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Monday, February 28, 2011

Holy Shit! Just See How Powerful Your One Vote Is

Your vote against Umno/BN is a good thing in order for them to fear you and not you fearing them.

Your ONE VOTE can send shiver down the spine of Umno/BN.
Look at how the most powerful man in Malaysia goes to the ground and beg for your votes.

They are coughing out, reluctantly, millions and millions of ringgit into every by-elections.

Masquerading as 1Malaysia NGO going round with goodies as if no one knows who they are and for what reason.

Millions are also pouring in for headmasters and principals.

The best has yet to come with the announcement that Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) is eligible for university status.

The above could have been carried out years ago but they held back what are rightfully yours because you keep voting them into power.

In order to maintain the momentum what they are doing now and to ensure that they listen to your call for equality, reform of the institutions and no more racism, you need to continue to VOTE FOR CHANGE.

Your vote against Umno/BN is a good thing in order for them to fear you and not you fearing them.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pakatan Rakyat is the better choice because we embrace the future

Speech by Lim Guan Eng whilst campaigning for the PAS candidate in the Tenang By-Election on Tues, 25th Jan 2011 at 8 pm:

The 4 PR states RM25 billion investments have beat the other

10 BN states attracted 53% of Malaysia's total investments of

RM47.2 billion in 2010

The 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah & Kelantan have beat the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53% of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010. For the first time in history, Penang is now the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010.

Penang replaced the previous 2009 champion Sarawak by recording RM 12.2 billion in 2010 as compared to Sarawak RM3.9 billion. Penang was No. 4 in 2009 with RM 2.1 billion but shot up 5 times to No.1. On the other hand Sarawak went down from No.1 in 2009 with RM 8.5 billion to No. 4 with RM3.9 billion in 2010. Penang's success in drawing in RM12.2 billion is an extraordinary vote of confidence by both foreign & local investors in the PR state govt of Penang.

The No.2 state after Penang is another PR state of Selangor with RM 10.6 billion in investments. In fact the 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah & Kelantan combined comprise RM 25 billion investments or 53% of the total investments in Malaysia of RM47,177 million in 2010. These 4 PR states alone can beat the remainder 10 states of BN Malaysia combined!

Despite the financial constraints & limitations imposed by BN, PR have shown our good governance. In Penang we have excelled by being praised by the Auditor-General Report for being the best financially managed state with record surpluses of RM88 million in 2008 & RM77 million in 2009. Penang became the first state govt in history to be commended by Transparency International for CAT(Competency, Accountability & Transparency) governance in establishing integrity in leadership.

We have wiped out hard-core poverty, the first state to do so in Malaysia. We are giving senior citizens RM100 every year & when they die, their beneficiaries a one-off RM1,000/-. All partially assisted schools of Chinese,Tamil & Sekolah Agama Rakyat are given a fixed sum of at least RM11.3 million every year. We are working towards a wifi state offered free of charge.

Penang is going green & leading in green practices such as "No Free Plastic Bag" campaigns & waste treatment through 3R of Reduce, Reuse Recycle. Penang enjoys the cheapest water rates in the country. Penang is also the Silicon Valley of Malaysia & selected as the most livable city in Malaysia on par with KL. We have done more in 3 years what BN fail to do in 51 years.

So who says that PR can not govern. We may not have the experience but neither do we have the experience to cheat or be corrupt. PR has proven that a clean govt can outperform corrupt govts. Voters of Tenang should choose PR that offers a better future not only for you but for your children.

PR is the better choice because we embrace the future. We embrace the future by embracing each & every one of you whether Malays, Indians, Chinese, Kadazans and Ibans as Malaysian brothers & sisters, Malaysian sons & daughters. Let us grow together, learn together & enjoy the success together.

Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister & DAP Secretary General

Please help to disseminate this good news

Don't recall reading this in the STAR. They will not publish this news.

Since the mainstream media is banned from publishing such news by the govt, please do a bit of national service by forwarding this report to your contacts on the net & ask them to repeat the process.

Just imagine the exponential power of disseminating news in this manner. If one person sends out this message to 10 of his contacts & each of the 10 contacts in turn repeats this process of spreading the word around, by the 7th level, 1 million readers would have received the same message.

This is one simple & powerful way where we can spread the censored message to the rakyat to bring about a change of govt for the good of the country.

Najib's own violent record and Gadaffi: Pot calling the kettle black!

ByMariam Mokhtar Malaysia Chronicle

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is rather disingenuous to tell Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to refrain from using violence against protestors who are opposed to his rule.

He said, “We believe that he should not use violence. What is important for us is to take into account the aspirations of people... The system should be legitimate, it has to be based on support of people.”

Najib was speaking to AFP during his visit to Istanbul and said that the people in Arab and north African countries were giving “a clear sign of their demand for change and reform” and that those governments would have to acknowledge this.

He said, “The constitutional and political reforms that would be effective should be able to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of people, particularly the young people”.

Najib stressed that change in the region should be peaceful.

If only he would heed his own words.

When asked to comment about a possible uprising in Malaysia, Najib said that he was unperturbed as he had no concerns about a possible uprising happening in Malaysia as elections here were “quite free and fair” and that support for the government support was increasing.

Does Najib truly believe that vote-buying and rigging as well as manipulation of voters does not happen here?

But if Najib was not worried about events in the middle-east, why has there been a media blitz with various ministers saying that none of the rebellions will happen here?

The day after Egypt fell, Najib denied claims that there were parallels between Egypt and Malaysia. A few days ago, Minister for Information, Communication and Culture Rais Yatim told Malaysians to ignore Opposition propaganda to hold protests like those in Arab countries. Soon after, Deputy Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that upheavals in the middle-east would not happen in Malaysia.

The more they protest, the more they betray their true feelings.

A few days ago, the British press claimed that Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi threatened to unleash mob rule as he pledged to “cleanse Libya house by house” until he crushed the insurrection seeking to sweep him from power.

In his most chilling speech of his 41 years in power, Gaddafi threatened death sentences against anyone who challenged his authority and in a diatribe lasting over 75 minutes, declared that “I will fight to the last drop of my blood”.

Najib’s ludicrous statement to tell Gaddafi not to use violence against the protestors is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

At the 61st Umno General Assembly in October 2010, Najib asked the near-hysterical delegates, “Are we willing to hand our beloved Malaysia to the traitor of race and country?” They in turn responded with shouts of “No. No.”

However, Najib’s most despicable statement then was, “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya.”

His ensuing speech was riddled with hostility. It encouraged fear and apprehension. His words taught Malaysians all about envy and hatred.

With his violent past, Najib has the gall to tell Gaddafi to refrain from using violence.

Furthermore, how does he explain the police use of water cannons, chemical-laced sprays, police batons, tear gas, arrests, physical intimidation and assaults against peaceful protestors in his own homeland?

What is the point of Najib telling Gaddafi off?

When we asked Najib about the government’s alleged purchase of small arms – pistols, sub-machine guns, stun-grenades and more – from underground sources in the overseas black markets, he kept quiet.

When we demanded to know if these arms would be used by Umno Youth, who are suddenly embarking on paramilitary training, he did not reply. (Khairy Jamaluddin has just completed his parachute training.)

When we questioned him about the need to recruit 2.6 million Rela volunteers by mid-year, he again maintained silence.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do Not Be Taken In By Najib's Desperate Moves

This famous quote is being used generally by Pro-Umno/bn supporters.

"Vote for the devil you know rather than the devil/angel you do not know."

In using this quote, they are actually confirming that Umno/bn is a devil and cannot be trusted. Would you choose a devil, knowing it will suck the nation dry by way of leakages and corruption, detain you without cause, treat you like shit, torture and kill you while you are under detention? Would you choose a devil, knowing it thinks nothing of the atrocity of a foreigner being blown to pieces with C4,and that it is uninterested in transparency, equality and will every day cause racial and religious intolerance.

Or would you choose a devil/angel that you do not know but chances are that it will be better than the devil you already know - a risk that the PM does not want you and business corporations to take. How much dumber can the PM be, knowing that the world moves on mainly due to risk-taking at every opportunity? As the saying goes, "No risk no gain."

A desperate PM who is facing the reality of defeat is now digging deep into the pockets to return a small portion of what rightfully belongs to the rakyat.

Pakatan Rakyat Buku Jingga (PR Orange Book) was criticised by Umno/bn, including the PM. They claimed that it would bankrupt the nation, if enforced. But what the PM is doing now is to copycat PR's Buku Jingga, short of a complete duplication of it.

I would not be complaining if what the PM does benefits the rakyat but I question his motives, WHY do this only now? And what is given is piecemeal, on an ad hoc basis, without assurance that they will not be reversed once Umno/bn wins big after the 13 GE.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced this: "The New Pantai Expressway toll rate between Petaling Jaya Selatan and Kampung Medan has been cut to RM1 from RM1.60 as a Chinese New Year gift to the residents there, "

Is this the way a government runs the country? Is this a Chinese New Year Gift or is it done to solicit votes?

