Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Racial Quotas In Malaysia: Grim Warning For America

By Jared Taylor

Over the course of several trips to the South East Asian country of Malaysia I have been struck by how similar Malaysia’s race relations are to America’s—despite the obvious enormous differences. The official Malaysian policy of dispensing privileges by race may even be a warning of what the future may hold if our current policies and demographic trends continue.

Malaysia is about 60 percent Malay, 25 percent Chinese, and 8 percent Indian. In the 19th century, the British colonial government found that the native Malays did not want to work in tin mines or on rubber plantations, so they imported people who did: Tamils from India. The British also worried that smart Chinese immigrants would dominate the country. They therefore deliberately steered business to Malays and recruited them for government jobs. They feared—rightly as it turned out—that Malays would turn ugly if they thought Chinese were getting too far ahead. The British wanted Malays to keep getting a leg up even after independence in 1957, so when they drafted a constitution for the new country, they included Article 153 specifically to "safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives" through relatively mild preferences in education, the civil service and business licenses.

The races rubbed along without too much friction until 1969. That year, Chinese political parties nearly upset the ruling Malay coalition and held a victory parade through Malay neighborhoods in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. The Malays didn’t like Chinese flaunting their power, and rioted, killing hundreds of Chinese. [Race War In Malaysia, Time Magazine, May. 23, 1969]

Violence works. The government responded with a new, stronger pro-Malay preferences program called the New Economic Policy (NEP), designed to increase the Malay share of national wealth. It is also known as the Bumiputra Program, from a Malay word that means "son of the soil" or "native."

All Malaysians are officially divided into bumiputras, who get preferences, and non-bumiputras, who don’t. "Bumis" must be Muslim Malay stock, though they need not be from Malaysia. This means an immigrant from Indonesia gets preferences over Indians or Chinese who have been in Malaysia for generations. Some of the specifics of the NEP are that Malays get a 60 percent quota at universities, discounts on real estate, and a guaranteed 30 percent of all new issues on the Malaysian stock market. The civil service became a bumi reserve, companies owned by non-bumis were barred from government contracts, and it became even harder for Indians and Chinese to get business licenses. The NEP set aside millions of dollars to pay for overseas training for Malay students and executives.

The Bumiputra Program does not take class into consideration, so the children of Malay millionaires get the inside track on boardroom posts, overseas scholarships, business licenses and plum government jobs. Minorities don’t like the system, but there is little they can do in a country that is majority Malay.

Read the whole report HERE

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Gerakan Mulls Quitting BN If Umno's Racist Policies Not Curbed

A predominantly ethnic Chinese party threatened Monday to desert Malaysia's ruling coalition if it does not curb racial discrimination, just weeks after another minority party quit amid growing dissent in the government.

Leaders of the Gerakan party estimate more than half their members want the party to leave Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's National Front coalition, largely due to frustrations regarding policies linked to racial issues, said party vice president Teng Hock Nan.

Abdullah has been struggling to keep the 13-party coalition together after it performed poorly in March general elections. The coalition retained power with less than its longtime two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded five of Malaysia's 13 states to the opposition.

Gerakan has two lawmakers in parliament, and while the National Front would not lose its parliamentary majority if the party quit, the move would be a massive blow to morale — and could prompt more parties to desert the coalition.

Officials in Gerakan, which lost control of the northern industrial Penang state, believe leaving the National Front is "one of the options" if the coalition is "not willing to initiate drastic changes," particularly to curb racial discrimination, Teng said.

Minority leaders accuse the Malay Muslim-dominated government of neglecting their communities in economic, social and religious policies. Discontent over issues such as an affirmative action program for Malays spurred minorities to vote for the opposition in March.

Earlier this month, the Sabah Progressive Party, a small, largely ethnic Chinese party, deserted the National Front to become independent because of disenchantment with Abdullah's leadership.

Gerakan Secretary General Chia Kwang Chye said party officials are likely to discuss the possibility of leaving the coalition at their annual congress on Oct. 11. Teng said the party has set no deadline for a decision, adding that it has no immediate plans to join opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance.

The National Front, dominated by Abdullah's United Malays National Organization, has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957. It has been in turmoil for months amid persistent demands by many government members for Abdullah's resignation.

Coalition officials have also been jittery amid Anwar's claim that he has persuaded scores of government lawmakers to defect in a bid to topple Abdullah's administration. The ruling party has indicated Abdullah may step down by March and hand power to his deputy, Najib Razak. (International Herald Tribune)

***** Better late than never. The leaders in Gerakan who have the courage should get together and negotiate an exit as soon as possible. They should not listen to the opinion of people like Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who if he has his way would keep on grovelling at the feet of umnoputeras until he decides to retire or quit as party leader.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Poll Result: Majority of Chinese, Indians Support Anwar, While Malays Favour Najib. Not Surprising

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim would make a better prime minister than Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's deputy, Mr Najib Razak, said the Malaysian Insider, citing a poll by Merdeka Centre.

Results of the poll, based on 1,002 people of voting age from the country's three main ethnic communities, showed that 39.3 per cent supported Mr Anwar and 33.8 per cent favoured Mr Najib.

The online newspaper said, according to a Bloomberg report, that a majority of Indians and Chinese supported Mr Anwar while Malays favoured Mr Najib. The poll was conducted from Sept 11 - 22.

Mr Abdullah has delayed a leadership election at the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and said he will decide in the next two weeks whether to contest the position of party chief. (Straits Times, Singapore)

***** Not a very surprising finding actually. Those who got shafted for the past few decades have placed their trust on hope and change, while those who got spoonfed from cradle to grave have sided with the status quo. So what else is new?

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Illegals Gain Citizenship; Sabahans Lose Theirs'

The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) on Friday demanded that the National Registration Department (NRD) undo its mistake of turning a Sabahan Bumiputra into a Permanent Resident.

Its Deputy President Datuk Seri Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing said what had happened to 78-year-old Yong Lee Hua @ Piang Lin, a Sino-Kadazan, was simply outrageous and warrants Upko seriously reviewing its position in the Barisan Nasional if found to be not just an isolated case.

