Saturday, 31 May 2008

Walk for press freedom tomorrow, Sunday, 1st June

A walk for media freedom will take place tomorrow, Sunday (June 1), culminating in a speech by the de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim on the subject, Press Freedom, at the National Press Club.

From 9 am, Malaysian journalists and their fellow citizens will, together, take a symbolic Walk at Dataran Merdeka.

To avoid problems with security laws, there will be NO PUBLIC GATHERING. Instead, participants are being asked to arrive on their own in ones and twos, show their respect to the National Flag at the Dataran, and then proceed immediately to the National Press Club.

Those who wish to do so are invited to wear something yellow, a reflection that this is a People's Activity.

The event is being jointly organised by media activists, including Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Writers Alliance for Media Indepdence (Wami), National Alliance of Bloggers, and BENAR, a cyber group for "free and fair media".

For more information go here and here.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Dr M hit the one Million jackpot...

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hit the 1 million mark today after being a blogger slightly less than a month. That comes to an average of more than 33,333 hits per day. Wow! That's the magic number which most bloggers dream of achieving.

Anyway, congratulations Tun!

Here's an excerpt from his latest entry on, what else, if it is not on being a member of, "THE MILLIONAIRE CLUB". Here's what theTun said:

Touching one million hits among bloggers seem to be something to be celebrated.

I was told that most bloggers will congratulate each other when one of them hits the million mark, and call the one millionaire.

Some bloggers have described my achieving the million mark within a month of my first posting as something phenomenal; one even suggested that it may be a world record of sorts. I do not know whether it is.

To me, what is more important is that I have managed to generate enough interest
to get that kind of traffic in my blog.

It is quite an experience to be a blogger even though I am only a month-old.

Much as I saw the importance of cyberspace during my tenure as Prime Minister and hence my commitment to the setting up of Cyberjaya and pursuing the Multi-media Super Corridor (MSC), I did not envisage that I would one day be a blogger.

I note that now the government has recognised the importance of the blogs. It is proposing to have its own blog. But more importantly the mainstream media are now quoting from the blog and even dare to write on formerly forbidden subjects.

This is tobe expected as many people no longer read the mainstream papers or watch television.

The NST circulation has been reduced to an average of 135,000 daily including free and discounted copies for hotels, schools and airlines.Unless there is instruction to spin news from certain quarters, the mainstream media might become irrelevant. Read more here .

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Why I rejoined Umno - Ezam

"My decision is based purely on my conviction that Umno now is capable of bringing about the necessary reforms."

Mohamed Ezam Mohd Nor, the former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief, today explained why he has rejoined Umno one year after leaving the party he had helped to set up.

Talk of Ezam rejoining Umno has been rife for sometime and he had all along denied it as mere rumours. So when he finally did it - yesterday - it was really mind boggling. Many are simply curious. After the denials - why did he rejoin Umno ...and why now? After all Ezam, was expelled from Umno for his harsh criticism of the party 10 years ago. At the time, Ezam was the deputy head of Umno Petaling Jaya Selatan.

At the press conference at the Shah Village Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Ezam answered why he had done so - now.

He said it is because he believes in the government's post-March 8 anti-corruption reforms.

“Because he’s (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) only introduced the (reform) policies (on the judiciary and the Anti-Corruption Agency) in the last few weeks. I’ve never seen any prime minister do that in the past 10, 20 years I was in government,” Ezam was quoted by Malaysian Insider.

"I’m joining Umno now, not in the strongest position. My decision is based purely on my conviction that Umno now is capable of bringing about the necessary reforms."

Initially, he said, Keadilan was set up as a multiracial Malay-based party, but slowly, it dropped the "Malay-based" aspect and just became a multiracial party.

Ezam said that to lose that foundation is "a big sin." "It crossed the line," he said.

Seven other former PKR youth chiefs will be joining him, according to Malaysiakini.

They are Annuar Shaari (former PKR Youth chief for Permatang Pauh and private secretary to party de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim), SD Johari Mohd Yasin (former Selangor PKR Youth chief), Mohd Nazmi Rosli (former Selangor PKR Youth secretary), Ahmad Daud Che Ghani (former PKR Perlis Youth chief), Azwan Din Hamzah (former PKR Youth executive council member), Khairul Annuar Ramli (former PKR Kedah Youth chief) and Abdul Ghani Haron (former PKR Youth executive councillor member).

Annuar is expected to submit his membership form to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak this afternoon in Parliament.

Ezam rejoined Umno yesterday after submitting his membership form to Abdullah.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Ezam rejoins Umno

It is confirmed. The Star reported ( and an updated version, here) that former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR ) Youth leader Ezam Mohd Nor (pic left) has been accepted back into Umno, the party he left after former DPM and Umno deputy president Anwar Ibrahim was sacked in 1998.

Speculations had been rife that Ezam was re-joining Umno following his decision to step down as Parti Keadilan Rakyat Selangor deputy chairman and Shah Alam division chief.

However he had all along denied them as mere speculations until recently when he refused to confirm or comment on it - an indication that there is some truth in the "rumours".

So why was he accepted back into Umno? What i so special about him?

Here's what Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who welcomed Ezam back to the party said:

What’s special about him is that he left he party to lead another party but he decided to come back, knowing that Umno is still the better party".

Ezam handed over his application form and RM100 in lifetime membership fee at a press conference at Parliament House, after a brief meeting with Abdullah.

For background plse read Nuraina's Waiting for Ezam...

Pix: Courtesy of Malaysian Insider: Mohamed Ezam (left) handing over his membership application form to Abdullah.

Dr M flies back to rousing welcome

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad came back to a rousing and emotional welcome when he arrived here from Tokyo yesterday.

Shouts of Hidup Tun (long live Tun) reverberated as the former Prime Minister addressed and thanked the crowd with a loud speaker from the sunroof of a four-wheel-drive vehicle after he touched down at the Subang airport about 6pm.

Dr Mahathir, who announced he was quitting Umno last Monday, had led the party for more than two decades. He was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

He was in Tokyo for an international conference. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi. who was also there, returned home last night. (read here)

“Thank you. If I’m not wrong, when I was an Umno member before, the welcome that I received was no different than no, " he said to resounding cheers. Read more from the Star.







Pictures: Courtesy of jinggo

Monday, 26 May 2008

Govt should develop P. Pisang to avoid future claims by S'pore

To avoid making the same mistake the Government should develop Pulau Pisang, which has a light house operated by Singapore, so that we will not lose another island again like we did with Pulau Batu Puteh to our neighbour down south.

Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan who expressed his concern made the suggestion to avoid “banana trees from fruiting twice” (a similar situation recurring).

It is also to ensure the country's sovereignty over Pulau Pisang and to prevent Singapore from making a claim on the island, located some five kilometres from the coast of Pontian, Johor. This is what he said:

Why should Singapore be allowed to keep the lighthouse there? Wisma Putra told me that under the present agreement, Singapore is allowed to maintain the lighthouse as long as it is still being used and for as long as there are stars and a moon.

“But in this day and age, no ship uses a lighthouse and all of them now rely on global positioning system and radar to guide them. So what’s the use of the lighthouse?” he said.