A right-minded and competent government would have abolished all tolls and retained just a minimum rate for maintenance and upgrading purposes. The rakyat must not be lured to vote for Umno/bn just because of the reduction of toll rates for a few Expressways. Remember the decision can be reversed and the rates increased by much more after the party gets your votes.

"The PM pledged not to censor the Internet and said Malaysia remained a democracy."

What pledge and democracy is he talking about? At least he is smart to know that censoring the internet will lead to his having to face great repercussions. But he is not that smart after all, thinking that the rakyat will believe in him. He may not censor the internet upfront, but we know he got the MCMC, the police to work for him and he used the ISA.

What was Najib trying to prove when he said, “Let us not be apologetic about democracy in Malaysia. There is democracy in Malaysia. Sometimes I feel like there is too much democracy in Malaysia.”?

There is democracy in Malaysia just because we have election every five years and this is Umno/bn's definition of democracy? The PM feels that there is too much democracy in Malaysia and is this why he has to suppress the people more, including using the ISA, the PDRM, MACC and Judiciary to clamp down on dissidents ?

We could appreciate what the PM is trying to do for the rakayt, if the actions were sincere and on a long-term basis, but not when these occur as the general election is approaching. What Najib is doing is no different from his predecessors - dishing out goodies prior to a general election. We have seen these tactics before, again and again, election after election, and after they have won big, they conveniently renege on the promises they made.

Malaysians must not be taken in by Najib's desperate moves. The truth is that the PM fear of losing power is for real. What he is giving out is just a fraction of what belongs to the rakyat. His ploy is to get the gullible voters to vote Umno/bn in with a greater majority and that is about it.

What the rakyat need are not these short-term piecemeal goodies but long-term solutions to the many problems plaguing the nation. The PM has not uttered a word on how he is going to tackle the vast corruption in the country, knowing full well that all the money saved could possibly help to remove all toll charges, build more schools and the many other things that the Government could do for the rakyat. Instead, when challenged by the rakyat, the answer given is that there is no money.

The PM's complete silence regarding police brutality, death in custody and lately, the former IGP's claim that the police were responsible for ops lalang finally confirm that the nation is a police state.

If the PM does not find ways and means to make changes to outdated policies and to weed out the root problems of the various institutions that lead to major sicknesses - corruption, detention without trial, death and torture during detention, deteriorating race and religious relations, ketuanan melayu, suppression of freedom of speech, lack of transparency, an 'uneducated' education system, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer plus the bloated PM's office and ministry - the voters must send Umno/bn packing come the 13th general election.

No ifs or buts! They have to go. We stand a better chance with the devil/angel that we do not know than the devil we have known for over 50 years that is not doing anything good for the nation and the rakyat.

For better or for worse, we cannot afford to wait until we face the same situation as Tunisia and Egypt. We need to change and save Malaysia now.

Malaysians Only Need One Day To Topple Umno/BN - Polling Day Of The 13th General Election

Use The Power Of Your Vote To Send Umno/BN Packing

Dear Kit — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

From Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah To Lim Kit Siang

The Malaysian Insider

After a long journey in your political career, weathering the often rough and tumble of Malaysian politics, you somehow managed to survive and carve a popular name, an icon among your admirers and a ‘political bug’, so to speak, among your opponents.

So, you are now 70 years of age — not too young but not too old either — to go on treading the political journey.

You have consistently upheld and stood your ground on matters relating to the fundamental rights of all the rakyat, irrespective of race, to free and responsible speech, the rights to enjoy a just and fair distribution of the economic and social wealth of the nation, and to political, judicial and legal justice.

You have consistently and courageously spoken up against the corruption and the various misdeeds and defaults of the government and demanded actions, both in Parliament as well as outside it, despite the possible reprisals, the threats and even possible punitive actions that might be taken against you, which in fact you have suffered in the past.

But you have not kept your silence; you continue to grow bigger and speak even louder.

In the end, it seems to me you are the winner because, despite what your opponents say about you, as long as you know and believe what you stand for is good for the poeple and the country, you are on the right path.

Politicians, and especially those who have been given the mandate to ‘rule’ or ‘govern’ the country, must be honest, trustworthy, clean and efficient.
They must have PRINCIPLES and be consistent in their upholding and promotion of the principles for the good of the rakyat and the country and not be swayed or swerved by their personal interests and greed.

The rakyat look up to a Wakil Rakyat or to a government leader not because he or she is a Malay, a Chinese or an Indian, an Iban or a Kadazan; they look up to you because of your principles — principles that they can respect, trust and emulate.

On this auspicious day, may I quote Georges Pompidou who once said:

“A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation. A politician is a statesman who places the nation at his service”.

Let me now say “Selamat Menyambut Hari Jadi Yang ke-70”, in other words “Happy Birthday to You”.

Wishing you good fortune, good health and long life. May you continue to tread the rough and tumble of the Malaysian political road with even greater tenacity and thrust in the years ahead until we can all together ensure that no one in the country is allowed to create a situation of disaster of the type we have just seen in Tunisia and Egypt.

* This is Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s birthday greetings to Lim Kit Siang who turns 70 on February 20, 2011.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Enough Is Enough!

By Thomas Lee

When announcing the establishment of the Penang Exco Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee early this week, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng pointed out that the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Penang state government has been under siege with constant unwarranted attacks of being anti-Malay even over simple and small matters.

Even before the high-profile committee can start to meet to formulate its plan of action, the Umno newspaper Utusan Melayu has launched a harsh and raucous assault on it, claiming that it is a tool to sideline Islam, and bully the Muslims and Malay Rulers.

“To Muslim leaders and Muslims in Penang … beware the subtle and slick tactics of a certain leader to sideline Islam as the official religion and bypass the Conference of Rulers,” the Utusan said its Thursday 17 February 2011 edition.

The Utusan was commenting on the new state executive council portfolio initiated by Guan Eng to handle religious matters relating to the non-Islamic religions like Buddhisms, Christianity, Sikhism, Taoism and Hinduism.

The high-profile exco committee is headed by Guan Eng himself, with Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P. Ramasamy as the deputy chairman.

The Utusan attack on the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Penang state government is certainly not unexpected or surprising, given the fact that the Umno mouthpiece has been on an unbridled energetic campaign against the DAP and its secretary-general Guan Eng since the Barisan Nasional lost control of Penang after the March 2008 general election. The newspaper has lately become very ethno-centric and more race-centred in its reporting and writings.

In 2008, the Utusan campaigned against Selangor Senior Executive Councillor Teresa Kok of the DAP, accusing her of asking a Puchong mosque to stop playing the azan over its loudspeaker. Teresa was then arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA), but released a week later. She had denied the allegation while the mosque committee members also came forward to defend her.

In August 2010, the Utusan had played up a story on DAP Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching entering the worship area of the Surau Al-Huda in Kajang Sentral during a ceremony to present aid to PAS members. The unwarranted sensationalizing of the inadvertent unwitting incident using thoughtless and emotionally toned language to stir up negative feelings against Teo was certainly despicable.

Then in December 2010, the newspaper attacked Teo again for alleged failure to dress appropriately during her visit to a mosque. She was condemned for allegedly wearing tight-fitting clothes at an aerobics exercise programme in the mosque’s car park. The Utusan had accused Teo of not respecting Muslim sensitivities for not covering her aurat and wearing what it called a tight-fitting T-shirt and track pants.

In December 2010, the Utusan accused the DAP of being a tool of a foreign government and called for the party to be banned. A day after the Pakatan Rakyat national convention, the Malay daily also accused Guan Eng of being anti-Malay as it zeroed in its assault on the Penang Chief Minister and the DAP.

In its Monday 20 December 2010 edition, Utusan featured remarks by Umno leaders who, among others, called the DAP the “king of racism”.

There was also an article entitled “Guan Eng’s rudeness” that listed Guan Eng’s alleged anti-Malay acts.

The Utusan had also claimed that Guan Eng had banned a Maulidur Rasul procession, prevented Malay traders from participating in the Ramadan bazaar in Komtar, and demolished various villages.

The newspaper had also condemned Guan Eng for allegedly using gambling revenue to fund compassionate payments to Muslim senior citizens.

The Utusan had also quoted Umno vice-president and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying that the DAP was a tool of a foreign power.

“Guan Eng should ask himself if the DAP is a true political party that represents Malaysians, or whether it wants to be a tool of a foreign country by hiding behind democracy,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The Utusan Malaysia had also reported Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim as claiming that the DAP worshipped Singapore.

Given all these accusations the Utusan has been making and is making against Guan Eng and the other DAP leaders, and its constant contemptible assaults on the Pakatan Rakyat Penang state government, it is time perhaps for the people to put their act together and send a loud and clear message to the newspaper that enough is enough.

