Featured Sociopolitical Stories

Mr Hu goes to Washington

January 13, 2010

Mr Hu Goes to Washington

by Lord Patten (Chris Patten)

President Hu Jintao will travel to the United States for his third official visit as Chinas leader on January 19. It may be his last before he hands over power to his apparently designated successor, Vice President Xi Jinping, in 2012 coincidentally the same year that President Barack Obama will be campaigning for a second term in the White House.

According to Forbes Magazine, Hu is the most powerful man in the world. Leaving aside the fact that power at the top is much more bureaucratically institutionalized in China than it was in Mao Zedongs day (a good thing), certainly this visit is hugely important. Indeed, the US-China relationship will be the most significant bilateral engagement in shaping the course of the twenty-first century.

At the heart of globalization has been the emergence of fast-growing economies, most notably Brazil, India, and, above all, China. The US, of course, remains the worlds only superpower militarily, economically, politically, and culturally. While the worlds democracies are not slow to criticize American leadership, they know that they rely on the US in tackling most serious global problems. Without America, nothing much gets done.

But China now has enough commercial clout, backed by more than $2 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves, to play a decisive role in advancing or impeding global problem-solving, from the G-20 agenda to efforts to rein in North Koreas nuclear ambitions. China is far too big to be taken for granted, and it wants to be shown the respect that it associates with being an ancient civilization that has contributed so much to human progress.

For the rest of us, the key question is wh! ether Am erica and China will be increasingly acrimonious competitors or cooperative partners, albeit with very different political systems. Will they fight to dominate the century, or to make it more peaceful and prosperous?

China has become surprisingly maladroit in handling the US and its Asian neighbors in recent months. Its leaders seem to have interpreted Obamas attempts to engage with them, down-playing bilateral aggravations, as a sign of American weakness in the wake of Wall Streets crash and military reverses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arrogance has replaced sophisticated modesty. What else can explain the treatment of Obama on his first trip to China and during the disastrous 2009 climate-change conference in Copenhagen, where a relatively minor Chinese official wagged his finger in the face of the US president?

Chinas official behavior following the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo turned an embarrassment into a public-diplomacy disaster, and Chinas neighbors have been disturbed by Chinese efforts to throw its weight around. Japan, Vietnam, and even Singapore have reacted with consternation, highlighting the need for America to remain the principal guarantor of stability in Asia.

It is surprising that this has happened under Hu, a cautious and intelligent man. Maybe this behavior is attributable to the imminent leadership change, with an aggressive faction in the Communist Party Politburo and Central Committee needing to be mollified. There must be some explanation for China choosing this moment even for an unnecessary and ham-fisted row with the Vatican.

So the stakes in Washington are high for President Hu. He will hear for himself the strength of American arguments about trade and the renminbis exchange rate. He will be able to! point o ut, at least in private, that if you look at the real effective exchange rate taking account of the impact on export prices of rising labor costs the renminbi-dollar gap is a lot less important than Chinas critics suggest. But he must also provide some real evidence that China is opening its markets as domestic consumption grows, and that it recognizes that a sustainable global recovery requires adjustments in China as well as America to redress international imbalances.

On the security front, China should show that it shares the nervousness in America, Europe, and the Middle East about the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. It is not enough to hope for the best. No one doubts that North Korea is responsible for its own delinquent behavior. But Chinas public failure to distance itself from the Norths military provocations has undermined its credibility in efforts to defuse the crisis.

More important, China must make clear that it will support tougher sanctions on Iran and help to implement them if the Iranian regime continues to lie about its nuclear program. Irans oil and gas should not blind China to the dangers to its neighborhood and the entire world if the Islamic Republic develops a nuclear weapon.

China deserves to be treated seriously as a major player in global governance. But, in order to secure the status that it desires, it must demonstrate that it understands that partnership is a two-way street.

Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong and a former EU Commissioner for External Affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2011.

Non Muslim Parties and PAS Islamic State

PAS has no qualms of stating outright and consistently too that it will impose Islamic law and if they have the majority to likely turn BolehLand into their Islamic kingdom, PAS version that is.

PAS needs no apology because it is first an Islamic political party which happens to be rather race-based by virtue of existing circumstances than choice really because there are Islamic party elsewhere where it is not confined to any ethnicity. So being an Islamic party, their objective is all too obvious which makes them not being hypocritical at all in declaring their sole intention if it has political ambition too.

So if PAS champion for an Islamic state and for Islamic system, they are not committing any sedition against anyone because they have the Constitution that has given Islam an official status. The existence of a two legal, banking and even the school syllabus especially history is evidence of the official and immutable status of Islam in BolehLand. But the Islamic system and practices at least those official ones in BolehLand are not PAS to claim they implemented it but rather credit should be given to the government of the day that introduced it. And also now and then imposes it on civil society when their moral squads and even institutions like the Education Ministry decides what the kids should be told as truth and others as merely allowed to exist due to tolerance than anything genuine.

So PAS being an Islamic party and use politics to achieve its aim should be supported then especially so by those who share their same faith right particularly if the majority is from a particular race because of the existing realities in BolehLand, right?

The irony is PAS legitimacy and authority to implement Islamic laws at a quicker past as an example seem to blocked not by those who dont share the same faith, but by a force or rather a political party consisted of members who worship the same God as PAS members and who because of existing realities also belong to the same race as! PAS!

There is also another party, which is political first, more race-based and given the existing realities its members share the same faith as the PAS fellos, also lay its claim to be the rightful one to champion Islam and if they know their religion and history well enough set up an Islamic state too. And this party known by its name UMNO has an advantage over PAS because UMNO claims that it is the sole authority or rather champion of not one but two entities, Islam and the race that is the de riguer of their party existence, the Malay race.

While PAS first priority is the religion and because of existing realities of their members being Malays, they also claim to be the rightful champion to protect the rights of Malays. To PAS its always God first and Man second or behind.

To UMNO, it has the upperhand and has managed thanks to, call it wit, wisdom, right minded, manipulation, deceit or whatever by the leaders to be champion of Islam and the rights of the Malays. But not necessarily in PAS priority though. Currently publics perception rightly or prejudicially the ketuanan race seem to upstage the religious championing. But then they are masters in switching the priority when it suites them. So in that sense both are no 1 priority as opposed to PAS being very sure religion comes first.

DAP has also no qualms to state outright and consistently that it will not let BolehLand if the party is still allowed to exist turn into a religious state, any religion for that matter. Their lion of jelutong constant roaring at PAS over his dead body for PASs dreams to ever come have been a prickly point in the Pakatan alliance.

So when the PAS fellos again declared their intention to impose an Islamic state hudud law with amputation thrown in, stoning for those sex crimes if they can get the required witness or else mandatory caning, who would we expect screaming off their heads and oppose their intention?

After D2 or what PAS said, the supposedly champion of Islam was the usual s! queaky s ilent self, not sure if it was the hudud law or the Islamic state the silence is supposed to be directed against.

And as expected, the UMNO alliance of the BN party, MCA and Gerakan came a gun ablazing warning the Chinese voters than a general statement that PAS would definitely want to make it a reality if it were to come to power and will not back down from its struggle to set up an Islamic state. They are forcing PAS alliance DAP and PKR to not hoodwink Malaysians on the Islamic state and hudud law issues and the coalition has to reveal its real agenda now.

Hmmm, but isnt what every Muslim, more so one involved in politics and make themselves champion of Islam is sincere about it if they want to make all things Islamic if they can? So who is being honest about their real intention and who are being dishonest about their true intention? The one who declares openly but is also being opposed viciously like an angry lion from so called coalition partners? Or, the one who doesnt declare it openly to all but say it now and then to gain the faithful support but is holding the political power and is implementing Islamic things but get no opposition or a silent tacit consent from coalition partners?

So before non Muslims begin to shiver thinking they will lose limbs and body parts, which should not affect them as we are told ever so often they cant be subjected to another religions law or its punitive punishment (expect perhaps if its about conversion and concerns kids or dead fellos!) and cringe in horror of PAS intention, they should ask themselves if they should fear or those affected by the Islamic code should fear!

Or, whether they should equally be afraid of the other party that champions both religion and race interchangeable according to circumstances are also capable of but not willing to because of reasons best know to them to also impose the same kind of hudud laws.

If PAS declares to the world the BolehLand is an Islamic state and nation, why is it that their dec! laration bring horrors and images of Talibanisation of BolehLand, as opposed to UMNO or BN that have already declared that BolehLand is also an Islamic nation.