The Government, Ahmad added, should develop the island into a tourist and recreation area.

“In fact, I have proposed for the island to be included into a national park nearby,” he said, adding that besides the lighthouse, Pulau Pisang - comprising four smaller islands - now housed some fruit orchards and two smallhouses. - The star

Friday, 23 May 2008

We lost Pulau Batu Putih but got the "rocks".

"Rais: Decision on island is a win-win situation"


THE HAGUE: The International Court of Justice has ruled that Singapore has sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh while Malaysia owns Middle Rocks.

As for the South Ledge, the ICJ ruled that it belongs to the state in whose territorial waters it is located.

ICJ vice-president, Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh read out the judgment, which was carried live over RTM1 Friday.

Pulau Batu Putih, which Singapore calls Pedra Branca, an isle no larger than half a football field, is about 14.3km from Tanjung Penyusop in Johor and 46.3km from Singapore.

Middle Rocks is about half a nautical mile from Pulau Batu Putih and 1.7 nautical miles from South Ledge. Read more from the star here.

We lost this -

But got the rocks. See pictures: here


Pic 1: courtesy of rocky here and pic 2 courtesy of Tony Yew

(What a consolation! Didnt Rais Yatim express confidence of having the ICJ ruling in Malaysia's favour?)

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Dr M''s response to Musa's "Thorn in the Flesh"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Duri dalam daging"

Saya telah ikuti laporan berkenaan keputusan saya keluar dari UMNO yang disiarkan RTM 1, 8 malam, 19 hb Mei. Komen oleh dua pemimpin UMNO amat menggelikan hati saya.

Tun Musa Hitam dakwa saya adalah ‘duri dalam daging yang sekarang sudah dikeluarkan.’

Tun, apakah Tun lupa Tun jadi duri dalam daging UMNO tahun 1986 - 87 dahulu? Semasa Tun jadi Timbalan Perdana Menteri [di lantik oleh saya]. Tun telah letak jawatan Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Presiden UMNO kerana hendak saya berhenti daripada jadi Perdana Menteri dan diganti oleh Tun. Atas rayuan ahli Majlis Tertinggi, Tun kembali sebagai Timbalan Presiden UMNO. Rupa-rupanya Tun masih punyai niat untuk jatuhkan saya.

Oleh itu Tun menghasut Tengku Razaleigh yang menjadi musuh ketat Tun supaya lawan saya. Demikianlah bencinya Tun kepada saya sehingga sanggup terima musuh ketat Tun bertanding Presiden, dan Tun jadi Timbalannya; Tun sebelum itu rayu supaya saya sokong Tun untuk rebut jawatan Timbalan Presiden dalam pertandingan lawan Tengku Razaleigh.

Akhirnya pecahlah UMNO dan muncullah parti serpihan Semangat 46. Tetapi dengan bijaknya Tun tidak menyertainya. Tun selamat dan dilantik oleh saya sebagai perutusan bertaraf Menteri ke Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu. Tengku Razaleigh terkeluar daripada UMNO Baru dan menjadi mangsa perancangan Tun. Syabas Tun. Saya tak tahu sekarang Tun ahli UMNO atau tidak.

Satu lagi pemimpin UMNO ialah Shahrir Samad yang lupa bagaimana dia keluar UMNO, jadi calon bebas dan lawan dengan UMNO, dalam Pilihanraya Kecil dengan simbol kunci.

Siapakah kamu yang nak kritik tindakan saya? Jika tidak kerana kakak Tun Musa sebagai Ketua Wanita Johor Bahru datang pagi-pagi ke rumah saya untuk merayu supaya Dato dibenar kembali ke pangkuan UMNO, Dato akan jadi duri dalam daging UMNO lebih lama. Walaupun Dato maki hamun saya semasa pilihanraya kecil saya bersetuju Dato masuk balik UMNO.

Saya ucap tahniah kerana Dato dapat sekali lagi jadi Menteri. Jagalah harga barang baik-baik. Tak usahlah komen tentang diri saya.

Tepuk dulang paku serpih.
Katakan orang awak yang lebih.


English text: Mahathir fires back at Musa and Shahrir here.

We hope Dr M will return to Umno...one day

The Umno Supreme Council (MT) which held a special meeting Wednesday night expressed the hope that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir would return to the party one day.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak said the meeting took note that Dr Mahathir had written an official letter to leave the party.

Howeve he said that he was prepared to meet the former Prime Minister anytime.

"But we know his stand and his position. So we leave it at that for the time being," he told reporters after the three-hour meeting that was chaired by Party President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.

Dr Mahathir had announced on Monday that he was quitting Umno because he had lost confidence in the leadership of Abdullah as Prime Minister, Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman.

Here's the Bernama story:

Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, said the meeting also discussed the framework of a plan to move the party forward and regain the confidence of its members and Malaysians.

Apart from these, Najib said the MT also decided to continue supporting Abdullah to lead the party to ensure it received continued support from members.

Asked whether other members had followed Dr Mahathir in quitting Umno,Najib said so far no other letters to the effect had been received. Asked whether the leadership transition plan between Abdullah and him was discussed, Najib said," it was not discussed, that's between me and the Prime Minister."

He said the meeting also did not discuss the stand of the Member of Parliament for Jerlun, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir on the same issue (his father Dr Mahathir's uitting), which was said to have been disrespectful of the Prime Minister, and that it would left to Umno Youth to decide.

"The matter was not discussed today. We will be guided by Exco Pemuda (Umno Youth's executive committee)," said Najib.

He added that the MT believed Umno members would remain loyal to the party and should any problem arise, it would be resolved within Umno.-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Mokhzani quits Umno

Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir has quit the party following the footstep of his father, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir who did so on Monday.

Dr Mahathir quit Umno two days ago and called other members to follow suit to show their vote of no confidence in party President Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi’s leadership.

Mokhzani said he hoped Abdullah would step down as the party president before more Umno members leave the party in protest.

Mokhzani, a member of the Sungai Layar Hujung Umno branch for 22 years, submitted his letter of resignation to the Merbok division on Tuesday.

Asked if he would rejoin Umno if Abdullah steps down, Mokhzani said “Insya Allah (God willing)”.

“For the time being I prefer to be with the larger group of Malaysians who are not aligned to any political parties,” he said.

Yesterday his younger brother, Umno Youth exco member and Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz, announced that he will not quit the party.

He however called on Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign.

The Star has the story here.

I'm no hero, says PAS man who dared Dr M

Encik Ismail Wan Teh (pic right), the 42-year Jerlun Pas division deputy chairman, has been dubbed a hero.

The reason: He dared put a challenge to the former Prime Minister to take the lead in quitting Umno after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had asked members to leave the party temporarily in protest against Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

But Ismail said he is no hero and he never intended to challenge or dare Dr Mahathir to make the first move.

He has been following Dr Mahathir's statements in the newspaper, and thought many people expected Dr Mahathir to make this move. It was a matter of time he did, he said.

"I am no hero," he said

On Dr Mahathir's announcement (leaving Umno), he said it showed him as a man of his word. --- (Read here.)

