Dec 13, 2007

Conspiracy theory : Lingam and Segamat Flood

What's up with the photo of Lingam posted on TheStar online featuring Segamat Flood?.


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Dec 11, 2007

VIDEO : Bersih memorandum to Parliament

Eight top opposition leaders were among 24 arrested this morning for trying to deliver a Bersih memorandum to Parliament on the extension of the Election Commission chief's retirement age.

source : Malaysiakini

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Malaysian police arrest more Bersih memo protesters: officials

This is what will happen when PM Abdullah Badawi is challenged?

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police Tuesday arrested at least 12 protesters including several opposition leaders as they defied a ban and attempted to hand a petition to parliament.

The arrests are the latest in a series of government crackdowns on recent protests and street demonstrations that have rocked the capital.

They also come one day after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he would sacrifice public freedom to maintain security in the wake of the mass rallies that have prompted legal action against the organisers.

Sentul district police chief Sofian Yasin said 12 people have been arrested so far while officials from opposition party Keadilan said 21 have been detained, including a 13-year-old boy.

More than 400 police surrounded the parliament to block the electoral reform campaigners who were forced to march there on foot after all roads leading to the building were closed off.

Trees lining the streets were posted with copies of a court order obtained by police that banned the campaigners from parliament.

"The authorities should not have done this. They should have been given the right to hand over a memorandum. After all, that's all they just wanted to do,"
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Keadilan president and opposition MP, told AFP.

Among opposition leaders arrested were the secretary-general of Keadilan and its information officer and a head of the hardline Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party.

The petition was eventually given to opposition members of parliament to be passed to the speaker.

The memorandum urges lawmakers to reject a proposed amendment to the constitution to extend the retirement age from 65 to 66 years for Election Commission officers.

The protesters claim this would allow the extension of tenure of election commission chairman Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman for another one and a half years.

"Abdul Rashid, whose service is continuously marred with recurring electoral frauds and manipulations, is not fit for the job and must go immediately," the petition stated.

Cabinet minister Nazri Aziz defended the police action.

"They want to come and demonstrate today's amendment to the constitution. So they want to come in big numbers. We will not allow that," he told reporters at parliament.

"We have taken action against them and we are using the court system to prosecute these people," Nazri said.

Last month, nearly 30,000 demonstrators calling for free and fair elections massed in the capital in a protest led by an alliance of opposition parties and civil society groups.

In a separate rally, thousands of ethnic Indians protested alleged discrimination by Muslim Malays who dominate the population.

Police dispersed the crowds with tear gas and water cannons and arrested scores of demonstrators.

Dozens of government critics have since been rounded up and now face trial on charges including attempted murder and sedition, and the premier has threatened to invoke draconian internal security laws that allow detention without trial.

While report on Malaysiakini :
Eight top opposition leaders were among 24 arrested this morning for trying to deliver a Bersih memorandum to Parliament on the extension of the Election Commission chief's retirement age.

Among those arrested were PKR information chief Tian Chua, party secretary-general Khalid Ibrahim, PAS treasurer Dr Hatta Ramli and party Women's chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh and central committee member Dr Lo'Lo' Ghazali, and Parti Socialist Malaysia pro-tem chairperson Dr Nasir Hashim, secretary-general S Arutchelvan and party central committee member S Sivarajan.

According to eyewitnesses, the police surrounded Tian Chua’s vehicle and forcibly removed him before arresting him at about 10.40am. Another person in the car was also detained.

Chua had failed to stop at the roadblock and had insisted on moving forward before nine police officers swooped in on him and hauled him away.

About 10 minutes later, Arutchelvan and another identified person were arrested for trying to break the police cordon. The PAS leaders were arrested shortly after.

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US asks Malaysia to allow freedom of expression

Will Malaysia listen to the voice of the people and US?

(AFP) WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday called on Malaysia to allow freedom of expression and assembly as the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi widened its crackdown on dissent.

"We have repeatedly raised with Malaysian authorities our belief that citizens of any country should be allowed to peacefully assemble and express their views," department spokeswoman Nancy Beck told AFP.

"We also stated in our annual human rights report our belief that the Malaysian government places significant restrictions on the right to assemble peacefully," she said.

Police permits are required under Malaysia law for public assemblies, defined as a gathering of five or more persons, but the State Department's rights report says senior police officials and political leaders influenced decisions on granting or denying some permits.

It said "a more restrictive policy" was applied with government critics, opposition parties, and human rights activists.

Beck's remarks on Monday came after Kuala Lumpur widened a crackdown on dissent following two mass rallies last month, with three legal actions taken Monday that rights groups and opposition leaders condemned as anti-democratic.

Ahead of elections, dozens of Malaysian government critics have been rounded up and now face trial on counts including attempted murder and sedition.

Abdullah has threatened to invoke draconian internal security laws that allow detention without trial, citing past racial violence in the multicultural nation dominated by Muslim Malays as reason for restricting street protests.

"If the choice is between public safety and public freedom, I do not hesitate to say here that public safety will always win," he said in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

The United States often hails Malaysia as a moderate Muslim democracy but the image took a knock when a series of indiscriminate destruction of Hindu temples were highlighted by some groups recently.

A US Congress-appointed commission expressed concern last week at the destruction of the temples and other alleged discrimination faced by religious minorities in Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia's more developed economies.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also urged the administration of President George W. Bush to raise the matter with Kuala Lumpur and "insist that immediate measures be taken to protect sacred sites and prevent further destruction."

The government, which cracked down on two mass rallies last month, took three separate legal actions Monday that rights groups and opposition leaders condemned as anti-democratic.

