Monday 3 December 2012

Does Karpal have a voice in the CEC?

At the Penang DAP covention today, national chairman Karpal Singh's ability to voice his opinions in the central executive committee was questioned by a delegate.

The question came about as Karpal, also the Bukit Gelugor MP, has been voicing his concerns and proposals frequently through the media.

Taman Alma branch chief David Marshall ask if Karpal was given enough chances to raise his proposals in the CEC as the veteran leader often had to sought media attention to publicise his thoughts.

"This is controversial but I am not here to criticise anyone. I am referring to Karpal's one candidate one seat proposal in the media," said Marshall, during the convention's debate session.

NONE"Maybe, he was not allowed to speak up in the CEC. Even the party's media organ Rocketkini has not given him a chance to publicised his proposal in the paper," claimed Marshall.
When asked, state DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow (left) said the delegate raised the point in the context that Karpal was seen speaking very often raised in the media.

"In the CEC, Karpal has raised the issue of one candidate one seat many times.

"In the coming national congress in Penang on Dec 15 and 16, there will be a resolution for delegates to decide on the matter, and it will be tabled by the CEC so that delegates can take a position," added Chow.

Policy exemption for Guan Eng

In his previous press conferences, Karpal had said that the policy should be implemented but secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should be exempted from it.

Another delegate, Tan Ah Huat from Kuala Juru, expressed his support for Karpal's proposal, saying that it would be unfair to allow a candidate to contest two seats when the party has "many talents".

Batu Lanchang delegate Lee Ken Loon urged leaders to raise issues using the proper channels and not the media, which he observed, during the election period, are often told to "lean to one side".

Bagan Dalam assemblyman raised the issue of veteran leaders not given enough recognition especially at the party's new headquarters in Jalan Rangoon, which lacks any acknowledgement of not only of the living but past members.

He also urged the state to name one of the roads Peter Paul Dason - the deceased former DAP former Bayan Baru MP - to remember the veteran leader's contribution to Penang.

The Penang government, upon assuming power in the state had named a road after one of its veteran leader. P Patto.

Responding to the issue, Chow said that during the launch of Wisma DAP, the new building, the party has presented a medal to veteran leaders who have served for more than 30 years.

"At the coming congress, the party will also present veteran members with a special gift," he added, without revealing what the present is.

Chow also said that the party had recommended 'datukships" to several veteran members who had contributed much to society, but two out of the three had passed on, and the remaining person is rather advanced in age.

State DAP secretary Ng Wei Aik urged party members to contribute photos and other "antique" resources to the party so they can be put up at Wisma DAP's gallery.

DAP truly ready for GE?

Meanwhile, despite the party's confidence level in winning the 13th general election, which must be called by May next year, a delegate asked if members and leaders were truly ready.

"Are we 100 percent sure of winning the state? Are you saying that BN candidates are going to lose their deposits?" asked Amal Dass, an observer from Taman Inderawasih.

Delegates also asked for more opportunities for women and youth members in the party.

NONEJelutong DAP Socialist Youth chief Daniel Gooi urged the party to continue to field young candidates in the coming polls, as several leaders are "retiring" from the wing, like RSN Rayer (Seri Delima) and Ng Wei Aik (wing chief and Komtar assemblyman).

When replying to this, Chow praised wanita chief Chong Eng's (left) effort to increase the strength of women members in the party, saying more will be done to field them as candidates.

On the Youth candidacy, Chow said "Guan Eng and I also originated from the Youth wing, so it is not a problem (to field young candidates)".

Umno's Ponzi scheme


Malaysians need not fear that we will become like Afghanistan because Afghanistan has learnt from us and has become like us.

A New York Times

report headlined ‘Audit says Kabul Bank began as Ponzi scheme’ bears a striking resemblance to the way Umno runs this country.

hamid karzaiInvestigators have claimed that the Kabul Bank has been fraudulently obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars and siphoning it off to a few individuals connected to President Hamid Karzai (left).

The war-torn country is trying to get to grips with the concepts of western democracy and banking, but public trust and confidence in the government has been shattered by the revelations of crony capitalism and corruption on a massive scale.

Governments around the world are shocked at the Kabul Bank scandal but are turning a blind eye to similar events in Malaysia, where institutions routinely siphon off money to Umno and its cronies.

An audit by the Kroll investigative firm has revealed that the Kabul Bank’s financial duplicity was mired in controversy and cover up. There was a political conspiracy involving those at the very top of government to stall the investigations.

This is no different from Malaysia. Recent cases are the political interference concerning Tajuddin Ramli’s involvement in the Malaysia Airlines scandal, the Sabah Umno and Michael Chia fiasco and the National Feedlot Corporation case.

The Kroll report also revealed that official stamps had been issued to fake companies so that forged papers could be made to look legitimate. The bank kept two sets of books to dupe auditors and loans were issued in the names of the owner’s friends, relatives and even domestic servants.

Sherkhan Farnood, the bank’s founder and chairperson, stashed the loot in Dubai. It is also claimed that money was smuggled out of Kabul via an airline belonging to shareholders linked to the bank. Kharzai’s brothers, who were implicated, have claimed innocence and escaped prosecution. No one appears accountable or has taken responsibility for the alleged fraud.

NONELast week, Umno held its 66th general assembly.
It was laced with theatrics, its members reduced to tears by a song, and a former premier wielded more influence than the incumbent. All these are signs that the country, not just the party, is in trouble.

The way Umno operates is similar to a Ponzi scheme but instead of making a financial contribution, Malaysians have had to pawn their livelihood and their children’s future, just to keep people at the top of the scheme in power and wealth.

Charles Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, and Kautilya Pruthi, the British equivalent of Madoff, had conned people out of their life savings but were eventually caught and jailed. In what is known as a Ponzi scheme, people were lured into investing their hard-earned cash with con merchants who offered them in the short-term, higher returns than any other investments could provide.

Change from within

Umno’s Ponzi scheme is destined to fail. With the increase in Umno warlords, greater demands are exerted on the kitty, which is financed by the taxpayer. Those who are more senior in Umno want a greater share. The VVIPs and their children have to be appeased. The fickle-minded, untrustworthy party ‘frogs’ also need feeding.

An Umno member would find willing victims to become party members, force them to swear allegiance to be a true member and get them to find fresh recruits.

Like any pyramid scheme, only those at the top of the pyramid reap the benefits. For instance, Umno divisional heads are given incentives to keep them happy. It is alleged that they can demand government projects of a certain fiscal value, to pass on to their cronies and members.

NONEIn some cases, divisional heads are alleged to be given hundreds if not thousands of taxi permits as inducement.
With each taxi driver being obliged to pay about RM30 to the company per day, it is not difficult to work out how many millions of ringgit some people can make per month.

Why does Kuala Lumpur need 35,000 taxi drivers? When there is a glut of drivers, there is depressed income from fares and more drivers sinking into debt.

The Ponzi-type scheme Umno operates also uses religion and affirmative action policies to keep the Malays under control, but Malays need to understand one thing - they do not owe the government a living.

A student on a Mara loan or scholarship should be beholden to the taxpayer for funding his studies. When the government is guilty of corruption or injustice, the student should not keep quiet because he thinks he is beholden to the government for his education. He is not.

azlanSadly, many Malays refrain from criticising the government because they feel indebted to the government when in truth, they should be grateful to the taxpayer. The Malays know that Umno does not represent them, but they have been brainwashed to keep silent, with tiny inducements and the fear of God to keep them in check.

The government should give every Malaysian child a decent standard of education and equal opportunities, but even the privileged are cheated.

The method with which Umno rules the country dwarfs the Kabul Bank Ponzi scheme. The west does not give a damn what happens in Malaysia just as Umno does not care at all what it is doing to Malaysians.

The west wants to please the government so that the Employees Provident Fund can continue to buy up properties abroad, a refugee swap deal can proceed smoothly, Malaysian taxpayers can purchase the latest weaponry or that a rare-earths refining plant can be built.

