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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Will PR State Sultans start commuting death sentences to prison terms? Abolish Death Penalty

Pardons are given by Sultans....and that is why we are looking at the Pakatan Rakyat states to start the ball rolling by at least commuting death penalties to imprisonment sentences...



PETALING JAYA: The Govern­ment should abolish the death sentence, said former Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.

“I feel rather disturbed that there are about 100 people on death row, some for many years,” he said.

He said he was not saying that the pardon system was not working, but that it was “rather slow”.

Siva was one of panellists at the “Human Rights in Malaysia under the New Economic Model” forum held at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) here yesterday.

“Waiting for the death sentence to be carried out is a bigger punishment than when the judge passes the sentence,” he said.

On another matter, Siva said the people born in this country should be given proper documentation to take over jobs held by foreign workers.

“The Government must speed up the process of giving birth certificates and identification cards to those born here.

“This issue should not be raised only during elections,” he said in reference to the matter being raised in the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign.

Other panellists were Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching and Wong Nai Chee from the MCA National Youth Bureau. The forum, moderated by Utar Centre of International Studies chairman Dr Stephen Leong, was organised by the university’s Centre for Social Change and Trends. - Star, 27/4/2010, Siva: It’s time to abolish death sentence

Monday, April 26, 2010

APCET: When the court rules in favour of the people, the government just cannot accept it

Apcet II case: Gov't files to reverse judgement
Regina Lee
Apr 26, 10
11:03am
 
The government will be filing to reverse the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment which ordered it to pay RM30,000 each to 29 human rights activists and journalists.

This comes just five months after the court ruled in favour of the 29 in a civil suit where they accused the police of wrongfully detaining them, following Umno Youth's disruption of the Apcet II civil society gathering in Kuala Lumpur more than a decade ago.

The letter by the Attorney-General's chambers obtained by Malaysiakini, said that judge Wan Ahmad Muhamad was erroneous in the law and the facts of the case when he decided that the defendants acted illegally in detaining the plaintiffs.

"The judge was also erroneous when he awarded the plaintiffs RM30,000 each and with an annual interest of eight percent from the date the case was filed until judgement.

"The judge was erroneous when he decided that the defendants should bear the cost of legal proceedings for the plaintiffs," the letter said.

Long trial

The judgement on Dec 22 last year, ordered the government to pay a total of RM870,000 in general damages.

The local activists and journalists had initially filed a RM87 million suit against the government two years after the incident.

The suit was filed against the government after the group's "wrongful detention" at the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (Apcet II) on Nov 9, 1996.

The international conference was organised to discuss human rights abuses in East Timor and its struggle for independence from Indonesia.

apcet ii hearing mob photos 100306 loud speakerHeld at the Asia Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the function turned unruly when a mob led by Umno Youth stormed the venue and harassed the 100 participants.

About 400 members of the Umno Youth-led Barisan Bertindak Rakyat Malaysia (BBRM), or Malaysia's People's Action Front, charged in and disrupted the meeting as it was about to begin.

They broke down the conference hall doors, flung chairs and verbally and physically abused the participants.

Police then moved in to arrest the participants, who were detained for between one and six days, while 40 foreign participants were deported.
A total of 36 activists and journalists originally filed the law suit. However, four withdrew, one passed away and two did not appear to provide testimony during the trial.

Among the high-profile plaintiffs are:

pkr national congress 301108 syed husin ali1) Former PRM secretary-general Sanusi Othman
2) PKR deputy president and senator Syed Husin Ali (right)
3) Batu parliamentarian Tian Chua
4) Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran
5) Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan
6) Malaysian Trade Union Congress president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamad.

Others include Subang MP R Sivarasa, Parti Sosialis Malaysia president Dr Nasir Hashim and former New Era College principal Kua Kia Soong.

The defendants are former Kuala Lumpur police chief Ismail Che' Ros, former Dang Wangi OCPD Zainal Abidin Ali, investigations officer chief inspector Tengku Hamzah Tengku Abdullah, the Inspector General of Police and the Malaysian government.

The trial also heard shocking testimonies by the Umno youth secretary then, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who said that he the then deputy home minister, the late Megat Junid Megat Ayob, had ordered for him to disrupt the proceedings a full month before the function was held.

Saifuddin is now PKR strategy director and has since issued a public apology over his role.- Malaysiakini, 26/4/2010, Apcet II case: Gov't files to reverse judgement

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Protest in Jakarta over Malaysian police 'shoot-to-kill' case - 3 persons killed

Nobody deserve to be shot dead by the police ....who later claims that the dead were robbers, killers, criminals,.... but then the defamed dead have no means of defending themselves.

For years, Malaysians have called for an end of this 'shoot to kill' attitude and action by the Malaysian police - and sadly I have not seen a report about any Minister or police chief have come out and even said that the duty of the police is to arrest suspects...and they should try their very best to avoid killing suspects ..

There is also still no public inquiries about police shoot-to-kill incidents. In these inquiries, the police must justify their actions that resulted in death of persons...

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Indonesian migrant worker group Migrant Care staged a protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta on Friday demanding the Malaysian government to responsible for the shootings of three Indonesian nationals last month accused of commiting robery.

Director Executive of Migrant Care Anis Hidayah told the crowd outside the Malaysian Embassy that the group will bring the matter to UN Human Rights Council, and other pressure group like Amnesty Internasional and Human Rights Watch, to force the Malaysian government to investigate the case as no measure taken by the Malaysian to investigate the case after 40 days since the murder took place.

The Malaysian Embassy invited Anis Hidayah for a talk on condition that protesters furl down a banner printed with “Malaysia, murderer of Indonesian migrant workers”.
Anis dismissed the request prompting Indonesian Police took the banner down.

According migrant care three indonesian workers kiled last month and autopsy results suggested that the three men were killed by short-range shots.
TEMPO Interactive, 23/4/2010,Indonesian Worker Group Protest Three Deaths in Malaysia

Jakarta -- Lembaga swadaya masyarakat yang menangani isu buruh migran, Migrant Care, memprotes penembakan tiga tenaga kerja Indonesia di Malaysia dengan melakukan demonstrasi di depan Kedutaan Besar Malaysia di Jakarta kemarin. "Tidak ada tanggapan apa pun dari Kedutaan Besar Malaysia, bahkan ucapan dukacita ke keluarga korban. Ini jadi tradisi buruk pemerintah Malaysia, yang tidak pernah merasa bersalah atas kematian buruh migran," kata Direktur Eksekutif Migrant Care Anis Hidayah yang ditemui di sela aksi kemarin. 

Demonstrasi ini berkaitan dengan penembakan tiga buruh migran, Abdul Sanu, Musdi, dan Muchlis, di kawasan Danau Kota Putri, Kuala Selangor, 16 Maret lalu. Menurut Anis, hingga kini Kepolisian Malaysia dinilai tidak menunjukkan upaya untuk membuka tabir kematian ketiganya. 

Kepolisian Malaysia, kata Anis, kerap tak menggunakan asas praduga tak bersalah, terutama pada buruh migran Indonesia. Hasil otopsi sementara atas kasus ini, kata dia, terindikasi bahwa ketiga korban ditembak dalam jarak dekat. 

Dalam aksinya, Migrant Care memasang spanduk bertulisan "Malaysia Pembunuh Buruh Migran Indonesia", meski akhirnya spanduk itu diturunkan oleh polisi. Anis juga diajak berdialog oleh Duta Besar asalkan spanduk itu diturunkan. Migrant Care menolak syarat itu karena dianggap melanggar kebebasannya berpendapat. "Kami kan aksi di halaman kedutaan yang masih milik Indonesia," ujarnya. 

