprehensive decision. It is to facilitate an earlier transition, so take it as that," she said

Although Najib is clearly Abdullah's heir apparent, the revised plan allows the new leadership to be formally elected by the party next March. The 2010 handover deal had been criticised as undemocratic by some Umno leaders.

"This is good for the party," Najib said.

"This follows Umno's tradition and at the same time we have taken into account the views of party members, so I think there is a lot of wisdom in today's decision."

Earlier report

The Umno supreme council today decided to postpone its party polls and annual general meeting to March next year to allow for a smooth transfer of power from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his deputy, Malaysiakini reports.

The meeting, along with party polls, was scheduled to be held this December.

However divisional elections will proceed as scheduled from Oct 9 to Nov 9.These decisions were made at an hour-long emergency supreme council meeting held this morning at Umno headquarters.

These decisions were made at an hour-long emergency supreme council meeting held this morning at Umno headquarters.

Talking to reporters later, Abdullah refused to comment if he would defend his president's post at the party polls, saying that he would decide before the division-level meetings on Oct 9 - giving him a window of two-weeks to finalise his plans.

"I am not under any pressure. It (the transition) will be my decision," he said.

"The postponement of the AGM is to facilitate the transition plan," he added.

Abdullah's original plan was to handover his power to Najib in June 2010.

However he has come under tremendous pressure in recent weeks to bring forward this date, preferably to mid of next year.

[Full report to follow] - Malaysiakini

Here's a report from the star
Related article by SAKMONGKOL AK47 which supreme council decides? here

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Umno's emergency meet tomorrow...

...on Power Transition.

A special Umno supreme council meeting will take place tomorrow morning amidst speculations that the party elections could be postponed to next year and the president might step down earlier than planned, reports Malaysiakini.

According to Umno information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib, all members of the supreme council were informed of the meeting today.

When contacted, he said: "Yes, there will be a meeting tomorrow. I just received a call earlier today that a special supreme council meeting will be held tomorrow." Umno supreme council to hold emergency meet (Malaysiakini)

Umno sources told Malaysiakini that the meeting will possibly see further deliberation on party president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s power transition plan to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak.

Asked to confirm this, Muhammad said he was not informed about the agenda of the meeting.

"I am in the dark just as you. All I know is I received the phone call and was told to attend the meeting tomorrow morning," he added.

Meanwhile, Najib has also confirmed that a special supreme council meeting will be held tomorrow.

The party supreme council, which usually meet monthly, last met a week ago when a number of top leaders told Abdullah to quit earlier than he had originally planned.

The party leader was warned that he may not be able to get the 58 nominations needed to defend his post when Umno's 191 divisions begin their meetings on Oct 9.

Kuda Kepang's entry Mesyuarat Khas MT UMNO Esok Penuh Spekulasi Mengenai Kedudukan Abdullah... here
Rocky'sbru's Pak Lah's Insider here
Bernama's Early Power Transition Date? here
A Voice's Tapi kerana Khairy here

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Raja Petra begins 2-year-detention in Kamunting

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) has been sent to Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak today to begin his two-year detention without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) , reports Malaysiakini.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar last night signed the detention order, ahead of RPK’s habeas corpus application in court today.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today heard a habeas corpus bid by Raja Petra's lawyers to overturn the detention of the controversial blogger today.

Habeas corpus is a writ ordering prisoners to be brought before a judge to ascertain if there are any procedural defects which could render their detention unlawful.

Judge Suraya Othman asked lawyers to make their submissions on the case on Oct 28.

Earlier this morning, Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah confirmed the police had informed her that the detention order had been issued by the minister yesterday.

"(Police) said my husband had been sent to Kamunting this morning and that he will remain there for two years with no trial.

"This is the worst news I can receive but we will keep fighting for his release," she said, holding back tears.

"This is dirty foul play by the government as they know that we are in the process of fighting for his release in the court but I was expecting this," she told AFP.

According to journalists in Kamunting, Raja Petra arrived at the detention camp at 11.50am in a white van with heavily-tinted windows.

Ex-minister Zaid Ibrahim in ourt

Also present in the court this morning was ex-de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim (left in photo), who sat next to Marina in the courtroom.

Raja Petra, 58, was arrested along with two others two weeks ago and has been under police custody in an unknown location.

The other two - Sin Chew Daily senior journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, 33 and Selangor senior executive councillor and parliamentarian Teresa Kok, 43 - have since been freed.

Tan was released 18 hours after her arrest, while Kok was freed after seven days.

According to his lawyer J Chandra, Raja Petra was arrested for
publishing articles on his news portal which allegedly tarnished the leadership of the country and insulted the sanctity of Islam.

The former newspaper columnist has been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman. - Malaysiakini

Muhyiddin attacks power transfer plan, again

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Mujyiddin Yassin (pic left) has once again criticised party President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's plan to hand over to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, saying Umno members should decide on the future leadership in internal elections that begin next month.

"What has been agreed upon is only a convention. There is no such provision in the constitution," he told a press conference Sunday.

"We don't elect leaders unconstitutionally, we elect leaders based on procedures."

Muhyiddin, who has called for Abdullah to stand down before his planned departure in 2010, said the party must address internal conflicts and the opposition threat. (Read - Malaysiakini - Muhyiddin attacks power transfer plan, again).

"It is a situation which is very serious. It is of concern not only to Umno members but to the country at large, to the Barisan Nasional and people who cares about what is happening to the government," he told a press conference.