"How can this happen to a Malaysian citizen who was born here and holding a Native Certificate to prove her citizenship," he said.

He said that if the NRD had committed a genuine mistake, it should have reverted Yong's new status back to a Malaysian citizen right away.

"If the department had purposely committed the atrocious act, they must undo its gross mistake," he said, adding it is sending a bad signal across the nation, particularly to genuine citizens.

"Illegal immigrants can easily acquire MyKads that subsequently enable them to purchase Native Title (NT) lands.

"What is happening with the NRD? This is totally unacceptable. And if this is the tip of the iceberg, I'm afraid we cannot guarantee protection to the genuine citizens," he said.

He said if the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government is not willing to look into this matter as well as into how illegal immigrants could mysteriously acquire Malaysian Identity Cards, Upko will take up the matter and fight for the people.

"If the NRD or government has no satisfactory answer, I strongly urge Upko to seriously review its position in the BN because an identification document is a very important matter as it shows their sense of belonging."

Bumburing said if the NRD is unable to handle Yong's case, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar must intervene.

Yong's life had been turned upside down as a result of the NRD oversight and incompetence. Her nightmare began when she lost her IC at a Supermarket at Penampang Baru on Feb. 12. On the same day, she lodged a police report and subsequently on Feb 26, applied for a replacement IC at the NRD office in Donggongon.

After several months, she went and collected her replacement IC at the NRD office and was given a red IC. She asked the officer why it was red and the lady officer said for senior citizens who lost their IC, the department normally replaced them with red ICs. She didn't find anything amiss with the officer's explanation until she reached home when her children said red ICs were issued to people with Permanent Resident status.

With the help of her children, they brought the matter up with the NRD together with supporting documents such as her Native Certificate that was issued by the Native Court on Sept 24, 1963, bank books and passport.

The NRD officer admitted there could have been an error but instead of rectifying it, Yong was asked to "apply for Malaysian citizenship" which she duly complied by submitting an application form to the office on July 2, last year.

Her problem did not end there because soon after, her bank accounts at Amanah Saham Nasional and Alliance Bank were frozen making her unable to withdraw money for her daily expenses.

Fluent in Kadazan and Chinese, the mother of seven sons and one daughter can no longer travel outside the country as she could not renew her expired passport.

Strangely, she was allowed to cast her vote at Peak Nam Thong Kindergarten during the recent Mar 8 general elections using her driving licence as identity document since her record in the polling list was still intact.

But her identification records at the Immigration Department, however, had completely "disappeared".

Everywhere Yong goes now, she only uses her driving licence as proof of identity because she is too embarrassed with her predicament. She now feared that her "new status" would have serious repercussion on her sons and daughter.

Resource Development and Information Technology Assistant Minister, Donald Peter Mojuntin who helped highlight Yong's case, said if it could happen to her, the children's citizenship could also be withdrawn.

"There has never been a case like this before when genuine Malaysians had their citizenship cancelled. If this can happen to her, it can happen to anybody (Malaysians)," he said.

As Upko Bureau Chief for Citizenship and Security, the Moyog Assemblyman said he would be pursuing the matter with Sabah NRD Director and also with the Home Minister.

He said that for the NRD to admit their mistake and then asking Yong to reapply for citizenship is simply illogical. (Daily Express, Malaysia)

***** Only in Malaysia. And our civil service blokes get upset if they don't get a big enough bonus! There is not only an element of incompetence here, you can be sure that there's a whole load of racism behind the debacle.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Umno General Assembly Postponed To March, Says PM. Will Decide By October 9 On Defending His Post

The Umno general assembly has been postponed to March next year, party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

Abdullah, who chaired a special Umno supreme council meeting here Friday morning, however, said that the Umno divisional elections would go an as scheduled from Oct 9 to Nov 9.

The Umno division general assembly was earlier slated for Dec 16 to 20.

Pak Lah also added that the 2010 handover deadline is no longer firm and that he will decide before October 9 if he will defend the Umno president's post.

The meeting at the PWTC centred on the issue of the transition of power between party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib.

It was speculated that the meeting would discuss an early transition plan and the the possibility of party polls being postponed to June.

It's obvious that some sort of compromise has been achieved and the details of what exactly transpired at the meeting would be out soon. But the initial feeling is that Pak Lah is being clearly shown the door and elbowed out of office

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Singapore Still Least Corrupt Country In Asia. Malaysia Mediocre As Usual

Just like last year, Singapore has been ranked the fourth least corrupt country in a global corruption survey.

It also retains its status as Asia's least corrupt country on the Corruption Perceptions Index, released yesterday by Transparency International (TI).

Conducted annually by the Berlin-based non-governmental corruption watchdog, the index studies the level of public sector corruption in 180 countries and ranks them according to scores. A score of 10 indicates highly clean and 0 means highly corrupt.

It defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain and measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians.

In this year's index, Singapore scores 9.2, behind joint-leaders Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand, all of which obtained a 9.3 score. At the other end are Somalia (1.0), Iraq and Myanmar (1.3) and Haiti (1.4).

Asian economies which placed significantly are Hong Kong (12th), Japan (18th), Taiwan (39th), South Korea (40th) and Malaysia (47th).

Last year, Singapore was ranked joint-fourth with Sweden, behind Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. It came in fifth from 2003 to 2006.

Dr Johann Graf Lambsdorff of the University of Passau in Germany, who draws up the index, said Singapore's long tradition of strong oversight is an example for best practices in Asia.

Mr Liao Ran, TI's senior programme coordinator for East and South Asia, said factors contributing to Singapore's ranking included a strong commitment from political leaders; education, which has bred a culture of integrity among citizens; a sound and comprehensive legal framework; and an effective anti-corruption agency.

TI said the index continues to show there is a link between corruption and poverty. It also underlines the benefits of fighting corruption.

'Evidence suggests that an improvement in the index by one point increases capital inflows by 0.5 per cent of a country's gross domestic product and average incomes by as much as 4 per cent,' Dr Lambsdorff said.

TI also said the index shows that wealthy countries such as France and the United Kingdom, whose scores have slipped, need to step up their anti-corruption mechanisms.

