Monday, December 17, 2007

Thoughts on the ISA arrests of Hindraf leaders

There is an online petition movement to protest against the use of ISA to detain the 5 Hindraf leaders. In a departure from procedural norm, the 5 were sent directly to Kamunting detention center to serve 2 years without recourse to a day in court for an open trial. I've written earlier that I would not be surprised this will happen considering how the entire government machinery (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.) have been mobilized to demonize Hindraf in any way possible, including the ultimate specious claim of their links with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). One of the leaders, V. Ganabathirau, is a fellow party member whom Tony Pua would vouch for his strength of character and integrity.

If there is anything positive to be gained from the incarceration of these 5 men fighting for the downtrodden fellow Malaysians it would be the awakening, finally, of the Tamil Indian Malaysians from their deep slumber. Enough of the false sense of hope and belief that MIC and Umno is there to help them, let alone be their only hope for salvation. If that has been the case, 30,000 of their fellow citizens would not have braved chemical-laced water cannons and tear gas on that fateful November 25th Sunday morning. Let this serve as a wake up call and alarm that Indian Malaysians need to break the political shackles they've been locked to all this while. Let them realize that their consistent votes for the MIC and Umno all this while has been in vain. Let them realize that it's time to break out and join other fellow Malaysians in supporting and bringing about a shift in the political paradigm to an inclusive multi-racial one. Let them support leaders and parties who have that vision and are the only real solution to the troubles inflicting our country now. If there is any indication of this change, let the recent PKR ceramah in Jalan Kebun last Thursday be that as apparently more than 80% of the crowd were Indian Malaysians (I got this piece of news from the print edition of Sinchew, 15 Dec 2007). But most of all, do not let the sacrifice of the 5 Hindraf leaders be in vain. Indian Malaysians must wake up, unite with other fellow Malaysians, and act together for a better Malaysia for all.

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Friday, December 7, 2007


I have not been updating my blog for a while due to my taking some time off for a short holiday in Singapore as well as running in my first half marathon in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. Having just started running in July this year, I have no complaints about my performance lah...heheheh! Anyway, it's back to work now, and I think I will write a few sentences on the hottest issue plaguing our country now - HINDRAF.

I guess by now you would have been numbed either by the wide coverage of the 30,000 strong HINDRAF rally on Nov 25 in blogosphere and online media sites, or the non-stop negative coverage in the mainstream media. A week after the momentous event the word HINDRAF is still prominently visible, nevermind the fact that again the mainstream media has been ordered by the Internal Security Ministry to play down their coverage. Personally I think it's good "advice" considering how the various papers and news channels seem to fall over each other trying to their damnest best in painting the most negative, obnoxious, and outrageous angle possible to the event, as well as to the coalition itself.

However, what takes the cake thus far was the assertion by the Attorney General in court yesterday that HINDRAF is linked to the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The AG has saw it fit to personally lead the prosecution in charging 31 participants of the rally for attempted murder of a single police officer (apparently the poor guy got hit in the head by flying bricks). One wonders why he didn't choose to do so for the even more explosive court hearing of Altantuya's murder. Whatever it is, the government seems intent on blowing the issue out of all proportions. Now the IGP himself (the guy who admitted in court during Anwar's trial that he will lie in a court of law if ordered to by his superiors) has come out to reiterate the alleged HINDRAF-LTTE link.

I will be short in what I think of the whole farce. The government is having a serious credibility issue. Whatever statistics and statements they have made thus far, as well as the reaction of the rakyat shows. Some of the more memorable ones are the insistence on an inflation rate of only 2.5-2.6% this year, the still wishy-washy stand with regards to the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Shock-A-Lingam tape as well as the sorry state of the judiciary, earlier promises of revealing toll concession agreements and methodology of arriving at the 18.9% bumiputera equity figure which comes to nought, and a host of others which I believe you're familiar with. And now we have the latest which is linking a loose coalition of groups highlighting and fighting against the institutional marginalization of one of the most downtrodden segment of society with a terrorist group.

Well, it was not too long ago that various leaders of the reformasi movement and PKR were detained under the ISA for being "threats" to our national security. The then IGP claimed that these folks (included Tian Chua and RPK) were planning a violent overthrow of the Mahathir government with grenades, rocket launchers, and other armaments. Of course, not a single shred of evidence were ever produced to substantiate such wild allegations. It looks like the same is happening now with the way the police is handling the HINDRAF issue. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the leaders would be detained under the same notorious ISA.

The thing is this. I personally do not support the wordings of the HINDRAF petition. The choice of words used such as "ethnic cleansing" really does not help in giving a good image of the leaders as being credible. Nevertheless, the key issues they are fighting for are something every Malaysians should support and recognize, which is the unfortunate marginalization of the Tamil Indian Malaysians as a result of blatant discriminatory implementation of the NEP as well as the racist Ketuanan Melayu ideology of Umno. Of course, there are other groups in Malaysia who are equally marginalized, if not worse, such as the Orang Asli and various non-Malay bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak, heck even the Malays themselves. But the way in which HINDRAF has responded is really a reflection of the deeply entrenched racial framework which has plagued the socio-political landscape of Malaysia for the last 50 years. Because their plight now is a result of racial policies and implementation, one really cannot blame them for responding in kind, especially considering how they've been backed into a corner for so long.

However, moving forward, HINDRAF really needs to take a less racial line, and start articulating the issues in a less confrontational manner. This is especially so when it comes to identifying their woes as a result of a particular race. Such stereotyping really would not help their cause. The key to all our problems now is because of a specific group of people - Umno. Instead of using a shotgun approach, they really should train their sight on the actual cause lest they risk alienating a whole group of non-Indian Malaysians who identify and understand the plight of their fellow citizens. Already, the way the mainstream media is being used to paint an increasingly negative picture of HINDRAF should ring alarm bells among the leaders to perhaps consider a more inclusive approach, as well as work with other NGOs and political parties. There is no point being heroes and martyrs while giving excuses for the rotten administration to lock them up in Kamunting. At this point of time the leaders should be with their supporters and people, and continue to lead them through this vital tipping point.

Some has suggested that Umno might take this opportunity to whip up sentiments among the Malays that these events are proofs that the Malays are under seige and attack, and thus reconsolidate their support base when all indications is that Umno has lost much ground. Really, why fall into such a trap and let them continue with their hegemony? In such interesting times, clear thinking and leadership should be the way. The people have marched. They have faced the brutality of the riot police. The entire country has stood up and take notice. Now is the time for HINDRAF leaders to see through their goals in a level headed manner.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Tuanku's "statement" on rally

By now I think most of you would have been swamped with the spin by the mainstream media about how the Agong, through a chap called the "Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja" (i.e. the Royal Household Comptroller), regrets that some quarters have insinuated that His Majesty has either directly or indirectly supported the BERSIH rally on the 10 Nov. Well, in case you're disheartened, please have a read of the links I'm putting up later.

First of all, BERSIH has never stated that the Agong is either supportive or unsupportive of the rally itself. All it ever stated was that the Agong has asked for a list of the representatives who will receive the memorandum on 10 Nov. Besides, the press statement by the Comptroller touched only on the "legality" of the rally/march itself. It doesn't question the memorandum itself, its content, nor the Agong's response specifically on the matter of the memorandum itself. I think it's fair to say it's a measured response calculated to neutralize Umno's accusation that the Agong is supportive of unlawful acts (i.e. the march itself because it doesn't have a police permit).

Secondly, questions have been asked regarding the correctness of palace protocol to have the Comptroller to make statements on behalf of the Agong when the Keeper of the Royal Seal would have been the right person for statements of such gravity. Furthermore, in a departure from convention, the Comptroller actually called for a press conference when before this all statements from the palace have been by fax to the various media companies. All these raise questions on whether there are more to things that meets the eyes, not to mention why such a statement only comes about some 6 days after the event itself.

Whatever it is, I don't think we should be disheartened. If you look at it from a perspective of the dynamics of palace politics and national politics clashing with each other, with a mix of disinformation from the mainstream media thrown in, it is just another "normal" day in Malaysia. Instead, I would choose to be slightly more upbeat, considering how Pak Lah has been forced to finally set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the issues brought forth by the Shock-A-Lingam tape. Will have to see the full terms of reference before we can be really jubilant. Then again, considering what has happened to the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Police Misconduct, I will hold my horses.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Catch Malik Imtiaz squaring off with Nazri and KJ

Updated! 16 Nov 11:15am Catch Rocky's take on the programme. I feel it's a bit too short for a substantive debate. Nazri was his usual self, denying everything and trying to assert his own warped sense of reality. KJ was his usual polished self trying to evade answering questions by changing the issue. Malik was perhaps a bit too soft spoken, but he just laid out the facts as he sees it. Nevertheless, I think by doing this programme, Al Jazeera managed to silence Zam-Zam's outburst and accusation that they don't ask for the government's views.

Original: On Al Jazeera (English) "101 East" programme. Was recorded last night (13 Nov), and supposed to have its first airing at 10.30pm Thursday (15 Nov). Catch it! Don't miss it! If I'm not mistaken, it's on channel 513 on Astro. Check out here for more details.

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If you think we don't need electoral reforms, think again...