The rakyat cannot rely on the west for help, so any changes have to come from within Malaysia.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Whose crystal ball is correct, asks Kit Siang

Dec 2, 2012  

Umno and MCA's distinctly different predictions on which ethnic group would lose out more should BN is unseated from Putrajaya, shows their loss of legitimacy to govern, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

In a press release today, Lim pointed out that the Umno general assembly has thus far been filled with repeated warnings that the Malays will lose political power if the party loses the next general election.

This line of argument, explained Lim, appears to be rejected by MCA who have been insisting all along that the non-Malays will suffer from political, economic and educational hardship if Pakatan is allowed to rule.

Lim charged that the line of argument adopted by both Umno and MCA was "pure sedition", designed to incite hatred and worsen racial and religious polarisation just for the sake of winning votes.
Everyone wins
On the other hand, Lim said that Pakatan is striving to make sure that all Malaysians, regardless of race, will be winners after the 13th general election.

"This is the basic difference between BN and Pakatan... Of course there will be losers - the Umnoputeras and their cronies in BN component parties," said Lim.

NONEHe added that the rhetoric coming out from Umno and MCA went against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's 1Malaysia policy and he should put a stop to the practice of "divide and rule".

Since the opening ceremony of the general assembly for the three Umno wings, repeated warnings of Malays losing power should Umno fare badly in the coming polls overflowed through the halls of Putra World Trade Centre.

Deputy Umno chief Muhyiddin Yassin and Umno wanita wing chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (left) went as far as warning that Malaysia would be engulfed in turmoil should Umno loses power.

Deepak: I will not be silenced

However, the carpet trader says he agreed to "sit still" for the last day of the Umno AGM after a meeting with a high-ranking Umno supreme council member.

KUALA LUMPUR: Deepak Jaikishan claimed that there was an attempt by a high ranking Umno man to ‘silence’ him following the various the interviews the carpet trader has given in the past few days.

Late Friday night, Deepak said he received a call by a “senior Umno supreme council member” asking him to meet at the Grand Dorsett Hotel in Subang. The man, who he refused to name, seemed aggressive, Deepak claimed.

Deepak said that he subsequently agreed to meet the person, but brought along some extra protection for his safety.

The meeting was also attended by a few pro-government bloggers, and Deepak said he was told not to make any more noise, at least until the end of the Umno AGM which was yesterday.

“They told me that I am under surveillance…I was given a caution because yesterday was their closing ceremony. They practically warned me not to have a press conference until they finish their convention,” he told FMT.

“I told them you cannot stop me from having press conferences… even if I have to go to the Istana Negara, I would do it. If they really force me… I would go in front of the palace and petition the King lah,” he said.

However, Deepak said he agreed to “give due respect” and cancelled all his media interviews he had lined up for Saturday.

He added that he originally thought he would be in danger but when he met the Umno man, “they were very civil”.

When asked to reveal the names of the individuals he met, Deepak said:”Oh, then I’ll be in serious trouble. Then it would be messy.” But he added:”I’m not afraid. If I am afraid I wouldn’t have come this far. I’m not under any political umbrella or anything.”

Asked if he was offered anything for his cooperation, Deepak said:” They offered me nothing. This is not something I would negotiate.”

He said that he would be giving more press conferences to explain things in full soon.

Fall-out with Najib’s family

In the past week, Deepak has resurfaced after a period of silence, giving several media interviews in which he claimed he regretted getting private investigator P Balasubramaniam to retract his first statutory declaration (SD) concerning murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Balasubramaniam’s first SD had linked Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the murder, while the second SD claimed otherwise. Balasubramaniam subsequently went missing.

In the interviews, Deepak said that he got involved as a favour to a “female friend”.

Deepak also spoke about a land dispute case, involving him, a Selangor Umno leader and the Defence Ministry, which Najib had then helmed. Deepak has accused Najib of receiving “contributions” from him for the former’s intervention in the land deal but was upset that the premier now refused to aid him in resolving the dispute.

He also talked about a fall-out with Najib’s family after his involvement in the Altantuya matter.

Subsequently, Deepak also claimed to have been forced out of 26 companies that he was a director in. He said that he was also harassed by government agencies and had several government-linked contracts cancelled.

Yesterday, Deepak cryptically alluded to a BN defeat in the next general election, suggesting that Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor was the weak link.

Deepak had previously referred to Rosmah as an “older sister”.

Musa Hassan’s motives — Lim Sue Goan

DEC 2 — The policy speech by the Umno president at the annual general assembly is often a kind of political show the entire nation closely watches. Unfortunately, this year’s show has been hijacked by former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Even as Najib Razak hit out hard at Pakatan Rakyat and tabulated the accomplishments of the Barisan Nasional government, Musa Hassan’s shocking revelation has nevertheless exposed the administrative weaknesses of our government agencies.

Musa Hassan is no ordinary retired civil servant, and as such the government should seriously consider setting up an independent panel to probe his accusations which must not be downplayed as immaterial or be trifled with.

If Musa Hassan’s accusation that politicians have intervened in police affairs is true, the operation of the police force will be adversely affected and its integrity eroded.

The police force is tasked with the responsibility of keeping the social order intact and, therefore, must exercise its professionalism to achieve this in the absence of political intervention.

Musa said when the police were about to arrest some heavyweight suspects, they would often receive calls from those in power.

If the country’s laws cannot be justly upheld, how do we expect the public to have faith in our law enforcement?

The Malaysian police force should be an unbiased enforcement institution. If it fails to operate independently, it would be very difficult for it to carry out its duties during the upcoming general election.

Musa Hassan also exposed links between senior police officers and illegal gangs, an accusation that would jeopardise the integrity of the police force.

When police discipline is involved, things will suddenly become very sensitive.

Because of Musa Hassan’s previous objection to the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the issue of police misconduct remains unresolved to this day.

The MACC investigations and subsequent charges against Musa Hassan and former CID chief Ramli Yusof are nothing we can be proud of. The police force must strive to improve its image instead of persistently rejecting supervision.

If a split takes place at the top ranks of the police force, how do we expect them to set a good example for their subordinates?

Thirdly, Musa Hassan also queried the reliability of the police’s crime data, and this has begun to arouse public suspicion.

Well familiar with the modus operandi of the police force, Musa Hassan highlighted the fact that some police officers have resorted to converting unresolved cases to “no further action” cases in a bid to achieve the government’s crime reduction targets.

Without true and genuine figures, the minister will be kept in the dark and thus wrongly assess the actual crime situation in the country.

This August, the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) received a letter said to be from an anonymous police officer making the same accusations. As such, it is imperative that the police’s crime figures be appraised by an independent third party institution with the hope the root cause of the problem could be identified.

Fourthly, why do some senior civil servants continue to slam the government after their retirement?

Some notable retired senior officers have joined PAS, including former Bukit Aman CID chief Fauzi Shaari, former chief secretary for the ministry of land and cooperative development Nik Zain Nik Yusof, former solicitor-general Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, and former TUDM officer Mohd Nazari Mokhtar.

The BN government has been taking very good care of our civil servants; the defection by any of them could deal a serious blow on Umno. —

Penang mustn't lose its 'golden' future


Despite the overwhelming confidence shown by DAP leaders in today state convention, party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng reminded party members not to underestimate the potential of its rivals.

2012 selangor dap convention 041112 lim guan engLim (left) warned members not to treat lightly BN and Umno's ability to not only win two-thirds at the federal level but also recapture Penang in the coming polls.

"Do not underestimate the effectiveness of lies, threats and money politics as well as racist and extremist sentiments. Umno are masters at these dirty tactics," said Lim, who is Penang chief minister, at the state DAP convention today.

Lim said DAP leaders and members are not afraid of losing but Penangites cannot afford to lose their future to Umno and BN.