Professor Neo Boon Siong, director of the Asia Competitiveness Institute of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said Singapore's fourth position was a significant achievement.

A good ranking helps attract investments as it makes doing business here more predictable and cheaper, he said.

As to whether Singapore can reach the top of the index, he said: 'The real difference among the top leaders is not very wide. The actual ranking itself is not the main issue, because being ranked among the top few is a clear recognition the country is corruption-free.'

The index is computed with data from 13 corruption-related polls and surveys carried out this and last year by institutions like the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. (Straits Times, Singapore)

***** Statements like
'strong commitment from political leaders, culture of integrity and an effective anti-corruption agency' are alien concepts to the ketuanan-obsessed mutton heads who rule Malaysia. No wonder the score is Singapore - 4, Malaysia - 47. Malaysia Boleh!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Direct Negotiations 'Soon' Between Anwar and Pak Lah, Says Tian Chua. Is This True?

From Reuters
Malaysia's opposition said on Tuesday it has opened talks with the government over the current political impasse but added it was still early to talk about a power transfer.

"We managed to break through in some discusssions through a third party and soon a direct negotiation will happen between Abdullah and Anwar," said Tian Chua, information chief of Anwar Ibrahim's Parti Keadilan Rakyat, said.

One of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's political secretaries said there were no such talks as far as he was aware.
***** How much credence can we give to this claim by Tian Chua? Could the PM already be in secret 'third party' wheeling and dealing with the Pakatan leadership?

One question that should be asked is whether it is possible for Pak Lah to unilaterally go into negotiations with the opposition
and get the best deal for himself? As PM does he legally require the formal approval of his party before he discusses politics with Anwar?

Among the formidable powers that the PM enjoys is the constitutional right to approach His Majesty and request the dissolution of Parliament and thus pave the way for the next general elections. If he does that without consultation, can the rest of Umno do anything about it? This is a potent weapon which he wields and can use if he feels that too many Umno leaders are getting out of line. After all which Umno pemimpin wants to face the electorate tomorrow? Any legal experts out there who can enlighten us?

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Umno Faces Oblivion Without Reform, Says Muhyiddin. Very True. Will He Resign & Set A Good Example?

A top Malaysian minister warned Monday that the ruling party and the coalition it has led for half a century faces oblivion at the next elections if it fails to reform.

The Barisan Nasional coalition, helmed by the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), has floundered since March elections which saw a resurgent opposition score unprecedented victories.

Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, an UMNO vice president who has called for premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to stand down before his planned departure in 2010, said the party must address internal conflicts and the opposition threat.

"It is a situation which is very serious. It is of concern not only to UMNO members but to the country at large, to the Barisan Nasional and people who cares about what is happening to the government," he was quoted by AFP as telling a press conference.

"If nothing happens then I am not too sure if the lifespan of Barisan Nasional, of UMNO in particular, can sustain beyond the year 2013," he said, referring to the scheduled date of the next general elections.

Abdullah has defied calls to quit despite being confronted by rare criticism from within his cabinet, as well as a challenge from opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who says he has enough defectors to topple the government.

Abdullah swept to power in a landslide 2003 election victory, but his popularity plummeted due to broken promises for reform, as well as rising inflation and a slowing economy.

Muhyiddin made another attack on Abdullah's plan to hand over to his deputy Najib Razak, saying UMNO members should decide on the future leadership in internal elections that begin next month.

"What has been agreed upon is only a convention. There is no such provision in the constitution," he said. "We don't elect leaders unconstitutionally, we elect leaders based on procedures."

If Abdullah steps down as premier, Najib is widely tipped to replace him, with Muhyiddin as his new deputy. (Antara News, Indonesia)

*****
What is the prime motivation for
Muhyiddin's determined efforts to unseat Pak Lah? Is it truly his new found zeal for 'reform' in Umno? Or is it more likely a devious attempt to shore up his own position in the party? Frankly if reform is the issue, surely Muhyiddin too is part of the problem in the first place, and should by right withdraw from active politics while urging thousands of other corrupt umnoputeras to do the same. But will that ever happen? Ha Ha Ha.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Japanese On Signboards At The Expense Of Tamil Irks Singapore's Indians

Singapore's use of Japanese on signboards in an apparent bid to lure more Japanese tourists has roused concern among some ethnic Indians who make up almost 10 percent of the city-state's citizens, with some feeling snubbed at the exclusion of their native language Tamil.

The city-state has four official languages -- English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil -- to accommodate its multiethnic population, which is majority Chinese with sizeable Malay and Indian minorities.

Signs are mostly in English, which is the administrative and working language.

But government offices often convey policy information in the four languages and announcements for passengers at commuter train stations are delivered in the four languages, one after the other.

And all Singaporean students are required to study their native languages in school, in addition to English.

In recent years, however, multilingual signs have mushroomed at Changi international airport and at tourist hotspots bearing only three of those four languages plus Japanese, with Tamil not among them.

The increasing appearance of such signs is widely seen as a deliberate policy to make Singapore more tourist-friendly to non-English speakers, including Japanese.

Last year, Japan was Singapore's sixth largest source of tourists after Indonesia, China, Australia, India and Malaysia.

Thamiselvan Karuppaya, a 40-year-old ethnic Indian real estate agent, applied to speak Friday on the issue at Speakers' Corner, a park in Singapore's financial and business district that has been designated since 2000 by the government as a venue for citizens to air grievances.

But he had to abandon his plan after the police objected on ground the issue touches on racial sensitivities.

Singapore forbids speakers at the park from touching on race and religion for fear it might ignite tension among the races in the wealthy Southeast Asian state, which though peaceful now, saw violent riots between Chinese and Malays in the 1960s.

Karuppaya's friend Rethinam Sabapathy, 51, told Kyodo News that some street signs near the country's biggest Hindu temples also fail to use Tamil.

"All this doesn't make sense. It's a mistake. They are trying to attract more Japanese by using Japanese language for the signboards. But as Tamil speakers, we have a slight feeling of 'unwantedness' creeping into us," Sabapathy said.