This blog post by Yahya at Yahya's Yap has a detailed explanation on how screwed our electoral process has become by putting in facts and figures the distortion in the number of votes casted for various parties and the seats gained by them. If this is not convincing enough, then nothing will. Check it out at

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Local media blackout on 10 Nov BERSIH Rally

I have to post this up as there is a total blackout of the 10 Nov BERSIH rally in the mainstream media. Not only that, they even use RTM on the night of 9 Nov to falsely inform people that the rally was postponed. The police said only 4,000 people turned up and they've arrested 245 when in fact only some 40 people have been arrested, which included 25 who was arrested at Masjid Jamek after mayhem broke out caused by the FRU spraying chemical-laced-water and tear gas at the public. Read blogs, websites, and foreign media (Al Jazeera English gave wide coverage with live footage) to get the real information. I was there, and pics were taken by plenty of people. Read Jeff Ooi at here, here and here See for yourself!


Bersih slams gov't over rally crackdown
Nov 12, 07 9:22am

Opposition and human rights groups condemned authorities for attempting to suppress the biggest political rally in a decade with tear gas, water cannons and arrests.

The Bersih organisers also said that at least seven people were beaten and kicked by police and that some needed hospital treatment including one man whose leg was broken.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had vowed to shut down Saturday's rally, held to campaign for electoral reforms as the nation heads for polls expected to be held early next year.

Police locked down the centre of Kuala Lumpur, throwing up roadblocks, searching vehicles and shutting demonstrators out of Dataran Merdeka where they had planned to gather.

Despite the tactics and the use of tear gas and water cannons at one of the rallying points, 40,000 protesters marched to the royal palace where they were briefly addressed by dissident former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

"Malaysians have spoken loud and clear," said parliamentary opposition leader Lim Kit Siang (right), part of an alliance of political parties and civil society groups which mounted the rally.

Lim ridiculed the police chief for claiming that only 4,000 people attended the rally and criticised the government for what he said was an order to the media not to cover the event.

"No newspaper dared to publish photographs of the mammoth peaceful gathering, which was a tribute to Malaysians for their love of peace and commitment to democracy," he said.

Sunday's newspapers instead ran photos of the traffic jams that the roadblocks generated.

"Abdullah should honour his pledge when he became prime minister four years ago to listen to the truth from the people, however unpleasant, and to introduce institutional reforms for justice and democracy," Lim said.

Police bloated number of arrests

Leading human rights group Suaram said that up to 40 people were arrested, far from the figure of 245 given by police.

"They are trying to portray an image of the gathering being unruly and chaotic and that's why they had to arrest 245 people, which is not true at all," said Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng (right).

"Seven people were injured by the police and one suffered a severe injury," he added. "One person said he was handcuffed and had already fallen to the ground when he was kicked in the head."

Protests are rare in Malaysia, and the last major rallies were seen in 1998 during the "Reformasi" or "Reform" movement that erupted when Anwar was sacked and thrown in jail on sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy conviction has been overturned but the corruption verdict stands, barring him from standing for public office until April 2008.

Bersih, a coalition of 70 political parties and NGOs, is calling for a reform of the electoral process including a review of the electoral roll, curbs on postal voting, which they say is being abused, and equal access to state media for all competing parties.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

10 Nov 2007 - The Day I Marched

I was there. I had to. I couldn't look into my daughter's eyes and tell her years from now that I was too indifferent, worried, scared, apathetic to do what many now consider the last practical channel in instituting real, far-reaching, and positive change to the way this country will be run. Changes that will determine if the country will have a second real chance in not only surviving, but thrive in this new brutal globalized world, or that it will head inevitably into being one of the many basket cases, failed states that pepper this globe. At least now my conscience is clear. My fellow concerned citizens and myself have made the choice to brave the rain and the police, the threats of the inept, corrupt, and utterly arrogant Umno regime, to accompany our leaders to hand over a petition to our Agong to intervene, for all our sake and the country's. We have done what we could. Now the ball is in the Rulers' courts. Their response and action will determine not only our future, but also of their own. Raja Nazrin has said before in his speech that the Rulers risk fading into irrelevancy if they fail to change with the times and to be in tune with the aspirations of the rakyat.

We headed down early by the LRT. Already the police were causing traffic havoc by setting roadblocks on every major arterial roads leading into KL. KESAS, Federal Highway, Old Klang Road, even the North South Expressway all the way up to the north as well as the east coast. They seem intent on stopping all people from traveling normally. And they have the cheek to say the rally will cause traffic inconvenience. But that didn't stop some 40,000 of us to march to the Istana Negara from four meeting points - Masjid Jamek, Sogo Shopping Center, Central Market, and Masjid Negara. However, at 2.00pm havoc was already wreaked by the police at Masjid Jamek by firing tear gas and chemical-laced-water. I was with the smallest group at Central Market and were having a face-off with the FRU at the bridge next to the Bar Council building. We then routed through a side road next to Bank Pertanian (if I'm not mistaken), averting a possible clash.

All the way from there to the Istana rain was pouring lightly. PAS volunteers (Unit Amal...they were heroes of the day as they stood their ground protecting people as well as even clean up the roads after we dispersed!) in clearly identified maroon uniforms were along the entire path to ensure traffic was disrupted as minimum as possible, and marchers are able to walk in a continuous stream. Thousands stream into the main road in front of the main gates of the Istana where the delegation was already waiting. Anwar Ibrahim had to hitch a ride on a bike to arrive due to the stopping of traffic on both directions. For the first time since 1998 when I saw Merdeka Square filled with a sea of people, I saw thousands and thousands of citizens wearing yellow, carrying ballons and the national flag, sitting in and peacefully shouting "Daulat Tuanku!" and such. It was close to 4.15pm when the delegation consisting of Anwar, Hadi Awang, Kit Siang, and Guan Eng managed to hand over the petition to the Agong's secretary at the gate. The original members of the delegation was changed in the last minute, I think, due to logistical issues brought about by the heavy presence of the police. They even have 2 helicopters hovering above us for some 10 minutes before flying round and round above us. A total waste of precious aviation fuel paid for by taxpayers.

At the end, the crowd marched back to the Masjid Negara and we dispersed. Rain has stopped by then (spots of it still occur once in a while). Along the way I had to update a few SMS queries. On the way back at around 5pm the Federal Highway was still jammed up no thanks to the police who has considered it of utmost priority to screen each and every vehicle that plies that road instead of solving growing crimes of robbery, murder, rape, and thefts. Once back I managed to find out exactly what had happened at Masjid Jamek through Al Jazeera news channel (one of their journalists have to suffer from the tear gas and chemical-laced-water). Central Market was total peace compared to what had happened there, and both locations were only a few hundred meters apart. The news at 9pm had more footage. Find your news from foreign wires, or the various blogs and online portals. There have been a complete blackout on the mainstream media, so don't expect to read, hear, or see anything about the rally in those traditional news sources.

Will Malaysia change for the better? Will the Agong act on our petition? I do not know. But at least I know that today, some 40,000 of my fellow concerned citizens and myself have felt it important enough to spend our Saturday risking a little bit of our wellbeing (at press time some 20 fellow marchers have been arrested earlier from Masjid Jamek, and currently held at the Pudu police station) and walk our talk. At least I know that when I face my daughter in the years to come, I can tell her that her dad had done all he could to ensure a better Malaysia for her and her friends.

We have talked enough. We have tell enough. We have cajoled enough. It's time we act. It's time we march. It's time we put our foot down and say enough is enough!

Hidup Rakyat! Hidup Malaysia! Daulat Tuanku!

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Nik Aziz subtly hitting Pak Lah at the face

I just have to copy and paste the entire speech made by the Kelantan Menteri Besar, Tuan Guru Dato' Haji Nik Aziz Nik Mat, during the launch of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) by the PM Abdullah Badawi. For the first time, in the words of Nik Aziz himself, he gets to be on the same stage as the PM and his band of mini-stars as well as other Umno MBs, and gets to make a speech to be addressed directly to their face. In a nutshell, Nik Aziz's speech questioned the ability of the plans to be implemented, the massive funding of the 3 economic regions which could have funded the 9th, 10th, and even 11th Malaysia Plan, pointed out how many of the proposed projects have already been identified 7 years ago by the PAS state government with no responses from the federal government, as well as the ability to execute the plans without the usual leakages, corruption and such. It's a slap in the face for Pak Lah's current penchant to create feel-good factors which are just that - feel-good. And even that is increasingly a failure (do you feel good lately?). Below is the speech published in HarakahDaily (you could read a small excerpt translated into English in Rocky's blog).

Source: Sheih Kickdefella

Ucapan Nik Aziz di ECER - Tazkirah Mursyidul Am PAS kepada Presiden Umno
Tue Oct 30, 07 11:05:53 am MYT

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
"Sesungguhnya Allah menyuruh (kamu) berlaku adil dan berbuat kebajikan, memberi kepada kaum kerabat, dan Allah melarang dari perbuatan keji, kemungkaran dan permusuhan. Dia memberi pengajaran kepadamu agar kamu dapat mengambil pelajaran." (Maksud Surah An Nahl: Ayat 90).