"If we lose, the people lose also," he stormed, while the party's delegates cheered.

He added that the next polls determines not just the fate of DAP but the destiny of the people.
Lim warned that if BN regained the state, Umno will ensure all of Pakatan Rakyat's "golden programmes" for the rakyat and yearly allocations to schools will be gone.

"Umno will ensure our democratic reforms and integrity measures will be replaced by a harsh and repressive regime that is corrupt," said Lim.

"Umno will ensure a people-centric government will be replaced by a crony-driven government".

'Lack of experience due to prison terms'

Lim was speaking to 280 DAP state delegates who attended the state's last convention before the 13th general election which must be called before May next year.

NONELim was accompanied by national chairman Karpal Singh (right), state DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow, while other Pakatan leaders like state PKR chief and Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman and state PAS committee member Jamaluddin Saad, were present.

Lim was high in spirits, reminding members of all the state's policies and achievements in the last four years.

He even took time to criticise Umno members for "shedding tears" during the party's last annual general meeting, saying "they should be crying for Lynas".

After Lim's speech, leaders and delegates alike, stood up to wave their Ubah mascots and flags, while shouting the party's warcry "Jom Ubah!".

Meanwhile, Lim said Pakatan has so many achievements to boast about and no one can deny that the coalition has done more in five years than BN had in 18 years.

He added that despite Pakatan's inexperience, its leaders can perform better than BN "anytime, anyplace, anywhere."

"This is because its leaders spent most of their time in prison," Lim joked.

Lim then thanked the party's veteran members for their contributions, courage and determination in facing the trials and tribulations the party has gone through all the years.

"It is because of them we are where we are today, we must really thank them," said Lim, to loud cheers from the floor.

'Good as opposition, better as gov't'

Lim said the DAP was good as an opposition party but "we are better as the government".

"What is our concern now is not whether we can be a good government but whether we can keep it (in Penang)," he said.

"What happened during these five years that caused this transformation from being an effective opposition to an even more effective government?" asked Lim, who is also Bagan MP.

"I would venture to say that DAP's qualities of being clean and honest, loyalty to principles and the people and our unbreakable team spirit amongst our leaders, is the basis of our success," he added.

"This is exemplified in our slogan of CAT - governance of competency, accountability and transparency".

Saturday 1 December 2012

Police report lodged against Shahrizat - Leven Woon

An NGO feels that the Wanita Umno chief is threatening the non-Malay by saying a weak Umno would lead to the repeat of May 13 violence.
PETALING JAYA: An Indian-based NGO coalition which felt threatened by Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jail’s statement on May 13 has lodged a police report against the former minister.

“Shahrizat’s statement was meant to threaten the non-Malays. She was trying to say if the non-Malays vote for the opposition and this results in a weak Umno, a race riot similar to the violence on May 13, 1969 will happen,” Tamilar Action Force head A Vethaamoorthy said.

Leading a group of 12 members to lodge the report at the Sentul police station today, he said Shahrizat should be charged with threatening the public and instigating racial divide.

Shahrizat raised the spectre of May 13 in her speech at the Wanita Umno annual general assembly on Wednesday.

She said that a weak Umno would spread uneasiness among the Malay and possibly spark a May 13 racial bloodshed.

“Do we want such a terrible situation repeated in our country? Of course, we do not,” she said.

“By giving this kind of statement, it shows how desperate Umno is,” Vethaamoorthy said.

He said the May 13 incident is already history, and the leaders of the country should now realise that the people have the right to choose who they want in the general election.

“It won’t help by making this kind of unnecessary remark,” he said.

Several Pakatan Rakyat MPs including M Kulasegaran and Khalid Samad have also criticised Shahrizat, calling her “shameless” while saying that Malaysians were now more united than in 1969.

ROS hauls up three more in Suaram probe

The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has hauled up three more people in its ongoing investigation of human rights group Suaram.

The three, namely lawyers Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Amer Hamzah Arshad; and Suaram executive director Nalini Elumalai are being probed under Section 66 of the Societies Act 1966.

According to that section, any individual under suspicion of having information on the existence or operation of any illegal society or on the operations of any registered society can be summoned.

NONEWhen contacted, Fadiah (left) described the continuous investigation against Suaram as a form of harassment and attempt to impede its work, which includes pursuing alleged kickbacks in the RM7.3 billion purchase of two Scorpene submarines by Malaysia in the French courts.

"This is a form of harassment and intimidation for advocating on the Scorpene scandal.

"ROS has no jurisdiction over Suaram. We are registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), not ROS," she said.

The trio were served with a notice by ROS on Thursday and are to present themselves at its Putrajaya headquarters at 11am today.

Several individuals were already questioned on Nov 12.

KLSCAH dragged into probe

Meanwhile, in a widening investigation against Suaram, police on Wednesday also visited the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) which has frequently played host for Suaram press conferences.

malaysiakini acnmc conference 021010 tang ah chaiWhen contacted, KLSCAH chief executive officer Tang Ah Chai (right) said the police made copies of documents on transactions between Suaram and KLSCAH.

"The policemen came at around 2pm and stayed for an hour. They finished their investigation by photocopying some copies of rental forms and payment receipts by Suaram," he said.

Tang said this was not the first time police had gone after KLSCAH which sits along Jalan Maharajalela in Kuala Lumpur. A similar incident happened when Hindraf held its event there in 2008.

He added that the KLSCAH venue is open for rent to all and such problems from the authorities should not arise.

‘Goalkeeper Rosmah will cause BN downfall’ - Teoh El Sen

The controversial carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan has made a startling prediction about the outcome of the 13th general election.

KUALA LUMPUR: Carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan has stirred another controversy with his prediction about Barisan Nasional suffering a big loss in the upcoming general election.

In a cryptic SMS sent to the media, the well-connected businessman used a football metaphor and named “Rosmah” as the sole Umno goalkeeper who would fail to stop Pakatan Rakyat from scoring big.

Deepak said he was referring to the speech given by Umno Kelantan delegate Md Alwi Che Ahmad who drew the analogy of Umno being like the “red warriors”, the committed and hardworking football players of the state.

The Kelantan opposition leader was quoted as saying that “Umno players” are winnable candidates and are able to score goals.

“The party’s president want the best players to score goals… winnable candidates” he reportedly said.

Deepak, however, laughed off the suggestion, saying that he found it amusing as the Kelantan players actually belong to PAS.

“I refer to the Umno Kelantan speech & his anology of kelantan’s champion footballer’s ‘red warriors’ as d criteria for ‘winnable candidates’,” he wrote.

“Najib is indeed an excellant striker & a winnable candidate in Pekan but unfortunately Umno’s only goalkeeper today is Rosmah & she has her hands full catching the billions coming her way that she won’t have the time to stop PKR from scoring goals in parlimentary seats.”

The man, who has previously admitted to being close like a sibling to Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, then made a startling prediction in his text.

“GE13 will be PKR 123, seat Rosmah RM26 BILLION, BN 99 seats. A prophercy that will happen.”

‘Goalkeeper not interested in catching balls’

Asked about the meaning behind his SMS, Deepak said: “You have a winnable candidate who can win his seat, but this is not the presidential election. If he wins and the others lose, there is no point.

“I fully agree that we should have winnable candidates. I’m saying that, yes, Najib can win in Pekan, but you have so many players and you only have one goalkeeper; this goalkeeper is not interested in catching the ball, but in catching billions,” he told FMT.

“You can win that one Pekan seat. But you are going to lose 120 other seats because your goalkeeper is not trying to catch the ball the opposition is trying to score.”

The past week, Deepak has resurfaced after some period of silence, giving several media interviews in which he claimed he regretted getting private investigator P Balasubramaniam to retract his first statutory declaration (SD) concerning murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Balasubramaniam’s first SD had linked Najib to the murder, while the second one reversed it a day later. Balasubramaniam subsequently went missing.