Duta Besar Malaysia untuk Indonesia, Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin, kecewa terhadap Migrant Care. "Itu bukan cara demonstrasi yang benar. Mereka mengaibkan pagar rumah saya. Saya sampai harus masuk lewat pintu samping," ujarnya kepada Tempo kemarin.
Datuk Syed menilai tindakan tersebut telah melanggar konvensi Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa yang menyatakan tidak boleh ada penghinaan di depan pintu rumah negara lain. "Mau demonstrasi silakan, tapi tolong hormati kedaulatan kami," katanya. 

Ia menambahkan bahwa Malaysia siap berdialog. "Ke depan, masyarakat bisa bertemu langsung dengan saya jika ada keluhan dengan cara yang baik-baik tanpa unjuk rasa," Datuk Syed menambahkan. 

Migrant Care Malaysia berencana melakukan investigasi atas penembakan tersebut. Direktur Eksekutif Migrant Care Malaysia Alex Ong menyatakan, sebagai langkah awal, lembaganya telah mendatangi Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia Kuala Lumpur. "Beberapa hari yang lalu kami telah menyampaikan rencana investigasi penembakan TKI ini kepada Pak Tatang (Wakil Duta Besar Tatang B. Razak)," ujarnya. 

Hasil investigasi diharapkan rampung akhir bulan ini, dan selanjutnya akan diserahkan ke parlemen dan Kementerian Dalam Negeri Malaysia--yang membawahkan Kepolisian dan Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia. Dianing Sari | Masrur (Kuala Lumpur) - Koran Tempo, 24/4/2010, Migrant Care Demo Kedutaan Malaysia

SUHAKAM says it is a violation of Human Rights - now what? Stop here or fight on until justice is done?

SUHAKAM - Malaysian Human Rights Commission sometimes do have public inquiries...but most of the time, there is no public inquiry because the majority of the Commissioners vote against it...Why?...because they are scared...because they really are not human rights persons (or interested in HR)...because they are pro-government...because it is not a 'popular' issue (when it comes to HR, the amount of media coverage or popularity really should not matter...)

In the case of harassment, wrongful arrest & detention of lawyers representing their clients...SUHAKAM seem to have got it right....BUT...where do we go from here? What happens to the police officers involved? Will these victims of human rights be at the very least compensated? Will the government, in reliance of SUHAKAM's report, do the needful against the perpetrators of the human rights abuse....and compensate the victims since it was the police (public servants - goverment servants) who were the violators of human rights? Do we who fight for human rights stop here...or do we push for justice...??

KUALA LUMPUR: The arrest and detention of five Legal Aid Centre lawyers when they assisted their clients involved in an illegal assembly last year, was a clear violation of human rights, said Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

The commission found that the arrest under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 was not justified or necessary.

The lawyers were not present at the scene to participate in the cause of their clients, but were simply performing their duties as legal practitioners in defence of the 14 people arrested, said Suhakam in a 42-page decision read out by chairman Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah at the commission headquarters here yesterday.

On May 7 last year, lawyers Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Anuar, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Safwan were arrested at the precincts of the Brickfields police station and de­­tained overnight when they went to the station to assist 14 people who had earlier participated in a candle-light vigil. The group of 14 protested on the arrest of blogger Wong Chin Huat under the Sedition Act.

Suhakam felt the violation was mainly committed by Brickfields CID chief Deputy Supt Jude Pereira and Brickfields police chief Asst Comm Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid.

The commission had listened to testimonies by witnesses and viewing various video footage of the incident.

Suhakam, however, did not come up with any recommendation on disciplinary action on the two police officers.

The inquiry was conducted by a panel led by Muhammad Shafee and assisted by fellow commissioners Datuk Dr Michael Yeah Onn Kheng and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria.- Star, 24/4/2010, Suhakam: Arrest of five lawyers a violation of human rights


Monday, April 19, 2010

Najib's pro-US anti-Iran position on the nuclear issue? PAS?PKR?DAP?PRM?...PSM position made

Najib, on behalf of the UMNO-led BN government and all Malaysians has taken a position on Iran, and its current nuclear enrichment programme - i.e. the same position that the US have been pushing. Malaysia have also stopped gasoline supply to Iran, and have threatened Iran with further sanctions.

Whilst Malaysia attended the US organized nuclear summit, whereby a selected number of nations were invited, it seems that Malaysia did not attend the Iran organised nuclear conference which stressed on nuclear disarmament.

By doing this, Najib may have made Malaysia another pro-US nation state - and, I do not believe that most justice-loving Malaysians would agree with the PM. There was also no discussion in Malaysia about this before the UMNO-led BN government took this position. Malaysia, was previously seen as being independent, and a strong critic against US and other major powers  'bullying' methods.

What is the issue?
The US and its friends wants Iran to stop in research and development of nuclear enrichment technology. Iran is doing this for peaceful purposes, but the US and its friends have been making allegations that it could and it would be used for the development of nuclear arms. Iran under the Shah was considered a US-friendly nation, but after the Islamic Revolution, Iran has been considered a threat...an 'enemy' of the US. All kinds of allegations have been made, which have been investigated and it has been found that there is no basis for the assertion that Iran is building nuclear weapons. 

Iran refuses to stop in research and development of nuclear technology. It is not interested in buying 'enriched uranium' or 'uranium fuel rods' from the US and/or its friends. It wants to be able to develop and own the technology, which is a right within even the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT). Sanctions after sanctions have been imposed on Iran. At the same time, there seem to be no action/sanctions against Israel, who many believe already have developed nuclear arms. The double standards is obvious....but Najib has done wrong in making Malaysia look like a pro-US nation....a crony of US.   

It is not Hulu Selangor by-election - but, I believe that the Pakatan Rakyat cannot sit silently without taking a position in this issue. Silence can be implied with agreement of Najib's position. One opposition party has come out with a statement - Parti Sosialis Malaysia...
PARTI SOSIALIS MALAYSIA (PSM)
PRESS STATEMENT : 19 APRIL 2010

NAJIB’S FLIRTATION WITH IMPERIALIST US AND SUPPORT THE PLOT AGAINST IRAN


The bilateral meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama served nothing but the submission of the Malaysian government to the imperialist US as its new foot soldiers of “War on Terror” in Southeast Asia.

Prime Minister Najib recently attended the 2-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which achieved very little in promoting disarmament, but created conditions for stepping-up sanctions against Iran, a country in the oil-rich region that has refused to subordinate itself to US Imperialism. It has become clear that Obama's foreign policy is far from breaking with the aggressive expansionist approach under the Bush administration, but is more in line with the imperialist goal of achieving military domination of the world.

The imperialist- driven Nuclear Security Summit was concerned least about the security of ordinary people around the world, and sought instead to protect the interests of powerful nations that controlled much of the nuclear weapons. It was just part of a systematic effort by the US imperialists to prepare for military aggression against Iran, or to impose sanctions that would amount to economic warfare, and further help the US to step up military operations to defend its interests in the Middle East and Central Asia. Malaysia under the Najib administration should be ashamed of its involvement in this imperialist plot against Iran.

The Najib administration however seems eager and unable to even wait to declare itself as the new close ally of US imperialists in its bloody “war on terror” and the imminent siege of Iran, by cutting off gasoline supplies to Iran. Najib’s announcement came only 3 days after his meeting with Obama, following the footsteps of oil giants like Dutch Shell, Glencore and Vitol which have taken the decision to stop gasoline supply to Iran to echo the US call for sanctions. This shows that the Najib administration is willing to become the loyal servant of the US in its bid to strengthen its imperialist domination over the world.

As mentioned by Nazri,  the BN government under Najib even spent RM 77 million to hire the controversial APCO to not only improve the BN government’s image but also to “get close to the US”. We condemn such wasteful way of spending people’s money for just having a 40-minute flirtation with the imperialist US and trading off the interests of its people.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) calls upon:
1)      Malaysian government to stop its cooperation with the US in its attempt to impose sanctions against Iran which has the potential for spilling over into a military conflict that would bring catastrophe to the people of Iran and the world.

