Friday, 29 February 2008

Najib speaks on election issues on Aljazeera

In an Q & A interview with the Aljazeera Channel East 101, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, touched on various election issues - press and campaigning freedom, sedition, balloting transparency, Hindraf and the Government's liberal stance.

The Aljazeera media team had travelled nationwide to gauge the election campaign. Here's the transcript of the interview. - NST online

Q. On the conduct of the electoral process. The group BERSIH has provided with us some details on what they way are anomalies in the process. Do you think the registration and the voting practices are completely clean?

A. Yes, its very transparent. It is very fair. We have lost the elections before. In fact, the entire state of Kelantan is controlled by PAS. And the present state government has survived for a number of years on the basis of having one seat more than Barisan Nasional. And that one seat which they won, they won by a majority of two. If BERSIH claims that the process is not fair and is not transparent and that we have the means of exploiting the elections results, don’t tell me we cannot find three more votes to change the situation.

Q. I have a list here of at least 100 people over the age of 100 registered as voters.

A. It is possible that the names of people who have died in the past, their names are still on the list. But they will not appear as voters. The opposition parties also have polling agents. They can verify those names.

Q. There have been instances where dead people have turned up to vote.

A. Let us find out and let them bring it up to the Elections Commission.

Q. The DAP recently called this the most important election in Malaysia’s history because they perceive a very strong move towards greater Islamisation of what is the historically a secular state and they worry about issues which marginalise those who are not Muslims. Do they have a reason to be concerned?

A. No. We have not changed the fundamental policies. But the irony is that they have some sort of political understanding with PAS, which has a much more Islamic agenda, which is they want to turn Malaysia into a theocratic Islamic state. That is an agenda we do not have. They are political partners.

Q. Does that suggest they are desperate?

A. Yes, absolutely. It is just a political ploy on the part of DAP. How can you present an electorate when you cannot even agree on a common policy let alone a common symbol? They don’t even have a common symbol. So they are not really an alternative to the present Barison Nasional.

Q. On the issue of freedom of speech. There have been a number of attempted rallies in Kuala Lumpur in the past few months which have been denied permission to take place and there have been a bit unpleasantness. Why is it that the government is so cautious about public rallies?

A. Because most of the demonstrations that have been organised are street demonstrations. When there are street demonstrations, there is very little control about what’s likely to happen. As you know some of the demonstrations that have been organized have resulted in some physical clashes and there is the risk (not withstanding the risk of businesses being affected) that could spark off retaliatory demonstrations by others who are opposed to some of the issues carried by these groups.

Q. On the HINDRAF rally recently. What you say demonstration they would call it a rally, with the point of trying to present a petition to the Prime Minister at Parliament. They were a rather modest crowd of 700 people and yet the force of police that turned out against them was much higher and rather immediate. Where was the threat?

A. The threat can come first of all (from) the people who are involved in this who may resort to throwing stones. That actually happened in the Batu Caves area, organised by HINDRAF. Secondly there is also the danger that other groups for example the Malays in Kampung Baru, who can get quite agitated and they may organize their demonstrations and this could lead to something very serious in terms of a multiracial society.

To continue click here and to listen to the interview click here

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Dr M: Najib understands problems better

FORMER Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has a reputation of being a feisty statesman. Today got the rare chance to meet him at his office in Putrajaya — the city that he personally designed — yesterday. He was all smiles and subtlety as he talked about the general election and his nation's political future, but his views are razor-sharp as ever, as Nazry Bahrawi (nazry@mediacorp.com.sg) found out. - TODAY online

On THE RULING COALITION

The Barisan Nasional has just released its report card. What are your opinions on its achievements since 2004, when Mr Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's first term as Prime Minister began?

DR M: There are of course a lot of negative things that are not in the report card. For example, lots of money is being lost, the prestige of the nation has gone down and the fact is a lot of people cannot find work or business in the country. They have to go elsewhere.

Which achievements would you take issue with?

Islam Hadhari has caused a lot of confusion. There is only one Islam and now they are told that they are followers of Islam Hadhari or modern Islam as if it is a new religion. With regards to the new development corridors, they are just announcements. Nothing has happened on the ground. The amount of money involved is fantastic. It goes into trillions of ringgit and it will happen over a period of maybe 10 to 20 years. So, these are promises. Anybody can make a promise.

What do you think of the Barisan Nasional (BN) election strategy?

I think it is a good strategy and they will gain a lot of support from the people.

On SUCCESSION IN UMNO

How do you see leadership succession panning out in Umno (the United Malays National Organisation) and Malaysia as a whole?

We have certain traditions. Unfortunately, some traditions have partly been broken. For example, no one is allowed to contest leadership position. The Prime Minister determines who the leader will be and any challenge towards the leadership is not permitted. However, some people are actually called up and told not to stand. This is not Umno tradition at all.

In an earlier interview, you suggested that Mr Abdullah should make way for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Why did you say that?

I said that I thought he should be PM for one term and that he should be succeeded by Datuk Seri Najib because Datuk Seri Najib is senior to him. From the speeches that he (Najib) makes, he understands problems much better. He does not seem to be concerned about making sure that any support for the previous government was wrong.

But you had personally chosen Mr Abdullah over Mr Najib ...

Well, at that time, he (Abdullah) was a good choice because he was known as Mr Clean. And he was also older. So, I thought he should get a chance to become Prime Minister at least for one term.

What do you think of the possibility of Mr Hishamuddin Hussein or Mr Khairy Jamaluddin playing a bigger role in Umno after the elections?

I think if you follow them, it will be disastrous for the party.

On THE OPPOSITION

What do you think of the opposition, including former DPM Anwar Ibrahim?

The opposition, as usual, has no very strong platform and they cannot work together. So, Anwar Ibrahim is no longer the great hero that he was thought to be ... Even if he were to win a by-election, he would just be a Member of Parliament and nothing more than that.

Do you believe he has successfully united the opposition?

He has not played a bridging role between the DAP (Democratic Action Party) and PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia). It is not easy to get DAP and PAS together — they have very different philosophies.

What is your prediction of the outcome of this general election?

I think the National Front will still win but maybe with a reduced majority ... I'm quite sure the unrest on the streets since last November will have some impact on the number of votes cast for the government. There will be a reduced number of votes.

The opposition believes it can deny the government a two-thirds parliamentary majority. Do you think this will happen?

I am not so sure they can deny the BN that. Of course, anything can happen in an election. My guess is that the BN will still get two-thirds of the majority — but not the kind of majority it had in 2004.

To continue, click here

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

PKR Promises "A New Dawn for Malaysia" and DAP says "Just Change it"

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has unveiled a five-point manifesto that promises, among others a vibrant economy, safer streets, a more affordable living and better education for all.

The manifesto, A New Dawn for Malaysia, pledges to:

* Make Malaysia a truly constitutional state for all, guaranteeing basic human rights, rule of law and an independent judiciary.

