Friday, May 30, 2008

Dreams for scholarship shattered by PSD

By : Disappointed Student via M'Kini

YennaMike Says : "Why Malaysia why...??, why are you treating our potential youths this way...please provide fair higher education for all, be very fair in giving out Scholarships...and i urge the government be transparent on this since we all know we have a very corrupted government...!!!"

I refer to the letter The dilemma of 'Malaysian' scholars

I was also like many others who wrote in hoping and praying hard that I will get a PSD scholarship. However the reality of injustice materialised when I found out I didn’t get this offer upon which I had placed all my hope. Other similarities I have, include obtaining a string of As (10 A1s and 2 A2s), being rejected for matriculation as well as having parents working in the government sector.

I also have outstanding co-curricular results. I didn’t even bother applying for the Asasi programme (local university foundation) as I was too devastated when I found out that non-bumiputeras who wanted to pursue medicine were not allowed to enrol themselves in these programmes.

I even went as far as to call every university in the list to ascertain this very painful reality. All I can do now is hope my appeal for a PSD scholarship will come through. My heart goes out to all the other high-achievers in our country who have been discriminated in a similar way.

My concern is why doesn’t the government have a system solely based on meritocracy to give the opportunity to those truly deserving of a scholarship. These students might feel as if all their hard work and talent has not been appreciated and they will be terribly hurt.

Also, it will serve as a terrible blow to their perception towards the country. This unjust system will backfire on the country itself as it is preventing deserving students from becoming future leaders of our country. Consequently, our country is denied the fast pace of development it is capable of.

What of the quality of students who are entering the local public universities having not obtained one of the 2,000 PSD foreign study scholarships every year? I have ‘friends’ who are not up to par with me and are able to obtain scholarships and enter our local universities easily.

I myself feel very hurt as I ponder upon our dilemma, the non-bumis, who really did come from this bumi here in Malaysia. We have the love for Malaysia and are prepared to strive our best for the country. Our love for the country is equal if not more than the bumi.

I think I speak for all the non-bumis by saying we would never let the country down given the chance. However, I am confounded on why we are condemned to such a situation. Why treat us unfairly? Is this the government’s way of creating unity among races they continually speak of?

For the good of Malaysia; it’s people, it’s sovereignty, and national integration I hope now will be the time where we can all be equal Malaysian bumiputeras. Everyday we hear the cries of many students who seem to undergo the same fate and everyday the love and hope for my country dwindles as well. Please don’t fail me, Malaysia.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cheras barricade goes down again

Source : M'Kini

YennaMike Says : "I was very shocked when i first came to know about the fracas in Cheras. I'm reall sad to see the way my fellow Malaysians being treated by our Police, FRU and Hired "Thug" as claimed. What Suhakam got to say about this...??, Suhakam are you really listening to peoples' plea...??"

Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents have torn down the controversial wall built by toll operator Grand Saga which blocked access to the Cheras-Kajang Highway late last night.

This was the third time that the five-foot wall, consisting of table-size boulders and erected across the two-lane toll-free slip road, was demolished.

In a significant about-turn, Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar was at the scene at about 7.30pm to give the jubilant residents the green light to remove the wall.

The residents, with the help of tractors, eventually cleared the access road for motor vehicles to pass by 9.30pm.

The police, who had earlier been accused of siding with toll operator, kept a close watch on the operation. Khalid had also warned Grand Saga not to rebuild the wall.

On Tuesday, about a dozen residents were seriously injured at a fracas after Grand Saga re-erected the barricade. Residents have accused the toll operator of hiring ‘gangsters’ armed with sticks to stop them from tearing down the wall.

According to Bernama, police have launched an investigation to identify the ‘thugs’ who had beaten the residents - one of whom were hospitalised with a broken hand, while another were given seven stitches after a blow on his head.

A group of BMC residents are presently in Parliament asking for a meeting with Works Minister Mohd Zin Mohamed.

Lims calls for inquiry

Meanwhile DAP leader Lim Kit Siang condemned the violence which resulted in the injuries of several residents two nights ago.

He also lambasted the presence of thugs to stop the residents from pulling down the barricade.

He also criticised the police for not only their "hands-off" policy during the rampage by the thugs, but also in going on a rampage of their own in assaulting innocent bystander Chang Jiun Haur.

"An independent public inquiry into the spate of physical violence against the protesting public by thugs and police personnel is fully warranted," he added.

He said that DAP MP for Serdang Teo Nie Ching will be raising the issue in Parliament today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mahathir returns, fires another salvo

Source : M'Kini

Soon after he touched down at Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Mahathir Mohamad couldn’t resist firing yet another salvo at his handpicked successor-turn-nemesis Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He’s more afraid of Singapore than Umno members,” the former premier told a crowd of 300 supporters who had gathered to welcome him back from a week-long overseas trip.

Mahathir, who spoke to his supporters through a loud-hailer for about five minutes from the sunroof of a silver multi-purpose van (MPV), accused Abdullah as a traitor.

“Negara cet tu ja pun dia takut (He is afraid of even a tiny country). What kind of a leader is he?” he thundered as the crowd chanted, “Abdullah undur!” (Abdullah step down!)

While Mahathir did not mention Pulau Batu Puteh, he was clearly referring to last Friday’s International Court of Justice decision against Malaysia in its dispute with Singapore over the sovereignty of the strategic uninhabited island south of Johor.

The ex-PM has just returned from Japan after addressing the annual Nikkei conference which was also incidentally attended by Abdullah. The two protagonists however addressed the event on separate days.

“When I was Umno president, he was never loyal to me, but I never made it look like he was not loyal to the party. I let him contest for the vice-presidency, the deputy presidency and now he is the president,” he said, looking fresh in a pin-stripe light blue shirt and a smart grey jacket.

Mahathir also blasted Abdullah as a manipulator who “label those who oppose him as traitors to the party”.

“I am not acting on any pressure,” Mahathir continued, “I am doing this because Umno under Abdullah has forgotten its roots, its struggle for the party - for the Malays and for the nation.”

Dr M cites Malay proverb

He added that Abdullah was a person who had forgotten his roots and was not “grateful” as it was he who handpicked him to be his successor.

“There is a Malay proverb that goes: hutang emas boleh di bayar tapi hutang budi di bawa mati (debt of gold can be repaid but debt of courtesy, we carry to the death).

“But I am not even dead and he has shown...,” said Mahathir who could not finish his sentence as his voice was drown by shouts of “Hidup Mahathir! Hidup Mahathir!” (Long live Mahathir!).

Some of the supporters, who had come all the way from Mahathir’s home state of Kedah, also yelled in support of Mahathir’s youngest son, “Hidup Mukhriz!” (Long live Mukhriz!). Mukhriz, an ardent critic of Abdullah in Umno, is member of parliament for Jerlun, Kedah.

Mahathir, who appeared elated by the enthusiastic reception, thanked his supporters for their presence.

“When I was in Umno, I received the same reception as today so there is no difference of being an Umno member and not being a member,” he said.

Mahathir sent shockwaves last week when he announced his decision to leave the party which he had led for 22 years in what was believed to be an attempt to trigger a domino effect that would see a mass resignation of Umno members.

This however did not happen when Umno leaders after an emergency meeting with Abdullah accepted Mahathir’s resignation and pledged to back the embattled party leader.

Meanwhile Abdullah also returned from Japan today, with the aircraft carrying him landing at the same Royal Malaysian Air Force Base in Subang at 9.30pm.

About 1,000 people were at the airport to greet the prime minister.

Friday, May 23, 2008

MB: RM27m spent by BN reps in two months

Source : M'Kini

Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today revealed that Barisan Nasional assemblypersons had spent 90.6 percent of the total state allocations within the first two months of this year.

The grand total amounts to RM26,634,844.33 and a balance of RM2,907,155.76 remains, he said in reply to a question posed by Ng Suee Lim (DAP-Sekinchan).

Khalid then proceeded to provide a breakdown of total funds spent in each constituencies in order for members of the assembly to know if funds were still available.

He also noted that there was a number of trends in the amount of funds spent, such as a large number of Barisan representatives spending exactly RM492,800, and said that he would investigate the matter.

"Strangely, the previous speaker, who was not even a state assemblyperson, spent RM600,000," he told the House.

Khalid then suggested that a select committee on competency, accountability and transparency be established to probe the matter.

The two-month speeding spree has resulted in the 36 state seats that have now come under the control of the joint PKR-DAP-PAS government in the March 8 general elections having nothing much left to spend for the rest of the year.

In his royal address on Wednesday, Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah ticked off previous state administration assemblypersons for spending almost all of the RM27 million allocations.

He said efforts to improve efficiency in the state would be meaningless if wastages or inappropriate spending are not curbed and urged the state government to be prudent.

