Monday, March 31, 2008

Birth pain of a new media?

A Letter By : Sim Kwang Yang via M'Kini


The sort of cathartic change in our national life like the general election result on March 8 is bound to subvert and implode many of the institutions that have been frozen frigid by the architectonic gridlock of past totalitarianism. One such institution is the media.

Overnight, many of the premises and assumptions about the functions of and roles of the media long held to be gospel truth by practitioners and information consumers alike have been proven to be downright false. The new political landscape the morning after must have compelled many politicians and journalists to rethink orthodox media policy and practices. Certainly, they have discovered with shock and awe the power of the small narratives swamping the marginal alternative media in Malaysia. The cyber world of the internet has come of age.

The prime Minister has openly admitted that the Barisan National's biggest mistake was to underestimate the power of the internet. I too was equally guilty. I had thought that the number of people with internet connections was still limited. Certainly the all-important rural voters had no easy access to the cyber world, and so the internet could not have created any critical impact on the voting trend.
But alas, during the campaign period, Malaysiakini became the hottest net portal for voters hungry for election news. The traffic was so heavy that you had to wait a long time to gain access. I was told that during the entire period, Malaysiakini enjoyed 200,000 unique hits daily, making it the most popular source of election information in Malaysia.

The traffic was so heavy that the Malaysiakini management had to find RM250.000 to install a new server that could handle the exponential increase in demand for alternative news and comments!

On polling day, the virtual traffic at Malaysiakini was even worse than the real traffic jam on the streets of Kuala Lumpur at peak hours. They had hourly update on the election results, and visitors would have known that Penang had fallen to the opposition early in the evening on March 8. In sharp contrast, the mainstream media were still quite opaque and nothing conclusive could be gleamed from them even as late as 4 o'clock the next morning!

Let Malaysiakini grow and prosper

A friend opined that the ten year existence of Malaysiakini has had something to do with the political tsunami that swept Peninsular Malaysia. I dare say they had indeed a very big part in changing the way Malaysians search for what they consider to be credible news and commentary.

Now, I hope millions of Malaysians will subscribe to this electronic newspaper, so they can start to make some money, grow, and expand the scope and the quality of their news coverage. Hopefully, they will be listed on the KLSE one day, and columnists like me will be paid professional fees for a change.

As one commentator on Astro Awani Channel 501 noted, every Kelantan household would have at least a son or a daughter working in the Klang valley, where internet cafes are everywhere at RM2 or less per hour. Some of these Kelantanese Diasporas in KL use the internet to talk to their loved ones back home in their kampong.

They also have access to the general chat that saturates Malaysia's cyberspace. Some of them would download and print political stuff from Malaysiakini and numerous blogs and websites, and send them back to the kampong. This way, the explosive undercurrents of urban discontent also filter back to the rural heartland!
Add to these alternative channels of communication young Malaysians' epidemic addiction to the mobile telephone, and their whirlwind love affair with sending SMS messages, you get an awesome electronic network for the purpose of political campaign far away from the intelligence-gathering machinery of the ruling BN coalition.

When interviewed on an Astro Awani political talk show, a prominent Umno minister expressed dismay at why voters would rather seek out and believe in what he considered to be false and libellous information on the internet, instead of following the "truth" on the prime media, the media Perdana.

Like many prominent politicians in government, this Umno leader is still living in the time capsule of the past, and insisting on wallowing in his denial syndrome. He is talking the old language of social engineering and mind control. He, like all BN leaders and strategists, has fallen victims to the lies propagated through the mainstream media before and during the campaign period.

If you had followed the elections through the government and government controlled television stations and newspapers, you would have thought that the opposition parties did not exist. If they did, they were mostly a motley bunch of riotous bandits bent on destroying law and order.

According to the mainstream media again, you are harangued day in and day out by mystical leaders with giant halo around their noble head on how Malaysia has become paradise on earth because of them. You are given all kinds of statistics and facts on all the glorious development programmes drawn up for grateful citizens. You are shown daily scenes of rapturous crowds of supporters surrounding these living saints with titles as long as your arm. You get the impression that they are walking on water.

The election results put paid to the lies being paraded as hard news on TV. Obviously about half of the Malaysian population of all races up and down the peninsula did not believe what they saw on TV and what they read in the papers. They were mot duped because their daily lived experience told a different story of suffocating inflation, crimes, corruption in high and low places, and insufferable hardship at just making ends meet.

Why, there may be those who – like me – have to repress an urge to vomit whenever they watch television news at 8 pm every night.

The farce that disguised itself as mainstream news did fool some people. It fooled their political masters into thinking that they would cruise comfortably to their two-third majority in parliament, and state power in all states with the possible exception of Kelantan. It fooled them into believing in their invincibility, their comfortable eternal divine right to rule Malaysia, despite their corruption and failing.

Then, on the morning after the poll, they were shocked out of their skulls by the change of the political sky over Malaysia. That sense of disbelief is the symptom of their extreme complacency and vacuous arrogance.

Thoughtful voices

And then, the question is: what now?

The BN coalition can continue their business as before, and use the media as a propaganda machine towards their political end. They can continue to manufacture tenuous untruth, pass it off as news, and believe in it themselves. Then, four or five more years from now or during another general election in the foreseeable future, the voters will speak out again against this cynical conspiracy. Then, the UMNO president will become the opposition leader in parliament. How I look forward to that glorious day!

Already, there are thoughtful voices within the deep bowel of the ruling classes bubbling feebly to the surface, expressing disquiet and wondering whether the media game ought not to be reformed.

All of a sudden, I begin to read the column by my old friend Wong Chun Wai in the Star again. In a series of articles, he asks for the media to consider their problem of credibility, or the lack of it. He even proposed that the Malaysian government TV stations be reengineered after the fashion of the BBC, which is publicly funded, but which has remained independent and critical through many past decades.

Wong's confidence is based on his knowledge of the new Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Chik. I too knew this new minister personally when he was with Semangat 46, and we had to work together for the two-coalition project that failed in 1990.
This new man is certainly a century ahead of his fossilised predecessor who lost in the elections. But radical political change is more than about personality merely. You have to examine the historical forces at work.

Can this new Information Minister overcome the kind of primitive monolithic Neanderthal culture that has pervaded the ideology and practice of Umno in the political arena? With Umno caught up in the kind of self-incriminating strife in the way of a snake swallowing its own tail – and relishing the taste, can this dominant political force in Malaysia for half a century think outside the racial box and find the resolve and innovativeness to reinvent its identity and purpose? My knee-jerk reaction is a resounding 'No!"

Meanwhile, let the prime media fumble clumsily as they do, trying to cope with the new reality. People like me still have the burgeoning alternative media, to explore the power and the possibility of freedom of expression, and to use these new channels to enrich the political narration in our beloved, though much flawed, homeland.

Well done, Malaysiakini!

PS: I just wonder whether Steven and Prem will be conferred the title of Datuk one day by one of the states held by the PKR-DAP – PAS coalition. They deserve that much I just hope they would decline the offer, if and when it comes.

Samy calls for Hindraf 5's release - Aiiit...aper nie...??

Source : M'Kini
Image : Net


YennaMike Says : Well Uncle Sam, if you are really honest about this move, then prove it by ensuring the release of the Hindraf 5. One thing for sure which ever way the results going to be...the damages done by MIC will not be forgotten...!!

In a dramatic about-turn, MIC president S Samy Vellu today called for the release of the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders held without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The veteran politician said he will meet Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi soon to discuss this matter.

He also urged Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy - who is currently in London on self-exile - to return to the country and be reunited with his family, saying that the latter should not be a political refugee.

Samy Vellu was speaking to reporters after opening the MIC divisional leaders workshop at the party's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The Hindraf leaders detained under the security law are Waythamoorthy's brother, Uthayakumar, V Ganabatirau, M Manoharan, T Vasantha Kumar and R Kengadharan.

The five - four of whom are lawyers - were arrested shortly after organising a mammoth street rally in Kuala Lumpur which drew some 30,000 people on Nov 25 last year.

Approached by detainees' families

Samy Vellu revealed that the families of Manoharan and R Kengadharan had approached him for assistance.

"Because they made an approach, I will talk to the PM (about securing their freedom)," he said, adding, "We also don't want them to be kept inside.

"The government has to make a decision. Kenghadharan is very sick, Manoharan is an elected member. So I think it is quite reasonable. I am going to ask PM (to release them) and meet the Internal Security Minister (Syed Hamid Syed Albar).

"I made some moves on this earlier, but I didn't tell anybody. I will now make a very strong move to see what can be done," he added

Manoharan won the Kota Alam Shah state seat in Selangor under a DAP ticket in the March 8 elections.

In the past, Samy Vellu had been critical of Hindraf and the Nov 25 demonstration. The movement, in return, also accused MIC and its party boss of failing to uplift the status of the Indian community.

Not a publicity stunt

Responding to a question, Samy Vellu denied that the move to call for the five's release was a publicity stunt.

Describing it as being motivated by "fairness", he said: "At the same time, we feel that as Indians, we have to do something about this."

The MIC president also revealed how he had helped secure the release of four students detained with scores others in the wake of the Hindraf rally.

Thirty-one detainees were later charged with the attempted murder of a policeman, but this was subsequently dropped.

Samy Vellu said this happened because he spoke to the prime minister and attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail.