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh dan
Salam Sejahtera

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan isteri;

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato' Sri Adnan bin Haji Yaakob
Menteri Besar Pahang;

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato' Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh
Menteri Besar Terengganu;

Yang Amat Berhormat
Dato' Haji Abdul Ghani Othman
Menteri Besar Johor;

YB Dato' Seri Mohd. Effendi Norwawi
Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri;

Yang Berhormat
Menteri-Menteri Kabinet;

Yang Berhormat
Ahli-Ahli Parlimen Serta Ahli-Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri;

Pegawai-Pegawai Tinggi Kerajaan Persekutuan Dan Kerajaan-Kerajaan Negeri;

Dif-Dif Kehormat;

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sekalian,

Alhamdulillah. Dengan seizin Allah S.W.T., sekali lagi kita dapat menghirup udara nyaman pada hari ini.

Ini menandakan betapa kita masih terus dilimpahi nikmat dengan rahmat dan inayah dari-Nya untuk sama-sama menyaksikan pelancaran Wilayah Ekonomi Pantai Timur bagi Negeri Kelantan.

Sesungguhnya pelancaran ini boleh dijadikan titik tolak ujian keikhlasan kedua-dua belah pihak dalam berkongsi anugerah Allah S.W.T. yang dilimpahi-Nya kepada kita semua baik di Kelantan atau negara Malaysia pada amnya yang sama-sama kita kasihi selama ini.

Bahkan, ia adalah detik bersejarah yang mengesahkan lagi penerusan wujudnya jalinan kerjasama akrab sekian lama khususnya sejak 17 tahun negeri ini diperintah oleh Kerajaan Negeri yang ada pada hari ini.

Tanpa pertukaran apa-apa, pelan yang bakal dilancar dan dilaksanakan nanti tidak memerlukan apa-apa perubahan nakhoda.

Kapal boleh berlayar dengan matlamat yang tidak berganjak yakni memakmurkan bumi Allah dengan segala ikhtiar yang tidak menyalahi syariat Ilahi.

Dalam semangat ini, mewakili Kerajaan dan rakyat Negeri Kelantan, izinkan saya mengalu-alukan kedatangan YAB Dato' Seri Perdana Menteri.

YAB Dato' Seri dan sidang hadirin yang dihormati sekalian,

Tugas pemimpin laksana dasar Allah

Ayat Al-Quran yang baru saya baca dalam muqadimmah tadi biasanya dibaca di atas mimbar Jumaat, saya membacanya pada hari ini di atas mimbar masyarakat.

ImageDi rumah Allah kita menjadi imam dan makmum, manakala di luar rumah Allah kita disebut pemimpin dan rakyat.

Orangnya masih sama. Khutbah dalam masjid menerangkan dasar-dasar Allah manakala ucapan di luar masjid adalah untuk melaksanakan dasar-dasar Allah.

Setelah 17 tahun saya diamanahkan untuk memimpin Kerajaan Kelantan dengan dasar Al-Quran Nul Karim sebagai Kalamullah, termasuk ayat yang saya baca sekejap tadi, petang ini saya dan Kerajaan saya seakan-akan terasa akan adanya perubahan baru.

Saya sedang berada di sebuah pentas buat pertama kalinya dengan pemimpin negara.

Alangkah manisnya hidup kiranya insan yang sengaja diciptakan Allah Azzawajalla dengan berlainan watak dan kerenah ini boleh patuh kepada ketetapan azali sejak Nabi Adam alaihissalam lagi.

Firman Allah S.W.T. ada membawa maksud berbunyi "Dan Kami berfirman: turunlah kamu! Sebahagian kamu menjadi musuh bagi yang lain, dan bagi kamu ada tempat kediaman di bumi, dan kesenangan hidup sampai waktu yang ditentukan. Kemudian (Adam dan Hawa) menerima beberapa kalimat dari Tuhannya, maka Allah menerima taubatnya. Sesungguhnya Allah Maha Penerima Taubat lagi Maha Penyayang. Kami berfirman: "turunlah kamu semua dari Syurga itu! Kemudian jika datang petunjukKu kepadamu, maka barang siapa yang mengikuti petunjukKu, nescaya tidak ada kekhuatiran atas mereka, dan tidak (pula) mereka bersedih hati." (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 36 - 38).

Mudah-mudahan langkah penyatuan pentas ini akan memulakan jalur-jalur gemilang yang sungguh-sungguh sebagai ganti kepada jalur-jalur hitam selama 17 tahun sebelum ini.

YAB Dato' Seri dan sidang hadirin sekalian,

Saya sempat juga mengikuti senarai projek-projek raksasa yang ada terkandung di dalam pelan induk yang disebut-sebut akan menelan perbelanjaan berjumlah RM112 bilion ini.

Antara lain ia akan memuatkan sebuah Universiti yang telah beberapa kali dilancarkan, Lebuh Raya Pantai Timur, Jeti di Tok Bali dan usaha untuk menaikkan taraf Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra sebagai pusat penerbangan untuk rantau Asia Tenggara, termasuklah keinginan yang kuat untuk memunculkan satu kelas perdagangan dan perindustrian bumiputera.

Alhamdulillah, semua cadangan ini telah lama dikenalpasti dan menjadi sebahagian dari Pelan Jangka Panjang Pembangunan Strategik Negeri Kelantan yang telah kami dokumenkan dan tandatangani sejak 2 Mei 2000; kira-kira 7 tahun yang lalu.

Bahkan memahami pembahagian dan pengkhususan bidang kuasa antara Kerajaan Persekutuan dan Negeri melalui 2 rancangan lima tahun yang telah kita lalui.

Projek-projek cadangan ini telah dikemukakan kepentingannya untuk diberikan perhatian Pusat dari masa ke semasa.

Mungkin kerana kesuntukan kewangan, ia tidak diberikan perhatian.

Kali ini Kerajaan Negeri wajar berterima kasih kepada Kerajaan Pusat kerana telah sudi mengiktiraf apa yang kami kenalpasti sebagai projek-projek mustahak selama ini dan akhirnya telah diberikan perhatian.

Pastikan pelan ECER realistik bukan hipokrasi

Menyentuh tentang peruntukan yang mencecah RM112 bilion untuk ECER, RM177 bilion lagi untuk Koridor Utara dan RM47.6 bilion lagi di Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar, rakyat menjadi sedikit kagum dengan jumlahnya.

Semakin hairan mereka apabila duit yang diisytiharkan ini boleh menjangkau Rancangan Malaysia ke 9, 10 dan boleh pergi sejauh RMK sebelas.

ImageApapun, jika duit ini memang ada dan tidak menjadi masalah, maka kita perlu mengucapkan sebesar-besar syukur. Alhamdulillah, syabas.

Dalam banyak buku ilmiah, saya ada juga terbaca bahawa sesuatu pelan yang berkesan ialah pelan yang dapat diterima tanpa curiga oleh kumpulan sasar.

Ciri pelan yang berjaya juga ialah pelan yang dapat dilaksanakan.

Biasanya pelan pembangunan yang baik harus bertolak dan bermula dari bacaan mengenai senario ekonomi dunia semasa yang teliti berasaskan unjuran yang tepat mengenai turun naik harga petrol, emas dan lain-lain komoditi yang utama.

Realiti dan waqi' persekitaran yang berubah ini biasanya akan menentukan pula angkubah-angkubah yang memungkinkan sebuah pelan yang realistik itu dapat diisytiharkan.

Saya berandaian, semua aspek ini telah diambil kira dalam segenap segi sehingga ia tidak menjadi sebuah impian dan bukan sekadar 'satu lagi pelan'. Sememangnya indah untuk berada sekadar di alam mimpi kerana ia mengasyikkan:

Anak Cina memetik selasih
Anyam rotan dibuat timba
Tiada yang indah dalam berkasih
Mimpikan bulan jatuh ke riba

Dalam banyak hal, apa yang mustahak ialah pelan yang dapat menghasilkan kenyataan.

Siapalah yang tidak bergembira untuk mendengar janji yang akan datang dalam ratusan bilion ringgit.

Ini lebih-lebih lagilah apabila janji itu dipenuhi.

Sudah banyak kita saksikan betapa janji yang indah kadang-kadang boleh menjadi musuh besar apabila ia gagal dipenuhi. Kebocoran, siling runtuh, rasuah dan pecah amanah, inflasi dan hipokrasi adalah antara musuh-musuh bersama yang boleh menghambat cita-cita murni.

Emas hitam anugerah Allah yang dipinggirkan dalam ECER

YAB Dato' Seri dan sidang hadirin sekalian,

Walaupun cadangan pendaratan gas dan minyak di pesisir pantai kita masih tidak diberi perhatian dalam ECER, saya masihlah memandang kepentingannya sebagai sesuatu yang bersifat mendesak.

Pada kami, ia sepatutnya diletakkan sebagai paksi asas dalam menjana pertumbuhan ekonomi negeri.

Seperti yang telah dikenalpasti oleh Kerajaan Negeri sejak 10 tahun lalu, kami masih merayu agar gas dan minyak didaratkan di Pantai Senok.

Bukan senang deposit emas hitam ini boleh terbentuk.

Dengan penuh susah payah Allah S.W.T. telah ratusan jutaan tahun memeram, mengatur dan memprosesnya secara sebab musabab jauh di kerak bumi.

Dengan segala percaturan kimia melalui mendapan humus, fosil dan tindak balas haba di perut bumi, Allah S.W.T. telah dengan segala ehsan menyimpan lalu menganugerahkan bumi Kelantan dan laut Kelantan dengan bahan semahal ini.

Mensia-siakan nikmat namanya apabila ia seolah-olah dibuat-buat 'terlepas pandang' dan tidak ditimbangkan untuk dimasukkan ke dalam pelan induk pembangunan Wilayah yang sebesar dan sepenting ini.

