Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anwar Prepares To Stand In Elections & Hey Presto, The Cops Suddenly Complete Probe On Sodomy Case!

From The Star Online
Police have completed investigation on PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case and have sent the investigation paper (IP) to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the police notified him that the investigation has been completed.

"Once they have submitted the papers, it is up to the A-G to see if there are any charges to be made against (Anwar).

"Under the law, Anwar is innocent until proven guilty, there is no talking about charges until charges have been preferred against him," he told reporters Thursday after addressing staff of the Immigration Department here.

Syed Hamid, however, said he did not know the contents of the IP or the outcome of the investigation.

On Anwar's wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail quitting as Member of Parliament of Permatang Pauh to make way for her husband to contest in a by-election, Syed Hamid said it was expected.

"I think it shows the love of the wife for the husband - that is very good," he said.

When asked if this posed a threat to the Barisan Nasional government, Syed Hamid said it was not and that it should be accepted, as it was a democratic process.

He added that Barisan would worry about it when the time comes.

"We are not worried ... we expected him to make this announcement; in fact, I was informed much earlier he was going to make an announcement," he said, adding that he wished Anwar good luck.
***** Well, well, well. Only yesterday Syed Hamid was boasting about how the police will be meticulous in their 'probe' and will not be hurried into completing their investigations, while asking them to speed up the siasatan. Two days ago Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said that the police had been 'relentlessly' seeking relevant and the latest information while the investigating officer is 'constantly' looking for new leads.

However suddenly after the announcement of Wan Azizah's resignation, the cops mysteriously have successfully completed their probe and have even sent the investigation paper (IP) to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action! My what efficiency! And oh what a coincidence in timing! Let's see what other government orchestrated sandiwara follows.

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Wan Azizah Resigns As Permatang Pauh MP To Pave Way For Anwar Ibrahim

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has resigned as member of parliament for Permatang Pauh to make way for her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election.

She handed her resignation letter to Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, she said she would remain party president.


Anwar Ibrahim had in June announced that he had to put off a contest in an election – which would have given him a chance to enter Parliament – in order to deal with the sodomy accusation against him.

He was then expected to have announced that he was to contest in Bandar Tun Razak where the Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid was to step down to allow Anwar to contest. These plans were then shelved in order to clear his name.

Lately the Kulim-Bandar Baru parliamentary constituency became the centre of speculation. But according to Anwar, the election petition issue there might take too long to settle and thus this decision to contest at Permatang Pauh. Of course this sudden resignation by Wan Azizah must surely take everyone by surprise, especially those from Umno.

Party insiders have for some time publicly said that once his name was cleared and the truth was out on the sodomy issue, Anwar will contest a by-election and also that he is expected to win by a large margin due to the current antipathy and anger against the Barisan National.

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Malaysian Student's Mother Makes Tearful Plea Over Son's Assault In Melbourne

From THE AGE, Australia
The mother of a Malaysian student attacked by a group of men in Melbourne's CBD last Friday, leaving him in an induced coma for several days, has broken down in tears while speaking about her son.

Kevindra Joseph, 19, was lost and asking a friend for directions on a mobile phone when he was attacked by a group of men in Little Lonsdale Street, near the intersection of Russell Street, about 2.50am, police said today.

The engineering student, who had been in Australia for about a month, was found unconscious on the footpath and spent several days in an induced coma at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He remains in hospital.

Police today released images of two men they believe can assist them with their inquiries, and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

His mother, Rohini Devi, today made a tearful appeal for information about her son's attack. (You can read the full report HERE)
***** As early as May this year there had been many reports of racist assaults on foreign students including at least eight Indian students who were attacked in the month of May 2008 in Melbourne alone.

According to the news.com.au website, seventeen foreign students have died in Victoria in the past year from boarding home fires, murders, car crashes and drowning.

These incidents were well publicised and the serious risks involved in being out alone late at night is common knowledge. Vicious assaults especially in Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) are common after dark and police have issued warnings about walking alone at night. Therefore one must ask why this young man was so foolish in venturing out at the unearthly time of 2.50am?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is Malaysia Protecting Thai Insurgents?

From Bangkok Post, Breaking News
The government of Malaysia knows that extremists from southern Thailand have crossed the border to take refuge in Malaysia, media reported from that country on Wednesday.

Last week, Thai authorities said three insurgents had fled into Malaysia to try to hide among either extremist sympathisers or the general Malaysian population.

The New Straits Times quoted "sources" in the border town of Kota Baru as saying authorities "are aware of the presence of several suspected Thai militants" in the upper east coast provinces of Kelantan and Terengganu.

Both provinces have many residents who are sympathetic to the separatist demands of the Thailand-based insurgents and terrorists.

"Sources said the authorities had been monitoring these groups for the past few years but had yet to take any action against them as they were living here legitimately and had not committed any offence," said the national newspaper.

"The men are also believed to have dual identity cards."

Earlier reports said three religious teachers known as ustaz and four other Thai men had fled to Malaysia to escape arrest in connection with a series of bombings in the deep South.

"Kelantan police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi declined to comment on the matter, saying that it was a sensitive issue," according to the reports on Wednesday.
***** The unsaid implication of the above report is that Malaysia is stirring shit in Thailand by siding with terrorists. As a fellow ASEAN member could we possibly be participating in such an unneighbourly act? Let's not forget that we are a 'model Islamic nation' which had never encouraged or had a hand in spreading terrorism. Or have we?
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Allegations Of Abuse Of Power By 6 Police Officers In The Award Of Nearly RM98 Mln Contract

The Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) Tuesday claimed it received documents alleging abuse of power by six police officers pertaining to award of contracts worth nearly RM98 million.