Among them was a revival of sedition charges against three leaders of ethnic Indian rights group Hindraf, which organised a November anti-discrimination protest that drew 8,000 people. The court had earlier allowed them to walk free on the charges, which carry a penalty of three years in jail.

Lawyers and their supporters were also charged in connection with a human rights march that they mounted in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday which was broken up by police.

Another prominent lawyer, Edmund Bon, was also charged with obstructing a city official who tried to remove protest banners from Malaysia's Bar Council building.

Twelve opposition figures were rounded up over the weekend in connection with an electoral reform rally last month which drew nearly 30,000 people who police dispersed with tear gas and water cannons.

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Nov 25, 2007

Reuters Video News : Police break up protest in Malaysia

Link : Police break up protest in Malaysia

Nov 25 - Protestors shout 'No democracy in Malaysia, no human rights in Malaysia' as police fire water canons into the crowds.

Thousands of ethnic Indians took to the streets of Kuala Lampur to protest about their treatment by the predominantly ethnic Malay government.

The ethnic Indians, who make up seven percent of the population, are accusing the government of marginalising them over employment and business opportunities.

Protestors holding up placards were sprayed by police water canon laced with chemicals .

The group had promised to hold a peaceful rally in the capital but the government had warned ethnic Indians not to participate, saying it could stoke racial tension.

It is the anti-government protest this month that police have broken up. The previous demonstration saw thousands taking to the streets of the capital demanding electoral reform.

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Al-Jazeera Video News : Ethnic Indians protest in Malaysia

Al-Jazeera Video News : Ethnic Indians protest in Malaysia

"What Bloddy democracy are we talking about?"

Members of Malaysia's Indian community have protested on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, the capital.

They are demanding equal rights in a country they believe discriminates against them.

They are also said to place blame on the colonial policies of Britain, and were intending to deliver a petition to the British High Commission in Malaysia.

Al Jazeera's Hamish MacDonald was there.

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Malaysian police fire tear gas at ethnic Indian protesters: witnesses

Al-Jazeera News Report

This is so called democracy in Malaysia.

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police fired tear gas at ethnic Indian protesters rallying here Sunday in support of a four trillion dollar lawsuit that blames Britain for their economic problems, witnesses said.

At least 8,000 protesters defied a ban and pushed their way towards the British High Commission (embassy) despite a heavy security presence.

Police used water cannon on the crowd that had gathered from around the country despite a police blockade since Thursday.

"Over the last 50 years Indian have been marginalised in this country and we now want the same rights as enjoyed by other communities," M. Kulasegaran, opposition lawmaker with the Democratic Action Party, told AFP.

"They have no rights to stop us from protesting today. This is the will of the people," he said.

The lawsuit targets Britain, Malaysia's former colonial ruler, and is aimed at highlighting what ethnic Indians there say is continuing discrimination.

It seeks four trillion dollars' compensation for the estimated two million ethnic Indians whose ancestors were brought here as indentured labourers by Britain in the 1800s.

The gathering is organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). Three of their leaders were arrested on Friday under the Sedition Act and later freed on bail but one preferred to remain in jail.

The activists are also demanding the government boost the social and economic standards of minority Hindus, who make up the third largest community in Malaysia.

The government banned the rally, fearing it could spark racial violence and warned that anyone who participated would be detained.

Demonstrators condemned the tough police action and said that they would not be not silenced. At least a dozen protesters had been arrested, witnesses said.

"This act of police violence must stop. We are here to protest peacefully. We intend to march and hand over the petition to the British mission," A. Sivanesan, a lawyer acting for Hindraf, said.

N. Vijayan, 40, an engineer, said the Indian community had been marginalised for too long.

"This demonstration should be a wake-up call for the government that we are really upset with its policies," he said.

Ethnic Indians, mainly Tamils, account for eight percent of Malaysia's population. A large proportion lack skills, money and education.

Forming 60 percent of the nation's 27 million people, ethnic Malay Muslims make up the majority group, while 26 percent are Chinese. Malaysia won its independence from Britain 50 years ago.

For more latest updates, checkout Malaysiakini or CNN.

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Nov 14, 2007

New post for the cabinet of Malaysia - Minister of MisInformation

(Malaysiakini) Minister of Misinformation - this was the new title conferred upon Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin by Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The issue started when Deputy Information Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi answered a supplementary question posed by Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom).

Raime had asked Ahmad Zahid what action would be taken against the international media for their wide coverage on the mammoth rally held over the weekend.

The rally, organised by the opposition-backed Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih), saw some 40,000 people taking to the streets and the submission of a memorandum to the King.

“The media gave a very biased coverage of the illegal gathering until it indicated that our country is in a big mess.

“How would (state-owned television station) RTM straighten this out? And what kind of action would be taken against the media that reported inaccurate facts?” asked Raime.

Responding, Ahmad Zahid (BN-Bagan Datok) said RTM, in its coverage of the rally, showed that demonstrations must not be used as a medium to gain people’s support.

“Even though RTM used the gathering as its lead story, we used the story to send across the message that demonstrations are not the right way to gain support from the public. This is because demonstrations are very undemocratic and could ruin our country’s image and drive away foreign investors,” he said.

'Zam was wrong'

At this point, Lim (DAP-Ipoh Timur) stood up and said that Zainuddin had been wrong in accusing Al Jazeera, the international media mentioned by Raime, of alleged lopsided coverage.

Newspapers reported that Zainuddin, who is popularly known as Zam, had described the satellite television station’s coverage as unfair and confusing to people living overseas.

Lim said instead of pointing the finger at others, the ministry should look at its own coverage of the gathering.

“RTM is guilty of not reporting the facts. In fact, it did not even dare to give the exact number of people who had gathered on that day,” he said.