"But one of the detainees' fathers scolded me like hell... (the father said) 'Who the hell are you?', 'Where were you when my son was arrested?'

"He ashamed me, it was very unreasonable. But I didn't take it to mind, as long as the students were released and the (attempted murder) charge against the others was reduced," he added.

The MIC president said "many had argued for them because they want publicity." "We only want the truth," he said.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Elected Hindraf leader now hero for jail mates

Source : Thaindians.com

Kuala Lumpur, March 27 (IANS) A Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader in Malaysia who is being held in a detention camp under the Internal Security Act (ISA) has become a celebrity there ever since he won in the Selangor state assembly elections earlier this month. M. Manoharan, a legal adviser to Hindraf, is at the Kamunting detention camp. His wife S. Pushpaneela says his peers in the camp cheered and congratulated him when they saw the general election results via news on TV March 8.

“Several camp warders also patted his back. It was a touching moment for him,” she was quoted as saying in The Star newspaper Thursday.

“Many who did not know him well in the camp would come up to him and greet him whenever they saw him,” she said.

Hindraf is an umbrella organisation that claims to speak for Malaysia’s ethnic Indians. Manoharan and four other Hindraf leaders P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, K. Vasantha Kumar and R. Kengadharan are under two-year detention for their role in a protest rally in Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

Manoharan had stood on a Democratic Action Party (DAP) opposition ticket and won the Kota Alam Shah state seat by a 7,184-vote majority over incumbent Ching Su Chen of Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition.

Pushpaneela said when she visited her husband at the camp the last two Sundays, she was surprised to see several detainees showing the thumbs-up sign.

“Although he was not given any extra facilities by the camp, he has Ganabatirau, Vasantha Kumar and Kengadharan, who are living in the same dormitory with him, as his assistants,” she said.

His peers in the camp, especially the dormitory mates, had given him a lot of ideas and advice on how to run the constituency, she added.

Pushpaneela said everyone in the camp had been nice to her husband and he did not complain about any ill treatment. Pushpaneela said she has only one hope and that is to see her husband’s release and him taking over his duties as state assemblyman.

Lawyer Karpal Singh, who is also the DAP chairman, has been conducting their case before various courts.

He said the hearing on the appeal against the high court’s decision last month to strike out the order for release of the five ISA detainees has been fixed for hearing at the Federal Court April 2.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDIES IN MALAYSIA

BIASISWA ANTARABANGSA MELANJUTKAN PENGAJIAN DI MALAYSIA

INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDIES IN MALAYSIA




A) Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS) Brochure -
Download form here

B) Commonwealth Scholarship And Fellowship Plan (CSFP) Tenable In Malaysia Application For Academic Year 2007/2008 Brochure -
Download form here

C) Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) Application Of Scholarship For Postgraduate Studies In Malaysia Brochure -
Download form here

Medical Form (Compulsory for all scholarship)

Latihan Separa Perubatan _SPA

Source : Via Email

NAMA JAWATAN LATIHAN, KOD SKIM DAN BIASISWA

JURU X-RAY PELATIH, 2970, RM621.21

JURUPULIH PERUBATAN (ANGGOTA)PELATIH, 2072, RM621.21

JURUPULIH PERUBATAN (CARA KERJA)PELATIH, 2073, RM621.21

JURURAWAT PELATIH, 4310, RM621.21

JURURAWAT PERGIGIAN PELATIH, 3314, RM621.21

JURUTEKNOLOGI MAKMAL PERUBATAN PELATIH, 2613, RM621.21

JURUTEKNOLOGI PERGIGIAN PELATIH, 3306, RM621.21

PEMBANTU FARMASI PELATIH, 4533, RM621.21

PEMBANTU PERUBATAN PELATIH, 2354, RM621.21

PEMBANTU PEGAWAI KESIHATAN PERSEKITARAN PELATIH, 2751, RM621.21

Pengumuman Latihan Separa Perubatan

Bagi calon yang layak akan di beri surat untuk menduduki ujian atau boleh semak di laman web SPA.

Calon baru yang telah memohon melalui Internet (SPA8i) tidak perlu mengisi borang SPA8 atau sebaliknya. Sahlaku permohonan adalah satu tahun. Calon dikehendaki mengisi semula permohonan selepas tempoh tersebut

Untuk calon KPSL , boleh melanjutkan tempoh permohonan dengan hanya menulis surat kepada SPA dengan menyatakan No KP dan nama bagi tujuan perlanjutan tersebut.

SYARAT KELAYAKAN

Pemohon hendaklah mempunyai Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) atau kelayakan yang diiktiraf setaraf dengannya oleh Kerajaan dan lulus Bahasa Malaysia (termasuk lulus Ujian Lisan) pada peringkat SPM atau kelulusan yang diiktiraf setaraf dengannya oleh Kerajaan.

Kelayakan SPM Mengikut Sistem Terbuka Untuk Latihan ke Perkhidmatan Awam

Calon-calon yang menduduki dan memiliki Sijil SPM mengikut sistem terbuka boleh dilantik ke skim-skim perkhidmatan yang mensyaratkan kelayakan demikian sebagai syarat lantikan. Bagi menentukan tahap kelulusan tersebut setaraf dengan kelulusan Sijil Penuh SPM, iaitu sijil yang dikeluarkan sebelum pelaksanaan peperiksaan mengikut sistem terbuka, syarat-syarat berikut perlu dipenuhi.

a) Lulus enam (6) mata pelajaran termasuk Bahasa Melayu, dengan dua daripada mata pelajaran adalah di peringkat Kepujian dan selebihnya peringkat Lulus dalam satu peperiksaan; atau

b) Lulus enam (6) mata pelajaran termasuk Bahasa Melayu, dengan dua mata pelajaran adalah di peringkat Kepujian dan selebihnya peringkat Lulus yang dikumpulkan dalam dua peperiksaan dalam tempoh tiga tahun berturut-turut; dan

c) Memenuhi syarat Bahasa Melayu, sama ada Kepujian atau Lulus dan subjek-subjek tertentu seperti mana disyaratkan dalam skim perkhidmatan.

Umur Calon Untuk Mengikuti Latihan Separa Perubatan

Calon lantikan terus hendaklah berumur tidak kurang dari 17 tahun tetapi tidak melebihi 25 tahun pada tarikh tutup permohonan;

Pegawai sedang berkhidmat untuk Kenaikan Pangkat Secara Lantikan (KPSL) hendaklah berumur kurang dari 51 tahun pada tarikh permohonan.

Pegawai sedang berkhidmat (bukan Kenaikan Pangkat Secara Lantikan) dalam perkhidmatan Awam/Badan Berkanun dan Kuasa Tempatan yang telah disahkan dalam perkhidmatan hendaklah berumur tidak melebihi 38 tahun pada tarikh tutup permohonan.

LATIHAN BERTARAF SIJIL

Sila klik di bawah untuk maklumat lanjut..

i) Jururawat Masyarakat Pelatih
ii) Pembantu Pembedahan Pergigian Pelatih
iii) Pembantu Kesihatan Awam Pelatih

Syarat Kelayakan

Lulus Sijil Rendah Pelajaran (SRP) atau kelayakan yang diiktiraf setaraf dengannya oleh Kerajaan dan lulus Bhasa Malaysia pada peringkat SRP atau kelulusan yang diiktiraf setaraf dengannya oleh Kerajaan.

Keutamaan akan diberikan kepada pemohon yang mempunyai kepujian dalam mata pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia dan Sains/Sains Paduan serta kepujian mata pelajaran Bahasa Inggeris dan lulus Matematik.

Umur Calon Untuk Mengikuti Latihan Separa Perubatan

Calon lantikan terus hendaklah berumur tidak kurang dari 17 tahun tetapi tidak melebihi 25 tahun pada tarikh tutup permohonan;

Pegawai sedang berkhidmat untuk Kenaikan Pangkat Secara Lantikan hendaklah berumur kurang dari 51 tahun pada tarikh permohonan;

Pegawai sedang berkhidmat (bukan Kenaikan Pangkat Secara Lantikan) dalam Perkhidmatan Awam/Badan Berkanun dan Kuasa Tempatan yang telah disahkan dalam perkhidmatan hendaklah berumur tidak melebihi 38 tahun pada tarikh tutup permohonan.

Alamat Surat-Menyurat:

Setiausaha
Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia
Bahagian Pengambilan Khas
Aras 7, Blok C7, Parcel C
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62520 PUTRAJAYA
Tel: 03 - 8885 6000

For more info: Click Here

Certificate Course in Hinduism

Source : Via Email

But Who is a Hindu ? What he believe in ?

If you are one of them who is a born Hindu and not sure what it is all about, do not worry because this 10 months certificate course on Hinduism is the solution you are looking for.



Attend the free preview on Saturday 7.30 pm March 29, 2008 at
25-1 Citras Super Mart , Jalan Thamby Abdullah 1 , off Jalan Tun Sambanthan

Brickfields. Call 016 6120587, 012 2345664 for more informatiom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tamil Volunteer Translator WANTED....

Thanks to : GuestladyRP for bringing this Up...