"The Japanese are very nice people known for manufacturing good cameras and for their sumo wrestlers, but it's wrong to put up Japanese language because they come here to get the real multicultural flavor of Singapore," he said.

In response to inquiries from Kyodo News, Rebecca Lim, deputy director for Infrastructural Development at the Singapore Tourism Board, said multilingual signs in Singapore are meant to serve the needs of tourists, especially those who are non-English speakers.

She said the agency encourages multilingual signs that "take into consideration the needs of our non-English speaking visitors from key visitor-generating markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Japan."

This is why Chinese, Malay and Japanese were added to English for signs at the Changi Airport, she said in an email response to Kyodo.

Aside from the signboard issue, Sabapathy, who works as a horticulturalist, said ethnic Indians do not feel marginalized as the government does promote their native language by ensuring the continuance of a Tamil newspaper, the state-run broadcasting station runs a Tamil radio channel and brochures explaining government policies also include Tamil.

Singapore's local population of 3.6 million is made up of 2.7 million ethnic Chinese, 491,000 ethnic Malays and 313,000 ethnic Indians.

If foreigners working in the state are included, Singapore's population is 4.6 million.

In a statement Friday, Singapore police said they have informed Karuppaya the issue he was planning to raise in his speech "is a sensitive one impinging on race."

"Singapore is a multi-ethnic society and maintaining community harmony is a key imperative that we must not take for granted," it said.

Japan was once the shining star of Singapore tourism but it has in recent years been overshadowed by tourists from emerging Asian economies flocking to Singapore in ever greater numbers due to buoyant economies and a boom in low-cost airlines. (Read the whole report HERE.)

***** Whether under Malay or Chinese hegemony, it looks like the Indians are the ones who get shafted! And what better excuse than 'race is a sensitive issue' to stifle expressions of their unhappiness over the matter? It seems that Singapore and Malaysia do have more things in common than we thought.

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Race Relations Act Won't Solve Problems. Treating All Malaysians Equally Will: Jeffrey Kitingan

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has urged the government to reconsider its move to draw up a Race Relations Act.

He felt that race relations should be nurtured and promoted, not forced through the use of legislation.

He said the more the government enacts laws to force race relations, the more sensitive and problematic it will be to promote good relations among the various races in the country.

“Enacting laws on race relations is, therefore, not the best way to solve racial sensitivities in Malaysia,” said Jeffrey when commenting on a recent statement by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar who said the government would draft a Race Relations Act to safeguard and strengthen relations among the different races in the country.

Syed Hamid said the formulation of the proposed act has been agreed upon by the cabinet, and the task will be headed by the Home Ministry and Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry.

If the government was serious and sincere about solving racial sensitivities, Jeffrey said the best way is to promote the universal concept of social justice and respect by treating all Malaysians equally.

He said this would mean that Malaysia might have to dismantle and do away with racial-based politics and political parties.

Instead, the country would have to promote multi-racialism and the concept of a Malaysian national identity or Malaysian race, he said.

“As long as we continue to politicise race through race-based politics and political parties, no amount of legislation will solve racial problems and sensitivities,” Jeffrey cautioned. (The Borneo Post)

***** As long as Umno leads the country there will be absolutely no way of improving race relations because it is in the interest of that corrupt party to maintain hostility between the different ethnic groups.

However we can all make a genuine effort to unite the nation by joining hands and helping in booting out the racist bigots who have plagued this country for decades. We don't need a Race Relations Act. We merely need to kick out the racists from continuing in power.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Teresa Kok Released From ISA Detention

In further proof of the government's legally untenable action of using the Internal Security Act (ISA), Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was released, six days after her detention, at 1pm today.

This good news was announced by her lawyer Sankaran Nair.

Over the past few days the authorities had come under severe criticism from various quarters including Umno for misusing the Act. Even that biggest abuser of the ISA, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had condemned the use of the Internal Security Act against Raja Petra, who is the editor of controversial online news portal Malaysia Today, and Kok, a Selangor executive councillor and Seputeh MP.

Following the embarrassing about-turn and release of the Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng after 18 hours of detention, things have been basically going downhill for the kerajaan.

But this travesty of justice by the authorities should not go unpunished. For a start, Home Minister Syed Hamid must resign if he still has any political conviction and honour left in him. Next Khir Toyol who started the shit stirring must be pulled up and charged in court. Even a swine like him does not deserve to be arrested under the ISA. He's not a terrorist but a politically slimy bastard of the first order who will lie and cheat to any extent to get his way.

And as for that religio-racist Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia, nothing can or will happen to them, not even a rap on the wrist. We'll have to wait for Anwar to come to power before taking meaningful action against the bigots there.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SAPP Finally Leaves BN

The Sabah Progressive Party has just announced the decision by the SAPP Supreme Council to pull out of the Barisan Nasional, two months after declaring no confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. For the time being it will remain as an independent party, probably to see in which direction the wind blows.

SAPP deputy chief Raymond Tan, disagreeing with the party's decision, said that he will resign as deputy chief minister and state minister within the next 24 hours. However he will remain in the party for the time being. He also said that Elopura assemblyman Au Kam Wah has quit the party.

SAPP has two MPs and four assemblymen in the coalition. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan who is the Tanjong Papat assemblyman, Elopura assemblyman Au Kam Wah, assistant state Finance Minister Melanie Chia (Luyang) and Datuk Liew Teck Chan (Likas). SAPP’s two MPs are Datuk Eric Enchin Majimbun and Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui.

Interesting times lie ahead. Watch the roller coaster action as the exodus out of BN gains momentum. Adios Umno.

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Pak Lah Hands Over Finance Portfolio To Najib. What Gives?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has just made a surprise announcement that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been appointed the Finance Minister with immediate effect. Najib has also been made deputy chairman of Khazanah Nasional. In a politically motivated swap, the PM took over the defence portfolio.

What the rationale is for such an appointment at this juncture remains to be seen. Suffice to say that there must be some compelling political reasons for this sudden move. One sign of a truce between the big two was a remark by Pak Lah that he and Najib are 'committed' to the 2010 transition of power, although he 'may leave earlier'.

Whatever bargaining, wheeling and dealing that led to the Finance Minister's job for Najib should come out pretty soon.