“It is unfair to say that Al Jazeera had conspired with the opposition. The truth is, RTM had conspired with Barisan Nasional to report negatively. And the order was given by the information minister (Zainuddin), who is the minister of misinformation,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid then urged Lim to retract his remark and this led to a shouting match between opposition and BN MPs.

However, Lim not only refused to withdraw his statement, but also called Ahmad Zahid the ‘deputy minister of misinformation.

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Nov 11, 2007

Nov 10, 2007

Al-Jareeza news footage of the BERSIH Rally for Electoral Reform

This is AlJareeza news footage of the BERSIH Rally for Electoral Reform in KL, Malaysia

Zainuddin Maidin (Malaysia Information Minister)'s comments (more like putting his foot in his mouth, kampung style) regarding the BERSIH Rally

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Nov 7, 2007

Election is around the corner, it is time for MEGA PROJECT

It is election time. It is also time to announce all the mega-mega projects out there!. Recently PM Abdullah Badawi has announced several mega projects :

  • RM382 billion worth Iskandar Development Region (IDR) located at down-south Johor
  • RM177 billion project for Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER)
  • East Coast Corridor involving the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang
  • and now RM85 million Pujut Flyover in Miri and the RM220 million BDC interchange

KUCHING, Nov 6 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who will make a two-day visit to Sarawak next week, is expected to open two mega projects -- the RM85 million Pujut Flyover in Miri and the RM220 million BDC interchange here.

Sarawak Public Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said today the prime minister, who would be accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, was scheduled to arrive in Miri on Monday to open the Pujut Flyover at 3pm and later attend an all-community dinner at the Pavillion Parkcity Everly Hotel.

The 498m flyover was completed in time for the Merdeka celebration on Aug 31, about 11 months ahead of schedule, by developer Global Upline Sdn Bhd, which is expected to carry out another infrastructure work worth RM400 million to build a four-lane highway connecting the Kuala Baram industrial area with the Miri airport.

The following morning, Abdullah will fly to Kuching to open the BDC Interchange at 10.45am, another mega project being undertaken by Global Upline which encompasses the Kuching International Airport and Stutong Link Road here leading from the city centre.

Serving as the main gateway for visitors to the city, it was completed in record time in May this year and opened to motorists, one year ahead of the targeted completion date.

Abdullah will also witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Pte. Ltd. and Global Upline for the construction of the Hotel Four Points Sheraton Kuching.

Awang Tengah said that the same day, the prime minister would perform yet another earth-breaking ceremony for the Sarawak Islamic Complex at Jalan P.Ramlee here before departing for Kuala Lumpur.

Abdullah and his wife are expected to arrive in Miri from Kota Kinabalu, where he is scheduled to open the Parti Bersatu Sabah's (PBS) 22nd Congress on Sunday.

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Nov 2, 2007

Tun Mahathir is active and doing 'very well'

Nice to know Tun Mahathir is doing well.

(TheStar) KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has kept himself active and is doing very well, according to his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

"He's walking around a lot more nowadays and is coping well with other exercises in his physiotherapy. But I'm definitely making sure that he gets all the rest that he needs," she said.

Dr Siti Hasmah has also imposed a "curfew" on her husband.

"He really wanted to be here today to meet all of you, but the doctors will not allow it. Even I will not let him," she joked during her speech at the Montblanc - Unicef "The Power to Write " campaign launch here Wednesday.

Dr Siti Hasmah opened the event on behalf of Dr Mahathir, who had agreed to endorse the global initiative by Montblanc aimed at promoting increased worldwide literacy among children.

"I'm proud that my husband is able to take part in this noble gesture, especially on this memorable day, which was when he stepped down as the Prime Minister four years ago," she quipped.

Actress and producer Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina has also joined in the collaboration.

Across the world, Dr Mahatir and Tiara now join 149 prominent personalities from politics, arts, culture, business, sports and entertainment in the fight against illiteracy.

Two Meisterstuck Montblanc pens will bear the signatures of Dr Mahatir and Tiara, and for every pen sold, RM550 of its proceeds will be donated in support of Unicef education programmes in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The pen retails at RM2,330 and will only be made available until Dec 31.

Dr Siti Hasmah spoke passionately of the issue of illiteracy, especially among children.

"Illiteracy is still prevalent among many children worldwide and it is a subject that is personal to my husband and I.

"There is no shortcut to eradicating illiteracy. Everyone, including parents, publishers, teachers and the public must play their role," she stressed.

She added that there were 115 million children worldwide missing out on their education.

In Malaysia, she said that the National Education Blueprint 2006/2010 found some 4% of primary schoolchildren and 0.8% of secondary schoolchildren illiterate.

"The findings showed the children being unable to completely master reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

"If nothing is done, this will frustrate our government's efforts of building the nation. More work definitely needs to be done," she said.

Oct 21, 2007

Tun Mahathir discharged after heart operation

Tun Mahathir was discharged.

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad was discharged from hospital Sunday, seven weeks after undergoing his second heart bypass surgery.

The 82-year-old waved to onlookers as he left the National Heart Institute with his wife and children, the state Bernama news agency said.

"My father is happy to be able to go home. He wants to be in a different environment and wishes to rest," his daughter Marina Mahathir told Bernama.

Mahathir had the bypass on September 4 and three weeks later underwent a second surgery to remove infected chest tissue, which forced him to go back into an intensive care ward.

The National Heart Institute said in a statement that Mahathir had made good progress since the second operation, and will continue with his physiotherapy programme at home.

The political veteran went in for the surgery after suffering two heart attacks in the past year. He had previous heart bypass surgery in 1989.