2)      Malaysian government to stop liberalising the economy to the neo-liberal imperialist powers and halt all negotiation on bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs)

3)      US government to withdraw its troop from Afghanistan and end its “war on terror” which only breeds more terror and misery for the people around the world.

4)      US government and its allies to stop their threats to Iran.

Hands off Iran! No to Imperialism!

Released by :

Choo Chon Kai
PSM International Coordinator
In Behalf of the
PSM Central Committee
(019-5669518)


See earlier posts:-

Do Malaysians agree with Najib's actions on the Iran issue? Does Pakatan Rakyat? Silence maybe seen as consent...

What is UMNO-led BN's position on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Israel..same as US's position...Israel's position ...APCO?

Has Najib made Malaysia a US crony? Have we abandoned our principles? Did he say anything about US's NPT breaches? Did he also hail Obama?

 



Rewarding 'Party Hoppers'- From Opposition: Datukship, US Trips,... BN to Opposition: MPship/ADUNship/Leadership?

What do 'party hoppers' get when they jump ship? In Malaysia, it seems that they are 'rewarded'...Hence, the reason for 'jumping' may not really be for pure principles - but the 'rewards' that they can get. That is why, we should have a 'cooling off' period of maybe 5 years, whereby these 'party hoppers' are not given MP/ADUN seats to contest...or appointed into the leadership positions at National/State levels of parties/coalitions.

For those who hop out of Opposition parties, they get "Datukship", US Trips, etc...
Jelapang state representative Hee Yit Foong, whose defection from DAP triggered BN's takeover of Perak, will today receive the Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP).

She is among 919 who will be conferred with awards and medals in conjunction with Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah's 82nd birthday. - Malaysiakini, 19/4/2010,
She's now 'Datuk' Hee Yit Fong 

Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Abdul Aziz confirmed that the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will be accompanied by two independent MPs for a visit to the US Congress.
zahrain hashim parliament 180310The duo are Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim (left) and Kulim Bandar Baru parliamentarian Zulkifli Noordin, who were both former PKR members.

Nazri explained that as the opposition practises bloc voting, BN had to make sure that it has sufficient members in the parliament.

"Therefore I have decided not to send (any) BN MPs to follow the prime minister (to Washington DC). During a parliamentary sitting, we will not allow any BN MPs to leave the country."

Nazri said that the BN MPs are aware that that the party will be at a disadvantage if its majority is reduced and are not disgruntled with his decision.

"That is why, from BN, only the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Rais Yatim, will be going with the prime minister."
- Malaysiakini, 8/4/2010, Zul, Zahrain to 'tag along with PM' on US trip

And for those who jump from the BN parties to the Opposition parties (even without any MPship or ADUNship...) - they are rewarded by being made opposition leaders, and the chance to get elected as Opposition MPs/ADUNs...

Given the fact that most seem to be jumping over to PKR, rather than the DAP or PAS, it must be because PKR's 'rewards' are better and maybe the other Opposition parties like PAS and DAP is not at all keen to reward these 'party hoppers'...[Also should be noted that save for 1 State Assembly person from the DAP, all the other MPs and ADUNs that have left the Opposition are from PKR..]




PR status to foreigners who marry Malaysians upon registration of marriage in Malaysia - Best Solution

There is a great injustice that happens when Malaysian citizens (and/or Malaysian PR holders) marries a foreign spouse. To stay in Malaysia, these foreign spouses have to have visas [commonly referred to as 'spouse visas'] which may be a few months....later it becomes one year visas.
“My one-year pass to remain in Malaysia expires at the end of next month. Since my husband has divorced me, I don’t know how to get it extended,” she said at her home at PD Utama near here.

Foreigners or ‘stateless’ people need their Malaysian spouses’ signatures to remain in the country. The pass needs to be renewed annually until they attain permanent resident status or citizenship. - Star, 19/4/2010, Mum needs identity to survive

The problem is that the 'control' is with the Malaysian citizen/PR holder spouse, and the applicant  for the visa is that Malaysian spouse/PR holder. 

What should be is that these foreign spouses should be given immediate 'permanent resident'(PR) status when their marriage gets registered in Malaysia at the relevant government department.  [Note that PR status can be later revoked, if needed.] Now, the application for PR status is only considered after 12 years (some say 5 years - but alas, there is nothing in the law that clearly defines the actual number of years..., and it is not automatic and there needs to be an application put in. It will be interesting to see if all persons are treated equally - as many of our former Ministers, etc also have foreign spouses. Did they have to wait years before they got their PR status (or citizenship) or did they preferential treatments?

Now, children of these marriage are Malaysian citizens - and the problem arises when there is a death of the  Malaysian citizen/PR holder spouse ...when there is an abandonment/divorce...or maybe even a revocation of the citizenship/PR status for some reason or other.

What happens to the foreign spouse and the Malaysian children if one of the above happens? Under the current system,  the  foreign spouses  visa will not be able to be renewed - and that means that he/she will have to leave Malaysia...but the Malaysian children? What happens to the foreign spouses home/property in Malaysia? What happens to the foreign spouses other responsibilities - like the responsibility to the elderly parents/dependents of the Malaysian citizen/PR holder spouse and other dependents? Unlike some western cultures, in Malaysia (and Asia) obligations and responsibilities by reason of marriage also extends to the extended families of their spouses....but our current immigration laws do not reflect this. 

Current Malaysian law seems to say that if your Malaysian citizen/PR holder spouse suddenly dies, abandons you and/or your family, divorces you,.... you, the foreign spouse will have to leave Malaysia? 

The current law does not care about the Malaysian children - the UMNO-led BN government position is that you can take your 'Malaysian children' and go....

The current law does not care about the responsibility and care of the elderly parents/other dependents..., and this is so un-Malaysian....so uncaring.

As I said earlier, there must be a change in our Malaysian policy and law...., and it should be as follows:-
** Upon registration of marriage in the relevant government department in Malaysia, the foreign spouse shall immediately be given a permanent resident status,
***Upon the dissolution of the marriage for whatever reasons, the government has the right to review the 'permanent resident' status and revoke it
****Factors that will be considered, and will not result in a 'revocation' shall be:-
- existence of children of the marriage
- existence of obligations/responsibilities to the parents/dependents of the parties of the marriage in Malaysia
- the 'foreign spouse' still is staying in Malaysia
[The government naturally is concerned that some 'foreigners' may be marrying Malaysians just to be able to stay legally in Malaysia...and that the whole marriage is really a 'sham' - but that is why the power to revoke the PR must be with the government, and could be used if these 'shams' happen]

PORT DICKSON: Yati Rahayu Abdullah, 30, is in a quandary since being divorced by her husband nine months ago.

The mother of two young children is deemed to be ‘stateless’ as she has no documentation to prove that she is a Malaysian.
Stateless: Yati fears that she might lose Mohd Aiman (right) and Nuraryana if she is sent again to a detention centre.

Abandoned as a baby and raised at a longhouse in Keningau, Sabah by a Christian priest, she fears of being separated from her children and sent to a detention camp for illegal immigrants.

“My one-year pass to remain in Malaysia expires at the end of next month. Since my husband has divorced me, I don’t know how to get it extended,” she said at her home at PD Utama near here.

Foreigners or ‘stateless’ people need their Malaysian spouses’ signatures to remain in the country. The pass needs to be renewed annually until they attain permanent resident status or citizenship.

Yati, who never went to school, said she lived with the priest at his home until she was 13 and then followed him to Kuala Selangor.

Before they moved, the priest handed her a Malaysian identity card.

In Kuala Selangor, she worked at a Chinese restaurant and stayed at her employer’s home.

“I worked for the family without getting any pay for five years. I ran away when I could no longer take it,” she said, adding that she then started working at a factory.

It was then that she came to know her husband’s family who adopted her.

“However, when I went to the National Registration Department to renew my IC, I was arrested as they said my old one was fake. I was then sent to the detention centre for illegals in Pekan Nenas, Johor,” she said.