Pic: courtesy of NotaRazi

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Mukhriz not quitting

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir aint quitting. He is staying on in Umno.

Many have expected the Umno Youth executive council member to follow the footstep of his father, former Prime MinisterTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who resigned from the party yesterday, citing dissatisfaction over the current leadership.

But his decision to stay on should not come as a surprise since Mukhriz, who is the MP for Jerlun, is going for the post of Umno Youth chief in December.

Read the full Star report:

Mukhriz not quitting, urges PM to step down (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth executive council member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said he is not resigning from Umno, but reiterated his call for Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi to step down as prime minister and party president.

The Jerlun MP, who is expected to contest for the post of Umno Youth chief in December, had previously called for Abdullah to step down after the March 8 polls that saw the Barisan Nasional coalition losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

On Monday, Mukhriz's father, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, resigned from the party, citing his dissatisfaction over the current leadership.

He urged other Umno members to also leave until there was a change in party leadership. Father and son have both attributed -- directly in the case of the former -- Barisan's disappointing performance in the 12th general election to Abdullah.

After the polls, Mukhriz had written a letter to Abdullah urging him to take responsibility for the dismal results, but later denied that he had asked the Prime Minister to quit.

In April, Mukhriz said that a party leadership change should occur by the end of the year so that a tense contest can be avoided during the Umno annual assembly in December.

He said any contest during party polls could further fracture the party, and urged Abdullah to hand over the reins to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On Monday, former premier Dr Mahathir announced that he would be
quitting the party, much to the surprise of party members nationwide.


Go here for Mukhriz's media statement

Mukhriz to follow suit?

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the Umno MP for Jerlun, will hold a Press Conference at 5.30pm today at Bilik Meranti, Pan Pacific, Kuala Lumpur.

Was informed of the P/C by a blogger during the MRT session.

What Pak Lah and Umno leaders say...

Abdullah shocked but will not step down under pressure...

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will not bow to pressure from former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to resign as prime minister and Umno president.

He said he was “shocked and surprised” over Dr Mahathir’s sudden decision to quit Umno, calling the move a drastic action.

He also said the resignation and call to other members to quit would not shatter the party as Umno had over three million members.

“Maybe some will leave but I believe most of them still love Umno. I don’t know what Umno members are going to do but I would like to believe that the members will not leave,” he said.

He urged Umno members to be taat setia (loyal) to the party and stay strong to continue the party’s struggle just like when it was first founded, adding that Umno’s existence was due to member loyalty.

“I, as an Umno member, from the beginning until now, have never left the party and I will continue to fight for the party.

“Umno has contributed much to the country and the people of all races, and we want Umno to continue the struggle,” he said after meeting party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam here yesterday.

Abdullah hoped that Umno members would think carefully before making any decision.
He believed that the majority of party members would stay true to Umno. More here

Najib: I’m willing to meet Dr M

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Egypt): Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is willing to talk to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his sudden resignation from the party.

Expressing shock and sadness over the former Prime Minister's announcement, Najib said he had met Dr Mahathir previously and that he was prepared to meet him again to discuss the decision.

Reading from a prepared statement, Najib said that Dr Mahathir was a respected leader and his contributions to the party and nation were invaluable.

Najib also said that he had contacted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the matter soon after news of the decision reached him here.

Asked if Dr Mahathir’sdecision would prompt other Umno leaders to follow suit, Najib replied: “Wallah hu’alam (Only God knows). I don’t know.” More here...

Ku Li: I’ll stay to fight Abdullah

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says he will remain in Umno to challenge Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the party presidency and also to clean up the party.

The Gua Musang MP also said he would never form a pact with the Opposition to set up a new government even if Umno was battered by internal conflict.

“I have my own party. Why must I quit the party? I will remain in the party to challenge the president (Abdullah) and will fight to clean up the party,” he said. Continue here.

Mahathir’s decision a blessing, says Musa

Tun Musa Hitam says Dr Mahathir's decision to quit Umno is upsetting but it may actually be a blessing in disguise because a "thorn in the flesh" has been removed from the party. Continue here.

Read also Umno leaders shocked at move here.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Dr Mahathir quits Umno

Dr M's statement: Pengumuman Keluar Dari Umno here

Update: 5.30pm

Veteran Umno leader Tan Sri Sanusi has quit the party. (The star reports, here)

Earlier story:

ALOR STAR, Mon: After goading Umno members today to temporarily resign from Umno as a sign of protest against the party president, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took up a “dare” to take the lead by resigning from the party he had been a
founding member of since 1946.

However, he implored Umno members taking up his challenge not to join any other party and remain independent, at least until the Umno leadership was determined (after the December party elections).

He said he will only rejoin the party when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down as Umno president.

Dr Mahathir was answering questions from the floor after giving a talk at a forum entitled 'Malays’ Future after the 12th General Election' at the Star City Hotel in Alor Star when a member of the audience asked him if he would take the lead in quitting Umno.

Wah, saya di cabar ni…(I have been dared),” he quipped but in a serious tone, he said:

“Yes, I will leave Umno….until the party leadership is determined. Other Umno members should follow me.”

Loud cheers immediately met his declaration. It is not immediately clear if his son, Datuk Mukhriz, also the MP for Jerlun and an Umno Youth Exco member, would follow suit.

The former Prime Minister's announcement also caught his aides by surprise. Dr Mahathir explained that this was not the first time he was out of Umno.

“Between 1969 and 1970, I was expelled from Umno but later, when many Malays and Umno members still supported me, I re-entered Umno. There was no problem. Just don’t join other parties.” --- Continue with the NST report here.

Rea also rocky's Dr M Quits here)

(According to blogger A voice Dr Mahathir made the annoucement at 12:35 today. Sources quoted said that Dr Mahathir repeated his speech at the Johor MyKMU event in Johor Baru, which was spinned by Malaysia Insider as playing the racial card. Dr Mahathir reiterated his call for Pak Lah to quit with a strong message, "Pak Lah harus di singkirkan segera!". According to the blogger, "a Dr Mahathir outside of UMNO could be more vocal and deadly." The question now is: will the disillusioned grassroots unhappy with the party leadership follow suit? What will be the implications of Dr M's resignation on the party as a whole? Will his move hasten Abdullah's departure?)

Happy Wesak Day


Wishing my Buddhist friends and visitors a Happy Wesak Day and may you have abundant of blessings; good health, good fortune and happiness.
.


Sunday, 18 May 2008

Dr M: Charge me & I'll "explain" many things that the judges did...

... including lobbying.

The former Prime Minister was referring to the report of the Royal Commission Inquiry on the Lingam video clip which has recommended that he be investigated under various laws for his role in appointment of judges. (Read here)

The government yesterday released the report of the Commission that found evidence of an "insidious" conspiracy to influence the appointment of judges and had Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad listed along with other top figures as being involved.

Following the release of the report, the cabinet agreed that the A-G's Chambers investigate the allegations against those identified in the report, including Dr Mahathir.

Here's the full report from Bernama:

I'm Prepared To Be Investigated And Charged In Court, Says Dr M

JOHOR BAHARU, May 17 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Saturday he is prepared to be investigated and charged in court with regard to findings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Datuk V.K. Lingam video clip episode.