Mahathir resigned in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing the reins over to the current prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Despite retiring from office, Mahathir remains a hugely influential figure and has become an outspoken critic of his successor, accusing him of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

Oct 17, 2007

Tun Mahathir Asks For Jalan Petaling 'Tofu Fa' for afternoon tea

Good to know Tun is getting better.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is receiving treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) here after undergoing a second coronary bypass operation last month, Tuesday asked for Jalan Petaling "Tofu Fa" to go with his afternoon tea.

"The "Tofu Fa" (soya bean curd) from Jalan Petaling has been my father's favourite since the 1970s as it has its own distinctive taste, so different from that of other places," his son Datuk Mukhriz told reporters when met at the IJN.

He said that Dr Mahathir's appetite had since improved and that he had eaten spaghetti and fruits during lunch time.

Mukhriz, who arrived at the IJN at 3.15pm, spent over three hours with his father and mother Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

"Tun also did some light exercises to strengthen the arm and chest muscles and walked a little to prepare for his discharge from IJN," he said, adding that the former prime minister continued to receive visits, bouquets and fruits from close friends.

On September 22, Dr Mahathir underwent wound debridement surgery at the IJN following his second coronary bypass operation at the institute on September 4.

He had undergone the first bypass operation in 1989 after a heart attack.

He is expected to be discharged from IJN in about a week.

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Oct 12, 2007

Tun Mahathir thanked all well-wishers who had prayed for his swift recovery

Tun Mahathir's message which was posted in his daughter Marina's blog today, he thanked all well-wishers who had prayed for his swift recovery.

Saya dan isteri saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin kepada semua rakyat Malaysia, khususnya kepada yang beragama Islam.

Saya minta maaf kerana pada tahun ini saya tidak dapat merayakan Aidilfitri bersama-sama dengan mengadakan rumah terbuka seperti biasa. Saya juga ingin meminta maaf kerana tidak dapat menerima pelawat sepanjang berada di Institut Jantung Negara atas nasihat doktor.

Bagaimanapun saya dan isteri saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan terimakasih kepada semua yang telah mendoakan kesihatan saya agar cepat pulih.

Kami berdua juga ingin menyampaikan penghargaan kepada semua yang telah menghantar ucapan selamat, yang telah mengadakan solat hajat serta majlis doa selamat untuk kesihatan saya.

Alhamdulillah keadaan kesihatan saya bertambah baik berkat doa yang dipohon serta usaha yang dilakukan semua doktor pakar yang terlibat serta staf-staf perubatan IJN.

Di sini saya dan isteri saya juga merakamkan ucapan terima kasih serta penghargaan kami kepada kesemua mereka yang telah berkorban masa dan tenaga sepanjang bulan Ramadhan untuk berusaha memulihkan kesihatan saya.

Tidak mungkin kami dapat membalas segala usaha ini. Namun saya dan isteri sentiasa berdoa agar semua yang dilakukan dibalas dengan keberkatan dan dirahmati Allah s.w.t.

Sekali lagi saya dan isteri saya mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali
1 Syawal 1428 Hijrah

Malaysiakini : Dr M to celebrate Hari Raya in IJN

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Oct 8, 2007

Tun Mahathir Transferred out of ICU To Bunga Raya Ward Today

The latest news on Tun Mahathir's condition.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been transferred to the Bunga Raya ward from the Intensive Care Unit of the National Heart Institute (IJN) at noon Monday.

The IJN said in a statement here that the doctors were happy with the former prime minister's progress and will continue with post-surgery rehabilitation including chest and muscle strenghtening exercises.

"Dr Mahathir has also been able to walk unaided since Sunday," said the IJN.

Dr Mahathir, 81, underwent a wound debridement surgery at the IJN on Sept 22 which was carried out by the same team of consultant surgeons who performed a second coronary bypass operation on him on Sept 4.

Despite being transferred to the normal ward, the IJN still limits visitions to immediate family members in order to give the former prime minister adequate rest in between physioteraphy sessions.

His son, Datuk Mokhzani told reporters at the IJN that his father was getting better and `improving a lot'.

"He is not going to be discharged today. It looks like we will be here for Hari Raya. Insya Allah, he will continue to improve and strengthen," he said.

Dr Mahathir's daughter, Datin Paduka Marina in her blog said her father had spaghetti marinara, salad, fruit and pudding for lunch after being transferred to the normal ward.

She said his moving up to the Bunga Raya ward was good enough for the family and Marina also posted some photos of his father on her blog,

"I dashed to the IJN and found a whole press scrum downstairs. It seems that someone had told them that dad would be discharged today. Not quite true! But for the moment, the move up to the fifth floor (normal ward) is good enough for us," she said.

Marina said her mother, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali visited the mechanical heart girl, Tee Hui Yi this morning.

"She's awake, looking good and even holding two thumbs up in triumph. Her parents are by her side and beside themselves with joy," she said.

* Latest photos of Tun Mahathir are available at Marina Mahathir's blog

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Oct 2, 2007

Indonesian Lawmaker to sue Malaysia for the "Rasa Sayang" song

Soon someone is going to sue Malaysia for using "Negaraku", which is similar to a Hawaiian song.

JAKARTA, Oct 2 (Bernama) -- An Indonesian lawmaker has called for an immediate response from the government to Malaysia's use of the traditional Indonesian song "Rasa Sayange" in its "Truly Asia" tourism campaign.

House of Representatives member Hakam Naja of the National Mandate Party said if the government could prove the song belonged to Indonesia, it should sue the Malaysian government.

"The government needs to check on its origin, whether it is from Indonesia or not," the deputy chairman of House Commission X overseeing education and tourism was quoted in a front-page report of the popular "Jakarta Post" daily, today.

