Saturday, May 31, 2008

Govt's Decision On Access Road Not Due To Opposition Pressure, Says Najib. Oh Really?

The federal government's decision for the disputed Bandar Mahkota Cheras toll-free access road to the Cheras-Kajang Highway to be kept open was not prompted by pressure from opposition political parties, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Saturday.

The decision was made because the federal government was sensitive to the wishes of the people in the locality, he said.

"All this is the work of the Opposition which wants to politicise the issue," he told reporters when asked to comment on yesterday's Cabinet decision for the access road to be kept open until the issue between highway concessionaire Grand Saga Sdn Bhd and Bandar Mahkota Cheras developer Narajaya Sdn Bhd was settled in court.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed had announced yesterday that the Cabinet decided to allow the Bandar Mahkota Cheras residents to continue using the access road and disallow barriers to be rebuilt across the road.

Najib spoke to reporters after attending the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) at the Subang RMAF base near here.

He said the government would not give in to any quarters attempting to create chaos. "If there is chaos, the culprits will be prosecuted. The government will not take this lightly," he said.

The residents of Bandar Mahkota Cheras had protested the erecting of barriers across the access road by Grand Saga and had torn down the barriers each time they were put up.

Matters took a turn for the worse last Tuesday when several men alleged to be gangsters assaulted some of the residents as they were tearing down the barriers, resulting in several people -- one of them a newspaper photographer -- being injured.

On another matter, Najib said it was the desire of the government to buy new multirole combat aircraft in the future. "But that is just a proposal. We have to consider our capability and priority, including in terms of financial allocation," he said.

Najib, who is the Defence Minister, said if necessary the new aircraft would be bought in stages. (Bernama)

*****
If the federal government was genuinely 'sensitive to the wishes of the people' why the hell did the Cabinet wait this long before deciding to open the access road? Why were the police and FRU allowed to assault protesting citizens and how were hired thugs permitted to beat up these folks while the cops stood by and watched?

It looks like the government sprang into action only after the Selangor MB came to the area and supported the people's grievances.

As for
Najib saying that it was the 'desire of the government' to buy new multirole combat aircraft in the future, well .....

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MMA: Allow Peninsula Doctors To Work Freely In Sarawak

The shortage of doctors in Sarawak can be overcome if the state government allows doctors from the peninsula to work freely in the state.

Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin suggested Sarawak grant permanent resident (PR) status to peninsula doctors after they had served the state for a fixed period.

Speaking at the association’s annual banquet on Friday night, Dr Khoo urged the Health Ministry to lobby the state government on this matter.

Later, in response, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said he had conveyed the association’s request at a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam on Friday.

Liow hoped the matter could be sorted out given the close cooperation between the state and federal governments.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had asked the Health Ministry on Thursday to quickly resolve the acute shortage of medical officers and specialists in hospitals in the state.

Taib said out of the 1,334 510 or 38.2% had been filled while out of the 175 specialists posts in Sarawak medical officers’ posts, only General Hospital here, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu Hospitals, 135 or 77.5% had been filled.

The Chief Minister said specialist posts should also be created for other larger provincial hospitals like in Sri Aman, Sarikei and Kapit.

Dr Khoo said better incentives should be given to doctors working in remote areas in Sarawak and Sabah to retain them there.

“The government has provided hardship allowances to teachers serving in the rural areas. The same incentives should be extended to the doctors,” he added.

Dr Khoo said the government should hasten the process of posting new doctors, and follow what the Singapore government had done.

“Singapore has taken in our doctors to work as the process time for job application for new doctors is short and that their applications and processing are done on-line,” he added. (The Star)

***** Isn't it high time that those from the peninsula are allowed to practise without let or hindrance in Sabah and Sarawak?

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Oops, We Didn't Mean Malaysians Are Terrorists - British Marines In Retreat After Gaffe

By reputation it's one of the toughest units in the British armed forces, renowned for feats of endurance and derring-do.

But a high-octane recruiting film for the Royal Marines forced the Ministry of Defence into headlong retreat yesterday, after complaints that it portrayed one of the most peaceable countries in Asia as a breeding ground for Islamist terrorists. Officials apologised to Malaysia for the offending video, which was used in cinemas and on the MoD's website until it was withdrawn yesterday.

The film, which was made in Brunei while the marines were on exercises last year, featured a Malay man as a terrorist toting a Kalashnikov, who is being pursued by a group of marines in the jungle.

"I am the most evil man in the world. Come fight with me. I will kill you all," the actor said in Malay.

Having apparently just shot down a helicopter, he continued to shout abuse.

During the 40-second clip, a voiceover in English added: "I am your worst nightmare. I have conquered fear. I have come to terms with terror. And pain is my best friend."

As the camera switched to the marines it continued: "I am a Royal Marines commando. I will come from the sea. I will disappear without trace. "My brothers will lay down their lives for me as I will for them. Royal Marines commando." It concluded: "It's a state of mind. You may already have it."

The marine recruiting officer's latest catchphrase is: "A commando state of mind", meaning, they say, "a determination to overcome adversity, no matter what it may be".

An official at the British high commission in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, was quoted yesterday as saying: "As soon as we became aware that the video has caused some offence, we withdrew the video."

In London, the MoD apologised for "any offence that may have been caused".

It said: "It was certainly not our intention to cause any offence. The advertisement has been withdrawn from circulation. It was not our intention to suggest Malaysians are involved in terrorism and we have ensured that this advert will not be broadcast again."

The video was aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds, defence officials said. It certainly seemed to have worked.

By February, the Royal Marines had recruited all the soldiers they wanted for the year.

But the film remained on the MoD and Royal Marines website for seven months. It was still there because the navy were looking at applications from people who wanted to join the marines next year.

The video also served as an "awareness-raising" exercise, officials added. It was taken off the MoD's official website this week only when it was realised it was causing offence, defence sources explained.

The video was made by what defence sources called a "creative agency" and produced by a local company in Brunei where marines were already deployed for an exercise with a Malaysian film crew and actor. The subject of the film was first raised earlier this week by a member of Malaysia's parliament who complained about its portrayal of a Malay as an evil man.