Non Muslims are rather confused, whats the difference between PAS hudud law and UMNOs version or the Shah Alam Municipal Council version of rules of Muslims working in places serving alcohol?

But doesn't any law cause anxiety, fear and disapproval from the guilty and innocent alike? The reason body snatching and conversion is a messy affair is because there exist a religious law that allows such messy affair to crop up. Even without one, it still is going to be messy because issues of religion will come it! But one is already in existence and should the public blame PAS or the fellos who allowed it to come into existence in the first place?

So are non Muslims having bias and misplaced fear of PAS version of Islamic state, hudud laws and what not, versus UMNOs or BNs version?

Ok one may argue theres the medieval bit and modern bit, the regression and the progressive bit? But what or how do we decide one religious law is regressive, like amputation versus caning, imposing apostate law and imposing death by stoning or being incarcerated via attending classes until the prodigal child returns or what is supposed to be modern and progressive? Does categorizing others as infidels or sanctioning removal of holy symbols or banning religious text in Malay Language considered progressive or regressive?

So the modern thinking non Muslims are rather abused when they are told by non Muslim political parties trying to come to their rescue to protect them from the Islamisation of BolehLand! Particularly the non Muslim parties in the coalition that has a partner that calls itself the rightful champion and defender of the faith and implementing what each faithful is duty bound to implement. And these non Muslim political parties are playing Noti-stra-doomsday soothsayers painting an Armageddon on other religions because of a PAS public! intenti on and declaration?

Aren't they showing disrespect of the official religion and asking non Muslims to oppose the creation of such a state or implementing such religious laws too?

Yes non Muslims are concerned and worried not because of what is impending but becoz they are already experiencing what overzealous and zealots alike have infringed on their religious right and even cultural behaviour as guaranteed protection under the Constitution. They are more concerned becoz they are confused by the real intention of the non Muslim Parties when they come out mouth a blazing championing to protect non Muslims faith and rights particularly loud during election times but mousy quiet often times.

Are our MCA and Gerakan telling us the Islamic state they are supporting not a reality but one that PAS intends to create a reality ne huh? Similarly if the hudud laws of the land now is not a 'reality' but a dream and PAS version is a 'reality' huh?

So before we non Muslims all lose our sense of perspective on declaration of 'intent' verses actual implementation and slow Islamisation that is already happening and get roiled up over 'reality' and 'truth of the matter' and increase our prejudices, suspicion and put us all in tenterhooks over this Islamic State declaration by PAS, lets not be further confused by non Muslim political parties particularly those in the ruling coalition of suddenly showing interest to defend our rights.

If PAS does come into power, they should thank the previous ruling coalition party for having set the foundation and implemented them, preparing both Muslims and non Muslims to have an accelerated pace in what the world knows BolehLand as an Islamic state, whether a workable, acceptable model one or not is left to be seen.

In short, PAS has every right as declaring themselves champion of their faith as UMNO too who have equally made known themselves and defender of their faith to declare their intention of Islamic state, hudud laws and anything or e! verythin g Islamic, yes? So what's the fuss about our dear non Muslim political parties?

So it's rather a clown show we non Muslims are watching when non Muslim political parties put on a clown act whenever PAS declares its Islamic intentions, knowing that the mold has already been cast 52 years ago, no?

Airasia skidded off the runaway

This poster picture of the recent airport accident involving Airasia can be considered heartless and insensitive, but do not say we never tell you so?

This blog have been talking about the danger of Airasia flight operation for so long. Airasia is profit and cost driven without care for the danger they pose to passengers.

Bigdog had written a history of Airasia accidents here.

Airasia skidded off the runway while landing under heavy rain at Kuching Airport on Monday night. Four passengers were slightly injured and had to be sent for treatment to Kuching Hospital.

The Kuching airport had to be closed for 24 hours and caused great inconvenience to other passengers. One e-mailed a complain to FMT, reproduced below:

Im disappointed in you Tony Fernandes

January 12, 2011

FMT LETTER: From Francis Siah, via e-mail

The Kuching Airport closure yesterday caused me to miss my meetings in Miri with our MoCS group and the press. I was scheduled to meet our MoCS group in Miri for lunch and thereafter called a press conference at 3.30pm.

The SMS received from AirAsia for the flight cancellation at 9.30am (my flight was at 11.10am) was that of an emergency runway closure of Kuching Airport.

I thought it was the bad weather. It has been raining heavily for two consecutive days in Kuching. I even went to the airport at 10am and no one at the AirAsia counter informed me of the accident.

When I called the MAS counter at the Kuching airport at 1pm to enquire! whether the airport has opened, the guy over the phone was kind enough to tell me the reason for the closure.

You dont know about last nights accident ka? That Tony Fernandes is so powerfulhe can black out news about accidents involving Air Asia planes.

Of course, the guy was from MAS and he further lamented MAS losses of flight cancellations and having to put up stranded passengers in hotels and paying for their meals.

So now I know. You can only get bad news on Air Asia from MAS and I suppose vice-versa. Air Asia staff will stay mum about accidents involving their aircraft. This is most unprofessional.

The accident took place at 10pm on Monday and none of the local newspapers carried the news. I was surprised or should I be?

Working as an editor for years, I will be very sore with my reporters if they do not get such a major story back to the office.

For such a big story, I would even delay the printing deadline to ensure that the story is out next morning.

Apparently, things work differently these days. I rang one editor friend and asked him if he was aware of the accident. He laughed, saying we knew about it on Monday night already.

Then came the familiar tale which we have all heard before: AiyaAirAsia is spending millions in advertisements with us every year la.

Of course, I knowI heard this so many times before.

My editor friend then told me that the news will have to be carried in following days papers because it has become a national disaster with passengers stranded throughout the country with the closure of the Kuching Airport.

Bernama only carried this story online at 12.11pm, some 14 hours after the accident. So much for speed in the news world these days!

And to AirAsia and the almighty Tony Fernandes, let me tell you this You have done a great disservice to your passengers.

You told the whole world, Now, Everyone Can Fly. You lie and you were not decent enough to tell me why I cannot fly.

I have to ! hear it from a third party. I think you have been most unprofessional and Im very disappointed with you and AirAsia today.
Don't stop there, Francis.

It will be a matter of time before Airasia change their slogan from "Now everyone can fly" to "Now everyone can die."

This blog have been making much exposure, reminding and warning the public on the bad boy of the local airline industry to no avail. Simply because Malaysian come to the defence of cheap fare Airasia.

Malaysian public just refuse to hear of the behind the scene cheating, power abuse and manipulations of Airasia.

The cheap fare of Airasia come with the danger to passengers safety.

One MAS Aircraft Engineer used to describe the bare minimal safety standard of Airasia aircraft before the ordered fleet of Airbus A320s came in. In the case of MAS, they go multiple of the safety requirement.

Below is a 2009 video of mechanical faults of Airasia found in midair by a passenger:

Many more safety issues are highlighted in this recently found anti-Airasia blog here and here.

This blogger was once told by an aviation analyst that in order to save fuel during landing, Airasia pilots were instructed to began descend from afar and glide at low speed into the runaway.

He claimed that was the reason for several mishaps at the Kota Kinabalu Airport.

However, one senior pilot spoken this morning refuse to believe such happening as it is not in accordance to the aircraft landing manual. He is too good hearted or perhaps naive to assume Airasia is as responsible a corporate citizen as his MAS.

Be that as it may.

Because of Airasia's cheap fare, Malaysian consumers are willing to be subjected to abuse by Airasia's indiscriminate cancellation, perpetual delay, and system designed l! ong wait .

Their ticket sales practise have been openly questioned by airline practitioners. No terms and condition attached to tickets for flyers to read and agreed to.

As one of the country's leading aviationist highlighted in a meeting with bloggers few months back, Airasia practise a no refund policy. This is in contravention of the aviation act.

Malaysian do not care and emphatise to the fact that Airasia grew at the expense of MAS.

Unlike MAS, Airasia is privately owned and have majority 53% foreign shareholdings. Yet they have the cheek to seek status of national carrier.

Where MAS take into account and sacrifice in many aspects of national interest, local and abroad, Airasia will have none of that.

They managed the Rural Air Service (RAS) only for a short while but returned it back to MAS when they realised there was not much money. The aircrafts was cannibalised and in bad shape when returned.