"If nothing happens then I am not too sure if the lifespan of Barisan Nasional, of Umno in particular, can sustain beyond the year 2013," he said, referring to the scheduled date of the next general election."

Abdullah has defied calls (read latest here, here, here and here) to quit despite being confronted by rare criticism from within his cabinet, (read here) as well as a challenge from opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who says he has enough defectors to topple the government.

Read Bigdog's entry: Muhyiddin ‘berseorangan’ diatas, tetapi mewakili aspirasi akar umbi here.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Blogger kickdefella released

Malaysiakini ( http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/90112 ) reports :-

Blogger out after two-night detention
Sep 20, 08 4:30pm

Blogger Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz was released from police custody at 1pm today after being detained for two nights by the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID).

Immediately after his release, he was interviewed by officials from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in the CCID headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He walked out of the CCID headquarters at about 4pm and was received by his family members and friends.

He was being investigated for posting allegedly seditious material in his blog kickdefella involving a campaign to fly the jalur gemilang upside down.

No statements given

Speaking to reporters at a relative’s home in Kuala Lumpur later, Syed Azidi said he did not give any statements to the police throughout the duration of his detention.

“I told them that if they wanted a statement, they would have to charge me and I will give my statements in court in front of a judge,” he said.

Syed Azidi said that he was aware that the police was looking for him since Tuesday at his workplace in Kelantan.

“I tried to surrender myself to the Kelantan police immediate after finding out, but they replied that they were not looking for me,” he said.

On Wednesday, a white Pajero passed his house four times before police officers disembarked and asked Syed Azidi to follow them to Kuala Lumpur.

Syed Azidi claimed he was unaware that he was being arrested at the time and only found out that he was officially being detained the following day at the Kota Baru Magistrate's Court where a remand order was sought.

‘Police treated me well’

He said that immediately after the police obtained the remand order, he was brought to Kuala Lumpur where he spent two nights at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

Syed Azidi also repeatedly commended the police for treating him well, adding that they obliged to his request for medicine, prayer mats and also soft drinks which were required because he had low blood sugar.

“They didn’t lock me up with other suspects. I was put in a cell by myself,” he said.

Syed Azidi believes that his detention was politically motivated.

“They were trying to scare other bloggers and dampen my spirits. It didn’t work,” he said.

On the MCMC investigations, Syed Azidi said that it was not related to the police investigations against him.

The Star also has the story Blogger 'Sheih Kickdefella’ is free here.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Early retirement for Pak Lah?

This is what was reported by rocky’sbru and apanama - that Pak Lah might step down sooner than expected - rather is being forced to hand over the power of transition.

It seems the Umno Supreme Coumcil meeting held yesterday was the hottest ever that the party president had ever chaired. There were calls from council members for his early retirement.

According to blogger bigdog "Isu ‘Peralihan Kuasa’ merupakan agenda yang paling hangat dihujahkan oleh ahli MT UMNO yang hadir. Sumber menyebut bahawa PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah didesak untuk meletakan jawatan sebelum mesyuarat Bahagian UMNO bermula 9 Oktober ini."

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was quoted after the council meeting as saying that many in the council “voiced the views and feelings of the grassroots that they want the transition to be done quickly but we will give him room to discuss this with Najib.”

Muhyiddin, who had called for an earlier transition than the June 2010 date, said his explanation as to why he had criticised Abdullah over the transition plan was well received by Abdullah. ( Read here and here).

And Umno Information chief Muhammad Taib said some supreme council members voiced their views on the possibility of having the power transition plan brought forward. (The Star : Supreme council members want speedier transition here ).

Also read:
bigdog’s MT Umno desak PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah berundur? here
kuda kepang’s Abdullah dijangka bersara secara sukarela dan terhormat dalam tempoh terdekat ini? here
Warta Malaysia Badawi Asked to leave here

Teresa Kok released

malaysiakini - http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/90038


DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released unconditionally at 1pm today, after being held under the Internal Security Act for seven days.

Kok, 43, walked out from the Jalan Travers police station at 1.40pm, accompanied by her lawyer Sankara Nair and her personal aide, Mandy Ooi.

She was greeted by her visibly elated parents.Kok was immediately hugged by her 71-year-old mother, Poon Seh Kwon, who gave her daughter a bunch of white and pink roses.

"I don't know what I've got into... I don't know what is the real reason (that) caused me to (be) put behind bars for one week," she told journalists outside the police station.

Kok, who is also the Selangor state executive council member, expressed that she was still slightly shaken but glad that she was released.

"(There is) no reason at all to put me under ISA... What have I done? What have I said?" she asked.

"During the whole one week, they didn't show any proof or evidence to show that I made statements that have caused racial and religious tension."

The parliamentarian said that she felt like "fool" when she was incarcerated not knowing the grounds for her arrest.

When asked the reason for her release, Kok said, "I don't know... I don't know why I was charged... Of course, they have to release me; they find no case against me."

Kok thanked all those who had campaigned for her release including those from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, such as "her friend" Zaid Ibrahim who had resigned as the de facto law minister following her arrest.

Deputy inspector-general of police Ismail Omar said that Kok was released after investigations showed that there was no reason to detain her any further.

Kok will be holding a press conference at 3.30pm at the DAP headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

Honey, I'm home; I've had a hard day'

Minutes after the 43-year-old IT-savvy and affable politician did on her release was to update her social networking Facebook account.