Malay Muslims make up nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 27 million population. The country is proud of its moderate approach to religion and is one of the Muslim world's most stable countries. British troops have a history of combat in the country helping to quell insurgencies there in 1949 and again in the 1960s

Zainal Abidin Bakar, an official in Malaysia's foreign ministry, told the Associated Press news agency that the recruitment video hurt local sensitivities, but his government had not decided whether to fire off an official note of protest.

"They have withdrawn the video on their own accord. It's a good gesture on their part," Zainal Abidin said. "They've realised their mistake and the sensitivity of the Malay community."

Officials in the MoD in London privately admitted contrition about what they agreed could be interpreted as an insult.

But they said their apologies had been well-received by the Malaysian government and what might have become a full-blown diplomatic incident had been smoothed over.

Attempts by the MoD to have the video taken off other websites, including YouTube, appeared last night to be destined to fail. The episode reflects a determination among recruiters to attract people to the armed forces and a belief that one way of doing it is to be as gung-ho as possible. It is no use presenting a softer image if that simply results in recruits failing the physically rigorous initial training courses and aptitude tests, it is argued. (Guardian.co.uk)

***** Full marks to our government for not making a big diplomatic issue out of it.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Previous Perak Govt Asked To Explain How RM8 Million Spent In Less Than 3 Months

Perak wants the previous state government to explain how this year's RM8mil development fund had been spent in less than three months.

State senior executive council (exco) member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said the government was shocked at the way the fund, meant for small projects, had been spent.

"We discovered that the entire sum was spent before or during the March 8 general election," Ngeh said Friday at a press conference.

The fund, he said, was made up of an allocation of RM75,000 to each Barisan state assemblyman and an additional of RM100,000 given to each state exco member.

"The total sum was RM8mil and it was spent in less than three months," he added.

"The people are suspicious that they were spent on election purposes. We are not accusing them yet but we want them to clarify," Ngeh said.

"I want (former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamad) Tajol Rosli (Ghazali) and other former exco members, who are now assemblymen, to clarify the matter in order to be fair to the people," he said.

Urging the previous state government to itemise the expenditure and name the amount spent, Ngeh said:

"This is a clear case of bad management. The allocation is intended for the whole year but it was spent within less than three months. Has it been spent for political purposes?"

The previous government should immediately write to the state or announce the matter in the media so that the people can verify the expenditure, he said.

State Education, Local Government Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming, who was also present at the media briefing said:

"This is extraordinary and we are suspicious. The people have the right to know."

When asked if there were any statements or receipts in the Government's record on the spending of the RM8mil, Nga said:

"Let them show first. They've spent the money so they must show. That is not a logical question. Why ask us to show?"

Ngeh explained that the local people could cross-check the spending.

"For example, if an item was tagged at RM20,000 but it could be worth only RM3,000. The public could scrutinise," he added.

Exco member Zainuddin Mohd Yusof, who was also present, said the normal procedure in the disbursement of public expenditure should be apportioned according to the time of the year.

"It should be spread out over the year. You don't spend all in the first quarter of the year. This is very questionable," he added. (The Star)

***** The moment the buggers knew that they got KOed in the elections they must have pocketed every sen that they could get their hands on. Greedy bastards.

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Osama Bin Laden Manhunt Gathers Pace Amid New Hideout Reports

Seven years after invading Afghanistan, the American intelligence sleuths stationed in Pakistan have launched a massive hunt to capture Osama bin Laden following intelligence reports that he has been spotted in the Karakoram section of the Himalayan range along Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan and China.

According to well placed intelligence sources in Islamabad, the US intelligence sleuths stationed in Pakistan have stepped up increased surveillance operations through newly built bases in the region and additional daily flights of Predator drones scour the area for any suspicious characters who might lead them to the world’s most sought after fugitive.

The passionate search operation is learnt to have been prompted by some latest CIA reports that Osama has been located in the rooftop of the world — the area of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan to the west, in particular the chain of mountains in the province of Nurestan, and China to the north.


Frequent claims as to the location of the fugitive al-Qaeda chief have been made by the Americans since December 2001, although none have been definitively proven and some have placed Osama in different locations during overlapping time periods. The US intelligence sleuths in Pakistan concede that finding one person in a big populated urban city is much more difficult as compared with tracking down someone in Northern Areas or the border areas of Pakistan.

However, there are many other factors pointed out by the Americans that have combined in the five years since the 9/11 to make the hunt for the Most Wanted more difficult — Pervez Musharraf’s unwillingness to cooperate as he fears being abandoned by the Americans once Osama is captured; the re-emergence of the Taliban militia in both Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq that has exhausted the US military and intelligence resources etc.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Abdullah's Reform Agenda Spurred Ezam To Join Umno!

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's efforts to reform the judiciary and combat corruption was what spurred former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor to rejoin Umno.

Speaking at a press conference here today to explain his decision to rejoin the party, Ezam said these latest developments "opened his heart" to get back into Umno, which he left in 1999.

"I join politics because I was ambitious about bring positive changes...I am now confident many more reforms will be made (by the Prime Minister) in future," he said.

On Wednesday, Abdullah, who is also Umno president, announced that Ezam would be re-accepted into Umno without any conditions after there were no objections from the party's Supreme Council (MT) and Umno Youth.

Prior to joining Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKR's predecessor) in 1999, Ezam was the Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno Youth chief, from 1993 to 1996, Selangor Umno Youth secretary from 1996 to 1998 and Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno deputy head.

From 1996 to 1998 he was also the political secretary to the Finance Minister then and was a fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies from 1998 to 2005.

In KANGAR, Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin said Ezam's application to rejoin Umno would have to be deliberated by the MT.

"The MT has the power to accept or reject (Ezam's application). His case has to be brought before the MT," he told reporters after holding a briefing on Umno's code of ethics for Perlis Umno leaders here Thursday.