Rasa Sayange is believed to have originated in Maluku where it has been sung for generations by people to express their love for the environment.

Hakam said Malaysia has in the past claimed ownership of traditional Indonesian handicrafts such as batik and wayang puppets.

"Such claims are made because of lack of action by the Indonesian government to copyright or patent the nation's heritage. In order to avoid one-sided claims, the government should patent the song immediately," he said.

He also called for an immediate inventory of the country's culture to help protect Indonesia's heritage through patents or copyrights.

"So if someone wants to use cultural elements of Indonesia, there should be compensation for the government, otherwise, other countries will keep trying to undermine us," he said.

Chairman of the Golkar Party faction at the House, Priyo Budi Santoso, as quoted in the report, said the government needed to determine whether Malaysia was using the song without Indonesia's permission.

"If they want to use Indonesia's traditional music, Malaysia should first ask for our permission because that's our country's heritage," he said.

Chairman of Indonesia's Copyright Council, Enteng Tanamal, said suing Malaysia was unlikely to succeed because the song's author was unknown.

"How can we sue Malaysia if nobody knows who wrote the song?" he said, adding that: "Therefore, it's fine if Malaysia uses the song as their tourism theme song."

However, he said, the government could check with the Directorate-General for Patents or the Tourism and Culture Ministry to find the song's writer.

He said Malaysia was not the only party to claim the song.

Ambon in Maluku and Manado in North Sulawesi have been arguing over ownership of the song for generations.

More news from Malaysiakini

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Sep 27, 2007

Tun Dr Mahathir making significant progress

Latest news on Tun Mahathir's condition

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is continuing to make significant progress, four days after his second surgical procedure on Saturday for wound debridement.

According to a statement released by the National Heart Institute (IJN), Dr Mahathir is now breathing on his own and doctors are focusing on post surgical rehabilitation.

These include physiotherapy to his chest to optimise respiratory function and exercises to his arms and legs to build muscle strength.

Dr Mahathir continues to be warded in the intensive care unit.

His daughter Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, meanwhile, wrote in her blog that the former Prime Minister "looked pretty good, for someone in ICU".

"Apparently he spent time last night grilling the doctors. I'm not sure many patients get to do that but as he sometimes like to sniffily remind us, 'I'm a doctor too, you know!"

"Isn't there some adage about doctors making bad patients?" she wrote, adding that she refer to think of a patient with personality as one who's definitely on the mend.

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Sep 23, 2007

Tun Mahathir has surgery for chest infection: aide

Recent development of Tun Mahathir

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has had further surgery and has been put on a respirator after a recent heart bypass caused a chest infection, an aide said on Sunday.

Sufi Yusof said the next 72 hours will be the crucial period in Mahathir's post-operative care, adding that the ex-prime minister was in stable condition.

"He is on post-cardiac surgery support. Mahathir is not conscious and is breathing with the support of a respirator," he told AFP.

Sufi said Mahathir had the three-hour procedure late Saturday to remove infected tissue from his chest.

"Mahathir is expected to remain on support for at least 36 hours for post-operative care," he said.

Mahathir, who underwent a five-hour heart operation on September 4, was reportedly making a rapid recovery. He previously had bypass surgery in 1989.

Mahathir resigned in 2003 after 22 years in power, handing the reins over to the current prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Despite retiring from office, Mahathir remains a hugely influential figure and has become an outspoken critic of his successor, accusing him of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

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Sep 22, 2007

Tun Mahathir's Appetite Improving, Having Meals On His Own

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's appetite is improving and is eating meals on his own, the National Heart Institute (IJN) said today.

It said doctors are focusing on intensive exercises on his arms and legs, as well as physiotherapy to optimise his respiratory functions and to increase muscle strength.

"His vital parameters continue to be stable," it said in a statement.

Dr Mahathir would continue to be under observation at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), it added.

Dr Mahathir, 81, who underwent his second coronary bypass surgery on Sept 4 at the premier heart centre, was transferred back to ICU 10 days later.

He came out of the ICU to the normal Bunga Raya Ward on Sept 12.

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Sep 13, 2007

Challenge to ACA - LKS

As the saying goes "Same old story", or so called "old newspaper", this time we can expect something to be different?.

AS per LKS's blog

In China, a senior official at the Agricultural Bank of China was executed for corruption following years of ordering suppliers to pay him kickbacks. Wen Mengjie, 50, former head of information technology at one of the bank’s Beijing branches, was executed Tuesday for embezzling and taking bribes worth 15 million yuan (USD1.97 million).

In the Philippinnes, former president Joseph Estrada was sentenced to jail in prison after he was found guilty of massive corruption and plundering the country of tens of millions of dollars in tax kickbacks and bribes.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he would resign after being dogged by a string of damaging scandals that hampered his reform agenda.

What do we have in Malaysia? Another year of shocking revelations of corruption, criminal breach of trust, overspending and mismanagement of funds by the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Amrin Buang – with the apt headline of the the New Straits Times yesterday “Same old story year in year out” – while the culture of impunity reigns on without anyone in high office having to bear responsibility for corruption and abuse of power.

Find out more from here :

  • NST : Auditor-General's report: Same old story year in, year out

  • Malaysiakini : Show me your teeth, Kit Siang to ACA

  • tags :

    Sep 12, 2007

    Will the real "flag burner" please stand up

    While our PM is saddened by the news of the "flag burner",

    (NST) KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the rioting in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday could be the opposition’s desperate attempt to gain political mileage in the once Pas-ruled state.
    "Maybe they are under pressure because the Barisan Nasional government has developed this once laidback state. Nothing really happened during their time.