We should note that National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Hata Wahari, himself a senior reporter with the Utusan, has urged the authorities to act against the Utusan editors for allegedly stoking racial sentiments in its reports. Hata had also blamed the drop in the daily’s sales on the editors for pushing what he called racial rhetoric.

As a journalist of 35-year standing and one who would die for the cause of free speech and free press, I would, of course, not recommend any boycott of the newspaper, especially when the rice bowls of hundreds of journalists and newspaper workers are at stake.

However, I believe a concerted effort by newspaper readers to bombard the editors with letters of protest, and to send a strong message via the ballot box at the next general election to Umno to stop the Utusan nonsense will perhaps help to elicit a thorough change in the newspaper’s editorial policy.

Enough is enough! The Utusan must be made to stop its hate campaign against the legitimately elected state government of Penang.

Speaker: Court ‘unjust’ in hearing case ex-parte

Joseph Sipalan

Selangor state assembly speaker Teng Chang Khim has criticised the Shah Alam High Court for hearing Badrul Hisham Abdullah’s application to be declared the valid Port Klang state assemblyperson without his (Teng’s) counsel present.

Teng ) said his lawyer had sought a postponement on Feb 11 as he would engaged in a three-day trial in Johor Baru and would not be able to make it for the hearing originally slated for Feb 17.

Speaking at a press conference in Shah Alam after the judgment was delivered, Teng said the trial was postponed by only one day, to today, during the case management on Feb 16 and that this made no difference to his lawyer.

“I don’t see the rationale behind postponing it to the 18th. They might as well have heard it on the 17th… The court should not have proceeded with the hearing in the absence of my counsel, and the court knows about it.

“Justice hurried is justice buried,” said Teng, who was formerly a successful lawyer.

He described the judgment as “unjust” as it was heard the absence of his counsel. He said that he would file an appeal next week to set aside the decision.

‘Where are my rights?’

Teng, a lawyer himself, said the High Court’s decision was a breach of natural justice as he, being the defendant, was not given the opportunity to be heard and neither did the court give him the benefit of a 40-day period to respond to Badrul Hisham’s affidavit to which they are entitled.

He added that as a speaker, both the federal and state constitutions clearly state that his decisions are immune to court proceedings.

“The court has to take judicial notice that this case involves the constitution, the House and the speaker… this is not a case of any Tom, Dick or Harry.

“The world will laugh at us. What kind of judiciary do we have? If a speaker can face a predicament like this, imagine what a regular citizen will face.”

Teng said he has instructed his counsel to file an application to set aside the High Court judgement, which he said will “certainly” be done by next week.

Last month, Teng declared the Port Klang seat vacant after he found that Badrul Hisham had been absent without leave from the state assembly for six months consecutively.

Badrul Hisham however denied the charge, insisting that he was still the rightful elected representative of Port Klang and later filing a court challenge to declare Teng’s announcement as null and void.

Dishonourable Najib now blames the Teohs for delaying tactics

"There is no one to blame but the PM himself. He should have set up the RCI instead of the inquest, a delay tactics that he himself is playing for his political survival."

By Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

Prime minister Najib Tun Razak is desperate and has finally shown us the depth of his depravity. He has little concern for the feelings of the grieving family of Teoh Beng Hock. He has ignored all pretence for decency and is willing to make political capital out of their tragedy.

He has blamed the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock for delay tactics and said they were deliberately prolonging the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) until the general elections. He has accused them of complicity with the Opposition to besmirch his government.

He is despicable and wrong!

Teoh’s family only want justice for their son and the Malaysian public is behind the family in their quest for the truth.

On the other hand, it is Najib who has thwarted all of the family’s efforts to get at the truth.

From the outset, Teoh’s family had demanded the RCI be set up to directly probe the circumstances surrounding the 30-year-old’s death to find out the real cause — including if he was pressured to jump. However, their request was turned down by Najib.

Najib is callous, crude and insensitive. How difficult is it to understand that there is no delay tactic? There is no reason to prolong the RCI till the general election. There is no political motive.

Najib’s baseless accusations reflect a man who is desperate. Only someone as scheming as him would have used another family’s personal tragedy, to advance his own political ambitions.

Najib is angry because the family’s recent boycott of the RCI has derailed his plans for the upcoming General Election.

Over in Sarawak, Taib will soon announce the date for the state election. Here in the peninsular, everything is primed for the general election. Only the final stages of dissolving parliament and naming the date have been withheld.

From the very beginning, the ‘routine’ interrogation of Teoh by the MACC, raised more questions than answers. The MACC officers ended up with a national and political nightmare. It was Najib’s machinations that politicised the whole affair from the start.

The ensuing inquest into Teoh’s death was inconclusive. Eighteen months after his death, an open verdict was delivered on 5 January 2011. It ruled out both suicide and homicide as the cause of death.

It was public pressure which prompted the government to convene a RCI.

The family’s boycott of the RCI was because the RCI rejected a request to postpone the proceedings pending a judicial review to be filed by the family.

The family wanted the three conducting officers (CO) from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (A-G’s Chambers), who are assisting the RCI, to be dropped and replaced by independent COs. Moreover, there was neither representation from the Bar Council nor respected individuals on the panel.

The Selangor government also withdrew from the proceedings for the same reasons as the Teoh family.

Najib’s only desire is to remain in power. He is also pressured by events in the middle-east and north Afirca. His cohorts in BN including a former Prime minister, depend on Najib to remain in power. If he goes down, they all go down. Hence, Najib must retain Putrajaya at all costs.

That is why Najib blames the Teoh family for prolonging the RCI until the general election. But no one except for Najib and his trusted lieutenants know when that date is. He was a fool to blame them for that.

Najib thought the RCI would have appeased both Teoh’s family and the public. He assumed that having made a favourable impression with the rakyat, he would brreze through the general election. Well, he didn’t, not with the RCI as it is.

Everything Najib has done thus far was only to present an image to the rakyat that he was listening to them. But he only does things in half measures. His plans have a habit of backfiring.

In July 2009, Najib met the Teoh family and promised them, amongst other things, “No stone will be left unturned in finding out the real cause of death and, if there is any foul play, action will definitely be taken.”

Today, he sings another tune.

Happy 70th Birthday, YB Lim Kit Siang!

By Lim Guan Eng (Malaysia Chronicle)

How does one acclaim a man who is a living legend? Recognised by every Malaysian for his tireless advocacy for justice and freedom. Acknowledged by friend and foe as an indefatigable fighter for a better Malaysia. And admired universally for his unquestioned courage, incorruptibility and integrity.

Shakespeare wrote that some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

Lim Kit Siang was all three and more. He also inspired greatness in others.

Lim Kit Siang or Kit as he was known to friends, was born into a poor family in Batu Pahat. His parents were illiterate but his mother taught herself to read. Her passion in learning was communicated to her youngest child who was blessed with a brilliant and incisive mind, infused with steely determination and discipline as well as gifted with a natural charisma and oratorical skills that made him a standout leader.

Using his academic brilliance to gain prominence, he had greatness thrust upon him after winning a parliamentary seat in the 1969 general elections. Kit allowed himself to be detained under the notorious Internal Security Act in 1969. Kit allowed himself to be detained even though he was warned to stay away in Singapore. But he refused to run veritably walking into the shadow of the valley of death. On landing in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, he asked the police whether they were waiting for him and was whisked away.

The May 13 riots were frightening times for our family but Kit never showed fear. He taught himself law and Jawi in detention, devoured books and wrote letters that showed his clarity of thought and compassion for the weak. After Kit’s release from detention, Kit achieved greatness by his dint of effort and unquenchable courage.

His speeches sounded like a dissertation of what should and could be, not the fatalistic acceptance of what is. His factual account of the excesses, wrongdoing and corruption was like a treatise of abuse of power. One of his greatest feats was digesting the voluminous BMF scandal report in 3 days, his expose of corruption in the purchase of naval warboats and his trenchant opposition to the amendments to the Offiical Secretas Act.

I do not wish to write about Lim Kit Siang trials and tribulations, neither his greatest success and regrets nor his greatest joy and sorrow.

I want to touch on Kit’s greatness that have been rarely explored, his ability to inspire others to scale heights and even attain greatness. Kit led both by example and also by empathy with those around him. A word or his mere presence sufficed. Somehow we who followed him were greatly comforted that he would be there for us to pick us up when we fall or to help us if we were in trouble.

The affection and love party leaders and members have for him is genuine. We may not agree always with him but we trust his judgment and idealism implicity. Many joined DAP because of Kit, those who did not stayed on in DAP also because of Kit.

Our National Chair Karpal would bristle at any slight on Kit and would express his anger at those who tried to denigrate Kit. Our National Advisor, Dr Chen Man Hin always advised us to seek Kit’s counsel. Karpal never failed to remind me that what we achieved today is due to Kit’s leadership during those tough times and that we must never forget Kit’s historic role in helping DAP to win power.