Balkis controversy

On a question by Lau Weng San (DAP-Kampung Tunku) on the Balkis controversy, Khalid said he had tried in vain to seek answers from the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

He said that he had written three letters to the ROS since April but no reply was forthcoming.

"In the letters, we have asked for details on Balkis dissolution. But we have yet to receive any reply. We are still waiting for an answer," he said.

However, he told the House that it was necessary for Balkis to explain certain activities they had organised as it involved the help and support from companies owned by the state government.

Khalid then gave a litany of examples involving tens of thousands of ringgit being spent on matters such as souvenirs for 'VVIPs', dinner functions and festivals.

In one example, Khalid drew loud groans from the Pakatan Rakyat backbenchers when he revealed that RM279,000 were spent on sports clothing for Balkis members.

"They used Galeri Hafiz Sdn Bhd. It involved two payments - RM158,000 and RM121,000 - to prepare sports clothes for men and women," he said.

Again, he mooted that Balkis expenditures be scrutinised by a select committee comprising of both Pakatan and Barisan reps.

To a supplementary question by Jenice Lee (DAP-Teratai), Khalid said the state government was of the view that Balkis had yet to be officially dissolved.

Balkis was a very rich charity group comprising of the wives of Selangor elected representatives.

There was an uproar when it was learnt that the group had passed a resolution to dissolve the association just after the March 8 general election and with it, its millions in funds.

Professionals, youths to be roped in to run MIC

Source : The Star

YennaMike Says : "Errr...who have been running MIC all these while then if it is not Professionals and Youths...eeerrrmmmm"

KANGAR: More professionals and youths will be roped in to run the MIC branches in a bid to regain the Indian community's trust and confidence in the party and Barisan Nasional, president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

He said the MIC would have to think of new strategies to woo them into the party as previous approaches may have not been acceptable.

Speaking Friday at the opening of the Perlis MIC state convention here, he said the party has set its sights on young graduates.

He also said the MIC would discard the “old methods” that had prevented them from voicing their ideas and dissatisfaction through the party.

“We want to allow for more voices, especially from the professionals and youths, to be heard,” he said, adding that the move was part of the party’s re-branding exercise that was launched recently.

Samy Vellu said the time has come for the party to re-look at the way the branches and divisions have been operating and inject new dynamism and work culture among the leaders.

He said what the party needed to do now was to stop the “soul searching" process and the “denial syndrome” and get on with the job of rejuvenating the MIC.

He said that the MIC would give its “full backing” for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to fulfil the pledges made by the Barisan Nasional in the last general election.

“This is our priority now. We want the Government to fulfil all its pledges made in the Ninth Malaysia Plan for the Indians,” he said, adding that by doing so, it would regain the Indians’ trust in the Government and the Barisan Nasional.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Uthaya's new bid for freedom, this time for medical negligence

Source : M'Kini

A fresh habeas corpus has been filed by a detained Hindu Action Rights Force (Hindraf) leader against the Internal Security Ministry and Kamunting detention centre authorities for medical negligence and endangerment to life.

Lawyer N Surendran filed the habeas corpus application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today on behalf of P Uthayakumar who claimed he has been denied medication for his diabetes.

Uthayakumar is also claiming that the camp authorities refused to admit him into the National Heart Institute (IJN) despite being told by doctors to do so.

The hearing is set for June 25.

Uthayakumar is among the five Hindraf leaders currently detained in Kamunting under the Internal Security Act for alleged terrorist links.

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Live bullet sent to Karpal

Source : M'Kini

DAP leader and member of Parliament Karpal Singh received a live bullet in an envelope at his law firm in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

The live bullet was accompanied with a note warning him against speaking out on the controversial issues of Malay rights and the constitutional powers of the sultans.

“Kalau tak berhenti, peluru ini akan melekat pada kepala dahi kau!” (If you don’t stop, this bullet will be lodged in your forehead).

The one-page note, printed in Bahasa Malaysia, added that this was the “first warning” [below].

The wheelchair-bound politician lodged a police report over the death threat at 5pm at Dang Wangi police station.

Met at the police station later this evening, Karpal told reporters that the envelope was hand-delivered to his receptionist at 12.30pm.

“The man was wearing a helmet and he had his visors drawn down. He left hurriedly,” he said, adding that the police have confirmed that bullet was a 9mm ‘live bullet’.

When quizzed by reporters, Karpal said he had no clue who the culprits were and would not rule out that the incident could be politically motivated.

“It is difficult for me to say, but based on the wordings of the note, it appears to have political motives,” he said.

Will seek police protection ‘if necessary’

The DAP chairperson and criminal lawyer found himself some unwanted attention recently when some of the remarks he had made concerning the royalty had come under the spotlight.

Over the past week, the renowned lawyer has had 20 police reports lodged against him after he had said the Sultan of Perak had acted unconstitutionally in the transfer of a religious department official and criticised Regent of Kelantan's message at a forum last month.

Karpal, who is member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor in Penang, added that he would consider asking for police protection in the future “if necessary”.

Asked if the incident would change his stand on the Perak Sultan’s recent order for the Religious Department Director Jamry Sury to be reinstated, Karpal said he issue had been deemed settled.

He said that he and other quarters have all voiced their arguments and that there was no need to prolong the debate any further.

Veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang described the incident as deplorable and urged the police to get to the bottom of the matter.

“This sort of things should not happen in a country like Malaysia,” said Lim, who were among four DAP MPs to accompanied Karpal to the police station, including his son Gobind who is Puchong MP.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Thanks to JD for posting article...

Mohaneswary is awaiting corrective surgery on her legs at Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya on May 22.

This is not her first experience but her sixth painful and hopeful one; she had underwent five such operations previously.

The young school student has no other choice but to bear the misery for she was born with defective legs.

It was fortunate for her and her poor parents that PPUM is taking over the cost of the surgery but their problems do not end with this good gesture.

Mohaneswary has to be in bed three to six months after the surgery; she needs diapers as she will be unable to go to toilet. Beside this expense, her parents need more money to get her vitamin supplements and nutritous food.

Her mother, Mrs Josephin, earns only RM 500 a month; her diabetic father earns a mere RM 300 to RM400. They have three more school-going children.

Mohaneswary and her desperate parents needs our help to ease their burden.

If you wish to contribute either monetary or in the form of adult diapers , you can either meet them directly at their house located at No. 12-2B, Jalan PS/5, Taman Prima Selayang, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor or bank in to their account number: 112157034180 (Maybank)

For further details or verification you may call Mrs. Josephin at 016-3349032 (you may mention the source of your info:


Source : M'Kini

In the wake of the shocking news that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had quit Umno, a senior party leader said that the country could face another general elections.

Shahrir Samad, the minister for domestic trade and consumer affairs, said Mahathir's surprise move could trigger a flurry of resignations from the embattled party that could force Abdullah to hold fresh general elections.

"By Tun doing this it could cause a situation where many other Umno lawmakers might resign," he said, using Mahathir's honorific title.

"If this happens then the government has no choice but to form a new government or call a fresh general election," Shahrir told AFP.

"Certainly it is not helpful or constructive to the struggle of Umno right now," he said, as the party fends off a challenge from opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim who says he could soon seize power with the help of defectors.

Shahrir, who is Johor Baru parliamentarian and Umno supreme council member, said that while Anwar was threatening to snatch lawmakers from the smaller parties with which Umno rules in coalition, Mahathir could chip away at the ranks of the ruling party itself.

"This will be a reduction of the number of Umno lawmakers which is the ruling party of the present government," he said.

"I suppose it is Mahathir's way of trying to force a call for a referendum from the grassroots."

The Star's website quoted Umno information chief Muhammad Muhammad Taib as saying he was surprised at Mahathir's abrupt departure.

"Every member has the right to join or leave the party," he said.

Asked whether Umno would convene an emergency meeting in response to the move, he said that "we will wait and see".

Son: Mahathir to send letter to Umno sec-gen

Mahathir, 82, joined Umno at its inception in 1946 and he has weathered a number of storms including his expulsion from the party in 1969 and a 1988 crisis when Umno was declared illegal.

"Mahathir has resigned from Umno in protest over Pak Lah's continued leadership as both the prime minister and president of Umno," Mokhzani Mahathir told AFP, referring to Abdullah by his nickname.
"He will also write a letter to the Umno secretary-general to inform him of his resignation," he said, adding that Mahathir announced his departure during a speech today in Alor Star, the capital of his home state Kedah.

"He made it clear at the gathering at Alor Star that he is resigning in protest over the current leadership," he said.

Mahathir ruled Malaysia and the dominant Umno for 22 years until 2003 when he handed over to Abdullah, his hand-picked successor.

However in recent times he has been a vocal critic of Abdullah's administration and since disastrous March general elections, which produced Umno's worst ever results, has actively campaigned for him to step down.