Meanwhile AP reports that the move appears to be an attempt by Abdullah to gradually hand over responsibilities to Najib as part of a planned power transfer. Abdullah had said previously that he would step down in mid-2010.

He told reporters that he is now "more flexible" about when to retire, but "I won't be staying more than 2010 naturally ... Might go earlier."

The announcement comes amid calls by dissidents in the ruling party for him to retire early even as the opposition tries to topple the government.

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Najib Plays Safe On Umno Transition Plan And Zaid Ibrahim Resignation

Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday deftly steered clear in answering issues relating to the 2010 transition of power plan between him and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Najib nonetheless indicated that he would publicly address the matter within the next couple of days.

Najib, who is also the Deputy prime minister, declined to field politics-related questions at a packed press conference here yesterday after witnessing the high-speed broadband signing ceremony between Telekom Malaysia and the government.

“All political questions will be answered after the cabinet meeting tomorrow and the supreme council meeting the day after (Thursday),” he said to reporters. Najib did not say why his views on the matter could only be revealed after the two all important meetings.

It was reported that Abdullah and Najib held a four-hour meeting on Monday to discuss the party’s future and the transition plan. It was the second such meeting in three days between the duo, with the first reportedly occurring last Saturday.

The prime minister later on Monday night said in Kuala Terengganu that no new decision on the power transition had been made, and that the 2010 plan remained.

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last week openly called for an earlier transition, and that the 2010 schedule was not palatable.

Najib, in response to Muhyiddin’s statement, had said that the transition of power should be decided by delegates at the party’s division meetings that would start after the Hari Raya.

In July, amidst pressure from certain quarters in Umno that he should resign immediately to take responsibility of Barisan Nasional’s setback in the March 8 general election, Abdullah announced that he had reached the agreement with Najib for the latter to succeed him in 2010 in a smooth leadership transition.

Najib also declined to respond to questions on the resignation of de facto law minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim from the cabinet, saying: “(It has) nothing to do with highspeed broadband. It was not a highspeed resignation”.

When asked on Oppostion Leader Datuk Seri Anwar’s statement at a rally on Monday that he had the required number of Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over to Pakatan Rakyat to form the government, Najib said Anwar could say all kinds of things.

“He can say all he wants,” he said. Earlier at the start of the press conference, Najib said the government was confident that it would remain in office.

“That’s why I chose Sept 16 (for the launch of the highspeed broadband). This is the project to herald the new future for the country. This signing will indicate how progressive our government is,” he said. (The Edge)


***** Why should Najib take the risk and answer politically loaded questions? Especially with power-crazed Muhyiddin looming over the horizon. All the DPM will do is to remain evasive publicly as he has been all these years, while the hatchet jobs get done in the background. For him there is only one matlamat - to become PM.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim To Resign. Keeping An Open Mind On Leaving Umno And Joining PKR

HOUSE OF CARDS

De facto Law Minister Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim at a press conference this morning said that he has not made a decision to leave Umno and join PKR, adding that he will keep an open mind.

He had yesterday submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister. In his letter, Zaid enumerated his frustrations in achieving the reforms he had been tasked with doing; the straw that broke the his back was the arrest of three civilians under the Internal Security Act on Friday.

He was called to a meeting at Seri Perdana with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from 3pm to 5pm yesterday. At the meeting, the Prime Minister rejected his letter and told him to take two weeks’ leave instead.

No doubt this is just the beginning of a larger exodus to come. Umno's house of cards is ready to collapse and not many will mourn its demise.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Hishammuddin Says ISA Use Not Justified Against Reporter But Evasive On The Other Arrests

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said he personally felt that the Internal Security Act (ISA) should not have been used against Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, and would be raising the matter at the next Cabinet meeting.

He said although he agreed to the use of the ISA to protect national security, it should not be invoked to save or protect any individual, which was given as the reason for Tan’s detention.

“For the other two cases (the ISA arrests of Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok), I feel the authorities are better in the know of the risks they posed, but I do not have the information to comment if the arrests were justified.

“But in the context of the reporter, the minister concerned (Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar) has stated the reasons but I personally feel the ISA should not have been used for the reasons he mentioned,” he told reporters after the launching the book Malaysia: From Traditional to Smart Schools - The Malaysian Education Odyssey, here on Monday.

Hishammuddin said in a multi-racial country like Malaysia, threats to the nation’s security and racial harmony must also be considered.

He also said the decision by the government to use the ISA should not be disputed by its members openly, but instead at the Cabinet.

He differed in this from de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who opposed the use of the ISA against civilians, and who has tendered his resignation over the issue. -- Bernama

***** Hishammuddin's statement is ambiguous at best and does him no favour.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anwar Bid To Topple BN

His ancestors were feared headhunters who once dominated part of Borneo. Now James Masing is being headhunted himself.

The six federal members of parliament from his Sarawak People's Party are being stalked by Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader who has set tomorrow as the date Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition of the past 55 years will fall.

To achieve that Mr Anwar needs at least 30 of the Barisan's 140 MPs to jump across and join the 82 MPs of his People's Alliance grouping of three parties, which rattled the Government with startling advances in federal and state elections in March.

The 31 MPs from Sarawak, all but one in Barisan, will be a critical block. Dr Masing says the Anwar group is trying to call him constantly. "I refuse to entertain them," he says, though he admits a sense that "Malaysia is changing".

But Mr Anwar's chief headhunter in Sarawak, Ng Kim Ho, predicts "substantial" numbers of MPs will jump. "We are anticipating even entire parties," said Mr Ng, a Kuching lawyer who became a state MP for Mr Anwar's People's Justice Party or PKR in March. "The numbers that will be coming from Sarawak will be no less than from Sabah and from West Malaysia."

After returning to parliament in a by-election on August 26, following six years of jail on contentious sodomy and corruption charges, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim wasted no time challenging his former colleagues in Barisan. On tomorrow's anniversary of Malaysia's formation in 1963 from former British colonies in Malaya and Borneo, he would show the numbers to take power.