"By charging me in court, I will have the opportunity to explain many things that the judges did, including lobbying," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the post-election Umno forum organised by the Johor Umno Grassroots Members Action Front Federation and MykmuJohor.com.

Dr Mahathir hoped that investigations on him would not be stopped on grounds that there was no case.

In that case, I will have no opportunity to explain what had happened, but instead if I was charged, then I can explain what I had done and what others did including the judges with regard to lobbying.

"I want to tell about the judges who had come to me to lobby. If lobbying is wrong, then these judges should be probed," he said when asked by reporters on the cabinet's directive to the Attorney-General to initiate immediate investigations into allegations on individuals named in the inquiry report.

Individuals named in the report are senior lawyer Lingam, former deputy minister in the prime minister's department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan, two former chief judges Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin and Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir said he did not expect the judges who were lobbying had committed any wrongdoing as throughout his tenure as prime minister many people had approached him to lobby for positions whether for a minister's post, deputy minister and other government positions.

He said the decisions he made on the appointments, including that of judges, were based on his own assessment.

"My decision is based on my assessment. I don't care who lobbied or who spoke to me. If I decide that the individual concerned should be appointed, then I will appoint. If a person should not be appointed, eventhough he was recommended by the judge, I will not appoint.

"I am not a postman, when the chief judge recommends, I straight away approve and see the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the King endorses. If that is the case, it can be said the appointment of the chief judge is decided by the outgoing chief judge.

"Then, I don't have any role at all. I don't want to be a postman," he said.

Asked on the recommendation by the royal commission that Vincent Tan and Tengku Adnan be investigated, Dr Mahathir said he did not know about their roles as they had never lobbied with him.

"Anybody can give their views on the appointment of anyone, the prime minister or future deputy prime minister," he said, adding that the present system of appointing judges was good.

"What makes the system to be flawed is the human element," he added.

About 2,000 people attended the forum including Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, former Kedah Menteri Besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, former NST Group editor-in-chief Datuk A.Kadir Jasin and former Parit Sulong MP Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad.

-- BERNAMA

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Cabinet didn't approve of indelible ink - Rashid

Update:

No Instruction For EC To Scrap Ink Plan, Says Abdullah

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has denied that it was the government who had instructed the Election Commission (EC) to scrap its plan of using indelible ink in the last general election.

Abdullah said, although in principle the government made the decision, it was delivered in the form of an opinion and not instruction.

But EC which handles elections in Malaysia has the final say, he said

He was commenting on a statement by EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman that the Cabinet did not approve the use of indelible ink although the EC had initially agreed to use it.

"The election ran smoothly, the results have been announced and everybody has accepted it so, why should it be made an issue," he said. Read the Bernama report here

(So who's telling the truth? Obviously one of them is lying.)


Earlier report:

Remember the announcement made by the Election Commission three days before the March 8 polls that the indeilible ink was not going to be used on polling day citing public order and security reasons?

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said then the EC was obliged to make a firm and final decision to ensure the smooth conduct of the 12th general election.

Of course, we didnt buy the reasons given and the only conclusion we could make from the announcement was that the Barisan was losing big time on the ground and resorting to using another dirty trick, (read here and here)

Today Rashid dsiclosed that it was the Cabinet's decision not to approve the use of use of indelible ink during the March 8 election and he was told to take responsibility for agreeing to it.



"The Cabinet gave two very strong reasons why they did not agree to it – security and the law - Article 119, concerning the basic right for everyone to vote, and I agreed with them," he said.

It’s not easy being EC chairperson. I took the rap over the years,” Abdul Rashid said, adding that the commission wanted a review of election regulations.

He said that the commission should have a bigger control over the electoral process under Article 113 to Article 120 of the Federal Constitution. To continue, read here

Friday, 16 May 2008

Commission: Act against Dr M, five otherss

Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said the Cabinet has agreed that the contents of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Datuk V.K. Lingam clip be made public and copies made available for sale.

The Cabinet made this decision in its meeting today.

The Cabinet also agreed that the Attorney-General's Chambers investigate the allegations in the report against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and five others - lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam, business tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, former Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, retired Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim. (Read here)

The Commission has recommended that Dr Mahathir be investigated under various laws for his role in appointment of judges. (Read here.)

Related topics read here and here.

Dr M: I met Najib after PM said he won’t stop meeting

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he met Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after the Prime Minister said he would not stop the meeting.

However, he did not disclose what they discussed.

The meeting, which lasted about two hours, is learnt to have taken place last Sunday evening at Najib's official residence Sri Satria in Putrajaya.

Last Wednesday, Mahathir claimed he tried to set up a meeting with Najib immediately after the general election to discuss current affairs - a move that purportedly did not go well with Abdullah.

However, the next day Abdullah said he had not prevented Najib from meeting Dr Mahathir saying : “Tak ada halang, tak ada .”

“After Pak Lah said that, we met. He said he wanted to meet so I met him, lah,” Dr Mahathir told reporters yesterday after launching the book Kismet, a biography on the life, contributions and sacrifices of the late Sher Mohamed Allah Baksh.

On the claim by Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan that he had been offered enough money for three generations to join PKR, Dr Mahathir said:

“It’s all about money today. If there’s money, they can jump into any boat.

“All of them dare not speak out because of money. They want positions.”

On DAP chairman Karpal Singh not budging from his position on the Sultan of Perak ordering the reinstatement of the state religious head who had been removed by the Mentri Besar, he said

“That’s what happens when the Government is weak. The people don’t respect you anymore.”

Source: The Star

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Speaker quits Umno div chief post

Thursday May 15, 2008 MYT 6:56:51 PM

Pandikar Amin quits as Kota Marudu Umno div chief


By Muguntan Vanar

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has tendered his resignation as Kota Marudu Umno division chief 'in the interest of neutrality' of his Dewan Rakyat Speaker's post.

Sources said that he sent his resignation letter to party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Thursday but it was not immediately known if the Prime Minister had accepted it.

It was learnt that he wanted to remain as an ordinary Umno member.

Sources said Pandikar's decision was aimed at divorcing himself from party politics to ensure that the office of the Speaker remained impartial and respected by parties from the government and the opposition.

"It is for the dignity of the House. He does not want to be seen as an active Umno member holding a division chief post.

"He hopes to emulate the late Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Zahir Ismail who in his 22 years gained respect by staying away from political positions," one of the sources said.

In interview with The Star prior to his April 28 appointment to the post, Pandikar had said that he would have re-Consider his position as an Umno division chief and did not discount the possibility of him resigning the post in the future.

Asked about a blogsite which stated that his actions could be linked to Parti Keadilan Rakyat's efforts to get 30 or so Umno MPs cross over to Pakatan Rakyat, the sources said it was "ridiculous and mischievous" as Pandikar Amin's resignation was specifically in the interest of the Dewan Rakyat.

They said earlier Thursday, a group of Parti Keadilan Rakyat MPs had paid a courtesy call to Pandikar and that during the meeting, he had impressed on them that he was making every effort to bring respect to the chair, including a move by to resign from his division chairman's post.