Monday, May 19, 2008



Hindu Rights Action Force chairperson P Waythmoorthy today accused the Malaysian government of lying over the status of his passport.He said that it was "absolutely ridiculous and a blatant lie" for the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar to claim that his passport was not revoked.

Waythamoorthy was also upset with Syed Hamid in shrugging off the issue by stating that a misunderstanding could have occurred over the status of the passport.Syed Hamid had earlier said that "probably because the passport had expired"."How can he lie like this?

Aren't his officers briefing him on what's happening to Malaysians abroad?" asked Waythamoorthy.He said that his passport was to expire in 2010 and that he, of all persons, would know the validity of his travel document.

"The problem started when I returned to London from Zurich on April 21 and was informed by the UK immigration officer at Gatwick Airport that the Malaysian government had revoked my passport," he told Malaysiakini.

"Is Syed Hamid saying that the British immigration authorities are lying?" he asked when contacted by telephone today.Waythamoorthy had revealed the cancellation of his travel document in a press statement on Friday.

On the same day, Syed Hamid, when asked to comment on the issue, rejected the claims, stating that Waythamoorthy's passport had not been revoked.Syed Hamid added that the "misunderstanding" was probably because Waythamoorthy's passport had expired and he could have his passport renewed at the Malaysian High Commission in London.

Forcing his return

Responding to the minister's remarks today, Waythamoorthy said Syed Hamid was trying to mislead the public on the matter."I'm indeed surprised that the senior cabinet minister would issue a statement based on probabilities without verifying the facts..."Waythamoorty said he was given a "fresh leave to enter and remain in the United Kingdom for six months" upon his return from India on April 2.

"It is a known fact that no country would admit a person into its territory without a six months' validity period on the passport."For that matter, Switzerland wouldn't have admitted me into its country on the April 17, nor would any airline allow me to board the flight, without a six months' validity," he said.

Waythamoorthy, who is in self-imposed exile in United Kingdom since the government's crackdown on Hindraf last November, said the government was seeking to lure him back to this country to detain him under the Internal Security Act.Five other Hindraf leaders, including the movement's most popular face and Waythamoorthy's brother Uthayakumar, are presently being held without trial since Dec 13.

"It is obvious my traveling to lobby for Hindraf and the ethnic minority Indian community had caused the Malaysian government to revoke my passport to curtail my movement," he said.

Friday, May 16, 2008




“I am bourgeois to the core and parochial beyond belief, and yet I am drawn to art and scholarship as my anti-type, my shadow, the voice of distinction I never possessed. I don't think of myself as a teacher so much as an impersonator of profundities, inhabiting the wisdom of texts with the naked confidence that the value of the genius I espouse transcends the particular fraud that I am the one espousing it. And it doesn't even matter to me that no one seems to be listening; those who listen that I don't know about are enough to keep me going--soaring on the wings of borrowed metaphors.” - Robert Inchausti

Passport cancellation: 'Gov't owes an explanation'

Source : M'Kini

MIC information chief M Saravanan said there was no need for the government to revoke the passport of Hindu Rights Action Force leader P Waythamoorthy though he is known to be severely critical towards the authorities.

The Federal Territories Deputy Minister when contacted said that the Hindraf leader should not be likened to a criminal by his passport being revoked simply for his criticism towards the government.

"The government owes an explanation to the public as to why they revoked his passport because it involves a Malaysian citizen. They have to justify their action.

"In my eyes, he's not a terrorist. He just condemned the government, but that does not mean the government can revoke his passport," argued Saravanan.

Waythamoorthy revealed today that he had been informed by the British immigration officials that his Malaysian passport has been revoked, rendering him in as a stateless person. He is presently in Britain after leaving Kuala Lumpur last November to escape a givernment dragnet on Hindraf leaders.

Amnesty International's Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T Kumar had earlier told AFP that Waythamoorthy has applied for asylum in the UK.

According to the British Home Office website, asylum is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

To be recognised as a refugee, one must have left one's country and be unable to go back because he or she have a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion,nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.

The British authorities is reported to be contemplating to hold hearings to consider Waythamoorthy's application for political asylum.

More reactions

Apart from Saravanan, various quarters also expressed their shock towards the matter.

Below are the excerpts of what these people had to say:

N Surendran, human rights and Hindraf lawyer

This act amounts up to nothing but a clear indication of political prosecution. It is a vindictive step taken by the home ministry. Not only is he under Internal Security Act threat back home (but now) he is getting harassed abroad as well. He doesn't deserve to be treated this way, all he did was raise valid concerns of the Indian minority of this country. This act shows clearly that the government cannot take criticism.

John Liu, Suara Rakyat Malaysia's managing coordinator

It's a blatant attempt by the government to stop his movement. They have no right to revoke his passport. The government is just trying to get him so that he could be detained under ISA.

Simon Sipaun, Suhakam vice chairperson

As to what reason the government has revoked his passport. Did they (revoke) the passport under certain law, or any particular legislation, and what under condition of federal constitution?

If the government wants to revoke his passport, they have to state the actual reason (according to the law).

Anil Netto, Aliran activist

I think it's unfortunate for him because he has not been found guilty of any crime. So, he also should be allowed of any movement and the government should be accountable for the decision and should make public the reason why they revoked his passport.

Waythamoorthy: I'll be back

Source : M'Kini

The following is the full statement from Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy on the revocation of his passport at London’s Gatwick Airport two weeks ago.

I was travelling back to London from Geneva after the Hindraf briefing with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights on April 21, 2008 and was totally shocked to be informed by the UK immigration officer at Gatwick Airport that the Malaysian government had revoked my passport thus making me de facto stateless.

I see only one purpose. The Malaysian government had intended that I be deported back to Malaysia by the British authorities so that I too could be arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act and be detained for unspecified period of time without trial and be subject to torture and inhumane treatment for my political beliefs.

I have not committed any offence or crime other than to champion the cause of the systematically marginalised, discriminated and alienated ethnic Indian community in Malaysia who remained a permanently colonised community despite achieving independence 51 years ago.

It is most distressing to learn that, the land that my forefathers toiled as indentured labourers and one that I had been made citizen by the will of the unavoidable circumstances has decided to banish and exile me for speaking and advocating the truth that was never spoken off before.

The government has once again acted according to its whims and fancy without a second thought of the public or for the good of the public.

The Malaysian government repetitively had oppressed, suppressed and persecuted all causes of Hindraf by their act of totalitarianism from the very beginning but nevertheless the will and spirit of the Hindraf supporters have been the beacon of hope for the new strength founded upon our new found ‘Makkal Sakthi’ (people’s power).

The callous and cowardly acts of the government against me not only undermine their credibility domestically but also internationally. The government needs to realise that the Malaysian public can no longer be cowed as the public are no longer the sheep that begets the government wolves.

The government may use its best weapon in attempting to stall and break me but they fail to realise that I derive my strength from my ‘Makkal Sakthi’, and that is all that I need to carry on the torch and fight for the unjust cause of the ethnic Indians in Malaysia even if it means championing my cause from exile.

As much as I have been coerced, castigated by the Malaysian government, so have the Hindraf supporters. Hindraf supporters have shown unprecedented courage and character for the truth. It only motivates me further to pursue our goals.

They will never break my spirit

The revocation of my passport is probably the last ditch desperate effort by the Malaysian government in crippling my international lobby for the cause of the Indian Malaysians.

This unwarranted act has given me a greater "inner" strength to continue to fight for the struggle of Indian Malaysians and for the unconditional release of my fellow brothers held unjustly in Kamunting.

The government can unleash all the man made mechanism to stifle and silence me, but I have the backing of ‘Makkal Sakthi’ and that alone is sufficient for me to continue my fight for the people.

In ‘Makkal Sakthi’, I have found the truthness of my cause for the people. In today's world, utterance of truth is seen as a revolutionary action, and my quest for the truth is considered as a hindrance for the government. My judge is the people not the government.

I will continue this struggle until my last breath. They may break me but they will never be able to break my will and spirit that is derived from the people for the truth is in it.

I shall continue the struggle for the "freedom" of the ethnic Indian Malaysians from London and urge all Hindraf supporters to remain calm as they have always been. I shall forever remain a loyal Malaysian and will return to Malaysia soon to continue and accomplish what I had started.

Malaysian government revokes rights activist's passport: Amnesty

Source : Yahoo News
Image : M'Kini

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Malaysian government has revoked the passport of a Malaysian human rights lawyer campaigning for minority rights and the abolition of a tough security law, Amnesty International said.

Ponnusamy Waytha Moorthy, the chairman of the Malaysian rights group Hindraf who has been living in London since he fled the country in December, has sought asylum in Britain, Amnesty's Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director T. Kumar told AFP.

The activist had planned to visit Washington for talks with leaders of the US Congress and Amnesty and other rights groups, "but it has been put off because of his passport's cancelation," Kumar said.