She posted a Facebook entry at 1.35pm that “Teresa sings ‘Honey, I’m home, I’ve had a hard day, pour me a cold one da da da...”, which immediately attracted comments welcoming her release.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang also appeared to be surprised by Kok’s early Release.

Lim wrote in his blog that he received a call from a ‘Teresa’ at 12.56pm while he was having lunch in Ipoh, Perak and he has wondered who was using the MP’s mobile phone.

“But it was her on the line and I wondered how she wangled the use of her phone while in detention. But no, she did no such improper thing. She told me that she was being released.

“Bravo. The irresistible pressures for her unjust and undemocratic detention had succeeded,” wrote Lim, who is also the Ipoh Timor MP.Kok, who is the Selangor senior state exco, was arrested last Friday under the draconian ISA ostensibly for her alleged role in an Islamic matter.

She was arrested on the same day with controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, who was however released after 18 hours.

Raja Petra still under detention

Raja Petra, who has targeted the top government figures on his popular Malaysia Today website, however is still under Detention.

Her release today came as a surprise as her parents who were allowed to visit her on Monday has said there was a notice to Kok which stated that she would be held under ISA for 28 days.

Kok was held under the ISA detention for allegedly causing tension and conflict among races.

The three-term MP has been in news in recent days - especially in the Malay dailies - after it was claimed that she had told mosque officials in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya to tone down the call to prayer.

She has denied the allegation and one of the mosques, Masjid Kota Damansara, has also clarified that a damaged amplified has resulted in the calls to prayers to be made without the aid of a PA system. -Malaysiakini

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Anwar seeks emergency House session

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that he has sent a letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday requesting him to call an emergency Parliament session no later that Sept 23 to deliberate on a vote of no-confidence against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership.

Malaysiakini has the full report.

Malaysiakini http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/89965

By Andrew Ong & Syed Jaymal Zahiid Sep 18, 08 2:27pm

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim today said he has sent a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asking him to convene an emergency session of Parliament for an emergency motion to debate on the premier's government.

"I have made a formal request to call for an emergency session in Parliament to debate a motion of no confidence against the leadership of Barisan Nasional not later than Sept 23."

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, the Pakatan Rakyat supremo said that the opposition alliance wanted to debate on a motion of no confidence against Abdullah.He wanted the Parliament to be recalled not later than next Tuesday under the section 11(3) of the parliamentary rules. (see box)

“The standing orders are quite clear. The PM has the authority to convene an emergency session. All he needs to do is inform the speaker.

“We have given the date for the emergency session. It makes no sense for an emergency session to be held next year. We expect the prime minister to respond.”

Pakatan to decide on next move

The opposition leader said that should the prime minister refuses to recall Parliament, Pakatan will have an emergency meeting to discuss its next course of action.

Anwar also said that there was no reason why he should be arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial.

“What we want is that MPs, including Teresa Kok, be given the right to attend Parliament on Tuesday,” he said, referring to the opposition MP who was detained under ISA last Friday.

“Politically, economically we are in a crisis, we can’t delay (the takeover). Even for the Pakatan (to rule), it is going to be tough under the current economic situation.”

He accused Abdullah of being in a state of denial. “If he doesn’t believe me, then go to Parliament,” he said.

If he wants to see the details (of the list), then convey an emergency session of parliament and he will see... If he doesn't believe me, then go to Parliament," he said.

Too volatile to wait

Anwar reiterated that he has enough defectors to take power, but claimed that they had appealed to remain anonymous for the time being to avoid being harassed.

Asked if the protracted delay in naming the defectors would affect his public image, Anwar said that it was unlikely the case.

"I said we have the list, and will share with the PM. Failing which we would go to Parliament. What else do you want me to do? You want me to name the list now and let them get harassed?

"You know the system, and then you tell me that we should get guards to protect them? They appealed to me: Do not announce the list until we appear together. That's what they said," he said.

He stressed that alleged defectors wanted a guarantee of their safety before being made public.

Asked why he could not wait until Oct 13 when Parliament is set to reconvene, Anwar said that the political and economic situation in the country was too volatile to wait.

"How long can you wait? What are the new visions and economic plans for this period? Any responsible government should at least have a task force to deal with the economic crisis.

"They don't have any. (But) we will deal with this immediately. Tomorrow if possible," he said.

The press conference was also attended by PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaaffar and DAP central executive committee member Anthony Loke.

PM: No need for emergency session of Parliament (read here)
Pakatan to meet on next move: Anwar (read here)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Another blogger arrested...

And this time it is wellknown blogger kickdefella or Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz (pic right) who was arrested in Kota Baru this afternoon, according to a report by Malaysiakini.

According to PAS parliamentarian Husam Musa, the blogger (kickdefella.wordpress.com) was picked up from his house.

Syed Azidi, who works for the state government, was detained at about 5pm by a three-member plainclothes police team. His laptop was also confiscated.

Checks with his wife Bariah Ishak revealed that the popular blogger was arrested under the Sedition Act.

"The police said my husband was arrested based on a police report filed in Kuala Lumpur," she said.

The father of four will be brought to Kuala Lumpur.

Upside down flag

In a posting on his blog dated Aug 23, Syed Azidi (under the title Siasat Kickdefella Dibawah Akta Hasutan) had written that a pro-Umno website by a minister was calling for him to be investigated under the Sedition Act.

The blogger courted controversy recently after launching an online campaign to fly the Malaysian flag upside down.The campaign had attracted the attention of the prime minister who said that the move was "despicable".