Malaysians have been too pissed with the endless story of losses by MAS that they do not care about the manner the Airline Rationalisation Policy was instituted.

Despite cabinet approved an already deliberated Airline Rationalisation Policy, Tony Fernandez, Zaki Zaid dan Khairy hijacked the paper on it's way to Pak Lah's office to redo over the weekend and got Pak Lah to annouce a different policy without prior cabinet approval.

Naturally, it is structured to benefit foreign majority shareholding, Airasia immensely but at the expense of the country and MAS.

Malaysians do not a damn that this foreign majority shareholders airline do not pay the airport taxes charged on consumer to the Malaysia Airport Berhad.

Foreign majority shareholding Airasia is involved in unsavory practices.

They manipulated their account to not c! onsolida te their 48.9% owned Thai and Indonesian Airasia.

By equity accounting losing subsidiaries, the could bring the size of their balance sheet to con rating agencies.

As usual, SC Chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar kept her eyes closed on anything to do with friends of her husband, Dato Azizan Abd Rahman.

Nor Yakcop, Kalimullah and Khairy have keen interest in Airasia. They are salesmen of the nation as in selling away assets of the country.

Finally, if this does not get Malaysians blood boiling, Malaysians must be the most corruptible and self interest indifferent citizen of the world. For cheap Airasia fares, they allow this company to get away with taxes.

Not only this foreign majority shareholding company do not pay airport tax, they do not pay taxes.

It is unthinkable that the Minister of Finance can allow Nor Yakcop to talk him into giving Airasia a further 5-year extension of investment allowance.

This entitled Airasia to claim an income tax exemption of 60 per cent on qualifying capital expenditure to set off against 70 per cent of statutory income for each year of assessment from 2010-2014.

This is in the midst of Pemandu telling the country subsidy will bankrupt the nation and pri! ces of b asic good like sugar will shoot the sky.

Isn't this tax break indirectly subsidising corporate tax? And, it is for foreign majority shareholding company.

This blogger has vowed to never fly Airasia and will be loyal to national carrier MAS. Same as my loyalty to Malaysian brands like Malayan Banking, Petronas, Proton, etc.

Malaysian can go ahead to be kiasu and abused by Airasia's cheap fare. But not me.

With MAS, one feel safe and sound with the record that the last time MAS got into any operational problem was back in 1995. Still, it is not as frequent as Air Asia.

But one never know.

Accidents can happen and it can happen to MAS too. The comfort will be that with MAS, they have records of my seats and could identify and retrieve my body.

Not in the case with free seating Airasia.

And, I am not to sure, like in the case of your airport tax, whether they pay the insurance company for the flight insurance they charged you.

Have a nice flight on Airasia.

courtesy of Another Brick in the Wall

Lets learn Malaysian history

In 1983 the government proposed amendments to the Constitution, which for the first time brought the Rulers openly into conflict with the government and with UMNO, the party which had claimed to be the protectors of the Rulers since the time of the Malayan Union struggle. The proposed amendments altered the provisions with respect to the King's assent to bills deeming the King to have assented to any bill which the King had not given his assent to within fifteen days. A similar amendment would have been required in each of the state constitutions.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Rulers were said to have generally agreed to accept the proposed amendments on January 17, 1993. However, at a special meeting on January 18 they issued a statement saying they were not in a position to give consent to certain proposals in the Bill without further deliberation and consultation. The Rulers, while acknowledging that "there can not be two systems of justice in the country" and that they agreed "to the formation of an effective mechanism to hear the [people's] grievances against them", expressed concern for the "far-reaching consequences on the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers". They were of the view that a special court was not the most suitable forum for determining matters relating to the Rulers and proposed the creation of an Advisory Board to make recommendations to the appropriate State authority for the removal of a Ruler before he was charged or sued. Nonetheless the proposed amendments, as revised, were tabled in the Dewan Rakyat (lower house) on January 18th, 1993 and were passed by both houses by January 20th.

D. UMNO's Justification for the Amendments and Opposition to the Amendments

UMNO's justification for the amendments was that they were necessary to protect the Rulers and preserve the i! nstituti on of the Rulers as constitutional monarchs. In response to claims that the amendments represented the first step towards the creation of a republic, UMNO pointed to the amendments on sedition which continued to make persons liable for statements in Parliament or a Legislative assembly advocating the abolition of the monarchy. Otherwise amendments to the provisions on sedition were said to be necessary because although abuses by Rulers were known of in the past, little could be done because no one could voice criticisms of the Rulers even in Parliament or the State Legislatures and thus the public could not be made aware of the problems faced by the Government.

Semangat '46, an opposition party that was formed upon the breakup of the former UMNO party, opposed the amendments, taking arguably the strongest pro-royalty stance of any party. While it agreed that some steps needed to be taken so that the Rulers could "hear the grievances of the Rakyat (the people)", it claimed that the proposed amendments interfered with the sovereignty of the Rulers and were a step towards the formation of a republic. They argued that the ultimate removal of the Rulers would take away an important aspect of Malay culture and tradition and a symbol of Malay unity.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP), a primarily Chinese opposition party, which is part of an opposition coalition with Semangat '46, originally supported the government in December when it expressed the need for action to be taken in light of the Gomez incident. It also initially supported the amendments. However, it abstained from voting when the amendments were introduced in Parliament in January.

The reason they gave for the abstention was that the Constitution required the consent of the Rulers to amendments affecting their privileges and such consent had yet to be given. According to DAP the consent was required before the amendments could be introduced in Parliament. DAP was accused of sacrificing its principles in favour of preserving their ! oppositi on coalition with Semangat '46.

The Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), a Malay pro-Islamic party and part of the opposition coalition, supported the government's call for action and the move to lift the Rulers' immunity in light of the Gomez incident but later abstained from voting on the amendments introduced in Parliament in January. Although it claimed to be in favour of the removal of the Rulers' immunity because it was not in accord with the principles of Islam, it said that the amendments were not "comprehensive enough" and that it did not like the manner in which the wrongdoings of the Rulers were exposed in the House. PAS was arguably in a difficult position in that it may have wanted to avoid alienating the Kelantan royal family whose support could be influential in staying in power in the state of Kelantan.

E. The Rulers' Compromise

The decision of the Conference of Rulers not to consent to the proposed changes to the Constitution was followed by stepped up pressure on the Rulers. It was announced that henceforth the payment for the expenses of the Rulers would be limited to those that were expressly provided for by the law. The government would no longer pay for the building and maintenance of rest houses, additional palaces, private wards in hospitals, yachts and aircraft. The refusal of the Rulers to give their consent to the proposed amendments was followed by a barrage of media coverage exposing alleged excesses of the Rulers. There were also further reports of influence by the Rulers in government affairs. Eventually, on February 11, it was announced that a compromise had been reached and that the Rulers agreed to give their consent to the proposed amendments but with certain changes that were agreed to.

There were two changes to the amendments tabled in the House on January 18. One was that a Ruler charged with an offence in the Special Court should cease to exercise his functions as a Ruler. Pending the decision of the Special Court a Regent would ! be appoi nted to exercise the functions of the Ruler. A Ruler convicted of an offence by the Special Court and sentenced to imprisonment for more than one day would cease to be the Ruler of the State unless he received a pardon. A similar provision was added with respect to the King.

The other change was that no action, civil or criminal, could be instituted against the King or a Ruler of a State with respect to anything done or omitted to be done in his personal capacity without the consent of the Attorney General. Overall the modifications appeared to be relatively minor. The revised amendments were submitted to Parliament and were passed by both Houses on March 9, 1993.

READ MORE HERE: http://www.scribd.com/doc/53342/The-Malay-Rulers-Loss-of-Immunity

Playing Survival Every Day


Almost three years after taking over the Penang government, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is firmly in the seat. On New Years Eve, Lim spoke to HIMANSHU BHATT of his experiences as a selfconfessed Survivor and about the state government.

HOW was your relationship with former chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu after you assumed office?

Tun Lim said he felt it would be very challenging for me, as it was for him I think he felt I was facing the same circumstances and conditions as he experienced when he won power in 1969.

He advised that it was important to take charge. And I agree that we have to take charge. Take charge not by compulsion, but by example and by persuasion. He felt that it was important that we must be fully in command, to be in control of all aspects of government. I told him that I dont think that I am that capable. So I rely on my trusted comrades. For instance, he said I should also handle local government. I said I cant cope. So I leave it to Chow (Kon Yeow).