* Create a vibrant economy for all, eliminating discriminatory policies, corruption and wastage.

* Make the streets and neighbourhoods of Malaysia safer for all, through creating a professional and neutral police force.

* Make Malaysia more affordable for all, by lowering petrol prices, ensuring tolls and tariffs will never be raised unreasonably and by other policies.

* Increase the standard of Malaysian education for all, including higher salaries for educators.

PKR also promised to implement a minimum wage of RM1,500 in the manifesto launched by its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday.

Perhaps the boldest proclamation was the PKR’s desire to implement affirmative action based on poverty line and not race.

"Just Change It" or Jom Ubah is the slogan of DAP's eight- point manifesto launched yesterday in Penang by the party's secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Safer streets, better living standards, quality education, healthy environment, cleaner water and transparent government - these are some of DAP's promises should it be elected government

The manifesto also promises democracy and freedom and a “Malaysian First” economic policy.

Denying that its plan was similar to PAS’s welfare state proposal, Lim said it was a serampang dua mata (two-pronged approach) solution.

It will set up an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission and also set up an independent anti-corruption agency to fight graft and an independent judicial commission to ensure integrity in the judiciary.

Lim said the election is not about the candidates. It is about the voters.

"Help us deny Barisan Nasional a two-third majority and we will take care of you.”

He is contesting the Bagan parliamentary seat in Seberang Prai and the Air Puteh state seat on the island.

The choice is yours, people. The future of the country is in your hands. So vote wisely, come March 8!

Read Nuraina's Power to the People, here.

Monday, 25 February 2008

BN Manifesto: Keselamatan, Keamanan, Kemakmuran

It is now "Keselamatan, Keamanan, Kemakmuran". The Three Ks. Sound kinda familiar, dont you think?

Well, that's the slogan of the Barisan Nasional (BN) manifesto for the 2008 general election unveiled by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, at the Putra Trade Centre today.
There are a lot of promises and pledges made in the 13-page manifesto - what the BN will do in the next five years should it is re-elected - in the area of economy, development, education, religion, law and order. They include:

* Cushioning the effects of rising prices
* Eradicating hardcore poverty.
* Bringing poverty rate down to 2.8 percent by 2010
* Bringing down the country’s criime index
* Tackling drug abuse and other social ills
* Adding 60,000 Police personnel by 2011
* Reducing Corruption and Improving Government

So read it for yourself, people. Just don't be fooled again and get carried away into believing he can change things.

Here's the NST report:

ELECTION 2008: PM unveils BN manifesto of security, peace and prosperity

By V. Vasudevan

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon:
Security, Peace and Prosperity. That is what the Barisan Nasional is offering Malaysians in the next five years as outlined by BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a 24-page manifesto launched today at the Putra World Trade Centre.

The manifesto emphasised the Barisan Nasional plan in eight areas over the next five years: economy, balanced development, education, law and order, public services, reducing corruption and improving governance, religion and unity; and foreign policy.

The manifesto not only underlines what the BN hoped to achieve but also what it had accomplished under Abdullah’s leadership since the 2004 polls.

In the manifesto preface, Abdullah said strong economic management and a commitment to ensure no one will be left behind have put Malaysia on a solid footing.

Our economy grew by 6.3 percent in 2007 the best it had performed since 2004, our fiscal deficit was brought down to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product, international trade crossed the RM1 trillion mark, some 1.3 million job pportunities were created, our stock market hit historic highs and five strategic corridor developments were launched,” he said.

If you want to continue, click here

Read Manifesto: The Manifested-illusion here

Also Selamat, Aman, Marmur? here and here .

Pix: Courtesy of Malaysiakini

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Fellow bloggers contesting...


Badrul Hisham Shaharin or Che gu Bard. He will be contesting in P131 Rembau where he will face the Son-in-Law, Khairy Jamaluddin


Jeff Ooi will be standing for the P 50 Jelutong seat in Penang. Jeff will be facing Gerakan's Dr Thor Teong Gee and independent candidate Badrul Zaman.


Tony Pua will be contesting in P 106 Petaling Jaya Utara against Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (BN-MCA)




Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad will stand for the SN32 Seri Setia State seat . He will face incumbent Datin Paduka Seripah Noli Syed Hussin (BN-Umno)



Elizabeth Wong will stand for N37 Bukit Lanjan seat against incumbent Datin Yong Dai Ying of Gerakan.

Wishing you guys all the best!

Read Mat Salo's Hats in The Ring here
Rocky's A Ringgit for Che, an advice for Khairy
here
and Malaysia Votes A tempered view
here

It's ' Nomination Day today...

...candidates contesting in the March 8 general election will be trooping to the 222 nomination centres throughout the country accompanied by their respective supporters this morning to submit their papers.

They will be vying for 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats.

The candidates will be given one hour (9-10am) to submit their nomination papers. There will be an hour of objection period before returning officers announce the candidates for the respective constituencies.

For the first time, all election candidates must pay stamp duty on their application forms to contest, a ruling announced by Election Commission (EC) on Thursday Feb. 21 . (read the angry reaction here and EC 's explanation here)

At total of 10,922,139 electorates, including 221,085 postal voters, are eligible to vote for their representatives from the various political parties that will later form the federal and state governments..

The Parliament has 219 seats prior to the dissolution - three new parliamentary seats have been added in this general election (Igan, Sibuti and Limbangl in Sarawak) following the redelinenation of the state's electoral boundaries.

Campaigning period has been extended to 13 days from the previous 10, beginning today (Sunday) until 12 midnight on March 7.

Updates:

Nomination scare for Rafidah: Read here

Double standard Read here

Go to Hantu Laut for Nomination Updates

Saturday, 23 February 2008

People's Declaration launched today

The People’s Declaration was launched today by a group of concerned citizens calling themselves Barisan Rakyat at the Blog house in Bukit Damansara.

The launch was attended by Opposition candidates contesting in the March 8 general election. Among them were Wee Choo Keong, Badrul Hisham Shaharin (Chegubard), Nurul Izzah Anwar, Ronnie Liu and Dr Siti Maria.

DAP, Pas, PKR, and MDP sent representatives to formally endorse the Declaration. Several representatives from the ruling coalition were also there. So were some of Malaysian top bloggers.

Lawyer Haris Ibrahim said the document is a gift from the rakyat to the candidates who wish to endorse it. The Piagam Rakyat, in a nutshell, calls for efforts to create a Malaysia for all Malaysians, to kill corruption, eradicate poverty, bring back genuine democracy, free Press, and an independent judiciary.

At the heart of the Declaration is a wish to do away with race-based political parties, education system, and economic opportunities.

"For too long, this country's civil society movement has been detached from the political process. No more.Today, the Rakyat is the boss!"