After six months, her adopted family sought her release by proposing marriage.

“I married my husband in March 2006 and we then moved to PD,” she said, adding that she then embraced Islam.

The couple were blessed with two children – Mohd Aiman Daniel who is now two, and Nuraryana Natasya, nine months.

Yati said her former husband has been giving her about RM100 a month for expenses since their divorce.

Yati said she approached the Welfare Department for aid but was told that since she was not a Malaysian, she was not entitled to any. - Star, 19/4/2010, Mum needs identity to survive

Remember the case of Romita Hasibuan...and her 4 Malaysian children... - Maruly Aziz Bin Abd Mutalib (14+ tahun), Sarah Nor Varah Hanim Binti Abd Mutalib (13+tahun), Yonatan Adam Fauzi Bin Abd Mutalib (11+tahun) dan Ismael Syah Putra (8+ tahun). STOP DISCRIMINATING SARAH,AND GIVE THIS MALAYSIAN CHILD HER MYKAD

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do Malaysians agree with Najib's actions on the Iran issue? Does Pakatan Rakyat? Silence maybe seen as consent...

Is Malaysia attending the Iranian-organized Nuclear Conference? They attended the US-organized Nuclear program? Double Standards...

And, Malaysia is trying hard to move up in the rankings, by being the better US cronies - We have suspended gasoline supplies to Iran.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has confirmed that Malaysia has cut off gasoline supplies to Iran, warning Teheran it was close to facing new international sanctions over its controversial nuclear programme. 

Najib’s announcement came three days after he held talks with US President Barack Obama, who had called for the world to move “boldly and quickly” on tough sanctions against the Islamic republic.

“It’s going to be quite inevitable that additional sanctions will be imposed in the near future unless there is some move­ment in the right direction by Iran,” Najib said in Washington on Thursday.“The onus is now on Iran to react expeditiously to prevent additional sanctions,” he said. - Star, 17/4/2010, KL warns Teheran after cutting off supply

Najib must really start reading more....and watching Al-Jazeera to understand what is really happening with that Iran issue... and why US and its cronies are going after Iran....See earlier posts:-

What is UMNO-led BN's position on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Israel..same as US's position...Israel's position ...APCO?

Has Najib made Malaysia a US crony? Have we abandoned our principles? Did he say anything about US's NPT breaches? Did he also hail Obama?

 

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said China and Russia were represented at its own disarmament conference on Saturday, held in response to a summit in Washington to which it was not invited and intended to hit back at nuclear-armed "bullies".

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation in Tehran April 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz)
Iran said 60 countries were represented, including "seven or eight" foreign ministers and the deputy foreign ministers of China and Russia -- the two major powers the West is pushing to accept new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to the leaders of both countries at his Washington summit on Monday and Tuesday where Iran's nuclear programme was not on the official agenda but dominated talks on the sidelines.

With new sanctions looking ever more likely, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his address to the conference to hit back at the "bullies" who were trying to prevent Iran gaining the nuclear knowhow it says is for purely peaceful purposes.

"Unfortunately, the American government has both used nuclear weapons and has also officially threatened to use nuclear weapons," Ahmadinejad told delegates gathered at the conference centre of the state broadcaster IRIB.

"When those who possess nuclear weapons and use those weapons have the unequal veto right in the highest body responsible for international security, does this not mean encouraging others to proliferate nuclear weapons in order to provide their national security?" he asked.

The foreign ministers of Iraq, Lebanon and Syria supported Iran's nuclear work, calling for Israel to be stripped off its nuclear arsenal. Israel is believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal. Iran refuses to recognise Israel.

"Israel should let U.N. inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told the conference, state TV reported.

A U.S. sanctions draft proposes new curbs on Iranian banking, a full arms embargo, tougher measures against Iranian shipping, moves against members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and firms they control, and a ban on new investments in Iran's energy sector.

"BULLYING"

While Washington hopes the U.N. Security Council will approve the sanctions in the coming weeks, Ahmadinejad has said he will not beg to avoid them and that they did not pose a huge risk to the economy of the world's fifth largest oil exporter.

"The Security Council has openly turned into a tool for the implementation of the policies of a few bullying governments," Ahmadinejad told the conference.

He called for changes to its structure and to that of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which had become "a political lever" to use against non-nuclear countries. The IAEA said in February Iran might be working on a nuclear weapon.

Ahmadinejad said a new U.N. body should oversee global disarmament and that states that possess or threaten to use nuclear weapons should be suspended from the IAEA.

While Iran remains defiant in the face of new sanctions -- saying its nuclear programme is "irreversible" -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast it said it remained open to a deal with the West.

Mehmanparast restated that Iran was prepared to swap its low-level enriched uranium for higher-grade fuel enriched abroad, a move which would help address fears about Iran's enrichment activities, but this must happen on Iranian soil.

"We want to exchange 3.5 percent enriched uranium, 1 tonne, for 100 kg (220 lb) of 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel inside Iran under the supervision of the IAEA and we are ready for interaction," Mehmanparast told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Iran would continue cooperation with the IAEA even if a new round of sanctions were imposed, its envoy to the Vienna-based body said.

"We continued our cooperation with the IAEA in the past despite three imposed (U.N.) resolutions. This is our clear policy, even in that case (of new sanctions) we will continue our cooperation," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told Reuters.(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Jon Hemming)

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has confirmed that Malaysia has cut off gasoline supplies to Iran, warning Teheran it was close to facing new international sanctions over its controversial nuclear programme.

Najib’s announcement came three days after he held talks with US President Barack Obama, who had called for the world to move “boldly and quickly” on tough sanctions against the Islamic republic.

“It’s going to be quite inevitable that additional sanctions will be imposed in the near future unless there is some move­ment in the right direction by Iran,” Najib said in Washington on Thursday.

“The onus is now on Iran to react expeditiously to prevent additional sanctions,” he said.

The 15-member Security Council, including China, has already imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt sensitive uranium enrichment and is considering the prospect of a fourth round of UN sanctions.

The United States and its allies believe Iran is covertly working on a nuclear weapon, but the Islamic republic says it is pursuing only civilian power.

Najib said predominantly-Muslim Malaysia’s state oil company Petronas decided to suspend gasoline supplies after consultations with the Government.

Petronas is among a small group of non-Chinese oil companies supplying gasoline to Iran, the world’s fifth-largest crude oil exporter.

Najib said that while Malaysia maintained that Iran had the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, Teheran must comply with the UN Security Council decision ordering it to suspend uranium enrichment activities until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can verify they were exclusively peaceful as Iran claimed. — AFP

Friday, April 16, 2010

BN's Hulu Selangor candidate - Najib decided alone? Do BN component parties have any right to choose at all?

Who decided on the BN candidate?

The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the BN command centre in Bukit Sentosa at 5.05pm.

Muhyiddin said Kamalanathan's candidacy was decided by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after discussion with MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu- New Straits Times, 15/4/2010, P. Kamalanathan is BN's candidate in Hulu Selangor


Was it MIC who decided on the candidate? Or was it just the UMNO No. 1 and No. 2 that decided. Should it not have been the MIC, being a component party of the BN, that decided on the candidate?


The NST Report states the following:-
* Prime Minister Najib decided....
* There was some discussion with the MIC President (so they talked...and Samy said that he wants B as the candidate... and then what... Najib went away and decided on K - and Samy had no choice but to just accept PM's decision..., and guess what the candidate is already so beholding to Najib...and wants to give him a 'gift'.... - no mention about thanking Samy...or the MIC Central Committee for chosing him, and this is interesting)

Meanwhile, Kamalanathan, 44, said he would do his best to wrest the seat for the BN as a present from the MIC to Najib.

"The candidate this time is not just a BN canidate but a 1Malaysia candidate. We hold true to the 1Malaysia concept and we will strengthen 1Malaysia in Hulu Selangor," he told reporters.