Your political opponents have accused you of not being consul! tative, of being obdurate. They have even used the word dictatorial.

In a way that is a sort of back-handed compliment. They even try to portray me as a future DPM or PM. I have said many times I have no higher ambitions. I think there are many people more qualified than me to be the prime minister.

I am happy where I am now as the CM, and I want to do the job as best I can. I dont think I can do it alone. I need the collective effort of everyone, every person on the team. They are just trying to break up my team, but they wont succeed.

I mean when I was away for a week, the government functioned. So its the system that works that matters. My councillors are also doing their job. The main thing is that the system overrides all. Once there is a system failure, it shows that your leadership, your management skills are questionable.

Nowadays when investors come, they not only look at you as a leader but at your team. You may be able to convince them personally, but can you convince them collectively? If you cant convince them collectively, I dont think they will put their money here.

When they come here, they do not just do a due diligence on you, they also do a due diligence on the team. I can say to them, you can call me anytime. But you know-lah they are also protocol-guided. They wont just call anytime. They would prefer to call somebody lower down that they can talk to and interact with, that they can get things done with.

There have been challenging periods.

Every day is a challenge. Every day is a survival exercise. Its like experiencing Survivor you know the TV series every day.

What do you reckon have been the biggest challenges in power?

Some of these civil servants, little Napoleonslah. Those under the state governments watch we can deal with. Those under federal, we are powerless. I think that has been disconcerting.

Number two has been lack of funds to carry out our programmes. Number three ! is the l ack of cooperation from certain ministers.

What are main challenges in federal-state relations? How do you see relations between the federal government and the Pakatan Rakyat states evolving in the next year or so?

I would say there are always federal leaders who are intent on having a workable, cordial relationship. But they are torpedoed and sometimes sabotaged by those who are gungho in warring with Pakatan states, regardless of national interests. So we are hopeful that cooler heads will prevail. Cooler, saner and more sober heads will prevail at the end of the day.

Because for Penang we are the second most important state. We provide nearly 30% of the countrys exports. We provide a substantial source of revenue. We contribute 70% of the medical tourism receipts in the country. And we are a major port, major tourist destination. And of course we are, I would say, the most dynamic E&E (electronics and electrical) cluster in the world.

So can you ignore Penang? If Penang loses, Malaysia loses. If Penang wins, Malaysia wins. So it is in the best interest of Malaysia that Penang succeeds. And thats why it is shortsighted and counter-productive if you want to victimise, punish or marginalise Penang. It is in everyones best interest that we work together for the benefit of Malaysians.

I mean whatever their (voters) choices, you have to respect them. This is democracy. If you want to punish the state government, you are also punishing the people for exercising their democratic choice of government. And thats wrong. That is not only wrong, but it is immoral, unethical and downright evil. And we have contributed. All the tax receipts you take, we dont get a single sen back. So far, we got only 3% of what we paid.

We saw the prime minister coming to officiate at the expansion of the Penang Airport. Interestingly enough, he said that the federal government is allocating funds for Penang to help make it a regional economic hub. H! ow do yo u look upon that?

Of course, I welcome the suggestion. And we are still waiting for more details. So I think the devil is in the details. Unless this is forthcoming we are still waiting And waiting, and waiting. (laughs).

I have been observing the war on information (between BN and PR).

We are not doing very well on that I think we can do more.

You have been trying to penetrate the ground with your own publications. Is it reaching the masses?

It is. They get at least an explanation from the state government. Whether you agree with it or not, at least there is an explanation.

There are reports that the Penang Ports privatisation has been decided. Are you disappointed that the Penang governments formal bid to take over the port may not succeed?

I have written to the prime minister. Finally, of course, we have to respect the decision made, because they are the regulators. But as long as it complies with international best practices and transparency guidelines by ensuring that you get the best price for the best quality, and that Penang Port would be able to be a truly international port, fully benchmarked against international best practices and be the premier port in the northern region we will be able to live with it. That is our primary concern.

If its granted to Syed Mokhtar (Al-Bukhary), for instance, is it the best bid? Was there an open tender? If there was an open tender, was that the best bid, according to international norms and best practices? If it is so, we can live with it. Our concern is that it may not be so. Even though we may be disappointed by not succeeding, we will be able to live with it if it is the best bid. If the bid is better than ours, why not?

There were concerns about the impact privatisation would have on ticket prices of services like the ferry which is largely absorbed by Penang Port. How much would privatisation affect not just the shippers bu! t Penang ites who use the port facility?

According to international best practices, the interests of Penangites must also be taken into account. The iconic ferry service is identified with Penang, the heritage of Penang, the soul of Penang. It cannot be stopped. It cannot be taken away.

Any attempt to scale down or remove the ferry service will be opposed vigorously by the state government. We are even willing to take it off their hands, if they dont want it. Give it to us, well handle it.

What about relations among Pakatan partners in Penang?

I think they are good. Grassroots are even stronger.

There are concerns that the relationship between DAP and PAS, although working well, may not continue in the long-term, with divergent views on secularism and Islamic governance. How do you respond to this?

Those who say it wont work in the long-term dont want us to work in the short-term and medium-term. That is why they say it wont work in the long-term. But so far it has worked, whether in Penang or in other states. And despite all the tensions and the pressures, we have continued to be bound together.

Even on the use of the word Allah, PAS has come out with a strong stand. Since it can be used in the Middle East, there is no monopoly on the word. It should continue to be allowed to be used by Christians in the Bible, as in Indonesia.

There have also been some remarks that you are bending over backwards in policies on Islamic issues, like giving extra allocations, in a way that even the previous government was not doing, for the sake of appeasing PAS and the Malay-Muslim masses.

What do you mean by bending over backwards? If you think that bending over backwards for justice, for integrity, for good governance, accountability, and doing what is right is immoral, then so be it.

We must not just do the right thing. We must do things right. So if there is a need and basis, we have to give necessary approvals. Wha! ts wrong with it? And this can only be done if you have a strong budget. Thats where good governance comes in.

We are also giving money to Tamil schools, Chinese schools, mission schools. Are we saying we are denying them? No. We also build school for Azad (Tamil school on island). We also build Islamic schools.

In terms of the states finances, what are the biggest expenditures that you need to focus on this year?

Land acquisition will be the biggest expenditure. We are talking about affordable housing and future industrial development for both the island and mainland.

In terms of revenue?

Basically our land premium, quit rent. These are main sources of revenue.

Since the implementation of the open-tender exercise you can basically see the expenditure having become much more consolidated and tighter.

Leaner. Meaner meaner in the sense that there is line-item accounting, justification for every sen spent. Thats why its meaner.

Leaner, meaner and cleaner It will be leaner by cutting out the unnecessary frills. It will be meaner in that we want to ensure that every sen is accounted for.

You offer this material, you must provide that material. No substitute, unless it is justifiable, and then you must give some recompense. And cleaner in the sense that there is no hankypanky. You can see the results. We had budget surpluses for the last three years. I think no other state has that. Even though we projected deficits, so far we have revenues. Even this year (2010) we will have a small surplus. We were projecting a deficit of around RM80 million. But I think well get a surplus. Lean, mean, clean accounting. LMC.

When it comes to making tough decisions, is there anyone that you consult or get advice from?

We consult all the relevant key personalities Anwar (Ibrahim), my dad (Lim Kit Siang), Karpal (Singh). Definitely, we do consult. And they give their input.

Yo u have a massive headache in Jelutong and other places, because of the massive eviction of residents on private land.

When you talk about the eviction exercises, they are not only the Malay kampung. Out of the eight villages affected in Jelutong, six are Chinese. Thats 75%. So its not a Malay issue, but you know lah how the press plays it up. They dont see the 75%. They just see the 25% as being 100%. So its become racially-tinged. And thats very sad.

What about the civil servants in the state? Do you think the Pakatan government has been able to garner sufficient loyalty?

That has been our greatest challenge, and will remain our greatest challenge. If you want to transform Penang to be an intelligent and international city, you have to reform the civil service. No two ways about it. You have to get the civil service to adopt international best practices, and adapt themselves to international benchmarks. Otherwise you will not succeed.

Its a challenging process. We have to do our work daily. Its a real grind. We grind it out every day. But I believe that the civil service is beginning to see our sincerity and our seriousness to bring better service to the people. To bring change, to improve the lives of the people, and to make a difference. When we say we travel economy, we mean it, for domestic flights You want to show that you mean business. And then our anti-corruption measures are effective. You cut down waste, you cut down kickbacks.