Click here to read Nuraina’s “Opposition promises “one-to-one contest”
And here for ShanghaiStephens’s Launch of The People’s Declaration
Picture above: Nurul Izzah Anwar, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate for Lembah Pantai Parliamentary seat
Pix courtesy of Raja Petra Kamaruddin

Election chief says media bias will make Malaysia polls a laughingstock

Election Commission (EC) Chief Tan Sri Rashid Abdul Rahim in an interview with the Associated Press (AF) appears to lend rare support to the Opposition’s complaint of pro-government bias in the press.

The EC needs more power to prevent one-side coverage in the local media or the entire electoral system will become a "laughingstock."

"If you want free and fair elections, if you want a level playground ... you must be able to have that power to level that playground." he said.

"Without that power, then the whole system becomes a laughingstock," he said.

The commission must be able "to control the media when they take sides."

Here's the rest of the interview:


It is rare for any official connected with the electoral process to speak so candidly about the media bias.

The comments are even more surprising coming from Abdul Rashid, who has been criticized by opposition parties for refusing to acknowledge that voting rregularities occur in the country.

"In an election you have to produce what is called an informed choice. That's the principle. People must know who is contesting so publicity must be given to all, not just one section. And there are media bodies that take only one side," he told The Associated Press.

The mainstream media in Malaysia are either government-owned or controlled by the parties in the ruling coalition. They also need annually renewable government
licenses to operate.

This has ensured that virtually every newspaper and television station broadcasts flattering reports of the government. The opposition rarely gets a good mention in the papers.

The Election Commission is supposed to be an independent body, whose members are appointed by the constitutional monarch. But it is largely seen as a pro-government panel that has done little to promote electoral fairness.

Abdul Rashid indicated his hands are tied, saying the commission is in charge only of the electoral rolls and the polling process and has no power to control other irregularities, including vote-buying.

The laws need to be changed to give the commission more muscle, he said.

"Our (electoral) laws have been there for 50 years. After 50 years, I feel there must be some kind of review," he said. "There must be a law ... put in place where the EC is seen to be in full control."

Despite his frank comments that will likely be welcomed by the opposition, Abdul Rashid insisted that the electoral process itself is free, fair and transparent.

He dismissed allegations that electoral rolls, which are vetted by the Election Commission, are filled with names of dead people and people living in other constituencies. These names are used by bogus voters deployed by the ruling party, critics say.

"That never happens here. It cannot happen because the process — the polling, the counting and so on — is so transparent," he said.

"Cheating has never been proven anywhere in this country," he said, adding that the few incidents of fraud that may have taken place have been so minor that they didn't affect election results.

Friday, 22 February 2008

First Non- Muslim Candidate From PAS

PAS in an unprecedented move has fielded a non-Muslim as its candidate in the March 8 general election.

She is 29-year- old-law graduate, Kumutha Rahman, who will be contesting the Tiram state seat under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat symbol based on the electoral pact the two parties have entered into.

A member of the one-month old Unity Bureau under the Johor non-Muslim Pas Supporters Club, she joined the club because " I see that Pas is not bent on racialism. To me all races be they Malays, Chinese or Indians are all the same.”

The announcement was made by Johor Pas commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed, who will contest the Bukit Serampang state seat.

PAS, which lost all the seats it had contested in the state in 2004, will be vying for 34 state and nine parliamentary seats this time.

The Tiram constituency is a Barisan Nasional's stronghold. In the 2004 election, BN's Maulizan Bujang defeated Pas' Roslani Sharif, by a margin of 15,595 votes and the coalition us expected to repeat the feat.

S.I.L among 12 new faces in N.Sembilan line-up

As predicted Khairy Jamaludin, the son-in-law of the Prime Minister, will be contesting in the Rembau Parliamentary seat. He is among the 12 new faces introduced by Negri Sembilan Umno to contest in the general election on March 8.

Khairy, 32, was chosen because he is the national Umno Youth deputy head and Rembau Umno Youth head.

Besides, he has an “impressive background, is highly educated" and a lot of exposure, according to Negeri Sembilan Umno Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, when announcing the Umno list of candidates this afternoon

"Negri Sembilan is fortunate to get his services and judging from the applause that he received when the announcement was made, I think it augurs well," he said

As for Khairy, he has already big plans ...such as developing small and medium industries in the cons tituency and setting up a university or university branch campus to Rembau.

According to Khairy he had told the Menteri Besar that if chosen he did not want to contest anywhere else except in Rembau "because my focus is on the electorate in Rembau. It's not that I want to go all over the place to topple a particular individual."

Well, it looks like his wish has been answered... as always. And by the way the incumbent, Datuk Firdaus Harun, has been dropped.

On his status as the Prime Minister's son-in-law, Khairy said it was something he could not run away from.

After all, he is also the deputy chairman of BN Youth, deputy head of the national Umno Youth and Rembau Umno Youth head, he said.

"I have been involved in politics for nine years. I don't think that any label given to me would pose an obstacle," he said.

Khairy, who is married to Nori , the only daughter of the Prime Minister, will be pitted against Badrul Hisham Shaharin from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Negeri Sembilan has eight parliamentary and 36 state seats. In the last election BN won 34 state seats losing the Bahau and Lobak seats to the Opposition. However, Bahau assemblyman Lim Fui Ming joined the MCA last March.

Click here for the Bernama story & list of candidates here

Deklarasi Rakyat

MalaysiaToday's RPK wrote in his column that the Barisan Rakyat will launch the Deklarasi Rakyat on Saturday, Feb 23 (tomorrow) at 11.00am at the Blog House , 66, Lorong Setiabistari 2, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

The six political parties who have endorsed the Declaration will be there together with civil society movements, NGOs, and members of the blogging community.

The Barisan Raykat will introduce its candidates officially on Wednesday.

Click here for details.

Pak Lah hands in his report card...

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has submitted his report card to the rakyat on his performance since the last general election because all MPs have done so.

"I as the Prime Minister of a government given the mandate by the people, am also responsible to give a report card on the progress achieved by the nation from 2004 to 2007," he said.

Read the report card. And feel free to grade him.

Abdullah Gives Report Card On Progress Made From 2004 To 2007

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- With the elected representatives having given their report cards to the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Thursday that it was now his turn to give a report card to citizens on the progress made by the country from 2004 to 2007.

"Parliament members have to give me report cards on their performance. I as the Prime Minister of a government given the mandate by the people, am also responsible to give a report card on the progress achieved by the nation from 2004 to 2007," he said.

He said this at the Solidarity Assembly with members of the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) held at the Putrajaya Convention Centre here.

Abdullah said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 18 per cent from RM427 billion in 2004 to RM504 billion last year.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) is going to the polls on March 8 to get a new mandate from the people after having been voted in by a landslide victory in the 2004 election.

Abdullah said the GPP increase involved all sectors, including modern agriculture, biotechnology and Islamic banking.

The nation recorded 21 million tourist arrivals last year in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year programme, he said.