Of course, there were a few who fell by the wayside. Greatness is not easy to live with. After all, for one who had a difficult time growing up under a banyan tree, I can understand how some eyes can be dimmed when they fail to live up to the ideals.

This is why we appreciate Kit more. With maturity we realize how important Kit helped in blazing the path, keeping the flame burning and lifting up flagging hopes whether in the best or worst of times. Most of all, Kit kept all of us in the right path. That we must not only do the right things but must do things right.

Thank you Kit for inspiring DAP and us to greatness. Happy 70th Birthday and may you be with us for many more years.

Lim Guan Eng is the Penang Chief Minister, secretary-general of DAP and the eldest son of Saudara Lim Kit Siang, the adviser of DAP

Friday, February 18, 2011

Penang In The News Again? CM Lim Guan Eng What Have You Done To Penang?

Penang is one of the 'top ten islands to explore before you die' chosen by Yahoo Travel

10 Islands to Explore Before You Die

We scoured the globe to find 10 islands that belong on your must list. Each of these places offers something that you can’t find anywhere else, from the largest man-made archipelago to hot springs so therapeutic they’ve been popular since Roman times.

By Gary McKechnie

If you're going to imagine yourself on an exotic island, dare to dream big! Here are 10 one-of-a-kind islands where you'll discover every item on your wish list, from overwater bungalows and pristine wildlife to sublime street food and mysterious cultural monuments.

8. Penang

Treat yourself to Malaysia's unique fusion of cultures and flavors. Start your food crawl at stalls that crowd the streets of Georgetown, Penang's largest city and Malaysia's food capital. The delectable fare on offer memorably mingles Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and European flavors. Foodies in search of supreme bliss should head to the marketplace Ayer Itam—adjacent to Kek Lok Si (the Temple of Supreme Bliss)—to dine on a variety of dishes based on rice, noodles, fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, vegetables, eggs, and coconut. Look for lor bak (deep-fried marinated minced pork served with a chili sauce); lok-lok (skewered seafood, meats, and vegetables); and ikan bakar (grilled or barbecued fish marinated in spices and coconut milk, wrapped inside banana leaves, and grilled over hot coals). The same fusion of cultures is evident in the local architecture, which ranges from modern high-rises to buildings built by 19th-century British colonialists. Add to the mix beach resorts, preserved mangroves, small fishing villages, and a share of temples, mosques, and churches. Kek Lok Si best exemplifies this coexistence. At seven stories, it's the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and it reflects the shared values of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism—designed with a Chinese octagonal base, a Thai-accented middle tier, and a Burmese-style peak.

Read the full list of Islands here.

People’s Call for Regime Change - Part 2

"It doesn’t matter that the new are inexperienced but at least we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people."

By NH Chan

The People’s Judge continues his call to the young to use the tools of modern communication to effect change in Malaysia, pointing out how we are stuck with a government using 19th century British colonial laws to further repress us -
Read Part 1 of this article here.

The Sedition Act as applied in this country

The sedition legislation is the most oppressive law ever devised by a colonial power to subjugate the natives by the colonialists who took over the land they had colonized. In this country the Sedition Act 1948 is typical of such colonialism - this word means ‘the practice of acquiring and controlling another country and occupying it’. If you read on you will know that this is the true picture of how our Sedition Act 1948 migrated from 1870 British India to Peninsular Malaya in 1948 when the country was a British protectorate except for Malacca and Penang which were colonies.

There is an excellent article in the Star, Wednesday, 9 February 2011, titled Sedition law’s overreach by Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi. It says:

Definition: Section 2 and 3(1) of the [Sedition Act 1948] state that any act, speech, words or publication are seditious if they have a tendency towards any of the following:

To bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or government.

Dissaffection does not mean absence of affection but refers to disloyalty, enmity and hostility: PP v Param Cumaraswamy [1986] 1 MLJ 526

Application of the law: In Param Cumaraswamy it was held that intention to incite to violence, tumult or public disorder is not a necessary ingredient of the crime.

As long as the words were intentionally published and they had a tendency to cause ill will, etc, the offence is complete.

The Professor also alluded to the acquittal of Mr Cumaraswamy:

But in PP v Param the defendant’s criticism of the Pardon’s Board for not applying uniform standards in considering applications for mercy was held not to constitute sedition.

I was the judge who tried Mr Param Cumaraswamy. At the conclusion of the trial, I acquitted him.

As pointed out by Professor Faruqi ‘As long as the words were intentionally published and they had a tendency to cause ill will, etc, the offence is’ established. I had to acquit Param Cumaraswamy because I made a finding of fact that the words when uttered by him, who is a mere lawyer without any following, could not possibly have any tendency ‘to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or government’. The Public Prosecutor, who in this case was the Attorney-General - he was Abu Talib - did not appeal.

Just think how repressive this law is. You can’t even say that the powers that be were practicing double standards. If Param had been tried before another judge he could have been convicted. For example, in Lim Guan Eng v PP [1998] 3 MLJ 14, HC & CA; [2000] 2 MLJ 577, FC an opposition leader who complained that justice was selectively administered was convicted of the sedition charge. Even members of Parliament can be convicted of sedition for words spoken in Parliament: see Mark Koding v PP [1982] 2 MLJ 120.

Mahathir when he was Prime Minister spoke in Parliament to remove the powers of the rulers yet nothing happened to him. But if anyone were to point out there is selective prosecution he can be charged for sedition and most probably he would be convicted.

At the end of his article, the Professor pointed out that:

The concept of sedition in Malaysia is much broader than in the UK, Ireland, India and Australia.

On ideal democratic standards, the law is open to many criticisms for its breadth and for its far-reaching implications on political life in the country.

For this reason it is ripe for review. Whether the technique for law reform will be legislative or judicial remains to be seen.

We are stuck in the 19th century

The professor is quite right. The Sedition Act 1948 is an archaic piece of legislation. It migrated from 1870 British India to Peninsular Malaya in 1948 (Sabah in 1964 and Sarawak in 1969). While other countries of the Commonwealth, of which Malaysia is a member, have advanced into the modern age, in this country, time stood still. We are still back in the time of Sir James Stephen in 1870 British India. This was pointed out by Sinha CJ in Kader Nath v State of Bihar [1962] AIR, SC 955. In fact section 124A of the Indian Penal Code was the work of Stephen J.

Sir James Stephen was the judge (he was Mr Justice Stephen in England) whose definition of sedition appeared as Article 93 of the Digest of the Criminal Law. I said this before I called on Mr Cumaraswamy to enter on his defence, "Although it may appear to be in English case law that incitement to violence or inciting others to public disorders is an essential ingredient of sedition, it is not so in a criminal code which has as its model Stephen’s definition."

Article 93 of the Digest was used as the model for the crime of sedition in the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast.

So that when we look at section 124A of the Indian Penal Code or at the Criminal Code of the Gold Coast on Sedition, or our own Sedition Act, we are looking at the definition of sedition as apprehended by Sir James Stephen back in the year 1870. The English common law on sedition has developed separately from Stephen’s 1870 definition. As pointed out by Professor Faruqi other nations like the UK, Ireland, India and Australia have moved on to modern times. The modern law of sedition is no longer repressive in other countries but not so in Malaysia where our sedition law is the same law as applied to the colonies of Great Britain back in the year 1870. For us Malaysians we live in a retrograde - this word means moving backwards to a worse state - country where our clock had stopped in the year 1870.

Using the ability of the internet for change

Now, I trust you will realize that we Malaysians are in dire straits. Don’t you think it is time for us to move on to a better Malaysia. Like the people of Egypt we can use people’s power to change from tyranny to a true democracy. Use the power of your vote to unseat the oppressors.

We have been under their yoke for 53 years.Enough is enough!

Use facebook and twitter. Use your email and if every reader of this article emails it to his friends we will be able to persuade a whole generation of young people to vote out the BN and replace them with a new government.

It doesn’t matter that the new are inexperienced but at least we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It took the English peoples 700 years to get rid of their tyrannical kings. The American people took 250 years to get to where they are today.

I don’t think we will take that long because we are resilient and we have the benefit of hindsight. And above all we have our young people whose young minds will be able to meet the challenges ahead.

NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People’s Judge. Wrote the explosive "Judging The Judges", now in its 2nd edition as "How To Judge The Judges". Once famously hinted at a possible "case match" between lawyer and judge by remarking that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359). We need more people like NH Chan. That’s why you should buy PASOC and his book.

People’s Call for Regime Change - Part 1

One should be in politics to serve the people, not to get rich.

By NH Chan

The People’s Judge reflects on the turmoil in the Middle East - a people’s revolution inspired by the power of the new media on the internet such as Facebook and Twitter - and the lessons for us in Malaysia. He ends with a personal note of his own political awakening, and a call to action for all of us who care for this country.-

The uprising in Egypt, the uprising in Tunisia,the uprising in Yemen and even in Jordan there are rumblings in the kingdom. The message is clear. The people do not want their dictators.