In the interviews, Deepak said that he got involved as a favour to a “female friend”.

Deepak also spoke about a land dispute case, involving him, a Selangor Umno leader and the Defence Ministry, which Najib had then helmed.

Deepak has accused Najib of receiving “contributions” from him for the former’s intervention in the land deal but is upset that the premier now refuses to aid him in resolving the dispute.

He also talked about a fall-out with Najib’s family after his involvement in the Altantuya matter.

Subsequently, Deepak has also claimed to have been forced out of 26 companies that he was a director in. He said that he was also harassed by government agencies and had several government-linked contracts cancelled.

Embracing diversity, integration in education

The very first step for the Malay ultras to take in the right direction is to cease making a scapegoat out of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
By Dr Boo Cheng Hau

The recently announced National Education Blueprint contains nothing new. And it shows the powers-that-be have no real intention to listen to the public or make any bold reforms to our ailing education system.

It is a repetition of the sad old story about racial prejudice, not much different from the so-called “National Education Policy” which was largely based on Umno’s Malay nationalist belief that the national language should be the sole medium of instruction.

Proponents of the Malay-medium only policy also emphasise the Malay nationalist perspective of history that having one common language – such as in our neighbours Indonesia and Thailand – can save Malaysia from disintegration.

Racial prejudice and political demagoguery as the basis for our nation’s education agenda of true unity will not get us far. Let me prove how discriminatory is our education system and the false impressions that it projects.

I had a taste of victory for what it means to have “equal opportunities” in education about 30 years ago when I argued for admission, on behalf of a schoolmate, into an American university which has produced some of the Nobel laureates.

My friend was originally from Taiwan but studied in a Chinese independent secondary school here in Malaysia. She did not sit the SPM or UEC (Unified Examination Certificate). To my surprise, the admission officer of the American university requested for UEC results in lieu of SPM qualification.

She did not sit the UEC because the exam was still new at that time. After a long discussion, the admission officer agreed with my proposal that she be admitted conditionally on producing evidence of completing 12 years of primary and secondary education – a standard which almost all American universities and colleges go by.

She was then admitted “under probation” for one semester, meaning she would be considered a regular student after the period of study with a GPA of 2.0 and above (an average of C and above). She graduated eventually without any impediment.

Her experience goes to show how democratic, liberal and flexible the American education system is. This is one of the key factors that allow the United States to become the most technologically advanced country, and one to which many talents from other parts of the world choose to emigrate.

The value of the UEC

In the 1970s, nobody in Malaysia took the UEC exam seriously except for the powers-that-be who attempted to ban it on account that the exam was (perceived to be) “anti-national”.

Nonetheless besides Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore where the UEC was recognised, many American universities and colleges had already begun accepting it as a gateway for college admission.

As far back as 30 years ago, one of my classmates was admitted to the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology based on her UEC results and Chinese Independent School coursework assessments.

Would our public universities and UiTM open their admission policies and welcome UEC holders by integrating them into the mainstream of higher education institutes rather than discriminating them? Some top American universities even admit Chinese independent secondary school students based on school results and class ranking without referring to standardised examinations such as SPM, UEC, GCE, SAT and the like.

Yet after 30 long years, our own Malaysian government still despises the UEC as “anti-national”. In fact, except for respective language subjects, all UEC subjects are offered in three languages; in other words, one can opt to have his math, science, or other papers tested in English, Malay or Chinese.

Chinese independent school graduates are barred from using their UEC results as a means of admission to local public universities and teacher training colleges. This discrimination is deemed necessary to maintain Umno’s self-righteous “National Education Policy” for the promotion of “interracial unity”.

How can political demagoguery such as Umno’s ever help in promoting national unity and interracial integration? One could argue that the party is actually more interested in maintaining its tight grip on power by continuing to mislead the country that vernacular schools somehow pose a hidden threat.

STPM and matriculation – apple and orange?

The powers-that-be have since declared that racial quotas are no longer applied in local public universities. Instead, they claim a “merit-based” admission system has been put in place.

However, at the same time, university admission standards are “diversified” into two separate entry points – STPM and matriculation.

After years of protests by the non-Malays, only 10% of matriculation programmes has been opened up to the non-Bumiputera, and even this percentage is described by the Malay nationalists as a “sell-out” of Malay rights.

Non-Malays are supposed to be grateful for this small “kindness”, like once upon a time coloureds were supposed to thank their white masters for allowing them to go to schools in apartheid South Africa despite great disparities along racial lines in school facilities.

Almost all the non-Malays who managed to gain a seat in the local universities are students who sat the STPM. Many rue this blatant division of university entrance assessment – along racial lines – as comparing apples and oranges.

Satu Sekolah’s inherent contradiction

The authorities contradict themselves by professing a single-language system to promote national unity through putting children under one roof but at the same time segregating them either at Form 1 or when they finish Form 5.

There is an obvious discrepancy between the teaching facilities provided to the vernacular schools which sorely lack government aid and support, and the residential schools and Mara junior science colleges as well as the elite schools catering for Malays – for example, the prestigious Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) and Tunku Kurshiah College (TKC).

Institutional racism practised in public university admission routes gives rise to an added dimension of polarisation. The racial distribution of students is further exacerbated when non-Malays, erroneously seen as well-to-do, are enrolled in private higher institutions of learning. Most people seem to forget that privately funded education, whether locally or abroad, comes at a heavy cost to their parents.

The indirect makings of apartheid

To generalise most Malays as “poor” and all non-Bumiputera, particularly the Chinese, as “rich” is just as good as apartheid.

The Malay ultras believe they are above being associated with the apartheid system in South Africa created with the ostensible excuse of helping the “poor”, Dutch-speaking whites of that country.

But then what should the international community make of UiTM – Malaysia’s biggest public university with campuses in every state – where almost all its students belong predominantly to a single race?

In the former apartheid of South Africa and during the 1950s in the Confederate states of the American south, physical segregation was made visible by the sign saying, “No Coloured and Dogs allowed”.

In Malaysia, there are no signs to say “No Non-Bumis and Dogs allowed”. However, de facto apartheid still permeates through the fabric of the Malaysian public education system. It is de facto racial segregation in its utmost hypocritical disguise without leaving any physical evidence.

Therefore, I see no difference between those poor whites in the former Confederate states of the American south that once held demonstrations against university admission of black students and those Malay ultras that hold demonstrations barring “non-Bumiputera” from entering local public institutions.

UiTM students did demonstrate against their university opening its door a crack when Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim proposed relaxing the admission just a tiny bit to the so-called “Non-Bumis”.

America’s highest court ruled for equality

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”.

It stinks of double standard, if not a glaring blind spot, when vernacular schools keep getting blamed for institutional racism in Malaysia. If mother tongue vernacular schools (open to all students) are incorrectly termed as racist, then the one-race UiTM is nothing but apartheid.

The old, presumed poverty line along the race divide is no longer valid, not when Malaysia has endured discriminative policies predicated on ethnicity since 1970, which is all of 42 years or almost half a century.

There are very few Malay intellectuals willing to tackle the truth of the matter, but Dr Azly Rahman is one of them. At least he’s been honest and bold enough to speak out on the “bankrupt Umno ideology” of race supremacy in his article Dismantle Our Apartheid Education – see

What is required is for more members of the Malay intelligentsia to question the veracity of a “moral” claim in the perpetuation of a quota system that amounts to apartheid. The only difference is that segregation, like that perpetuated by residential schools, Mara junior colleges and UiTM, is couched using terminology portraying a righteous morality.

The other difference is that Chinese schools are accessible to any non-Chinese, but UiTM does not welcome the non-Malays. In some Chinese independent secondary schools, non-Chinese are given a blanket free tuition.

Are Malays courageous to re-evaluate?

The Malays are a strong majority in numbers and without doubt politically dominant. Why should Umno cling tenaciously to the view that preferential treatment based on race is the “affirmative action” that Malays still require?