Source:
The Star

Remembering Nakba Day (The catastrophy) of 1948

Today, May 15 is Nakba Day or "day of the catastrophe", an annual day of commemoration for the Palestinian people of the "anniversary of the creation of Israel" which marks the beginning of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, the loss of land and their displacement and dispossession.

While for Israelis, the 1948 war gave them independence, for Palestinians, the day represents "the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of their people who were made homeless as Israel was born.”

ABIM has issued a statement to commemorate Nakba Day.

"On this day, our hearts go out to all the Palestinians and we stand in solidarity with them in mourning the Nakba of 1948; we support their resistance of the Israeli occupation of historic Palestine; we strongly condemn the 1967 territorial expansion which continues to facilitate the expansion of the Zionist colonial agenda until today."

Continue reading ‘ABIM: Media Statement on the 60th Anniversary of The Nakba and the Palestinians’ Right of Right’

Also read this and this

Sharlinie may be a victim of trafficking

For the first time, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said that five-year-old-Sharlinie Mohd Nashar who has been missing since Jan 9 might be a victim of an international human trafficking syndicate.

Sharlinie may have been smuggled out of the country by such a syndicate and this is the angle the police are looking into, he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the First Asean Regional Crime Prevention Foundation (ARCPF) working group meeting yesterday.

He said this when replying to a question on whether Sharlinie's case was linked to international human trafficking syndicate.

Sharlinie was believed to have been abducted while playing at a playground near her house in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya.

Musa said the issue of human trafficking would be discussed during the meeting, which started Tuesday and ends today.

He said police would continue working with their Asean counterparts in collating information on human trafficking.

The star has the story here.


The Internal Security Act (ISA) is not cruel - IGP

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) -- Dismissing the notion that the Internal Security Act (ISA) is cruel, the inspector-general of police says it is still needed to safeguard national security.

Tan Sri Musa Hassan also rejected charges by some quarters that detainees held under the ISA were given no opportunity to defend themselves in court.

"ISA detainees can still obtain their defence by providing evidence in court.

"There is an advisory panel which re-evaluates cases of ISA detainees.

If the panel says the detainees do not threaten the country's security, we will free them," said Musa, adding that members of the panel were former judges.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the first meeting of the Asean Regional Crime Prevention Foundation (ARCPF) here Wednesday. Answering a question from an Indonesian journalist who was covering the ARCPF event.

Musa said among the ISA detainess were 13 Indonesians who enjoyed permanent resident status here.He said they were being detained in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah. ---Bernama


************************************

(What an idiot! We don't need this Draconian Act. In fact, I think it should be abolished. Do you know how many ISA detainees’ families have suffered because of this ACT? I should know. My dad was a victim of this Draconian Act when the Government decided to put him a way because he was considered a threat to national security - taken and whisked away one night as a guest of the Government for 5 1/2 years? ISA IS detention without trial and this law has been abused and can be abused by whoever is the Home Minister. My father’s detention (1976-1981, his third but first under the Independent Malaysian Government) was on the instruction/order of the then ambitious and arrogant Ghazali Shafie who had collaborated with LKY to suit their agenda using the communist card and my father’s past leftist leanings to make a case against him. His detention was about an ambitious minister threatened by some political leaders in Umno and a journalist close to the late Prime Minister Tun Razak, a weak Prime Minister and a Prime Minister from the island down south who wanted to settle old scores. No, I don’t wish this Act be imposed on anyone. All I could think now is how the other families of ISA detainees are holding up. And I do share their pain! )

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

What's so urgent about debate to end National Service, huh?

Update: 9.00pm

NS Training Programme To Continue, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) -- The government is to continue with the National Service Training Programme despite calls to scrap it following the deaths of 16 trainees since the programme was launched in 2004.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the number of deaths was a small percentage compared to the 339,186 trainees who had benefited from the programme up to now.

He also said that 11 of the trainees had died during training and five during their holiday break. Of the 11 deaths, seven were caused by ailments and four were due to accidents, he added. Read here

Earlier story:

Dewan Rakyat Rejects Motion Seeking Debate To End To National Service

The Dewan Rakyat today (May 13) rejected a motion seeking a debate on the immediate termination of the National Service Training Programme due to what Was referred as many problems, particularly involving the safety of Trainees

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said the motion, tabled by Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah), was rejected as there was no urgency because the Defence Ministry had taken various measures to ensure a high level of safety of the trainees..

“The motion was rejected because members of parliament will have ample opportunity to raise the matter during the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address,” he said. The NST

(Can you beat that? Is that the best answer he could come up with? The same standard reply, it's like hearing the same old record being played again and again and again. "...because the Defense Ministry had taken VARIOUS MEASURES TO ENSURE A HIGH LEVEL OF SAFETY OF THE TRAINEES..." Not urgent? Don"t know whether to cry or laugh. Hello Mr Speaker sir, 16 already died during training since the NS started? How do you explain that? MORON! BODOH! I hope the Batu Gajah MP will pursue the matter and not give up, We're counting on you!)

Monday, 12 May 2008

Show the critics that Umno is not arrogant - Pak Lah

Umno members must counter the notion that they are arrogant and corrupt, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Umno president said the party must show the people that it always had their interest at heart.

“This is very important,” he said at the party's 62nd anniversary celebrations at Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

He said there were accusations hurled at Umno that it was arrogant and weak.

We should not close our ears to these accusations. God gave us ears to hear. We must dispel these accusations against us and clean up what is not right,” he said, adding that there was strength in integrity, a virtue that every Umno member should have.

He also said it was important to safeguard the party’s, coalition’s and government’s integrity.

“I do not want people in government or those who are MPs and assemblymen hauled up in court for corruption, abuse of power or other criminal offences.

“I don’t want to see newspapers highlighting such cases because I expect something better from you all,” he said.

Touching on the 12th general election results, he said, it was clear that voters gave the party and Barisan Nasional a “signal” that something was not right.

I admit the results were really not good. I feel sad, really sad about it. But we should remember that although our majorities were reduced and we lost support, we still won a substantial number of seats.

“Umno won 79 parliamentary seats which is far more than PAS and PKR put together. So we should not be in a state of panic and chaos and act as if our party lost, and allow the losing (Opposition) parties to behave as if they won,” he said.

Calling on Umno members not to patah semangat (lose heart), Abdullah said it was crucial to fulfil promises made to the people and take care of their needs.

“We must be united and be of service to the people. That is our party objective and slogan all this while. Bersatu, Bersetia, Berkhidmat (United, Loyal and of Service) – what’s the meaning of our slogan if we forget to do this?” he added.

Abdullah said the country was currently going through another economic crisis due to high oil prices and rising food prices globally and that the impact was felt by the people.

He said it was important for the Government to act to ease the burden on the people, and pointed out that the petrol subsidy borne by the Government had grown to RM45bil a year compared to RM35bil the previous year because of the world crude oil prices.

Touching on the non-Malays, Abdullah gave the assurance that although Umno was a Malay party, it always gave support to its non-Malay component parties and members.

Abdullah also said in the past 62 years Umno had gone through many ups and downs.