"This is uncouth behaviour, showing no respect at all for the national flag. What is there to be angry with the Malaysian flag?" he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

"If there are Malaysians who want to take up the idea that came from the pro-opposition blogger, they are insulting this important national symbol (flag)," he added. - Malaysiakini

Read nuraina's entry Blogger Sheih Kickdefella Arrested here

Najib takes over as finance minister

Beh Lih Yi Sep 17, 08 2:16pm

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said he would pass his finance portfolio to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, while he takes over as defence minister.

Abdullah told a press conference this afternoon that the swap in the cabinet posts will take effect immediately.

The prime minister, who has held the post of finance minister since 2004, said he had informed the cabinet of the decision.

Abdullah said he was handing over the finance portfolio to his deputy because it was an important portfolio that was traditionally held by the prime minister.

"It is an important portfolio, taking into account the current economic situation, the uncertainties and the challenges that we are facing...for all these we need a plan so that we can stay strong economically," he said.

Abdullah also said that he may step down earlier than 2010 depending on Najib's performance.

"I will decide when I want to go... I will not be staying more than 2010 naturally," said Abdullah.

"If I should want to go earlier, that is possible. That is the flexibility we have arranged," he said of the transition plan forged with Najib after disastrous March elections that triggered calls for him to quit.

"It depends on the progress of the role I am giving to Najib. Let's see what he can do. At the same time, I'm looking at things I need to do - reform measures, social measures to deal with the poor.

"Handing over is a process. We will study the process and as it goes along, we will decide accordingly."

However, both leaders nevertheless reaffirmed their commitment to the 2010 power transition plan.

Abdullah added that both he and Najib will defend their respective posts as Umno's top two leaders in the party polls in December.

Najib, who was present at the hastily-called press conference, said when asked to comment if he would consider contesting for the top post in Umno, said:

"We have agreed (to the transition plan). I'm leaving it to the party. We are offering ourselves to the party and I hope that they will accept."

Najib also thanked Abdullah for this "magnanimous decision which showed his sincerity in me as his successor".

There has been increasing pressure on Abdullah to quit earlier than scheduled, but it now appears that Najib has stitched a deal with his boss to placate the demands of the Umno grassroots.

Both men have been at the centre of a political maelstorm, caught by bitter infighting in Umno amid a mounting challenge from Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has promised to form a new government soon.

Anwar a 'threat to nation's economy'

Last week, Najib backed away from a power transition pact made with Abdullah in July, whereby his 68-year-old boss would hand over to him the premiership and Umno presidency in June 2010.

Observers say the latest move by Abdullah was to assure Najib that his accession to the top post in the country was not affected, and also to deflect a campaign led by ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to unseat him from the Umno presidency.

Abdullah also touched on Anwar's request for a meeting to discuss a power transfer to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, based on the claim that the latter has at least 31 defectors from Barisan Nasional to form a new government.

He said the letter which was sent by Pakatan leaders did not mention anything about a power transfer and delivered a warning to Anwar, accusing him of "lying to the public and confusing the people".

The prime minister also described Anwar as a "threat" to national ecurity.

"He has become a threat to the economy and possibly (national) security," he said - a serious allegation which allows the government to invoke the draconian Internal Security Act against him.

"I will not indicate what plan I will take, what I do will be in the best interests of the people and the country," Abdullah said when asked what action he was going to take.

He also confirmed he would not agree to the opposition leader's request for a meeting to discuss a peaceful transition of power.

"There is nothing to discuss," he said.

Market soft

Meanwhile, shares sank a third day today - charting a new low for the year - amid gloom in global banking stocks and growing fears that the political standoff between Abdullah and Anwar might be prolonged.

“The worst case scenario is the uncertainty dragging. Even if the global backdrop clears but the domestic uncertainty plays out further, there will certainly be room for further downside,” said Vishnu Varathan, analyst at Forecast Singapore Pte ltd.

Political bickering has marred the Malaysian bourse this year, with investors staying on the sidelines in anticipation of a sea change in the local scene after Pakatan scored a major victory in the March general election.

At the midday break, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was at 1,007.14, down 5.23 points. It hit a fresh year-low of 1,002.83 in morning trade.Dealers expect more losses in the days ahead, with the benchmark index forecast to breach the pyschological 1,000 points, while support is seen at the 900 points mark.

As finance minister, Najib is also appointed deputy chairperson of government investment arm Khazanah Holdings.

Source: Malaysiakini http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/89884

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Anwar: We've more than 31 defectors

Malaysiakini http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/89807


Abdul Hakim Bujang Sep 16, 08 2:40pm

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said today he had signed up more than 31 defectors needed to form a new government and called on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi not to implement emergency rule to thwart a takeover.

"We have a slight majority, it is in excess of 31," he told a packed press conference held at 2pm in the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

Anwar, however, did not reveal the names of the lawmakers but had asked to meet with Abdullah to discuss a transition of power and was prepared to show him the list of defectors.

"We name them now and they get harrassed immediately. So I'm telling you now that I will choose to confide in the prime minister.

"And if he wants the list I will show the list at the meeting. Until the right opportune moment, we can't declare. We know how the system operates," said Anwar.

Abdullah has rejected Anwar's claim as "political lies" and ruled out resigning, but the opposition leader urged him to accept a peaceful handover.

The prime minister did not rule out a meeting earlier today, but his spokesman Kamal Khalid said it was unlikely.