MCPF executive council member Tan Sri Robert Phang said the documents, received on Wednesday, showed abuse of power in the award of contracts involving the police's logistics department during the 12th general election.

"I will hand over the document to the Anti-Corruption Agency tomorrow for further action," he told a news conference.

He said he would also extend copies to Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Home Ministry's Secretary-General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

Asked who sent him the documents, Phang said, he did not know the person as the sender's name was not stated in the documents and the address used was non-existent.

Transparency International Malaysia President Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said the allegations were serious and should be investigated to safeguard the credibility of the police force. (Bernama)

***** How many more
cases of abuse of power and outright corruption must be revealed before Pak Lah wakes up and smells the kopi Tongkat Ali? It's a terrible disgrace.
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Doubts Over Anwar Sodomy Charge After Disclosure Of Medical Report

From The Malay Mail
Doctor Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, the newest player in the second Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy scandal, has triggered a sequel that has sparked off another round of confusion.

A medical report attributed to the doctor of Hospital Pusrawi that claims that Anwar's accuser, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, was not sodomised and, now, his sudden 'disappearance' are taking centrestage this time around.

At Press time, the whereabouts of Dr Mohamed Osman, a Myanmar Muslim, was not known. His employer, Hospital Pusrawi (Pusat Rawatan Islam), said he was on leave. His 'disappearance' is being likened to that of private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, who was hired by one of the accused in the murder trial of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribu.

P.I. Bala disappeared after making two conflicting statutory declarations that fuelled speculation, leaving a trail of accusations and denials.

Barely 24 hours after making public the first statutory declaration in which he alleged that police had omitted vital information in the Altantuya case, P.I.Bala made an about-turn and withdrew parts of it.

Police had said there were three likely possibilities for Bala's disappearance: he could be hiding out of fear; he does not want to co-operate in investigations; or he has been 'forced' to go into hiding by certain parties.

Transparency International Malaysia president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said that in the wake of the latest developments the police should expedite investigations into Dr Mohamed Osman's "revelations" to clear the air. "The matter is getting out of hand as there are so many conflicting reports. The authorities must come clean on this," he said.

Institute of Public Relations Malaysia president Datuk Hamdan Adnan said police should either drop the case against Anwar or charge the so-called victim if there was truth in the doctor's report. "There are too many question marks in the case," he said, adding the authorities should resolve the matter soon.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar told Malay Mail that contrary to speculation, Dr Mohamed Osman was never "arrested" but was only interviewed for a short while.

He said that police recorded his statement but that it was untrue that they had detained him for three days. "Many things have been said and reported that are not true," he said, adding that "police have been very transparent and professional in handling this case".

Asked why Anwar was arrested even after a statement from Dr Mohamed Osman had already been taken, Ismail declined comment, saying investigations are ongoing.

Ismail was reported as saying police were considering investigating a "news website and a blog over their reports".

Online news portal Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today had reported that there was no evidence that Saiful was sodomised, according to Dr Mohamed Osman who examined him for four hours before he lodged a police report alleging he was sexually assaulted by Anwar, the de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader.

Saiful, Anwar's former aide, is said to have gone to two different hospitals on June 28, the day he lodged the police report claiming that he was sodomised by his ex-boss.

He first went to Hospital Pusrawi at Jalan Tun Razak about 2pm, complaining of 'tenesmus', a medical term for difficulty and pain in passing motion. He had alleged he was assaulted by the intrusion of a piece of "plastic" in the anus. He was examined by Dr Mohamed Osman, the medical officer on duty.

It was reported that Dr Mohamed Osman, in his medical report which was recorded at 2.14pm, found "zero active bleeding", "zero ulcer or pus", "zero tear and scar" in Saiful's anus.

In his report's concluding remarks, he advised Saiful to go to a government hospital so as "to rule out" assault and sodomy.

At 6pm that day, Saiful went to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for his second medical examination. He subsequently lodged a report against Anwar at the hospital police beat base.

Malaysiakini reported that the police had recorded statements from Dr Mohamed Osman after Saiful lodged the report against Anwar.

The doctor was said to be under tremendous stress as a result of the police interrogation over a number of days and was advised by the hospital to take leave.
***** What a reputation the Malaysian government is garnering these days internationally. This so-called 'model democratic Islamic nation' is now plumbing the depths of incredulity by foisting bogus charges against a potential political threat.

After the current revelation that the medical examination showed no evidence of anal penetration, thereby rendering the accusation of sodomy specious at best, the government through their hatchet job specialists in the police force are trying to rewrite facts and by hook or by crook prove the unprovable.

The government should take heed that the people are watching their machinations carefully and there will be hell to pay the next time general elections are held. Those who have raped and sodomised the nation don't deserve to be trusted with political power.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

PPP's Kavyeas Goes One Up On Nik Aziz - Suggests Dissolution Of BN Component Parties, Formation Of New BN Party

The People's Progressive Party (PPP) has suggested that all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties be dissolved and a new BN party be formed.

PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said the proposal by PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat that PAS and Umno be dissolved was a logical proposal but it needed to be extended to all BN component parties.

"In Malaysia, there is no need to have several parties, just have a BN party, and Pakatan Rakyat, and PPP agrees with the proposal by 'Tok Guru' (Nik Aziz)," he told reporters Monday.

Three days ago in Machang, Nik Aziz, who is also Kelantan menteri besar, proposed that PAS and Umno be dissolved and a single party based on Islam be formed.