And what is the difference between kings, dictators and oligarchs? They are all totalitarian regimes - this means a system of government consisting of only one leader or party and having complete power and control over the people.

But the people do not want that kind of government; they want democracy - this word means a form of government in which the people have a say in who should hold power; they do not want despotism. And this wish of the people could only mean that they want a government of the people, by the people and for the people which is what a true democracy actually is.

In other words, they do not want repressive rule in any shape or form. They want human rights. They do not want draconian and oppressive laws.

In short, they do not want to live under a perennial state of emergency because all emergency laws are only excuses for tyranny. They also want freedom of speech and a free press.

In other words they want a government which is accountable to the people. They want change from authoritarian - this word, which is an adjective, means demanding strict obedience of authority - rule.

And what is the antithesis of totalitarianism? It is democracy, which is what the people really want. In a democracy, the people can choose their own representatives in government. If the people’s choice did not perform up to their expectations they could be replaced by the people.

In a true democracy, there will be no such thing as intervention from an illegitimate source to hijack the people’s choice of representatives in their government.

The foreboding of a dictatorship

What has happened in Egypt and in the Middle East was a people’s call for regime change. The dictators there who have clung to power should have seen the writing on the wall; it was time for them to leave. The people, especially the young people because they are educated and well informed, did not want them. They have overstayed their tenure.

They became corrupted by power; there is a well known adage which says power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any dictatorship is tyrannical - the word means ‘using power in a cruel and oppressive way’ - as was seen in Egypt under Hosni Mubarak who had clung to power for 30 years. In recent events there, we have seen water cannons and tear gas being used on peaceful protestors by the regime. Mubarak’s Gestapo like police have tortured and killed dissenters: I saw a peaceful protestor exclaim on TV "They have shot me! What am I? The enemy?"

In this country we have been governed by the Barisan Nasional (BN) for some 53 years. This country is supposed to be a democracy. But it is not. Guided democracy is nothing more than an excuse for tyranny. We still have draconian laws. People are still being incarcerated under the ISA which is detention without trial. There is police brutality which seems to be endemic in the force. The people’s fundamental freedoms have been muzzled; they have even used the Sedition Act against the country’s citizens.

Respect cannot be forced. If you are good respect comes naturally. The people do not want their legitimately elected state government to be hijacked by the autocrats. What happened in Perak and in Selangor are the clearest examples of governmental wrongdoings. So that if these autocrats are not careful, the tyrannical happenings in this country could easily turn into a catalyst for change.

But we do not want to follow the trend as played out in the Middle East. It is necessary, therefore, that we earnestly take steps to make the change from the BN regime at the next general elections by replacing it with a democratic one.

We do not want autocrats - the word means ‘rulers or persons with absolute power who expect obedience’ - to tell us with supercilious arrogance what is good for us, for that is another excuse for tyranny.

We want our rulers to be answerable to us, the people. Despots are not needed to run this country because they will always be corrupted by power - that is the reason why the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet should not be allowed to stay in office for more than two terms. The same should apply to the Menteri Besars and the Excos.

Animal Farm

If you have read Animal Farm - a novel by George Orwell, published in 1945 - you will know what I mean. The book is a satire in fable form. The pigs (whose leader is Napoleon) become corrupted by power and a new tyranny replaces the old. The ultimate slogan runs ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others‘.

The BN has been with us for 53 years and on each succession of the BN government a new tyranny replaces the old. I say this because nothing has changed since the BN came to power. We have the same repressive laws. But there is now a new tyranny. The new evil is the hijacking of a legitimately elected state government in Perak and this, in my estimation, is the last straw for the people of Perak to tolerate. For the rest of the country, remember this, if it can happen in Perak it could happen again elsewhere in this country.

This was mainly the reason that made me change my mind from being apolitical to decide to vote for the underdogs because what the BN had done to Perak was wickedly unfair and unjustifiable.

After reading the book Perak: A State of Crisis I realized that these people do not even know right from wrong. They even gloat in their wrongdoings. We do not want the oligarchy - this word means a country governed by a small group of people - to be more equal than us.

I don’t have to tell you who they are - even in the BN some ‘animals’ are more equal than others. Look at their opulence.

It is a good thing if every member of the Cabinet and every member of the Exco are investigated as to their financial status and assets before they can assume office. And when they leave office they are to be investigated again. They are to be accountable if they are found to be richer than what they could have earned while in office when they leave.

That is why democracy requires the representatives of the people to be accountable to the people. Look at Mr Lim Kit Siang, he has been in politics for as long as I can remember and his son is currently the Chief Minister of Penang. Another was the late Dr Lim Chong Eu. The Perakians and the Penangites know that they are not rich.

One should be in politics to serve the people, not to get rich.

NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People's Judge. Wrote the explosive "Judging The Judges", now in its 2nd edition as "How To Judge The Judges". Once famously hinted at a possible "case match" between lawyer and judge by remarking that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark" (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359). We need more people like NH Chan. That's why you should buy PASOC and his book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rosmah vs Azizah : Who spends more

By Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

PKR renegade Lokman Nor Adam who is now part of Umno’s Special Affairs Think-Tank Department seems to have a detailed knowledge of PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s wardrobe, and her visits to her dressmaker.

He claims that Wan Azizah used to spend exorbitant amounts on her clothes and that she used to have an extravagant lifestyle when her husband, Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime minister.

The operative words are “used to”. Or perhaps not. After all, why should we believe him?

Also, can anyone remember people making an issue out of Wan Azizah’s clothes, either then or now?

Lokman has made us reflect about the two ladies who are married to the two most powerful men in Malaysia today.

First is Wan Azizah, the wife of Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. She is also the object of Lokman's fixation and her wardrobe - his fetish.

The other is Rosmah Mansor, wife of Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. Her official title of First Lady always sparks furious debate.

Lokman claimed that Wan Azizah’s suits cost RM8,000 each. Like most ladies, Azizah has declined to divulge exactly how much - save to say that really, it's no nowhere near that figure. Of course, she is pleased that people think her clothes look so stylish and expensive but no, she is not telling yet.

Yet even if they did cost RM8,000 each, what are they compared with Rosmah’s alleged shopping trips when she is abroad?

There have been complaints by Malaysian High Commission and MAS staff who are given the task of transporting cargo-loads of her shopping home. They have asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.

Wan Azizah is now a politician in her own right. Until her husband became Deputy Prime minister, she was a practicing doctor.

Perhaps Lokman finds it hard to believe that a working woman is financially independent and can afford suits of her choice.

Is Lokman aware of the furore with the specially created department within the Prime minister’s Department called F.L.O.M.? Many people believe that the acronym stands for First Lady of Malaysia. There are other, less complimentary versions of this.

We are not aware of Wan Azizah having such delusions of grandeur. As we said, she is a respected politician.

Rosmah however, does have ambition to enter politics but finds it easier to enter through the back door.

First she had to elbow poor Najib into allocating ample funds, the amount of which has yet to be publicly divulged, to form F.L.O.M.

However, with the unprecedented public outrage, and several thousand people jamming the phone lines wanting to enquire about F.L.O.M., it has now disappeared from Najib’s website.

Second. Rosmah honed her skills in politics by practicing on various people. First it was Deputy Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

One feels sorry for him as he was edged out of the way when Hillary Clinton and Julie Gillard came to visit.

What could Najib say? He was in a spot of bother – not just from the chicken pox but from Muhyiddin demanding to know what was happening and a strong woman saying she would like to have a go at playing DPM. That is why Najib safely camped himself out of harm’s way at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

He was so pleased with his stay that he donated RM5mil from the public purse to the hospital.

But happiness comes with a price and he had to allocate RM 65 million to the wife to renovate the house. He would rather face the awkward questions in parliament about this extravagant amount and fob off the irritating opposition with some flimsy excuse (it always works), rather than refuse his wife. He knows which side his bread is buttered.

No one can hold down an ambitious woman and the next victim was the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

Rosmah apparently took over the evacuation of our students who had made their way to Jeddah. What could Anifah do but wait in the sidelines, wringing his hands?

Kohilan the Deputy Foreign Minister did a runner. He claimed he was lost in the confusion of Cairo and could not be reached. And for added effect, he did not take a bath for two days. It worked. He escaped the reprimand.

Najib gave his wife all the credit for the successful repatriation and managed to name-drop that she had the personal phone number of the House of Saud.

But now that the repressive regimes in the middle-east and north Africa are toppling, Najib must regret saying that he is buddies with autocratic and corrupt rulers.

On the other hand, Wan Azizah does not need added publicity. People are familiar with her and her work.

Perhaps Lokman should ask why ‘The First Lady’ needed to spend USD5 million for a glossy centrespread in an American newspaper?

Rosmah will do anything for publicity and must keep us informed about what she is doing – flying here and there, even to the extent of interrupting her foreign travel with trips back home to attend wedding receptions.