And we are praised by Transparency International for CAT (Competency, Accountability, Transparency) governance. This is the highest accolade that any government can get.

I had made a comment last year that the state policies under the DAP-led government, particularly in terms of welfare, seem to be tinged with modernist-socialist elements. Am I on the mark?

(laughs) Social democratic inclinations-lah.

When DAP was established in 1967, the Setapak Declaration reg! istered it as a Democratic Socialist entity.

Now we have changed it to Social Democracy From each according to his own to each according to his needs. So while we recognise that growth cannot be balanced, development must be given for all. So there is no contradiction there. We can allow unbalanced growth, but we must ensure that the benefits of it must be distributed and reach everyone.

At the same time, when we talk about social democracy, it is basically a continuous reminder to us that while we must be optimistic in action we must be pessimistic in thought.

And I think that the safety-net factor, that we try to make sure everyone has a stake in the fruits of economic success, if any, I think that would at least give everybody an equal stake.

You are referring to the hardcore poverty alleviation scheme where the state tops up a familys income to RM500 a month, and the Senior Citizens Appreciation Scheme.

We dont have much money, but we can give RM100 to every senior citizen. Its an anti-corruption dividend. I think that message struck. Because we are clean, we are able to give money to you And you know the money we spent on upgrading public flats, despite them owing so much rental and maintenance fees.

You start off the New Year by celebrating the 54th anniversary of George Town as a city. The Queen of England had signed a charter in January 1957 but the Housing and Local Government Ministry insists that George Town is not a city. What do you hope to achieve by this commemoration?

I say call a spade a spade We are trying to resuscitate, resurrect the original status of George Town as a city, the first city in Malaysia something we should be proud of. And its given in a royal charter by the queen. So we should maintain that status.

After all, in the laws anything that is promulgated by the previous colonial government still remains in extant as it is. So why not George Town as it is? The integral aspect of! declari ng George Town as a city is to maintain its integrity. As a heritage city which is recognised by Unesco. I think that integrity is important.

You have said that Penang will keep its options open about dissolving the state assembly if Parliament dissolves early. What do you hope to achieve if you stretch until the maximum period (2013)?

The main thing is to make these aspirations operational. I think that would be the key aspect. That means that you deliver and implement. You talk about open tender, its in operation. You have seen the results but you have not really seen the flower of it. You have only seen the green shoots.

Because what we want to see in Malaysia and Penang is that every one must feel that they can be as good as they want to be. You should not tell people that they cannot be better because of the colour of their skin. Or they do not deserve equal rights because of the colour of their skin. Or that they are not really Malaysians in the full sense of the word because of the colour of their skin. Doesnt make sense. And I find it most distressing that they can keep on telling children and adults, that you cannot be the best, that you cannot realise your potential, not because of anything else but because of your background. I think that is ridiculous. Is that the type of country that we want? Where these people who preach the message of hate, of division, of anger and resentment, where they succeed in telling our children that they cannot be as good as they want to be. Nonsense.

At the same time Malay kids are told that they need this help because they are not good enough. What type of message is that? You are giving them an inferiority complex. On the other hand you cannot be as good as you want to be because of the colour of your skin. Now that is really distressful. Its not just sad, its outrageous.

BJP to push for caucus on Malaysian Indians

Activist Uthayakumar is pleased with the results of his New Delhi meeting with senior officials of the Indian opposition party.

GEORGE TOWN: A senior MP in India has promised to pursue the idea of forming a parliamentary caucus to fight for the rights of Malaysian Indians, according to human rights lawyer P Uthayakumar.

He said Avinash Rai Khanna, who heads the Barathiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab, would confer on the matter with BJP supremo Lal Krishna Advani and parliamentary opposition leader Sushma Suvaraj.

Uthayakumar and several other delegates from Hindraf Makkal Sakthi and the Malaysian Human Rights Party (HRP) were in New Delhi recently to attend a conference on the Indian diaspora.

They had a meeting last Monday with Avinash and other BJP officials at that partys headquarters in the Indian capital.

It was a major breakthrough in our efforts to form the caucus, he told FMT today.

BJP officials were shell shocked to learn of the level of atrocities befalling the Malaysian Indian poor.

They had thought of Malaysia only as a prosperous and fair country with the worlds tallest twin towers, he added.

Avinash was one of nine senior BJP officials at the meeting. Among the others were the partys Kashmir chief, Dr Nirmal Singh, secretary-general Vijay Goel and supreme court judge Sudhir Aggarwal.

Aggarwal heads BJPs human rights cell, of which Avinash is a member The meeting was facilitated by Vivek Goyal, a senior lawyer and Hindraf sympathiser.

Human rights violations

The caucus would be an important group to lobby the New Delhi administration to pressure its Malaysian counterpart to address and resolve the Indian predicament, Uthayakumar said.

Hindraf-HRP and the caucus will be a thorn in the flesh in New Delhi-Putrajaya ties until the plight of Malaysian Indians has been addressed.

The caucus aside, Avinash nonetheless will raise the question of serious human rights violations against poor Malaysian Indians by the Umno-led Putrajaya administration.

He said Avinash had promised to speak up on such Malaysian Indian problems as statelessness, forced conversion to Islam and discrimination in employment and education.

At Mondays meeting, Uthayakumar briefed the BJP officials on the contents of the Hindraf-HRP report on Malaysian Indian Minority and Human Rights Violations for the year 2010.

The report noted that the first batch of students under the Universiti Sains Malaysia international medical programme commenced classes last September in Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Belgaum, Karnataka, India. Of the 74 students in the programme, only one is Indian. She is Abilasha Nair of Johor.

Uthayakumar said he also told the BJP officials that the 15 ethnic Indian MPs in Malaysia were all political mandores playing to the dominant Malay-Chinese gallery. - FMT

Invitation to a press conference

Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor

Civil Society and Selangorians to hold public rally to pressure Chief Secretary to declare Khusrins appointment null and void

THE Civil Society and Selangorians have come together to form the groupHormati Suara Rakyat Selangor (HSRS), which is strictly a rakyat initiated effort, to show their disappointment and anger over the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary.

The group, formed on January 11, 2011, will hold a public rally soon to pressure the Chief Secretary to the Barisan Nasional federal government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Haji Hassan, to declare Khusrins appointment null and void.

Information on the public rally and HSRS will be revealed at the press conference this Friday.

Details of the press conference are as follows:

Date: January 14, 2011 (Friday)

Time: 11.00am

Venue: KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur

We would appreciate your sending your journalists to attend this press conference.

For further details, please contact Aloysius Pinto at 016 2778418.


Haris Ibrahim


Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM)

On behalf of Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor

Tempeh Man is D Man!

Waaah this tempeh guy sure got class one lah. He already sends back his Datukship to the Sultan! That was my first reaction when I read about his temporary surrendering of his title because he was being charged with graft.that is another way of saying he is being charged with being a corrupt Mentri Besar.

Something to do about getting a discount of about 50% for some land he bought. But if it was a willing seller and willing buyer kind of situation how can the session court convict him? I mean we always bargain one lah. Everyone knows that you never ever pay the first price that you are quoted on when you want to buy a second hand car you must bargain lah! Only the stupid ones pay without bargaining. And I am told that this tempeh guy is not stupid. In this land deal he bargain from RM6.5 million down to RM3.5millionsure clever one lah. I sure respect anybody who can bargain like thatso why is everybody making a fuss about it?

And not only the tempeh guy is being brought to trial but the seller also got caught! Aisehman what is our country coming to? These two guys go and make a diam diam deal and now everyone has to know!

And on top of that he is no longer a Datuk. But this Datuk matter is kosher lah because he was the one who made it a policy to surrender titles if the titleholder is charged in court. But if he was still MB and he has done a corrupt thing, can he still keep the tittle because he is not charged in court? I think boleh because the operative clause is that you must be charged in court. A lot of UMNO guys with Datukship are ! still da tuks though technically they should not be.most confusing! I guess it is in line with that you are innocent until proven guilty thing! Which means that there are probably a lot of Datuks who are still Datuks but technically they should not be! Ajaib tapi benar!

And some smart aleck asked me if Dentists charged with corruption must also surrender their tittle! I said don't be stupid lah! Even if he is charged and convicted of corruption let him still be a dentist because he can at least take care of the banduan oral health while he is the guest of the government.