But Umno has survived until today because we carry the party in our hearts. Even when Umno was deregistered, we did not die because the Umno in our hearts can never die,” he said. - the Star

(Alaihai Pak Lah. Gelak besar baca berita ini. " ... there were accusations hurled at Umno that it was arrogant and weak..," But isnt that true? Let me show you: this and this and here and here, view this and this . This is precisely why BN lost five states and PAS retained the state of Kelantan. You still don't get it?)

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Hui Min's family to sue NS training Department for negligence

The family of Too Hui Min, the national service (NS) trainee who died after complaining of constipation, is suing the NS Training Department for negligence.

“We believe it was more than constipation and we want justice for our daughter,” said Hui Min’s mother Chin Kwee Choo, 52. (pic. right)

“How can a healthy girl die all of a sudden like this?” she asked.

Hui Min, from Geo Kosmo NS Training Camp in Kuala Kubu Baru, died at Slim River Hospital on Wednesday at 10.45pm after complaining of constipation.

The distraught mother said that despite passing with flying colours in her SPM examination last year, Hui Min did not have big dreams. The 7As scorer only wished to be a tour guide.

Chin said she and her husband Jong Sing were not satisfied with the explanation that their daughter died of toxic megacolon.

“We want to know what happened,” she said during a press conference.

Star has the full story here.

(Good for the parents. I would too, if I were in the same situation. I've lost my child under their care and received no satisfactory explanation regarding her death. Hui Min's parents have every right to get to the bottom of this. Someone has to take responsibility for the tragedy. No amount of monetary compenasation to the parents can bring the poor child back. This ought to be a lesson for the authorities concerned. You're dealing with the lives of children whose parents have entrusted them under your care. )

Watch out for Nuraina ....

... on TVl's BLOG at 8.30 tonight.

Nuraina Samad - who by the way is my sister :) - will be appearing in Blog with host Chamil Wariya, the CEO of Malaysian Press Institute (MPI).

The weekly programme was started by Information Minister Shabery Cheek in an effort to engage bloggers and to prove that the Government is now blogger-friendly.

So far, it has featured writer/journalist/blogger A. Kadir Jasin, Raja Petra Kamarudin and Zaharin Yasin.

Nuraina is the first woman blogger to appear on the programme.

Happy Mother's Day


My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie Harmon



Here's wishing all mothers
A Happy Mother's Day!


Saturday, 10 May 2008

What is one or two deaths - National Service to stay

Well that was what its Training Department D-G Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil said in response on calls by various quarters (read here , here and here) for the scrapping of the National Service programme following the death of 18 year-old Too Hui Min on Wednesday.

Hui Min was the 16th NS trainee to have died during training since the programme started in 2004.

Abdul Hadi reiterated that the training programme will not be scrapped “just because of one or two deaths."

“It is our policy that the NS camps go on. What we are doing now is to rectify the problem,” he told the New Straits Times.

Abdul Hadi said the department’s officials will be meeting Health Ministry officials on June 3 to decide on a technical committee to make it compulsory for all trainees to undergo health check-ups before entering the three-month programme.

Several departments have to streamline the processes before the health check-ups can be done.

In Too’s case, Abdul Hadi said the trainee had a colon problem.

“She might have been suffering from it for a long time and did not know about it until her death, ” he said.

He said the department was doing its best to ensure that the facilities in the camp are safe, by getting the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to certify the campus premises.

(Now what do you make of the statement coming from someone who is responsible for running the programme? ? You'd think he would be more sensitive to Hui Min's grieving parents and the parents of 15 others who died while they were under his care. What is he thinking? One death is bad enough, 16 deaths? Do you need 50, 60, 100 deaths before you decide to stop the NS programme? Another death, another tragedy and another investigation. So what happened to all previous investigations conducted? And the inclusion of this requirement for all trainees to go for medical check-up before entering the programme. I thought that this would have been standard procedure, Why didnt they think about this before? Also getting the NIOSH to certify facilities at the camps are safe... at this juncture when the NS is already in its fourth year ?? ??? And that will make parents...happy & heave a sigh of relief that their kids will be safe? Bodoh nya!)

Friday, 9 May 2008

Raja Petra released on bail

Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) who was charged for sedition on Tuesday at the Petaling Jaya Magistrate's court was released on bail at 9.30 am today.

His wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, posted bail of RM5,000 yesterday after RPK finally agreed to it.

Raja Petra had declined to meet visitors, including his wife, since Tuesday, when he was taken to Sg Buloh prison after refusing to post bail.

Speaking to to reporters after his release, Raja Petra said he had declined to meet anyone as there was not much to be done except await his trial, which is scheduled for October.

However, prison authorities urged him to seek release due to concerns over his personal safety (read here) in prison, he said.

Raja Petra also said he had not eaten anything since he was taken to prison.

On Wednesday night (May 7) some 100 Malaysians stood in vigil with lighted candles outside the Sungai Buloh prison in solidarity with Raja Petra.

Last night police detained three men (one of whom was lawyer/activist/blogger Haris Ibrahim read here and here) who were among some 100 people who had gathered at Dataran Merdeka 8pm to protest against RPK's arrest.

The crowd dispersed peacefully after an hour but the three were detained for questioning and were subsequently released, according to Bernama.

Another death...

...to add to the statistics. Sigh.


Eighteen-year-old National Service trainee Too Hui Min (pic) died on Wednesday from a colon infection while undergoing training at the Geo Kosmo camp in Kuala Kubu Babru.

She was due to complete the programme on June 7.

According to media reports she had complained of a stomach ache at about 3pm on Wednesday after taking chicken rice for lunch together with other trainees. She was given medication. At 5.30pm she was sent back to the camp to be examined. Around 8pm she was taken to Slim river Hospital for further checks. At 8.30pm she was admitted for observation and at 10.45om she died.

Yes, just like that.

Her mother, Chin Kwee Choo, 52, has lashed out at the National Training Council for not taking her daughter to the hospital immediately after she complained of having a stomach upset.

The Health Ministry would investigate the case - how Hui Min could have died of infection just hours after complaining of a stomach ache- while the National Trainig Council said it would conduct its own investigations to determine if there were other factors.

Hui Min was the 16th National Service trainee to have died during training since 2004 and the second this year.

Read the story here.

(Another death... another tragedy. What can I say? Are we to expect that during every National Service training session? So how many more must die before the authorities decide enough is enough? Just shelve the programme, I say. There have been too many deaths since the proramme was introduced. Good intention yes, but bad implemention - typically Malaysian.)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Raja Petra (RPK) to be released tomorrow...

...after his wife, Marina Abdullah, posted bail today.

The necessary documentation will be delivered to Sg Buloh prison by tomorrow at the latest, after which he will be released.

Raja Petra agreed to post bail after Marina met him in prison earlier in the morning.

Marina finally got to see her husband for about 10 minutes after he twice refused to meet her yesterday.( read here.)

There will be a candlelight vigil for Raja Petra at the Dataran Merdeka at 8.00 tonight, according to shanghai Fish.

Below is a picture of last night’s vigil at the Sungai Buloh prison from Malaysiakini . More pictures here.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Najib - arrest of RPK not politically-motivated

...and said that the Government has no plans to clamp down bloggers but reminded them that there are laws pertaining to sedition, defamation and libel.