"I doubt very much he will be meeting with Anwar," he told AFP.

However, Abdullah said in his constitutency of Kepala Batas this afternoon that he would not entertain Anwar's request to meet him until the list of defectors is made public.

Ministers are on the list too

Anwar urged the government not to arrest his new ministers under draconian Internal Security Act, or declare a state of emergency in an attempt to prevent him from seizing power.

His Pakatan Rakyat alliance - made up of the PKR, DAP and PAS - now holds 81 out of the 222 seats in Parliament. Its rival, the Barisan Nasional coalition led by Abdullah's Umno party, currently has 140 seats.

To overthrow the Barisan, Pakatan would need another 31 members of parliament to join its camp for it to hit 112 seats, the minimum simple majority required.

Anwar also said that many BN MPs were keen to join in forming a new government.

"It keeps increasing by the hour... seriously. I'm not joking. This morning, I received a signed note from another member. What do you want to know? You want to know if we have the numbers. We've the numbers!" he added.

He revealed that these included cabinet members and their deputies.

The 61-year old Anwar, who has been in talks with a number of disgruntled backbenchers, also said he wants Abdullah's assurance the power transition could proceed smoothly.

Peaceful transition

Abdullah had last week shocked the nation by arresting three civilians under the country's draconian Internal Security Act, which allows for police detention without trial.

The move, which sparked widespread condemnation, was seen as a means to shore up his political standing within his Umno party and also as a warning to Anwar's Pakatan.

“We want a peaceful transition. We hope that Barisan (Nasional) will not put up emergency rule to stop MPs from going to Parliament or arrest (government) MPs or stop them from joining Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

"That's why we have taken a very soft, conciliatory option. I am not making excuses. We have the numbers. We can and are prepared to move. If after a few days there is no response, Pakatan leaders will meet and see what is the next course of action."

Pakatan leaders had yesterday sent a letter to Abdullah, requesting for a meeting.

"We give the PM time to consult and act responsibly as head of the country to heed the wishes of the people," Anwar said.

"I believe he will meet and we will have to wait today or tomorrow. He is a politician under siege, so you can forgive him for sounding desperate."

"We are looking at a matter of days (for a change in government)," he added.

"We've not given any ultimatum to Abdullah. We've said it is of national importance, it is incumbent and urgent for any sitting prime minister to respond positively in the interest of the nation and not just to appease the upheavals and turmoil within Umno," said Anwar.

According to Malaysian law, the king has the right to accept and formalise any new government that can show proof of sufficient mandate in Parliament.

This means that Anwar can approach the monarch with proof that he has the support of enough MPs to be the new leader.

Alternatively, the king could order fresh general elections, provided the prime minister - either outgoing or incoming - recommends it.

And Anwar said that his first option was to discuss the takeover with the prime minister before going to the king.

Earlier report below:

Sep 16, 08 2:40pm

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim insisted he has in excess of 31 government defectors and call on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi not to implement emergency rule during the takeover.

At a packed press conference at 2pm today, he urged the ruling Barisan Nasional to commit to a peaceful handover of the government and not resort to emergency rule.

“We want a peaceful transition. We hope that Barisan will not put up emergency rule to stop MPs from going to Parliament or arrest (government) MPs or stop them from joining Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

He has sought a meeting with Abdullah to show him the list of names of defectors and to discuss a smooth handover.Anwar will need at least 31 defectors from BN and perhaps over 40 to form a stable Pakatan Rakyat government.

[More to follow] - Malaysiakini

Zaid sticks to 'quit' decision

Malaysiakini report


Barely six months after being appointed as a minister, a disappointed Zaid Ibrahim has reached the point of no return. Even the prime minister has failed to dissuade him from reconsidering his decision to resign.

And the straw which broke the camel's back was last Friday's Internal Security Act arrest of three individuals, which Zaid, the de facto law minister, had condemned.

At a press conference in his office at the Prime Minister's Department attended by scores of journalists this morning, the outgoing minister said he will not reconsider his decision to quit and conceded that he has failed in his task to convince the government to initiate legal reforms.

"I am not tired. I am just disappointed. My decision to quit remains. I will resign," he said in a tone which barely hid his disenchantment.

"I think I have failed to convince those in authority to effect changes on how the government should move forward," added the 58-year-old politician who left a successful legal practice to serve in the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government.

Zaid indicated he could join the opposition PKR, which political observers say could form a new government if the ruling coalition continues to defy calls for reform.

"I have an open mind and am not in a hurry to make a decision," he said.

PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim today said that cabinet ministers were among those defecting to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

In March, the former Kota Baru MP was made a senator and appointed minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in a post-election cabinet reshuffle by the prime minister.

Zaid, who was entrusted with the task of reforming the judiciary, tendered his resignation yesterday but was asked by Abdullah to go on a two-week leave to rethink his decision.

On Sunday, the outgoing minister had slammed the arrest of controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, DAP MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA.

While Tan was released 18 hours later, Raja Petra and Kok continued to be held under the security law, which Zaid described as an ‘unjust’ piece of legislation.

Open to joining opposition

Meanwhile, Zaid was also asked whether he would quit Umno and consider joining the Anwar Ibrahim-led PKR.

Describing it as difficult question to answer, Zaid revealed that he will leave his options open for now.

"I do have some problems (in Umno) but at the same time I don’t know PKR well, I don’t know the leaders, so it’s too early to say," he said.

The Umno politician was referring to his previous 18-month suspension from the ruling party after openly criticising the party's decision to find him guilty of money politics.