Muhyiddin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, said Ezam could not be given automatic acceptance because of his past political record. "If he did not have a past record it would have been okay. But his case (having a past record) must be brought up to the MT," he added. (Bernama)

***** Ezam has given his reasons for rejoining Umno. Whether people will believe him is of course another matter.

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FT Gerakan Chief Dr Tan Kee Kwong Must Leave Party, Says Najib

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong cannot keep his position in the Barisan Nasional (BN) component party after joining the opposition government.

Morally, such a move was necessary, the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after attending a closed-door meeting with the National Students Consultative Council at a hotel, near here.

The BN was concerned over the development where two Gerakan leaders had joined the opposition government and hoped that other Gerakan members would remain in the party and have faith in the future of BN, he said.

Dr Tan was reported to have been accepted by the Selangor government to head a task force to improve the administration and policies concerning the problems of land ownership.

Earlier, former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon had accepted the post of director of the Penang Development Corporation and InvestPenang from the Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang.

When asked to comment on the statement by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim asking the Barisan Nasional to take action against its Members of Parliament Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (Jerlun) and Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Pasir Salak) for their criticisms which humiliated the government or Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib said the matter would be looked into.

According to Zaid, the action by the two MPs questioning his appointment as a minister was construed as a humiliation to him, the government and Prime Minister.

Asked when he would meet former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Najib responded: "Anytime, anytime."

Najib had recently said that he would meet Dr Mahathir after the latter had declared that he was quitting Umno. (Bernama)

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inter-Religion TV Game Show To Promote Harmony In Britain

A television game show aimed at promoting good relations between members of different religious communities and encouraging people to enhance their knowledge about other faiths will be launched here. The series titled Faith Off will involve people from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Buddhist faiths contesting against each other and will be aired on Islam Channel.

According to producers, the series will attempt to promote good relations and mutual respect between Britain’s religious communities. Two teams of four will go head to head in each episode, answering quick-fire and general knowledge questions in the eight-part series hosted by the Muslim comedian Jeff Mirza,.

There will be a multiple choice current affairs segment in addition to a home or away round, when contestants can answer questions on their own faith or the opposing team’s for points. Players will also have to identify religious figures, such as the Dalai Lama and the Pope, from blurred footage.

“We’re living in a multicultural society,” producer Abrar Hussain said. “You learn about religions at school and then you forget, so it’s about transferring the basic blocks of knowledge ... It’s also about learning the similarities between religions, instead of focusing on the differences,” he added.

***** It's a good idea and will go some way in not only promoting good relations but also enabling the average person to learn more about other faiths. However such a show in Malaysia may not be well received especially by those who have no intention of engaging in inter-religious discourse or harmony.

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Malaysian Lawyer Disbarred In Brunei

A Malaysian senior lawyer has failed in the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision to remove his name from Brunei's Roll of Advocates and Solicitors.

Mr Manjeet Singh Dhillon, 65, a veteran lawyer with 38 years of practice in Malaysia was admitted on an ad hoc basis to represent Mr Wong Tim Kai in a corruption trial in Brunei.


At the time of his petition for the ad hoc admission in November 2004, Mr Dhillon failed to mention the fact that he was found guilty in contempt of court by the Supreme Court of Malaysia in November 1990 and was fined RM5000 for the conviction.

In November 2006, while the corruption trial was ongoing, Mr Wong Tim Kai filed an application to the High Court seeking to en force his right to a counsel of his choice and that having chosen Mr Dhillon to represent him, for his counsel who was "properly admitted to the Brunei Bar" to have a 'right of audience' and to have conduct of Mr Wong's defence.

According to a press statement from the Attorney General Chamber yesterday, the application was first heard by the Chief Justice at the High Court who dismissed the application and ordered the removal of the lawyer's name from the roll of advocates and solicitors of Brunei. Following the decision, Mr Wong launched an appeal against it.

During the hearing before the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General of Brunei argued that Mr Dhillon's failure to disclose the conviction and fine imposed by the Malaysian Supreme Court in November 1990, called into question whether he had been "properly admitted" at all.

Ahmad Jefri Abd Rahman and Nurhayana Janis Abdullah Lim represented the Attorney General while Mr Balwant Sidhu and Rudi Lee appeared for the appellant.

In his defense, Mr Dhillon through his lawyer said that there was no deliberate attempt to mislead or to withhold facts and that the conviction was at the "back, not forefront of Mr Dhillon's mind and it had never occurred to him that he should make disclosure" of the conviction.

The Court of Appeal however, found no merit in the reasons advanced to explain or excuse Mr Dhillon's failure to disclose the conviction.

It was emphasised that an applicant for admission to the roll of advocates and solicitors was obliged to do so with "utmost good faith and candour, comprehensively disclosing any matter which may reasonably be taken to bear on an assessment of fitness to practice".

The Court of Appeal also further noted that the "primacy of the pro-active obligation of an applicant to make candid, comprehensive disclosure".

The judges noted that Mr. Dhillon's curriculum vitae that were submitted to support his application was designed to "clearly put forward Mr. Dhillon as an advocate whose career was without a blemish".

The CV detailed an extensive career of Mr Dhillon as Counsel of the Malaysian Bar from 1970 to 2004 as well as his activities and publications. There, however, was no mention of the contempt on November 5, 1990.

Judges found that Mr Dhillon in his affidavit in July 2007 had been "less frank with the Court" when he stated that "he had never been censured or had any form of disciplinary action instituted against him".

Contempt of court by an advocate is on its face a serious offence and should have been disclosed at the time of applying for admission to the roll of advocates and solicitors.(Brudirect.com)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hillary Baggage Too Much For Obama

There is a growing effort by the Clintons — led by Bill — to convey a sense of entitlement for Hillary's newly minted vice presidential ambitions. The theory seems to say that she has earned the designation by her strong showing in primaries throughout the nation, particularly by her recent victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana.

Her supporters are demanding a place on the ticket as their right after a bruising primary season.