The Deputy Prime Minister was asked if the timinig and the arrest of Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) who has been charged for sediton would make the Government look unpopular.

"I do not think so. We have to draw the line between what is right and wrong," Datuk Seri Najib said.

"This is not politically-motivated." he said.

In any case, he said, it was up to the Attorney-General to see if there was a case.

The Star has the story here.

Civil society groups express solidarity with Raja Petra Kamarudin

The following is a joint statement issued at t the press conference this morning chaired by Ahirudin Attan (of rocky'sbru) as President of the Interim Council of the National Alliance of Bloggers.
Am reproducing the statement below:

It is with great concern that we, representing several Civil Society Action Groups, note that Raja Petra Kamarudin, Editor of news portal and blog "Malaysia Today", has been charged in the Petaling Jaya Sessions court with sedition in connection with an article he wrote and posted up at the www.malaysia-today.net on April 25, 2008.

We call on all Malaysians concerned with the freedom of information and speech to stand up in support of a fellow Malaysian who has been writing "without fear or favour" on issues of public and national concern.

The charge against Raja Petra is in connection with a Post entitled "Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell" in which he raised pertinent questions on various facts of the case that are already within the domain of public knowledge. In our view the sedition charge is malicious and wihout merit. It is also politically motivated and aimed at silencing the a principled and uncompromising voice speaking against the abuse of power, including those stemming from the highest level of government and authority.

We urge the Government to reconsider its action in pursuing what is being perceived in the country and internationally as blatantly selective and repressive persecution. The action not only runs counter to the Government's expressed promotion of a democratic, informed and participatory society. It also smacks of a renewal of the tactics of fear and intimidation which were recently resoundingly rejected by the Malaysian electorate.

We are disappointed that, despite the Government's rhetoric of learning from its past mistakes, it continues to rely on heavy handed authoritarian means to instill fear and to discourage its citizens from freely engaging in public discourse.

This action of the Government coming just a few days after World Press Freedom Day (which fell on May 3) especially makes a mockery of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's expression of commitment and social reforms to promote a more open and transparent government.

We agree with other human rights advocates that the present Sedition Act - initially enacted by the British colonial authorities - should have no place in our democratic society. Unlike the law of defamation, one cannot defend himself/herself from a charge of sedition on the ground of truthfulness. In other words, messengers may be shot for simply uttering the truth. That the State is using its legal apparatus to charge Raja Petra for sedition instead of the aggrieved party resorting to civil defamation points to the need for thorough reform of our media laws. This is not a new demand but one which has been consistently raised by civil society and progressive political parties.

As civil society action groups, we call upon all parties, non-government organisations and individuals to express their concern and to show solidarity with Raja Petra. All freedom loving Malaysians must impress on the Government the need to withdraw this obnoxious action against a conscientious writer and true Malaysian.

Finally, we urge fellow Malaysians to respond positively to any future appeals for donations to a Legal Fund properly constituted in defence of Raja Petra and to show our solidarity for a national cause aimed at protecting our freedom of speech.

Bernard Khoo and Desiderata (chairman of BUM 2008) also spoke at the press conference. Bernard informed them that Marina had gone to Sg Buloh to try and see her husband but was told that RPK did not want to see anyone. Marina was also told that her husband had refused (read here) any form of nourishment since yesterday.

Read also Why didn't the Home Minister and the IGP exercise their right of reply?

Dr M to BN Government - Take Anwar's threat seriously

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reminded the Barisan Nasional Government not to take lightly Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's threat of Pakatan Rakyat forming the next federal government (read here) in the near future.

According to Dr Mahathir this is because PKR had convinced more than 30 BN Members of Parliament to cross over to the opposition, the Pakatan Rakyat.

BN has 140 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat and PKR 82 out of a total of 222 MPs.

Here's what Dr Mahathir says as reported by Bernama:

"Well, I think it is a possibility that you can't dismiss lightly. Now, these politicians are interested in how much they get, they are not interested really in serving the nation.

"People who feel that they did not get what they wanted presently and they are offered positions, the urge to crossover especially when there is no inherent loyalty to the party.

"I feel very strong (about it), it can really happen. I first wanted to dismiss this possiblity but on studying the situation I feel that there is great danger. Of course, if this government loses power, it will not be in a position to dole out all kinds of goodies because at that time the clout is gone,"

Dr Mahathir was speaking to reporters after delivering a keynote address n "National Sovereignty" at the 7th Perdana Discourse Series at the Perdana Leadership Foundation, here.

Asked if this was his greatest fear, he replied that if the cross over were to take place, then Malaysia would experience "a lot of conflicts"..

"We see the response of the Malays, for example. They have come up with a list of demands for this and that in response to the demands made by the others. They think that the solution is to abandon this concept of democracy, that they should go back to the feudal style of government.

"There is already talk among them...I don't know how serious it is but the fact that it is being actually voiced (out) is very disturbing," Dr Mahathir said
To continue, read here...

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

RPK charged for Sedition & trial fixed from Oct 6

Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK), the editor of news portal Malaysia Today, claimed trial at the Petaling Jaya J Sessions Court to publishing a seditious article on April 25.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948. His trial has been set from Oct 6-10 2008.

Nine paragraphs in his article titled "Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell" were found to be seditious. The article was posted on his website on April 25, the Star reports. (read here )

The court set his bail at RM5,000. However, RPK declined to post bail. He will be staying at Sungei Buloh from today until a time when theR M5,000 bail is raised and posted, according to Rocky'sbru.

His wife Marina Lee Abdullah said he is hoping to raise the money through his news portal.

As of 2.30pm Tuesday, he was still in lockup at the PJ sessions court.

Earlier Tuesday, Raja Petra arrived at the magistrates’ court in the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex in Jalan Duta at 9.06am.

He was later instructed to go to the PJ Sessions Court to be charged.

A crowd of about a hundred people were gathered at the Jalan Duta court. Among them were bloggers and Opposition MPs including Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai).

The Malaysia Today Editor is being defended by seven lawyers.



*pic 1: courtesy of Knights Templar

*pix 2: courtesy of the Sun: RPK caused a stir when he refused to take up judge Nurmala Salim's bail offer of RM5,000, choosing instead to go to Sungai Buloh prison, until the trial fixed for Oct 6-10. If found guilty, Raja Petra can be jailed a maximum of three years and/or face a fine of up to RM5,000.

PM shoots down Rais' proposal

The Prime Minister has shot down a proposal requiring women to obtain permission before travelling overseas on their own by Datuk Rais Yatim who has since clarified that it was meant for both men and women under the age of 21.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that it would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to introduce a regulation that compels women to obtain consent letters from employers or parents.

“The proposal to obtain consent will only create great difficulty, particularly for the Immigration authorities and also the women concerned,” he was quoted as telling Bernama.

“I will ask Wisma Putra and the Home Ministry to issue a travel advisory asking all Malaysian citizens to be cautious when travelling out of the country,” Abdullah said.