International trade, he said, increased by 26 per cent from RM881 billion in 2004 to RM1.113 trillion last year.

Mean household income also increased from RM3,249 to RM3,617 during the period, he added.

The Prime Minister said the government also spent RM43.4 billion in subsidising essential goods so that their prices remained at an affordable range for the people.

He said the transformation programme undertaken for government-linked-companies (GLCs) had also succeeded in increasing their profitability with shareholders getting better returns on their investments in them.

Over 204,000 small-and-medium enterprises were also created since 2005 involving the giving out loans totalling RM107 billion, he said.

Bursa Malaysia's Composite Index, he said, reached an all time high after it increased by 161 per cent with market capitalisation rising from RM460 billion in 2003 to RM1.2 trillion last year.

Abdullah said the country's fiscal deficit was reduced from five per cent of the GDP in 2003 to 3.2 per cent of the GDP last year."Malaysia's foreign reserves also increased by 120 per cent from USD40 billion to USD101 billion," he said.

He said recognition of Malaysia in the global competitiveness index also improved from 25th position to 21st place.

Other examples, he said, would be spelt out one by one later so that the people were aware of the successes made by the government.

All these successes served to add value to those that had been achieved earlier, he said.

"Of the successes that we have inherited all this while, we add value to them. We add value to our services, products and to ourselves. This is everybody's role," he said. (what the ....is he talking?)

In the government's effort to give rise to more bumiputera entrepreneurs and industrialists, Abdullah gave the commitment to implement programmes for the purpose more vigorously, not only to increase the numbers but also ensure quality.

He said that there had been a notable increase of their numbers now compared to before.

"During the time of Merdeka (Independence), in Kepala Batas there were only two Bumiputera businessmen. One opened a restaurant and the other a grocery store," he said.

Abdullah said it was not necessary to ask that Bumiputeras be helped in the direction (become entrepreneurs)as it was the government's responsibility to do so.

"No obstacle is insurmountable. Opportunities that come, we must grab them to get ahead," he added.-- BERNAMA

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Close-one-eye MP Mohd Said SHUT OUT

That's the Sun headline today. The Star has the same story - "Close one ‘eye’ MP out."

Yes, the infamous Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf is out. He is one of two members of Parliament dropped from the the Malacca Barsian Nasional line-up.

Mohd Said rose to notoriety for asking the customs to close one eye to illegal import of sawn timber from Indonesia in 2006.

Nuraina is happy about it (read her entry here ) - so are we - and Galadriel says part of her wish has been answered.

Now that he has been dropped what about the other "two jackasses", Bung Mukhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) and Badrudin Amiruldin (Jerai)?" she asks. Just like the rest of us... wondering who's gonna be next - to be axed.

By the way, it's good that former Chief Minister Tan Sri Minister Rahim Thamby Chik who wanted to have a piece of the action by offering himself as a candidate did not make it on the list.

Here's the Star report:

Close one ‘eye’ MP out

By MARTIN CARVALHO and THO XIN YI

MALACCA: Controversial “close one eye” Jasin MP Datuk Md Said Yusop was among the 13 incumbents dropped for contest in the polls. He was replaced by Datuk Ahmad Hamzah, the incumbent for the Serkam state seat.

Md Said is known for his remark to Customs officials to overlook a consignment belonging to his company’s client that was seized for exceeding the size limit.

He also accused Customs officials of selling confiscated luxury cars cheaply to their friends in the palace, but could not produce any evidence to back his allegation.

Making the election list were incumbents Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (Bukit Baru state seat), Malacca MCA liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (Alor Gajah parliamentary seat) and Wong Nai Chee (Kota Melaka parliamentary seat). click here to continue.

One of the biggest surprises in the line-up was the increase in the number of women candidates from one in previous polls to four. To continue click here .



S. Vellu to defend his Sungei Siput Seat

Nope, he aint going anywhere. In fact, he's staying put. The MIC President is contesting in the general election to defend his Sungei Siput Parliamentary seat for a ninth term.

And Datuk Seri Samy Vellu is not afraid of any challenges because he has seen tougher fights in his long political career.

Samy Vellu is also confident of the continued support of the Indian community for the MIC “because they realised that they needed a representation in the government.”

He said this at a press conference yesterday to announce the MIC list of candidates for both the Parliamentary and State seats in the Marh 8 General Election.

“I think the Indians may not like me now. That is why I thought if I go maybe they give better support to BN, I take it that way. I know the Indians don’t like me now ... so let us see.”

On the effects of the recent Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rallies, he said they knew how to talk to Indian voters who now realised they had been misled with promises like getting RM1 million.

“Many people thought if they keep supporting them (Hindraf) they might get RM1 million. The RM1 million made a big swing. I also can say if you support me I can give you RM2 million, but that’s not what we want to do. In any case, the BN government has promised many things, it will be done, it is being done.”

On the MIC candidate list, two of its nine incumbent members of parliament have been dropped while 13 new faces will be contesting in the 19 state assembly seats in the general election.

Subang MP and vice-president Tan Sri Dr K.S. Nijhar was dropped to pave the way for Shah Alam division youth chief and Central Working Committee (CWC) member S. Murugesan to vie for the urban seat.

Another vice-president and Tapah MP Datuk S. Veerasingam would be moved back to his previous Sungkai state seat in Perak.His Tapah seat goes to MIC information chief Datuk M. Saravanan.

His Tapah seat goes to MIC information chief Datuk M. Saravanan.

MIC would swap the Ijok state seat in Selangor with Bukit Melawati with Umno.

Other MPs retained are deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel (Hulu Selangor), vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan (Teluk Kemang), secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam (Segamat), Wanita MIC chief Datin Paduka Komala Krishnamoorthy (Kapar) and MIC Youth chief S.A. Vigneswaran (Kota Raja).

Read What Samy said two days ago: here

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Samy Vellu - I'm prepared to go, even now ...

Has Datuk Samy Velly finally seen the writing on the wall?

He says he is prepared to go "even now” if the Indian community does not want him any more .

However, he stressed that as a leader of the Indian community, the decision must be made by the community and not by outsiders "because I represent the Indians in the government."

Datuk Samy Vellu also said that this general election will be his last term contesting for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat ”and next term I will go.”

"It is not that I wish to go on for another 100 years. I don't live for 100 years. Everybody has a time to go," he said.

Yet last Friday he said even an army will not be able to stop him from defending his Sungai Siput seat.

On Sunday night MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was prevented by a group of people from leaving a function in Butterworth.

The group, believed to be Hindu Rights Action Force supporters, surrounded his car and demanded for an undertaking for the release of women and children who were detained during a Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday morning.

Here's the full Star report

Tuesday February 19, 2008MYT 2:39:20 PM

This may be my last term, says Samy Vellu


KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said this might be his last term contesting for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat.

"I will contest this term and next term I won't go. This maybe, my last term," he said in reply to a question from a reporter here Tuesday.