But ever since Aaron Burr rose from a vice presidential candidacy to contest Thomas Jefferson for the presidency in the House of Representatives, the person who came in second in the balloting for president lost his entitlement to anything.

There are no more rewards for second place. No silver medals in the presidential race.

A less arrogant argument from the Clintonistas is that Hillary's presence on the ticket is vital to its chances for success in November. Noting that a Democrat must carry the very states she has won, the theory is that a VP slot for Hillary would make Obama so much more attractive to these voters that his election would be inevitable. (Disregard that Obama carried some states that would look nice in the Democratic column as well like Illinois, North Carolina, Washington State, Missouri, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.)

But Hillary won these later primaries largely because the poison spewed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright led racially fearful voters to turn on Obama and find peril in his associations. Will Hillary running for vice president make Obama any whiter? Or Wright less offensive?

Let's not mistake racial fear of Obama for personal popularity for Hillary. Most of the blue-collar working class whites who backed Hillary Clinton, particularly the men, can't stand her.

Faced with a choice between race and gender, they decided to hold to their fear of the former and overlook their unease at the latter. One wonders if all these police officers and firefighters and construction workers would actually vote for Hillary against McCain were she the nominee. Wouldn't these Reagan Democrats continue their lifelong exodus from the Democratic Party and back the Republican instead?

In any case, it is a far fetched hope that Hillary's presence on the ticket would so ease their fears that they would back Obama in November.

Hillary Clinton will not help Obama win a single vote.

The feminists who supported her will all vote Democratic with the fear of McCain's likely judicial appointments uppermost in their minds. They are party regulars whose support for Obama would be automatic and axiomatic. Those more recent converts to Hillary, driven by fear of a black candidate with a nutty preacher, are not going to be assuaged by Hillary's presence on the ticket.

Bringing them into the Democratic Party fold is Obama's problems and must be his highest priority. He cannot subcontract the job to Hillary.

And Hillary comes with unique baggage all her own. Her very presence on the ticket makes all of the unanswered questions about Bill Clinton to the fore. They suddenly become relevant and answers become imperative.

1. What did Bill Clinton do for the $15 million he was paid by the emir of Dubai?

2. What did he do for the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra, who he brought with him to Kazakhstan and introduced to its president after Giustra gave his foundation, which he controls, $100 million?

3. What did he do for InfoUSA, the direct mail list company that sold lists of vulnerable elderly people to criminally convicted telemarketers so they could scam them?

4. Did Bill Clinton know that Hillary's brothers were being paid to secure some of the pardons he granted on their recommendations?

Obama doesn't need this kind of trouble. Bringing Hillary on the ticket brings Bill with her, these days a loose cannon at best, a self-destructive narcissist at worst. (Dick Morris & Eileen McGann, Newsmax.com)

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RM300 Mln To Organise Monsoon Cup Not From Oil Royalty, Says MB. Is This True?

The RM300 million spent on organising the Monsoon Cup since 2005 did not come from Terengganu's oil royalty, Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said disclosed Tuesday.

He said the allocations came from the federal government which were channeled through the Youth and Sports Ministry, Tourism Ministry and Finance Ministry, while the state government contributed only RM4 million each year for the sailing competition.

"The allocations were not just used for organising the Monsoon Cup but also for building various infrastructure like hotels, a berth and car park at Pulau Duyong here.

"For instance, the cost of organising the event last year was only RM22.6 million," he told reporters after launching seven books published by the Terengganu Islamic Religious and Malay Custom Council (Maidam), here Tuesday.

Ahmad was asked to comment on claims that Terengganu's oil royalty or known as the federal government's special fund, had been used to organise the Monsoon Cup.

Ahmad said the cost of organising the Monsoon Cup was actually small compared with the benefits derived from it.

For example, he said, last year's event which was broadcast by international television sports channel ESPN drew more than 1.3 billion viewers worldwide.

"Imagine the cost we would incur if we were to buy international advertising space to promote Terengganu."

Ahmad said the Monsoon Cup would continue to be held until 2012 as in the agreement signed with the organisers, but this year's event would include more activities involving the local people.

Asked about plans after the agreement ends, Ahmad said the state government would "consider the matter when the time comes". (Bernama)

***** Birds of feather.....

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Boycott Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia For Fanning Racial Hatred Says Pakatan Rakyat

The Pakatan Rakyat alliance has called for an immediate boycott of Malay newspapers Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia for what it said was unfair reporting and for allegedly fanning racial sentiments.

In a joint statement issued at a press conference in the lobby of Parliament, Opposition leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the mainstream media had shown signs of opening up since the results of the March 8 polls.

However, many publications still gave wider coverage to Barisan Nasional and its component parties, while stories on Pakatan Rakyat tended to be full of distortion and misinformation to discredit the alliance parties and their leaders, she claimed.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat president was accompanied by alliance members DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa in reading out the joint statement.

Dr Wan Azizah said the worst were the two aforementioned newspapers, which she claimed unfairly criticised and demonised Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

She also alleged these publications were always trying to provoke narrow ethnic sentiments, "clearly with the intention of creating anger among Malays against Pakatan Rakyat component parties." (The Star)

***** A boycott call probably won't work or at best will have only minimal effect. Those who are regular readers of these newspapers are 'hooked' on them and many will believe every word published no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched. The better alternative would be to rebut every silly and chauvinistic article or report head-on and hope for the best.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Doctors Are 'Licensed To Kill' Says Deputy Health Minister Abdul Latif!

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad became the target of several Opposition MPs on Monday when he let slip that doctors were "licensed to kill".

Abdul Latiff had wanted to use the famous James Bond movie title Licensed to Kill when replying to a question during Question Time.
He said doctors were given the "license to heal" as well as the "licence to kill." Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) replied that only Bond has the license to kill but not doctors.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said Dr Abdul Latiff did not intend to hurt anyone when he made the remark.
He however ordered him to retract the words upon request by other MPs.