Kayveas said the PAS-Umno merger would only solve Malay unity and the issue of Islam but a BN party would resolve inter-racial and inter-religious issues, as well.

On DAP's dissatisfaction with PAS' proposal for Umno and PAS to dissolve and form one party, Kayveas suggested that the DAP merge with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and form a new party. (Bernama)

***** While on paper the idea is a good one, whether it is practical is another question. In any case what possible difference can it make if the BN is dissolved and then a virtual clone is recreated? A better move, as daring and risky as it may seem, would be to form a brand new BN WITHOUT Umno. I'm sure that there will be more moderate Malay groups who could eventually fill the gaping hole left behind by Umno's exclusion. Food for thought.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Total Disregard For PM & Cabinet - Terengganu Exco Member Drives To JB Flora Fest In New Mercedes

A Terengganu state executive councillor arrived to attend the Flora Fest 2008 at Johor Baru today in one of the new Mercedes Benz cars the Terengganu government had bought to replace its fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executive official cars.

Datuk Za'abar Mohd Adib, Chairman of the State Tourism and Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee, was questioned by reporters on the use of the car which, along with the other 13 Mercedes Benz cars, was to be used only for guests of the Terengganu government.

"I feel the issue has been overblown," he said, adding that he would leave the matter to Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said to make a decision.

He said the issue would be discussed at the next meeting of the state executive council.

Za'abar had used the Mercedes car for the first time last Wednesday when he came to Kuala Lumpur to attend a meeting of the Terengganu state executive council held in the federal capital.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said on Friday that Terengganu could keep the Mercedes Benz E200 Kompressor cars it had bought for RM3.43 million but use them only for guests of the state government.

The Terengganu government had bought the Mercedes Benz cars to replace the Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars which it said were too costly to maintain. (Bernama)

***** So much for Pak Lah's directive. This bugger in Terengganu, Za'abar knows full well that nothing will come out of complaining about him to the PM. The whole issue looks like a financial misadventure followed up by a cosmetic 'investigation' and a 'firm' directive which is probably another sandiwara - "we'll close-one-eye if you guys let the whole thing blow over for now and later you can use these Mercs as you like".

Well whatever may be the reality, it is still an act of total disrespect to the PM and the Cabinet for Za'abar to use the vehicle in blatant contravention of the directive. Will Pak Lah take action? Don't bet on it.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dissolve Umno & PAS, Form New Islam-Based Political Party, Says Nik Aziz. Will Umno Agree?

PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Saturday proposed the dissolution of both PAS and Umno and the setting up of a new Islam-based political party to unite the Malays and enable Islam to be the protective umbrella for all the people, including non-Muslims.

He said Islam fulfilled the objectives of all endeavours, including political struggle, and should form the basis of political parties seeking to uphold the true political struggle.

"Umno should dissolve, PAS should also dissolve. Set up another party on condition that it is based on Islam," he told reporters after opening the 37th "Muktamar" (meeting) of Kelantan PAS "Dewan Ulama" (Assembly of Muslim Scholars), here.

Nik Abdul Aziz, who is the Kelantan menteri besar, said there was no reason for Umno to reject the Islamic policies proposed by PAS because Islam stood for all the communities, including the non-Malays, in the country.

"Islam is for all the communities, not just the Malays ... the Chinese, Indians and Orang Putih (westerners) ... they have to be united under the umbrella of Islam," he said.

Islam would thus be able to regain strength in the country while forging closer links among the communities, including non-Muslims, he said. (Bernama)

***** This is the best suggestion to come from Tok Guru in a long time. In one statement he has put Umno's sincerity and seriousness to the test. He has firmly placed the ball in Umno's court and let's wait for the response. It'll be interesting to read all the excuses the Umno crowd will give over the next few days to distance themselves from this proposal.
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Indonesian Singer Inul Daratista's Concert Today Cancelled By DBKL For National Security Reasons!

Indonesian singer Inul Daratista's concert at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, on Saturday has been cancelled after Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) cancelled the permit.

Inul who is famous for her gelek gerudi (killer gyration) hip movements performed in the country last year as well as in 2005.

According to news reports, Nasir Abu Bakar of IMS Prima Sdn Bhd (the concert organiser) said that he was disappointed with the decision because the Central Committee for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artiste had given the green light for the event. "We received the directive from DBKL to cancel the concert due to national security. If that is the reason, there is nothing else I can say," he told the media.

Inul's concert in Johor Baru was also cancelled at the very last minute after it could not get approval from various government departments in the state.

Nasir said his company had incurred RM800,000 in losses following the cancellation of the concerts in Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

He said those who had purchased tickets to the concert could ask for refunds from the company's office at 63A, Jalan Raja Alang, Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, or call 03-2693 6818.

Two years ago, Inul's concert at Stadium Merdeka and Genting Highlands received overwhelming support without any untoward incidents.

On Friday, National PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub backed his Federal Territory Youth chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad’s protest against Inul's concert. A group led by Kamaruzaman handed a memorandum to Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan on Wednesday calling for Inul’s concert to be cancelled.

The memorandum cited many reasons including that the concert was “erotic”. (The Star Online)

***** What imminent 'national security threat' could have influenced DBKL in cancelling the performance, is mystifying to say the least.

Can a couple of dozen PAS mullahs venting their rage at the singer's 'erotic' gyrations be considered a national security issue? Or perhaps the current 'brotherly' discussions of political cooperation between PAS and beleaguered Umno have contributed to the scuttling of the programme? Perhaps Umno wants to appear equally halal, what with the ongoing tête-à-tête with the Islamic party.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

PM Okays Mercedes For Terengganu Government, Says MB

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has given his blessings to the state government to use the Mercedes E200 Kompressors as official cars.

Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said said this at a press conference here today.

A few days earlier the Terengganu state government had defended the purchase of 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressor cars at RM3.43mil for the use of its state executive councillors and senior officials.

Ahmad Said had said that the state government had planned to purchase the cars for 'a long time' to replace its Proton Perdana V6 Executive fleet in a move to cut cost.

The deputy prime minister had waded into the issue by saying that the cabinet, among others, would discuss whether the move was appropriate, while adding that "I'm using the national car and the prime minister too, is using the national car."

Given that statement what exceptional situation has made Ahmad Said so special to be given the 'PM's blessings'? It in fact sets a very bad precedent and the PM should have been more careful in allowing the state government to get away with this financial misadventure.

Even at this critical juncture in Pak Lah's career he seems unable to display any leadership qualities, especially the political will to take an unpopular decision against a fellow umnoputera.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

BN Must Take Care Of All, Regardless Of Race, Says Ong Ka Ting. Rather Late In The Day Isn't It?

Barisan Nasional must take care of all Malaysians with fairness regardless of their race, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

He said Umno should take into consideration the opinions of the Barisan component parties when having dialogues with other parties concerning the interests of all ethnic groups.

“Umno has a right to discuss with any party regarding the racial harmony and religious issues,” he said Thursday when asked to comment on the high-level meetings between Umno and PAS after chairing the party central committee meeting at Wisma MCA here.

When asked whether the MCA would hold dialogues with the DAP, Ong said:

“We are not having dialogues with DAP. We will have discussions for the benefit of the people with our component parties.”

On the party election, Ong reminded the candidates to comply with the party election rules and regulations.

He said stern action would be taken against those who were involved in immoral acts including money politics and violence during the campaign period.

“We want to have a clean, fair and democratic election,” he said, adding that the party state convention would start from Sept 7 in Johor and end Oct 12 in Perlis.

When asked whether he would endorse his brother Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan for the higher party posts, Ong said:

“As I said before, I will not interfere in the party election. Let us have a fair and democratic election,” he said. (The Star Online)

***** It's funny that now the various BN component parties like the MCA, MIC and Gerakan are down in the dumps, their leaders have surprisingly found their voices. People like OKT, Samy Vellu and Koh Tsu Koon who pretended to play dumb until their parties got walloped in the last GE, have now suddenly become fervent supporters of fair play and have on occasions even started 'advising' Umno. As if that's going to make any difference.
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No Chancellor, No Convocation, Three Years After Being Upgraded To University Status!


More than 1,800 graduates of Universiti Darul Iman Malaysia in Terengganu have yet to receive their scrolls or don their graduation robes even though some graduated three years ago, Kosmo! reported.

This is because the university has yet to hold a convocation ceremony since it was upgraded to university status three years go.

According to the report yesterday, students had been trying to ask the university when the convocation would be held but the staff did not seem to know.

In an immediate response, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Idris Haron gave his assurance that the convocation would be held once a chancellor was appointed.

“I am sure it will be held this year and we will not disappoint the graduates and deprive them of such an important day,” he said. (The Star)

***** Three years have passed since the upgrade to university status was announced and yet there has been no convocation and worse still, no chancellor! I wonder what the Education Minister has to say about this sad state of affairs?

It's all well and good to go around upgrading colleges to universities and creating new varsities in every nook and corner of the country. But if they do not perform or maintain the standard required, then it is incumbent upon the authorities to take appropriate action to remedy the situation.

Everyone knows that a lot of political wheeling and dealing goes into the setting-up of varsities without proper evaluation, but that will not change any time soon. If there are votes to be won by the ruling party in announcing university upgrades and the creation of new ones, you can bet your last ringgit that the government will continue to do so with gay abandon. So what if there is no chancellor or a convocation? The votes are more important than varsities that perform. 'Malaysia Boleh' comes to mind.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Umno's Quality Hits Rock Bottom -- Even Muhammad Muhd Taib Wants To Stand For Umno Vice-President

Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib today offered himself as a candidate for the Umno vice-presidency in the party election in December.

"I intend to strengthen the party in the face of new challenges, particularly in helping Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in regaining Umno's strength as the prime conduit in championing the Malay cause," he said at a media conference, here today.

Muhammad, who is also Umno information chief, said the party needed a working team who were sincere in championing the interest of the party and the future of the Malays, especially in improving the living condition of the rural Malays and the restructuring of society to take the Malays out from the clutches of poverty.

He said the task of the Umno leaders nowadays was to strengthen Malay unity at all levels, ensure that the Malays regained their economic and political strength.

Muhammad joins 15 other Umno leaders who have so far stated their intention to contest the vice-presidency. (Bernama)

***** Here is a guy who was caught red-handed with millions of dollars at an Australian airport, money he still cannot properly account for and he wants to take the Malays out from the clutches of poverty! Can you imagine what will happen to the country if Muhd 2X ever becomes the PM one day? The thought is frightening to say the least. But with almost every bugger from Umno vying for the top party posts being A-class crooks, the future looks very dim.

The irony however is that every one of these corrupt clowns claims to be fighting for power only for the sake of '
championing the Malay cause'. What a bunch of barefaced liars and hypocrites. Salvation for the nation must come from outside Umno. Enough is enough.

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Audit Dept Announces Austerity Measures. Don't Forget To Inform The Terengganu MB Too

The Audit Department wants its employees to lead by example and reduce spending, including cutting down on overtime.

Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang said apart from the directive on austerity measures announced by the Treasury last month, employees should also reduce the number of events and local and overseas travel.