Wee Choo Keong in Parliament

Email : weeck@streamyx.com - Click here

DIKEHENDAKI: Sukarelawan untuk membantu menterjemahkan artikel2 dalam blog ini ke BM, B/Cina dan Tamil. Anda boleh menyiarkan terjemahan anda sebagai comment dan saya akan cut&paste ia di bawah versi B/Inggeris. Terima kasih.

激请:自愿者前来帮忙翻译部落格文章去马来文与华文。您可在意见箱发表您的翻译,我会剪贴在英语文章下面。谢谢。

WANTED: Volunteers to help translate articles in this blog into BM, Chinese and Tamil. You can publish them as comments and I will cut&paste them below the English version. Thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Application for ILP - URGENT - New Posts are below this Message...

Source : Email

This is the time to act…fellow Indians.

ILP intake for July 2008 is open. Those with poor results in SPM (Aggregrate < 26) can apply now.

Qualification: Pass SPM (At least 8D in Bahasa Malaysia)


There are a lot of engineering courses offered for certificate level. Students can continue their studies in ADTEC or other higher institutes once finish their studies in ILP.

A lot of benefits here:

a. Accommodation provided

b. Food provided

c. Monthly allowance RM 100.00

d. 70% practical 30% theory

e. Full sports facility

ALL THIS ARE GIVEN FREE FOR YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT. NOT A LOAN. YOU NO NEED TO PAYBACK ANYTHING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

So please check JTM homepage www.jtm.gov.my for more details. You May get the forms from main post offices or nearby ILP's or can apply online.

You also can download the course detail from our homepage: Click Here

The advertisement is out on 13th March 08 newspaper & the closing date is on 24th April 2008.

Guys, for your information there are 21 ILP's around Malaysia. Out of this 21 ILP's, ILP Armugam Pillay in Nibong Tebal allocated 30% places our Indian community. But sad to say, this 30 % is very difficult to be fulfilled by our people…. WHY...?, What happen...?, Where our poor students...?, Please find them and send them to ILP's to get technical studies.

Hope to see more Indian students in ILP's this term. Show your "MAKKAL SAKTHI" here.

For more detail, you may contact our members in ILP….

M. Ganesan (ILP Kepala Batas) : 012-6865008

S. Saravanakumar (ILP Kepala Batas): 012-4112634

Palani Saravanan (ILP Arumugam Pillay): 012-6368912

Ramaiah (ILP Pasir Gudang): 017-7566110

Munis (YSS – Penang): 016-4580750

Pass this message around to as many people as poosbile...!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Malaysian INDIAN DILEMMA....

Source : Email



Dear Makkal Sakthi,

This is the only book that compile Indian story from Bristsh colonial time until 9th MEP.

The author Mr. Janaki Raman dedicated 15 years in research to compile many photos, facts, statistic to complete this book.

Only 2000 copies were printed due to less demand in the market for Tamil books.

He also dedicated himself to social service activities for indian in estate now days.

That is job for today. But everything needs money right?

So, he asked me to promoted his finding on this book called The Malaysian INDIAN DILEMMA.

The Book cost RM 35 - RM 50.(Normal cover and Hard cover) 450 pages, all in TAMIL.

Many photograph in this book are unseen before.

Also the statistics. I can say, this is a complete version of our lost history in Malaysia.

Pls support him by buying this book, which I think every Indian must have in their house.

This will encourage him to come with more books about Indian Issues in Malaysia today.

Pls feel free to see this programme.

Below are some capture of the book front/backpage and some pages inside.

You must have seen some photos elsewhere, all taken from this book actually.


Where can you get the book,

Human Development and Research centre

No 5, Jalan seruling 58, Taman Klang Jaya, 41200 Selangor.

H/P : 013 - 392 7727 Fax : 03 3323 8036.

Mr. Janali Raman Manickam.

(Pls circulate to the world)







Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A SURVEY : WHAT DO WE MALAYSIAN INDIANS WANT...? - New Posts are below this Message...

Initiated by : JDK

A SURVEY : WHAT DO WE MALAYSIAN INDIANS WANT...?


This survey ends on 21st March 2008 Midnight...

a) What do we Malaysian Indians want...?.

b) What role would Malaysian Indians want HINDRAF to play in the future of the community...?

c) Do we need MIC to represent the voice of Malaysian Indians,if not who should carry our concerns...?

d) Do Malaysian Indians need a new political platform away from MIC,IPF,PPP and others...?

Few bloggers are trying to find out and thought of just asking all of you and study the responses from the comments we gather - we will later consolidate and republish the responses in our respective blogs.

Maybe we can all learn a lot from it. So fire it away...!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PM unveils trimmed-down cabinet

Source : Email



Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak


Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department

Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz
Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz

Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department
Datuk Johari Baharom
Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim
Datuk K. Devamany
Datuk Hassan Malik

Finance
Minister - Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Second Finance Minister - Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
Deputies - Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Kong Cho Ha

Defense
Minister - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
Deputy - Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop

Internal Security and Home Affairs
Minister - Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar
Deputies - Datuk Chor Chee Heong, Senator Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh

Housing and Local Government
Minister -Datuk Ong Ka Chuan
Deputies - Datuk Robert Lau , Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin

Works Minister
Minister - Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamad
Deputy- Datuk Yong Khoon Seng

Energy, Water and Communications
Minister - Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy- Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry
Minister - Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy - Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim

International Trade and Industry
Minister -Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputies- Loh Wei Keong, Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan

Foreign Affairs
Minister -Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim
Deputy- Tunku Azlan Abu Bakar

Education
Minister -Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein
Deputies -Datuk Wee Ka Siong, Datuk Razali Ismail

Higher Education
Minister - Datuk Khaled Nordin
Deputies - Khoo Kok Choong, Datuk Idris Harun

Transport
Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Deputy - Anifah Aman

Human Resources
Datuk S. Subramaniam
Deputy- Datuk Noraini Ahmad

Women, Family and Community Development
Minister-Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy- Noriah Kasnon

National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage
Minister- Datuk Shafie Apdal
Deputy-Datuk Teng Boon Soon

Science, Technology and Innovation
Minister- Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy- Fadilah Yusof

Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development
Minister - Datuk Noh Omar
Deputy- Datuk Saiffuddin Abdullah

Natural Resources and Environment
Minister - Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas
Deputy - Datuk Abu Ghapur Salleh

Rural and Regional Development
Minister - Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib
Deputy- Tan Sri Joseph Kurup

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
Minister - Datuk Shahrir Samad
Deputy - Jelaing Mersat

Plantation Industries and Commodities
Minister - Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy- Senator A. Kohilan

Youth and Sports
Minister - Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaacob
Deputy - Wee Jack Seng

Health
Minister - Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy- Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Information
Minister - Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy- Datuk Tan Lian Hoe

Tourism
Minister - Datuk Azalina Othman
Deputy - Datuk Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abu Taib

FT
Minister - Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy- M. Saravanan

Leaders should watch out for next tsunami

A Letter By : AB Sulaiman via M'Kini

The political tsunami hitting Malaysia last weekend reminds me very much of the popular tale of the frog that cuddles comfortably in a cauldron of water. The frog feels so comfortable that it has not detected that the water is warming up by a fire coming from under the cauldron. The rate of warming is slow, so the frog does not detect the rising temperature. Until it is too late when it realises the water temperature is too hot for its comfort and has to jump out in great shock.

The March 8, 2008 political tsunami is somewhat like the rising temperature in the cauldron. The Barisan Nasional (read that as Umno, and more specifically, Ketuanan Melayu, or just Malay) mindset has been too comfortable riding the wave of popularity, and for so very long (fifty years), so much so that it has taken the population (especially the Malay segment) for granted, and dis not detect the appearance of hate, disenchantment and detestation simmering and growing on the part of the population. Until it is too late.

And so now what do we have? We have this momentous tsunami taking place in the form of the 12th general elections. What has hit the Ketuanan Melayu polity is in actual fact more than just political, it is a psychological tsunami. By definition the Ketuanan Melayu, Malay, Umno, and Barisan Nasional (in this context they are arguably synonymous to one another) mindsets have been going about controlling the reins of the country with the traditional mindsets of yesterday. They rest on the ethnocentric platform of ‘Untuk Agama, Bangsa dan Negara.’ With this they went way beyond reason to protect and propagate the sanctity of Islam, and similarly the elitism of the Malay culture, without paying too much respect to the views and sensitivities of the other communities.

The Malays, in the meantime, were treated like a father treating his favourite son, showering the child with a lot of goodies in the form of subsidies and a long list of affirmative action programmes. Their minds are carefully nurtured to be conservative and in conformity with the status quo. Mainly the child is nurtured and groomed to remain as a child, never allowed to grow into adulthood. The child is spoilt rotten.

All along and very much like the Malay proverb macam tikus jatuh ke beras (like a mouse falling into a sack of rice) the leadership helped itself to the fats of the country involving obscene, ugly and astronomical amounts. All along the non-Malays were treated like enemies as witnessed by the nonchalant way the ulama term all non-Muslim as ‘enemies of Islam’. More than that, it became very complacent, arrogant, immoral, irrational, and totally unprofessional with its leadership performance and accompanied by a deterioration of quality.

Lord Acton’s dictum that power corrupts with absolute power corrupting absolutely comes to the fore. The tsunami then hits with a force far beyond even what the opposition parties had ever anticipated.