Setakat ini, kami hanya berputih mata melihat khazanah bumi kami dipunggah dan dihirup sepuas-puas oleh golongan amir politik tanpa didaratkan di pantai Kelantan sendiri walaupun sesudu teh.

Dalam feqah Islam, telah lama ditulis "hukmul fa il wal khu roji wa rriqaz".

Bahkan zakat yang dipungut daripada sesebuah perkampungan tidak boleh dipindah zakat itu ke tempat lain kecuali terlebih dahulu diagih-agihkan kepada al mustahiqiin tempatan.

Ini adalah hukum Allah dan Rasul. Tak disempurna di dunia oleh pihak al-umara', ia akan disempurna juga oleh Allah S.W.T. di akhirat kelak.

"Sesungguhnya hari keputusan (hari kiamat) itu adalah waktu yang dijanjikan bagi mereka semuanya." (Surah Ad-Dukhaan: Ayat 40).

Untuk menyatakan komitmen Kerajaan Negeri terkini, kita telah meluluskan penubuhan sebuah jeti penghantar (supply base) di Pengkalan Kubur, Tumpat, khusus untuk sokongan kerja penggerudian minyak dan gas di Joint Development Area (JDA) dengan Thailand dan Vietnam, di luar pesisir pantai Kelantan.

Kerja pembinaan Jeti tersebut mulai Oktober ini dan ianya akan menjadi pemangkin kepada satu industri yang dapat mengembangkan ekonomi negeri dan membuka peluang pekerjaan.

Dalam keadaan-keadaan yang seperti inilah, relevannya kita mengetepikan sentimen politik bersifat kepartian.

Tidakkah boleh kita menjadikan maudhu' ini sebagai perkara bersama untuk dikongsikan secara pintar bagi tujuan yang sama.

Saya masih ingat betapa murninya ketika KUB menandatangani persefahaman ini bagi pihak Pusat dizaman Tun Dr. Mahathir pada tahun 1996 dahulu.

Ini kekal terlipat dalam sejarah; kisah benar sebuah 'pelan indah' yang tidak menjadi hingga sampai ke hari ini.

Pembinaan modal insan tidak berjaya kecuali dengan tarbiyah Islam

YAB Dato' Seri dan sidang hadirin yang dihormati sekalian.

Dalam hubungan Kelantan yang telah dikenalpasti sebagai Pusat Pembangunan Modal Insan berteraskan ilmu pula, saya bermohonlah untuk memberikan sedikit peringatan.

Mustahil insan itu boleh dibina tanpa agama. Ilmu Al-Quran mengajar kita tentang adanya dua perkara dalam setiap insan itu yakni jasad dan roh.

Membina roh insan adalah memberi faham kepada mereka tentang dosa dan pahala, adanya taat dan maksiat, adanya malaikat dan adanya iblis, adanya hisab dan adanya hari pembalasan, adanya Syurga dan adanya Neraka.

Ini soal asas yang tiada khilaf. Ini konsep tarbiyyah bawaan Nabi-Nabi dan Rasul-Rasul alaihissalam serta para tabi'in dan wali-wali zaman berzaman.

Jika Kelantan mahu diiktiraf sebagai pangkalan terpenting modal insan, maka kita jangan abaikan aspek pembinaan roh.

Elemen rasuah, dedah, dadah, belasah dan menolak hukum Allah adalah manifestasi kekacauan fikrah.

Betapa kacau bilaunya acuan dan tertib tarbiyyah kita yang telah dirangka oleh negara selama ini.

Ikut cara kami bangunkan negara bersama Islam

Untuk itu, mari kita cuba menjadi lebih ikhlas dengan cuba sama-sama memperbetulkan keadaan, memikul amanah agama demi memulihkan manusia untuk kembali kepada nilai-nilai fitrah keinsanan sejati selaras dengan prinsip asal 'ubudiyyah' sejak asal kita semua dijadikan.

ImageBagi kami di Kelantan, kita telah lama mengisytiharkan konsep 'Membangun Bersama Islam', berasaskan dakwah bil hikmah wal mauizotul hasanah.

Dalam rangka konsep ini, kami memuatkan prinsip ubudiyyah yakni semua orang wajib kembali kepada pengabdian yang tidak berbelah bahagi kepada Allah S.W.T.

Bagi mereka yang belum Islam, mereka diajak untuk hidup dalam kesedaran ketuhanan.

Kami juga memuatkan prinsip mas'uliyyah yakni bekerja dengan penuh sedar bahawa setiap manusia tanpa mengira pangkat, bangsa dan budaya akan disoal jawab oleh Allah Taala sendiri tanpa sebarang jurubahasa.

Manakala Itqan yakni bekerja dengan penuh berkualiti untuk menghasilkan apa sahaja nilai amalan dan aktiviti dari jenis yang terbaik.

Seluruh sekolah milik Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan telah dan sedang merangka dan melaksanakan kurikulum dan kokurikulum untuk menggunakan ruang lingkup kesedaran yang keseluruhannya berteraskan ketaqwaan kepada Allah Robbuljalil.

Dalam semangat pesan memesan (Watawa soubilhaq watawa soubissobr), alangkah tepatnya jika pelan pembinaan insan yang termuat dalam ECER ini mampu dengan jujur membuat pengisian-pengisian yang semurni ini.

Jika tidak, percayalah walau secemerlang manapun pelan pembinaan insan kita, tanpa agama, rakyat akan hidup sebagai insan yang bermentalitikan haiwan kerana dia cuma takutkan polis dan BPR, undang-undang, tali gantung dan peraturan dan dia akan hidup dan mati dalam kekeliruan.

Di sana nanti dia akan terpinga-pinga dalam suasana yang salah menyalah "maka, berkatalah pengikut kepada pemimpin dan pemimpin kepada pengikutnya" sebagaimana yang telah dirakamkan di dalam Al-Quran Nul Karim. (Sila semak dan tadarrus sendiri maksud Surah Al-Baqarah dari Ayat 166 hingga 167).

Menyentuh tentang tumpuan pertanian yang khabarnya hanya akan diberikan tumpuan yang sangat minimum oleh Pelan Wilayah Timur ini, saya kira sekali lagi kami perlu membuat teguran.

Sejak dari dahulu, Kelantan dikenali sebagai negeri pertanian. Apa erti mengisytiharkan istilah-istilah seperti "halal hub" atau Jelapang Makanan Negara jika perhatian ke atas sektor ini sekadar bersifat batuk di tangga? Sekali lagi saya mengharapkan sesuatu yang lebih singnifikan dapat dilakukan ke arah pembetulan ini.

Mari bermuafakat elak ganggu Kelantan

YAB Dato' Seri, tuan-tuan dan puan-puan sekalian,

Sudah lebih 17 tahun kita menjalin hubungan kesetiakawanan dalam ikatan konsep persekutuan.

Setakat yang saya ingat, tidak pernah satu kalipun lagi terganggu sebarang projek yang diluluskan oleh Pusat di Kelantan baik kecil mahupun besar mengalami gangguan atau dihalang oleh Kerajaan Negeri.

Melalui permuafakatan dan rundingan, ia sentiasa disambut oleh kami dengan penuh keterbukaan.

Bagaimanapun beradablah ketika melangkah. Bukankah ini Wilayah Timur. Setiap rumah ada tuannya. Masuk berpintu. Keluar bertangga. Kadang-kadang, ya. Terasa juga.

Makan sirih berpinang tidak
Buah keranji atas perahu
Singgah tidak kenang pun tidak
Sampai hati buat tak tahu

Hanya inilah kali pertama saya diberi kesempatan untuk berucap di majlis yang dihadiri oleh YAB Dato' Seri Perdana Menteri. Apapun jua, syukurlah. Saya mengucapkan Alhamdulillah. Segala puji bagi Allah.

Sekali lagi saya ingin mengucapkan berbanyak-banyak terima kasih kepada semua pihak yang telah bertungkus lumus menjayakan majlis pelancaran ini.

Dengan nama Allah, saya sudahi dengan Wabillahi taufiq Wal hidayah. Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.


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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Samy fuming? More needs to be done than just fume, dey!

Samy is said to be fuming...whether he's fuming against the insensitive and high-handed local authorities (Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam) in demolishing 200 houses and a 100-year old Hindu Temple (including a surau as well) at Kampung Rimba Jaya, or he's fuming at his own helplessness in such a situation, we'll never know. But for the first time for so long he has come out openly to say that the BN is risking the Indians' votes if they continue to ride roughshod over the rights of Hindus to freedom of worship. Four lawyers trying to assist the arrested residents were refused entry into the Section 11 police station, mandhandled, abused, and arrested. The right of an arrested person to access to his/her lawyer is a fundamental one under our laws which frequently is violated on the whims and fancies of the police force. Even when Suhakam keeps pointing these violations out, the government is like the proverbial 3 monkeys which see, hear, and speak no evil. Read more about this in Tony's blog.

To my Indian Malaysian friends. Would you continue to allow somebody as arrogant as the Umno led government to trample on your rights, and your fellow citizens down physically to the ground? We need to reflect deeply on our sense of right and wrong, and our perception of choices in this country of ours. You can view more pictures of Tuesday's demolition here.