    "Now they see that the state has developed in a short period and they are trying to do nasty things to tarnish the government and the police. This is their brand of politics," Abdullah said.

    The prime minister said he was saddened that Malaysians could be instigated to burn the Jalur Gemilang, which is a national symbol held in high esteem by the rakyat.

    "Why burn the national flag, what did the Jalur Gemilang do to them? These things would not have happened if the organisers had respected the police and the laws of the country.

    "But their intentions were different, they were well prepared to create a ruckus. That is why they came prepared with Molotov cocktails and other dangerous objects to attack the police. The riot was premeditated," he said.

    The opposition parties urged the police to reval the identity of the man.

    As reported by Malaysiakini :
    Opposition parties PAS and PKR today urged the police to reveal the identity of the man photographed burning the national flag during the clash in Kuala Terengganu over the weekend.

    The photograph, which showed a man wearing a crash helmet, was published by almost all the major dailies.

    In a joint press conference in Kuala Lumpur, both PAS and PKR stressed that the police were capable of identifying the culprit.

    PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin said there were good reasons to suspect that those involved in the incident were agent provocateurs out to tarnish the name of opposition parties.

    “We see the pictures in the newspapers and we know, they were taken by the police,” he claimed, adding that there were reports in the Chinese media stating that the police had confiscated the cameras of pressmen during the incident.

    Sep 11, 2007

    Motion To Debate Terengganu Riot Rejected cos it wasn't URGENT

    It was not urgent case. Enough said!

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 (Bernama) -- The Dewan Rakyat today rejected a motion to debate the riot in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday night in which seven people, including four policemen, were injured.

    Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib dismissed the motion on the ground that although the issue was of public interest, it was not urgent.

    "What happened was the police were quelling a riot," he said.

    When tabling the motion, Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) said the Internal Security Ministry should explain why live bullets had been used against unarmed civilians.

    "There are question marks over police integrity in this episode as it appeared that there was a `trigger-happy' attitude vis-a-vis civilians without giving a second thought to people's lives and public safety," he said.

    Salahuddin claimed that such an incident would not have happened if police issued permits to those wishing to organise peaceful gatherings.

    The riot was sparked when police instructed the crowd of hundreds at an illegal political gathering at Jalan Sultan Mahmud, close to Batu Burok in the Terengganu capital, to disperse.

    Report by Malaysiakini :
    An urgent motion to debate the violent stand off between the police and opposition supporters in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday night was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat speaker Ramli Ngah Talib today.

    Ramli agreed with Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian), who brought the motion, that the matter was of public interest but ruled that it was not an urgent matter that needed to be debated and discussed in the House.

    “It is just a riot and the police are investigating. Therefore I find the matter is of no urgency and I reject your appeal to discuss the matter now in this proceeding,” he said.

    Salahuddin had filed the motion yesterday and hoped that the matter would be allowed to be discussed today.

    In the motion, Salahuddin said that the incident, which resulted in scores hurt and two men shot by a police fire, should be debated as it involved public interest.

    He said that the Internal Security Ministry should explain as to why a live bullet was used to disperse the crowd.

    “This House must be given the necessary and just opportunity to discuss and debate on the tragedy so justice can prevail,” he said in the motion.

    “The Internal Security Ministry must explain to the people of Malaysia why live bullets were fired upon unarmed civilians,” added Salahuddin.

    He blamed the police of being ‘trigger happy’ and lacking respect for the lives and safety of the public.

    PAS calls for independent probe into shooting

    Calls from different parties for independent investigation.

    Report from Malaysiakini :

    Opposition leaders today called for an investigation into the shooting of two protesters at a political rally which went ugly after police halted the event from proceeding.

    Police, who also used tear gas and water cannon when a riot broke out at the rally in Terengganu on Saturday, have defended the action by a plainclothes officer who they said acted in self-defence.

    Two PAS members were injured in the incident, with a 37-year-old man wounded in the lungs and a 21-year-old in the neck, but both are now in stable condition, the party said.

    The leader of the PAS in Terengganu, Mustafa Ali, called on the government to hold a royal commission into the shooting.

    "People recognised that the policeman in plain clothes was trying to instigate the violence. So they tried to catch him," he told a press conference.

    "It has been planned. It was a collaboration between Umno and police. And it happened due to provocation. I call on the government to investigate the matter."

    Other political parties and rights groups also hit out at the ruling party and police.

    "What frightened me the most was the use of bullets to disperse the crowd who came to attend a peaceful gathering," said Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, secretary-general of the opposition PKR.

    "It is not a good sign for democracy," he said. "I hope this is not an attempt by the government to silence the opposition. Such attitudes will make Malaysia less attractive to foreign investment."

    Malaysian government rejects calls for probe into Terengganu riots

    Call for independent inquiry by LKS "Batu Burok riot - immediate independent public inquiry warranted"

    and the result is..

    (AFP) KUALA LUMPUR : The Malaysian government has rejected the opposition's call for an independent inquiry into the bloody weekend clash in the north-eastern state of Terengganu.

    Seven people were injured, including two who were hit by live bullets.

    Speaking to our correspondent, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Nazri Aziz, defended the firing of tear gas and use of water canons by police.

    The clash between Malaysian riot police and more than 500 people attending a public forum took place in the heart of Terengganu state.

    During the forum organised by the opposition coalition, the speaker delivered a lecture calling for clean and fair elections.

    Police say the crowd had gathered without a legal permit, so they fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the people.

    Seven were injured and more than 20 arrested.

    Also for the first time, live bullets were alleged to have been fired into the crowd, severely injuring two opposition Islamic Party members.

    Although their condition is said to be stable, the opposition has demanded an immediate independent inquiry into the incident.