This psychological tsunami should be a wake up call to the complacent Barisan Nasional/Umno/ Ketuanan Melayu/Malay mindset. Commentators and columnists have inundated the media, especially the Internet, suggesting ways and means on how this composite Ketuanan Melayu mindset can redeem itself. The writings by Azly Rahman, Ong Kian Ming, for example, are excellent in their analysis and presentation.

I shall limit my contribution by saying that the Malaysian social, economic and political environments have changed since fifty years ago. The people are more educated, urbanised, and are enjoying a higher standard of living. They travel more often to more distant places. More importantly people read more and think more. They are more literate. They are more equipped and able to conceptualise about new ideas and new things around them. People are more matured, more ready to think of alternatives. They are not afraid of alternatives.

Coming back to the frog analogy, the people - and this include very moderate and liberal Malays - are ready to venture out from the Known to the Unknown. Put all these elements together and we have a population being more aware and more knowledgeable of things happening around them. We have a population with a declining group orientation, and taken over by a developed sense of the individual. They would require a leadership as aware and as knowledgeable as them.

The Ketuanan Melayu incumbents should pay heed to this new breed of individual-orientated Malaysians (Malays included) who have their own minds, and mainly have faith, trust, and confidence in their own judgments. Should the leaders not change as well so as to be at par with the people’s mindset, they will not be effective leaders. In such an unfortunate mismatch situation, it is tantamount to an invitation for another more damaging tsunami to come. Ketuanan Melayu culture would surely be drowned by the sheer force of this tsunami.

Demolished Hindu temple to be rebuilt on new site

Source : Email



YennaMike Says : "Not bad for someone who has been in the office for only a week"

SHAH ALAM: A new site for the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kampung Rimba Jaya, Padang Jawa, which was demolished in November last year has been approved.

Mayor Mazalan Md Noor said the temple would be rebuilt soon on a 10,000sq feet land near the Keretapi Tanah Melayu quarters, a much bigger site than the original temple.

He was speaking to reporters after Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Shah Alam MP Khalid Abd Samad visited the Rimba Jaya flats Monday.

The Hindu temple was ordered torn down by the authorities as it stood in the vicinity of the Rimba Jaya squatter settlement.

The 11ha site in the area is owned by Ken Rimba Jaya Sdn Bhd.

“The developer has been directed by the state government to provide the land and RM40,000, the cost of the building construction.

“It is up to the temple committee and the developer to decide when to start the temple construction,” he said.

Mazalan said the Shah Alam City Council had cleared up the land to make way for the temple project.

Earlier, Khalid and Anwar had a dialogue with the Kampung Rimba Jaya residents and the demolition of the temple was among the hottest issues raised during the 15-minute meeting.

Khalid said the new state government was working hard to solve the squatter problems in the state.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Results are out. What’s Next…??

Congratulations to all SPM and STPM students…those who have done well and pre planned their next step – I would like to wish you all the best and keep focusing on your studies and future.

For those who didn’t get good result or haven’t planned anything yet – here are some tips and advices…which I’m sharing from my personal experiences...

a) Ensure that you focus on what you really what to do, most of us end up doing something we don’t like once we have graduated. If can try to work part time to get a feel on what is stored for you.

b) Choosing a career that will not have too many graduates looking for the same job you are looking for. Do a basic degree and major in something that is classified as “Specialized trade” in the market place. You will know which trade is specialized once you start doing your practical training or placement.

c) Applying to Uni, Collage, Polytechnic, etc…apply to as many institution as possible this will give you more option when you get the reply from them. Attend the education fairs - Star News Papaer normally have pull outs on education fairs. Set 3 to 4 different plans…what if Plan A fails…move on to Plan B and so on. Most students will not have Plan C and D they only have Plan A and B, please don’t fall into that trap.

If you made up your mind with the offer that most suits you, please write back to other institutions that offer you a place in their institution. This way you will allow the candidates from the 2nd intake to move up to take over your seat .

d) Be pro-active in finding out your application status, sometimes you will not get shortlisted on the 1st intake this does not mean end of the world it means you might have been shortlisted for the 2nd or 3rd intake (call and find out). (2nd and 3rd will come to effect if the persons for 1st intake declined the offer, fail to show up, give up after orientation and so on.

e) For each of these plans work out the fee structure and your expenses, most courses starts between end May to July therefore you can still save up some money by working full time. Financial planning is quite important from the start to completion of your course.

f) Look out for scholarships and student loans which suit you.

g) Don't leave everything till the last minute...!!!

h) If you think your result is not good enough to enter any higher learning institution…well you never know until you try. There are also short courses offered by the government which you could benefit from.

i) Last but not least, good luck – you future is in your hand and it’s up to you to make that first move to achieve your dream career…

Scholarship Link : http://malaysia-scholarship.net/

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our MP the absentee...My hubby the detainee

Source : The Electric News

THE people of Klang in Selangor will be served in a strange way by Madam Pushpaneela.


(Above) Madam Pushpaneela (in yellow) campaigning on her husband's behalf before the elections.

Her style will be: First to meet-the-people session, then to prison - to meet the man who is the constituents' real Member of Parliament.

Her husband, newly-elected state assemblyman M Manoharan, has been locked up in the Kamunting detention centre in Perak, about 220km from his Klang constituency.

The 46-year-old lawyer has been there since last December.

He is one of five men detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), arrested after the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) led street protests against the ruling government last November.

So just as de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim once relied on his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, 55, to represent him while he served time in prison, Mr Manoharan is now depending on wife Pushpaneela, 47, to serve his constituents.

Her husband shocked the nation when he won Klang's KotaAlam Shah state seat during the 8Mar elections.

Madam Pushpaneela, a mother of four who works as an office administrator, had campaigned on her husband's behalf under the banner of the opposition's Democratic Action Party (DAP).

M Manoharan, Hindraf's legal advisor, beat his rival MrChing Su Chen from Barisan Nasional (BN) by 7,184 votes.


(Above) Detained Hindraf activist and newly-elected state assemblyman, M Manoharan. --Picture: NEW STRAITS TIMES

He is the third person in Malaysia to win a seat while under detention.

The other two, Mr Chan Kok Kit and Mr Chian Heng Kai, contested under the DAP ticket and won Sungai Besi and Batu Gajah seats respectively in 1978.

In 1999, M Manoharan had vied for the parliamentary seat of Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, but lost to BN politician Tan Kee Kwong.

EXTRA ROLE

Now, Madam Pushpaneela finds herself having an extra role to play, on top of her hectic schedule at home and at work.

But she's keen. She feels driven by her mission to free her husband and the other ISA detainees.

She also wants to fulfil the promises made to Kota Alam Shah voters.

She is opening a 'service centre' to meet residents in Taman Bayu Perdana, Klang, next week.

This is to make it convenient for voters to raise issues to elected officials.

Usually, the issues involve public amenities, pleas for lower rentals and even fixing potholes on roads.

How will their problems be solved when M Manoharan is behind bars more than 200km away?

BRAINSTORMING IN JAIL

Madam Pushpaneela told The New paper: 'This is where I have to play my part.

'I will meet him every Sunday to brief him on the voters' problems and we can brainstorm to find solutions.'

Madam Pushpaneela said that since she is also running hus husband's legal firm, she would givehim the paperwork for him to work on.

Her most recent visit to Kamunting was on Sunday, the day after the results were announced.

Visitors get only an hour's time there, Madam Pushpaneela said with a hint of sadness. She tried to make the best of it, she added.

'My husband was ecstatic when he heard (we) won the seat.

'He wanted to thank the voters for all the support, but unfortunately, he couldn't,' she said.

She said her husband had lost so much weight, he is now 'half his size'.

'We're not allowed to give him food. He eats the canteen food at the detention centre.

'The detainees would usually eat fried rice or porridge with salted fish or century egg for lunch.

'When it comes to dinner, they would rather go hungry because they do not have the appetite to eat.'

Madam Pushpaneela herself was kept trim by the punishing pace during the polls.

WORK AND POLITICS

She now divides her week by manning the legal firm and spending a couple of days and the weekend in Klang meeting the constituents.

This is in addition to minding their four children, including the youngest, 9, who is constantly asking 'if daddy was coming home soon'.

How does she cope?

'The people's support gives me courage and strength,' Madam Pushpaneela said, revealing that public donations of about RM$50,000 ($21,800) had helped her through the political campaign period.

'Without them, I would not have been able to do it.'

Malaysia: Shadow Over Badawi’s Future

Source : Arab News


Malaysia’s 12th general election last week has opened up a Pandora’s box.

As a humbled Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi finalizes the task of forming a new Cabinet, the fallout of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition losing its two-third majority in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat (the Malaysian Parliament) for the first time since 1969 and in four states plus the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, are still reverberating across this subtropical country.

It wasn’t quite a political earthquake, but Malaysia’s voters gave Badawi and his ruling BN coalition and its constituent parties, UMNO (United Malays National Organization), MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) and MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress), a bloody nose.

But the pain for Badawi could indeed be prolonged till November when the next test for the beleaguered premier looms — the annual convention of the dominant party in the BN coalition, UMNO. The president of UMNO is also the chairman of BN and the prime minister of the country. All indications are that Badawi’s presidency of UMNO will be severely challenged at the convention, and he might lose the vote of confidence and therefore the presidency. In which case, he would have no choice but to resign as prime minister. The only other credible alternative to Badawi is Defense Minister Najib Tun Abdul Razak, one of the deputy presidents of UMNO.