Waytha Moorthy had sought the talks to highlight alleged discriminatory policies against minority ethnic Indian Malaysians as well as the arrest under the powerful Internal Security Act of five senior Hindraf members at home.

The five, who led a massive anti-discrimination rally in Kuala Lumpur in December, are being held without trial and for an indefinite period.

Kumar said Waytha Moorthy only became aware of his passport's revocation when he returned to London from Geneva after talks recently with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"He was shocked to be informed by British immigration officers that Kuala Lumpur has revoked his passport," Kumar said. "This makes him de facto stateless."

"This is the first time I have heard of a political activist's passport being revoked by his own country's government," he said.

Kumar called on Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give a "full explanation on the rationale for the cancellation."

The British authorities will hold hearings to consider Waytha Moorthy's application for political ayslum, he said.

Waytha Moorthy said in a statement to Amnesty that the Malaysian government revoked his passport in the belief that the British authorities would deport him to Kuala Lumpur where he could be arrested under the Internal Security Act.

"This unwarranted act has given me greater 'inner' strength to continue to struggle for the Malaysian Indians and for the unconditional release of my fellow brothers held unjustly under the Internal Security Act," he said.

Malaysia's highest court on Wednesday refused to release the five activists, including a newly sworn-in state lawmaker.

Ethnic Indians make up less than eight percent of the 27 million population of the mainly Muslim-Malay country.

Lawyers for the five said they would appeal on Monday for the Federal Court to review its decision.

Rights groups say 70 people, mainly alleged Islamic militants, are being held under the Internal Security Act.

He may be blind but he can see a smile and hear many whispers...Hats off for you SIR...!!!

Source : NST

THE prank may have been mean but M. Thavasothy Pillai, who is blind, took his Teachers Day joke in good faith.

On that day some years back, the SMK Taman Petaling class that Thavasothy was about to teach had switched with a class next door to fool the 56-year-old.

But the wise man could sense something fishy when he did not hear the familiar sounds of his students when they replied to his greeting.

Far from being angry, he laughed with them and told them their game was up.

"I was not hurt as I knew they were playing a trick on me but I guess I was too clever for them," he said with a laugh.

The 2007 Tokoh Guru Selangor recipient said he could tell if his sighted students were paying attention to him.

"I'll know if they are not paying attention if I hear them whispering. I would usually quiz them frequently during my teaching or ask them to read back what I had dictated."

He retired last month, having served as a teacher since 1980.

"Teaching was not my first choice of a job. I could not get a job as a researcher after getting my degree," said the father of two medical undergraduates.

He said society was not confident about giving the physically-challenged a chance to prove themselves.

"It is nice to hear society saying it should do more for the poor and underprivileged but saying something and doing something are two different things," said the holder of a Master in Special Education from the University of Tasmania, Australia.

Nevertheless, he enjoyed teaching his students, especially his favourite subject history, which many youngsters found boring.

"I always tell my new students 'I'll try my best to make the subject as interesting as possible. I'll make you fall in love with the subject'," he said.

He even gave nicknames to students based on local historical figures such as Parameswara and Hang Tuah, which students would write down next to their names on their exam papers.

"I wanted them to be involved to show them that history is not a dead subject. History is important as what happened in the past is happening in the present," he said.

The widower said he never once took medical leave during his teaching days, more so when exam time was approaching, feeling he would let down students who may have had questions.

"I feel just as nervous as them during exam time because I would remember how I used to panic during my time."

He said he felt proud when his students produced good results as it made teaching a worthwhile job.

He added that teachers must come down to the students' level, learning their likes and dislikes as student life cannot just be focused on academics.

He said if teachers these days did not like their jobs, they should not show their hatred or frustration as it would be reflected in their teaching.

"Teaching is not an enjoyable profession as it once was; it is hard to keep students interested. Some are rebellious and talk back and show no respect for authority."

He said teachers must show authority the right way and be patient with students.

Suhakam pushes for review of 'unreasonable' restrictions

Source : NST

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has called on the government to review the Police Act and other preventive legislation to reflect international standards.

In its 2007 report released earlier this week, it said currently, such laws "unreasonably" restrict freedom of assembly and freedom of speech as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

The call by Suhakam came following numerous street protests held last year by various non-governmental organisations.

Among them were the Bar Council's Walk of Justice in Putrajaya on Sept 26, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) to demand for election reforms on Sept 8 and Nov 10, as well as the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) rally on Nov 25.

"Suhakam observed that applications for permits to hold the assemblies were rejected by police on the basis that these could lead to public disorder and posed security risks.

"While it is recognised that the police have a duty to ensure peace and security, they should adopt a holistic approach in handling requests for permits. Their actions must be consistent with the principles of human rights."

The 312-page report said citizens are increasingly demanding recognition of their democratic rights and measures to ensure peace and security should not be at the expense of human rights.

It noted that Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 clearly entrusted the police with unfettered powers to determine who can organise a peaceful assembly.

"The provision, however, does not set out the criteria and guidelines on meeting requirements for a permit. Discretionary powers are fully vested in the police," said Suhakam.

These are among the seven key issues identified by Suhakam that the government needed to improve on.

The other issues are:

Freedom of Religion

Suhakam said the right to freedom of religion is protected by the Federal Constitution and it is unacceptable to interpret any law relating to religion in any way that leads to injustice.

In lauding a Federal Court decision last December that the (civil) High Court has jurisdiction to hear matrimonial disputes, even if one party has converted to Islam, the commission called on judges to be bold, impartial and unequivocal in dealing with complex interfaith cases, while urging the police and the local authorities to be more sensitive in law enforcement.

Administration of Justice

The commission noted that delays in court proceedings and the delays in handing down written judgments were among the main concerns that required immediate attention.

It pointed out that more than 1,000 prisoners are languishing in jail and unable to appeal because judges and magistrates had been slow in providing written judgments.

It also expressed concern that judicial review had been ousted in a number of instances, including habeas corpus challenges, which it said will undermine the right to justice and the right to a fair trial.

Additionally, it reiterated its call to repeal arbitrary clauses in the Internal Security Act and that detention without trial must be subject to judicial review and agencies authorising detention must be held accountable.

Detention Without Trial

Suhakam reiterated its call to the government to release detainees or prosecute them, and to abolish the practice of detention without trial which is contradictory to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to data from the Kamunting detention centre, there are 70 ISA detainees with more than half serving out their second detention order.

Free and Fair Elections

Suhakam urged the government to amend the relevant laws to ensure free and fair elections.

In expressing its concern, it noted that certain fundamental rights pertaining to free and fair elections, such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly, were either curtailed or ignored during election campaigns.

"Suhakam observed, too, that there is no level playing field, particularly in terms of access to the media, permission to hold political rallies, delineation of constituencies and redress in the courts," it said.

It noted the authorities must immediately address allegations such as the existence of phantom voters, as well as the inefficacy of the electoral system.

"Candidates should not be allowed to resort to undemocratic means to win elections, including vote-buying, providing non-cash incentives and using public funds and facilities," it further stated.

Suhakam said free and fair elections were crucial to lend legitimacy to a democratic society.

"Public confidence in the fairness of the electoral process is far more important than a massive mandate. While elections in Malaysia have been free, it cannot be claimed that the process had been completely fair," it noted.

Law Enforcement

The report addressed complaints by the public against Rela. Suhakam said it had extended training programmes for law enforcement personnel to include Rela officers nationwide.

The Commission suggested that the government should deploy professionally-trained law enforcement personnel, such as from the police and Immigration Department, to accompany Rela personnel on future operations.

Rights of Vulnerable Groups

It had identified four sub-groups under this group and outlined what it hoped could be achieved for these four.

For Orang Asli and Orang Asal, Suhakam recommended the government amend the Sarawak Land Code 1958 to include the Penan community's unique way of establishing land ownership and stewardship, in light of the fact that such customs have not been factored into the Code.

For migrant workers, Suhakam proposed that the government and foreign embassies in Malaysia thoroughly study the current recruitment process and provide adequate monitoring, regulation and punishment of recruiting agencies that violate human rights.

This is because the commission observed most of the complaints by migrant workers were due to exploitation by agencies.

In view of increasing number of refugees and asylum-seekers, Suhakam recommended that relevant government agencies work together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to resolve related issues.

For persons with disabilities, Suhakam hoped the drafting of the Persons with Disabilities Bill signalled a step towards Malaysia's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For Women and Children, Suhakam said the passage of the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act 2007 and its gazetting is another positive development in the protection of the rights of women and children.

However, Suhakam suggested that more must be done to protect children in view of the increasing number of cases of abuse and violence against children.

The commission also expressed its frustrations at the government's cold response to its various proposals.

"Since its inception (in 2000), Suhakam had made numerous suggestions to improve the protection of human rights.