Now the other thing is that temporary surrendering bit. Does that tempeh guy know something we dont? Ada kautim ka? Must be lah or else how to be so confident about it all being temporary? Hope it will not be like that Altatntuya casethe UTK killers thought everything kautim alreadyand then ooopps they are convicted! Serves them right for not letting us see who they are. We still have not seen their face so if they disappear from the face of this earth how to know? But this tempeh guy is quite well known even though some of us got a bit confused when he did that botox mumbo jumbo. But if you go to jail there is no botox there! I am sure those days of getting day parole like Abdullah Ang is long pastso he will have a problem getting his botox injectionspity his wife who will no longer have a trophy husbandthough she will still have the trophies he left behind!

Anyway I got some amusement this morning on reading about this case and thought I should say a few words on it. End of story.
courtesy of Hussein Abdul Hamid

More sex please, were BN politicians

This is it. The retaliation.

The Information, Communications and Culture minister, Rais Yatim, is exacting his revenge on those who dared highlight the alleged rape of an Indonesian maid, by a minister in the Malaysian cabinet.

In order to stop it from looking like his own personal vendetta, Rais has enlisted the help of the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and also the Minister of the Prime ministers Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

The three will be finalising the guidelines that will define online sedition, which critics say is an overt attempt at cyberspace censorship.

There are possibly two reasons for this new set of laws. First. They want to get this law in place so they can close down the news portals which disseminate the Pakatan Rakyat message, in the run-up to the general election. Second. It is to stop readers from finding out about the sexual shenanigans of our highly sexed BN politicians.

These laws are going to be passed because BN leaders are unable to control the sexual urges of party members. Well, it does not help if the senior members are themselves responsible for outraging the modesties of a string of girls. The BN politicians are also getting careless, arrogant and more daring. Last week, it was about a rape allegation. This week, there is an alleged sexual assault by an MCA man.

In fact, they dont care about maintaining propriety; they just need to sate their lust.

The general election is around the corner. It simply would not do to have the rakyat reading about rapes, gropings, affairs, bottom pinching, frottage, dogging and other indecent acts.

If these members will not behave, then the next best thing is to censor the papers. That way, no one is any the wiser and people can continue to! think t hat their BN politicians are good as gold.

According to Hishammuddin, six existing laws will be incorporated into the guidelines - the Penal Code, Sedition Act 1948, Film Censorship Act 2001, Printing and Printing Publishes Act 1984, Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 and the Internal Security Act 1960.

He said, Offences will be charged under these six laws.

It remains to be seen if these laws will be properly enforced or if, as has been the case, they will be selectively enforced. For instance, Utusan happily spews out racist venom and is not cautioned, but Zunars cartoons are banned.

Nevertheless, Hishammuddin believes that his new guidelines will consider the interests of others in this multiracial country and that they are necessary to protect the rakyat.

We see different. All these guidelines are a ruse to control the internet which currently exposes the wrongdoings of our politicians and is just another nail in the coffin of democracy. Do the authorities seriously think that they can gag the public that easily? Do Hishammuddin and Rais think that these errant politicians can hide their crimes?

In the book, Small Acts of Resistance How Courage, Tenacity and Ingenuity Can Change the World by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson, there are some passages that are devoted to censorship in authoritarian countries.

An author publishes a piece of work that the government disapproves. The publisher and author are fined and/or jailed; however, this form of punishment by the authorities will not work if people support each other and defy the authorities.

When Yasar Kemal, a distinguished Turkish writer was jailed for an article he wrote, he was charged under the anti-terrorism laws. However, the Turkish authorities could not cope with the deluge of articles that were collectively written and jointly published by hundreds of people.

The prosecutor tried to open a trial against 185 prominent intellectuals but dropped the charges as it was too cumbersome and! politic ally embarrassing.

Perhaps that is the method Malaysians will have to adopt when the time comes. Together we can beat the corrupt system. - Malaysia Chronicle

Jeffrey may turn UBF into political force

PBS's denial of talks with United Borneo Front has compelled an exasperated Jeffrey Kitingan to look for other options.

KOTA KINABALU: The United Borneo Front (UBF) may be forced to convert into a political party if the current political parties in Sabah refuse to subscribe to its Borneo Agenda, its leader Jeffrey Kitingan said yesterday.

The current Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat set-up has focused on the peninsulas agenda which is why UBF hopes to educate the masses on how we could empower ourselves politically.

If the current political parties in Sabah refuse to subscribe to the Borneo Agenda, then we have no choice but to gather our supporters eventually into a new political party in Sabah to promote the struggle of our founding fathers, he said yesterday after PBS officially denied any links to the NGO.

He said that UBF would approach every political party in BN and Pakatan intending to put candidates in Sabah and Sarawak and ask them whether they subscribe to the Borneo Agenda.

This is so that the people will know what is truly in their hearts when they become the peoples representatives.

We will make it very clear to our supporters and everybody we know here and abroad which parties have subscribed to our struggle and which parties have flatly rejected it, he said.

He was speaking in response to PBSs information chief Johnny Mosituns denial of any talks with UBF.

Jeffrey said that Mosituns denial was questionable.

Did Mositun issue the denial unilaterally or did he have the blessing of the PBS supreme council?

However, we will continue to be open to friendly discussions with anybody in Sabah and Sarawak pertaining to the Borneo Agenda, he added.

Common agenda

On reports that PBS had invited him rejoin the party along with those who recently resigned from PKR, Jeffrey said that it was up to each individual to join whichever parties they wished.

I have made it clear that I am focusing my struggle on promoting the Borneo Agenda through UBF and forming a Borneo Alliance of political parties, NGOs and individuals who subscribe to our struggle for political and economic empowerment in Borneo, he said.

The UBF was co-founded by Jeffrey, lawyer Nilakrisna James and economist Zainal Ajamain.

The trio set it up as a civil rights movement and pressure group aimed at uniting political parties, NGOS and individuals in Sabah and Sarawak into a Borneo alliance and push for equal powers with the peninsula in the federation.

UBF was launched on Dec 16, which was the date of the Boston Tea Party revolt in 1773. The latter was sparked by oppressive cabotage laws imposed by the British against the American colonies that led to the American revolution and eventual American independence.

UBF hopes to force the Malaysian government to review laws, contracts, regulations and policies which negatively impact Sabah and Sarawak. -FMT

Questions voters must ask for the next General Election

Dear people of Malaysia, I know most of us are tired of the country's politics. The flame of 2008 which almost ousted Barisan Nasional is pretty much alive, but the reality has finally hit upon us will the country be better if we oust BN and replace it with Pakatan Rakyat?

No doubt, that is a dilemma we are facing now.

In 2008, we did not really bother who the candidate was, as long as the candidate was not from Barisan Nasional or more so from UMNO. We voted without taking into consideration the consequences, we just wanted to free ourselves from BN's iron grip.

But today, deep in our heart, we know that the 13th General Election will be different, because the people who we voted for have an effect on our lives.

Can we still vote 'blindly' like before? Who is the lesser evil now? Do they seem the same? The angel we had hoped for has turned out to be not quite the angel we expected.

How about the devils? Have they been tamed? Or have they become worse than pre-2008? Can we still vote blindly this time around? Would we put people like Zulkifli Noordin, Zahrain and Hee Yit Foong back to where they are today?

It is no longer the concept anyone but UMNO, it must be people in whom we have confidence, no matter which party they represent. It must be those who put us as priority, not the party or coalition.

Blame no one

Has PR wasted three years, while BN has squandered the same during this period, only to show us that they would continue treating us like slime balls, which can be bought anytime, just like in all the past elections. Well, blame no one, for some among us do really act like slime balls.

As of now, both sides do not have the real momentum PR lost it, but BN has yet to recover it, thanks to a s! eries of ill advices and ass-polishing to gain their leaders trust.

But what about us? The country is about us, it is not about PR and BN. We are to call the shots. Who are BN and PR to tell us what we should or should not do? Aren't we their bosses, telling them what we want?

We are not living in a perfect world. Every thing is somehow imperfect and we need to live with it. Between PR and BN, we have to choose. Even for those who are not voting, they have actually made their choice clear, we follow the majority who voted.

Ultimately, someone will have rule Malaysia. If its not BN, then it is PR with candidates from the newly formed MCLM.

Questions to ask

I have made a list of questions for us to consider and hopefully it will help us to solve our confusion on who to choose in the next general election.