Samy Vellu, 72, said that if the Indian community in the country decided that they did not want him, he was prepared to go even now.

"I am prepared but that decision must be made by the Indian community and not by outsiders because I represent the Indians in the government," he said.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, who is also Housing and Local Government Minister, said last week that this general election would be the last for him.

Speaking to reporters after officiating the Pan-Commonwealth conference on professional services trade, he said there was no rift between him and his deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel.

Samy Vellu said certain Tamil newspapers were trying to destroy the MIC by reporting that there is a rift in the leadership.

"There are also lots of people trying to do that (create rift) but we will not allow that to happen," he said, stressing that he would hand over the party to the man who is next to him when the time comes.

"I will give way at the opportune time. If I give just leave the party now, the party will go into disarray.

"It is not that I wish to go on for another 100 years. I don't live for 100 years. Everybody has a time to go," he said.

Samy Vellu said that he was unhappy with some of the elected representatives who had failed to carry out their duties and was undertaking big changes this time.

"I have decided to put in new faces including professionals and party members who are not highly qualified but very active in political work," he said

On reports that certain MIC divisions were asking for locals to be fielding in the MIC state constituency, Samy Vellu said the seats does not belong to the divisions but it belongs to the party.

"There are only three seats in Selangor but there are 18 divisions in the state. We give opportunity to each division chairman when the time comes," he said.

On the Hindraf supporters blocking his car in Prai last Saturday, he said they had wanted him to tell Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to release 180 people who were detained for participating in an illegal assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

"They did not talk anything about politics. This did not indicate that they hate me," he said.


Read A message for Samy Vellu here

Monday, 18 February 2008

Police to concentrate on Polls - House-To-House Search For Sharlinie Suspended

As expected police are now focussing on the general election and has suspended their house-to-house search for five-year-old Sharlinie Mohd Nasahr who has been missing the last six weeks.

Poor Sharlinie. Her case is going nowhwere. Interest in her has been gradually waning. And now police are more concerned about the polls rather than looking for her.

According to Petaling Jaya OCPD Arjunaidi Mohamed police have temporarily halted their search to enable the "the 1,100 police personnel to concentrate on the polls."

Bernama full report below:

House-To-House Search For Sharlinie Stopped During Election

PETALING JAYA, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- The police will temporarily halt the house-to-house search for Sharlinie Mohd Nashar, the five-year-old girl who went missing 42 days ago, to enable them to concentrate on the 12th general election.
Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said despite the temporary halt, the police would be able and ready to act swiftly should there be new information about the case.
"The efforts to locate Sharlinie will go on... only the house-to-house search is stopped temporarily to enable 1,100 police personnel to concentrate on the polls," he told a news conference here.
The news conference was briefly disrupted when three men came forward and claimed that they had information on Sharlinie's whereabouts.
One of them said that the police refused to act on information provided, a claim which Arjunaidi denied.
"They have given us information about where Sharlinie is purportedly held but the place does not exist and they are reluctant to cooperate when the police ask for more information," he said.
The police then took their statements and at 4pm deployed a team to check on several houses at a flat in Cheras said to be where Sharlinie was being held but could not find her.
Sharlinie was reported missing on Jan 9 while playing with her elder sister about 200 metres from their house in Taman Medan, here.-- BERNAMA

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Pak Lah - We love the rakyat...

On the day the police used water cannon and tear gas on Saturday to break up an anti-government protest in Kuala Lumpur, Pak Lah declared the Government's love for the people in Yan, Kedah

The proof of the Government's love can be seen in the Government's efforts to improve the people's lot such as abolishing school fees and providing free textbooks to all students, free school uniforms for poor students, supplementary food programme and other school facilities.

"The government does all this in the interest of the people," he said.

And here's proof of the Government's love for the rakyat listed by Pak Lah.

Govt Aid Proof Of Love For People - Abdullah

YAN, Feb 16 (Bernama) -- Government's efforts to improve the people's lot are proof of its love for the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.


He said the proof could be seen, for instance, in the abolishment of school fees and the provision of free textbooks for all students and free school uniforms for poor students, supplementary food programme and other school facilities.

"The government does all this in the interest of the people and it needs to intensify the efforts to assist them, like controlling the prices of goods in order to lessen the people's financial burden," he said at the launch of the upgrading of a MADA (Muda Agriculture Development Authority) plantation road to village road under the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) development programme, here today.

The three-kilometre road is part of a total of 525 km of rural roads to be upgraded at a cost of RM158 million under the NCER development programme.

Abdullah said the people must realise that the government bore part of the costs for water and electricity supply, and low-cost and affordable housing for the people.

Besides that, he said, the government also strove to raise the standard of living of the rural population by providing various facilities.

"The government has also helped those affected by calamities such as the tsunami and floods, with an allocation of over RM10 million.

"We have also given the highest pay raise in the history of Malaysian civil service."

He said if former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak had shown his love for the people by building village roads, the present government strengthened the love by building new roads and upgrading the existing ones.

Abdullah said the government also wanted to add value to agriculture produce in Kedah, for instance, by improving padi yields and quality.

He said through the NCER programme, the people would have the opportunity to gain additional income from the padi/rice-based industry.

"The people will also be able see NCER grow and prosper like the Klang Valley and Selangor."

He added that the government also encouraged the development of high-technology industries like those in the Kulim High-Tech Park.- Bernama

Saturday, 16 February 2008

"No" to Hindraf's planned gathering today

Update:

Teargas, water cannon used to disperse Hindraf Rally

Police used tear gas and chemical-laced water to break up a crowd of 300 in a rally , organized by the the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), at Jalan Raja Laut here this morning.

About 130 people, were arrested but most of them were released after their particulars were taken down. Only nine, including two women, all aged between 35 and 40, were remanded.

Around 100 policemen, including riot police with helmets and shields, turned up to disperse the protesters waving the Malaysian flag, portraits of the Malaysian king, and orange banners that read, "We want our rights, No to the Internal Security Act".

The protesters - among them children as young as 10 - had planned to gather outside parliament to hand a protest note and roses to the Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Badawi, but they were halted by police a short distance away.

Police had earlier set up road blocks and closed the road leading to Parliament building. The road closures resulted in Hindraf changing their destination to the Suhakam office at Jalan Raja Laut.

At 9.20am, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd at Jalan Raja Laut after repeated warnings went unheeded. Many of the supporters scattered to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Masjid Jamek areas.

Hindraf first announced the protest in January to demand for the release of five of its leaders jailed under the ISA soon after more than 10,000 Indians marched here in Kuala Lumpur last November to complain about a lack of job and education opportunities, in response to a call from the group.

Read Reuters Tear gas scatters Malaysian 'flower power' protest
Zorro's entry Makkal Sakti! Makkal Sakti! Makkal Sakti!
Hantu Laut's The End Justifies The Means

Earlier story:

Police have rejected the appeal by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to hold their gathering at 9am Saturday (today) in front of the Parliament building to demand for the release of several of its members who are being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The appeal, which was the second submitted by Hindraf on Thursday, was rejected because it is not a registered organisation and the gathering would involve 200 children, Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman said.