"The commission hoped that the government would give attention to the recommendations made through various reports to date. As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Malaysia should play a leading role in upholding human rights."

Time for the daring questions

Source : M'Kini

With stakes reaching above the moon, Umno is now looking like an upside-down circus, with the weakest man on top and the strongest apparently cowed into submission - and seen as vulnerable as he is forced down the crest of popular accusations linked to an on-going murder trial.

In the run-up to the party supreme council election scheduled for December, some veterans are screaming over unfair and undemocratic practices of the party president and his clique.

Bent on scuttling challengers, Pak Lah has once again been abusing democratic rights in Umno as he did in 2004.

Former party president and premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is hoping for the Number Two to go for Number One in December, said his “cowardly” protégé and candidate for the top post in Umno had told him he had to have the president’s permission in order to meet with him (Mahathir).

Mahathir, who dubbed the deputy prime minister a coward during a recent talk to Malaysian students in Manchester, is now making the man look like a schoolboy of 10 who is afraid to play truant and meet his former boss to discuss why the party had lost as badly as it did in the March 8 general election.

The ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, lost five states and for the first time in history, was denied a two-third majority in Parliament. It has made the prime minister a lame duck and his authority has been defied by several Malay rulers who refused to accept his candidates for menteri besar.

Pak Lah, is refusing to step down and instead is said to be using his regime-support apparatus to deny his challengers constitutional rights and due democratic process.

It’s a repeat performance many find intolerable, the first being the siege of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah that he had applied in 2004. It left the prince with a single nomination in his attempt to contest for Umno president.

Party divisions were ordered to deny him the 60 nominations he needed to qualify. He obtained only one nomination, from his own division of Gua Musang.

As Tengku Razaleigh riled about the plot mounted to ruin his bid in his second attempt to contest for president, Mahathir publicly rued the deputy president’s apparent disability, asking what kind of a political party Umno has become under Pak Lah.

In these circumstances, the name calling and the diminution of the Number Two left in its wake a remarkable turn of events that finally thundered with Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s article in his blog, Malaysia Today.

Abusive agencies

Even as Mahathir wonders out loud what kind of party Umno has become under his successor, observers are quick to ask why he had enhanced the set of regime-supportive apparatus that made it possible for the party president to preside as a dictator.

Mahathir may not have set up most of the quasi-political agencies that had made Umno a rather muscular giant. But he strengthened them, ostensibly in an attempt to “institutionalise Umno”.

The Biro Tatanegara in the Prime Minister’s Department is one of several agencies responsible directly to the prime minister and empowered to intercept, and has been intercepting, the democratic political processes.

It began employing ex-commandos during Mahathir’s premiership and has been alleged to have been using intimidation and coercion with impunity to keep party members subdued and the opposition endlessly harassed.

With power and substantial funds, these agencies promptly became abusive.

Seranta, another quasi-political agency set up during Mahathir’s regime, sent more than 3,000 members to stay for months within the small state constituency of Kuala Nerang in Terengganu, to appeal for votes and ensure victory in the PAS territory in the early 1990s.

Discipline could hardly be sustained among the participants and several of the young women became pregnant while villagers complained of the men troubling village girls. Maybe the idea was to quickly increase the number of voters.

Trouble in these agencies has brewed from the early days. In the 1980s when Sanusi Junid was secretary-general of Umno, he loudly proclaimed his disgust when he was given a set of ‘blue’ videos made by and which featured members of Kemas, yet another quasi-political agency.

The videos were made for sale, leaving Sanusi aghast and spoilt for a decision whether or not to lodge a police report against the instant film-stars and film-producers.

Many who had asked before about the kind of a political party Umno was, were left unheard.

elonging to the politically favoured agencies, however, must have made these vivaciously talented people highly influential in the party, for very conceivable reasons.

Pak Lah, it is alleged widely, has been excessively using these agencies along with the police. Even many senior journalists were debarred from the mainstream media ever since he became PM, a reason why they became effective bloggers.

Abuses like these had obviously been one of the major causes for the massive rejection of the ruling party by members of Umno, a factor that will surely be carried through to the next general election and will ensure the end of Umno’s unbroken rule since 1955.

These abuses were etched in blood when members of the police special squad attached to the defence minister and deputy premier Najib Abdul Razak have been charged with the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu, who worked as translator for his political strategist Abdul Razak Baginda.

[Najib has denied any involvement in the case.]

How we protect ourselves from such powers of the regime’s special apparatus, therefore, becomes the biggest question for the nation, daring each and everyone to ask the questions Raja Petra voiced on our behalf.

Is it then time to call an end to Umno and for the members to seek other and more realistic means for regime change rather than continue to wail like beaten banshees over ruined chances to democratically contest in the party?

It is also pertinent to ask if it is at all useful for Tengku Razaleigh to keep trying to breach the siege in Umno.

Or, would he serve the nation better should he call it a day and join Anwar Ibrahim in PKR as a faction, or revive his old vehicle, Semangat 46?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Academics debate the 'social contract'

Source : M'Kini

Academicians may differ on the meaning of the country's 'social contract' but their opinions were unison when saying

Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) does not exist.

Malaysiakini contacted several academicians to comment on royal professor Dr Ungku Abdul Aziz’s claim that there was no physical social contract between Malaysia's diverse ethnic communities.

"There is no such thing as social contract. It was a fantasy created by politicians of all sorts of colours depending on their interest," said Ungku Aziz at a forum in Shah Alam over the weekend.

He also said the social contract should rightly be called an "economic contract" to justify affirmative action in areas of education and health for groups that needed it most.

While some academicians diverged on the matter, many of them systematically noted that the constitution and the ‘social contract’ does not imply any form of Malay mastery or dominance in relation to power.

Here are their views:

Professor Shamsul Amri Baharudin, UKM's Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) director

First of all I would like to say he is giving an economist response whereby he goes by the letter of the law and he’ll look at statistics and the cost-benefit analysis of things. I don’t know what he reads aside from economic books but political scientists and historians have said that we do have a social contract.

Our constitution has a general and miscellaneous section. No other constitution in the world has this section and it shows that the Reid Commission acknowledged the right of Malay rulers, customs and language. The social contract is a convergence of different opinions. It is an agreement to be different by the people.

The translation of ketuanan Melayu is wrong. It is not Malay supremacy, it is Malay sovereignty. Ketuanan is a very colonial term. Abdullah Ahmad had very little knowledge as to what it means when he first raised it in 1986. Sovereignty is not a foreign concept as it is prevalent in other countries such as Belgium and England with monarchs. The idea that Malays are the boss and the rest is not, is a misconception.

Nobody is dominant. The social contract was raised when the constitution was created and the Reid commission included the condition to satisfy all groups possible. The people then began to see it as a form of agreement and convergence. However, later on, people started seeing it as a contract. Not in a legalistic sort of way but how it was made and how the terms are constantly being renegotiated.

(PKR de facto leader) Anwar (Ibrahim)’s ketuanan rakyat (people supremacy) is no different from ketuanan Melayu. If rakyat means demographics and clearly Malays and bumiputeras being the majority at 60 percent. It is just another idiom to hide the point that Malays are sovereign. Don’t just focus on Malay sovereignty because otherwise it would just be ethnic talk and not a constitutional or Malaysian talk. We have to get rid of such racist perceptions.

Has anyone asked why Sabah has 20 extra conditions like requirement of work permits from those in Peninsula Malaysia? Why don’t we talk about that? We have to look at the social contract from the larger context and not just at the Malays. Peninsula Malaysians should demand for work permits to be abolished if Sabah wants more royalties. The problem is that the issues are skewed and people are blinded by it.

In 1969, the consultative councils made up of 100 representatives around the country thought of formulating this policy in addressing the problems of backwardness faced by the ethnic groups. They were thinking of solving the ownership problems as almost 60 percent of property belonging to foreigners and 21 percent to the Chinese. The NEP was about increasing property ownership so that it reflected the demographics equitably. The majority at that time did not have majority ownership so to change this, they started with the economy.

Article 153 of the constitution provides the basis which creates the paradigm for NEP. NEP provided the package that stated the target and objectives but there are other ways of doing this. The discussion and debates that we have now is how the package is not working. It is creating unhappiness all around. This is why ‘Umnoputera’ is now a word, not bumiputera. If you want to go back and change things, the Parliament will have to change it and make it clearer. The social contract will remain relevant so long as the constitution is relevant. The social contract is realised in the constitution which gives us the symbol of the contract.

The NEP was created from the understanding of Article 153 and it ended in 1990. But it persisted until now so it is known as ‘Never Ending Policy’. However, I think it warrants another name - ‘Never Ending Polemic’ as it continues to divide society. Society is already divided ethnically and to proceed to the next stage, the politicians should use rational thinking instead of exploiting the emotional thinking of the people. The nature of political parties that are ethnicise is that they have to go on being emotional to garner votes.