“I also want all department heads to justify why we need to spend money for a particular purpose,” he said, adding that the department should only hold functions that were necessary.

Ambrin said overtime would only be allowed if the task had to be completed urgently and there must be a written request for it from the department head.

“Overseas travel for official work should also be limited to attending important international conferences or government-to-government meetings. Only three or fewer officers directly involved in the meetings would be allowed to attend,” he added.

He said department heads should also ensure funds allocated for projects were spent on schedule before the end of the year.

“There must be proper planning and supervision. We should not use the bunching method (where whatever monies left in the budget is used up just before the close of the financial year),” he said.

Ambrin said all purchase of vehicles, furniture and other office fittings and computers that had not been committed to would have to be deferred.

“Employees should also strictly abide by the earlier directive (from the Treasury) to reduce electricity, water and telephone usage,” he said, adding that employees should switch off lights when not in their rooms or when going out for lunch. (The Star Online)

***** Obviously these austerity measures have either not trickled down to Terengganu or the state government there could not be bothered, when it went ahead and purchased Mercedes Benz E200 Kompressor limousines to replace the current fleet of Proton Perdana V6 official cars.

After the questionable manner in which the pugnacious Menteri Besar came to take office in Terengganu, perhaps this is a way for him to keep his Umno comrades in good spirits.

In any case, austerity measures and belt-tightening strategies are for mere mortals and not for bangsa, agama dan negara berjuang-ing umnoputeras who firmly believe that they are deserving of such luxuries. Try arguing with them on this point and they'll fervently mention the NEP and the 'social contract' as their passport to unlimited entitlement and wealth, the country be damned.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

PAS Will Split Up If Muzakarah Is Held, Says Nik Aziz

PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Monday called for a stop to any muzakarah (discussions) between PAS and Umno as it could cause a split in the Islamic party.

He described the attempt by Umno to have the muzakarah purportedly to strengthen Malay solidarity as merely a gimmick aimed at causing the fall of PAS.

"I want to ask the PAS leaders (reported to have held talks with Umno) whether they are interested in safeguarding PAS and Islam. Trying to be friends with Umno is like "sleeping with the enemy," he told a press conference here Monday.

The Kelantan Menteri Besar was commenting on remarks by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Sunday that high-level talks had been taking place between Umno and PAS on matters relating to Malay unity and strengthening Islam.

Abdullah, however, said Nik Aziz was not among the PAS leaders in the talks.

Asked if he would be having a word with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and other leaders of the party who were for the muzakarah, Nik Aziz replied in the negative but said certain statements issued by them did not make him happy.

However, he denied that that he was no longer on the same "wavelength" with them but warned that if they were not careful, they would be taken on a "nice ride by Umno".

He added that it was best to let the grassroots decide on the muzakarah as PAS would be holding its muktamar (general assembly) very soon. (Bernama)

*****
Tok Guru is a man of great experience and wisdom. PAS would do itself a big favour by listening to him. He is absolutely right when he says that t
rying to be friends with Umno is like "sleeping with the enemy."

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Malaysia Inflation Rate May Have Reached 26-Year High

Malaysia's inflation rate may have reached a 26-year high after the government raised fuel prices, adding pressure on the nation's central bank to raise interest rates this week.

Consumer prices may climb 7 percent "or even higher'' this month after a similar gain in June, Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said today in Kuala Lumpur. That would be the fastest pace since January 1982, according to Malaysia's statistics department.

Neighboring Thailand and Indonesia have raised borrowing costs to offset the effect of soaring oil and food prices. A 41 percent increase in gasoline prices in June has kick-started price gains in Malaysia, where the central bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged since April 2006 to boost growth.

A "monetary policy response will be needed to set inflation expectations on the right course,'' said Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore. The situation is "clearly beyond the comfort zone of the central bank.''

Bank Negara Malaysia is due to announce its monetary policy decision in Kuala Lumpur on July 25. The overnight policy rate is currently 3.5 percent.

Still, price increases for this month and in June may be "one-off'' gains, Nor told reporters. Inflation for the year won't be more than 5 percent, he said.

"There's no reason to believe it will be repeated in following years,'' Nor said.

The minister said Malaysia's economic growth for 2008 should be about 5 percent, at the lower end of a 5 percent-to-6 percent range given by the central bank in March. (Bloomberg.com)
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IGP Files Defamation Suit Against Anwar Ibrahim

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan has filed a defamation suit against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over his police report alleging Musa and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail fabricated evidence in the “black-eye incident” in 1998.

The suit was filed Monday at the KL High Court civil division registry by Musa’s lawyers Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin and Hasnal Rezua Merian.

The IGP is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and an injunction to restrain Anwar from repeating the defamatory statements. (The Star Online)

***** The political situation in Malaysia is getting more interesting by the day. It's getting difficult to predict what will happen in a few hours, let alone a day.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Residents Say Proposed Bodhi Park Too Close To Housing Area

The Desa Alam Residents Association is objecting to the upcoming construction of the Bodhi Park in Section U12 here, claiming that it would be located too close to the residential area.

Its chairman, Ahmad Shakri Tarmuchi, handed a memorandum from the residents to Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan at the ground-breaking ceremony of Bodhi Park on Sunday.

The Bodhi Park is to be located on a 0.68-hectare site, and will comprise an auditorium, a centre for Buddhist research and studies, a multipurpose hall, and a main shrine for devotees. The project is undertaken by the Malaysian Buddhist Youth Foundation.

Ahmad Shakri told reporters the residents were not informed of the project by the City Council and there was no notice board at the site announcing the project from the time they had occupied the housing estate in December 2006.