Professor Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi in Memories of Unity vividly describes his confidence to compete in his science class and how he emerged as one of the top students among his almost all Chinese classmates back in the 1970s (see

I had a Malay classmate who went to the same Chinese independent school as I did. He graduated as one of the top students and went to a local public university, and he is currently a lecturer at another local public university.

It is a myth that Bumiputera students are unable to compete with non-Bumiputera students on a level playing field. This misconception is wrongly used to justify the institutional racism imposed on the public education from top to bottom.

There are tens of thousands of Malays who have made it in local and prestigious foreign universities and thrived in adverse socio-cultural settings. There is no moral justification for segregating Malaysian post-secondary students into STPM/ matriculation except for satisfying Umno’s racial imperatives.

NEP and education apartheid

A few successful Malay billionaire cronies do not mitigate the failure with regard to certain protectionist areas of the NEP. This includes educational apartheid. The rejuvenation of the vernacular schools since the late 1970s when NEP went into full swing is a consequence of our race policies, and not the chief cause of racism.

The NEP was based upon the empirical generalisation that Chinese and Indian Malaysians were all well off and should be “positively discriminated”against in order to help the “poor Malays”.

It’s a different story today as the civil service has become Malay-dominated and this is empirical truth. The tables have been turned as Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent are marginalised.

The original purpose of the NEP to eradicate the identification of race with profession – Malay farmers, Chinese shopkeepers, Indian clerks – is sidetracked when the civil service has become wholly identified with the Malay race. The racial traits along professions, as reflected in the hiring practices of both the private and public sectors, have been deepened by the NEP.

When I recently requested some documents to be certified by a government department, the Malay clerk gave me a jealous one-eye wink knowing that it was for the purpose of applying to colleges in the US. The one-eye wink might perhaps have been nothing more than the coded message that all you “Chinamen” are rich and can afford to send your children overseas to be educated. This only goes to show up the failure of the NEP in correcting the racial prejudice among races in Malaysia.

How the Chinese prioritise education

The fact is that I told my children I would sell our house and live in a smaller one if we needed funds for their education. I mean education is where they would learn something new and be happy including getting away from institutional racism. We neither hope for Public Service Department or any other government scholarships after hearing so many sad stories of racial degradation.

Selling homes and other property for the sake of the children’s education among the lower- and middle-class Chinese Malaysians is not a new practice. I remember my mother decided to sell off the six-acre rubber plantation left by my deceased father to put myself and my sister through university.

She later worked as a babysitter to cover all our expenses studying overseas. We always thought that there might be more Malays who did not have land to sell. Nonetheless, our good reasoning has not helped many Malays to get rid of their own ingrained racial prejudice both against themselves and other races.

As I write this article, coincidentally, my 17-year-old daughter has just received news that a high-ranking American university has agreed to admit her into its Fine Arts programme based on her multiple talents, multilingual skills and ability to play the Chinese zither and flute. Some universities already made it clear they will admit her by waiving the requirement of her SPM or UEC results.

On the contrary, her talent in playing ancient Chinese musical instruments is definitely not a criterion for admission into any local public university. On the contrary, it may even work against her favour as it could be looked at as a form of Chinese chauvinism and clinging to our ancestral roots.

Deserving of places in local universities

I am not trying to boast my daughter’s academic achievement. She is actually a B-average student but it sure makes a parent proud when one’s child deservedly gains recognition for her talents and, more importantly, she will be able to further develop her talents without being labelled as a non-Bumiputera.

I am glad that her dedication to social work and extracurricular activities, including organising a joint concert of Chinese Orchestra and Western bands, won her recognition from some highly ranked American universities.

One of her recent achievements is receiving a Gold Medal in an international Chinese essay-writing contest in Taiwan. Instead of chucking her unique credential aside, an American university admission director gave great words of encouragement, such as “your family must be very proud of you [for the Gold Medal received]…We would like you to be with us, and I hope you will continue to contribute to the international programme here if you decide to join us”.

I was surprised that she was offered admission and given a partial academic scholarship before we even sent out applications to other American colleges and local private universities.

Some universities are amazed that our students can master two or three languages. They usually give positive encouragement like: “Considering English is your third language, your English is really good.” No parents will send their kid to a college where he or she faces the possibility of being humiliated and degraded on account of race, creed and “non-native status” when my daughter is actually a native-born fourth generation Malaysian.

As a matter of fact, most UEC holders have a greater proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia which is their second language as compared to English which is their third language. If the UEC holders can do well in universities overseas that teach in English, why can’t they be given the same opportunities by our local public universities?

It might be true that their Bahasa Malaysia may not be as good compared with SPM/STPM holders just as their English may not be as good as the Americans, British or Australians when they enrol in American, Australian or British universities. However, if they are given the opportunity to enrol in local public universities, they will be able to polish their BM just like how when given the opportunity to study abroad they are able to polish their English.

More importantly, such openness is needed in order to “converge” the vernacular school alumni into the local higher education institutions and complete an education integration process rather than forcibly “diverge” them to local private institutions and overseas colleges.

We have to be fair and realistic in assessing our students’ language ability based on what is the best they can do in their learning environment. In fact, cultural immersion is the best method to improve Malay language or any other second language proficiency instead of educational segregation like what has been practised here.

Some 30 years ago, it was rare to encounter Americans learning an Asian language. Today, there are American reporters who insist on interviewing me in perfect Mandarin or Bahasa Indonesia. It is a fast-changing world out there but it seems our Umno elites – with the exception of Najib Tun Razak whose son is a fluent Mandarin speaker – are lagging behind time.

The very first step for the Malay ultras to take in the right direction is to cease making a scapegoat out of Chinese and Tamil primary schools. It is an unfounded charge that little children are responsible for racism and racial disunity in Malaysia.

It is, on the other hand, our fear to embrace cultural diversity and true interracial integration that has left us lagging behind many other countries. It is time for the Malay ultras to open their eyes and correct their ingrained prejudice that has worked against their own competitiveness

Pahang MB: Look, I didn't mean it literally

Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob today clarified that he did not mean cut off his ears literally if Barisan Nasional lost in Bentong.

NONEInstead, he explained that it was a figurative speech intended for his critics to learn English.

"Do you know figurative speech? In English language, we have figurative speech. We have simile, we have metaphor, hyperbole...

"So when I say cut my ears, that means they (DAP) can never win. That shows the level of confidence.

This is not that is we (BN lose) they (opposition) take the knife and cut off my ears literally.

"No, this is figurative speech - figurative language to let these people study English," he told journalists along the sidelines on the last day of the Umno general assembly today.

'I speak based on facts'

Adnan said this when asked to comment on the online storm over his ear-cutting remark, which saw him on the receiving end of a long list of abuses.

He added that these people were "adversaries" and "political enemies", thus such criticisms were expected.

Adnan also insisted that the Lynas Advance Material Plant was safe because the local authorities and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had given the project the green light.

"We respect their views but please accept authoritative views given by IAEA. Come on lah netizens, don't be sleeping citizens lah," he said.

"Whatever they want to say, gangster or animal, let them. If they can brand me such names, I can also do the same, I can call them stupid.

"What is the term you use for people who don't want to admit facts given by authoritative body and authoritative people?" he added.

He added that the Lynas plant cannot be arbitrarily cancelled as advocated by the opposition as there was a need to abide by the rule of law.

'Never meant as a challenge'

Adnan denied that his comments was an attempt to provoke voters, adding that there was no need for him to retract the remark.

"I challenge the opposition voters to vote against BN, but BN voters, I never challenged. It was never meant as a challenge.

"The BN voters have been with us, just like the opposition voters are with the opposition," he said.

For independent voters, Adnan said they would side with the winners and the winning party is Pahang is BN.

"Pahang will remain, with the help of voters - except for opposition voters - as a BN stronghold," he said.