Police had earlier on stopped polls reform group Bersih from holding a press conference in front of Istana Negara and arrested PKR’s Information Chief Tian Chua. Also arrested was a PAS member identified as Jalaluddin Abdul Manap.

Police Disallow Hindraf Gathering Saturday, Says KL Police Chief

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Bernama) -- Police have rejected the appeal by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to hold their gathering at 9am Saturday in front of the Parliament building to demand for the release of several of its members who are being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).


Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman said the appeal, which was the second submitted to him by Hindraf Thursday, was rejected after finding that the organisation was not registered and that 200 children would be involved in the gathering.

Hindraf had applied for the permit on Feb 11 at the Sentul District Police Headquarters but the application was rejected, and it made an appeal to the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters.

"We fear that the safety of the children would be jeopardised and the group was also providing 30 gangsters purportedly to provide protecttion for the children...but we believe the presence of the gangsters would lead to more serious crime," he said at a press conference at his office here.

Muhammad Sabtu said stern action would be taken and the children involved would be detained and placed under the care of the Welfare Department.As a precautionary measure, police would set up roadblocks within the Klang Valley to maintain security and prevent undesired elements from coming to create trouble.

In the operation codenamed `Ops Padam' beginning this afternoon, the roadblocks would be set up along 12 roads. They included Jalan Kuching, Jalan Duta Toll Plaza, Jalan Ipoh and Besraya Expressway and the Federal Highway.

He also said that police had detained two members of `Bersih' about 2.30pm Friday when about 50 members of the group gathered in front of the Istana Negara to hand over a protest memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

"We have detained two members of the Bersih group namely Tian Chua and Jalaludin Abdul Manap for being involved in a gathering without valid permit in front of the Istana Negara this afternoon," he said.-- BERNAMA

Friday, 15 February 2008

Bomb Find in Jln Raja Laut

Has it come to this? Hope Not.

A bomb was found near a food centre in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz opposite the Celcom Tower here, just about half-a-kilometre from Bernama's headquarters last night.

The bomb was noticed by Mohd Falini Mokhtar, 25, while on his way to work.

Here's the Bernama story.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 (Bernama) -- A bomb found at the edge of a heap leaves underneath a tree near a food centre in Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz opposite the Celcom Tower here, just about half-a-kilometre from Bernama's headquarters, caused the road to be closed for more than two hours Thursday night.

According to a witness, Mohd Falini Mokhtar, 25, who works at the food centre, he noticed the presence of the black-coloured bomb at the heap of leaves at the tree by the sidewalk there at about 8pm while going about his work.

"I became afraid and ran to the Celcom Tower to inform the security guards there about it. After the guards came to look at it, they immediately alerted police," he told reporters at the scene.

Police, who arrived about 30 minutes later together with a Bomb Squad, sealed off the road and areas surrounding it before detonating it at 10.15pm.The incident caused traffic to be snarled in the surrounding roads.

City police chief Datuk Muhammad Sabtu Osman when contacted confirmed the incident and said investigations were ongoing.-- BERNAMA

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Let's not forget Sharlinie...


With all the excitement and news coverage on the upcoming polls, let's not forget Sharlinie whose family has been waiting for news of her whereabouts and safe return.

It’s already been five weeks since five-year-old Sharline was abducted while playing at a playground near her house in Kampung Medan, Petaling Jaya on Jan. 9.

Sadly, news coverage on Sharlinie and her whereabouts are getting less and less . We’re not getting anywhere. No new leads. Nothing. I don’t have a good feeling with every passing day. Will she ever be found? I pray that she will not be another Nurin.

In the meantime, another pilot was arrested, charged and fined AS12,000 by an Australian Court last Saturday for possessing child ponography . I picked up the news from Nuraina who posted it after someone alerted her.

He is with the Singapore Airlines. But he is a Malaysian.

Here's the Star report:

Thursday February 14, 2008

Aussies fine SIA pilot caught with porn RM33,000

SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) pilot caught with pornographic material at Adelaide International Airport last Saturday has been charged and fined A$12,000 (RM33,500) by Australian authorities.

Captain Ng Kok Yauw, 41, a Malaysian national, was the third person arrested by the Australian Customs Service in less than a week as part of a crackdown on attempts to smuggle pornography into the country through Adelaide.

The other two cases involved a 41-year-old Singaporean whose identity is not known and another Malaysian – 23-year-old Ahmad Said, a co-pilot with Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

Australian media reported over the weekend that the MAS pilot was fined A$6,000 (RM17,760), while the Singaporean will appear again in Adelaide magistrate's court on Feb 25.

A spokesman for Australian Customs told The Straits Times that when Capt Ng was stopped and questioned by officers, he denied carrying any prohibited items.

But when they checked his laptop, they found “objectionable material depicting abhorrent sexual acts.” – The Straits Times / ANN

Polls is on March 8

To the polls we shall go, Saturday March 8 - the date announced by EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abul Rahman today.

Here's the report from Bernama:

Malaysians Go To The Polls On March 8

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- Polling for the general election will be held on March 8 and nominations on Feb 24, the Election Commission (EC) announced today.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the election would involve 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats in 12 states except for Sarawak which held its state election in 2006.

He said 10,922,139 were eligible to cast their votes based on the electoral roll gazetted on Feb 5.Abdul Rashid made the announcement at the EC headquarters here at 11.40am.

The announcement was carried live by RTM dan TV3.

BTW, today I received a piece of slip Maklumat Pengundi Pilihanraya 2008 - compliments from the Barisan Nasional - with my IC number, name, address, names of the State and Parliamentary constituencies, my voting centre, and photos of the BN Chairman (Pak Lah) and Selangor MB Dr Khir Toyo, a marked cross next to the Dacing symbol and the words "Undilah Barisan Nasional" below it.

So efficient. No?

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

PM to announce elections

He aint called a flip-flop Prime Minister for nothing.

Read what he said yesterday here. And now this

UPDATE:
Parliament Dissolved Today For 12th General

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today announced the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for the 12th general election.

The announcement was made at a media conference at his office here and telecast live on RTM1 at noon. The prime minister also advised all the state governments, except Sarawak, to dissolve their state assemblies to enable the state elections to be held simultaneously.

Earlier story:
And here is AP's story carried by the Star about 20 minutes ago

Wednesday February 13, 2008MYT 12:12:41 PM
PM calls news conference, expected to announce elections


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called an unscheduled news conference Wednesday, intensifying speculation that he will dissolve Parliament and announce the general election.

National news agency Bernama issued an "urgent note to editors'' informing them about a news conference by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at 12:30pm.

Abdullah's five-year mandate runs through mid-2009, but he can ask the king, the constitutional monarch, to dissolve Parliament before the period has expired. More here

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

You got it wrong, guys!