Poor Lokman. He must look for problems where there are none and avoids those that are staring him in the face.

But like they say, the “1Malaysia” spectacle isn’t over till the Fat Lady sings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Penang Chief Minister 2011 Chinese New Year Message (in KL)

Let us embrace the future by embracing every Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazan and Iban as Malaysian brothers and sisters, Malaysian sons and daughters.

In the Chinese New Year Of the Rabbit, DAP wishes all Malaysians a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous new year. DAP also expresses our condolences and sympathies to those who lost loved ones and suffered losses in the massive floods affecting Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka.

To attain peace Malaysians must stand united and reject those who wish to divide us by preaching racial and religious hatred. If we want to benefit from equal opportunities and realize our human potential we must stop extremists from continually degrading others as inferiors so as to uplift ourselves.

We can only achieve harmony together. Despite our differences and diversity, Malaysians can make our common aspirations of freedom, justice, democracy and truth come true if we remember key values.

That it is not who we are that is important, but what we are that is important; not the colour of our skin that is important but the content of our character; and not our past ancestry that is important but how we connect with the present and with each other to face the future.

We can only be prosperous together. The time has come to focus on the economy, in employment, education and business opportunities as the conditions for prosperity. We must build human talent and be performance-based.

The time has come for Malaysians to choose carefully. Only a two-party system can ensure peace, harmony and that Malaysia’s rich natural resources benefit 27 million Malaysians. A two-party system requires a strong opposition which can not only deny BN its customary two-thirds majority but also able to form the government.

For those who say that PR do not know how to govern, the 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have proven our ability by beating the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53% of Malaysia’s total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010. For the first time in history, Penang is now the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010 with RM 12.2 billion.

Malaysians can not compromise on corruption. Too much have been lost. The shocking revelations by the US-based financial watchdog Global Financial integrity of RM 888 billion illicit capital flight from Malaysia between 2000-2008 cost is shocking. This means that every Malaysian man, woman and child have lost RM 33,000 each over 9 years! Whilst our Royal Malaysian Navy commandos are heroes for their successful capture of Somali pirates in international waters recently, DAP regrets that land “pirates” are allowed to roam freely in Malaysia.

There is no reason why under the Economic Transformation Program, 19 entry point projects require RM 67 billion in investments to generate 35,000 jobs. In other words, almost RM2 million is required to create a job!

This is ridiculous and only shows the extent of leakages in the economy in the form of inefficiency, wastage and even corruption. Contrast this to the number of jobs created from total private investments for Malaysia in 2010. From a total investments of RM47,177 million in 2010 will help to generate 97,310 jobs or RM 485,000 for each job.

Only an economy free from corruption can we ensure that the people prosper and benefit. Let us embrace a future free from fear and cronyism. Let us embrace the future by embracing every Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazan and Iban, as Malaysian brothers and sisters, Malaysian sons and daughters.

Then only can we grow together, learn together and enjoy the success together.

Penang Chief Minister Chinese New Year Message for Penangites

Penang Can Be A Portrait Of Progress When Both Penangites Regains Their Trust In Their State Government And The Government Has Faith In The Wisdom Of The People.

The Penang state government wishes all Penangites a Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Penang can be a portrait of progress when both Penangites regains their trust in their state government and the government has faith in the wisdom of the people.

Since coming into power in March 2008, the PR state government has slowly regained the people’s trust and confidence in the state government. To overcome public distrust of the state government as an institution that does not help but harm the people, PR has terminated the politics of patronage, cronyism and corruption. Instead PR has adopted a people’s government centered on 3Es of enabling the people with skills and education, empowering them with rights or opportunities and enriching the people by ensuring that the fruits of economic success can be shared.

PR has shown our faith in the people by stressing that a good government must do three things, listen to the people, do the people’s work and give hope to the people. The results of both the people having trust in the state government and the government placing faith in the wisdom of Penangites is an amazing series of historical firsts for Penang. The 10 for Penang in Malaysia are as follows:-

1. Penang top in investments with RM12,238 million, the largest in Penang’s history, or 26% of 2010 Malaysia’s total investments;

2. Penang praised for good financial management topping both years 2008 and 2009;

3. Penang top in reducing the crime index for 2010 by 27%, the largest amongst all states;

4. Penang top in green initiatives to make Penang the first green state in Malaysia;

5. Penang top in fighting corruption being the only state government in Malaysia to be praised by Transparency International for our open tenders and CAT governance based on Competency, Accountability and Transparency;

6. Penang top in medical tourism with two-thirds of Malaysia’s medical receipts originating from Penang;

7. Penang the first state to give RM100 annually to every senior citizen above 60 as well as wipe out hard-core poverty and ensuring that every family receives at least RM500 a month;

8. Penang has the highest air passenger growth for both domestic and foreign travelers in 2010;

9. Penang top in Malaysia for protecting, preserving and promoting the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town.

10. Penang now on top as the most livable city in Malaysia on par with Kuala Lumpur.

Further, Penang continues to enjoy not only the cheapest water rates but also the best water quality. There are 750 free wifi hotspots in our efforts to make Penang a wifi state. Penang is also the only state with a Speakers’ Square where there is freedom of speech as well as freedom after speech.

There is still so much more to do. Inflation and the recent rises in petrol prices have caused an unfair financial burden on the people. The racists and extremists who preach racial supremacy continue to undermine the people’s welfare by preaching hatred and even fomenting violence.

However, the successes by Penang in having 10 No.1s have given both the government and the people the self-confidence to move forward. Penangites can be better and succeed not because of the colour of our skin or our background or our ancestry; but through hard work and intelligence.

Let us work together regardless of race and religion to make Penang cleaner, greener and safer for our children.

2011 Penang State Government Chinese New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 2.2.2011.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A blackly comic whodunit

By Kee Thuan Chye | FMT

OPERATION Lalang was a black day in Malaysian history. On Oct 27, 1987, 106 people were detained under the ISA in one fell swoop. Most of them were from opposition parties and NGOs. A few newspapers were suspended. It traumatised Malaysians and made them submit to the culture of fear. Some have yet to recover from it.

Whoever initiated Operation Lalang did a strong disservice to the nation. It was a shameful exercise of power. Whatever the reason or reasons may be for invoking the ISA on that occasion on so many individuals, there is no fair justification for doing so.

Perhaps that is why Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was the prime minister then, has recently come out to say he was not responsible for it. In typical Mahathir fashion – for he is accustomed to blaming others for things he might have done – he blamed it on the police.

In his interview with Tom Plate for the recently published book Doctor M: Operation Malaysia – Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad, he said:

“Well, I would have handled it differently, except that the police wanted to do these things because they say it is necessary …

“I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone.”

It’s almost laughable – in a scary way – to note that the PM had no control over what the police were going to do on such a large scale and with such disastrous effects. How could the police have been given so much power then? Are they still as powerful today? Does that make Malaysia a police state?

Apparently, in 1987, the police did have that power – according to Hanif Omar, who was the inspector-general of police (IGP) at the time. He has just come out to corroborate Mahathir’s finger-pointing the police for launching Operation Lalang.

But more than that, he says he consulted Mahathir before swinging into action, and even though Mahathir was against it, the police took it upon themselves to steam ahead. Whoa! Is this a black comedy? The PM was against it but he had no power to forbid the IGP from carrying it out? Who’s the boss? The CEO of the country or the IGP?

Well … “(The police) were independent, at least during my time,” says Hanif.

Really scary! Are we safe any more? Who protects us from the police? During Operation Lalang, did Mahathir renege on his duty to protect the people?

Well, most of the 106 were released before the 60-day detention order was up, but at least 40 others were authorised to be detained for two years. This authorisation could only have come from the Home Minister. And the Home Minister then was Mahathir.

Wow! The plot thickens! Mahathir tells Plate he was against Operation Lalang and yet he signed the orders to detain at least 40 people for another two years! Where’s the logic? Was Mahathir unaware of what he was signing? Did he have his eyes closed? Did he say, “I don’t want to know la, just let me sign.”?

Racial flare-up

Mahathir certainly has some heavy explaining to do.

He also has to explain the suspension of the three newspapers, namely, The Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh. Did the police order the suspension too? Of course not! That could only be done by the Home Minister. And who, pray tell, might that be?

By most accounts and from the list of people detained, Operation Lalang seemed targeted at social and political activists critical of the government and mainly opposition politicians. Several of them were DAP and PAS members. But Hanif says the police action was not politically motivated.

To be sure, Operation Lalang was the outcome of the racial flare-up sparked by the controversy over the Education Ministry’s appointment of senior assistants and principals to Chinese schools who were not Chinese-educated, but why were only certain groups and individuals arrested?

Najib Tun Razak, who was then head of Umno Youth, led a huge rally in Kampung Baru, right inside Kuala Lumpur’s Malay heartland, obviously the place to whip up racial sentiments. Did that not qualify for ISA detention? And yet Najib was not taken in.