Yesterday, Adnan said people could cut off his ears and he would jump into the Pahang river if the BN lost the Bentong parliamentary seat.

The incumbent MP in Bentong is Liow Tiong Lai, who is both the health minister and MCA deputy president.

Adnan hails from Bentong and holds the state seat of Pelangai which is within the parliamentary constituency of Bentong.

IPCMC memo spells trouble for Penang DAP Youth

The DAP Socialist Youth wing yesterday lodged a police report on  a report filed against them by a police officer for submitting a memorandum to them calling for the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Monitor Commission (IPCMC).

State DAPSY chief Ng Wei Aik claimed that after the report was lodged by an unidentified police officer, wing members had been called up and informed that they are being probed under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

NONEHowever, Ng and team, have decided not to cooperate with the police so long as the details and the identity of the officer involved are kept under wraps.

"This is an absolute breach of our basic fundamental rights. Does this mean submitting memorandum is a crime now in Malaysia?" queried Ng, who said this was probably a first in the history of the country.

"If one is proven guilty under S9(1) of the PAA for illegal assembly, he or she can be fined up to RM10,000. Was the report lodged because I am an elected rep?" Ng, the Komtar assemblyman, queried further.

Every right to submit memo

If convicted under the law for an amount above RM2,000, an elected representative can lose his seat and barred from contesting in the polls for a period of two terms (or between 8-10 years).

"Malaysians have every right to submit such memorandums,why must police take it so seriously?" asked the political secretary to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Ng said he would raise a complaint with the National Human Rights body, Suhakam, on the matter.

He was accompanied by state DAPSY vice-chief Lim Thing, the wing's state secretary Soon Lip Chee, assistant state DAPSY secretary Satees Muniandy, the wing's state publicity secretary Steven Sim and several others.

On Nov 19, the group of about 10 handed over the document to acting officer in charge, Inspector Mohamed Ilias at the Prai Police Station.

NONEThe memorandum renewed calls for the setting up of the IPCMC as the force has taken a beating lately with several incidences of death in custody and rape involving the police.

No action against anti-CM protestors

Meanwhile, Satees said the police treated protestors differently as many had also sent memorandums to Lim where the situation turned noisy and chaotic but no action had been taken.

"The debate over the PAA involved the possibility of it being misused by certain quarters for their own benefit," said Satees, who led the protest two weeks ago.

"What about all those Anti-Pakatan demonstrations? Are they also being investigated under the PAA as well? We want the Penang Police Chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi to answer this," he added.

"We will face this, even if they have decided to charge us in court! We won't budge because of this threat".

NONEAt the same event, Sim referred to a statement by former Police Chief Musa Hassan (right), who claimed that Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein had "meddled" in the affairs of the force.

He called on the Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar to answer why a police report had been lodged by his officer against a small group handing over a memorandum "peacefully".

"The Police force should be a force with very high integrity and not used by certain quarters for political mileage," he added.

PKR: Anwar did better than Najib - Teoh El Sen

Responding to the prime minister's attacks, the opposition party claims that Anwar Ibrahim did a better job as finance minister than Najib.

PETALING JAYA: PKR claims that its de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim performed better as finance minister compared to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

The party was responding to Najib’s attacks on Anwar regarding the latter’s ability to manage the country’s economy when he was part of the government.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali today produced figures during Anwar’s time as the finance minister and compared that to Najib’s track record, pointing out that Anwar obtained better results for the economic growth, reducing deficit and debt, and using funds from Petronas.

“Anwar reduced the debts of the country, with prudent spending that increased earnings over expenditure, not burdening Petronas and the economy grew between 9% to 10%; [whereas] Najib took 10 times more money from Petronas, caused the country’s debt to rise by five times, deficit caused by extravagant spending over 14 years and the economy remains weak at 4-5% growth only,” he said.

Azmin accused Najib of indulging in “politics of fear” to scare voters in the upcoming 13th general election.
He stressed that the rakyat was smart enough to see through it as they did in 2008. “The figure speaks for itself,” he added.

Yesterday, during his opening policy speech at the Umno AGM, Najib said since he took over the ministry in 2009, the nation’s per capita GDP has grown by 30%, from US$6,700 to US$9,700. In contrast, Anwar’s term as finance minister would best be remembered for his response to the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

“During the Asian economic crisis that affected Malaysia in 1997 to 1998, it was proven that the finance minister – I repeat, the finance minister then who is now the opposition leader – was not a competent economic manager,” said the Umno president.

However, Azmin said that during Anwar’s term as a finance minister between 1991 to 1998, the country recorded higher economic growth rate. Between 1992 to 1997, the yearly growth was: 8.8%, 9.9%, 9.2%, 9.8%, 10%, and 7.3% respectively.

Najib’s tenure as finance minister saw the growth of 1.5, 7.2, and 5.1 for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011.

“Najib has not once topped the results of Anwar who successfully achieved a 9%-10% growth rate in his years, while Najib’s first year took the country in the other direction and it remained in poor condition despite neighbouring countries, like Indonesia, growing rapidly,” he said.

‘We are faced with daily economic problems’

Azmin said Najib, who had been finance minister since September 2008, had now only achieved a “weak” growth of 4-5%.

“And we are today also faced with various daily economic problems such as the rise of goods prices, and stagnant wages,” he added.

Anwar’s record, said Azmin, also showed the last year where there was a surplus in the budget, as other Umno finance ministers after him chose to pile up the country’s debts yearly till now.

“That is why Malaysia is still struggling with the problems of critical debts and deficit until today,” he said.

He showed figures between 1992 and 1997, where the deficit, under Anwar’s management, was being reduced.

Between the years 1992 till 1997, the deficit was 0.8% , 0.2%, 2.3%, 0.8%, 0.7%, and 2.4%, while the national debts for the same years were RM97b, RM96b, RM93b, RM91b, RM90b, and RM89b.

However, since then, Azmin said, the debt began to rise from 1998 till now and had reached five times the debt, at RM456 billion at the end of 2011 compared to the situation Anwar left the country at.

“Najib also forced Petronas to contribute the highest dividend in the history of Malaysia. There was never a finance minister or prime minister who made use of Petronas funds as much as Najib,” he said.

Azmin said during Anwar’s time, the dividends given out between 1992 to 1997 were consistently at RM3.1billion. During Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time, Petronas was giving the government dividends of RM9.1b in 2004, RM11b in 2005, RM18b in 2006, and RM24b in 2007.

In contrast to these figures, said Azmin, Najib was taking 10 times more than Anwar, at RM30 billion between 2009 to 2011.

“I am sure that the Malaysian public can differentiate between these figures. The leadership of this country needs to focus on reinvigorating the economy of the country with objective numbers, not trying to distort the performance of the country’s economy due to fear of Anwar’s prowess as a capable finance minister,” he added.

Defections from Sabah Umno

Meanwhile, at the same press conference, a Sabah Umno Wanita leader and her husband announced their decision to quit Umno and join PKR, citing loss of confidence and trust with their former party and leaders.

The woman was Semporna Umno division vice-chairman Kalasahan Abd Salam while her husband, Ab Habi Mustapha, was an exco in the same division.

Minister of Rural and Regional Development and Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal is currently the head of the Semporna division and both husband and wife claimed that he had failed, not only the party but to fight for the welfare of the people there.

Kalasahan added that favouritism, cronyism and nepotism were becoming rife within Umno Semporna Umno, and that the division had failed to bring renewal to the community, which was plagued by problems ranging from the influx of illegal immigrants, lack of water, electricity and hospitals, low levels of education, to traffic and floods.

Avoiding a centenary of Umno's rule

It is obvious by now that Umno will never change. Judging from the waves of public protests involving multiracial crowds over the last two years, the determination on the part of a significant segment of Malaysian society to exorcise the ghost of May 13 is unambiguous as well as undisputed.

Still, Umno’s ruling elite, lacking policy imagination and integrity, will do everything to ensure that the country remains haunted by the racial backlash that happened more than four decades ago.