Thanking Najib, Muhyiddin and the other BN components leaders for their trust in him, he said he would not let the coalition down.

"In the BN, normally if we want to clean up, we start at the hulu (upstream). We start from Hulu Selangor to clean up Selangor. We will bring back Selangor to the BN," he said.
- New Straits Times, 15/4/2010, P. Kamalanathan is BN's candidate in Hulu Selangor

Reasonably, one would have first thanked the President and Central Committee of the MIC, then the leaders of the BN component parties [for surely any of the BN component parties could have black-balled the candidate].... 

Wait, were the BN component parties even consulted ---- or were they just informed of the Najib's decision, and ask to attend the media event... I wonder.
How does Pakatan Rakyat...the Opposition parties decide on the candidates? I wonder....

Will we still need to get PR government permission to print, publish and disseminate newspapers, magazines, etc ...? Hopefully not...

Pakatan Rakyat...the Opposition ... just do not understand that we are fighting for freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, freedom of assembly ...

This means we do not have to go and get permission from the police and/or some other government authority to be able to publicly protest on any issue... It was sad that when people exercised this freedom...this right against the Pakatan Rakyat government - the Pakatan Rakyat complained and called it an 'illegal assembly' - and asked the police to act... [see earlier post:-Pakatan Rakyat's actions just like BN - anti freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, protests, demonstration...]

We are against the requirement that we must get government permissions/licenses/permits to be able to come out with our own newspapers, magazines, periodicals - and this is exactly what the UMNO-led BN had used to prevent differing viewpoints from reaching the people. We want the abolishment of such permits/licences, etc - People should be free to print, publish and circulate their newspapers, newsletters, etc... This is what we want. And sadly, again the Pakatan Rakyat is seen complaining about publications that are anti-PR stating that it is 'illegal' ...Why? Because it does not carry the 'printing and publication license number' (given when it is a publication that has been given a permit/license by the UMNO-led BN government). Why are you even raising this issue? Surely, we are against all such 'government control' of our right to print, publish and disseminate views..
However, anti-Pakatan Selangor Kita does not carry the printing and publication license numbers, a mandatory requirement for all newspapers. .- Malaysiakini, 15/4/2010, Pakatan target of guerrilla tabloid
To be fair, it may not have been Pakatan Rakyat or Khalid Samad who made this point but the reporter on his/her own initiative.

An underground anti-Pakatan Rakyat publication has been sneaked into Parliament and left at the MPs' lounge.

media journalist barred from parliament lobby lifted ended 250608 
02Khalid Samad (PAS-Shah Alam) found copies of the tabloid's second edition there today which had been made available for free.

The newspaper which started distribution in February very closely mimics the layout of the Selangor state's official publication SelangorKini.

However, anti-Pakatan Selangor Kita does not carry the printing and publication license numbers, a mandatory requirement for all newspapers.

The usual suspect, Umno Selangor, denied all involvement or even knowledge of the tabloid's existence.

The aim of the paper,which highlights the shortcomings of the Pakatan, it is believed , is to undermine the Selangor government.

The tabloid is also expected to surface in the bitterly contested Hulu Selangor by-election as a tool to weaken PR's credentials in the eyes of the electorate.

Khalid Samad attacked

NONEIn the latest edition, the paper gave prominence to Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria's comments questioning Khalid's (right) faith in Islam.

This was in regard to his suggestion that the word Allah be made available for non-Muslim usage.

At a press conference at parliament today, Khalid told reporters the published article was inaccurate and that he had not been contacted either by the mufti or Selangor Kita.

"As I had suggested that non-Muslims be allowed to use the word Allah, so I am a person who does not have faith in Islam and only a person that does not have faith will make such a proposal," Khalid said, quoting the tabloid.

He then explained that his stand on the usage of the word does not have anything to do with his faith as claimed by the mufti.

Khalid further clarified the reason behind his suggestion.

"What I said was that the enactment for Islam was drafted under the Umno administration.
"Since it is an administrative law, it is definitely going to be influenced by the mentality of the people in power," he said, adding that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has adopted a very defensive attitude.

Hence, he explained that this is a manifestation of the siege mentality; when everything that non-Muslims do, is suspected by the government as propagating their religion among Muslims.

However, he added that under the leadership of the Pakatan, the enactment would be re-studied with a more open approach.

"So on that basis, I do not think anybody has the right to question my faith, least of all the mufti," he added.

When asked if he will make a police report on this matter, Khalid replied that there is no need.

"I feel sorry for the police, because so many reports have been lodged," he said.

Nevertheless, Khalid stressed that he will take legal action if the mufti did not retract his statement within seven days.- Malaysiakini, 15/4/2010, Pakatan target of guerrilla tabloid

That is why the Pakatan Rakyat must sit down and clearly state:-

 a)    The people are free to exercise the right to protest peacefully. There shall be no requirement to get prior police permission for any protest/demonstration ....talks, forums, ceramahs, etc..

b)     There will no more any requirement to get any permits/licenses for the purpose of printing, publishing and disseminating any newspapers, periodicals, magazines, ...... VCDs, DVDs, Videos, etc...

It is best that all this is clearly stated NOW - so that the people will not find themselves 'cheated' only to find that the alternative government that they have elected is just the same as the UMNO-led BN government that they voted out.

Now, the manifestos only have 'too broad too general statements' with no specifics and this is just not good. 



Thursday, April 15, 2010

What is UMNO-led BN's position on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Israel..same as US's position...Israel's position ...APCO?

Has Malaysia been compromised? Is it now a US crony state? It is amusing how today's RTM news spend so much time in trying to highlight the fact that Obama spend more than 30 minutes meeting with our Najib? Why is this even important? What is Najib trying to prove? That Obama by this meeting has given the 'green light' to Najib? Why does he even want Obama's 'endorsement'? Will Malaysians be impressed by this short meeting with the US President? I do not think so - the people that Najib needs to impress is the Malaysian people - not some foreign super power who does not have a good human rights track record.

What is Malaysia's position with regard to the US occupation of and increased military presence in Afghanistan?
A recent star report seem to say that Najib is not at all interested in this, and seem to be more concerned in 're-construction projects'. US 'invade' and there is destruction by reason of the clashes of its armies (and those of its cronies) with certain groups of people in Afghanistan - and then, there will be re-construction. Malaysia's interest in such re-construction projects is embarrassing, and seem to be an approval of the US's unilateral (non-UN approved) actions in Afghanistan. [See earlier post:-How Obama lied in his justification to increase troops in 'colonized' Afghanistan?]

On Afghanistan, Najib informed Obama that at the request of the Afghan government, Malaysia recently deployed a team to assess possible ways to contribute to the reconstruction of the country.- Star, 14/4/2010, Obama hails Malaysia’s move to curb WMDs
What is Malaysia's position with regard to Iran, and its right to  peacefully use nuclear technology? Surely, Iran like any other sovereign nation has every right to be involved in research and development of nuclear technology. But, since US sees Iran (an Islamic nation) as not being one of its 'friends' today, there has been excessive pressure on this current Iranian administration. If Iran was still under the Shah, and still a pro-US country, I do not believe that we will see such pressure on Iran. Will Malaysia be attending the Iran organized nuclear summit? I wonder whether Najib believed on that assertion of 'weapons of mass destruction' which was the justification for US-led invasion of Iraq - and, will also maybe now believe everything that US says about Iran...Palestine...
What is the UMNO-led BN government's position on the Palestine issue? I wonder...
 
What is Malaysia's position with regard the US-led invasion and continued 'occupation' of Iraq? Maybe, Najib is not interested - maybe only interested in how Malaysia can benefit  from them 're-construction' projects and a bigger share in Iraq's oil...
 