Umno announced it would hold a rally drawing half a million people. It said the event was to celebrate its 41st anniversary, but given the timing at such a potentially incendiary moment, the real agenda could be something more sinister. And yet no action was taken against those who mooted it.

Mahathir told Plate he assured the opposition politicians that they would not be arrested, but DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, who was among those served with the two-year detention order, has come out to say he never met Mahathir before the big swoop. Neither did Mahathir give him assurance that he would not be detained.

Who is lying – Kit Siang or Mahathir?

Either way, the big-dollar question still pops up: If Mahathir said he gave that assurance, why then did he sign the order to detain Lim (and six of his DAP comrades) for two years? Again, was Mahathir unaware of what he was signing? Did he have his eyes closed? Did he say, “I don’t want to know la, just let me sign.”?

Disgraceful episode

More so than ever, we can now see how dangerous the ISA can be. Whether it grants power to the police or the Home Minister, it is subject to abuse. Now more than ever, it is clear that such a dangerous law should be abolished. What does the current administration have to say to that?

Ultimately, for Operation Lalang, regardless of who really initiated it, Mahathir, as the PM then, has to take the blame. One can’t imagine him being distressed when the cops took those 106 people in. It was to his advantage. So much so that he signed those orders to detain the unfortunate 40 for two years.

If he indeed allowed the police to call the shots, he clearly reneged on his duty to protect the people.

And what of Hanif? Now that he has “confessed” his role in that disgraceful episode, does he get off scot-free? Or should he be made to face the music for giving Malaysia a black day?

But you know what is really the sad thing to emerge from all this? For all that Mahathir and Hanif have just said, most people who can think and are sensible don’t believe either of them. That’s how low their credibility seems to have sunk.

Mahathir needs to be careful. The more he talks these days, the more disruptive, contradictory, incredulous and machiavellian he appears. Now seen to be more of a divisive than a unifying element, he might just end up becoming the most despised prime minister we’ve ever had.

As they say, history will judge him. And Operation Lalang will loom large in that judgement.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Malaysians Will Change Their Government Only Through The Ballot Box, Provided....

What happened in Tunisia and Egypt could well occur in Malaysia if the warning given by the Prime Minister is taken seriously. If it cannot happen, why then the warning?

People do not take to the streets for no apparent reason, more so if over a million take part in the demonstrations. When people cannot tolerate the suffering any longer, they do not need to be instigated to go against the government.

The warning given by the Prime Minister is totally uncalled for, unless it is because he feels insecure, he is not leading the country on the right path, or he is unable to contain the vast corruption nor is he able to abide by the rule of law.

Malaysians will not overthrow a corrupt and incompetent ruling government through street demonstration but through the ballot box. But here the Prime Minister must assure the rakyat that the General Election will be carried out fairly and on a level playing field. The PM must also retract his statement that umno is willing for '... crushed bodies and lost lives' to take place in order to defend Putrajaya.

Unless the PM is running the country the way other dictators are running theirs, there should be no worries about Malaysians taking to the streets to usurp his power.

The PM should stop talking about his 1Malaysia, one big family, our family spirit, fair and just policy to provide ample opportunities for every citizen and the country's wealth to be equitably distributed rhetoric when racism, corruption, NEP, ketuanan melayu, ISA, PPPA, OSA, partisan duties of the EC, MACC, PDRM, questionable Judicial decisions are all still solidly entrenched in the ruling government's policies.

My advice to the PM is this: start the walk and put into action all your talk of the past two years. You need not fear losing power if you do the right thing. But holding on to power using undemocratic means will surely see the fate of this country following the fate of Tunisia and Egypt.

DAP, not MCA, is where the action is

Selena Tay

I used to respect MCA. In its heyday it had good and credible leaders and was looked up to and well-respected. But is it still relevant today?

Although MCA stands for Malaysian Chinese Association, my family members and relatives had never really felt enough of a sense of belonging to join or support the party.

Instead, to them DAP (Democratic Action Party) sounded much better although the word 'Chinese' is not in DAP's name.

Since the dawn of time, MCA was, is and always will be the rich Chinese businessman's party. Although it claims to champion Chinese causes, it has never really been the voice of those Chinese who are poor and downtrodden eventhough it has done good work for the cause of Chinese education, for instance in getting recognition for TAR College which has since been acknowledged and become known as UTAR. MCA has failed to capture the soul of the poor and downtrodden Chinese. In this aspect, the other Chinese-based party, Gerakan has also failed miserably.

It cannot be denied that DAP is a Chinese-based party as many of its leaders and members are Chinese although there are top non-Chinese leaders and members, namely Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz and Karpal Singh in the present era. Currently too, there are a good number of Indian leaders in Perak DAP who are Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen. Well-known non-Chinese DAP leaders in the past were P. Patto, V. David and Ahmad Nor.

Since the late 1960s to the current era, DAP has always been known as the poor Chinese layman's party, a great contrast to MCA being known as the rich Chinese businessman's party.

DAP leaders wearing their trademark short-sleeved white shirts and black trousers are still a symbol of the no-frills party since its founding date on 19 March 1966. It still champions the cause of the poor to this very day and recently the party has embarked on an ongoing signature campaign to protest against the constant price hikes of petrol and daily foodstuffs which are burdening the poor and the low-income group.

DAP has always been credible and relevant to the Chinese. Even when it has little support, especially in the 11th General Election in 2004, it still managed to soldier on. Its leaders have fought on relentlessly for the cause of justice for all races, not just the Chinese alone. A case in point is A. Sivanesan (currently State Assemblyman of Sungkai) who has been fighting for minimum wage since 1985! That's more than a quarter of a century! Another example is Lim Guan Eng who had to endure a prison term for fighting for the rights of a girl, a Malay, who was a victim of statutory rape.

No way is DAP anti-Islam or anti-Malay! The facts speak for itself. That sort of accusation is done with malicious intent. No sane person should ever believe such blatant lies.

In regards to MCA, this once great Chinese party has now degenerated into a small fry, ever-fearful of UMNO, its big brother in Barisan Nasional. It dares not speak out against UMNO and only knows how to parrot UMNO's words.

The Chinese in Lim Kit Siang's blog refer to MCA leaders as 'running dogs'. 'Running dogs' is a derogatory term used to refer to the Chinese in Malaya during World War II who betrayed their fellow-Chinese to the Japanese forces. In its current usage, it simply means that the MCA leaders are traitors to their race. There are worst names being used to label the MCA leaders but which are not printable here.

The Transport Ministry headed by a MCA minister has allowed the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) issue to sink to the bottom of the ocean while the Tourism Ministry which is also headed by a MCA minister has allowed all sorts of shenanigans to go on.

Yes, MCA is no longer credible. And no longer relevant to the Chinese except to the rich Chinese businessmen and its cronies whom it looks after very well in exchange for their patronage.

On the other hand, DAP continues to be a beacon of hope to the people like a campfire in the night (which happens to be the symbol of its founding date in the Chinese almanac). In the night when it is dark and cold, many people need the campfire and crowd round it for warmth and sustenance (cooking food).

Yes, DAP has and will always have an important role as the voice of the poor and the oppressed in the Malaysian political scene. DAP is where the action is, now more so than ever in this era of the new political landscape post-March 2008.

Selena Tay is a member of PAS Supporters Congress (DHPP).


The Price of Malaysia’s Racism

Slower growth and a drain of talented citizens are only the beginning.


The Wall Street Journal
Feb 8, 2011


Malaysia’s national tourism agency promotes the country as “a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony.” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak echoed this view when he announced his government’s theme, One Malaysia. “What makes Malaysia unique,” Mr. Najib said, “is the diversity of our peoples. One Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity, which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future.”

If Mr. Najib is serious about achieving that goal, a long look in the mirror might be in order first. Despite the government’s new catchphrase, racial and religious tensions are higher today than when Mr. Najib took office in 2009. Indeed, they are worse than at any time since 1969, when at least 200 people died in racial clashes between the majority Malay and minority Chinese communities. The recent deterioration is due to the troubling fact that the country’s leadership is tolerating, and in some cases provoking, ethnic factionalism through words and actions.

For instance, when the Catholic archbishop of Kuala Lumpur invited the prime minister for a Christmas Day open house last December, Hardev Kaur, an aide to Mr. Najib, said Christian crosses would have to be removed. There could be no carols or prayers, so as not to offend the prime minister, who is Muslim. Ms. Kaur later insisted that she “had made it clear that it was a request and not an instruction,” as if any Malaysian could say no to a request from the prime minister’s office.

Similar examples of insensitivity abound. In September 2009, Minister of Home Affairs Hishammuddin Onn met with protesters who had carried the decapitated head of a cow, a sacred animal in the Hindu religion, to an Indian temple. Mr. Hishammuddin then held a press conference defending their actions. Two months later, Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament that one reason Malaysia’s armed forces are overwhelmingly Malay is that other ethnic groups have a “low spirit of patriotism.” Under public pressure, he later apologized.