Dr Abdul Latiff defended himself by saying that it was a figure of speech. He however retracted his words but would not apologise. (The Star)

***** The deputy minister must be careful in future to avoid such gaffes. It could be forgiven if a layman made such a statement. However being a medical doctor he should have been more circumspect with his words, especially since he was speaking in Parliament.

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Bernama Disseminates News And Information 'Accurately', Says Najib

The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) plays a very important role in disseminating accurate news and official information, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sunday.

He said Bernama could take pride in its achievement.

"Most importantly, the information is conveyed accurately to the people in and outside the country," he told reporters when asked to comment on the 40th Bernama anniversary on May 20.

Najib will be the guest-of-honour at a dinner tomorrow in conjunction with the anniversary celebrations.

He hoped Bernama would continue to strive to enhance its commitment to be more successful in the years ahead.

"I wish Bernama a happy 40th anniversary," he added.

Bernama was set up under an Act of Parliament on May 20 1968.

Earlier, Najib launched the national-level Unity Month at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. (Bernama)

***** When the now consigned-to-oblivion info-dictator Zainuddin Maidin was in power at the Information Ministry, no none trusted any report that came from Bernama. However the current head honcho Shaberry Cheek seems to be making the right noises off and on although he appeared to be a little intolerant on the issue of 'live' telecast of Parliament's proceedings. Only time will tell if Bernama is indeed
disseminating 'accurate news and official information'. But I won't place my bets on this happening in the near future.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gerakan Retools Itself To Get Back In Mainstream Politics

Gerakan will be positioning itself as the party of choice for all Malaysians under a rebranding effort that it hopes would bring the party back to mainstream politics.

At the party's 40th anniversary on Sunday, Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the party's mission was to build a united and democratic nation.

"In order to achieve this, we must consolidate, evaluate, motivate and rejuvenate the party."

Dr Koh said three thrusts would be undertaken, one of which was to voice Gerakan's ideology and policy position, and to advocate a Malaysian solution for major issues.

"The other two is to rebuild, rebrand and re-empower the party at all levels to effectively serve and represent all Malaysians and by doing so, to win the people's hearts and minds while regaining their mandate."

Dr Koh said the party was at its most challenging crossroads following the dismal results of the March 8 general election.

"Most of us are dejected or demoralised but we must keep telling ourselves that we are down but definitely not out," he said.

Dr Koh said after meeting with grassroots members over the past two months, the picture was clear that the members wanted Gerakan to continue.

"A few may have gone astray. We can understand that. But we will keep fighting because we believe we are still relevant to the people."

He added that Gerakan had to quickly understand the new political environment and that politics now had moved from being racial-based to being issues-based.

"That is exactly what we are fighting for, but somehow we ended up on the other side.

"In this case, what is good for the country is negative for the party but it confirms that this is the way forward and we definitely have a role to play."

He added that Gerakan would execute its plan via eight strategies consisting of broad plans to expand and consolidate membership while rebuilding the party in Penang.

"One of the ideas is to provide a more flexible structure by opening cyber branches so that Malaysians overseas can also participate in the party," he said. (The Star)

***** Very nice sounding phrases by Tan Sri Koh. But will it be sufficient and will it work? I still remember that prior to the last GE many Indian members had complained about the Gerakan having become a Chinese party and not a single Indian had been fielded in the polls. The Malays are nowhere to be seen in Gerakan either.

It would take more than mere words for Gerakan to convince the Malays and Indians to come on board after having lost their credibility with these communities. Can they survive as a purely Chinese party in competition with MCA? Let's not forget that substantial numbers of Chinese too have also moved to PKR and DAP. An uphill task awaits Gerakan.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wary Rafidah Says Ex-Puteri Leaders May 'Weaken Umno' By Contesting Top Posts In Wanita

Former Puteri Umno leaders' intention to vie for top posts in Wanita Umno may weaken the women's wing and Umno, said Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.

She said should there be contests, it could cause upheaval and splits in wing and eventually weaken the party.

"Do not be overzealous in vying for top posts in Wanita Umno because when we have two or three people contesting (a post), we will have two or three factions and this will cause problems.

"Wanita (Umno) is the backbone of the party and if we are saddled with problems, the party will eventually bear the brunt," she told reporters after holding a closed-door meeting with Kedah Umno Wanita division heads at Ampang Jajar here Saturday.

However, Rafidah welcomed ex-Puteri members who had ceased to become members of junior wing who had passed the age-limit to be a member in it to apply for Wanita Umno membership.

"However, let me remind you that once you are accepted, do not be impatient by vying for top posts," she said, adding that they should start by contesting committee member posts.

"I am proposing that Wanita division heads enlist ex-Puteri members who are contemplating contesting become additional committee members. "At least we can get the input from these youths who can assist us in reaching out to the younger generation.

"Some ex-Puteri members held important posts in the movement and this is the reason why they also want positions in Wanita," she said. (Bernama)

***** Is Rafidah's real fear Umno would be weakened or could she be apprehensive that some of the senior makcik2 would be given the boot in party elections if the young 'uns challenge them?

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Hillary Clinton's Colossal Blunder Simply The Last Straw

SICK. Disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama.

It could happen, but what definitely has happened is that Clinton has killed her own chances of being vice president. She doesn't deserve to be elected dog catcher anywhere now.

Her shocking comment to a South Dakota newspaper might qualify as the dumbest thing ever said in American politics.

Her lame explanation that she brought up the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy because his brother Ted's illness was on her mind doesn't cut it. Not even close.

We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?

It's like Tanya Harding's kneecapping has come to politics. Only the senator from New York has more lethal fantasies than that nutty skater.

We could have seen it coming, if only we had realized Clinton's thinking could be so cold. She has grown increasingly wild in her imagery lately, invoking everything from slavery to the political killings in Zimbabwe in making her argument for the Florida and Michigan delegations. She claimed to be the victim of sexism, despite winning the votes of white men.

But none of it was moving the nomination needle, with Obama, despite recent dents, still on course to be the victor.

So she kept digging deeper, looking for the magic button. Instead, she pushed the eject button, lifting herself right out of consideration.