    Opposition and human rights leaders have condemned what they call excessive use of force by the police.

    Mustapa Ali, Chief (Terengganu), Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party, said: "There must be a thorough investigation by an independent body because we believe what happened was planned and premeditated by the government and the police. They will find any avenue to stop our message from reaching the masses."

    Denying the charges, the government also rejected the need for an independent inquiry.

    Nazri Aziz said: "It's very clear. You don't have the permit, you don't do it. There are laws in this country so you don't need a royal commission to look into this."

    Mr Nazri said the crowd triggered the clash by hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police.

    He added: "Police are also normal human beings. They've been attacked by a group of people they have every right to defend themselves, you can't wait till you're injured."

    Despite the government's defence of the police action, opposition and human rights groups have vowed not to let the matter rest, saying they'll sue the police, press for debate in parliament, and continue holding more rallies.

    Sep 10, 2007

    Tun Mahathir Recuperating, Can Eat Roti Canai And Drink Milk Now

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is recuperating steadily on his sixth day of post-coronary bypass operation and had roti canai and high energy milk for breakfast today.

    The National Heart Institute (IJN) said in a statement that after breakfast the former prime minister had a full shower and walked gently around his bed.

    It added that he would continue with his intensive chest physiotherapy.

    On Friday, Dr Mahathir had his first soft diet of ice cream and porridge for lunch.

    However, the former premier who underwent a coronary bypass operation last Tuesday, is still warded at that Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and visitors are restricted to immediate family members.

    Sep 5, 2007

    Doctors Happy With Dr Mahathir's Progress After Surgery

    Latest report from BERNAMA :

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- Doctors are happy with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's progress, which is as expected in post by-pass surgery, the National Heart Institute (IJN) said Wednesday.

    The 81-year-old former prime minister, who is still warded at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after undergoing a five-hour coronary by-pass surgery at the institute yesterday, is in stable condition.

    "Tun Dr Mahathir remains stable following close overnight observation by doctors and nurses at the Intensive Care Unit of IJN.

    "All his vital parameters, thus far, are also stable as anticipated," the institute said in a statement.

    He is, however, still within the crucial intensive observation period and will continue to be warded at the ICU and visitation is only for immediate family members, the statement adds.

    Meanwhile, his special officer, Sufi Yusof, said Dr Mahathir was still sedated.

    This is his second by-pass surgery. His first was done at the institute on Jan 24, 1989, following a heart attack.

    His son, Datuk Mirzan, and sister-in-law Tan Sri Saleha Mohd Ali were seen visiting him at 10.30am today.

    While reports from Malaysiakini :
    Mahathir’s 48 hours of critical stage
    Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been given 48 hours by his doctors to regain consciousness following his second coronary bypass surgery yesterday.

    He is still in a critical stage after undergoing the five-hour surgery at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

    His son Mukhriz was quoted by Bernama today as saying that the attention was now on the second phase (post-surgery) for 81-year-old Mahathir's recovery.

    He added that the family hoped this stage would go smoothly and safely.

    "This recovery phase is a ‘lifeline’ for dad, because anything can happen during this time. So we need to pray harder and give special care and attention for him to pass this second test,” said Mukhriz, who is Mahathir’s fifth child.

    "The doctors said my father's situation is stable and that his heartbeat and pulse are normal,” he added.

    Bernama quoted him as saying that the family was hoping for Mahathir to regain consciousness any time, and that they will keep the media informed of developments from time to time.

    Sep 3, 2007

    Tun Mahathir to have bypass surgery on Tuesday

    PETALING JAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will undergo coronary bypass surgery at the National Heart Institute (IJN) tomorrow morning.

    His son, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir confirmed that Dr Mahathir had been admitted into IJN yesterday for the surgery.

    “He is all right and preparing for the operation. He wanted to wait until after the Merdeka celebrations,” he said when contacted yesterday.

    Dr Mahathir’s most recent public appearance was during the Merdeka Day Parade at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, with his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali where he was seen waving the Jalur Gemilang to the beat of the music.

    Mokhzani said Dr Siti Hasmah was with his father at the hospital. IJN is expected to release a statement on Dr Mahathir today.

    No visitors are allowed.

    “We ask that all Malaysians pray for his good health,” Mokhzani added.

    According to a press statement released by the National Heart Institute (IJN) on Monday, Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang will head the surgery team while IJN's medical director Datuk Seri Dr Robaayah Zambahari is heading the panel of doctors attending him.

    "Doctors have advised against Tun Dr Mahathir receiving any visitors with the exception of immediate family members," it said.

    The statement added that Dr Mahathir had been admitted to IJN on Sunday as a preparation for an elective coronary bypass surgery, which will take place Tuesday.

    Dr Mahathir underwent a coronary bypass operation in 1989 at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital following a heart attack.

    Aug 31, 2007

    MALAYSIA, Happy 50th Birthday!!

    Malaysia, Happy 50th Birthday.

    Aug 28, 2007

    At age 50, Malaysia questions its identity


    (AFP) KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia marks the 50th anniversary of its independence later this week at a time when it is increasingly questioning its own identity amid rising Islamisation and racial polarisation.

    Since winning independence from Britain, Malaysia has been transformed into one of the Muslim world's most developed countries, complete with skyscrapers such as the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and massive highways and ports.

    It has also slashed poverty through stable economic growth.

    Yet as the country prepares to mark a half-century of nationhood on Friday, many are struggling to agree on what it means to be Malaysian, and how much your religion and culture counts.

    P. Ramasamy, a political scientist and former professor with the National University of Malaysia, is worried about a rising influence of Islam, and the racial and religious divisions it could spark.