To make things worse for Badawi, his predecessor, Dr. Mahathir Mohammed has already accused Badawi of letting down the BN, UMNO and the country, and urging him to resign. The danger is that UMNO, instead of rallying behind its leader, will sleepwalk into spilling blood in a bitter factional feud.

To interpret the 2008 elections as Malaysian democracy and indeed political culture coming of age would be oversimplifying things. The BN won 140 seats compared to 82 for the opposition parties comprising DAP, PKR and PAS (the Islamic party of Malaysia). This still gives it a handsome majority in the Dewan Rakyat of 58 seats.

However, compared to the past, the BN coalition government would not be able to change the constitution at will, which may be a good check and balance on the government. A true test for Malaysian democracy is for parties to organize across the racial lines.

But given the politics of race in multicultural Malaysia, it is unlikely that this will happen. Take for instance Penang state, which has a Chinese majority and which is one of the more prosperous regions of the country.

Penang is also the home state of Premier Badawi, who comfortably retained his Kepala Batas seat. But it is also the stronghold of Anwar Ibrahim, the disgraced former deputy prime minister and UMNO deputy president who was jailed for corruption. Anwar was automatically barred from politics, but the expiry of his ban uncannily was a week after the date of the elections.

Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Ismail easily won her Permatang Pauh seat that she fought under the banner of her Parti Kaedilan Rakyat (PKR) or People’s Justice Party. There are reports that Wan Azizah plans to resign her seat to force a by-election that would pave the way for Anwar to re-enter Parliament and the sometimes-murky world of Malaysian politics. If this happens, it is most likely that we will have a by-election in April or May.

When Malays fight amongst each other, then others gain. The BN lost its majority in Penang — both in terms of its MPs in the federal Parliament and the state assembly. Penang’s new Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, from the opposition Chinese-dominated DAP, has already thrown down the gauntlet which could severely test the status quo in Malaysia. Lim gave notice that his DAP-led state government would no longer practice the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was introduced in 1971 after the 1969 race riots aimed at promoting affirmative action in favor of the Bumiputras (ethnic Malays) who were at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Badawi has been quick to warn Lim not to make statements that could stoke racial tensions and marginalize the Malays. The DAP may be testing how far it can undermine the race card in Malaysian politics. But the true battle for the soul of Malaysian politics will be fought out by factions within the dominant Malays — inside UMNO and between UMNO and PAS and PKR. There is one school of thought that stresses that the poor showing of BN was orchestrated by an UMNO faction supporting Deputy Premier Najib Tun Abdul Razak because it wanted to undermine Badawi’s authority and support within UMNO. Only time will tell whether this turns out to be so at the next UMNO convention.

PAS remains a one-state party as shown by its dominance of Kelantan. If it can transform itself from a purely religious party to a more inclusive party along the lines of AK Party in Turkey that would embrace non-Muslims and non-Malays, then it could start breaking the mold of Malaysian politics.

But the current PAS leadership lacks the vision or the will to effect such a transformation.

The other striking feature of the elections is the beginnings of potential dynastic structures in Malaysian politics. Mahathir’s son Mukhriz won a parliamentary set in Kedah for the BN; Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah ousted Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the minister for women’s and rural affairs; and Abdullah Badawi’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin scraped through winning a parliamentary seat at the first go.

No deal in son’s insurance case

Source : The Star

PENANG: A Hindu woman’s suit for insurance monies left by her army ranger son, who died a Muslim, could not be settled as the sum offered to her was too low, a High Court here heard.

Justice John Louis O’Hara yesterday fixed June 13 for hearing after he was told in his chambers that a settlement could not be reached.

Cleaner M. Rukumony, 61, had named the Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Berhad and Amanah Raya Berhad as defendants. The court also subsequently allowed the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council’s application to intervene as a defendant.

In her claim, Rukumony said her son E. Ragu, 23, was an army ranger. He was found in a coma at Kem Wardieburn Setapak Kuala Lumpur, and died on Aug 2, 2000.

She said the cooperative had taken out a policy on her son but refused to pay her the RM56,300 and instead deposited it with Amanah Raya.

She claimed that Ragu, a bachelor, had made a trust deed on Sept 6, 1999, and an assignment under Section 23 of the Civil Law Act 1956 on Feb 1, 2000, making her the beneficiary.

Anwar, your three main tasks

A letter by : Feroz Qureshi via M'Kini



Dear Dr Anwar Ibrahim,

I would like to congratulate you, your family and your team for the extraordinary success of the opposition in the recent Malaysian elections. I have long admired you, read your book, heard your speeches and followed your tumultuous political career since the early 1990s. While your followers see you as a beacon of hope, and rightly so, I see you as a tour de force in Asian intellectualism.

I have worked and lived in Malaysia and am familiar with its distinct political structure and social make-up. As an apolitical commentator, I would like to humbly offer my take on some of the ills plaguing Malaysian society that may or may not assist you in realising your reformist agenda. My perspectives could be a tad naVve but I have in the past uncovered several blind spots that most Malaysians have ignored owing largely to self-indulgence and an insular outlook.

On rolling back the NEP

You are right in saying that the NEP is obsolete, not so much because it has been socially unjust but because Malaysia is finally ready to move on. Inevitably, two or three decades from now, reference to this acronym would be politically incorrect. But for now, you face tremendous challenges in making this work. And I am certain that you’ll be able to convince the Malays that ‘a people cannot become special by getting special rights’.

Essentially, non-Malays including myself have to frequently discount the achievements of talented and educated Malays as somewhat ordinary. Modifying the NEP would accord more respect to and self-respect for the Malay community. Once this journey has begun, it won’t be long before it becomes habitualised in the Malay psyche. Merit will ensue and your team will then be tested with the issues of designing the appropriate metrics/measures. Better this test than tests of nepotism and cronyism. Poor design is how the NEP got hijacked by the Umno elite and their cronies in the first place.

Therefore, I urge you to put your best brains and resources towards this formative stage. Embracing meritocracy is one thing, getting it wrong can lead to much unintended social and economic costs. In Singapore’s case, its brand of meritocracy has created much systemic rigidity in the public service and general populace. They regarded a deviation from the metrics to be undesirable and even feared. Lee Kuan Yew’s willingness to go tough on corruption and his subsequent legislation further compounded these fears.

In sum, an entire generation of Singaporeans grew up fusing values of merit with conformity. During the 70s and 80s when SE Asia’s industrialisation had a price advantage, such mistakes can go unpunished. But in the more networked, creative-driven knowledge economy of today where human capital is the only true resource, a conformist society will only produce lacklustre ideas. I have every confidence that your team has the mental agility to avoid such a trap. Yet this is merely a fraction of the task.

On obsession with class

Running alongside the NEP malaise, is a centuries old practice that Malaysian society suffers from – an obsession with class. Now I do not presume to know all the nuances of this issue, although I do know that it transcends all the races. Before emigrating, the Chinese from Fujian and Guangdong provinces had their Emperor. The Indians had their caste system. And of course, there are the Sultans whose absolute rule only retreated post-1945. As a result, feudal mindsets are still very much alive in modern Malaysia, allowing an obsession with class to be deeply entrenched. I am not saying that class consciousness is necessarily bad, but it’s this obsession that is damaging and holds the country back.

Every society has elites that set the tone, however when elites behave in a manner that accentuates and even glorifies the differences between themselves and the rest, it cannot be for the greater good - a lesson in Motivation 101. You may ask, ‘How is this attitude a danger to the nation?’ Quite simply, people are chasing Datukships as a short-cut to achieving their life goals and have abandoned the usual habits that make for success. Much human talent has also been wasted by a business environment that places a greater value on ‘know-who’ than ‘know-how’. This in turn will continue to breed cynicism and disenchantment. It’s already a grave error that these titles do not entail quantitative criteria, what more the culture behind it is one of privilege/indulgence rather than duty.

Suffice it to say, very few Datuks are role-model quality for the next generation and some Tan Seris even invoke feelings of disgust. Removing or limiting these titles would be a most unifying force for the country. For it will redirect the people’s efforts and ambitions towards more life-enhancing goals; goals that are driven by Spartan-like values such as enterprise, discipline and thrift. This will not be an easy undertaking. While the NEP can be modified in parliament, class obsession involves group behavior. Strong culture change agents like you can lead the way.

On separating business and politics

From the Lee Kuan Yew journal of clean government – candidates must not need large sums of money to get elected, or it will trigger the cycle of corruption. I don’t know how you plan to achieve this, but this responsibility falls upon you. I choke at the thought of US candidates having to raise US$300 million to make a bid for the presidency. No common man need apply. Where then is the grand ideal in a government ‘of the people’? By comparison, Umno’s money politics may seem less rotten.

Nevertheless, over the interim four years, if your team is able to make gains in this arena, all decent Malaysians will be the better off. I applaud your partners in the DAP for initiating public disclosure of assets for all office bearers. This is a wholesome first step. And I think when the time is right, you may want to take it further by barring all high-office bearers including yourself from holding directorships and being direct or indirect shareholders in companies. Our mutual friend Kishore Mahbubani once said: ‘Successful societies have functional elites. They add more to society than they take from it. Unsuccessful societies have corrupt elites’.