Giving voice to such a vile thought is all the more horrible because fears Obama would be killed have been an undercurrent to his astonishing rise. Republican Mike Huckabee made a stupid joke about it recently. Many black Americans have talked of it, reflecting their assumption that racists would never tolerate a black President and that Obama would be taken from them.

Clinton has now fed that fear. She needs a very long vacation. And we need one from her.

Say good night, Hillary. And go away. (Michael Goodwin, NY Daily News)

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Param: Why Not Use ISA On Dr Mahathir?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be detained under the Internal Security Act, said former United Nations official Datuk Param Cumaraswamy.

"His recent speech in Johor Baru not only bordered on sedition but, applying his own standards, qualifies for detention under the ISA," said Param, the former UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers.


Dr Mahathir had, on May 18, said the Malays were losing their grip on political power and their privileges had been questioned and challenged by non-Malays.

"If those 106 people were detained under the ISA during Operasi Lalang because they indulged in 'race-baiting' which he felt threatened the majority of Malaysians, then surely the same criteria could now be applied to Dr Mahathir for his speech."

In 1987, Operasi Lalang saw 106 people, including opposition party members being detained, some up to several years, and three newspapers shut down for allegedly trying to destabilise the country.

"While I am opposed to the use of the ISA, yet applying the principle of equality before the law, the home minister should seriously consider invoking Section 8 of the ISA and detain Dr Mahathir before he does further damage." (NST)

***** Food for thought.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Pulau Batu Puteh - Singapore Has Sovereignty Says ICJ

The International Court of Justice today ruled 12 to 4 that Singapore had sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh and 15 to 1 that Malaysia owns Middle Rocks while the South Ledge belongs to the state in which territorial waters it is located.

Pulau Batu Puteh – no larger than half a football field – is about 7.7 nautical miles from Tanjung Penyusop in Johor and 25.5 nautical miles from Singapore.

Middle Rocks is about half a nautical mile from Pulau Batu Puteh and 1.7 nautical miles from South Ledge.

During the submissions, Malaysia had refuted Singapore’s claim that the island was no man’s land when Britain took possession of it between 1847 and 1851.

Malaysia had maintained that Johor had the original title to Pulau Batu Puteh since time immemorial and that Britain had sought Johor’s permission to build the Horsburgh Lighthouse there.

Meanwhile our foreign minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim gave a positive spin to the World Court's verdict by saying that the decision is a win-win one. In fact he had remarked a couple of days ago that Malaysia and Singapore have agreed not to cause trouble or problems in bilateral relations after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivers its ruling pertaining to Pulau Batu Puteh.

He said that it means, if the decision favours Malaysia, Singapore would continue to be friendly and would not raise prejudice and vice versa.

"We will respect the decision and continue to realise international friendships and neighbourliness. We should accept it as something normal and in openness.

Perhaps he had anticipated that this is what the ICJ's decision would be.

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Woman Jailed For Trying To Get Judge Jailed!

A Malaysian court has sentenced a woman to three months in jail for trying to get a judge jailed, a lawyer said Thursday.

The court ruled Wednesday that housewife Lee Heng Moy filed a case seeking the imprisonment of High Court judge Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin only to harass her, according to the judge's lawyer, Kamaludin Mohamad Said.
The 40-year-old Lee had accused Alizatul of contempt of court and sought her imprisonment, claiming she had "maliciously" dismissed her civil inheritance case in 2006.

But another high court judge, Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad, ruled that it was Lee who committed contempt of court by filing a frivolous case.
The New Straits Times newspaper quoted Syed Ahmad as telling Lee, "I must put a stop to all this. I won't be surprised if you take action against me next."

Kamaludin said Lee was free on 30,000 ringgit (US$9,000; euro6,000) bail and she had 14 days to appeal the sentence.
Kamaludin told The Associated Press that he has records of Lee filing "a number of cases against judges and lawyers who go against her."

Because of that, Syed Ahmad also ruled that Lee can't file an application without the permission of a High Court judge. (The China Post)

***** Anyone has details about this loony woman?

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pak Lah - Tun Mahathir Spat; Do Not Involve The King, Says Dr M

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here Thursday it was not necessary to involve the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to help resolve his spat with Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"This is a question of Umno politics. We should not take the issue to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," he said when asked to comment on a suggestion by Umno veteran Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Tapa to seek the king's mediation in the dispute.

Abdul Aziz was quoted as saying today that the quarrel between Dr Mahathir and Abdullah had reached a stage where it could only be resolved by the intervention of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin as the mediator.

Dr Mahathir was approached for his comments after a dialogue session at the Nikkei International Conference on "The Future of Asia", here.

The former prime minister also said that he had no objections if Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted to meet him.

The dispute between Dr Mahathir and Abdullah reached a "shocking" stage last Monday when Dr Mahathir, who had served as Umno president for 22 years, announced that he was quitting the party after having lost confidence in Abdullah's leadership, and that he would only rejoin the party after Abdullah had stepped down as Umno president and prime minister.

Many quarters see the move as a last-ditch attempt by Dr Mahathir to remove Abdullah from Umno and the government. (Bernama)

***** I agree with Dr M that His Majesty should not be brought into the picture. This is a quarrel between politicians and it should be settled politically.

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Rude Awakening For The Clintons

This was never supposed to happen.

The winner of the biggest states, the battleground states, the most electorally rich states, the more representative primaries (rather than exclusive caucuses), the contests of Democratic voters only, and likely the popular vote as well is probably headed for the history books instead of the nomination.

Hillary Clinton’s end in the 2008 race, as with so many events in her life, is painful and poignant and drenched in drama. The math is unfair, and Hillary has finally found her best, winning self. But the Clintons are hearing a deafening silence from a party they once ran . Some close aides and friends are asking Hillary to relent, warning her extended campaign is deepening a racial divide in the party that could imperil its chances of winning the presidency. Bill and Hillary Clinton won’t hear of it, insisting there is still a chance. Yet the chance won’t come from their electability argument, only a rival’s implosion or tragedy — Democrats once asked to defend Bill Clinton for lying under oath are not willing to overturn the rules for his wife now.