What is Malaysia's position on US's breaches of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT)? It's failure to still destroy nuclear weapons, its development of new nuclear weapons, it's supplying and placement of nuclear weapons in non-nuclear weapon countries, its apathy (and lack of action...) with regard to Israel's nuclear weapons... Did Najib even raise any of these matters? Or was he just too awed by the fact that he met with the US President and Vice President....and Obama spent so much more minutes with him than with the other world leaders...[See earlier post:-Has Najib made Malaysia a US crony? Have we abandoned our principles? Did he say anything about US's NPT breaches? Did he also hail Obama?]

Recently, Anwar raised the APCO issue - and, it looked very much a 'narrow race-religion based issue'. There is also a great dependence of persons who were formerly part of the evil Zionist regime - but, the important point was that were former this and that.... Following, the same line of arguement, we must also be concerned with the former UMNO-led BN personalities, especially them former Ministers and members of the Cabinet. The same argument applies...don't you think.

Today, I came across a more well researched article written by William Leong - which adds more credibility to the assertion that APCO is not just staffed/controlled by former Israeli Zionist government membres, but is in fact really still a pro-Zionist entity. I have copied the said article below for your reading pleasure, and possible comments...

I ask a further question as to why the UMNO-led BN government does not have the confidence to employ a Malaysian public relations company?  Does our own government have no confidence in Malaysian companies...and Malaysians? Why? I believe that our UMNO-led BN government must be criticized for this - and for the amounts of money that have literally been paid out to foreign entities...which could have been kept within the country if local companies are employed.

What’s The Fuss About APCO?

by William Leong Jee Keen
Member of Parliament
In collaboration with
KeADILan Parliamentary Research Unit (KPRU) 


1 Following the Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim’s revelations about the UMNO/BN Government’s use of APCO Worldwide public relations/lobbyists’ firm and the concept of 1Malaysia and 1Israel, UMNO has reacted with harsh, ruthless and brutal responses even by UMNO’s standards. They are going to refer the Opposition Leader to the rights and privileges committee to suspend Anwar from Parliament on April 22, 2010. On April 7, 2010, the Kuala Krau Member of Parliament, Y.B. Dato’ Haji Ismail bin Haji Mohamed Said proposed a similar motion to suspend Y.B. Dato’ Haji Mahfuz bin Haji Omar, the Member of Parliament for Pokok Sena for saying “UMNO APCO”. The BN MPs use of their majority in numbers to approve the motion even though there is nothing misleading or unparliamentary in the 2 words, shows that even BN MPs acknowledge APCO has become a bad word.

2 Those who are familiar with the issues relating to Malaysia’s avowed opposition to the Zionists regime in Israel, understand the UMNO MPs desire to disassociate themselves with a public relations firm with Zionists links. However, there are many Malaysians who are not familiar with these issues or do not see what is the fuss about APCO or if 1Malaysia is linked to 1Israel or Washington lobbyists.

3 I write this article to assist Malaysians not familiar with these issues to enable them to make sense of the debate that is ongoing in the Parliament and to see the significance of the present visit by the Prime Minister, Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak to the US and his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in the light of Washington lobbyists’ capabilities and objectives.

4 I shall try to explain: (1) why the appointment of APCO warrants genuine concern for national security; (2) the subtle relationship between Ketuanan Melayu, Neo-conservatism and Zionism; (3) how BN/UMNO is using 1Malaysia to package their autocracy and to cover up the reluctance to implement structural and institutional reforms; and (4) the role of Washington lobbyists to promote US backed dictators.

Undisputable Facts

5 APCO Worldwide is based in Washington DC and has 23 offices all over the world including Tel Aviv. It is common knowledge that many of its key personalities and advisers are associated with Zionist Israel, e.g. Shimon Shein (former Israeli Ambassador to Germany), Itamar Rabinovich (former Israeli Ambassador to the US), Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, former security chief for the Israeli Government and Elliot Abrams, the former Deputy National Security Advisor in the George W. Bush Administration.

6 An example of the Neo-Conservative Zionists’ policies is the opposition to the proposed land for peace deal for Israel to make territorial concessions to the Palestinians as part of the Oslo Accords. (September 1993). Itamar Rabinovich was a participant or observer in events such as the July 1993 Meeting of Right-Wing American-Israeli lobbying organization opposing the Oslo Accords.

7 During the first Knesset debate on the Oslo peace accords (see September 13, 1993), Likud party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, a close ally of US neoconservatives and Christian fundamentalists, compares the accords to British attempts to appease Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler before World War II. Referring to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, he shouts at Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain.” Netanyahu is so aggressive in part because he has the public and private support of influential US neoconservatives and Christian fundamentalists. “I was ambassador [to the US] for four years of the peace process, and the Christian fundamentalists were vehemently opposed to the peace process,” Israeli ambassador Itamar Rabinovich will recall (see July 1993). “They believed that the land belonged to Israel as a matter of divine right. So they immediately became part of a campaign by the Israeli right to undermine the peace process.” Netanyahu’s outburst on the floor of the Knesset was a deliberate part of that strategy.

8 APCO’s operators in Tel Aviv have close links to the Zionist regime. Its CEO in Israel, Gad Ben-Ari, was a personal adviser of the late PM Yishak Rabin. APCO in Israel undertakes various communications and strategic development works for both corporate and governmental organisations. One of the members of APCO’s International Advisory Council is Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, who was a former security chief for the Israeli government. The Israeli military and intelligence agencies have links to agencies that are not in line with Malaysia’s domestic and foreign policies. One of them is the position adopted by Singapore with regard to its defence.

9 Singapore considers itself to be in a similar situation as that faced by Taiwan and Israel. It considers itself as a small nation surrounded by larger neighbouring nations that could be potential enemies of the city state. It is an open secret that Israeli military advisers helped Singapore to set up its defense forces modeled after the Israeli Defense Forces. According to military and strategic analysts such as Tim Huxley in his book in “Defending the Lion City”, Singapore is known to be using a forward-defense military doctrine similar to that employed by Israel. The Singapore Armed Forces (“SAF”) declared mission statement is to “enhance Singapore’s peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy through a relatively quick and cost-effective fashion.” According to Tim Huxley in his book, Singapore’s strategy is that the SAF is to have a clear capability to inflict severe damage on Malaysia (by implication creating serious political and economic repercussion for Singapore) and is a deterrent not to be used. The capability is a deterrent sort of regional “doomsday machine” intended to manipulate Singapore’s regional threat environment by forcing neighboring states to treat the city state with a degree of respect and caution which might otherwise be absent.

10 The point to be noted is that the Israeli military intelligence has a close working relationship with Singapore and countries opposed to the Arab nations seeking a solution to the Palestinian question. Hence, any revelation or knowledge acquired by Israeli military intelligence officers whether retired or not, poses a danger to our nation’s security.

11 In short, the BN government is engaging a company that has a close tie with the Zionist regime in Israel. Its advisory panels consist of former security chief of the Israeli government, and many of their staff are formerly from the Israel Security Agency.

ZIONISM, NEOCON AND KETUANAN MELAYU

12 Before proceeding further, it is important to differentiate between being Jewish and being the adherents of ideological Zionism.

12.1 Zionism, or more specifically the recent neo-Zionism, is a right-wing, nationalistic and religious movement. They believe that it is impossible for Arabs and Jews to be living together in peace. The only solution to achieve peace is “deterrence and retaliation”.[1] In general, Zionism is no less than an exclusionary, nationalist, even racist, antidemocratic political-cultural trend, striving to heighten the fence encasing Israeli identity.

12.2 On the other hand, the Malay supremacy, or Ketuanan Melayu embraced by UMNO shares many similarities with the Zionism advocated by those in Israel. Ketuanan Melayu believes that the Malays (not including Orang Asli in the Peninsular, I suppose) are the masters of Malaysia. Other ethnic groups in Malaysia are expected to be eternally beholden to the Malays, in particular, UMNO for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia.[2] This deep seated belief has been revealed in the recent statements by the Prime Minister’s aide, Datuk Nasir Safar in saying “Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies” at a 1Malaysia seminar in Malacca and Datuk Seri Noh Omar, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister quoting speeches of the 4th MCA President, Tan Siew Sin and 5th MIC President, V.T. Sambanthan from 1960s who praised UMNO and the Malays for granting citizenships to the non-Malays.