Malaysian Buddhist Youth Foundation Director Goh Seng Chai told reporters the Bodhi Park was meant for Buddhist education as well as to guide youths who had strayed back to the right path.

He said the land for the project was bought from the Selangor Economic Development Corporation for RM95,844 and the sale-and-purchase agreement was signed in April 2004.

In the early 1990's, the foundation bought a 0.6-hectare piece of land in Section 24 for the project but the state government found it unsuitable for religious use and offered the alternative site in November 2002, he added.

Goh said the development order for the project was approved on April 24 this year and construction was scheduled to commence in September. (Bernama)

***** So we have this great plan called the Bodhi Park. It is for a good purpose and so far no fault can be found with the intentions of those who are behind it who have scrupulously followed the rules in obtaining permission to build the Park.

However there happens to be a teeny-weeny problem -- it is a Buddhist project and THAT in this intolerant country is a big no-no to some. As you must have noted above,
the state government found the original location unsuitable for religious use and offered the present site in November 2002. But now we have this gentleman by the name of Ahmad Shakri Tarmuchi who objects because it is too close to his house! How far away will be acceptable to him? 2, 200 or 2000 kilometers from Desa Alam? Sad.
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Anwar Ibrahim Revives Bid For Power Despite Arrest

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim toured Malaysia over the weekend in a bid to revive his ambitions of seizing power despite his arrest on sodomy allegations -- the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago, reports AFP.

Dressed in his trademark blue batik shirt, Anwar travelled to the government-held states of Malacca, Pahang and Johor to build support and momentum after last week's explosive events, when he spent a night in police custody over the accusations levelled by a 23-year-old male aide.

"The government knows that if not for these sodomy allegations, I would be on my way into parliament by now," he told a crowd of more than 5,000 conservative Muslim supporters in Jasin, a village near the tourist town of Malacca.

"I tell you now that I will be contesting in a by-election," he told the crowd, to yells of "Allahu akbar" or "God is greater."

A return to parliament would be the next step in the political rehabilitation of Anwar, who was sacked as deputy premier in 1998 and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.

The sex conviction was overturned, but the corruption count barred him from public office until April.

The Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance, fired up by Anwar's charismatic presence, made unprecedented gains in March general elections, leaving it just 30 seats short of ousting the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has ruled since independence from Britain a half-century ago.

Anwar's latest crisis, which he says has been fabricated by the government, has been a distraction from his plan to form a new administration with the help of defecting coalition lawmakers.

But he told the crowds on his post-arrest roadshow that he was making progress nevertheless. "I will shortly be ready to announce four BN MPs who will join the Pakatan Rakyat. It will happen very soon," he said.

Anwar had agreed to be questioned Wednesday over the new sodomy allegations brought by Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who said he was assaulted at a luxury condo.

But just an hour before he was due to appear, a team of balaclava-clad police commandos picked him up and took him to Kuala Lumpur police headquarters. He was released on police bail until August 18, but could still be charged with sodomy -- which in predominantly Muslim Malaysia is a serious offence with a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.

Analysts said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government could be forced onto the defensive by the allegations, which one survey found are widely disbelieved by Malaysians who have lost faith in the justice system.

"Anwar is trying to capitalise on a tactical weakness of the police and government," said Tricia Yeoh, head of the Centre for Public Policy Studies. "If they charge him in court on the sodomy allegations, he will get more sympathy and support from the public. And if they let him go, he will be vindicated and it will be a victory for the opposition," she said.

Anwar is also seizing on a largely unpopular 41 percent fuel price hike introduced last month, saying he would lower pump prices immediately if he comes to power.

"Don't let these baseless accusations about me distract you from what is most important, how to bring down the high prices of oil and food which have devastated the people," he told an enthusiastic crowd in the small Malaccan village of Cheng on Friday night.

More than a thousand ethnic Chinese supporters, including old men with walking sticks and young girls in cheongsams, turned up to hear him speak in a sign of the multi-ethnic appeal that he enjoys in Malaysia, which is home to large ethnic Indian and Chinese minorities.

"Keadilan (Anwar's party) did not win very big here in the last elections," said 44-year-old villager Choong Hai Sung as blue-and-red Keadilan flags fluttered from wooden houses. But the recent hikes and indifference of the local authorities to our problems mean that we have to now shift our support," he said.

"I know that subsidies are bad but we are going through bad times and Anwar's plans seem like the best option now."

***** Where all this is leading to and how it will end is anyone's guess. But it is good to see the BN and especially Umno on the defensive. The sodomy charge merely reflects their desperation. As it stands Umno hasn't changed its dirty politics or racist mantra and is very unlikely to. Will Anwar make meaningful changes to the lives of all Malaysians? It's a gamble that many apparently are willing to take.

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Malaysia: Secret Plans Revealed To Submerge Penan Villages

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

A secret document accidentally posted on the internet reveals plans to build a series of massive hydroelectric dams in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, submerging the homes of at least a thousand Penan, Kelabit and Kenyah tribal people.

The
document is a presentation by the managing director of the company Sarawak Energy Berhad, and gives the location of twelve proposed hydroelectric power projects to be constructed between now and 2020. Sarawak Energy Berhad controls the production and distribution of electricity within the state.

The dams would submerge several Penan, Kelabit and Kenyah villages, displacing at least a thousand people. One dam would also submerge part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Mulu National Park.

The dams are projected to produce far more electricity than Sarawak uses.