Source: Tamil Nesan

Source: Makkal Osai

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something else to think about

Have neglected to update my blog for some time (I believe it's close to two weeks already). One reason is due to lack of initiative. The other is due to feeling of utter "confusion" - anger, exasperated, perplexed, shocked, etc. - at the goings on of the nation. One particular case is the sheer stupidity and arrogance of a creature who deemed himself the de facto law minister (heck, he even consider himself the minister of the Chief Justice). If this interview of his in the New Straits Times is not convincing enough for you of the kind of sub-human we Malaysians put into Parliament and the government, then I think you seriously need to examine your whole self - in mind, spirit, and body. Anyway, the 3-men investigative panel into the Shock-A-Lingam tape has "done" their job. In the words of chairperson Haidar himself: "We (can) wash our hands off, then no more criticism". What job they have done, and what report they will write, I'm not the least bothered because they shouldn't even be formed in the first place.

Oh yeah, the 14th Malaysian Law Conference is underway now, and already tongues are wagging regarding the 11th hour no-show of the PM at the opening. HRH The Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah was there to officiate the conference. Have a read of his speech, contrast it with the PM's and Nazri's lampooning of the Bar Council and you might understand why the talk is that the PM purposely wanted to avoid meeting the Sultan at the event opening due to differences of views, causing a potential crisis in us having no Chief Justice by this November 1st. Maybe Pak Lah wants to one-up Dr M by having his own judicial crisis.

If you have been reading Malaysia Today, you would have read a series of articles written by RPK himself regarding the turf war in our very own PDRM involving the IGP on one side, the Commercial Crime Investigation Division on the other side, and into this mix the triads. There was also a lot of hoohaa about this RM27mil policeman, and how RPK pointed out this was all in retaliation for the policeman's temerity in going after the triad bosses. Well, the said policeman is none other than the chief of the Commercial Crime Investigation Division, and today in a sudden press conference he is making public his side of the story. Guess RPK wasn't writing "rumours", or rather once again, rumours in Malaysia has the uncanny ability to become facts in due time.

Yet, in the midst of all these sorry happenings, I was forced to once in a while put them aside, and reflect on certain things which are more personal to me. Things which I think would surely not be related in any way to how this country is being run. Recently my mum was diagnosed with leukemia and it certainly opened my eyes to the reality of the medical cost involved, especially if you are seeking treatment in a private hospital. It also forced me to think through the options (private vs public) and the implications. My family have personal experience with public hospitals as well, and naturally that figures in our decision making. Fortunately, the choice was made perhaps slightly easier due to availability of insurance. But that definitely is not a bottomless pit.

Amidst all the required decision making, as well as feelings of frustration and doubt, I can't ignore or deny the fact that if more resources and focus have been put into improving our public hospitals, as well as resolve the low morale of medical professionals and staff through more commensurate remuneration, me and my family would definitely have less headache and worries in deciding my mum's choices of medical treatment. The difference in options would have narrowed greatly, coupled with the fact that, even now, the public hospitals are still much better equipped in terms of facilities, equipment, and drugs. If we are having such problems even with insurance coverage, what of the countless of Malaysians who for all sorts of reasons do not have the means to have one? Even in such a personal issue for us, we can't seem to divorce it from the tentacles of policies, dictated by the government of the day.

The point I am trying to make is this - for too long and for too many times I have heard plenty of people telling me that they want nothing to do with politics, or that politics have nothing to do with them. Yet, if you really sit down and think deeply, is that really true? Is that a valid observation? Or is that just you trying to live in denial? Just to have this realization is already an important step. Acting on the realization would be an even more important one. I leave it to you to ponder upon.

By the way, anyone of you taking part in the upcoming Singapore Marathon?

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Petition to Agong for a Royal Commission of Inquiry


This post will stay up until the People's petition to the Agong regarding the dire need of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the deplorable state of our judiciary reaches its target of at least 5,000 signatories. As this is a serious piece of document, please, for the sake of our country and for our children and grandchildren, we must for once be brave enough to use our own names and our own IC numbers. This is the least you could do. All of us have complain enough in the pubs, kopitiams, mamak restaurants, in our homes. The time to act on our complains is NOW!

ORIGINAL: Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament has initiated a petition to the DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong to plead to his Royal Highness to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the rot that has seeped into and destroying our judiciary. As it is a document of utmost seriousness and sincerity, and it belongs to Malaysians, please use your real name and IC number when you sign the petition by sending an email to

Below is the draft petition which I have signed:


The People’s Appeal To His Majesty The Yang DiPertuan Agung

On 19/9/2007, the nation was rocked by another scandal, this time in the form of a video clip which exposed what appears to be a telephone conversation between senior lawyer VK Lingam and another person, allegedly fixing the appointment of ‘friendly’ senior judges.

A careful study of the monologue presented in the video clip leaves a very clear impression that the telephone conversation is indeed between VK Lingam and the present CJ, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and relates to the appointment and promotion of judges. Other judges are also named in the course of the conversation.

That Tun Ahmad Fairuz had, subsequent to the release of the video clip, first responded that he would need to first view the video clip before saying anything, then issuing a ‘no comment’ response and only lately and that too through a third party making a bare denial of being a party to the conversation leaves us, the rakyat with a sense that Tun Ahmad Fairuz has not responded with complete candour on this matter.

This scandal now casts serious doubts on the suitability of Tun Ahmad Fairuz to head the judiciary as well as on the propriety of the appointments and promotions, made on the recommendation of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, of several judges of the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

We, the rakyat, no longer have any confidence whatsoever in the judiciary.

We, the rakyat have noted for some time that some very senior judges have been constantly overlooked in the numerous promotion exercises that have proceeded during the tenure of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, with junior judges being preferred.

We the rakyat have also noted that it was recently reported that Their Royal Highnesses acting through the Conference of Rulers rejected two nominations by Tun Fairuz for the position of President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judge of Malaya although these positions had been vacant for a long time. It is rumoured that those nominated by Tun Fairuz were junior in comparison with many other more senior serving judges.

We, the rakyat, have further noted that there is at least one judge promoted to the Federal Court who, it is reported, has failed to deliver written judgments in up to as many as 35 cases, with the result that appeals by many who have been convicted of offences and are in prison are unable to have their appeals heard.

This most recent scandal also raises again real concerns about the sudden change of the trial judge in an ongoing murder trial in Shah Alam.

We, the rakyat, are also gravely concerned about the recent decisions in several high-profile cases and whether these were ‘fixed’ by Tun Ahmad Fairuz and, if so, the implications it has in relation to the other judges of our superior courts.

The reaction of the Prime Minister, other members of his cabinet and the Attorney-General to the matter of this video clip give us, the rakyat, no reason at all to believe that this scandal will be honestly investigated so that the truth of the matter will never be known.

We, the rakyat, do not believe that the Prime Minister and his present government are committed to getting to the bottom of this scandal and, if ascertained to be the truth, to take all necessary steps to restore the judiciary as a constitutional institution emplaced to independently defend the constitution, the rights of the rakyat, and to uphold the rule of law.

In this regard, the announcement on 25/9/2007 by the Deputy Prime Minister of a 3-man panel to be headed by one who was implicated in the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas in 1988 to now investigate this scandal fortifies our belief that the present government is determined that the truth in relation to this scandal never becomes known.

We, the rakyat, are gravely concerned that if this scandal is left to be investigated by the administration of the Prime Minister, the police or the Anti-Corruption Agency, the rakyat will only witness another cover-up, leaving us, the rakyat without any recourse to justice, ever suspicious whether the judiciary is to protect the rakyat or the interests of a chosen few.

This most recent scandal raises concerns whether the corruption that has become so prevalent in the management of this country has now also made its way into the judiciary.

For these many reasons, we, the rakyat, now pray that Your Majesty may be so moved and in the exercise of the full powers conferred on Your Majesty to :-

1. direct the establishment of a Royal Commission to inquire into, consider and/or determine whether in fact the conversation reflected in the said video clip did occur between VK Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz and the veracity of the assertions made by VK Lingam in the said video clip and, if found to be so, that the Commission be further mandated to enquire into, consider and/or determine:-

1.1 the involvement of all those named in the said video clip in connection with the appointment and promotion of judges;

1.2 cases in which VK Lingam was involved and which were heard and / or decided by Tun Ahmad Fairuz and / or any of the other judges named in the said video clip;

1.3 all acts carried out by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as Chief Judge of Malaya, President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice, more particularly:-

* the basis of the appointment and / or promotion of judges by Tun Ahmad Fairuz with particular emphasis on the other judges named in the said video clip;

* the manner in which the members of the panels of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court were selected by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice; and

* the manner in which files were allocated to the panels of the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court by Tun Ahmad Fairuz during his tenure as President of the Court of Appeal and Chief Justice.

2. the Royal Commission having ascertained that the conversation reflected in the said video did occur between VK Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz and assertions made by VK Lingam in the said video clip to be true, to :-

* direct the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to appoint a tribunal under Article 125 of the Federal Constitution to remove Tun Ahmad Fairuz and/or any and all judges found by the Commission to have been implicated, directly or otherwise by the acts of misconduct of Tun Ahmad Fairuz; and

* direct the Prime Minister to take all necessary steps to suspend Tun Ahmad Fairuz and/or any and all judges found by the Commission to have been implicated, directly or otherwise by the acts of misconduct of Tun Ahmad Fairuz, pending the reference to and/or report of the tribunal.

3. direct the immediate establishment of an independent Commission for the appointment and promotion of judges to the High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In celebratory mood?