The Foreign Minister had announced the proposal on Saturday but clarified yesterady saying he was "referring to boys and girls who travel on their own, especially those below 21 years old and are still subject to the supervision of their parents." (read here. )

The proposa1 caused outrage among women organisations who described it as "backward, unfair and an infringement of our rights."

Monday, 5 May 2008

RPK to be charged with Sedition

Just got this piece of news from Rock'sbru. It seems Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) has been asked to appear in the Magistrate Court, Jalan Duta, at 9.30 am tomorrow where he is expected to be charged under the Sedition Act.

Last Thursday, police questioned RPK on his article "Let's Send the Altantuya's Murderers to Hell" in Malaysia Today.

Earlier in the morning, seven policemen visited RPK at his home and confiscated his laptop and CPU.

(poster: courtesy of Chris of mob1900)

Home Ministry cannot impose conditions on Malaysians going abroad - Syed Hamid

Updates:

Now Rais Yatim says his proposal is meant for boys and girls who travel on their own, especially those below 21 years old and are still subject to parental supervision. Why didnt he say so, in the first place?

"There's some misunderstanding, " he said. ( Really? )

He said he only had good intention for those who travelled alone overseas, especially children.

"But if this is regarded by human rightists to be against human rights, wait until their own children get into trouble," he said. (read here )

Earlier story:

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar said his Ministry cannot impose conditions on Malaysians going overseas, especially the requirement for women travelling alone to get a consent letter from their family before leaving the country.

Asking oversea-bound women for a consent letter from their family would also lead to other issues like human rights and the right of an individual.

Syed Hamid said this to reporters in response to the suggestion by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim that Malaysian women going abroad alone would have to furnish a consent letter from her family on the purpose of the visit, according to NST.

Continue...

“To me if you are an adult, even within the country it is difficult to ask them to inform their family where they are going. So if you are an adult, you have to act on your own.

“There cannot be a rule. When a person applies for a passport, we don’t ask them where they are going. It is their right for a passport. If a person applies for a visa, the country which approves the visa may ask for the purpose of the visit but they cannot ask for a person to get the consent of the family.”

“This is a matter of grave concern to us as Malaysian women are being used by syndicates as drug couriers. We have suggested for more warnings to be given.

“There should be more exposure in the media to warn them of the dangers of being lured to such activities with very good offers or good money.

“It is more of education. We need to educate so that they are not taken in by such promises. So far as we are concerned, a person who wants to travel makes his or her own decision to travel and how they are going to do it is up to them.

“But I think it is important that they are not influenced by syndicates offering them good money,” he said, adding that the situation would be different if children were used in place of women as children need to get consent of their parents to travel overseas.

In so far as travelling was concerned, we can’t impose any regulations. I think Dr Rais was just throwing ideas.

“Even if you ask permission from parents, we can’t be sure this thing will not happen. The parents can’t be following the person everywhere. So it has to be education to tell them the dangers of this sort of activities.

“It is more of a NGO (non-governmental organisation) activity. The police can give warnings, but we cannot impose conditions,” he added.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Tan Sri Nasimuddin - more than 6,000 pay their last respects


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi was among more than 6,000 people at the Masjid Wilayah, Jalan Duta here to pay their last respects to Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin who died of lung cancer in Los Angeles (LA), in the United States (US) on Thursday.

The body of the founder and chairman of the Naza Group, which was flown from LA, arrived at the mosque grounds at 1.15pm accompanied by family members and close friends.

The body was later placed at the multipurpose hall of the mosque to enable dignitaries, corporate leaders and members of the public who had waited from 12 noon to pay their last respects to Nasimuddin.

They included former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, cabinet ministers and officials and players from the Kuala Muda Naza football club.

Shortly after the body arrived, students from the Madrasah Sheikh Mohamad Salahuddin Al-Amin from Hulu Langat and Madrasah Al-Rahmaniah from Bukit Beruntung read the `surah Yaasin’.

At about 2.30 pm, the body was brought into the mosque for the funeral prayer.The body was later taken to the Batu 9 Muslim Cemetery, Kampung Melaka, Hulu Langat where Nasimuddin was buried beside the grave of his mother, Salbiah Abdul Majid.

Nasimuddin, 53, died at a private hospital in Long Beach, LA where he was receiving treatment for lung cancer since January. - Bernama

Pix 1: LAST RESPECTS…Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi paying his last respects to Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin who died of lung cancer in Los Angeles (LA), in the United States (US) on Thursday. Pix: Syed Muhammad Zahid

Pix 2 Courtesy of the NST: Puan Sri Zaleha Ismail, surrounded by her children, sprinkling scented water on her husband’s grave

Women's groups express outrage...

...over the proposal by the Foreign Ministry that women leaving the country alone be required to have declarations from parents or employers stating the reason for their travels. (read here, here and here)

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday he had submitted a proposal to the cabinet.

The proposal drew flak from non-governmental and women's organisations, with their representatives making clear their outrage.

Here's what they say:

National Council for Women's Organisations Malaysia (NCWO) deputy president Faridah Khalid (pic. left) describes the proposal "backward and unfair" and an infringement of our rights."

"We're the victims and now you're creating more problems.Why must you put more restrictions on women? We have worked hard over the years to get to this level."

Faridah said the government should think it out properly before taking such measures."Sometimes, ministers make suggestions and decisions in haste."

Sisters in Islam programme adviser Norhayati Kaprawi saw the proposal as an "over-reaction" to a problem which could be tackled in a different way.

It's not only a violation of women's rights but also a violation of human rights," she said.Norhayati said the proposal contradicts the concept of Islam Hadhari, which the government has been advocating.

"Why is the proposal directed only at women when there have been many cases which involved men?"I'm shocked that a former deputy law minister is coming up with such a suggestion

Both Faridah and Norhayati felt that awareness and education were the best ways to deal with the issue.

Tenaganita programme officer S. Florida said such a policy would not solve the real problem.

"We are only pushing the issue under the carpet and not recognising trans-border crimes where women are being used as easy targets, which is equitable to forced labour or even prostitution."

Faridah said the only way to handle the problem was through the implementation of the anti-trafficking law and international co-operation especially on enforcement.

She said the victims should not be blamed as the bigger culprits were the traffickers and the men behind the syndicates.

"Besides, thousands of people travel daily. Who is going to scrutinise the declaration as anyone can forge their parents signature? It is just not practical."

Malaysian Indian Businessmen Association president P. Sivakumar said the Government should target the syndicates and clean up the system instead of focusing on the victims

"Go all out to attack the syndicate and unscrupulous agents who try to smuggle drugs. Wipe them out, for as long as these people are around, they will entice more women. More awareness is needed to curb the problem."

Sivakumar said the declaration was all right for minors travelling alone but it cannot apply to adults as it infringes on their freedom and rights.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen (pic above: right) said she would speak to the Minister and also get feedback from the NGOs.

Dr Ng added that from a personal viewpoint, she agreed that it was an infringement on women's rights, but added that there were always two sides to a coin and one needed to look at the bigger picture.

MIC Puteri chief Usha Nanthini said the proposal was too vague, adding that there was a need for finer details and practicality to be looked into.

She said, however, that the proposal was generally good as it took into account the safety of Malaysian women. - The NST