Malaysians of your generation are typically more tolerant of corruption. Needless to say, you are an exception. My own father, who is of your age, is of the view that the best we can ever hope for is that our leaders are least corrupt. Sage advice? Perhaps. What of those of Nurul Izzah’s generation and that of your grandchildren’s who will accept nothing less than to see an effective clean government and equitable society? Malaysia may be a long way off from this lofty dream but it’s the endeavoring to get there that counts.

I am not Malaysian. I am neither Malay, Indian nor Chinese. I have no business interests in Malaysia but I do have family there and my wife is Malaysian. Still, that’s not enough for me to claim a stake in Malaysia’s future. Whatever it is, God bless you, your family and your team.

Friday, March 14, 2008

UMNO Protest at Komtar

Via Sim Kean Hong Blog
Image : Sloone





Updates from Georgetown 3.50pm:

My friend SY just called me that all shops in KOMTAR, Prangin Mall closed due to the protest. Can these shops claim their losses from UMNO which include shops that belong to peace-loving Malays, Indians, Chinese and most of all, Malaysian. SY also took video clip and photos of the protest, waiting for it now......

Older Post:

Now they also use protest and demo to express their views. LPPL.

News from MalaysiaKini:

Mar 14, 08 2:58pm

Some 500 Umno members and supporters staged a brief protest outside the Penang state government office in Komtar this afternoon.

The crowd - which gathered there after Friday prayers around 2.30pm - chanted slogans such as 'Don’t sideline the Malays' and 'Do not abolish the NEP'.

Upon being instructed by the police, the crowd dispersed some 15 minutes later. No untoward incidents were reported.

The protest, led by Penang Umno secretary Azhar Ibrahim, to protest Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's declaration that the new DAP-led state government would do away with the New Economic Policy (NEP) policies.

Earlier today, Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan had warned that the gathering in Komtar would be declared illegal and arrests would be made against the protestors.

However, no arrests were made this afternoon.

SARAVANAN ROLE MODE FOR YOUTHS....!!!

Thanks to BMAHENDRAN for the write up...Click Here

Image : Thanks to Mahendran and Raaja


FULL NAME : SARAVANAN A/L SAGADEVAN
AGE : 20 years old
DATE OF BIRTH : 03.11.1987

* He was selected for Kedah team, participated in 200 meters relay and won the 2nd prize.

* He was later made the athlete for our country, made representative for Malaysia, in Paralympics. He plays for the football team.

* On the 9th of November 2006 he received ANUGERAH AKADEMIK DAN KO-KURIKULUM PENDIDIKAN KHAS DAERAH KULIM 2006.

Your typical question will be - so what...??, here is the answer and i salute him with standing ovation...!!!

Saravanan, a science student, top scorer for STPM 2007 in the spastic category ,scoring a whopping 2As and 3Bs. Congratulations Saravanan...

Again your question will be - so what...?? - Read below and you will know...

He is not like your average Joe. He didn't grow up playing PlayStations, he didn't have RM15 Starbucks for his coffee break , he didn't pay RM100 to go to one of those posh clubs in Bangsar. He learned about life by living it, the hard way.

His mother left him. His father worked odd jobs. He was abandoned by his parents at young age when they discovered he had spastic cerebral palsy.



Since then he grew up with support from neighbours and friends. A restaurant owner took in Saravanan, who was abandoned, and raised him until he was 17 years old. He attended SJKT Mak Mandin from Standard 1 to Standard 4 and he completed Standard 5 and 6 in SJKT Wellesley.

He had his Secondary education in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lunas. As he needed money for his basic needs he collected Scrap – papers cardboards cans and plastic wires for recycling.His Aunty, Uncle and some wellwishers helped him along the way.

He completed Form 1.2 and 4 in the Special Class in SMK Lunas and Form 3 and 5 in the normal classes. Eventhough he went through hardship he managed to obtain 2As 2 Bs and 2Cs and 2Ds in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia -2004.


Saravanan grew up and with the help of friends and has successfully completed SPM. He commenced his Lower Six in Chio Min School in Kulim on June 14th 2006. And he made us all proud with his STPM.

His achievements are as follows:

1. ANUGERAH AKADEMIK DAN KO-KURIKULUM PENDIDKAN KHAS DAERAH KULIM BANDAR BAHARU 2006
2. ANUGERAH KECEMERLANGAN KOKURIKULUM SMK LUNAS 2006
3. PARTCIPATION IN PARALYMPICS MALAYSIA X111 2006
4. PARTI CIPATED IN FUTSAL AND BASKET BALL – STATE REPRESENTATIVE 2004.
5. PARTI CIPATED IN FUTSAL AND BASKET BALL – STATE REPRESENTATIVE 2002.
6. RUNNER UP AT SCHOOL LEVEL FOR QUIZ– COMMERCE CONTEST.
7. BEST STUDENT IN ECONOMY ASAS 2004


He made it through defeating the odds, managed to be a champion not only of himself, but I dare to say, this is THE role model of any youth. He can easily be positioned better than many of those others who claim themselves as being 'sidelined' and not scoring in their studies.

Saravanan now wants to pursue his ambition of becoming a software engineer. Dr P. Kunaletchumy, a director at the Kamakshi Child Home, is hoping to find a sponsor to finance Saravanan’s education.

This is where you, YOU come into the picture. It will be very much appreciated if you can donate in any kind and in any amount to this brother, crown jewel of the society. I beg you, trust me, I know how hard it is. ENCOURAGE him , lend a helping hand.


If you wish to contribute, leave me your amount pledges (if cash) and provide me your real email , I will email you personally.

Other than cash is preferable, especially those who can help him in the long run. Comment here your pledges , or simply email Mahendran at bmahendran@gmail.com and I shall reply to you personally as fast as possible.

BE THE CHANGE !!!

Perak is back ON TRACK...!!!

Source : M'Kini


The opposition has successfully averted an impasse after party leaders reached an amicable decision to reallocate the composition of the Perak state executive council posts last night.

PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali confirmed that the new composition will be six DAP, three PKR and one PAS to form the 10-person Perak state executive council.

Yesterday, PKR threatened to pull out from the Perak state administration on hearing that eight posts will go to DAP.

"In the spirit of sincere openness, we stress that the composition of the exco must reflect the composition of the population of Perak and represent the interests of all ethnic groups fairly," said Syed Husin in a statement yesterday.

Syed Husin said the new state government will also appoint a PKR representative to be one of its two senators.

More details will be revealed after the swearing-in of the new Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS.

Syed Husin also said that a second deputy MB post will be allocated to PKR. It is expected that Perak will follow Penang's example of naming two deputy MBs.

He added that the compromise was reached after both Perak and central leaders concluded their discussions last night.

A letter to the PM by Stanley Sudhagaran

A letter to the PM by Stanley Sudhagaran via email

TO: -

Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Blok
Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62502 PUTRAJAYA No. Fax: 03-88884333

C: C : -

TAN SRI DATO' SERI HJ. AB. RASHID BIN AB. RAHMAN Chairman Election
Commission of Malaysia Aras 4 & 5, Block C7, Kompleks C, Pusat Pentadbiran
Kerajaan Persekutuan 62690 PUTRAJAYA. Tel : (603)-8885 6500 Fax :
(603)-8888 9117

And to all beloved Malaysians,

March 11 -08

Dear Prime Minister,

First of all, I would like to welcome you in to the new era of Malaysians
politics. The old money, racial and UMNO Putera politics is no more valid
in this country where people choose freedom of rights and a democratic
process. Many reasons have caused the big waves of change in your
government. Some of the points are as below. I hope this will help you to
restructure your government.

1. The peaceful assemblies being disrupted by the police for your own
political gain.
2. The use of ISA on innocent Malaysians.
3. The on going corruption.
4. The failure of the judiciary system.
5. The involvement of government officials in the murder of Altantunya.
6. The federal constitution law is violated especially in the freedom of
religion under article 11, example in the case of Subashini, Lina Joy, Holy
Scriptures and Bibles banned from entering the country, the movie Passion of
Christ being banned in Malaysia and the demolishment of holy temples.
7. The one sight media coverage.
8. Discrimination against the Indians.
9. Most of the government project are given to the UMNO Putera`s and fly.
10. The indecent and racial remarks made by your Ministers.
11. The keris issue by Hishamudin
12. No transparency in the accounts administration.
13. And of course much of the noise made by the empty vessel, Khairy.

I still remember just after the cabinet was dissolved, how BN tried to gain
its votes by instilling fear to the rakyat reminding them of the May
13
incident. Najib constantly repeated his speech about the May 13 in most of
his ceramah and press statements. Do you think that Malaysians are that
stupid to be fooled by the government? You took control of the media fully,
spending millions in advertising the campaign in TV and newspapers.
One advertisement in the STAR by MIC even stated that IF YOU VOTE THE
OPPOSITION, BE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE. What the hell! ! . Is not that
against the election law which prohibits candidates from threatening the
voters? For weeks there were articles on you and your Ministers doing this
and that. But when it was about the opposition, it would be a negative
report. Trust me on this, did you know how many Malaysians felt bored
looking at you muggy face daily. Some even told me, they felt like want to
vomit and was very angry with the press. This is the feedback from the
ground, not me. And all this emotions was transferred to the ballot boxes.
Personal letters by BN were sent to all citizen with your signature in it.
Even the electoral information letter, which provides information on the
voting centre and stream, was posted with the BN letter head. A helicopter
carrying the BN flag was seen for campaigning purpose.
You know
using government properties for campaigning is against the law, yet you
still choose to allow it. I even came to know that Ang Pow were given for
people who attended BN ceramah`s in Penang. All this gave a clear picture
to the citizens on the misuse of power given to you.