Considering Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is just 3 days away (Saturday 13 Oct), and I am taking leave as well, I don't quite feel the festive mood (not saying I am celebrating Hari Raya). There has been too many nonsense happening throughout last week and this week that most right-thinking Malaysians would just be appalled to find our nation has degraded to such an extent.

The three member investigation panel set up by Najib to only determine the authenticity of the Shock-A-Lingam tape is fast becoming a joke. With no powers to summon witnesses (in fact, Najib said they're not allowed to call any) and with a term of reference stating they can only rely on the investigative reports compiled by the police and the ACA, they are nothing more than high profile document clerks. Such a half-hearted, or worse, act by they government on a matter of such grave concern reflects the attitude of an administration which couldn't care less about Malaysians, as long as they are able to stay in power and control every possible arms of the state to ensure that.

As usual, instead of investigating the merits of a case as well as the alleged perpetrators, the authorities seem intent on going after the whistleblower. Attack and question the messenger, not the message. This is nothing new, just like when Ezam Nor was thrown into jail for releasing ACA papers convicting Rafidah Aziz of corruption on the pretext that those papers are protected under the Official Secrets Act. Or how the police officers who dare go after the triad bosses are now being harassed by their fellow police, albeit from a different camp.

All that talk about "truth" being the best protection, and how the ACA is able to protect the identity of informers comes to nought considering the fate that have befallen whistleblowers and informers of "lesser" cases. We are talking about very powerful and well connected men, as well as men placed in the highest echelon of power in the nation. Nothing short of a Royal Commission of Inquiry which has the full power vested by law to protect and ensure the safety of witnesses and whistleblowers will do. Unless that person (or persons) is totally reckless and have no families to worry about, nobody would be that brave to trust that "truth" will ensure the safety of himself and his family.

What did you say? That "Bodoh! Bodoh! Bodoh!" Minister Nazri says under the Witness Protection Act the whistleblower can have his identity changed, and even get a plastic surgery to change his looks? Well, the "Act" doesn't even exist! This time he was really talking through his arse. But, trust him to behave like all the other "goblok" ministers who made outrageous and stupid statements to the press, only to then blame the press (in this case we're not sure if he's blaming his Press Secretary) for "misquoting" or "misunderstanding" their original statements.

Speaking of "goblok", our rag-tag band of RELA boys have done it again! This time they have the temerity (of course, they have powers under the Emergency Ordinance which even the PDRM would envy!) to detain a wife of a member of the Indonesian diplomatic staff. Muslianah Nurdin, wife of an Indonesian diplomat was detained together with other "illegal" immigrants even after she showed her identification card. Maklumlah, maybe the RELA boys cannot read Bahasa Indonesian or English, thus unable to recognize any such things. This is actually confessed by Zaidon, the head honcho of the nearly-lawless RELA band-of-brothers in his "damage-control attempt. After a series of such mistreatment of Indonesians (remember the karate official who was assaulted by our very own PDRM?), we still have the cheek to call Indonesia our kin? Ask the Indonesians what they think about this "kinship".

While the police and ACA are busy trying to hunt for the Batu Buruk "rioters", the Lingam tape whistleblower, as well as going on a witch-hunt of their fellow policemen who dare touch the triads, the latest is that the PDRM wants to question the four Bar Council officials who were instrumental in organizing the 2,000 strong "Walk for Justice" march in Putrajaya recently. Very efficient indeed of the PDRM. Let's hope against all hope as well that the PDRM will be equally, if not more, efficient in hunting down the murderer(s) of Nurin Jazlin (which by the way, some very sick demons disguised as humans actually violate her again by distributing her post-mortem photos through emails), the demons who left a woman to die in Subang Ria park, as well as making sure an ex-colleague who have assaulted a woman and her children for the last couple of years will be kept under locks and not let loose again.

So much crap, so much insanity, so much nonsense. What can you do? For starters, reading about it and understanding the gravity of situation is already a very important step. Do not be like the proverbial monkeys which see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Do not be like those who have ears but do not hear, have eyes but do not see. Next, act on what you understand by voting with your conscience and your heart and your head. If you're not registered to vote, please do so now. It is a very simple thing to do. In addition, tell your families and friends why you choose to make such a stand, and explain the importance of them taking an active stake in this country of ours. Point them to the same information sources so that they will also open their eyes and ears and hearts. Sign petitions initiated by civil society. Cast away the fear that the authorities will come after you. Do not think yourself as so important in their eyes.

Lastly, stop being cynical of things political. Politics affect each and every one of us, directly as well as indirectly. Stop living in denial of this fact of life. Instead of being taken for a ride all the time by these plunderers, why not make a change this time (and next) to tell the current arrogant, inept, and incompetent Umno government that enough is enough. The time for a more representative and balanced Parliament is now. There is no other better time. Failure to make it happen this time will very likely create a point of no return for this country. Our collective failure will cause this country of ours to go down the path of the basket case, a failed state, and the misery of our children and grandchildren will be on us.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to my Muslim friends and fellow Malaysians. May our prayers touch God and the hearts of Malaysians to act before it's too late. Just a parting shot, good news among the bad. Hui Yi seems to be on the way to recovery from her 2nd heart transplant. Wish her all the best!

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Free Burma!

Free Burma!

Show your support and solidarity by posting the above (click on the picture to bring you to the Free Burma! website) in your blogs and websites.

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DAP PJ Fund Raising Dinner

DAP Petaling Jaya will be holding a fund raising dinner on 1 Nov, Thursday at 7pm for its regular operations as well as for the forthcoming general elections. The dinner will have a host of speakers by DAP leaders, and it will be primarily in English and Bahasa Malaysia to start changing the perception of "chinese-ness" of the DAP. This will also include Halal food for our Muslims friends and supporters. Please check out Tony Pua's blog for more details. Once I have more details I will update the post. Block your calendars!

Petaling Jaya to Lead Malaysia Forward

Date: 1 Nov, 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: Damansara Palace Restaurant, Kota Damansara (Halal food will be made available for Muslims guests and supporters)

Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh
Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General
Lau Weng San, Political Secretary to DAP Secretary-General
Dr Cheah Wing Yin, Former President, KL-Selangor Private Medical Practitioners Association

*Other potential speakers to be confirmed.

Special: Latin and Modern ballroom dance performance by the Malaysian dance champion and our representative at the Asian Games (to be confirmed).

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

A week of happenings

It has been a hectic two weeks for me, which explains why I wasn't able to update my blog as frequent as I would have liked. Just got some breathing space now to write something.

I guess by now most of you would have heard, read, or at least have an inkling of the Shock-a-Lingam tape scandal. For those of you who have not been following the matter, read here for more details. Of course, since then there has been a whole lot more development. For example, after facing pressure to show that the government is serious in tackling the explosive issue (instead of questioning the authenticity of the tape, or that Lingam was play-acting, or that "no criminal offence" has been committed), Najib decided to announce that a 3-man investigative panel would be set up to investigate the authenticity of the tape. No details yet as to what is the proper term of reference of the panel, as well as to what extent the panel would go to dig up the truth. This falls far short of the calls from various quarters, including the Bar Council, for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to not only investigate the veracity of the tape, but also to look into the deep rot that has set into the judiciary ever since the 1988 sacking of Tun Salleh Abas.

For instance, it really boggles the mind of all right-thinking Malaysians as to how the Chief Justice, Ahmad Fairuz, who is in the middle of this scandal, can choose to say in black-and-white "no comment" to queries from Malaysiakini, yet immediately after that calling Nazri (that "bodoh" Minister in the PM's department) to deny his involvement. When pressed why the CJ sees fit to "deny" through him, Nazri answers without batting an eyelid "I am his minister". Wow! Talk about the subservience of the judiciary to the executive in Bolehland!

The Bar Council, in the face of previous failed attempts to push the executive into doing something, decided to organize a "Walk for Justice" yesterday (26 Sep). Some 1,000 lawyers and civil society turned up at the march, despite the heavy presence of FRUs, police (including a PDRM helicopter entertaining the crowd with the flying skills of the pilot), and overcast sky (the rain fell heavily when the crowd reached the PM office complex...the heavens are weeping for the sorry state of Malaysia?). In fact, 7 chartered buses ferrying some 200 lawyers were barred from entering Putrajaya, forcing the passengers led by Edmund Bon to start the walk early by walking 5kms to the "Istana Keadilan" (Palace of Justice). The Bar Council President and 3 of her office bearers managed to meet the PM's secretary Wan Farid and handed over two memoranda - one calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to be set up, and another calling for the formation of an Independent Commission of Judiciary to promote and appoint judges in a transparent and accountable manner.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council has said they will give the 3-man inquiry panel a chance, but would still press for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Already there were reservations with the panel as it will be headed by a former Chief Judge of Malaya who played a key role in colluding with the powers-that-be to sack Tun Salleh Abas. The other 2 members are Lee Lam Thye (the ex-DAP MP who heads the National Service Council) and Mahadev Shankar (former Court of Appeal judge).

You can read more, and view photos, of the walk in various blogs. A whole list can be found in Lulu's blog here, and pictures here. Jeff has a series of excellent photos of the walk.

While we are facing a potential Constitutional crisis here, Burmese society led by thousands of monks have for the first time in 20 years since the brutal crackdown in 1988 showed defiance at the brutal military junta. What has started as pockets of demonstrations against the massive increase overnight of fuel prices (and consequent rise in prices of foodstuff and such) has evolved into a massive people movement led by the country's revered monks.