No Barisan MP has yet jumped ship. Parliament is not even sitting this week because of the Muslim fasting month, so much would depend on the attitude of Malaysia's king to any list of support that Mr Anwar presents. "The political situation is changing every six hours," admits the PKR's Mr Ng.

But the Barisan is showing signs of alarm and disarray.

Last week, 49 members of its "backbenchers' club" were sent on a fact-finding mission to study agriculture in Taiwan, with a reported 50,000 ringgit ($18,500) each in pocket money. On Friday, four Anwar representatives flew to Taipei to keep working on them.

The Government also showed off its most powerful weapon, the Internal Security Act, which allows detention for up to two years without trial. Late last week, police arrested a prominent political blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin, an opposition MP, and a journalist under the act. Mr Anwar said it was to "engineer an atmosphere of fear and instability".

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's position was meanwhile undercut from within his own party. Trade and Industry Minister Muhyuddin Yassin, who is also an UMNO vice-president, said the agreed post-election succession plan, whereby Mr Abdullah would hand over to his deputy Najib Tun Razak in June 2010, was "too long".

In another threat, the former prime minister of 21 years, Mahathir Mohammad, who disavowed Mr Abdullah after the March election setback and quit UMNO in May, said he wanted to rejoin the party.

But this week, it's Anwar Ibrahim's political game from the outside. "It's a psychological battle, though we are now playing for real," said Sarawak campaign chief Mr Ng. "Without setting a target, that date would never come. Without also trying to get the members of parliament to jump — to persuade them, use all kinds of technique — they will continue to sit and wait." (The Age, Australia)

***** Hopefully the era of true democracy, totally devoid of the pernicious evil of
Umno's institutionalised racism and uncontrolled corruption, isn't too far off.

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Barisan Nasional In Crisis

As the magic date of September 16 approaches, the rumour mill is churning overtime with all kinds of wild speculations of defections and party hopping among politicians in Sarawak and Sabah.

The landslide victory of the PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26 has given credence to his claim that he is now on the way to Putrajaya with the help of massive defections from the Barisan Nasional to his Pakatan Rakyat on September16, or two days from now.

There is something hugely ironic in this turn of event. For decades now, there have been persistent calls from various quarters in Sabah and Sarawak for the federal government to give some sort of official recognition to this date, which for us was the day when our East Malaysian states achieved independence from British colonial rule.

Political leaders from the other side of the South China Sea have always expressed sympathy, but the calls were largely ignored, much to the frustration of Sarawakians and Sabahans. Many will simply regard this slight as just yet another symbolic disregard of the feelings of East Malaysians so typical of Kuala Lumpur.

This year though, the number 916 has struck headlines in the national media for weeks on end, thanks to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s preposterous claim about massive defections from the BN. Most people, including his allies in the Pakatan Rakyat, take this proclamation with a giant grain of salt.

We all know a little about our politicians, more or less. We even know about their occasional expressions of unhappiness about the regional divide in socio-economic development when we get to corner them on the quiet. But I just do not see too many of our Sarawak politicians jumping ship to change a whole government at the federal level. There are simply too many variables in the exercise, and too many uncertainties in the future for such a drastic political manoeuvre to bear fruition.

But politics is the art of the possible. If you know the art well, and if all favourable conditions are present, then indeed anything is possible. A few decades ago, who would have thought that an African American can become a serious contender in the US presidential race? History does have a convoluted torturous and unexpected way of working itself out.

We ordinary citizens can do little in this historical drama unfolding before our eyes every day. Whether Anwar’s plan for a regime change at the federal level will materialise, or prove to be just another strategic move to destabilise the Barisan Nasional, time will tell. One thing is certain though. It is obvious to impartial observers that the Barisan Nasional coalition at the federal level has now arrived at a critical point, a crisis of identity and credibility that threatens its survival in the future.

Formally launched in 1974 by the then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, it was meant as a response to the problem of ethnic tension that exploded on May 13, 1969. The intention was to make the ruling coalition as inclusive as possible, and so many former opposition parties were recruited into its rank.

The idea then was to reduce the acrimonious race based politics in the open, and national problems can then be discussed and solved behind the closed door of the BN conference room. As the late Tun Razak was never tired of saying, when politics was reduced, the country could then concentrate on socio-economic development.

This concept worked very well for a while, and Malaysia has taken off in all aspects of national development since the 1970s. Today, Malaysia is the 29th largest economy and the 17th largest trading nation in the world, while incidents of poverty have been slashed dramatically over the last 35 years.

But in the world of political reality, any solution to every political problem will create its own legion of problems.

Tun Razak had envisaged the two prongs of the NEP as a way of distributing wealth among the races, thereby ensuring national unity. He thought that by restructuring society and eradicating poverty on the basis of an expanding economic cake, every race will come out a winner.

Over the last few decades though, the balance of power within the BN coalition has shifted radically towards Umno supreme control, not only of the ruling coalition, but of the entire nation as well. The component parties of BN, especially those in Peninsular Malaysia, see their leverage for negotiation with BN being whittled away, while their constituents grow increasingly restless.

This problem is compounded by Umno having to go through very acrimonious party election every decade or so. One crucial way for Umno leaders to consolidate their leadership positions within the party, or to win the votes from Umno delegates in the process of climbing up in party hierarchy, is to make radical statement about the primacy of the Malay race.

More often than not, these highly provocative statements and gestures have aroused profound disquiet among Malaysians of other ethnic persuasions. Their confidence in the other component parties representing them has been eroded by leaps and bounds.

Finally, this feeling of alienation exploded, and on March 8, 2008, with the congruence of all necessary factors, the voters of all ethnic communities in Peninsular Malaysia decided to teach the BN a lesson. The BN’s two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat disappeared overnight, and five state governments fell to the opposition coalition, the Pakatan Rakyat.

Read the whole story HERE

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Syed Hamid Denies Ordering ISA Detentions

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar denied that he ordered the arrest of a blogger, a Selangor state executive councilor and a journalist under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Speaking at a packed press conference in Bukit Aman here today, Syed Hamid said that he was informed of the arrest by the police.

"I did not order it," said Syed Hamid.

He said that the three were detained to prevent any public order to be in jeopardy.