There was no fairness and equal treatment given to the opposition in this
election. But still, with the will of God, they managed to captured five
states and deny you the 2/3 majority. You have wasted Malaysians money in
millions campaigning in the elections. But it turns out that half of the
population did not choose you. How are you going to pay back the money to
the people now? Or will you just get on with it.

Lately in your press conference after the official results was out, you
answered back to the reporters in a rude way, SUDAH KALAH, KALAH LAH! This
attitude reflects your personality. How can a Prime Minister talk in that
way? Are you an uneducated Kampung Boy trying to run the show here?
Hey,
come on ya. Please learn from Mr. Koh Soo Khoon. He will teach you how to
accept failure and defeat being a gentleman.

When the Election Commission chairman announced the seats won by BN that
night, he was asked by reporters on how many seats were won by the
opposition, he answered back in a very angry face and an irresponsible
manner, shouting to them saying SAYA TAK TAHU LAH! ITU SAYA TAK TAHU ! !
! What the hell is wrong with our leaders? How can an EC Chairman say he
does not know anything on the seats won by the opposition when at that time
the whole of Malaysia had already come to know about the victory of the
opposition. Was he sleeping with his wife that night that made him not know
anything about the results? I then asked you to sack him from his post and
reform the election commission, for giving a reply which cannot be accepted
in this world of democracy. It has brought great shame to Malaysians as
many foreigners were watching his statement that night live in TV.

You used this election results to prove that Malaysia is a democratic
country and that there was no such thing as HANTU VOTERS or cheating. Let
me tell you, with or without you knowledge, I don't know, but there were
many cheating and fraud planned that day. Most of it was prevented by
various organizations volunteering to help in the election process.
Many
ballot boxes were found unsealed. The serial number was also written by
pencil in the ballot papers in some hot areas. This created fear in
government staffs casting their vote for the opposition. A police personal
even complained he could not vote for the opposition fearing that his vote
could be traced by the serial no written in the postal votes. In another
case, the Chief counting agent asked both the representative from BN and
opposition to stand outside the classroom while he closed the door and was
inside. But the candidate was informed about it and quickly responded to
the situation. Another case reported was on nearly three hundred people
registered in the one same address in Penang. From where did this people
come out about suddenly?

Barisan representative were seen pulling votes in the voting area and begged
voters to vote for Barisan. Barisan Booth were seen at all the voting
centre, claming to provide services such as checking the voters polling
stream, and after that they would say PLEASE VOTE FOR BN.
There is
no need for barisan to provide such services as the EC is already providing
it for them inside the voting centre. Why should you then miss use your
powers and waste our money on setting up thousands of booth nation wide.
Where are the accounts for all this expenditure? Has it not reach the limit
allowed to spend in a campaign. All this had gave a clear picture on the
unfairness in the election process and the cheating that was about to be
done. I then again, urge you to sack the EC Chairman from his post if you
say, you are clean and not involved in those matters, because the Election
commission has failed in its duties and task from holding a fair and clean
election. There were nearly three hundred police reports made that day on
the election.

The time has now come for you to change the attitude of your Ministers and
reinvent Barisan Nasional. Sack Ministers that does not perform well, and
do not tolerate racial hatred in the Ministers. Malaysians today are not
the Malaysians of 1969. They have grown to be more matured and they can now
think for the future of the country. They can reject you regardless of your
race and religion if you fail to perform your responsibilities.
No
more racial sentiments are tolerated in this community. We have change to
become a BANGSA MALAYSIA. Corruption is no more accepted. Unequal treatment
to the races has been strongly rejected by the Rakyat.

On people pressuring you to resign, this is my advice. You have to stay on
and answer for what mess you have brought upon to this country.
There is
no escape. Stay and change. The tigers and lions are now in the parliament.
And soon the king of the jungle "Tarzan" will be in too, if his wife makes
way for him. He is famous swinging in between the races.
And he
has achieved in bringing all the races together thus creating a new era of
politics in Malaysia. So be prepared to face this happy family elected by
the people of Malaysia. Don't ever think of giving Samy vellu a post or job
in your government. Not even a toilet cleaner. I wish you the best in the
future of your career.

May God bless you.

K. Sudhagaran Stanley,


(note from lucia: the earlier letter sent before the election can be found
here:
TO: -

Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Blok
Utama, Bangunan Perdana Putra, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,
62502 PUTRAJAYA No. Fax: 03-88884333

C: C : -

TAN SRI DATO' SERI HJ. AB. RASHID BIN AB. RAHMAN Chairman Election
Commission of Malaysia Aras 4 & 5, Block C7, Kompleks C, Pusat Pentadbiran
Kerajaan Persekutuan 62690 PUTRAJAYA. Tel : (603)-8885 6500 Fax :
(603)-8888 9117

And to all beloved Malaysians,

March 11 -08

Dear Prime Minister,

First of all, I would like to welcome you in to the new era of Malaysians
politics. The old money, racial and UMNO Putera politics is no more valid
in this country where people choose freedom of rights and a democratic
process. Many reasons have caused the big waves of change in your
government. Some of the points are as below. I hope this will help you to
restructure your government.

1. The peaceful assemblies being disrupted by the police for your own
political gain.
2. The use of ISA on innocent Malaysians.
3. The on going corruption.
4. The failure of the judiciary system.
5. The involvement of government officials in the murder of Altantunya.
6. The federal constitution law is violated especially in the freedom of
religion under article 11, example in the case of Subashini, Lina Joy, Holy
Scriptures and Bibles banned from entering the country, the movie Passion of
Christ being banned in Malaysia and the demolishment of holy temples.
7. The one sight media coverage.
8. Discrimination against the Indians.
9. Most of the government project are given to the UMNO Putera`s and fly.
10. The indecent and racial remarks made by your Ministers.
11. The keris issue by Hishamudin
12. No transparency in the accounts administration.
13. And of course much of the noise made by the empty vessel, Khairy.

I still remember just after the cabinet was dissolved, how BN tried to gain
its votes by instilling fear to the rakyat reminding them of the May
13
incident. Najib constantly repeated his speech about the May 13 in most of
his ceramah and press statements. Do you think that Malaysians are that
stupid to be fooled by the government? You took control of the media fully,
spending millions in advertising the campaign in TV and newspapers.
One advertisement in the STAR by MIC even stated that IF YOU VOTE THE
OPPOSITION, BE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE. What the hell! ! . Is not that
against the election law which prohibits candidates from threatening the
voters? For weeks there were articles on you and your Ministers doing this
and that. But when it was about the opposition, it would be a negative
report. Trust me on this, did you know how many Malaysians felt bored
looking at you muggy face daily. Some even told me, they felt like want to
vomit and was very angry with the press. This is the feedback from the
ground, not me. And all this emotions was transferred to the ballot boxes.
Personal letters by BN were sent to all citizen with your signature in it.
Even the electoral information letter, which provides information on the
voting centre and stream, was posted with the BN letter head. A helicopter
carrying the BN flag was seen for campaigning purpose.
You know
using government properties for campaigning is against the law, yet you
still choose to allow it. I even came to know that Ang Pow were given for
people who attended BN ceramah`s in Penang. All this gave a clear picture
to the citizens on the misuse of power given to you.

There was no fairness and equal treatment given to the opposition in this
election. But still, with the will of God, they managed to captured five
states and deny you the 2/3 majority. You have wasted Malaysians money in
millions campaigning in the elections. But it turns out that half of the
population did not choose you. How are you going to pay back the money to
the people now? Or will you just get on with it.

Lately in your press conference after the official results was out, you
answered back to the reporters in a rude way, SUDAH KALAH, KALAH LAH! This
attitude reflects your personality. How can a Prime Minister talk in that
way? Are you an uneducated Kampung Boy trying to run the show here?
Hey,
come on ya. Please learn from Mr. Koh Soo Khoon. He will teach you how to
accept failure and defeat being a gentleman.

When the Election Commission chairman announced the seats won by BN that
night, he was asked by reporters on how many seats were won by the
opposition, he answered back in a very angry face and an irresponsible
manner, shouting to them saying SAYA TAK TAHU LAH! ITU SAYA TAK TAHU ! !
! What the hell is wrong with our leaders? How can an EC Chairman say he
does not know anything on the seats won by the opposition when at that time
the whole of Malaysia had already come to know about the victory of the
opposition. Was he sleeping with his wife that night that made him not know
anything about the results? I then asked you to sack him from his post and
reform the election commission, for giving a reply which cannot be accepted
in this world of democracy. It has brought great shame to Malaysians as
many foreigners were watching his statement that night live in TV.

You used this election results to prove that Malaysia is a democratic
country and that there was no such thing as HANTU VOTERS or cheating. Let
me tell you, with or without you knowledge, I don't know, but there were
many cheating and fraud planned that day. Most of it was prevented by
various organizations volunteering to help in the election process.
Many
ballot boxes were found unsealed. The serial number was also written by
pencil in the ballot papers in some hot areas. This created fear in
government staffs casting their vote for the opposition. A police personal
even complained he could not vote for the opposition fearing that his vote
could be traced by the serial no written in the postal votes. In another
case, the Chief counting agent asked both the representative from BN and
opposition to stand outside the classroom while he closed the door and was
inside. But the candidate was informed about it and quickly responded to
the situation. Another case reported was on nearly three hundred people
registered in the one same address in Penang. From where did this people
come out about suddenly?