13 Ideologies, such as, Ketuanan Melayu and Zionism are not new in this world. The renewed right-wing movements in US also brought a new political philosophy called Neo-conservatism (neocons) which supports using American economic and military power to bring liberalism, democracy, and human rights to other countries. The neocons have substantially influenced George W. Bush to produce the Bush Doctrine of preventive war and eventually led to the invasion of Iraq.

14 Though having dissimilarities among them, all three ideologies are based on ethnocratic fundamentals, reject multi-culturalism, upholding their values as more privilege than others, and trying to implement their beliefs through forceful and assimilation means.

15 The distorted version of New Economic Policy (NEP), The National Culture Policy introduced in 1970 that emphasized an assimilation of the non-Malays into the Malay ethnic group, as well as the contents of the Biro Tatanegara, are all proof of an ethnocratic regime.

ROOT OF THE DEVIL – THE ETHNOCRATIC REGIME

16 Oren Yiftachel, a Jewish scholar at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, contends that “ethnicity is often constructed as a tool of oppression by ethno-national majorities”, which appropriate “the state apparatus to advance its control over a contested territory and power apparatus”. In the case of Israel, the successive ruling elites since 1948 have been at pains to create an ethnocratic regime at the expense of the Palestinians.[3]

17 An ethnocratic regime possesses the following characteristics:

a. Design for a concerted and collective project of exerting ethnonational control over a territory that is perceived to be the nation’s homeland;

b. Distribution of power and resources based on ethnic affiliation, rather than citizenship.

c. Privileges in the areas of the economy, education and culture are granted to the major ethnic group with a view to securing an absolute control of the state and territory.

18 It is not surprising that under UMNO-BN rule, Malaysia has passed all the tests above. Ironically, despite constant Israel-bashing exercises, Malaysia bears strong resemblance to it.

19 Various attempts made by UMNO to destroy the independence of the judiciary, expand executive powers, and suppress the legislature through gerrymandering and weakening the role of Parliament/state assemblies, are all for the purpose of ethnic dominance.

20 Worse, the social policy and ethnocratic agenda have been abused over the years, benefiting only the upper class, political elites and those who have close relationship to them. This has led to the vicious cycle of corruption, rent seeking and patronage activities.

21 You may argue, it is not UMNO that rules the country, but the BN coalition. Well, it is not a secret that the coalition partners are in government but not in power. UMNO is the dominant partner. The coalition is only used to justify the ethnonational agenda of the UMNO regime.

22 As a result, we see the lack of public debate in policymaking in the past many decades. The ethnocratic regime in Malaysia has seriously distorted our value system in that the public are unable to tell right from wrong. Anything that crosses the racial boundary will be termed as ‘sensitive’. Racial prejudice also precedes the pursuit of democracy, justice and truth.

1MALAYSIA AND MANY OTHER ONES

23 Many slogans or manifestos of an ethnocratic regime attempts to forge unity and reiterate the importance of building a one-nation state. As it might sound warm and nice, the slogan 1Malaysia is actually a familiar slogan to the various one-nation movements around the world.

24 1Malaysia is definitely not an original idea born in Malaysia. It is also not new to the rest of the world. ‘One Israel’ was the slogan of a failed attempt to forge unity in a fragmented political landscape. Then there was also ‘One Britain’, which had been the theme of notorious UK Conservative politicians and far-right, anti-immigration groups.[4]

25 In Australia, ex-Prime Minister John Howard formulated a ‘One Australia’ policy in 1988. Howard welcomed all those who share his vision and are ready to contribute to the unity of Australian, ironically, detailing a vision of “one nation and one future” which included the rejection of Aboriginal land rights. (KPRU, One Australia, 4 June 2009)

26 In essence, ‘One Australia’ was a reaction against multiculturalism and it insisted that Australia must retain the domination of the Anglo-Saxons.

27 Howards’ ‘One Australia’ theme was later picked up by racist politicians such as Paula Hanson who founded the One Nation Party. This party’s sole platform was based on fiery anti-migrant and anti-foreigner rhetoric and policies.

1MALAYSIA OR KETUANAN MELAYU?

28 Here in Malaysia, 1-year after its launching, the concept of ‘1Malaysia’ is still too ambiguous. It is merely a slogan without substance. Many would wonder why the opposition is spending time to scrutinize it as it is just a slogan. There are 2 reasons for this: (1) the 1Malaysia campaign has expended a lot of public money, and (2) the 1Malaysia theme can be misleading or misguiding, especially if ultimately UMNO proceeds to continue its Ketuanan Melayu agenda.

29 How much the 1Malaysia campaign costs? According to a ministerial reply, the government paid RM23 million to APCO. If other 1Malaysia initiative such as 1Malaysia F1, 1Malaysia surveys, 1Malaysia website and others are included, the figure will balloon to several hundreds of million Ringgit.

30 It must be pointed that there is a fundamental obstacle that prevent UMNO’s concept of an inclusive 1Malaysia to be the same as that of Pakatan Rakyat’s Ketuanan Rakyat. Those that harbors the belief that 1Malaysia means equality for all will be disappointed to know that this policy cannot be successfully implemented by UMNO for so long as it remains an ethocentric political party that survives on championing the rights of only one race. UMNO has on numerous occasions threatened other minority ethnic groups not to challenge or question those privileges. It is impossible for UMNO to implement an inclusive 1Malaysia for so long as it remains a racial party championing exclusively one race.

31 Recent incidents remind us of the true face of UMNO:

a. Feb 2010 – ‘Indians came to Malaysia as beggars and Chinese especially the women came to sell their bodies” “Indians in Malaysia have crossed the line. They force the government for 12 subjects in SPM. Don’t force the government. We can anytime revoke the citizenship of the Indians in Malaysia.” The above statements were allegedly said by Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s aide Datuk Nasir Safar at a 1Malaysia seminar titled ‘Rapat 1Malaysia’ in Malacca International Trade Centre.[5]

b. 27 March 2010 – Ibrahim Ali, Chairman of PERKASA and also independent MP, waved the infamous keris again during the PERKASA assembly attended by the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir and his son, International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.[6] The avowed mission of PERKASA is to ensure 1Malaysia and the New Economic Model preserves the special privileges and positions of the Malays.

c. 7 April 2010 – Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar made a remark that Chinese and Indians should be “grateful” for being made Malaysian citizens.[7]
32 The issue relating to APCO is not the price of RM23 million being paid to APCO for the 1Malaysia campaign or whether it originated from 1Israel. The issue is that it is hypocritical of the Najib led UMNO to champion the cause of the Palestinian Arabs while working with a Zionists inclined organisation. The issue is whether 1Malaysia is a public relation exercise to use it as an instrument to perpetuate Ketuanan Melayu. The costs of Ketuanan Melayu to Malaysians are astronomical and incalculable. The policy has bred cronyism, nepotism, corruption, rent-seeking behavior and abuse of power. Barry Wain has estimated that it has costs Malaysians RM100 billion under Mahathir’s regime while Morgan Stanley calculated that it may be more than RM380 billion. Other than certain die-hard UMNO/BN supporters and those who are fed on a diet of BN controlled media, investors both local and foreign are not putting any money into Malaysia unless critical structural reforms are undertaken. Mere reform rhetoric will not be sufficient. There must be reform in substance before we see the economy being revived. Ketuanan Melayu is one of those pillars on which the present economic and political structure is built on and this must be substituted by a paradigm shift for “inclusiveness” in order for the nation to regain its competitiveness. A nationalist inclined organization carrying out public relations exercise will not lead to substantive structural reform.