Life is what happens when we make other plans, and Hillary Clinton’s long-held plan is on its death bed. We will never know how many years Clinton has spent in silent, meditative, disciplined waiting. But as a new senator in 2001, she oozed an almost obsessive intention and deliberation. She took no interviews, stood in the back of the line at Senate press conferences, and insisted on speaking little or last. She was deferential, humble and shrewd. She played it smart with Democrats and Republicans alike, reaching out to former impeachment foes and Republican critics in bipartisan legislative compromise and, privately, in prayer groups.

But calculation, calibration or even religious patience still cannot stop fate. Having raised hundreds of millions of dollars over the years, Clinton has driven her campaign more than $30 million in debt and had to loan it millions in personal money. In the process, Clinton has let an unprecedented juggernaut dissolve while her opponent, who had only a pipe dream, triumphed in a battle between hubris and hope.

Barack Obama proved that winning is indeed a science, of breaking down voters and opportunities for victory — district by district, county by county, town by town and block by block. He mastered the rules of the Democrats’ very strange game. Team Obama owned the map, finding delegates where they could and stopping at nothing to get them. He not only won more delegates than Clinton in states she won, like New Hampshire, Nevada and Texas, but netted the same amount of delegates from the Idaho caucuses that Clinton picked up in her 10-point win in Pennsylvania. The vote totals are staggering — approximately 20,000 in Idaho compared to more than 2 million in Pennsylvania.

Team Clinton could have competed aggressively against Obama at the very same game; they had the money and influence and party activists to do so. They sure had a leg up on time. With the help of her husband; the alleged greatest mind in the party, Mark Penn; Harold Ickes; Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell; and Terry McAuliffe ( two men who had operated the party machine), how could Hillary have ceded this advantage?

Hillary, should she be making more plans, should follow the footsteps of Al Gore, the only person since Adlai Stevenson to be welcomed back by the Democratic Party after losing. When the Supreme Court ended Gore’s White House dream, he delivered his best speech, conceding that “no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out.”

When it’s all over the Clintons can talk of glory, and of party unity, but they can’t say this was never supposed to happen. (A.B. Stoddard, The Hill)

Interesting read: Backing from Japanese town named Obama!

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School Uniform 'Sexy', Says Malaysian Islamic Students Group!

A Malaysian group condemned the uniform worn by girls at government schools, saying it encouraged rape and pre-marital sex.

“The white blouse is too transparent for girls and it becomes a source of attraction,” National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia vice-president Munirah Bahari said in a statement.

“It becomes a distraction to men, who are drawn to it, whether or not they like looking at it,” she said, calling for a review of uniform policy so that it did not violate Islamic ideals.

In multicultural Malaysia, home to majority-Muslim Malays as well as ethnic Chinese and Indians, female students at government schools have a choice of wearing a white blouse with a knee-length skirt or pinafore.

They may also wear a “baju kurung” and a headscarf is optional for Malay students.

Munirah said that “covering up” according to Islamic precepts was important to fend off social ills, including “rape, sexual harassment and even premarital sex.”

“This leads to babies born out of wedlock and, to an extent, even prostitution,” she said.

“Decent clothes which are not revealing can prevent and protect women from any untoward situations,” she said, suggesting that girls wear a blouse of a different colour or with an undergarment.

However, the girls themselves also came in for criticism, with the association saying that some used the white blouse to lure men.

“This is the source of the problem, where we can see that schoolgirls themselves are capable of using this to attract men to them,” Munirah said.

“This could see them getting molested, having premarital sex and all sorts of things.”


***** First reaction on Cik Munirah's diatribe? How did such a colossal nitwit ever make it to varsity? She has some very misplaced ideas about schoolgirls in general. Perhaps she's sexually over-obsessed, psychiatrically predisposed or plain stupid. Take your pick.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Malaysia PM Calls Emergency Talks

Malaysia's prime minister has called an emergency session of the ruling party's top policy-making body, seeking to stamp his authority after the dramatic defection of former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was due to chair a special supreme council meeting of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) on Wednesday, his office said.

UMNO has been in turmoil since its poor showing in March elections, which was seen as heightening political risk and spooked investors in the Southeast Asian country.

Mahathir's bombshell resignation on Monday from the party he led for 22 years came with a call for other UMNO members to quit with him.

A meeting of lawmakers on Tuesday ignored the call and rallied behind Abdullah.

Mahathir said he was resigning in a bid to force Abdullah out, but the prime minister said he would not quit.

Analysts said the most likely outcome of Wednesday night's meeting was a reaffirmation by UMNO leaders of their support for the prime minister.

"At this point, there are so many factions and alliances within the leadership. But he will probably get the support of the majority within the Supreme Council," said Lee Hock Guan, senior fellow with Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore.

Mahathir's defection from UMNO came three days after Abdullah ordered the attorney-general to investigate the former premier and five others on possible offences over the appointment of judges while he was in power.

It added to concerns about the continued hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, of which UMNO is the dominant partner. An emboldened opposition, headed by Mahathir arch-foe Anwar Ibrahim, is seeking to wrest power by wooing BN defectors.

Anwar, a former deputy premier, said Mahathir's resignation was indicative of UMNO's worsening crisis.

"The internal problems of UMNO are clearly deteriorating beyond any hope of recovery," he said, and called on Malaysians to join his group.

UMNO, backbone of the 14-party BN that has ruled since independence from Britain in 1957, holds 79 of its 140 seats.

The opposition is a loose alliance of Islamists, a Chinese-based party and the multiracial PKR, and needs to gain just 30 seats to win a simple majority and form the government. (TVNZ, New Zealand)

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Mokhzani Mahathir Quits Umno

According to The Star, businessman and former Youth treasurer Mokhzani Mahathir has quit Umno, two days after his father Tun Dr Mahathir stunned the nation when he resigned from the party.

The Mahathir storm now enhanced by his son's resignation will continue to ripple through Umno for some time.