1. How clean are PRs state governments?

Points to consider before answering:
a. The independence of MACC.
b. Teoh Beng Hocks open verdict.
c. Any PR official being found guilty to date.
d. The fate of Ronnie Lius aide charged in court.

2. Did BN behave better with a stronger opposition in Parliament?

Points to consider before answering:
a. The suspension of four Members of Parliament including Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
b. 2011 Budget and Warisan Merdeka.
c. Racist tone pre- and post-2008.
d. Leakages due to corruption, negligence and wastages
e. Did BN-led states improve with competition from PR states?

3. Which is more important eliminate corruption and ensure transparency in government to avoid wastages through genuine reforms first, or forget those and just aim to achieve a high income nation?

Points to consider:
a. Did Wawasan 2020 bring us anywhere?
b. Can BN be trusted to make the country a 'high income' nation with debts now hovering over 50% of GDP?
c. Pakatan 100-day reforms pledge if implemented, will the country advance faster compared to BNs administration?
d. Which side ! has more quality, dependable and trustworthy leaders to rule the country?

4. Which side do you dare to criticise openly (through writing and speech) without fear of being arrested?

Points to consider:
a. Who listens more?
b. Which motto or struggle puts us as their priority? Ketuanan Rakyat or 1Malaysia embedded with the Ketuanan Melayu theme?

5. PAS or UMNO?

Points to consider:
a. How clean is the PAS Kelantan state government in the last 20 years?
b. Islam brought by PAS versus Islam ala-UMNO.
c. Which party is more open and tolerant towards criticism and comments?
d. Which party can self-regulate to solve internal problems and public perception?
e. Which party can organise a seminar which even allows outsiders to criticise its own president for the good of the party?
f. Compare what the leaders in PAS and UMNO fear most in carrying out their duties?

I think this is getting too long I shall get back to this subject before the next general election takes place.

Remember, the next general election is not only about what is best for us; it is also about the next generation and beyond.

A right choice would help to significantly shorten the countrys path towards becoming a developed nation. Any wrong choice will derail the plan for decades. Be forewarned.

- Harakahdaily

Tom Wujec demos the 13th-century astrolabe

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Rather than demo another new technology, Tom Wujec reaches back to one of our earliest but most ingenious devices -- the astrolabe. With thousands of uses, from telling time to mapping the night sky, this old tech reminds us that the ancient can be as brilliant as the brand-new.

Mysterious stoning in Tenang estate

Under constant attack from hail stones, frightened residents in a rubber plantation want to move out.

LABIS: The by-election din is waking up not only the people in Tenang but also some angry toyol or spirits who have come out to wreak havoc on a rubber estate near here. Or so it seems.

For the past 10 days, the workers in Bukit Dato Tenang rubber estate have been spending sleepless nights because mysterious falling rocks have been hitting their quarters regularly.

No one knows who is pelting them not the management, or the police, or the workers. They have all tried to catch the culprit but in vain.

Strangely, the hail stones have been raining down on one particular row of the 20 quarters.

Now the estate management has given the workers a week to find an alternative place to stay after it failed to locate the source of the attack.

According to 45-year-old S Maniam, a local familiar with the incident, the estate residents had reported the matter to the police.

But so far even the police dont know who is throwing rocks at us, he said.

This incident is very disturbing. We have not been able to sleep or work worrying about it we dont know who is doing this, he added.

Since the bizarre show began, the estate youths have banded together to keep watch.

We havent been able to find anything. Many now believe that it could be the work of an angry jin or toyol, Maniam said.

He said that a similar incident had occurred 15 years ago. At that time, the residents and management were also not able to identify who were throwing the stones.

But after a week the whole incident stopped by itself, said Maniam.

Meanwhile, locals in ! the area have sought the help of shamans and bomohs to engage the mysterious spirit and find out what it wants.

Yesterday, a bomoh managed to lure the mysterious spirit who told him that the local residents had disturbed its place.

After much cajoling, the spirit agreed to leave.

Sleepy hollow

Meanwhile, rumours abound that the appearance of the mysterious spirit has something to do with the upcoming Tenang by-election.

The once quiet sleepy hollow has seen much activity in recent days. Speculations are that the place will see more frequent visits by the unknown.

Bukit Datuk Estate is one of the 12 rubber estates located in the Tenang constituency.

The Tenang seat, which is part of the Labis parliamentary constituency in Johor, fell vacant on Dec 17 following the death of two-term Barisan Nasional assemblyman Sulaiman Taha.

In the 2008 general election, Sulaimn won the seat with a 2,492-vote majority against PAS Md Saim Siran.

Word is that both BN and PAS will, this time round, field female candidates.

Indications are that PAS may field its Labis Muslimah chief, Normala Sudirman, while BN may go for Labis Wanita chief Haslinda Salleh. - FMT

Syabas Ummi Hafilda

By Syed Akbar Ali

Here is some news : Today Ummi Hafilda Ali is supposed to sue some people for RM700.0 million. Here is the news :


Ummi saman Anwar, Wan Azizah, Karpal, Pas RM700 juta

  • KUALA LUMPUR 11 Jan. Ummi Hafilda Ali akan memfailkan saman berjumlah RM700 juta terhadap Anwar Ibrahim; Wan Azizah Wan Ismail; Karpal Singh dan Pas, Khamis ini.
  • saman Anwar RM300 juta dakwaan salah guna kuasa selaku TPM 1997 mengarahkan dia ditangkap dan didera bagi mendapatkan pengakuan palsu.
  • saman Karpal RM200 juta kerana melanggar kepercayaannya selaku anak guam selepas beliau dan Azizan Abu Bakar bertemu Karpal pada 1997 untuk mendedahkan perilaku buruk Anwar.
  • (Karpal) gembira ..dan mendesak di Parlimen agar Perdana Menteri mengambil tindakan. Tetapi apabila tindakan diambil, (oleh PM) beliau pusing 360 darjah membela Anwar pula.
  • Pas disaman RM100 juta mereka menghantar Ahli Jawatankuasa Pas Pusat, Mohamad Sabu bertemunya 1997 untuk mendapatkan cerita sebenar. Apabila sudah tahu segalanya, beliau merupakan orang pertama menggelar Anwar sebagai peliwat di Parlimen. Alih-alih, setelah segalanya terbongkar, Pas dan Mohamad Sabu sokong Anwar pula, tegasnya.


I dont know if Ummi can still sue these folks because so much time has passed (period of Statutory Limitations). But lets talk about Ummi again later.


After ! so much LEWAT, the Liwat Trial will resume again on January 21st , 2011. Happy New Year to the LEWATTERS. Of course the Orang Kena Tuduh (OKT) has to be in the country for the trial to resume. Lets have some fun. Lets bet one teh tarik on you how many days will the trial resume before it is postponed again? One day, two days, three days? Secondly how many days will the trial be postponed? One month, two months, three months?


I have also heard rumours that some folks have some sneaky plans up their sleeves to further delay the trial. The LEWATTERS have already requested the judge to recuse himself again. The resumption of the trial on the 21st January will still discuss this request because the Judge has not made a decision yet if he will recuse himself. Talk is if the Judge does not allow the application by the LEWATTERS meaning the Judge does NOT recuse himself - then the LEWATTERS may kick up a fuss and resign as defence lawyers in protest. Wow!! Nasty. That will certainly throw the trial into some confusion.


The defense team has all the right under the Laws of Malaysia to discharge itself and if they are planning this course of action may I congratulate them in advance. It will be good riddance too of course. In such event however the Court will be obliged to allow the OKT time to engage a new lawyer. That is easily another three months.


Then say the OKT takes his time and appoints a new lawyer say just one day before the three months are up (which will be his legal right of course). Then the new lawyer will present himself in Court and say that since he has just been appointed the day before, he will need time to read up and prepare for the case. The Court may grant even more time, s! ay anoth er six months. So if all this happens (its only an IF lah jangan marah sangat) it will be October 2011 (3 months + 6 months) before the trial can resume again. Have two teh tarik ok.


In the meantime as the stomach churns, other things have been happening that are very interesting. I think the house is really collapsing around Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh and the whole charade and drama that has been going in this country since 1998. YB Zahrain Mohd Hashim the Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru (and ex PKR) has called on the Attorney General to call Karpal Singh as a witness in the Liwat Trial. YB Zahrain says Karpal Singh had once confessed in public that he knew that Anwar had committed sodomy. In reply to YB Zahrain, Karpal Singh has said the following :


"YB Karpal Singh tried to justify why he should not be called as a witness in YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahims sodomy II trial. These are the excerpts of the press report in FMT, HERE.