Barisan representative were seen pulling votes in the voting area and begged
voters to vote for Barisan. Barisan Booth were seen at all the voting
centre, claming to provide services such as checking the voters polling
stream, and after that they would say PLEASE VOTE FOR BN.
There is
no need for barisan to provide such services as the EC is already providing
it for them inside the voting centre. Why should you then miss use your
powers and waste our money on setting up thousands of booth nation wide.
Where are the accounts for all this expenditure? Has it not reach the limit
allowed to spend in a campaign. All this had gave a clear picture on the
unfairness in the election process and the cheating that was about to be
done. I then again, urge you to sack the EC Chairman from his post if you
say, you are clean and not involved in those matters, because the Election
commission has failed in its duties and task from holding a fair and clean
election. There were nearly three hundred police reports made that day on
the election.

The time has now come for you to change the attitude of your Ministers and
reinvent Barisan Nasional. Sack Ministers that does not perform well, and
do not tolerate racial hatred in the Ministers. Malaysians today are not
the Malaysians of 1969. They have grown to be more matured and they can now
think for the future of the country. They can reject you regardless of your
race and religion if you fail to perform your responsibilities.
No
more racial sentiments are tolerated in this community. We have change to
become a BANGSA MALAYSIA. Corruption is no more accepted. Unequal treatment
to the races has been strongly rejected by the Rakyat.

On people pressuring you to resign, this is my advice. You have to stay on
and answer for what mess you have brought upon to this country.
There is
no escape. Stay and change. The tigers and lions are now in the parliament.
And soon the king of the jungle "Tarzan" will be in too, if his wife makes
way for him. He is famous swinging in between the races.
And he
has achieved in bringing all the races together thus creating a new era of
politics in Malaysia. So be prepared to face this happy family elected by
the people of Malaysia. Don't ever think of giving Samy vellu a post or job
in your government. Not even a toilet cleaner. I wish you the best in the
future of your career.

May God bless you.

K. Sudhagaran Stanley,


(note from lucia: the earlier letter sent before the election can be found
here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mentaljog/message/110)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Perak MB's swearing-in put off

Source : M'Kini


In yet another dramatic twist to the formation new state government in Perak, the swearing-in ceremony of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar today has been cancelled.

Mohammad Nizar, a PAS assemblyman, was to be sworn in at the Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar at 4pm today.

However, palace officials made an announcement at 4.20pm that the ceremony had been put off. No reason was given.

It is learnt that the three candidates for the menteri besar post were involved in a prolonged meeting with the Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah at the Kinta Palace in Ipoh just prior to the swearing-in ceremony.

The meeting lasted from 2.30pm to 4.05pm, hardly leaving any time for them to be at the 4pm swearing-in ceremony at the Kuala Kangsar palace, which is about one hour from Ipoh.

It is not clear what had transpired at the close-door meeting.

Yesterday the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition in Perak agreed to appoint Pasir Panjang state assemblyperson and Perak PAS secretary Nizar as the new menteri besar.

State DAP chairperson and Sitiawan state assemblyperson Ngeh Khoo Ham and an Indian state representative were to be the deputy menteri besar (1) and (2) respectively.

Along with Nizar and Ngeh, PKR’s Behrang assemblyperson Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi's name was also submitted to the regent by the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition.

More stumbling blocks

However the appointment of Nizar was objected by the DAP leadership with party stalwart Lim Kit Siang saying that the party had only agreed for a DAP or a PKR menteri besar.

This morning the problem seemed to have been solved with Lim apologising over his objections and Ngeh stating that all misunderstanding have been clarified.

But in another twist of never-ending problems, PKR today issued a statement threatening to pull out from the state administration on hearing that eight of the 10 executive council posts will go to DAP while the remaining two going to other parties.

Originally it is believed that an agreement was made whereby DAP would get six exco posts and two each for PKR and PAS.

However, there was a last-minute change where DAP was given eight seats in the exco, while PKR one and PAS one.

PKR disputes regent’s choice

Meanwhile more details are emerging as to the details of the meeting the three menteri besar candidates had with Raja Nazrin this afternoon.

According to sources the main reason for the postponement of the swearing-in ceremony this afternoon was due to an objection by the PKR’s Jamaluddin over Nizar’s appointment.

Apparently Jamaluddin told the Raja Nazrin that he disputed the choice made by the regent yesterday to make Nizar the menteri besar.

It is learnt that the regent became upset with this and instructed all three of them - Nizar, Ngeh and Jamaluddin - to go back to the drawing board again to determine their preferred choice.

A statement issued by Ngeh earlier today indicated that Nizar was the regent’s choice to be the state’s menteri besar. According to Ngeh, the regent had rejected his (Ngeh’s) and Jamaluddin’s name although these were the first two choices.

It is also learnt that the regent had asked all 31 state representatives from the three parties to be present before him to swear the allegiance to the new menteri besar, whoever it is.

Anwar Demands `Major' Changes in Malaysia Race Rules

Via Email - Bloomberg


March 13 - Malaysia's opposition parties, fresh from their biggest electoral gains ever, have vowed to dismantle the country's legalized system of preferences for ethnic Malays. Doing so won't be easy.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said after the March 8 elections that "major adjustments need to be made" to the race rules. The parties will be able to accomplish some incremental progress toward that goal in the five states they won. They also will pressure the ruling National Front coalition to move quicker in easing the requirements.

For now, that's about all they will be able to achieve, because most of the system is controlled at the federal level by a set of 37-year-old directives known as the New Economic Policy, instituted to help the majority Malays catch up with Chinese business owners. States have little say over the NEP, and some regions controlled by the opposition are dominated by Malays who don't want their advantages undone.

"A lot of the laws are central and federal", said Ooi Kee Beng, an analyst at Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The opposition parties "are in a daze and trying to feel their way around".

Anwar's People's Justice Party, the Democratic Action Party and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, known as PAS, won enough seats to deny the ruling coalition the two-thirds majority it had enjoyed in parliament for 34 years.

Intel, Sony

They will stop setting aside projects for Malay businesses in their states, parting ways with National Front policies. These opposition-controlled areas include Penang, a base for Intel Corp., and Selangor, host to Sony Corp. Penang also plans to do away with racial quotas when licensing street vendors.

PAS, which has controlled northeastern Kelantan state since 1990, has said it doesn't discriminate based on race, and won't in Kedah, the state it has just won.

"That would resolve a major part of the problem, but only at the state level, where we are in charge", Anwar, 60, told reporters on March 11. "Hopefully, things will change, but not in the very near future".

Criticism of the rules was taboo after they were introduced in response to race riots in 1969. They were aimed at alleviating poverty and rebalancing national wealth concentrated in Chinese and British hands, a vestige of Malaysia's status as a U.K. colony until 1957.

"Creative Destruction"

Anwar's opposition to the NEP emerged over time. Early in his career, he was a champion of Malay preferences. Then, in 1998, he was ousted from the government and the ruling coalition's dominant party, the United Malays National Organisation, after calling for "creative destruction" of Malaysia's economic system. He later began criticizing the NEP for being used to justify institutionalized corruption.

Now he wants to dismantle it. "The New Economic Policy benefits the few family members of the ruling establishment and their cronies", he said.

The ruling coalition has eased the rules as it tried to lure global investment capital from China and Vietnam and explored free trade accords with the U.S. and European Union.

Malaysia's reluctance to increase access to government contracts by changing pro-Malay policies is among issues that have delayed a deal, U.S. Assistant Trade Representative Barbara Weisel has said.

"The NEP is very subjective", said Gan Kim Khoon, head of equity capital markets at OSK Investment Bank Bhd. "A lot of it is left to interpretation".

Lower Grades

The rules give Malays preferences over Chinese and Indians in education, jobs and investments. The country's 19 public universities admit Malays with lower grades than Chinese and Indians. Companies must sell 30 percent of their shares to Malays and declare how many Malays they employ to be listed on the local stock exchange.

"The country's economic development has been possible despite this expanding web of rules because the government has applied pragmatic exemptions", said Song Seng-Wun, an economist at CIMB-GK Research in Singapore. Malaysia's economy has grown an average 6.8 percent a year since 1970.

Selected foreign investors have been allowed 100 percent ownership of their local businesses since then under special provisions. In 1995, the government announced the first of a series of regions where the NEP wouldn't apply. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, 68, launched a second such area in the southern state of Johor in 2006.

Suhaimi Ilias, an economist at Aseambankers Malaysia Bhd., a unit of the country's largest banking group, predicted Chinese and Indian parties in the UMNO-led coalition would call for the rules to be eased further.

"Whatever it is, something will happen", Suhaimi said. "The whole point is about reinventing. And that's what this country needed going forward".

While the opposition likely won't push for low-cost housing and other federal benefits to be dropped, the parties want them to be based on need, not race.
"Affirmative action will continue", Anwar said. Helping marginalized Malays "will not be purely on the basis of race".