The leading Malay language newspaper, Utusan Melayu, prints what opposition leader Lim Kit Siang calls a daily staple of falsehoods that stoke racial hatred. Utusan, which is owned by Mr. Najib’s political party, has claimed that the opposition would make Malaysia a colony of China and abolish the Malay monarchy. It regularly attacks Chinese Malaysian politicians, and even suggested that one of them, parliamentarian Teresa Kok, should be killed.

This steady erosion of tolerance is more than a political challenge. It’s an economic problem as well.

Once one of the developing world’s stars, Malaysia’s economy has underperformed for the past decade. To meet its much-vaunted goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia needs to grow by 8% per year during this decade. That level of growth will require major private investment from both domestic and foreign sources, upgraded human skills, and significant economic reform. Worsening racial and religious tensions stand in the way.

Almost 500,000 Malaysians left the country between 2007 and 2009, more than doubling the number of Malaysian professionals who live overseas. It appears that most were skilled ethnic Chinese and Indian Malaysians, tired of being treated as second-class citizens in their own country and denied the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, whether in education, business, or government. Many of these emigrants, as well as the many Malaysian students who study overseas and never return (again, most of whom are ethnic Chinese and Indian), have the business, engineering, and scientific skills that Malaysia needs for its future. They also have the cultural and linguistic savvy to enhance Malaysia’s economic ties with Asia’s two biggest growing markets, China and India.

Of course, one could argue that discrimination isn’t new for these Chinese and Indians. Malaysia’s affirmative action policies for its Malay majority—which give them preference in everything from stock allocation to housing discounts—have been in place for decades. So what is driving the ethnic minorities away now?

First, these minorities increasingly feel that they have lost a voice in their own government. The Chinese and Indian political parties in the ruling coalition are supposed to protect the interests of their communities, but over the past few years, they have been neutered. They stand largely silent in the face of the growing racial insults hurled by their Malay political partners. Today over 90% of the civil service, police, military, university lecturers, and overseas diplomatic staff are Malay. Even TalentCorp, the government agency created in 2010 that is supposed to encourage overseas Malaysians to return home, is headed by a Malay, with an all-Malay Board of Trustees.

Second, economic reform and adjustments to the government’s affirmative action policies are on hold. Although Mr. Najib held out the hope of change a year ago with his New Economic Model, which promised an “inclusive” affirmative action policy that would be, in Mr. Najib’s words, “market friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based,” he has failed to follow through. This is because of opposition from right-wing militant Malay groups such as Perkasa, which believe that a move towards meritocracy and transparency threatens what they call “Malay rights.”

But stalling reform will mean a further loss in competitiveness and slower growth. It also means that the cronyism and no-bid contracts that favor the well-connected will continue. All this sends a discouraging signal to many young Malaysians that no matter how hard they study or work, they will have a hard time getting ahead.

Mr. Najib may not actually believe much of the rhetoric emanating from his party and his government’s officers, but he tolerates it because he needs to shore up his Malay base. It’s politically convenient at a time when his party faces its most serious opposition challenge in recent memory—and especially when the opposition is challenging the government on ethnic policy and its economic consequences. One young opposition leader, parliamentarian Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, has proposed a national debate on what she called the alternative visions of Malaysia’s future—whether it should be a Malay nation or a Malaysian nation. For that, she earned the wrath of Perkasa; the government suggested her remark was “seditious.”

Malaysia’s government might find it politically expedient to stir the racial and religious pot, but its opportunism comes with an economic price tag. Its citizens will continue to vote with their feet and take their money and talents with them. And foreign investors, concerned about racial instability and the absence of meaningful economic reform, will continue to look elsewhere to do business.

Mr. Malott was the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, 1995-1998.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spammed by the Prime Minister!

By Kee Thuan Chye

Malaysian Digest
Tuesday, 01 February 2011

NO less than the Prime Minister has just spammed me! In an e-mail wishing me Happy Chinese New Year. I’m not pleased. In fact, when I got the e-mail, I freaked out. How did he get my address? I take strong umbrage against whoever gave it to him. It is an invasion of my privacy.

Najib Razak (or rather, his assistants) reportedly sent out that e-mail to 1.5 million people. The Star reported that many were happy to get it – in a report quoting only three people. And two of them had Muslim-sounding names! From the tweets I’ve seen, it seems many Muslims have been getting the e-mail too. Some tweeters considered the greeting “insincere”, some suggested reporting the matter to Cyber 999 and even the police.

Many questioned how Najib or his assistants got their e-mail addresses. There’s a theory going round that it came from the database of a media conglomerate. If this is true, the practice is, of course, not right. It contravenes the cyberworld law of data privacy. Whoever gave the data to him showed that they did not respect that privacy.

My wife got a CNY greeting from Najib too – via an SMS. Did her telco give her number to Najib and Co? Is that a proper thing to do? This episode shows that the personal details of Malaysians are not safe from prying and abuse. And that Big Brother is watching. That’s a scary prospect.

Najib’s greeting is yet another of the public relations campaigns he has been mounting for more than a year now. Those who are aware realize they are nothing more than efforts to win votes for the next general election, but there are plenty of others who are not so clued-in.

This Chinese New Year campaign seems to have had an effect, especially on fence-sitters. Some of them said they were touched. They seemed swayed into believing that the PM cared enough to send them the greeting. This is not surprising, because gullible Malaysians often fall for cheap tricks all too easily. The number who have fallen victim to Internet scams must be substantial. As a politician of long experience, Najib must surely know that.

More public relations at work can be seen in the awarding of datukships in conjunction with Federal Territory Day. The number of Indians being awarded this year is relatively high. Seen in relation to Barisan Nasional’s bid to sustain its regaining of the Indian vote, this is to be expected.

Among the awardees, also expected, is K Rajagopal, the national football coach who recently guided his team to winning the small-time AFF Suzuki Cup. I’ve written before that his achievement in that competition is not something worthy of a datukship, but we all know that football ranks high in the popular Malaysian imagination, so not only has Rajagopal been made a datuk; also awarded is former football ace Santokh Singh.

Najib’s own special assistant, Ravindren Chelliah Ponniah, also gets to be a datuk. So do a couple of other Singhs. And guess who else? R Thanenthiran, president of Parti Makkal Sakthi Malaysia. For what? For forsaking Hindraf and crossing to the other side?

What about the Datuk Seri title for the president of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), M Kayveas? What has Kayveas done of late to deserve this higher award? That’s how the next general election is going to be won – by public relations. Of which BN being in government has plenty of resources to invest in.

Similarly, it has the resources to hijack Pakatan Rakyat’s recently announced pledge to abolish toll on all highways within 100 days of coming to power. A few days ago, Najib declared – in perfect time for the Tenang by-election – that the toll for the Salak to Taman Connaught stretch on the East-West Link Expressway would be abolished by May. He also announced that the toll for two other expressways would not be increased for the next five years. According to him, no compensation would be paid to the highway concessionaires, implying that it would not cost taxpayers anything.

Whether this is true remains to be seen. An engineer of long experience in the relevant industry that I spoke to is very sceptical about it. He feels that there will be other ways of compensation made to the concessionaires that will ultimately involve payment by the rakyat.

Last December, when Pakatan Rakyat announced its pledge to abolish tolls, Najib pooh-poohed it and said it was irresponsible. But now he’s going for it himself. He has even hinted that there will be more good news on the same subject soon. I suspect he will make the North-South Expressway toll-free. He might announce this on the eve of the next general election and make a major score from it. If that happens, you can bet that the taxpayer will not be able to avoid compensating the concessionaires in one way or another. Regardless of what Najib might say then to the contrary.

We have to be circumspect. We have to learn not to be so easily fooled. On the surface, a proposition may sound good, but there can be hidden drawbacks underlying it which of course will be kept secret at the time of announcement. We have also to be aware that all these public relations efforts made by Najib are intended for one main purpose. Apart from that, they also distract public attention from the questionable goings-on.

Only last week, it was revealed that there is now a new department in the Prime Minister’s Office called FLOM – for First Lady of Malaysia – manned by a staff of six. And it looks after the operational needs of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Never in our history has there ever been such a department. It reeks of nepotism and other things besides. Why should the PM’s wife have a department all to herself? Are there institutionalized provisions for such a thing? Who is paying for the upkeep of this department? We need to snap out of our distracted state and pressure Najib to justify the setting-up of FLOM. Let’s see how his public relations advisers will respond to that. For CNY, they came up with spam; for FLOM, will they come up with flam?

Just for fun, here are two Urban Dictionary definitions of “flom” – 1) To untie someone’s shoe lace while they aren’t looking, so they get pissed off and have to retie it (e.g. “Hey, stop it! This is the fifth time you’ve flommed me!”); 2) to do something sexual to someone of the opposite sex.

Either way you look at it, it sounds naughty!


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