The Penan have been fighting for twenty years to prevent logging companies, including the Malaysian timber giant Samling, from cutting down their forests. But the companies, with the backing of the Malaysian government, have devastated much of the tribe’s land.

The Penan are nomadic hunter-gatherers. Many have now been settled, but continue to rely very much on the forest for their existence. About 300 still live a completely nomadic life.

The Sarawak Energy Berhad presentation was posted on a Chinese website and has now been removed.

To download the presentation and a map of the proposed dam sites from Survival’s website, click HERE

***** Long-term, careful planning for the future by the government or total disregard for the lives of fellow human beings and the handiwork of pure greed to enrich some umnoputeras? The choice is yours.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Anwar's Sodomy Charge Trumped-up, Says Wall Street Journal

From The Wall Street Journal
The last time Malaysian democrat Anwar Ibrahim was prosecuted on a trumped-up sodomy charge, we wrote that the government's "crude measures will exact a heavy price in terms of lost credibility." Ten years later, Malaysia's political leaders are repeating their mistakes.

On Wednesday, Mr. Anwar was picked up by men in ski masks and hauled to police headquarters. He was interrogated for six hours, stripped and asked to supply a DNA sample -- a request he refused. He spent the night on a concrete floor without furniture and was released on bail Thursday morning. Malaysian media report that the government is exploring ways to compel Mr. Anwar to give DNA.

Mr. Anwar's accuser -- his former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan -- is under police protection. It's not a stretch to imagine Mr. Anwar's DNA finding its way onto his clothes as "evidence," as that's the tactic the police used back in 1998. Mr. Anwar wryly noted at a press conference that, while he was stripped, the police measured his "necessary parts." That kind of detail would be helpful in a show trial.

Ten years ago then-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar was falsely convicted of sodomy and jailed for six years. His conviction was overturned by the high court in 2004. A conviction for abuse of power stood, and Mr. Anwar did not become eligible for political office again until April. Today, he leads the political opposition and is on a path to the premiership.

The same cast of characters from 1998 are in positions of influence today. The inspector general of police, Musa Hassan, was the lead investigating officer into Mr. Anwar's 1998 case, and Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail was the lead prosecutor. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak competed with Mr. Anwar for the leadership of the United Malays National Organization in the 1990s. Then, as now, Mr. Anwar's popularity is a threat to the deputy PM's political future.

Home Minister Syed Hamid called the arrest "not a political move," while others have suggested that Mr. Anwar has nothing to fear from a "fair" trial. Malaysia's state-run media have fallen into line, too. One headline in the New Straits Times reads: "Trust in the authorities needed to restore calm."

But it's trust in the system that's lacking here. Given Mr. Anwar's judicial treatment the last time around, it is difficult to believe he would get a fair trial. His arrest is likely to stimulate more support for his cause of a more democratic and free Malaysia. The government obtained a court order barring Mr. Anwar and the public from going within five kilometers of Parliament on Monday, the day he was planning to attend a key debate.

Malaysia's democracy has come a long way since 1998, when Mahathir Mohamad was Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has introduced a number of reforms, including in the judiciary. Malaysia's democratic institutions -- and Mr. Abdullah's credibility -- are now threatened by his government's treatment of Mr. Anwar.
***** What a damning indictment of our leaders, the police and the legal system. Pak Lah should move very carefully on this issue, lest our reputation as a 'democratic' nation be further tarnished worldwide.

Update on Anwar's treatment at the hospital: Anwar not made to strip naked, says HKL director

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Kelantan District Council Prevents Muslims From Watching Taoist Temple Show

Organisers of a concert held as part of the celebrations at a small Taoist temple in Pasir Mas, Kelantan were told to “cover up” so that the shows were only watched by non-Muslims.

Apparently, some Muslim men and women had been seen among the audience on Tuesday, the first night of the two-day concert with male and female artistes, and the district council was informed about it.

On Wednesday night, the council sent officers to prevent Muslims from watching the shows and told the organisers to put up a curtain to block the view of passers-by.

The event, to celebrate the birthday of the Gods, was held with an outdoor community concert organised by members of the Tao Tin Hu Keng Association.

MCA vice-president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, who was here for another function, said some people would interpret the action of the council as distasteful as it was only a two-day religious festival.

He said many such events were held at temples previously and no action were taken by the authorities.

In the incident, although the organisers received a permit, the local council found that they were flouting guidelines by allowing Muslims to view performances by female artistes, some of whom were “sexily” dressed.

Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the guidelines on outdoor performances clearly stated that female artistes were barred from performing. He said that although the concert was within the temple compound, it was held in an open space where others could watch.

He said any permit given by the local authorities were subjected to the same bylaws and should be respected by all.

State Gerakan chairman Datuk Ng Chiang Chin, whose house is in front of the temple, said it was the second time that a religious celebration at a temple was disrupted. (The Star Online)

***** Umno and PAS -- Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

More good news from religiously and morally outstanding Malaysia. This time from Johor:
Malaysian state bans Indonesian singer over risque performance

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Women-Only Waterfall Planned For Terengganu

A conservative Malaysian state will establish a waterfall site exclusively for women to picnic and bathe, to attract Middle Eastern tourists to holiday there, a report said.

Terengganu state's chief minister said the initiative was prompted by requests from Middle Eastern countries, whose strict Islamic practices prohibit women from bathing in the presence of men.

'We are still looking for the appropriate site. Only women can patronise that area, no men would be allowed,' Mr Ahmad Said told the Star daily on Friday.

'Tourists from certain West Asian countries are also keen for us to establish an exclusive picnic site for women,' he said.

The state on Malaysia's east coast, lapped by the waters of the South China Sea, is a popular tourist destination for its white sand beaches, turtle sanctuaries and waterfall sites.