To me, (Umno Youth chief) Hishammuddin (Hussein) and (DAP chairperson) Karpal (Singh) are no different. They are voicing different voices but it’s all the same and it’s divisive. Our politicians organise themselves on differences. Hussein Onn from Umno is the greatest example. After two years he was expelled from his party which shows that if you took a non-ethnic stand, it’s goodbye for you.

Professor James Chin, Head of Arts, Monash University

Historically, Ungku Aziz is correct. If you look at the historical documents deposited in London regarding the formation of Malaya, you won’t find it. As far as I know, the word ‘social contract’ was first used in the 1980s.

The understanding of the social contract depends on which elites you look at. The documents deposited in ISEAS (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) library by MCA elites states clearly that the Malays will get special help in things like the civil service and scholarships but there will be a time when these will stop.

This cannot be confused with the constitutional rights that was agreed to in Article 150 to 153 because it has no details. The constitution does not spell out the operations of the special rights like the New Economic Policy (NEP) on quotas and equity ownership. All it says is that Malay will have special privileges.

Look at any historical official documents like the minutes of the Alliance meeting and the Reid Commission from the 1940s to 1960s - you will not find the word social contract ever being used.

The context of the 'social contract' that it is being used now implies that non-Malays, in return for their citizenship, have to acknowledge that the Malays are politically supreme and cannot be challenged, ever.

Keeping the ‘social contract’ alive implies that non-Malays can never ask for equality. The implication is quite clear as it means that the current argument in having a more equal Malaysia will not succeed.

Dr Mavis Puthuceary, Associate Research Fellow at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)'s Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS)

Ungku Aziz is right. It is not a social contract which implies the relationship between the state and the people. If you look at the Western concept of social contract like John Locke, the idea of a social contract is that people give up some powers to their political representatives in return, the state will protect them.

There is no social contract because it involves the leaders of the Alliance and the bargain was then placed in the constitution but that does not represent a social contract. The social contract did not come into debate until Abdullah Ahmad raised it in 1986 that there was something that was agreed to by a few people in the past that binds future generations. I’ve challenged it.

The whole question on power sharing is very relevant. One needs to spell it out and it must be agreed upon but some leaders still disagree on what it means. Some say the non-Malays agreed to ketuanan Melayu in this so-called social contract but some say non-Malays only agreed to some kind of bargain without conceding their right to liberal democracy, equal rights and justice.

Political parties are using the social contract out of this context and it has no meaning in Malaysia. So that’s why we need a discourse and debate on this. We need to work out a national consensus in figuring out what and where do we go from here and now. We can all agree that something more than a bargain was made when the state was formed but I won’t call it a social contract.

Dr Azmi Sharom, Associate Professor, Law Faculty, University Malaya

In the context of the constitution, there is a certain give and take because the constitution provides for special privileges to Malays. In any normal or ordinary constitution, there would not be any racial bias in it. But this was agreed to by the non-Malays so these special privileges is the beginning of the so-called social contract.

However, to a certain extent it is true - the special privileges involves safeguarding the Malay language, the Sultanate and Islam on the surface appears to be going against the grain of equality. The non-Malay Malaysians were happy to accept this then. But the idea of give and take does not extend to the concept of Malay supremacy created by political parties, namely Umno.

The original constitution has elements of compromise but that compromise is from the layman’s perspective, the document does not suggest Malay supremacy or mastery. Ketuanan Melayu is a fallacy. I just don’t see the justification for this. The so-called social contract is relevant only to racists and people who want Malaysians to continue to be divided along racial lines.

But I am also uncomfortable with Ungku Aziz’s view that the social contract should be called an economic contract. The society made a compromise and it is not a contract which implies the people are bound to it for life. Citizenship is not about the economy but the society.

Dr Johan Saravanamuttu, visiting researcher at ISEAS, Singapore

It is obviously a term used by political analysts and there is no formal or legal contract. But the 1957 constitution was written based on a considerable amount of negotiations including various ethnic and political groups. Not all of their demands could have been included therefore when the constitution was agreed upon by all parties after the entire process, for all intents and purposes is the social contract of Malaysians. The constitution incorporated many of these provisions which people have generally learned to accept.

The relevance of this is that the constitution is a document that is historical and represents the agreement by particular political parties at that particular era. The impact in reading beyond the document is that it lays out provisions of a pact that is not meant to be absolutely permanent. After all, the constitution has been amended hundreds of times, it means the conditions are not cast in stone.

On ketuanan Melayu, there si no such thing as ketuanan Melayu. It is a concoction by political entrepreneurs by Umno on promoting Malay supremacy. The constitution does not say anything about Malay supremacy but only on the special privileges such as land and language afforded to them. It is the jaundiced Malay politicians who use it too embed themselves in position or create and perpetuate power for themselves.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar, academician and political scientist

Well I think that it is true that the social contract doesn’t exist as a physical document which is drafted and sealed or has a label that tells us it is a social contract. What we have is the Merdeka constitution which is an attempt to balance interests between different communities and ethnic interests within a framework for a certain vision of what a nation state is.

It is very clear that the nation state would be called Malaysia and the basis of the state was from a Malay polity that features the Malay monarch, Islam as the religion of the federation and the Malay language. On the special position of the Malays and indigenous communities is part of the Merdeka constitution, there was a feeling by the Reid commission that the massive accommodation of recent domiciled non-Malays required some sort of protection of the Malay community which was economically weaker than say the Chinese. The special position was a socio-economical condition.

I don’t see ketuanan Melayu as part of the social contract or Merdeka constitution. By accepting the Malay polity, it does not make Malays and non-Malays unequal and it doesn’t make non-Malays second-class citizens. Ketuanan Melayu is an idea that is an impediment to ethnic relations for the country. It does not mean one race is dominant and another race is subordinate or a master-servant connotation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Uthayakumar refuses 'secret date' with heart institute

Source : M'Kini

Detained Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal adviser P Uthayakumar is “being pressured to secretly undergo treatment” at the National Heart Institute, claimed his brother Waytha Moorthy.

In a statement issued from London, where he is living in self-imposed exile, Waytha Moorthy (photo) said his brother is being compelled to do so without his family members being informed.

“Uthayakumar fears for his life and does not wish to be treated without the presence and knowledge of his family members at the National Heart Institute,” he wrote.

Uthayakumar is one of five Hindraf leaders being detained for two years at the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak. They were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Dec 13 last year, which allows for detention without trial.

A diabetic for 12 years, Uthayakumar is said to have developed a heart ailment. He has been admitted twice to the Taiping hospital, in January after a hunger strike and again from April 7-10.

Waytha Moorthy, who is Hindraf chairperson, alleged that the “prison director and other government officers” have been applying pressure on Uthayakumar.

“He has written to the prison director, requesting (that) his family be informed and for access to his lawyers while in hospital. His lawyer (N Surendran) had also written to the prison director on Uthayakumar’s requests.

“We are puzzled why the prison director is compelling him to undergo secret treatment and is threatening to lodge a police report against Uthayakumar for wilfully refusing treatment. (This is) still a democratic country and there should be transparency and openness (about) his treatment.”

Urging Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to look into the situation, Waytha Moorthy also posed the query if a “silent agenda” is involved.

‘He’s no terrorist’

Contacted today, Surendran said some irregularities were detected during Uthayakumar’s last visit to Taiping Hospital and “there may be some damage to his heart”.

“He wants to go as soon as possible because he is anxious about his health but he wants his family there because he is worried as to whether major procedures will be involved,” said Surendran.

“They refuse to tell us when they (intend to) take him, saying that this must be kept secret for security purposes.

“What is there a need for security? He is no terrorist. This is an excuse to traumatise the family and make things as difficult as possible for him.”

Hindraf supporters have held rallies demanding the release of their leaders, as well as access to medical attention for Uthayakumar.

Hindraf rally turned Malaysian Indians against government

Source :

Kuala Lumpur, May 14 (IANS) Malaysia’s ethnic Indians staged “a silent revolution” against the government, “triggered” by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), during the March general elections, a minister has said. Malaysian Human Resource Development Minister S. Subramanian Tuesday described a rally organised by the Hindraf in November last year as the “trigger factor” that turned the Indian community against the government.

Hindraf had organised the protest rally on behalf of Malaysia’s two million Tamil Hindus. The rally of an estimated 10,000 people was declared illegal and forcibly dispersed by police using water cannons. Five Hindraf leaders were jailed for two years for organising it.

“They were listening all this while and we were just oiling the spring. But the bursting point arrived. We have to rectify this fundamental problem to regain their support,” Subramanian told members of his Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) at a party meet in Malacca.

The MIC, part of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, lost badly in the March polls. The BN itself lost the two-thirds majority advantage, emerging victorious but weaker with simple majority.