What US Lobbyists Do for Dictators

33 The other danger to Malaysians in using lobbyists is the US policy of supporting authoritarian regimes. One of APCO’s International Advisory Council Members is Elliott Abrams. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy (2005–2009) in the administration of President George W. Bush where he supervised US Policy in the Middle East for the White House. For the 8 years of the Bush II administration, Elliot Abrams was one of the key behind the scenes architect of US strategy in the Middle East. He has been described as a neo-conservative whose devotion to Israel is hard to overstate and who is now engaged in what looks like a public relations campaign to bend Barack Obama’s Middle East Policy in the direction favoured by Israel’s hard line Likud Government. However, unlike many neo-cons, Abrams has been surprisingly frank about his devotion to Israel as a Jewish state. He has even expressed resentment towards Christians who hold nuanced views about Israel or who show sympathy for the Palestinians uprooted from their ancestral homes. In 1997, Abrams published a book entitled, Fear or Faith: How Jews Can Survive in a Christian America, which explained his strong commitment to Zionism; chastised Jews who marry Christians; and lashed out at American Christians for what he regards as their insufficient support for Israel.

34 In 1991, Abrams pleaded guilty to misleading Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal. Many democrats have reviled him as the lead apologist for brutal Central American dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemalan during the 1980s. He’s “the guy who aided and protected human rights abusers” according to David Corn in an article published by the media Nations in 2001. He was later given a pardon by Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush. This gives us an idea as to the ideology and beliefs of APCO’s advisors.

35 Ken Silverstein of Harper’s magazine in an expose revealed that US lobbyists would be prepared to bolster the image of authoritarian regimes for a fee.

36 The lobbyists are aware of US foreign policies and the thinking of the policymakers and are able to exploit these for the benefit of their clients. It is a central dilemma of contemporary American foreign policy that the world’s leading capitalist democracy must confront an environment in which the majority of nations are neither capitalist nor democratic. US leaders have rarely exhibited ingenuity or grace in handling this delicate and often frustrating situation. Following the end of the Second World War, the break-up of European colonial empires throughout Asia and Africa was generally viewed as an opportunity by the Americans to show that democracy will triumph as a universal system. The actual results were acutely disappointing to the US. No wave of new democracies occurred in the “Third Word”. Instead, the decolonization produced a plethora of dictatorships. Some of which appeared distressingly friendly to Moscow. Washington’s response to this adversity has been particularly, simplistic and unfortunate. American leaders increasingly regarded any anti-communist regime, however, repressive and undemocratic it might be at home, as an “ally” “a force for stability” and even “a friend”. At the same time, they viewed leftist governments, even those elected under democratic procedures as little more than Soviet surrogates. Many will still remember George W. Bush’s speech on the War on Terror. “If you are not with us, you are against us.”

37 As a result of this simplistic and morally inconsistent strategy, America has found itself supporting a host of right wing authoritarian governments:

a. The United States have supported the authoritarian regime of the Shah of Iran by providing lavish military hardware as well as “security and counter insurgency training” to Savak, the Shah’s infamous secret police;

b. The United States have supported the Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos who suspended the national constitution, declared martial law, governed by decree and imprisoned political opponents to perpetuate his own power;

c. Washington gave similar assistance to a succession of Brazilian military governments, a parade of Guatemalan dictatorships, the junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974 and several other repressive governments;

d. Most notably, the United States helped to overthrow the Government of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and in 1965 came to support the establishment of the dictatorship of Joseph Mobutu;

e. The United States played a role in General Augusto Pinochet 1973 Coup in Chile;

f. In 2007, there was a world outcry over US support for Kazakhstan dictator, President for life Nursultan Nazabayev, who is a client of APCO. Nazabayez’s Kazakhstan has been rewarded by the United States and the West for his dictatorial moves. The US State Department acknowledges that “Between 1992 and 2005, the United States provided roughly $1.205 billion in technical assistance and investment support in Kazakhstan.” Amnesty International found in September 2008 that “beatings by law enforcement officers, especially in temporary pre-charge detention centres, in the street or during transfer to detention centres, are still routine.” Amnesty International also found “judges rarely exclude evidence elicited as a result of torture or other ill-treatment and often base their verdict on the confession of the accused.” President Nursultan Nazabayev will be getting some much-coveted face time with President Obama in the upcoming April 12-13 summit. Whether as activists hope that Obama would discuss Kazaksthan’s human rights records with Nursultan, it is certain that he would discuss Kazath expansion of a web of road, rail and air links that ferries military supplies to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. Insiders say that it is not the discussion on human rights reform but the Afghanistan transit roads that got Nazabayev the meeting.

38 Washington lobbyists are able to assist such dictators because they are aware of the power structure and the complex channels of how the US Government works. Ken Silverstein in his expose gave examples of lobbyists assisting dictators such as Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, who had been in power since 1978 after he executed his uncle, and has held several sham elections ever since, to be removed from the lists of the 10 worst dictators in the world. He also gave an example as to how the lobbyists were able to get a team of allegedly independent observers consisting of former members of Congress to issue uplifting statements to sell the sham elections in Cameroon as legitimate.

39 The lobbyists will be able to arrange events highlighting the advantages of the authoritarian government with leading US think tanks, setting out meetings with US government officials, get high level meetings for the regime’s official in Washington, organized editorials and hold events on Capitol Hill or in Washington to promote the regime.

40 It is clear from the above that the lobbyists’ concern is to promote the dictator and his regime and does nothing for the people or to improve their economic or democratic welfare. The APCO contract must therefore be viewed on the basis as to whether it is intended to assist Najib and his government or the Malaysian people. Just as Najib will be getting much-coveted face time with Obama (like the other APCO client, Nursultan Nazarbayev), it is doubtful whether Obama will be discussing with Najib Malaysia’s ISA, human rights’ records and structural reforms. It is certain just as in Nursultan Nazarbayev’s case, Najib and Obama is more likely to discuss how US strategic interests can be furthered by cooperation with Najib’s regime.

Conclusion

41 If Najib is serious in reforming the country, it is important to restore the value systems. The public must be rewarded for integrity, honesty and hard work not for know-who and know-how in lubricating the decision makers. The rule of law, the rewarding of those who are right and punishing those who are wrong irrespective of their positions, their designations or their political interests must be inculcated. The message that right values, that there is the commitment, courage and credibility for the government to act according to what is right and against what is wrong must be made. The government and its agencies must be colour blind and affirmative action has to be provided according to needs and not according to race. This means that an ethnocratic regime has to be replaced by multi-culturalism and Malaysians must learn to embrace and defend justice, democracy and universal values.

42 This includes:

a. Undertaking bold reforms to restore the independence of the police, the anti-corruption commission and the judiciary. Confidence in the rule of law is a basic condition for economic growth;

b. Reform the civil service;

c. Wage all out war on corruption;

d. Institutionalize a two-party system and give proportionate resources to the opposition;

e. Thoroughly revamp our education system;

f. Repeal the Printing Presses Act, the Universities and Colleges Act, the ISA and the OSA, and other repressive laws;

g. Enact a Freedom of Information law.

43 From the report card in the past one year, it seems that Najib is not ready to be the defender of democracy and justice, but more as a defender of the ethnocratic regime. Najib has not shown the commitment and courage to carry out the structural and political reform needed nor has he shown that he is prepared to take on those who are more interested to continue the legacy of an ethnocratic regime.

44 It is clear that no substantial economic and structural reforms have been made since Najib has taken over more than 1 year ago. All we have seen or heard is rhetoric. However, the dangers to Malaysians aspiring for democracy and liberty posed by a public relations firm and Washington lobbyist with neo-conservatives and Zionists links are real and not rhetoric.

45 The UMNO/BN majority in Parliament will suspend Anwar Ibrahim for revealing the APCO links on April 22, 2010. The Opposition Leader’s suspension must not be the end of the matter. Malaysians must answer the clarion call to prevent our march for multi-culturalisms from being derailed by neo-conservatives propaganda. This is what the fuss on APCO is all about.