Karpal admitted that he, as an opposition MP, did urge that Anwar (who was an Umno leader then) be investigated for sodomy after the complainant, Azizan Abu Bakar, had met him.


Anwar was freed by the Federal Court of the charge against him involving Azizan Abu Bakar on Sept 2, 2004, and his conviction and sentence of six years imprisonment and two strokes of the rotan were set aside. Zahrains ignorance is clearly exposed, said Karpal I would advise Zahrain in future to be sure of his facts before making public statements. He should think before speaking.


I took the above from YB Wee Choo K! eongs Bl og here. YB Wee Choo Keong says : YB Karpal Singh must have been fully appraised of the facts before him and very satisfied that what En Azizan bin Abu Bakar told him were true for him to make the affirmative public statement in the DAP Ceramah in Federal Hotel that I have the evidence in my hand that the Deputy Prime Minister was involved in sodomy.... HERE and called upon the then Attorney General, the late Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah, who was his classmate in Singapore and a good friend, to investigate.


What YB Wee is saying is that since Karpal is accusing YB Zahrain of not checking his facts before making public statements, then the same logic should also apply to Karpal himself. Surely as a lawyer, a Member of Parliament and a leader of the Opposition Karpal MUST have checked his facts in 1997 when he made the statement in public at the DAP Ceramah at the Federal Hotel that the Deputy Prime Minister was involved in sodomy.


The High Court found Anwar guilty of sodomy (circa 2000?) Then four years later the Court of Appeal acquitted Anwar of the sodomy in 2004. But Karpal made his accusation against Anwar at the DAP Ceramah in the Federal Hotel in 1997.Obviously Karpal is giving a bullshit reply to YB Zahrain. Congratulations YB Wee Choo Keong for pointing this out. I think the Attorney General should go ahead and subpoena Karpal Singh as a witness in Sodomy 2. If the truth is on his side, why should Karpal Singh be so afraid?


Anyway back to Ummi Hafilda, Ummi has ma! de anoth er really explosive posting on her Blog. You can read it here. Here is an extract :


"banyak kejadian ngeri sepanjang tahun, kereta saya di bakar, peluru di hantar dgn ugutan bunuh, kepala kucing dikerat hidup-hidup dgn darah didepan rumah dgn tulisan, KAU AKAN MAMPUS DALAM MASA 3 HARI, kenapa? kenapa? perkara ini boleh terjadi di negara yg penuh amai damai ini,bagaimana isteri azizan yg sedang sarat mengandung 9 bulan mati dilanggar sehinnga bayi terkeluar dari kandungan, isteri Dato Aziz Samsudin juga meninggal ditempat kejadian selepas perlanggaran kereta di mana tayar kereta dilonggarkan. Mengapa ini berlaku? Siapakah yg telah berkonspirasi untuk melakukan pekerjaan terkutuk ini?


It was reported in the news at that time that Azizans wife indeed died in a car crash. I did not know that Dato Aziz Samsudins wife was also killed in a car crash. Ummi suggests that there were conspiracies involved.


If Ummis civil suit against Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh, PAS (Mat Sabu) and Wan Azizah goes through in the Courts, we may hear even more explosive revelations. I have always said that the Ghosts of 1998 are still haunting this country. Fail daripada 1998 masih belum di tutup dengan kemas. I hope Ummis legal action will throw more light on this matter and educate the more gullible Malaysians about what really happened in 1998.


It is fitting that Ummi Hafilda Ali should be the person who puts a final lid on this episode. It was Ummis Surat Keramat to the Prime Minister in 1997 that exposed all the shenanigans that were going on. Ummi started this whole thing. Now she may finally slam it shut too. Hidup Ummi !

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Book Review Podcast

This week, a special look at our fall children's books issue with Adam Gopnik, Julie Just and Ryan Southerland; Motoko Rich has notes from the field; a conversation with pro wrestler Hulk Hogan; and Jennifer Schuessler has best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Najib may dish out goodies to Bakun folk

Regina Lee

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is scheduled to visit Sarawak again this weekend, amidst wide speculation that he will be dishing out compensation to villagers displaced by the RM7.3 billion Bakun Dam.

According to the natives who once lived in the dam area, the premier is expected to visit their village in Sungai Asap, where he is likely to hand over some form of the long-delayed compensation.

NONEResidents of some 15 longhouses were moved out of the area to Sungai Asap roughly 30km away in 1998 to make way for the hydroelectric dam project.

While some of the residents have been given compensation, it is estimated that a lot more have not received theirs.

Miku Loyang, a Bakun native of the Kayan descent, told Malaysiakinithat up to RM7 million in compensation still had to be given out to the villagers to cover the cost of their land, crops, plantations and living quarters.

bakun dam resettlement sungai asap 051107At the same time, he believes that Najib would also be giving out some form of goodies during his trip there in light of the forthcoming state election.

The full-term of the Sarawak assembly expires in July, which means that Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will have to call for an election before then.

The Belaga state seat, under which Bakun falls, saw the BN candidate, Liwan Lagang, win by only a slim 227-vote majority in the 2006 state election, making it a dangerous seat for the coa! lition.< /p>

Najib to also attend Taibs wedding party?

Najib is expected to meet the villagers affected by the Bakun Dam in Kapit, early on Saturday morning in Belaga, before making his way to Sungai Asap in the afternoon.

NONEAlthough it is not stated in his official itinerary sent to media organisations by the Sarawak Information Department, it is understood that Najib will head back to Kuching for Taibs wedding banquet on Saturday night.

Sunday morning will see Najib open the SUPP convention before heading for Samarahan to attend another programme.

Taib, 74, recently confirmed that a state banquet would be held to celebrate his recent marriage to a 28-year-old Syrian national, Ragad Waleed Alkurdi, said to be a former flight attendant.

It is understood that apart from Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor, more than 1,000 VVIPs and dignitaries are expect the attend the function at the Dewan Santapan in the new state legislative complex. Malaysiakini

"Dividends of Anti Corruption Measures" Milaka Mali Manyak Bunyi

"Lim echoed this by claiming that Penang had hit a record RM88 million surplus in 2008 and RM77 million in 2009 through the dividends of anti-corruption measures." go here
Well lets see......

Let us first understand the behaviour of the Revenue and Operating Expenditure and the Surpluses...

So it was a Surplus State for the past 6 Years? I tot u turned in a Deficit State into a Surplus State......So big ma your 2008 "Record" Achievement in comparison to the 2005 result.....mana datang itu hasil Ahbeng?

Wah lau weh........lu convert status tanah sama interest income pasai itu Global Credit Crunch pun mau kecoh ka?

Wah manyak tanah lu kasi convert itu status......sama itu BN punya accounting 9.84 juta kasi carry forward, itu Jabatan Tanah punya enforcement pun banyak bagu! s kasi l u 12.55...apa lu kira itu "enforcement" anti corruption efforts ka?Wah 2009 lu kasi jual tanah dapat 35 juta lagi manyak bagus ma.....itu jabatan tanah enforcement pun juga bagus

sikalang kita kasi tengok lu punya belanja.........ini balu bisa lihat itu 'Dividend of Anti Corruption".....lu bilanja pun manyak tinggi ma......

Wah itu publicity stunt lu naik Air Asia manyak jimat looo.....sama lu tara beli barang "mewah"......semua sekali 1.8 juta lu sudah kasi jimat bilanja
Sikalang gua mau tengok lu punya budget skills....2009 budget lu sindili bikin bukan?..jadi lu tara ambil orang kelija sama lu tara belanja, sama lu beli balang murah sikit dari lu punya overestimation in the budget......oooh......ini lu punya lividend....manyak bagus beng....veli veli! gud
Well folks there you go........the "Dividends of Anti Corruption Measures"

I commend the Enforcement Efforts by the Jabatan Tanah together with its transformation and automation projects ........all of which is an ongoing effort irrespective of who the State Government is.....to a certain extent this is actually a Federal Funded Initiative go here

Apart from that there is NOTHING significant........except that this son of a RACIST is selling land....

And guess what folk.....

what RACE and Nationality do you think these lands are mostly SOLD to?

Feel free to go digging......monkey wanna go to sleep got an early meeting tomorrow

Technical Notes:
Go here and here for 2008 and 2009 Audit Reports

courtesy of Pure Shiite