The other problem surrounds his current bid to contest for the Kota Baru Umno division chief post, which he claimed was 'sabotaged' when 20 nominations he received were nullified.

Zaid’s resignation will deal another devastating blow to the already weakened Abdullah administration.

Since the March 8 elections, which saw the ruling coalition losing its two-third majority in Parliament for the first time in history and the opposition seizing control of an additional four states apart from Kelantan, Abdullah has come under intense pressure

In recent weeks, there have been calls from various quarters, including Umno vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin, asking the premier to step down earlier than the 2010 transition of power plan.

Abdullah has also been severely criticised by his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who quit Umno in May as a mark of protest against his successor’s ‘poor leadership’.

Mahathir is now on the brink of making a comeback at the behest of several Umno leaders, which observers believe is being done in order for the 82-year-old statesman to play a prominent role in the campaign to oust Abdullah.

Earlier report
Sep 16, 08 11:17am

De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim has decided to stick with his decision to quit in protest of the government invoking the Internal Security Act.

"My decision (to quit) remains," he told a press conference at his office in Putarajaya this morning.

The minister had tendered his resignation yesterday, a day after he took the government to task for arresting three people under the security law.

However, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had asked Zaid to go on a two-week leave to reconsider his decision.

The former Kota Baru MP was made a senator and named as minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of legal affairs during the cabinet reshuffle by premier Abdullah in March.

His appointment was lauded by many quarters as it was seen as a gesture by the prime minister to put in place judicial reforms.

However, Zaid lamented that the latest ISA arrests had dealt a blow to his six-month-long task of trying to regenerate the judiciary.

The minister also conceded that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues. - Malaysiakini

Anwar: We have the numbers to form new Govt.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told a 20,000-strong rally that he had the numbers to form a new government and wants to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss a handover.

Malaysiakini full report below:

Malaysiakini Team Sep 15, 08 10:32pm

"Tomorrow is the D-day. We are ready to form the government. We have the numbers and we are ready to announce tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, we are ready. But the best time (for the takeover), I tell you, is when we meet the prime minister.

"A peaceful transition is paramount," he added, conceding that there will not be a change of government tomorrow as he had promised earlier.

According to him, Pakatan Rakyat has submitted a letter to Abdullah today seeking a meeting for a smooth transition of power.

"We have the numbers but we want to meet with Abdullah, show him the evidence and work out a handover because we want a peaceful transition," he said to the jubilant cheers of the crowd.

The opposition leader also did not provide more information on how many MPs Pakatan has in the bag and the number of government defectors.

Anwar will need at least 31 defectors from BN and perhaps over 40 for a stable Pakatan government.

"I believe that the government will fall in the next few weeks," he told journalists after the rally.

The massive crowd had earlier gathered at the Kelana Jaya stadium in Petaling Jaya to celebrate Pakatan's 'Hari Malaysia' celebration.

ISA dragnet slammed

Anwar, who began his 45-minute speech at 10.45pm, also emphasised the importance of Sabah and Sarawak to Malaysia.He criticised the ruling Barisan Nasional for pursuing a divide-and-rule agenda at the expense of the two east Malaysian states.

"This is the first time ever a celebration of this scale is being held to recognise that we are one - that Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia," Anwar told the crowd.

He added that he would declare Sept 16 a national holiday when he takes over the government.

Anwar also slammed the Abdullah-led government of practising racial politics, which he said led to last Friday's arrests of three people under the Internal Security Act.

He urged the majority Malays not to be swayed by BN policies.

"The Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) beefitted only the rich and elite Malays, not you," he said.

Anwar also said that he would reduce fuel prices by 70 sen the very next day after forming the government.

Most of those in the crowd are at the stadium tonight in the belief that Anwar would make an important announcement on the formation of a new government, which the PKR leader has repeatedly claimed he would do by tomorrow.

High expectation

Earlier, Anwar entered the venue at about 9.40pm to thunderous chants of Reformasi!' and ‘Merdeka'.Many Pakatan leaders were already at the stadium, most of them also believing that Anwar would make an important announcement at the rally.

Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, when asked if there would be a surprise announcement, merely said: "Wait for Anwar".

Guan Eng and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had earlier entered the stadium to loud cheers.

Many people on the ground whom Malaysiakini spoke to also expressed confidence of an impending change.

"He may reveal the first batch of defectors and maybe on how they will approach the king. I think they will wrap it up and form a new government by the end of this month," said retiree G Maniam.

‘I am surprised at how fast things are changing," said another Pakatan supporter at the stadium, Anthony Tong. The 52-year-old accountant from Cheras said that he would not be disappointed even if Anwar managed to seize power by the end of this year.

"What Anwar has said will happen soon as all the people are backing him. The change of government will happen very soon now," said Nursikin Bahrom, a 23-year-old student.

"Anwar has promised us a new beginning and we will support him when the battle begins on the 16th... he is our new prime minister and the BN should realise this," said businessman Abdul Aziz Rashid, 36.

Don't invite police, military

Meanwhile, PKR information chief Tian Chua said the three-member opposition alliance had already secured a simple majority in parliament and that more government lawmakers would defect later.

But he said there were concerns that the coalition - which has ruled since independence from Britain 51 years ago - would stoke conflict in order to justify a crackdown to keep itself in power.

"We want Abdullah to assure us there will be no repressive force used, like involving the police or inviting the military to take control," he told AFP.