NONEThe choice has become much clearer after Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s scare tactic at the Umno general assembly two days ago: vote Barisan Nasional and see one dignity trampled in perpetuity, or opt for the alternative with a view to overhauling and reshaping Malaysia’s political structure.

None of the speeches by Umno leaders at the assembly has been inspiring. Shahrizat’s shameless reference to the 1969 national tragedy should be condemned by all in no uncertain terms, yet her party colleagues have failed miserably to assure the general public there would be a peaceful transition of power in the event of regime change.

Muhyiddin Yassin’s warning of chaos should Pakatan Rakyat come to power is indicative of the fact that the highest echelons within Umno may not rule out the possibility of resorting to extra-constitutional measures, while rule by decree is not a fantasy. It happened in May 1969 under Najib Abdul Razak’s father, and it can happen again.

And what is so special about Najib’s ‘apology’ over BN's past mistakes that it has captured the attention of all the propagandists masquerading as ‘senior journalists’, including Tay Tian Yan of Sin Chew Daily?

NONELet's put Najib’s sincerity under the closest scrutiny, The following is exactly what the apprentice prime minister who has been dodging his political opponents and the rakyat in public debate actually said:

Bumi mana tak ditimpa hujan, laut mana tidak bergelora, bahagian dunia manakah yang wujudnya orang, atau pimpinan, atau persyarikatan atau parti yang tidak pernah tersandung atau tersalah. Di atas segalanya, sebagai kepimpinan parti dan kerajaan, kami menyusun jari nan sepuluh memohon maaf atas kekhilafan.”

The keyword here is ‘kekhilafan’, which means ‘kesilapan’ in colloquial Malay, or ‘omission’ in plain English. One Indonesian dictionary defines it as ‘kesilapan yang tidak disengaja’, or ‘unintentional omission’.

Has Najib shown penance?

Now, can one search one’s own heart and say Najib has indeed shown penance for all the transgressions committed by the BN government over the past few decades?

Or does one honestly think the wanton use of all the draconian laws - ranging from the Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act to the Emergency Ordinance - has been unintentional? Or the series of misuse of public funds and the inability to weed out corruption are merely an ‘omission’?

azlanOr the shocking murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu was simply a negligence on the part of the two ‘accused’, a case in which no motive was found for the killing? Or time and again firing teargas into peaceful crowds was just a ‘mistake’?

Furthermore, when Najib asked ‘in which corner of the world is there a leader or a party which has never made a mistake’, he was practically behaving like Jackie Chan. When Chan’s mistress went public with his extra-marital affair more than ten years ago, the movie star ‘apologised’ by arguing that he had just ‘misbehaved’ as any other man in the world would.

Can one take it as a heartfelt apology?

As Umno’s arrogance and obstinacy are laid bare, the emperor is proven naked again. Portraying Najib as a reformist, as many ‘senior journalists’ have been doing, is a futile attempt, for a real leader must be bold enough to do the impossible, including confronting the conservative forces within the party. Najib has been given more than three years to prove his calibre, but has failed to rise to the challenge at every opportunity.

One may ask: would the alternative be any better given that PAS is bent on implementing its idea of an Islamic state?

azlanThe fact is, Malaysia’s public institutions - be it Parliament, the judiciary, the police force or the public service - have been turned into serving only Umno’s interests. The Malay party could not have maintained its rule for so many years without having first subjugated all these institutions.

The next general election represents a golden opportunity for Malaysians to put the country back on the right track; it is also a chance for us to restore the original spirits of the Malaysian federation by introducing an electoral reform that could ensure no one political party is dominant and also giving powers back to the various federal states, epecially Sabah and Sarawak that have been reduced to nothing more than colonies.

To achieve all these noble goals, one must first and foremost stop whining but be courageous enough to get rid of Umno. Anything short of that would only turn out to be a self-fulfiling prophecy: A centenary of Umno's rule.

GE13: Of boats, floods and snakes - Selena Tay

If polls are held during the rainy season, voters may encounter snakes in the water while wading on their way to the polling centres.

On Nov 25, an English daily quoted Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as saying that the general election can be held in December despite the monsoon.

To quote verbatim from the daily, the prime minister said: “If it rains or a flood occurs, [then we] can use the boat.”

Boat? What boat? Is it the government machinery boat or his own boat? Also, is there a sudden rush to hold the polls that the monsoon season has to come into consideration?

Although there is no law against it, it is certainly not right to hold the polls during the flood season as the voters and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat who have no boats will be greatly inconvenienced.

Ah, yes! The keyword here is “boat”. This means that if the 13th general election is held during the flood season, then Pakatan is sure to lose, what with the dirty voter rolls being factored in as well.

The Tenang by-election in Johor was held on Jan 30, 2011. PAS, which was contesting at that time, suffered a total washout as the government machinery was used to ferry the voters, especially the Felda settlers, to the polling centres.

That date was also less than a week away from the Chinese Lunar New Year. The Umno candidate obtained 6,699 votes while PAS polled 2,992. Umno won by 3,707 votes and this is considered a big margin because this is only a small state seat. There were 142 spoilt votes while voter turnout was 67%.

Therefore the best time to hold the polls to avoid any inconvenience caused by floods is after mid-March as the weather forecasters have recently predicted that the monsoon will last till early March.

By then everyone of the BR1M applicants would have received their cash handouts, too. This is so that Najib’s slogan of “Janji Ditepati” (Promises Fulfilled) can be seen to be proven true.

There is a Cantonese saying which goes like this: “After all, we have waited so long, what is another three more months?”

Moreover, the prime minister has always said that the Barisan Nasional federal government is a fair and caring government which does not want to exclude anyone in its policies and programmes.

Surely that includes being fair to Pakatan in the planning, run-up and campaigning for the 13th general election? Otherwise, what is the prime minister talking about?

Outstanding questions

Be that as it may, there are still many outstanding questions pertaining to issues that Najib has yet to answer and preferably he answers them himself before the polls are held instead of getting someone to answer the questions.

Listed below are a few questions:

1. Why is there a sudden re-delineation of the parliamentary boundaries in Selangor?
2. Why is the AES (Automated Enforcement System) outsourced to two private companies? and
3. What about the fast-tracked MyKad project especially in Selangor?

Selangor PAS has collated a lot of black-and-white evidence of the MyKad project in Selangor, especially in the seats held by Pakatan lawmakers.

Till today no one including the Election Commission (EC) has come forward to address this issue.
The powers-that-be have kept an absolute silence and avoided this issue like the plague despite police reports being made by Pakatan.

And the greatest question of all: will Najib hand over power gracefully in the event that BN loses the 13th general election?

Although this seems a remote possibility due to collusion between the powers-that-be and the national institutions that are supposed to remain neutral, he still has to answer the question and give the assurance that there will be a prompt and smooth transition.

A DAP strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity opined that the polls will be held either in late December or January as there will be no time to do so in February due to the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations.

“He will not hold the polls in March as Pakatan will then remind the rakyat about March 2008. Anyway, our DAP campaign slogan if the polls are held before March will be ‘New year, new government’. At the end of the day, whether he drags the date further or holds it in December, Pakatan is ready,” said the strategist.

The BN federal government must also take into consideration that there is a danger posed by snakes in the water during floods.

Some years ago, patrons of a restaurant in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, were enjoying their evening meal when a large python slithered into the restaurant during the floods. This was reported in an English local daily. Therefore dangers of snakes in the floods are for real whether in the urban or rural areas.

If polls are held during the rainy season, voters may encounter snakes in the water while wading on their way to the polling centres. This is definitely not advisable and not conducive to the safety of the rakyat.

Police summon two green march panel members

Two Himpunan Hijau committee members have been told to be at the Kuantan district police headquarters at 2pm tomorrow for questioning.