The simmering of discontent had been going on for a long time. The MIC was aware of the discontent but could not do much, except to manage it, the minister said.

Subramanian urged BN leaders to accept “the new reality” and change their mindset to ensure that ethnic minorities did not feel “not equal” to majority Malays, he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.

“There must be a massive change in the mindsets of BN leaders, particularly those from the United Malay Nasional Organisation (Umno), for the coalition to regain the people’s support,” Subramanian said.

“There must be a conscious effort to provide this sense of equality. This is the secret recipe to solve the problem. The thinking of all leaders should be this: I must be multi-racial in nature,” he added.

He urged MIC leaders at the grassroots level to hold dialogues with the leaders of Umno and other component parties “on the need to change their political thinking in line with new realities”.

Hindraf 5's appeal dismissed

Source : M'Kini

The Federal Court today dismissed the appeal by five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders to be released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The five are P Uthayakumar, V Ganabatirau, R Kenghadharan, T Vasantha Kumar and M Manoharan.

The Hindraf leaders were arrested on Dec 13 after the government accused them of being a threat to national security.

On Nov 25, they had organised a mammoth rally which drew some 30,000 disgruntled Indian Malaysians to the streets.

Their supporters however argued that the five - four of whom are lawyers - were merely raising issues concerning the community.

Numerous quarters, including Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties such as MIC, MCA and Gerakan, have called for their release.

Girl with 10A1s shocked by PSD’s rejection

Source : The Star

YennaMike Says : "Well done K.Kamine Devi, it's good to see youngster like you are now standing up and question your right for what you are entitled too. To the Government and the Education Department...please wake up and do what you suppose to do and explain the reason for this rejection in Public if you dare...!!!

IPOH: K. Kamine Devi was shocked that the Public Services Department (PSD) had turned down her application to study medicine overseas despite her having scored 10A1s in last year's SPM.

This after the PSD had issued a statement recently guaranteeing scholarships for students who scored 9As in their SPM.

Let down: Kamine showing Sivanesan her SPM results. With them are her parents B. Karunakaran, 52, and R. Ragini, 49.

What was worse was that her application for a matriculation programme was also rejected.

Kamine, 17, said she had her heart set on becoming a doctor and even participated in an attachment programme in April that exposed her to a doctor’s job.

“I couldn't believe my eyes when I found out on Sunday through the PSD website that my application was unsuccessful,” she said yesterday, adding that she checked the result of her application several times.

“I felt that my world collapsed that day,” said the former student of SMK Ahmad Boestamam in Sitiawan, about 90km from here.

Speaking at a press conference called by the Perak Health, Environment and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan, Kamine said her quality control father who earns RM3,600 a month could not afford to send her overseas to pursue Medicine.

“I just want to become a doctor so I can serve the country,” said Kamine, who was also active in her school co-curricular activities.

Sivanesan said the rejection of Kamine’s application made a mockery of the PSD’s earlier statement.

“The PSD should have taken the top-scorers result from the Malaysian Examination Syndicate and offer scholarships to the students. It is up to the students whether to accept or reject the scholarships,” he said.

He invited parents of bright children who faced a similar predicament to see him.

“I will assist them in writing to the PSD,” he said.


Source : New
Image : Net

Kuala Lumpur, May 13 : Families of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees have said that the Kamunting Detention Centre in Putrajaya is unsafe, and have demanded that Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visit the place to assess the conditions for himself.

Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) national co-ordinator R.S. Thanenthiran led a group of supporters and family members of several ISA detainees to the Prime Minister's Department yesterday to hand over a memorandum, urging Abdullah to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The memorandum was received by Abdullah's special officer, Ravin Ponniah.

Thanenthiran claimed the conditions at the camp were not healthy, not only for the detainees, but also for the camp personnel.

"The water is filthy while shrubs and bushes are overgrown and not maintained. The overall condition is inconducive and no longer safe for both the detainees and security officers there," the New Strait Times quoted him, as saying.

Asked if he had evidence or photographs to show the condition of the camp, Thanenthiran said he did not bring the photographs.

"The PM should spare some time to check on the condition at the camp and visit the detainees. The families of ISA detainees are appealing to him to visit the camp. We believe that he has been misinformed on the conditions at the camp," he added.

The memorandum also seeks the abolition of the ISA and the release of the five Hindraf leaders -- M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kengadharan, and K. Vasantha Kumar. The five were detained under the ISA by the Home Ministry for their involvement in a street demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on November 25 last year.

Malaysian Indian youth groups seek education funds

Source: Indian edunews

Kuala Lumpur: A coalition of Indian youth groups is asking the Malaysian government to fund their social education programmes that would help curb unrest in the community.

The coalition, headed by the Malaysian Indian Youth Council (MIYC), will be submitting its requests to the government through Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu within the next two weeks.

MIC vice-president S. Veerasingam said the MIYC, together with other Indian-based groups, held a seminar on Sunday where issues pertaining to education, employment, social problems and the economic status of Indians were discussed, the Star newspaper reported on Monday.

Veerasingam, speaking at a Hindu New Year carnival in Brickfields, said the group wanted Tamil schools to become fully-aided government schools - a move that would necessitate the various state governments to allocate land for building the schools.

"They also spoke about the need for providing proper places of worship, especially where new developments are coming up".

"Promises and pledges made during the election campaigns should also be carried out," he said. IANS

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Source : Hindraf.Org


12TH MAY 2008-05-11



HINDRAF condemns the conduct of the Malaysian Royal Police Force for acting above the constitution in arresting peaceful protesters who had gathered at Jalan Gurney Penang to protest the denial of fair and urgent medical treatment to P.Uthayakumar.

Protesters had dispersed after about 40 minutes when certain individuals were particularly targeted in the arrest in particular bloggers and a member of Penang Watch. The bloggers were filming the unlawful conduct of the Police when they were arrested and their films confiscated.

Concerned citizens from Suaram and other Human Rights bodies who witnessed this unlawful act had themselves arrested for lodging Police reports against the Police. It is disturbing to note the Police getting intimidated with Police reports lodged by members of the public and the trumped up charges against them for lodging police reports.

The act of arresting them is clearly high handed and intended to instil fear on the people not to question the conduct and authority of the police. Malaysia is a democratic country and the arrogant attitude of the Police coupled with the sanction of the Inspector General of Police on most occasions is definitely degenerating Malaysia into a Police State.

HINDRAF warns the Government that the people could not continuously be fooled into believing the propaganda advocated by the Police. The Police are losing credibility and confidence of the people and we hold the Inspector General of Police responsible for this gross violation of the legitimate right of its citizens to hold peaceful protests in accordance to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

HINDRAF calls upon the Government to take heed of the grouses of the rakyat and immediately refer Mr.P.Uthayakumar to the National Heart Institute and take positive steps to table an act of Parliament to abolish the Internal Security Act.

HINDRAF expresses its greatest gratitude to supporters, Human Rights Organizations/activists and Parliamentarians who had attended the peaceful protests organised nationwide.

P.Waytha Moorthy
Currently in London

A Mothers Day appeal - release my Uthayakumar

Source : The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: P. Uthayakumar’s mother has made a Mothers Day appeal to the Government for the release of her son and all other Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees.

K. Kalaivaniy made the appeal when she came to Parliament yesterday to tell her grievances to Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

She came with a group of people, including Hindraf national coordinator R.S. Thanenthiran.

Kalaivaniy handed the two opposition leaders a letter of appeal that she wrote to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“My son has been detained for five months for trying to do something good for Malaysia. He is suffering in the detention camp, his hands have developed rashes and he is wearing pants torn at the knee.

“He has a heart problem and he needs to be sent to Institut Jantung Negara. Please give him medical attention,” she told reporters in Tamil.

She added that all the detainees held under the ISA had mothers worrying about them, and urged for their release.

Dr Wan Azizah and Lim said they had both submitted questions to be raised in Parliament relating to Hindraf, but the questions were refused.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Time for Khalid Ibrahim to go...??

Source : Via M'Kini a write up by Richard Teo

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Barricade row: Pakatan state gov't 'weak'

Ever since the beginning when Pakatan Rakyat under Khalid Ibrahim took over the reins of the Selangor government, there was already signs of a weak government.

Events until now have not dispelled those lingering doubts. Immediately after taking control of the government, there was strong compelling evidence that the previous administration was shredding important state documents which could have incriminated their administration and yet Khalid chose to ignore them with a nonchalant attitude as if it was of little importance.

That single act of omission has virtually deprived the rakyat of the opportunity to punish those perpetrators of their crime for which they were so eager to conceal and destroy.

When Penang's chief minister announced their intention to abolish the NEP and replace it with one that is more equitable there was a deafening silence from the Selangor state government.

Either Khalid didn’t hear the announcement or he had totally forgotten about the Pakatan's manifesto.