Yesterday Sin Chew Daily News journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, prominent blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and Selangor state executive councilor Teresa Kok were picked up by police under the ISA. Tan was released this afternoon while the fate of the other two is still unknown.

Syed Hamid said that the three were arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA which empowers the police to detain a person for a period of 60 days without the minister’s consent.

He clarified that the arrest was not done under Section 8 in which the minister’s consent is needed and the detention period is up to two years.

On the reason why Raja Petra was arrested, Syed Hamid said that it was linked to investigations that his writings could create tension among the Muslims and the police had given the blogger ample notice to "tone down".

He said that Tan was arrested to help police in further investigating her report on Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s racial remarks. The minister also said that they received information that there were threats to Tan’s security.

Ahmad had during a ceramah in the Permatang Pauh by-election said that the Chinese were squatters, a remark that whipped up protest from the MCA, Gerakan and DAP. Umno suspended Ahmad from holding any party post for three years last week.

Kok was detained in relation to the azan issue, said Syed Hamid.

Recently, Kok had been linked to a petition allegedly calling for the tone of the morning azan in her state constituency of Kinrara to be lowered. Kok has vehemently denied such allegations.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang had said in a press conference this morning that the azan issue was raised by former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khir Toyo and played up by the Utusan Malaysia newspaper. He said that the mosque committee and the PAS MP for the area had also denied such an issue.

To a question on why Ahmad and Khir Toyo were not detained, Syed Hamid said that the detention of the three should not be looked at from an "ethnic angle". (The Edge)

***** Having rushed headlong into rashly arresting the three, the government was not prepared for the backlash especially from the various BN component parties. By this afternoon when the rest of the BN had roundly denounced the arrests, it had become clear to all that this silly act was solely Umno's handiwork and simple calculation would have revealed that Umno had overnight lost for good whatever little non-Malay support it had. Thus the backtracking by releasing the Sin Chew reporter and Syed Hamid's pathetic denial of culpability.

Ahmad Ismail and Toyol were not arrested simply because it would have been badly received by the umnoputeras and some other Malays. And Pak Lah with his current weak standing can't afford to rile that constituency without serious repercussions.

This is purely a self-serving political arrest meant to keep the umnoputeras in good humour. Unfortunately the non-Malays here along with a considerable number of Malays and almost all East Malaysians aren't amused.
Image - Source

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The Government Won't Control Rela. Perhaps This Court Judgement Will

From today's The Star
The High Court has ordered a Rela member to pay a former guest relations officer RM100,000 as damages for taking a picture of her relieving herself in a truck five years ago.

Justice Tengku Datuk Maimun Tuan Mat also told Mohamad Tahir Osman, 45, to pay costs and 8% interest until full settlement to Maslinda Ishak, 31, who is now a dental nurse.

The judge said what Tahir did was outside the scope of his duty which was to maintain security.She said that in taking the picture, Tahir had caused emotional damage to Maslinda.

The incident happened after Maslinda and several colleagues were arrested by Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) enforcement officers and Rela members during a raid at Kelab De Vegas in Jalan Imbi here at 11.30pm on March 21, 2003.

After the arrest, they were led into a truck. At 12.50am, when the truck was at Jalan Jejaka 5, Taman Maluri, Cheras, Maslinda asked to go to the toilet but was denied permission.

Instead, she was scolded and told to relieve herself in the truck.

She did what she was told behind a scarf held by several friends but suddenly Tahir came, pushed the friends aside, pulled the scarf and photographed her.

Maslinda brought the suit on April 25, 2003. She is seeking RM5mil in damages from Tahir, the Rela director-general, Jawi and the Government.

The judge ruled that the Rela director-general, Jawi and the Government could not be associated with Tahir’s actions.
***** This is the type of concern that all judges must clearly demonstrate, that they will not tolerate such perverted behaviour by those who claim to be on official government duty. Justice Tengku Datuk Maimun Tuan Mat should be praised for handing down this punishment which will serve as a deterrent and warning to others in Rela and elsewhere.

What the government should have done but is most reluctant to do, to provide justice and relief to the victim, has been fulfilled by the courts. Shame on the kerajaan.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Army Will Not Meddle In Politics, Says Gen. Abdul Aziz Zainal

Malaysia's military chief said on Thursday that the army would not meddle in politics, as a deadline the country's opposition alliance has set itself to seize power nears.

Unlike in some other Asian countries, such as Thailand or the Philippines, the military plays no political role in Malaysia and there has never been a coup attempt in the country, which has seen 50 years of unbroken civilian rule.

Gen. Abdul Aziz Zainal, speaking ahead of his forces' 75th anniversary on Sept. 16, said the military would only act if co-opted by the police to maintain internal security.

Aziz, who earlier this week broke military protocol by asking the government to act against anyone who incited racial hatred, said the more than 100,000-strong military would remain apolitical.

Asked on whether the military would work with an Anwar Ibrahim-led government if the opposition comes to power by its self-imposed Sept. 16 deadline, Aziz said: "I don't know about change of government, you are only speculating. As far as I'm concerned, the present government is in power.

"We will keep to our primary role that is to defend the nation against any form of external threats. There is no intention whatsoever to interfere with political affairs of the nation," the 57-year-old Aziz said.

Opposition leader Anwar has to win the defection of 30 government MPs to have a majority in the 222-strong Malaysian parliament. At present his opposition coalition has 82 seats.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition this week sent around 50 of its MPs on a study trip to Taiwan, a move that Anwar said was aimed at preventing him from convincing them to switch sides. (Interactive Investor, UK)

***** It is timely that the Armed Forces Chief of Defence Gen. Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hj Zainal has come out with this statement. Over the past few days he had been taken to task by commentators and political parties including PAS for straying into the political arena where he does not belong.

One
blogger bluntly wrote that the 'Army has no business to butt in the affairs of government. Your job is to defend the nation against the real enemies of state. It is sacred duty to stay in your barracks, not let the army to be used by politicians in power to suppress democratic dissent and stifle freedom'. It looks like the General has taken heed of such comments and thus clarified matters today. Good for him.
Image - Source

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Umno Racist Ahmad Ismail Suspended For Three Years, Stripped Of All Party Posts

The Umno Supreme Council today suspended Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail for three years due to the racist remarks which he had allegedly made about the Chinese.