The two, Phua Kia Yaw and Bang Seet Peng, believe they have been summoned for questioning on the 300km green march from Kuantan to Dataran Merdeka in Kala Lumpur.

However, case investigation officer Inspector Azrulhazrin Mahiding of the Kuantan police district headquarters CID, denied that the police move has anything to do with the march.

NONEAzrulhazrin said it was related to a gathering held by the Himpunan Hijau committee at the MPK1 field in Kuantan, declining to provide further details.

Contacted by Malaysiakini this afternoon, Phua (right) and Bang confirmed that they received the summons yesterday, under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

However, nothing is stated on the  reason or the matter they are being called.
Nevertheless, they suspect that the police action is related to the green march that ended at Dataran Merdeka last Sunday.
However, Azrulhazrin maintained that the investigation was related a Himpunan Hijau gathering at MPK1 field.

“We are only in the stage of recording statements. It has not reached the stage of investigation under any law,” said Azrulhazrin, who could not recall when the gathering was held when contacted by Malaysiakini.

'It's continuous intimidation' 

Phua and Bang slammed the police for their action, saying there appeared to be a continuous effort to intimidate and harass people's movements.

"We will turn up at the police headquarters tomorrow," said Bang, adding that she and Phua felt that such continuous intimidation of people trying to protecting their children and country should not be tolerated.
However, Azrulhazrin had later said the police action was only related to a gathering held by Himpunan Hijau at MPK1 field.

NONEPhua said that they may get a lawyer to accompany them when their statements are recorded tomorrow, as a number of them lawyers had agreed to assist on hearing about the police summon.

Meanwhile, Himpunan Hijau publicity chief Lee Chean Chung told Malaysiakini that the committee would call upon Kuantan citizens to turn up  before the district police headquarters tomorrow to show support for Phua and Bang.

Last Sunday, the marchers from Kuantan were joined by some 20,000 people as they reached Kuala Lumpur after a gruelling 13-day walk.

Yesterday, a couple, whose SUV served as a makeshift stage for Himpunan Hijau leaders at Dataran Merdeka on last Sunday, was called in for questioning by the police.

Save your crocodile tears, Umno delegates

7:51AM Dec 1, 2012
YOURSAY ‘It's the swan song before the party is finally put to rest. Playing the race card to the hilt and hoping for the sympathy of the Malaysians.'

Delegates shed tears over song decrying fate of Malays

your sayOnyourtoes: This is the party that talked about being sensitive to other races before the Umno assembly began.

But just look at what they rant about day and night - threatening others with May 13, shedding tears for being marginalised in their own country, lamenting that the land they stand on now belongs to someone else, mourning about their land and wealth lost to outsiders, et cetera.

When push comes to shove, this is all what Umno stands for - a corrupted party that has no qualms to use whatever means, including resorting to extreme jingoism, to gain support.

It is time enlightened Malay leaders explain the real issues at hand to the people. This country deserves better than this group of depraved, corrupt and bankrupt leaders.

LittleGiant: The Umno leadership should be ashamed of these dramatics to get their members to wallow in self-pity.

Although the Malays have progressed tremendously in the last five decades, it is the glaring uneven distribution of wealth in the Malay community that makes them feel insecure and sidelined. It has nothing to do with the non-Malays.

If the Malays feel sidelined and robbed of their wealth, it is Umno that they should hold responsible for their miseries. It is Umno that should be held answerable to the money politics it played, lack of transparency in the award of government projects and the massive corruption scandals, which have all led to a huge disparity in wealth distribution not just in the Malay community but in other communities as well.

Emotional outbursts and the shedding tears will not solve the problems of the Malays. They should have the courage to question the Umno leadership and demand honest answers to all the mismanagement and abuse of power over the last 50 odd years.

Nambekei 7: This is what will happen when you think you can fool the people all the time. Don't cry for me, Malaysia...

Visu: Yes, Dr Mahathir Mohamad's father from India also pijak the same tanah. Dr Mohd Khir Toyo's father too did the same and so did so many ‘Malays', like the ancestors of Syed Hamid Albar, Zainuddin Maidin, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and so on.

These were not the "nenek-moyang" that the song refers to. There's something very wrong with the Umno Malays.

Please look at the real Malays, they are a great people with a great mind, and now these real ‘Malays' are asking the usurping Malays from Umno to step down.

Apapunboleh: Save your crocodile tears. You will need real tears after the general election.

Vgeorgemy: This is a good send-off poem and the mood in the general assembly was apt. It's the last action of the Umnoputras before they are ousted from the power.

As far as the Malays are concerned, there is nothing to be alarmed about as they have good leaders to led them in Pakatan Rakyat.

RA 1: Pakatan must ease this particular genuine fear among the Malays to get their votes. It is no use making fun of such issues.

The native population all over the world has always lost out to the immigrant people. It is a miracle that the Malays have managed to cling on to at least political power.

Milosevic: The constitutional Malay usurps power from all, including the Orang Asli and long-settled Malays, and embarks on a path of wealth predation. That's very smart of them, but obviously they need to camouflage their usurpation in the wider cause of Malay rights.

Just look at their faces, and ask yourself how ‘Malay' they really are. As many have said, many of the Chinese and Indians have been in Malaysia even longer than these racist predators. And as everyone knows, their greatest threat is not the Chinese and Indian but the reawakening of the Malays to this crumbling set-up, which is happening.

Thus the panic now within Umno, and no amount of plagiarised songs can help their cause.

Tancc: To all Umno members with some intelligence. Umno has ruled Malaysia for 55 years. If you still feel so saddened and despair of your situation, who else to blame if not yourself for supporting these self-serving Umno leaders all these years?

Anak JB: It's the swan song before the party is finally put to rest. Playing the race card to the hilt and hoping for the sympathy of the Malaysians.

After 55 years, this is the state of the Malays and it is high time for Umno to step aside and let others to manage Malaysia for the betterment of all of us.

Hang Babeuf: For days they wallow there at PWTC in unctuous rhetoric about the need to "menjaga maruah bangsa Melayu" and to "memartabatkan masyarakat Melayu".

Then they turn on this embarrassing and revolting display, as they thrust their total lack of self-respect and of due regard for their own dignity in everybody's faces.

More, by doing so they want to make people feel guilty about what this sickening performance suggests.

It is simply an exercise in manipulation and bad faith. A display that's worse than that of the beggars who confront you in the street with their afflictions and sorry situation.

And this sleazy little "guilt-opera" is a production of a major political party that claims to hold Malay dignity and self-respect above all else.

Only political idiots could imagine destroying their own credibility in this way - and thinking that it was a smart move.

Chuath: One should cry for the Penans who are losing their land, the poor who, regardless of race, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, cannot get to hospitals or schools, etc. What in the world are those guys crying about?

They had the money, but their boss wasted them. Even when their bosses become millionaires before their eyes despite being mere public servants, these guys cry loyalty. Where do they get a herd of people like these? It's enough to make me cry.

Pemerhati: In a country where all the citizens are treated fairly and equally, no particular group should be singing such a sad song.

In Malaysia, if there is anyone who should be singing such a song, it is the people who are the victims of the discriminatory system put in place by Umno so as to get the Malay vote and remain in power and plunder the country to the tune of RM50 billion annually.

The biggest victims of the racist system are the vast majority of Malaysians, including the majority of Malays who are not in the inner circle of Umno.

If so much of the country's wealth was not siphoned off by the corrupt BN through unnecessary exorbitantly priced military hardware and overpriced infrastructure projects, Malaysians would not be burdened with tolled roads and high electricity tariffs.

Highly talented minorities disgusted with the discrimination have gone overseas, while the rich Umnoputras, the royalty and their families go overseas to seek their expensive medical and educational services.

Sad Malaysian: Nenek moyang kaya-raya? I was around The Mall during lunchtime today, and the Wanita Umno were there with their Louis Vuitton handbags... And they dare to say their nenek moyang were richer than them now.