Muslim Malaysians, who make up the majority of the multi-ethnic population, often swim at the beach or waterfalls, with women typically fully clothed in long pants and dark blouses.

Mr Ahmad said there were also plans to employ an all-women team to manage the site, including female security guards.

Malaysia's thriving tourism industry has seen a sharp rise in the number of big-spending tourists coming from the Middle East in recent years, attracted by the tropical country's Islamic image.

The tourism ministry is eyeing 400,000 tourists from Middle Eastern countries this year, state Bernama news agency reported citing tourism officials.

In 2007, Arab tourists contributed about US$500 million (S$676 million) to the total tourism revenue. (The Straits Times, Singapore)

***** To each his own.
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Malaysia's First Man In Space, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar To Be Honoured With Datukship

The country's first man in space, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al-Masrie will be bestowed the Darjah Setia Negeri Sembilan (DSNS) award which carries the title "Datuk" by the Yang Di-Pertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Ja'afar in conjunction with the state ruler's 86th birthday celebration on Saturday.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, who made history when he blasted into space with Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko and commander Peggy Wilson from the United States in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on Oct 10 last year, will receive his award from Tuanku Ja'afar at the Istana Besar, Seri Menanti, on Saturday.

The 36-year-old orthopaedic surgeon returned to Earth after spending 11 days at the International Space Station.

The Mentri Besar's office released the first list of recipients on Friday morning and the second and third instalments were expected to be out in stages. (The Star Online)

***** Our congratulations to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar on being bestowed the high award.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Treat Anwar With Respect, Says Najib

Police must treat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the degree of decorum and respect that he deserves so that the people are assured that the police are acting appropriately, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

When asked if the police's manner of handling Anwar's arrest reflected badly on Malaysia in the eyes of the world, Najib said: "As long as the police follow the procedures. They must be very particular about following the procedure and necessary protocol. And we should be transparent so that there will be no apprehension about what the police are doing."

Asked if it was necessary for the Special Ops Units to wear balaclavas when arresting Anwar on Wednesday, he said the Government did not give any instruction to the police on how they should conduct the arrest.

On why Anwar was arrested an hour before he was to report himself to the police, Najib said the police had already explained this. "Does it make so much difference, another half an hour, 45 minutes?", he asked. (The Star Online)

***** One can infer by his statement that the DPM is distancing himself from the unfortunate way in which Anwar was arrested. It is highly probable he didn't have a hand in that decision. In fact I wonder if the top political leadership actually gave the approval for such a hurried police action which logically could have waited another hour for Anwar to turn himself in.

It was a public relations disaster to say the least and our nation had its image further tarnished worldwide yesterday. I doubt if Pak Lah or Syed Hamid were party to the police move.
No sane minister could have made such a decision. Only an unthinking nitwit of a politician could have allowed it. Nazri would have permitted such an action if he had a say but he's too embroiled in parliamentary wheeling and dealing and doesn't have the required authority to compel the thugs in blue.

It looks more like the handiwork of the top goons in the police force who want to flex their muscles. After all they have a big stake in keeping Anwar on the defensive and prevent his rise to power. Many police heads would role if the PKR adviser were to assume the PM's post and the top cops know it.

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Raja Petra Arrested

From The Star Online
Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was arrested Thursday morning under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation, and is now on the way to the Jalan Duta Courts to be charged.

The charge was being made over his June 18 statutory declaration on the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

In the declaration, Raja Petra claimed to have knowledge that two lieutenant-colonels and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were present when Altantuya's body was blown up on Oct 19, 2006.
***** News has just come in that Raja Petra has been charged in the KL High Court and he has refused to enter a plea, claiming that the charge was mala fide. Deputy public prosecutor Anselm Charles Fernandis appeared for the prosecution before magistrate Nazran Mohd Sham while Raja Petra was represented by counsel J.Chandra.

Yesterday Anwar, today Raja Petra. I wonder whose turn it will be tomorrow?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Anwar Arrested

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived at the city police headquarters here at 1.15pm in a white Pajero after being arrested by the police.

His lawyer Sankara Nair said Anwar was arrested by the police near his house and taken to the police headquarters.

His wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Anwar called her from the police car and asked her to go home to look after the children.

The police had on Tuesday given Anwar a 2pm deadline to answer allegations of sodomy.

Anwar was at the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) headquarters in Putrajaya earlier Wednesday. He left the ACA headquarters at 12.10pm, saying he was satisfied with the ACA's line of questioning.

He said the ACA had not completed its interview, but he had to cut it short to make his 2pm appointment with the police to answer questions over the sodomy allegation made against him.

The former deputy prime minister said he had produced all the information required, but there just wasn't enough time. "If I am arrested, I guess the ACA can do their follow-up interview at the lock-up," the de facto opposition leader joked.

Anwar had arrived at the ACA headquarters at about 10am over the reports he had lodged against the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney-General (A-G).

He was accompanied by his lawyers and a group of PKR supporters.

In his report lodged on July 1, Anwar had alleged that IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan and A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had fabricated evidence in the “black eye” investigation in 1999. Musa was the investigating officer and Abdul Gani led the prosecution in the case in which Anwar had been beaten up by the IGP then, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor.

Musa and Abdul Gani were questioned by the ACA on July 11.

On June 28, his 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan had lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sodomised him. (The Star Online)

***** On the face of it the arrest at 1.15pm seems like an absurd move on the part of the police. After all Anwar had till 2pm to give his statement to the cops. But then again we do not know all the facts yet.

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