Tian said the opposition's push had been helped by the detention of an opposition politician, a prominent blogger and a journalist under draconian ISA.

"Abdullah's final crackdown made people lose hope that he is ever going to be a liberal reformer, which he promised," he said.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar defended the detentions but said it was a police operation and not his idea - comments ridiculed by the opposition, which said he and Abdullah must be held accountable.

Spirits were high at the stadium, which was adorned with Malaysian flags and posters demanding the release of the opposition politician and the blogger - who remain in custody while the journalist was freed.At the rally, Anwar set out an agenda to fight corruption and protect the rights of all citizens in Malaysia.

"The Pakatan Rakyat government will uphold justice, a free judiciary, a free media
and a professional police force," he said. - Malaysiakini

Pak Lah says Opposition's claim is ridiculous and ...it (the formation of a new govt) wont happen. Read Bernama report: here.

Pictures: courtesy of Malaysiakini

Monday, 15 September 2008

Law Minister Zaid 'tenders resignation' - Malaysiakini

De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim yesterday threatened to resign if the government continues to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows detention without trial, and he is good as his word.

Today he tendered his resignation in protest over the arrest of three individuals last week, according to a Malaysiakini report.

Below is excerpts from the report.

According to a reliable source, Zaid's resignation letter was delivered to the Prime Minister's Office at around 2pm oday.

However, Zaid could not be reached for comments but is expected to call a press conference later today.

The minister has expressed his disagreement with last Friday's ISA dragnet where DAP parliamentarian and Selangor senior exco Teresa Kok, controversialblogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng were held for allegedly being a threat to national Scurity.

Zaid had earlier said that he would try to meet Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi some time this week to discuss the matter.

Malaysiakini was informed that Zaid did not meet with his boss before the letter was submitted to the PM's office in Putrajaya this afternoon.

Yesterday, Zaid told Malaysiakini that the detainees should be charged in court.

"We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can't be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) should be charged in court."

"If my position is untenable, I will leave," he said. Zaid argued that the ISA should only be used to curb terrorism, which was the reason why it was first enacted in 1960.

"The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law," he added.

Zaid also felt "very sad that people like Teresa, whom I know personally, can be seen as a threat."

"I can't see how a journalist doing her duty, or even Raja Petra, can be seen as a national threat. If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate," he said.

Zaid added that he was against the government using such a "strong-arm tactic" against any individuals.

Little support from cabinet colleagues

Zaid, who is the former Kota Baru MP, was made a senator and named as minister in charge of legal affairs during the cabinet reshuffle by premier Abdullah in March.

His appointment was lauded by many quarters as it was seen as a gesture by the prime minister to put in place judicial reforms.

Zaid lamented, however, that the latest ISA arrests had dealt a blow to his six-month-long task of trying to regenerate the judiciary.

The minister also conceded that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues."I don't want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah). If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet's), I can leave the government.

"It (the crackdown) is a setback (on my work). The government wanted to change certain things, otherwise they don't need me (to be in the cabinet)," he said.

A lawyer by training, Zaid was chairperson and senior partner in Zaid Ibrahim and Co - the largest law firm in the country - before he was appointed senator.

Upon his appointment as minister, Zaid had resigned from his position in the law firm and was replaced by Dr Nik Norzrul Thani. It is not known whether Zaid, who established the company in 1987, will return to full-time practice. -Malaysiakini

Read also rocky'sbru Zaid Ibrahim quits here.

Pakatan's anti-ISA rally tonite at Kelana Jaya Stadium

Pakatan Rakyat has announced a mass rally in a show of solidarity for Raja Petra Kamaruddin and DAP MP Teresa Kok now being held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and to demand for their release.

The rally is being held on the eve of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's deadline to take power through defections from the ruling coalition, according to a Malaysakini report.

The opposition alliance said it expected some 30,000 supporters to gather for the rally in Kelana Jaya stadium on Monday night to call for the release of the two still detained, after the journalist was freed Saturday.

It will be held on the eve of September 16, Anwar's deadline to seize power and also the day in 1963 when Sabah and Sarawak joined together with Malaya to form modern Malaysia.

"We gained independence but Malaysians continue to live under repression. We believe Malaysia Day should symbolise freedom, justice and equality," said PKR information chief Tian Chua.

"The gathering at Kelana Jaya stadium is to express our solidarity for the two people held under the draconian security law and to demand their freedom," he told AFP.

Rights groups have condemned the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial, and the United States summoned
Malaysia's top envoy in Washington in protest over the arrests. - Extracts from
malaysiakini .

DAP MP Teresa Kok was arrested over allegations she complained about the noise of morning prayers at a mosque.

The other detainee is controversial blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, 58, who has repeatedly targeted government figures on his website Malaysia Today.

He has already been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.

Police has since released Sin Chiew daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng after detaining her more than 16 hours under the ISA over her story on suspended Umno man Ahmad Ismail's "Chinese were squatters" remarks.

Ahmad was subsequently disciplined and the decision to target Tan caused widespread dismay and disbelief including from Chinese-based parties in the coalition.

Read rocky'sbru's entry: Malaysia Day party at Kelana Jaya tonight here.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Candlelite vigil for detainees at bloghouse tonite...

Received a message from Zorro that a candlelite vigil for Raja Petra Kamarudin, MP Teresa Kok and other ISA detainees will be held at:

Place :
All blog House, 66,Lorong Setiabistari 1,
Bukit Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Time: 9pm, 14th September, 2008

For more information please go here and here.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Sin Chew reporter released

Tan Hoon Cheng was released this afternoon, 16 hours after she was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), and is now back at her house in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, according to Malaysiakini.