Party members are still trying to make sense of the stunning news. The full repercussions will be clearer soon.

There is bound to be some degree of sympathy or feelings of “kasihan” among the Umno rank and file however much they disagree with his action.

Many Umno leaders said he did not have to take things to such an extreme degree to force a leadership change because the majority of people in the party were already in agreement that Umno needs a leadership transition.

But the trouble is Dr Mahathir wants to fast-forward the change at the top while the majority in the party is willing to go along with the idea of a smooth transition.

Leaving the party this way has further destabilised the already unsettled mood in Umno.

But Dr Mahathir will be Dr Mahathir, always strong-willed, opinionated and domineering.

No one can really tell him what to do even as he tries to tell Abdullah what to do.

But no one should assume he will end his critique even though he's out of Umno. (The Star)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Karpal Receives Live Bullet And Warning Note

DAP chairman Karpal Singh received an envelope containing a live bullet and a warning note at his law firm in Jalan Pudu Lama here Tuesday.

The envelope was delivered by a motorcyclist who wore a full-face helmet.

Karpal, who is MP for Bukit Gelugor, has lodged a report at the Dang Wangi police headquarters on the incident.

Accompanying him were Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang.

Karpal told reporters that the man had entered his firm about 12.30pm and handed over a yellow envelope containing the bullet and the note. "I was at home when my clerk informed me that I had received the bullet and the note.

"According to her, the man kept silent and left immediately," he said, adding that he was worried for his safety.

He declined comment on whether the incident was related to his controversial remarks pertaining to the power of the Malay rulers.

Karpal said this was the second time he had received a live bullet. In 1981, he received an M-16 bullet which was delivered to his house in Penang. (Bernama)

*****
Now WHO has grudges and grievances against Mr Karpal Singh which are serious enough to result in such a threat? Hmm. Shades of C4?

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Nazri: Dr Mahathir Blackmailing Umno

The decision by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to quit Umno is deemed as blackmailing the party, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said today.

"Nobody, no matter how big he is, has the right to use dirty tactics to bring down a person who is democratically elected,” he said in reference to Dr Mahathir’s move to unseat Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president with his resignation move yesterday.

"It’s not something that we condone and it’s undemocratic; that’s blackmailing the party,” he said at the Parliament lobby when asked to comment on Dr Mahathir’s decision to leave the party.

Dr Mahathir announced yesterday that he had resigned as an Umno member with immediate effect together with his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, saying that he had lost confidence in the leadership of Abdullah as the party president and would return to Umno only after Abdullah had stepped down or was no longer the prime minister.

Dr Mahathir, who had led Umno and the country for 22 years, also suggested that branch and divisional leaders in the party resign as well as a signal for Abdullah to step down as party president before the Umno elections in December.
Abdullah has stated that he would contest the president’s post in the forthcoming Umno elections.

Asked whether Umno would accept the former prime minister back if he wanted to rejoin the party in future, Mohamed Nazri said party leaders would decide on the matter when the time came.

"This is democracy. Nobody (in Umno) asked him to leave, he is no longer a child. I am sure he has given it thought and still wants to leave,” he said.

Earlier, Members of Parliament (MPs) from Umno expressed their solid support for Abdullah as party president and gave the assurance that they would not leave Umno. The statement of support was made at a special one-hour meeting today with the prime minister when the Parliament sitting broke for lunch.

Asked if Dr Mahathir’s decision to quit Umno meant that he had cut ties with the party, Mohamed Nazri said it was not fair to pose such a question to him or other Umno members.

“Don’t ask me... ask him,” he said in reference to Dr Mahathir. "We did not sack him, so it is not fair to ask us in Umno because we did not leave Umno. He (Dr Mahathir) left Umno,” he said.

Asked whether Dr Mahathir’s son and Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz had attended the special meeting with the prime minister, Mohamed Nazri said he was not sure of that.

He said he hoped that the media would not put pressure on or force Mukhriz into a difficult situation over his father’s move.

***** For once I agree with Nazri.

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UMNO Members Must Remain Calm And Not Make Hasty Decision, Says Muhyiddin

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has advised Umno members against making hasty decisions which can damage the party, the position of the Malays and the country.

He said they should act wisely and with courtesy so that the situation would not become worse.

Expressing shock at the resignation of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as an Umno member yesterday, the International Trade and Industry Minister said it was important for Umno members to look after the wellbeing of the party and the position of the Malays because the component parties of the Barisan Nasional (BN) would lose confidence in the coalition if Umno continued to face problems.

"If there is any message from the shocking move, what needs to be done is through the democratic process in the party through discussions and consensus. If they are dissatisfied, there are ways of resolving it such as through the party election process where members can make suggestions to resolve the crisis in Umno," he told reporters.

Muhyiddin said this when commenting on Dr Mahathir's resignation as an Umno member because the former Umno president felt that the party could no longer function as a political party to champion the cause of the Malays which was the original objective in setting up the party.

Describing the situation as critical, Muhyiddin said Dr Mahathir's resignation would have an impact on several quarters and as such, Umno members must be careful so that Malay solidarity was not affected.

"If everyone were to take similar action, there will be no one left in Umno. Who will then champion the cause of the Malays? What will happen to our leadership in the Barisan Nasional and government?" he said when asked if there were Umno members in Johor who would also resign following Dr Mahathir's resignation.

He said there must be a mechanism to resolve the problem so that it would not develop into a prolonged crisis.

Commenting on the statement by former deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president Tun Musa Hitam who described the decision as "the removal of the thorn in the flesh", Muhyiddin said: "It is Tun Musa Hitam's (personal) opinion. There are still many Umno members who respect Dr Mahathir's views."

Muhyiddin, who had led a trade and investment mission to the United States which ended on Monday, said Umno needed a strong leadership to end the political crisis. (Bernama)

***** Umno members should be glad and relieved that Dr Mahathir has resigned from the party. They should also take heed of what
Tun Musa Hitam said when he described Dr M's decision as "the removal of the thorn in the flesh." How true.

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