If you think Parliament is going to be dissolved tomorrow to pave the way for the general election, the answer is "NO!"

That's what Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Badawi said - thus dismissing speculations that Parliament would be dissolved on February 13, which is tomorrow.

"No, not tomorrow," he told reporters after attending a function at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia this evening.

Political analysts and the media had predicted that the much-awaited dissolution would be February 13 because 13 is the prime minister's favourite number.

On whether tomorrow's Cabinet meeting would be the last before the dissolution of Parliament, he said:

"What makes you think it's going to be the last Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet meeting will go on, go on and go on."

The rest of the Bernama report: here


Read Bernama report: Speculation On Polls Date Rages

‘Porn pilot’ ‘under probe

The Malaysia Airlines (MAS) pilot, who was caught and fined for importing child pornography in Adelaide, has been relieved of flying duties to facilitate an internal enquiry by the national carrier.

In a statement, carried by the Star, MAS group human resources senior general manager Effendi Abdul Rahman said:

“We are first conducting an internal enquiry into this matter. Based on the findings, any further action taken will be in accordance with the MoU between Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysia Airlines Pilots Association (MAPA).”

The pilot, Ahmad Said, 25, who was identified by Australian news portals ABC News and the Adelaide Advertiser was arrested by Customs officers at the Adelaide International Airport last Thursday after they found three video files containing child pornography in his laptop.

ABC News said that when Ahmad Said arrived at the airport, he told them he did not have anything to declare. But when Customs officers searched his laptop, they found the child video files.

The Adelaide Advertiser reported that the videos were titled “Reped Virgin”, “10-Year Old” and “High School Students.”

His lawyer told the court that Ahmad had been e-mailed the video files and had not shown them to anyone else.

However, the magistrate said people like Ahmad Said are the ones who encouraged the market for child pornography.

And who is this Ahmad Said? It seems he is the son of an ACA director, according to Rocky. Go and read rocky's take on ACA Datuk, MAS and the Mail's kiddie pon.

The story was also carried by the Malay Mail. See other cuttings of the Malay Mail here.

I am glad that MAS has taken action against him. And I do hope the police will step in; interrogate him and make him talk - by whatever means!


Monday, 11 February 2008

No MRT (Mee Rebus Tuesday) tomorrow

I would like to inform the regulars that there wont be MRT tomorrow. I have an important familly matter to attend to.

My apologies. MRT will be on as usual next week. Insya Allah.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

MAS co pilot fined for child porn...is there a link?

Ahmad Said, the Malaysia Airline co pilot who was convicted and fined by an Australian Court for having in his possession three video files of child pornography, could be proof that a child porn market exists in the country, says blogger Rocky.

Ahmad, 25, a father of two, got away with a fine of (Aust)$6,000.

Here's what Rocky wrote :

“ Nurin Jazlin's abduction and murder last year, and the abduction of 5 kids before her, had been linked to a child porn or snuff movie syndicate. The police have no proof of it yet but Ahmad Said could be proof of the existence of a child porn market in Malaysia.”

Which makes Nuraina wonder if Malaysia is a Hub for Child Pornography? Like her, I hope not and pray not.

But my friend, blogger Pasquale thinks the MAS co-pilot could be part of an international porn ring.

With the murder of eight-year-old Nurin unsolved and Sharlinie still missing, he thinks Ahmad Said's case "could be a break through on child porno rings that the Malaysian police have been waiting for.”

Ahmad Said's lawyer, pleaded that he was reckless, mitigating that those files were emailed to him and that he had not shown the files to anyone.

The question is what was he doing with such material in his laptop?

Here Pasquale explains why he thinks so:

"I was told the best way to smuggle first run movie before Hollywood found out about piracy, was for airline stewardess, pilots to bring the master copies of a first run movies into a country.

These movies are in a form of a CDs. So today they can be brought in via laptops. The Malaysian airline pilot implicated must answer to all of the charges, for he cannot plead ignorant. He must be brought back and our police must break him in pieces for him to tell the authority who are his contacts.

We have received many pornographic material via our e-mail and I am sure we have expunged them. If I am that Australian judge I would just consider this case as a normal "man thing" for having been caught with an adult porno, of you know what I mean. BUT to have a child pornographic material!!!!? Nail him! "

I agree with Pasquale, Rocky and Nuraina. Police should rope him in for questioning. This could be just the tip of the ice berg.

S.I.L. says: Dont harbour ill-feelings if not nominated as candidates


The son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ), says BN members should unite and work as a team to win big in the coming general election.

They should not have any ill-feelings if they are not nominated as election candidates.

"The question on the choice of candidates is the prerogative of the party leadership ( your F.I.L. you mean) and those who lobby, especially at the last hour to become candidates, are just wasting their time because the leadership knows better," he said.

KJ does not have to worry. His name is already among five listed as candidates to contest in the Rembau Parliamentary seat in the up coming general election, expected next month.

So why this reminder? I guess it is an anticipation to questions raised if F.I.L, who has the final say, picks him as a candidate.

But worry not, KJ. We expect the other four nominated to withdraw their candidacy willingly and make the job easier for F.I.L.

You know, just like when he contested for the No 2 Umno Youth Post. The other contestants withdrew to make way for him. Well, actually it was no contest. He won uncontested.

It's gonna be the same this time. Mark my word.

Here's the Bernama report:

BERA (Pahang), Feb 10 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the Barisan Nasional's (BN) main threat in the impending general election was not the opposition, but splits within members of its component parties.

He said the opposition was not strong, but appeared to be (strong) only because of certain individuals, unlike the BN which had many leaders with quality.

"The opposition pact is just a marriage of convenience, unlike the coalition in the BN, which remains solid not only during elections but at all times," he told reporters after launching the Bera parliamentary constituency's BN Youth Youth election machinery here today.

He said BN members should unite and work as a team to win big in the coming general election.

He said they should not have any ill-feelings if they are not nominated as election candidates.

"The question on the choice of candidates is the prerogative of the party leadership and those who lobby, especially at the last hour to become candidates, are just wasting their time because the leadership knows better," he said.

On the selection of candidates from Umno Youth, Khairy said the movement would leave the matter to the leadership, adding that the movement's main priority was to ensure a win for BN candidates in the election.-- BERNAMA .

Friday, 8 February 2008

Don't say that I don't work - Pak Lah

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi claims that Malaysians are aware that he works hard to fulfil his responsibilities for them.

Malaysians can criticise him and say that he is not good and "can say whatever".

"But don't say that I don't work."

Read the rest of the Star report:

"I work very hard. I really mean it and you know it,'' he said to thundering applause from hundreds guests who attended the Chinese New Year open house at the Penang Chinese Town Hall here.

Abdullah said as a Muslim, he had an obligation to fulfil his responsibility.

"I have a very heavy responsibility and I have to carry it out,'' he said.