It is learnt that she was released from the state police headquarters at about 2.30pm, and escorted back to her home by the police.

Previously it was stated that she was taken to federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, following her arrest last night.

Tan, 33, was arrested at 8.30 last night under the Internal Security Act.

Her freedom after a 16-hour ISA detention was expected as Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had earlier said that Tan may be released as early as today.

Speaking from Johor Baru this morning, Syed Hamid justified Tan's detention under the ISA with the reason that it was part of the government's preventive measure "to ensure her safety".

The minister claimed police intelligence have indicated that the journalist's life was under threat after she reported an Umno division leader's allegedly racist remarks.

"We have no intention of holding a reporter as after all she was just taking notes of the comments made by a certain party that led to a public debate.

"She may be released as soon as today after police have obtained all information needed," Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by Star Online.

The minister added that Selangor senior state exco Teresa Kok's arrest was linked to her comment over the mosque and the morning prayers which had allegedly "created public disorder and problems".

Syed Hamid also stressed the government was "not making arrests just for the sake of arrests."

"We will not make any more arrests under the ISA as long as there is no more disturbance to public peace and order," he explained.

No further police action?

He also asked all newspapers to cooperate with the government and not incite negative feelings or sentiments.

However the minister also did not rule out further arrests but said that further police action was "not expected".

Tan was detained in Bukit Mertajam last night as part of a nationwide ISA dragnet.

Her involvement was allegedly linked to her article which quoted Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail who sparked the ‘Chinese squatters' debacle.

Syed Hamid is also expected to hold a press conference later today at Bukit Aman. - malaysiakini

MP Teresa Kok arrested under ISA too

DAP leader Teresa Kok (pic right)has also been detained under the Internal Security Act - the third person to be detained without trial today, according to Malaysiakini.

Here's the report:

ISA dragnet widens: MP Teresa Kok too
Sept 12, 08 11:58pm

It is learnt that the Selangor senior executive councillor and Seputeh parliamentarian was stopped by the police at about 11.18pm on her way back from a function in Kuala Lumpur.

She was arrested after her vehicle was blocked by three police patrol cars.

Deputy inspector-general of police Ismail Omar said that Kok's arrest was made under Section 73(1) of the Act.

In Penang, chief minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party would be holding an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter.

Earlier today, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng (pic. left) (read ISA arrest No 2: Sin Chew journalist held, : here) were also arrested under the Act. - Malaysiakini

Bar Council calls for release of RPK (read here)
NUJ slams Govt for using ISA on journalist (here)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Raja Petra arrested under ISA - Malaysiakini

Malaysiakini reported that controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested today under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order.

According to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the 58-year old father of five would be detained under Section 73(1) of the ISA, which allows for detention of up to 60 days.

“The police will do an assessment during this period and if they feel he should be held more than 60 days, the police will then refer to me,” Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by The Star.

The minister also confirmed that the Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan were issued show cause letters. "They have been given a week to reply," he added.

Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah earlier told Malaysiakini that 10 police personnel from Bukit Aman came to their home in Sungai Buloh at about 1.10pm to arrest him.

When Malaysiakini contacted her at 1.25pm, the police personnel were still there.

However, Raja Petra - popularly known by his initials RPK - was taken away to an unknown destination at 1.50pm. The police also confiscated a computer, some books and VCDs.On Sept 6, Syed Hamid had warned that RPK, who edits the popular news portal Malaysia Today, could be charged under the ISA for comments allegedly insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

The minister said several religious groups - Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Maiwp) and Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) - had lodged police reports against him.

The groups had complained Raja Petra's comment in an article entitled "I Promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim" allegedly used sentences that insulted Muslims. The government ordered the blocking of the Malaysia Today website two weeks ago, but the ban was lifted yesterday.

The ban together with Syed Hamid's warning to invoke the ISA had sparked a public furore against government censorship of the Internet.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal...

...love leaves a memory no one can steal."

It has been a week since my dad's passing.

I’m still in a daze and grieving but take comfort from the fact that he died peacefully on Thursday evening in the Blessed month of Ramadhan and was buried after Friday prayers during which thousands joined in the funeral congregation at the UIA mosque.

I haven’t been able to post anything but have been coming here and reading posts which I haven't been able to reply. My apologies.

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who have offered doas and sent condolences, flowers, texts, e-mails, paid tributes (read here, here and here), and who took time to attend my dad’s funeral.

A heart-felt thanks to all of you.

My siblings and I are deeply appreciative of the overwhelming outpouring of love and support during this difficult time.

We haven’t quite gotten over the trauma of my dad’s passing, but the reality that he is gone is slowly sinking in. Going to the family home in section 16 and not seeing him in his room, is something that we have to get accustomed to.

When Emak died 18 years ago, Bapak was the one whom we turned to. He was the binding force that kept us together. Now he is gone to an eternal place...to join Emak, his beloved wife, and his two daughters, kakak and Edah, who had departed earlier.

We love you Bapak and always will. You will be greatly missed. I know in my heart, you will always be.

We shall meet again, Insya Allah. But until then, rest in peace, dear Bapak.

Al fatiha.

Read also: Enah's Tuesdays without bapak here
Malaysiakini Veteran journalist Samad Ismail passes away here
Rocky'sbru here
and here