On Monday and Tuesday (Sep 24, 25), some 100,000 people led by the monks marched a few kilometers across Rangoon, chanting peace and democracy, and urging the military junta to seriously begin reconciliation with the Burmese people through their leader Aung San Suu Kyi (who has been under house arrest since May 2003 when a military-backed mob tried to assasinate her). Suu Kyi is rumoured to have been moved to the notorious Insein prison after she came out of her house on Saturday and greeted monks and supporters at the gates. The military junta has started to crackdown on the people on Wednesday (Sep 26), with reports starting to flow out of the closed-up country stating monks and civilians being injured critically and killed.

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma/Reuters
The world is watching in bated breath, while condemning and urging the military junta to show restraint and not repeat the 1988 bloodbath where some 3,000 people were mowed down by bullets and batons and such. Whereas the world didn't get to see what happened in 1988, now with the limited Internet access into and out of Burma, the world is able to watch the events more closely. China is said to be exerting some influence which explains the military junta's relative restraint up to now. Burma's stability and peace is strategic to China's interest, and encouraging national reconciliation and eventual democracy for Burma is in China's long term interest.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar led by Zaid Ibrahim has called for ASEAN leaders to pile the pressure on the military junta, fearing an eventual bloodbath should the world and Burma's closest neighbours choose to keep silent over the recent developments. After all, a democratic, peaceful, united, and prosperous Burma is beneficial to ASEAN. The Burmese refugee issue we are facing in Malaysia is due almost entirely to the persecution of the Burmese people by the military junta.

Keep up to date on the developments in Burma through Google News. I do not foresee a revolution anytime soon, but I pray that this is the beginning of the tipping point for Burma and its people to free themselves from the clutches of a brutal and paranoid military regime which has ruled Burma since 1962. What is significant is that after spending 11 of the last 18 years in house arrest, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remains the leader and figurehead of the Burmese struggle for freedom. This has been re-affirmed when the monks successfully made contact with her on Saturday, and this moral affirmation by the revered monkhood would hopefully cement a more united front under her legitimate leadership to face the mounting pressure.

Just like how the BN government here tries to convince Malaysians of the irrelevance and non-threat of Anwar Ibrahim by blacking him out from the media, the military junta generals are doing much worse to Suu Kyi while at the same time vilifying her in any way possible, or blacking her out entirely from their monopoly of media in Burma.

"Please use your liberty to promote ours" - Aung San Suu Kyi

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Phantom Menace

Wah! And you think phantom voters are just daydreams of rabble-rousers who have nothing to do but complain about the Election Commission and the running of general elections in Malaysia? Tell Rocky about that! He just found out that he has been registered as a voter, without his knowledge, at a constituency which he has no idea where it is! But I know lar, since I vote in that same constituency. So, ladies and gentlemen, please check your status at, and see if you're one of those phantom voters.

And that is not all. PKR just exposed an explosive 8 minute video of VK Lingam (that infamous lawyer linked with Tun Eusoff Chin, ex-CJ of Malaysia, and Tan Sri Vincent Tan) chatting with the current CJ Ahmad Fairuz over the phone in 2002 (then Ahmad Fairuz was Chief Judge of Malaya) on strategies to ensure his eventual elevation to his current position. Phantoms performing wayang behind the scenes! Read more about this in Jeff Ooi's blog, as well as here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We have plenty of phantoms in this nation, doing all sorts of things which really makes them a menace to civil society and the betterment of this nation. What do you intend to do about them?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Petition to HRH The Yang DiPertuan Agong

Raja Petra Kamarudin is preparing a petition to be submitted to His Royal Highness the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Essentially, it is to petition His Royal Highness to act in his position as Head of State on the increasingly dire situation our country is in currently, before the damage becomes irreversible. I suggest you sign the petition by sending an email to him at, and please use your real name as a petition should reflect real Malaysians. I see too many people sign with their nicknames in the comments section, which I personally feel will do the petition a disservice. Read here for more information.

As an aside, still think the Budget 2008 is good? Read this and this.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More confusion over police brutality in Pantai Batu Buruk

From a single shot, to two shots, now it has become FOUR shots. And the person who opened fire has changed from an FRU officer to just a general duty police constable. What else next? Grenades were launched at the FRUs?

The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat considered it not urgent enough to be debated, saying "It is just a riot and the police are investigating." Yeah right, four shots of live rounds at a crowd who have gathered for a BERSIH forum (which has been held everywhere in Malaysia for the last few months) is not urgent, nor important, enough for Parliament to care two hoots.

Oh yeah, of course the mainstream media is trying paint it as if it's an opposition organized ceramah, never mind the fact that it's a blatant lie. Also, of course they have to keep on harping on half-truths and untruths about the mess in Pantai Batu Buruk, Kuala can't expect Malaysians to know about the damning Auditor-General's 2006 Report which listed, among others, a payment of RM5000 for a car jack which costs only RM50. Couple that with a "pledge" for the ACA to investigate the contents of the report, and we have a government trying its best to hoodwink the rakyat with more feel-good factors.

What? Budget 2008 was good for the people? Read this from Zewt, and this, and this, and then decide if DAP's Shadow Budget 2008 is a better bet. Of course lar, don't be have to read the entire PDF of the Shadow budget lar!

Confused enough by all that is happening caused by the current administration? Don't be! Read more from around the world wide web and keep your ears, eyes, and heart open. You will get a much clearer and less confused picture of our Malaysia!

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Bullets used in Batu Buruk

BERSIH, a coalition of opposition parties and NGOs dedicated to the reform of the electoral process in Malaysia to one which is fair, transparent, and respectable, has organized a forum in Batu Buruk, Terengganu on Saturday evening as part of their effort to educate Malaysians on the need for reforms. However, what was supposed to be a peaceful forum turned extremely ugly when the police sent in the FRU to disperse the crowd of some 500. The crowd was in no mood for compromises and the end result was 2 persons shot (one in the neck, the other in the chest) by a non-uniformed police personnel (the PDRM claimed he's an FRU officer...but what was the FRU officer doing running about solo?). Water cannon were used, tear gas, and now live bullets. And from the angry crowd, rocks were hurled. The Star claimed that even molotov cocktails and home-made-bombs were used (similar excuses given by some ex-IGP in 2001 to justify the arrests of key leaders of PKR under the ISA), and was less than truthful when it didn't even report that it was a BERSIH forum and not an opposition one. Of course, Najib had to come out quickly and claimed that the personnel used his pistol for self-defence. Of course, no prizes for realizing that if the police has acted as they did early this year in the peaceful anti-toll hike demonstration in Sunway Pyramid, this ugly fracas would never have happened. But increasingly the police seem adamant in hitting hard on anything they perceive as opposition-related. If only they would have been as ruthless against more serious and violent crimes that are threatening to wreak havoc in this country. Read more about this event in Liz Wong's blog here and here, as well as Malaysiakini's report. Lulu's take here and Malik Imtiaz's take here.

In the mean time, the Auditor General's report for 2006 is out. As usual, it contains plenty of damning examples and evidence of wasteful and corrupt practices which inflated prices of government procurement sky high. Yet, year in year out nothing has ever been done to prevent the recurrence of such wasteful practice. In fact, no substantive comments were ever really made by those in power regarding the report. As an example, a set of technical pens which has a market price of RM160 was procured at a price of RM1,147! Multiply that by 90 sets, and you would have an inkling on the scale of such fraudulent act. Read this, this, and this for a better appreciation of this chronic, yearly problem. RM10bil for the folks in Budget 2008 as frontpaged in yesterday's Sunday New Straits Times? Please clean up the nonsense in your own backyard first, Pak Lah! And before we forget, what has happened to the RM14.4bil "savings" from the reduction of fuel subsidy early 2006?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pig spin by The Star

From The Star:

Wednesday September 5, 2007

Breeders to cut number of pigs to reduce pollution

MALACCA: Pig breeders here have agreed to reduce the number of pigs reared in the state to 48,000 by Sept 21 to cut down pollution in rivers near the farms, Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Abu Seman Yusop said.

This was agreed on during a meeting chaired in the Masjid Tanah Umno District Office yesterday which was attended by Kota Melaka MP Wong Nai Chee; State Housing, Local Government, Environment and Transport Committee chairman Koh Nai Kwong; Information, Multimedia, Science and Technology Committee chairman Datuk Seah Kwi Tong, Human Resource Minister and Alor Gajah MP Datuk Seri Fong Chan Onn and Rural and Agriculture Development Committee chairman Datuk Hamdin Abdollah.

The four areas in the state involved in pig rearing are Paya Mengkuang, Manlok, Bukit Beruang and Air Molek. There are an estimated 148,000 pigs in these farms and there have been many complaints about the stench, the unhygienic conditions and the pollution of nearby rivers.

“Only Paya Mengkuang will be allowed to continue its pig farming activities. The other places should no longer be operational after Sept 21,” said Abu Seman.

Yesterday morning, personnel from the Federal Reserve Unit, police, Public Works Department, Malacca City council and Alor Gajah Municipal Council had gone to the four pig-rearing areas to cull the pigs.