He also urged Malaysians to make full use of the opportunities available to do well in life and to serve the people.

"It is God's will that I become the Prime Minister of Malaysia and I am very conscious that I have to serve the people although I personally do not benefit even one sen because of this,'' he said.

He said in fulfilling his responsibility, he has to be fair to all Malaysians, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds.

"However, each of us has to strive towards the creation of a Malaysian community that is happy, prosperous, united, harmonious and respected.

"As Malaysians, no matter where we are and even though we are just a minority group, attending a function, we should feel comfortable and happy when attending a function.

"We should feel at home and that we are in the company of friends and fellow Malaysians,'' he said.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in his speech said a lot of renewals and changes were being initiated under Abdullah's leadership especially in areas such as economy, security and government delivery system.

"These renewals and changes will however, take some time and require the support and co-operation of all Malaysians,'' he said.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai!



Here's wishing all Malaysians
A Happy Chinese New Year
新年快乐

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Four weeks now...but let's not give up


There is still no sign of five-year-old Sharlinie but police say they are not not giving up and are now looking into the possibility of bringing in foreign experts to locate her.

They are doing everything possible to look for Sharlinie who was abducted 28 days ago on January 9 while playing at a playground near her house in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya.

Police are getting help from foreign expertise to see what have not been covered yet, said Federal CID director Datuk Bakri Zinin and who is confident that it is a matter of time before Sharlinie is found.

On Monday morning, a police team rushed to the Smart tunnel following a tip-off. But it turned out negative.

Police do not think the tip-off was a hoax saying that the majority of the callers are geniune and that they will act on every information received. So if you have any information on Nini, please contact police at 03-79662222 or Rakan Cop at 03-21159999 or Sharlinie's father, Mohd Nashar Mat Hussain at 016-2583450/016-2709096.

In the meantime, let us not give up on Sharlinie. Let's continue to pray that she is safe and still...alive. InsyaAllah.

Update: No Need Police Search Warrant To Check On Premises For Missing Sharlinie: Here

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

The People’s Voice & The People's Declaration

Lawyer and activist Harris Ibrahim has created a permanent ‘The People’s Voice & The People’s Declaration’ page in his blog.

The documents are lengthy so take your time to read and understand them.

You can download the PDF versions that will be uploaded soon ( English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil ) "if you think they reflect your aspiration and hopes for our country and the generations of Malaysians to come and share the same with family and friends," says Harris.

For details please go here and here .

Monday, 4 February 2008

Man In Video Clip Is 100 Per Cent My Brother, Says Thirunama


The man speaking on the telephone in a controversial video clip allegedly brokering judicial appointments "is 100 per cent my brother Datuk V.K. Lingam", Lingam's younger brother V.K. Thirunama told the inquiry Monday.

Thirunama, 50, testified on the 13th day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry that he recognised that the speaker in the video clip was his brother from his body language, his movement and also from his voice.

He said Lingam talks very loudly and would get excited in his conversation.

Lingam is also inclined to use the now infamous phrase "correct, correct, correct" in his conversation, said Thirunama.

Here's the rest of the Bernama report:

Thirunama, an electrician, said he had heard the phrase "correct, correct, correct" being uttered by Lingam many times when he was working for Lingam.

Lingam had said in his testimony that the man in the video clip "looks like me, sounds like me".

He said he had worked with Lingam, who is his eldest brother, unofficially in 1995 and officially in 1996 with salary.

Thirunama also revealed that he had once answered a call on Lingam's handphone and the caller was former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin.

He told the inquiry that he had driven and fetched Lingam from Eusoff's house.Lingam had gone to Eusoff's house with files, he said.

"I saw Lingam bowing saying `thank you my lord, thank you my lord'," said Thirunama, adding that at that time, Eusoff, Lingam and him were the only persons outside the entrance of Eusoff's house.

Thirunama said he had driven Lingam to Eusoff's house about seven to eight times.

He also said he had gone to Eusoff's house on his own to deliver a cake from a cake house, a briefcase and three bowls of soup.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to determine among others the authenticity of the clip.

Presiding the inquiry was a five-member panel headed by Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor.Other members of the panel are Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, Datuk Mahadev Shankar, Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh and Prof Emeritus Datuk Khoo Kay Khim.

The commission's terms of reference are:

* To ascertain the authenticity of the video clip;

* To enquire and identify the identity of the person in the video clip, to whom he was speaking to and the persons mentioned in the conversation;

* To enquire and ascertain the truth of the content of the conversation in the video clip;

* To determine whether there is any misconduct by the person or persons identified or mentioned in the video clip; and

* To recommend any appropriate action to be taken against the person or persons identified or mentioned in the video clip if the person or persons found to have committed any misconduct.-- BERNAMA

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Musa: More freedom now


A Malaysian leadership where freedom prevails – both in speech and in expression.

This is how former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam has described the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Taking a shot at his former boss, he said Malaysians were now enjoying more freedom of expression and speech compared to the era of Abdullah's predecessor.

"This was unknown during the leadership tenure of my best friend,” he said in an obvious referrence to former Prime MinisterTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

On demonstrations, he said: "We can even have demonstrations without permits...(and) the people have less fear.

Oh really? You too Tun? Also mudah lupa or buat-buat lupa? Then what about this, this and this?

Continue reading below:

Musa said that nowadays the media could even expose the mistakes and failings of the Government.

“The freedom given by the government is mostly enjoyed by us, the middle class. Nowadays, we can even have demonstrations without permits ... (and) the people have less to fear.

“This was unknown during the leadership tenure of my best friend,” noted Musa, at the Universiti Malaya Alumni Day 2008 Malaysian Development Vision Forum yesterday.

While it was true the authorities had used water cannons and tear gas to disperse illegally-assembled crowds, he said even developed nations used such tactics on such demonstrators.

On blogging by detractors and the opposition, Musa welcomed it as a form of digital democracy as it allowed them to vent their anger, without going to the streets and causing harm or public disturbances.

“However, I must remind the middle class to be more rational and less emotional about certain issues, and take a more balanced perspective.

“As the middle class, we should not be reactive to issues but be more proactive by studying, listening, being open minded and do researching,” he said, adding that the people should mingle with one another to achieve greater understanding. – Bernama

Blogger Jeff Ooi contesting in Penang?

Blogger-turned-politician Jeff Ooi said there was a “99.996% chance that he will contest here in the coming general election.

He said he would leave it to the DAP leadership to decide which constituency he should contest. Here's the the Star report.

Ooi, who is DAP's "e-campaign director," was commenting on speculation that he would be contesting the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat, now held by Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye.

"My hometown is in Butterworth and my immediate and extended family members are still here.

"I think I will be able to get some support here,” he said during a one-hour tele-conferencing session from Kuala Lumpur at the DAP headquarters here on Saturday.

State DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the idea of fielding Ooi as a candidate was "something that the party is looking into."