The decision was reached at a special meeting of the Umno supreme council held at the PWTC Wednesday afternoon. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi chaired the meeting.

Abdullah told a press conference after the meeting that Ahmad would also be stripped of all party posts.

The meeting was held after Barisan Nasional component parties said they wanted “immediate and stern action” to be taken against Ahmad during a meeting of the coalition’s supreme council on Tuesday afternoon. However, because it involved a party matter, they left it to Umno to act.

The Prime Minister had said on Tuesday that the issue had caused uneasiness, worry and anger among the people.“Some (component parties) expressed their disappointment over what transpired while some showed anger.

“All of us are of the view that Ahmad’s comments are not acceptable at all. What he said has caused anger and concern among the people, non-bumiputras and bumiputras alike, not just in the peninsula but also in Sabah and Sarawak,” Abdullah told reporters on Tuesday.

Ahmad stirred a hornet’s nest recently when he said in a speech while campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election that the Chinese were immigrants in the country and did not deserve equal treatment.

Despite criticisms from various community leaders, he refused to apologise. (The Star Online)

***** Keeping in mind the general sentiment of support within Umno for the racist, the three years suspension can be considered 'at least something'. Those who had expected him to be charged under the ISA are probably disappointed but given the present situation such a move would have been politically hazardous for Pak Lah. The PM has to walk a fine line here, taking care not to rile the Umnoputeras too much while at the same time placating the component parties.

Probably the racist bastard too knows that he cannot be dealt with more severely by the Supreme Council. And as if to prove that, the son of a bitch was reported to have just announced that he won't retract his statements, but urged his supporters to 'stay calm'. He's just itching to get his comeuppance and history shows that sooner or later such freaks will always fall and fall hard.

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Anwar Says Malaysia Government To Fall By Tuesday

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said Wednesday he will topple Malaysia's government by early next week despite a trip abroad by ruling coalition lawmakers that he claims is aimed at thwarting his plans.

The three-party opposition alliance can seize power if at least 30 members of Parliament defect from the National Front coalition, and Anwar said he would fly overseas if necessary to meet with lawmakers he hopes to lure to his side.

He has vowed for several months to take power by Sept. 16.

About 50 National Front lawmakers left for a farming study tour in Taiwan earlier this week amid opposition accusations that coalition leaders had sent them there to keep them away from Anwar and to dissuade some of them from defecting.

Anwar claims to have made tacit pacts with dozens of lawmakers in recent months, and insisted that he was still "very much" on track for his target date of next Tuesday.

"We're working on it," Anwar told reporters. "There are technical problems because (the lawmakers) have been shipped away. ... God-willing, it will (still) happen. If need be, I will fly to Taipei."

The government has denied the tour is politically motivated.

Anwar, who is battling a charge that he sodomized his 23-year-old former male aide, made the comments after a Sessions Court delayed a preliminary hearing for his sodomy trial.

Government prosecutors said Wednesday they wanted to transfer the case to a higher court because it had attracted widespread interest, including from international observers.

Anwar's lawyers objected, saying the current judge was sufficiently qualified. The court will hear formal arguments from both sides Sept. 24 before making a decision.

Anwar is charged with allegedly sodomizing Saiful Bukhari Azlan — the second such accusation in a decade for the former deputy premier, who was ousted in 1998 amid charges that he sodomized his family driver. A court overturned that sodomy conviction in 2004.

Anwar reiterated Wednesday the latest charge was "treacherous and malicious," and accused the prosecution of having "no intention to proceed except with the instructions from their political masters." The government has denied any conspiracy against Anwar.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has pledged to foil Anwar's attempt to unseat the National Front, which has governed Malaysia for 51 years but suffered its worst electoral result ever in March national polls.

The National Front won 140 seats in the 222-member Parliament, losing its two-thirds majority for the first time since 1969.

Anwar won a by-election last month that enabled him to re-enter Parliament and to become prime minister if his alliance takes power. (International Herald Tribune)

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Najib's Laughable Defence Of MPs' Taiwan 'Study' Trip

The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club (BBC) can go on trips any time it wants as it was bearing all expenses and they were for a good cause, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said these trips were productive and it was perfectly all right to go on the trip to Taiwan.

“The trip (to Taiwan is not borne by the Government, it is by the BBC; as long as it is something productive, there is nothing wrong with having such a trip,” he told reporters after opening a conference on Islamic Smart Economy here on Tuesday.

“What is more immoral is trying to buy them over. It is subverting the principles of Parliamentary democracy,” he said, adding that the members of the BBC were elected on the Barisan ticket and they should remain Barisan supporters.

Najib however claimed he was not making a link between the threats of a takeover by PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the BBC members’ trip to Taiwan to study agriculture techniques. (The Star Online)

***** Apart from making Malaysia the laughing stock of the world, the so-called study trip has clearly shown the desperation of the ruling party, indirectly acknowledging their deep unpopularity within the country and their propensity to go to any extent, as shameful as it may be, to cling to power.

Now Najib adds to that ignominy by pathetically trying to maintain the study trip lie. He must take all Malaysians for fools.
Image - Source

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Muhyiddin Confirms Dr M Returning To Umno. Head For The Hills The Old Plague Cometh

Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has confirmed that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is returning to the party.

He said that Dr Mahathir expressed his intention to return to Umno at a meeting last Saturday.

He added that he informed Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday of Dr Mahathir’s intention to rejoin the party.

Dr Mahathir, who has been a vocal critic of his hand-picked successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, quit Umno in May, saying that he would only return to Umno when there was a leadership change. (The Star Online)

***** As if we Malaysians don't have enough problems already! Now we have to dangerously add on the mother (father) of all racists into what is potentially a very serious scenario. Allowing Dr M to intrude or insinuate himself into the political equation at this point in time is to add the proverbial fuel to the fire.

He can do the nation a great favour by remaining where he is right now, retired and safely out of OUR harm's way. We need Dr Mahathir as much as we need the AIDS virus.

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