Khalid's reluctance to prosecute those Umno leaders responsible for shredding those state documents is understandable. After all, he was once a blue-eyed boy of Umno who so happened to lose their favour sometime ago.

Fortune has been kind to him and now that he is in the driver's seat, he is slowly remembering his old Umno roots.

As long as Selangor continues to be under the helm of Khalid, there will be little change from its previous Umno predeccessor. After all both Khalid and Mohd Khir Toyo came from the same Umno origin.

In the case of the Bandar Makhota Cheras barricade, the whole matter could have been expeditiously resolved if there was strong leadership.

Land in the state comes under state jurisdiction and if the incumbent government cannot even settle what is within their purview then Pakatan Rakyat is heading for a very short term.

Five years in politics is a very short time. If the Pakatan cannot reform the state governments like it promised, then maybe the rakyat will have to look for an alternative government.

Reform - NLFCS

Source : Reform NLFCS

Well, where do I start with this....

Let's start with what NLFCS (National Land Finance Cooperative Society) is about.

NLFCS was started by the late Tun Sambanthan out of concern for plantation workers working in fragmented plantations that were being sold by the British after Malaysia achieved independence. The idea was to pool capital from plantation workers so that they could buy out these plantations and amalgamate into larger groups. The plantation workers would own shares in the co-operative who would manage these larger holdings and provide benefits (both financial and social) to its members.

If anyone can give a better history of NLFCS please do...

After Tun Sambanthan, the chairman has been Tan Sri Somasundram (can't find dates for this, info on NLFCS is sparse).

I don't have much dealings with NLFCS, just what I hear. This is about my experience of working with Premium Nutrients and what I know. I want to remain anonymous because what I write will undoubtedly hurt people I know. It will be interspersed with things I have heard (but not directly experienced), but at the end of this piece, I hope to summarise the pertinent facts that could be checked.

Firstly to get it out of the way - the things I know about NLFCS and the questions they raise.

Tan Sri Somasundram has been there for decades (2 at least). Everyone who came to Premium Nutrients via NLFCS transformed from being strong supporters of NLFCS to being disillusionised.

As a co-operative, there is meant to be one vote per person, but challengers are not encouraged and I understand strong arm tactics are used. Like MIC, even thought a look at the rules would assume the party is democratic, the actual practice is not. A lot of feudalistic practises and hero worship really with a dash of nepotism.

Tan Sri Somasundram's son has been given a management position thought I have no idea what qualifications or experience he has or what kind of vetting process they have. From my experience in Premium Nutrients, there is no vetting process. All the orders come from the top, as I said a very feudal structure. (this is one fact that can be checked, on what basis did TSS's son get the position?)

Premium Nutrients

I will list things as I remember them and I hope they will form a cogent narrative.

Premium Nutrients was meant to be the flagship company of NLFCS. An example for people of Indian ethnic origin in Malaysia and for the co-operative concept/movement. It operates from an industrial area in Pasir Gudang and is a speciality fats (vegetable) company.

I worked in the accounts department of that company and had access to various documents during my time there.

The company has a very poor reputation. A lot of our raw materials (Palm Kernel etc) are only sold to us on an advance payment basis supply because of our poor reputation for payment (there were bankruptcy proceedings instigated by suppliers on the company when it was called Premium Vegetable Oils - this is another fact that can be checked). On the chemical side (various gases and other material we would need to run the chemical processes that would turn Crude Palm Kernel Oil into the end product) there would be a rotation of suppliers we would use, changing them when they asked for payment. The purchasing manager would promise payment to them when negotiating these supplies and then disappear and be uncontactable and the accounts department would have to deal with the resultant angry phone calls.

Most of the assets of the company of the company have covenants and liens on them and new machinery are acquired on a leasehold basis. I don't believe the company actually hold titles to any of its assets as there are first and second liens on almost everything.

While companies started in the area around the time has speed past and expanded. Premium Nutrients is in pretty much the same state it has since it started other than a minor expansion in the 1980's.

There has not been much though into the long term future of the company and it has been run as is.

It is sad to see a company which had such potential and had such dedicated and committed personnel in the lower echelons being run into the ground. The ideals of NLFCS that I thought would permeate within the company hit the brick wall of higher management and their self interest

The company is (as far as I know, I can't vouch for the history of the co since it began) on its third set of Auditors, the last 2 having resigned. They had an EGM to vote on the new auditors recently and I am not surprised that nothing seemed to have been raised about this. For auditors to choose to resign, would basically indicate that they can no longer approve the company accounts.

They co used to play a lot of tricks. They would have a tank of sludge (waste material that is a cost since you would have to pay to get rid of it/make it less pollutant) and have a layer of expensive oil on top. So when it came to value the oil in the tank, only the top level of oil would be used for analysis and hey presto, a cost would turn into a 5m dollar asset and this would in turn lower the cost of goods sold (which would affect the management fee, more on that later). I am not sure how this was down. For an analysis, they usually take samples from pretty deep in the tank, so doing the above would usually not be possible but this was what I was informed had happened during the year end audit process and is something I can't personally verify.

The other thing that I personally witnessed that was practised (and many companies do this) is to push sales on products that fail their quality test. This is to "book" higher sales for the quarter by raising an invoice and then financing on the back of the invoice (bill discounting). The product would inevitably be returned by the customer but in the next quarter (with the associated cost of return borne by the company) but by then the company would have already booked the sale and the management company would get the resulting management fees (I will talk more about the management fees below)

The personal impression I got was that the company was not profitable at all. That the profits were simply paper or accounting profits. The constant cashflow constraints, the pumping in of money from NLFCS every few years, the increasing debt that the company has taken over time would seem to prove my impression, whatever the annual accounts might indicate. A healthy profitable company that is not expanding, not increasing capital expenditure, does not need more debt and more money pumped in simply to run its operations. This would imply a deeper malaise.

I am not sure what oversight there is in NLFCS's investment in Premium Nutrients, and how the cash infusions have been approved. Tan Sri Somasundram (TSS) is also a big shareholder in the company (the 2nd largest holder with 43.5m shares – 12.93%, he bought 6.6m more on the 21/06/07 for approximately 1.8m ringgit). Therefore there is a clear conflict of interest in being the Chairman of NLFCS which is the biggest shareholder in the company and his personal shareholdings. If you have shares in a company, would you not as a chairman of its biggest shareholder, pump more money in so it would not fail? irrespective of your primary (and only) duty to NLFCS members.

There are a couple of conflicts of interest between the management of Premium Nutrients when I was there, and Tan Sri Somasundram and NLFCS.

Lets start with the management co. Before its floatation, Premium Nutrients was managed by a management company incorporated (I believe) in Singapore. I have been reliably told that this management company, 7 M Management, has as one of its beneficiary TSS, so another humongous conflict (to those with the know-how, please check to see who 7 M's ultimate beneficiaries are).

The management fee (20% (I believe - my memory may not be so good)which is a huge chunk of cash to take before all other expenses are paid) was based on the gross profit. As explained above, the accounting gross profit is easily manipulated, and calculating a management fee based on the gross profit provides absolutely no incentive to keep cost down. As you can see very poor corporate governance. What I witnessed was a company being leveraged to pay dividends and management fee to a few, while money was being pumped in from NLFCS to keep it afloat (my personal opinion, but please check the facts yourself).

The co. obviously has a very high turnover among staff. I understand they had brought new senior management recently.

Let's go through the company announcements, just to see the hanky-panky going on.

Announcement released 03/05/05

The audited and unaudited accounts had a 2.04m ringgit difference! In the unaudited accounts the company posted a 8m ringgit profit and the audited accounts showed a 6m profit!

Announcement released 02/05/06

Group Financial Controller and someof the senior staff have resigned, therefore the annual audited accounts will be delayed

Announcement released 02/06/06

Annual audited accounts could not be completed in time because the auditors resigned! Jeez, auditors want their fees, if they resign, it's basically saying things (accounting-wise) are so bad they would rather forgo their fees than audit the company's accounts and agree with it.

Announcement released 26/06/06

32m listing status cost previously written off, to be reinstated as an asset retrospectively? Why on earth do this?

Announcement released 26/10/07

Sells part of Malim Sawit (its plantation arm and crown jewel) for 22m to Revenue Direction Sdn Bhd. Who is Revenue Direction Sdn Bhd? Who are the ultimate beneficiaries? This could be legitimate of course, but after all the shenanigans I have witnessed, I have to be doubtful.

06/05/08 - Annual accounts.

Have a look at pg 53. That is a page full of conflicts of interest.

Of course everything could be managed for the best now, but with so little oversight in the past and in the present, people tend to take advantage.

I hope something is done so that such blatant abuse of trust and governance is a thing of the past in Malaysia and those who have enriched and continue to enrich themselves on the back of others know they no longer have carte-blanche.