Malacca police chief SAC 1 Datuk Mortadza Nazarene said holes were dug in Bukit Beruang and Manlok, but none were shot.
If you just read The Star propaganda, you would think that all is hunky dory, and that the pig farmers had an amicable meeting with the state authorities and have reached an agreement to sell 2,000 pigs daily to reach that magical number of 48,000. Never mind the questions on how that 48,000 figure was arrived at, and more bizarrely, who appointed the MCA fellas as spokespersons for the pig farmers, and given the mandate to negotiate on their behalf. Contrast the spin above with this report from Malaysiakini:
Tense stand-off over pig farms eases
Sep 4, 07 3:27pm

Police personnel pulled out of Paya Mengkuang New Village at 4.05pm, easing the worries of pig farmers who had expected to see all their animals forcibly culled today.

It is learnt that as part of a deal struck at a two-hour meeting between state authorities and MCA top leaders, the farmers will now voluntarily relocate at least 1,000 of their pigs to Johor and Selangor within the next few days. This could not be immediately confirmed.

Since this morning, about 100 villagers had faced off 300 enforcement officers in a tense stand-off over action to close their pig farms. The villagers had kept a vigil in the area since last night.

All major roads leading into Paya Mengkuang - about 30 minutes’ drive north of Malacca city - were cordoned off by the police, isolating the village. Numerous media personnel resorted to seeking local knowledge for off-road entrances to the area.

Fifty of the state enforcement officers stood by in plastic-suits, waiting for the state government’s order to move into the pig farms to kill the animals.

About 100 police personnel were also on stand by, of which about 50 of them were anti-riot personnel armed with batons, canes, revolvers, gas-canister launchers and automatic rifles.

Six excavators had been brought in to dig mass graves to bury the dead pigs while six police trucks including some with water cannon were stationed in the vicinity.

Human barricade

On the other side were the villagers - men, women and children forming a human shield at the main entrance to their farms. The barricade included a number of small trucks.

They were carrying a dozen national flags and two big banners commemorating the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence.

The state government had identified at least 15 farms to be closed to reduce pollution and the number of pigs.

Chief Minister Muhd Ali Rustam was reported to have told the state assembly in July that the pig population would have to be reduced to a maximum of 48,000 to control pollution emanating from the farms.

This will slash the number of pigs by two-thirds - there are currently 140,000 pigs in the state.

In addition to Paya Mengkuang, two other villages are affected by the directive - Ayer Molek and Bukit Beruang new villages. Police are believed to have pulled out of these areas as well.
The whole culling operation (which, at the end, was not carried out) was exercised like they were preparing for war. Which is expected considering how the authorities is handling the entire issue in the first place - from the extremely short notice given, no proper and viable alternatives provided, as well as the unmistakably political nature of this hot potato. The CM of Melaka is more likely than not trying to shore up political support for himself. Perhaps his series of antics in currying favour of the PM is not delivering the much needed effects and benefits.

At the end of the day, the CM is trying to rid Melaka of its entire pig population, but has been thwarted thus far. One wonders how long more efforts to put off this eventuality will succeed. The whole issue is political, not to mention racial and religious in nature. All the stench, pollution, and environmental concerns are but convenient excuses. After all, these are not a problem in large scale modern, clean, and odourless integrated pig farms in Germany, the US, and Taiwan. The "proposed" central pig farming location in Melaka was supposed to address these environmental problems. But does anyone know what has happened to that "proposal"?

As an aside, KTemoc has a series of blog entries on this Melaka pig saga.

All pictures from Malaysiakini

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Anwar's 'New Deal'

Borrowing from the title of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's series of programs initiated between 1933 and 1938, Anwar and his PKR gang unveiled the party's economic agenda called "The Malaysian Economic Agenda: Creating A New Deal". Reproducing it here from Malaysiakini (have been busy and having mental block...heheh!). Meanwhile, if you want to read a copy of the brochure outlining the new economic agenda, download it from here. This brochure may have now been superseded by the announced "New Deal". DAP is also planning to come up with a shadow budget. Their target is to announce it a day or two before the Sep 7 budget speech this Friday.


Anwar's 'New Deal' to unite, liberate all M'sians
Terence Netto
Sep 4, 07 7:17pm

An introduction of meritocracy in education, a dose of aid in housing, and the dispersal of industry from high-density urban centers to low concentration ones, were the highlights of PKR’s economic agenda announced today.

"This is the 'new deal' that we will take to the voters in the coming general elections," said PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in comments made to malaysiakini following the unveiling of the party's economic agenda called 'The Malaysian Economic Agenda: Creating A New Deal.'

Details of the agenda were announced at a press conference today in Parliament House, jointly addressed by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and head of the party's economic brain trust, Khalid Ibrahim.

"Overall, the thrust of the agenda would see a more equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation," claimed Anwar.

"Thus far the distribution of the nation's wealth has been lopsided with undue concentration in the hands of the top 20 percent of the people. This is a recipe for economic oligarchies to spawn and for social discontent to spread among the have-nots," he contended.

Anwar explained that the party's programme would see fairer apportionment of wealth with the top 20 percent of the population controlling 35 percent of wealth (as compared to the present 51.3 percent), the middle class of 40 percent holding a 40 percent equity (as compared to the present 35.2 percent), and the bottom 40 percent sharing 25 percent (as compared to the present 13.5 percent).


Clearly, PKR's de facto leader posits education - "the great leveller" - as the catalyst of economic redistribution and upward social mobility.

Under a PKR government, selection to 30 percent of university places will be based on merit regardless of candidates' household income. Also, a similar percentage of jobs in higher education will be awarded on merit.

"Education is the race between civilisation and catastrophe," opined Anwar."We have to plumb for meritocracy at this stage of our national development or risk seeing our country slide in economic competitiveness."

He added: "At least for close to a third of the places in seats and in jobs in higher education we have to go for meritocracy as otherwise we will become mediocre and lose out in the race to build a modern, civil society that is equipped to compete in the global village."

Anwar said the remaining 70 percent of seats in higher education would be awarded with affirmative action considerations in mind, with priority going to the poor provided they meet the minimum qualifications.

He said the education system would be the conduit for the strengthening of the concepts of parliamentary democracy, with the executive, legislature, judiciary and press existing in creative and critical interaction among them.

"Educational opportunity, entrepreneurial ingenuity, wealth distribution and social mobility are all facilitated better under a system of governance that is transparent and accountable with the traditional checks and balances provided by the third and fourth estates (judiciary and press)," he asserted.

Then in tones redolent of his decades' long search for a synthesis of the best that has been said and thought in the world of ideas, Anwar launched into a sonorous peroration:

"Democratic pluralism is not something that we will merely give lip service to but will practise in earnestness because it is the lifeblood of the system of parliamentary democracy. I'm Malay and Muslim but neither a smug ethnocentricism nor a narrow conception of Islamic rectitude will do justice to my human identity as a Malaysian, as an Asian, and as a denizen of the global village.

"The dogmas of our racially stratified past are inadequate to our globalised present. Since our challenges are complex, we must think afresh and act anew. We must first disenthrall ourselves."


Anwar said his party will not spawn neither will it coddle mediocrity.

"We will help people help themselves so that citizens would feel encouraged to give of their best in reasonable expectation of rewards for their labour. We will encourage the talented to flower for civil society needs multifarious talents to fructify to endure."

Clearly, housing for the underprivileged will be a priority because "shelter is a need which if not catered for would spawn a host of social ills from dysfunctional families to substance abuse."

Under a PKR government, a long-term inter-generational funding scheme spanning a 60-year borrowing and payback period will enable low-income earners to own a house that they might not have been able to afford otherwise.

As an alternative, low-income earners will be able to buy back basic housing units that can be sold back once they are ready to move up and acquire a better-quality house.

Complementing the drive for affordable housing, Anwar said a PKR government would cap development in high-density urban centers and provide incentives to entrepreneurs to invest in new townships to halt the rural-urban drift.


He said access to quality healthcare must be assured for the lower income group and viewed the shifting of that burden to the private sector as a measure that would raise costs and limit access only to those who could afford it.

"The provision of quality healthcare must not be allocated to the market only to accomplish. Government has an equitable role to play in its provision and must not shirk it," said Anwar.

Finally, Anwar addressed the question of a 'new deal' for the Malays who he said had benefitted from the New Economic Policy (NEP) but were now in danger of witnessing the opening up of a wide gap between a politically connected elite and the ordinary rakyat.

"We need a new needs-based NEP that will enable ordinary Malays to repossess opportunities and engage their energies and talents to acquire their share of the national wealth.

"We must free ourselves from the fallacious emotional baggage that the NEP, in the way that it has been implemented in recent times, is an avenue for Malay advancement. That is not true. The elites have railroaded the NEP for their own selfish gain while the vast majority is doled out the crumbs.

"This is a bogus NEP. PKR's new deal for the Malays would see the NEP impact on the Malay poor in such a way that it will empower and equip them with the means to use their rights for their genuine and lasting betterment."

Anwar also said the bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak would be given the full panoply of their rights without reservation of religion or ethnicity.

"Too often they have suffered from the tyranny of geography where their distant habitations from urban centers of development meant that they languished in neglect. PKR have heard their cry of neglect and will respond to help them."

In summation Anwar said PKR's new deal for Malaysians would unite the country and liberate its citizens by promoting "equity over privilege, talent over mediocrity, entrepreneurial energy over rent seeking, and genuine care for the needy over empty rhetorical pledges of aid."

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