    "If this is the indicator after 50 years, I do not want to look forward to the next 50 years as the situation may become worse," he told AFP.

    Islam is the official religion here and Muslim Malays make up 60 percent of Malaysia's 27 million people, with the rest mostly Buddhist, Christian and Hindu.

    Freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution but a number of recent events -- such as a court's decision not to recognise a woman's conversion to Christianity and a row over whether Sharia law should be incorporated into the legal system -- have highlighted long-standing divisions.

    Malaysia experienced deadly race riots between Malays and Chinese in 1969 sparked by political rivalries and anger over the wealth of the Chinese, and today ethnic Malays dominate politics.

    The National Front coalition -- formerly known as the Alliance Coalition -- has ruled Malaysia since independence.

    It includes ethnic Chinese and Indian parties, but is dominated by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

    Abdullah frequently preaches national unity and freedom for all religions, but Zaid Ibrahim, a lawmaker with UMNO, says that communal relationships have become worse over the past five decades.

    "This 50th celebration of our independence brings to me a tinge of sadness," he told AFP.

    "I'm sad that we have become a country that talks of race and religion on a daily basis, and that we feel the need to continuously emphasize power, authority and coercion to extract obedience," he said.

    Former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was sacked and jailed in 1998, told AFP that Islam in Malaysia had been "hijacked" for political reasons by the ruling party, and urged caution against creeping extreme Islamic tendencies.

    He pointed to a recent decision by the Federal Court rejecting a women's bid to be legally recognised as a Christian after converting from Islam.

    Lina Joy waged a decade-long battle to have the word "Islam" removed from her national identity card, but the court threw out her case and said only the Sharia court can legally certify her conversion.

    Anwar decries not just the religious divisions, but the economy, which he says is being battered by corruption.

    "Foreign investments are heading elsewhere. This is due to incompetence, poor governance and refusal to change. So we are losing out to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, India and China," he said.

    Quality of life for many Malaysians, however, has risen considerably over five decades.

    Most homes now have a car and two television sets. Per capita income last year stood at 5,388 dollars, up from 2,335 dollars in 1990.

    Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 was valued at 151.4 billion dollars from 44 billion dollars in 1990.

    Yet Southeast Asia's third largest economy has seen foreign direct investment steadily declining. In 2006 it amounted to an estimated 3.9 billion dollars, compared to 5.5 billion dollars in 2001.

    Malaysia's official economic growth forecast for 2007 is six percent, behind that of rivals China and India. Its economy grew 5.9 percent in 2006.

    Wan Suhaimi Saidie, an economist with Kenanga Investment Bank, warned that boosting foreign investment was going to become a challenge.

    "Unless we introduce new investment friendly policies like tax breaks we will lose out," he said.

    Almost half of the last 50 years were dominated by the economic and political policies of Mahathir Mohamad, 81, who retired from office in 2003 after 22 years as prime minister.

    He handed the reins to Abdullah, but has since become an outspoken critic of his 67-year-old successor, whom he has accused of nepotism and corruption.

    The next elections will be in 2009, but P. Ramasamy warns that the country must find a solution to religious tensions if it is to continue to modernise.

    "If it is not addressed, it will create serious racial problems in the country," he said.

    Aug 27, 2007

    Debate on RM4.6 bil scandal - REJECTED!

    As per LKS's blog

    This is a great blow to public and investor confidence in the just rule of law, especially efficient upholding of law and order and the fair administration of justice, which had reached increasingly critical level because of a series of incidents including:

    • Sloppy police investigations of crimes and sloppy prosecution even resulting in many accused charged with serious crimes being acquitted without their defence being called;
    • Long delays by judges to deliver grounds of judgments – in one case involving nine years and three months and with one Federal Court judge with 33 outstanding grounds of judgments for criminal and civil cases dating back to his High Court tenure.
    • The seven-month constitutional crisis over the appointment of the new Chief Judge of Malaya which highlighted the urgent need for judicial reforms including having a Judicial Commission to recommend appointment and promotion of judges.

    As reported by Malaysiakini :

    Dewan Rakyat speaker Ramli Ngah Talib rejected the ‘urgent motion’ put by Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang to debate the RM4.6 billion bailout of the troubled Port Klang Free Zone as Parliament resumes today.

    "The government is looking into the matter and as such there is no need to debate it in Parliament," said Ramli in disallowing the debate.

    In an immediate reaction, Lim said that he was “disappointed” by the speaker’s action and considered it a setback in the campaign against corruption.

    “It would appear that no Barisan Nasional MP (member of parliament) is prepared to take a principled stand demanding full parliamentary accountability of the scandal,” he said.

    But Lim said he was undaunted.

    “I will continue to demand full and proper accountability for the scandal in the current budget meeting of Parliament,” said the veteran opposition leader, who is DAP MP for Ipoh Timur.

    Aug 24, 2007

    Minister absent, officials vanish, Datuk Z is OK

    So what is new?

    June 27th 2007 : Eric Chia Acquitted

    July 12th 2007 : ACA probe on Johari closed, says A-G

    July 28th 2007 : IGP and ex-ACA boss cleared of graft, abuse of power

    (TheStar) KLANG: All 37 charges against controversial Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and five of his business partners instituted by the Companies Commission (CC) have been withdrawn.

    The CC had taken Zakaria and the five to court by virtue of their position as directors of Harvest Court Industries Bhd and Titi Steel Sdn Bhd, which had contravened the Companies Act 1965.

    Each charge could be punished with a fine of up to RM30,000 and five years jail.

    They were charged for failing to notify of change of address, failing to hold annual general meetings, failing to submit financial statements and failing to submit profit-and-loss accounts.

    Mozni Sham Ahmad and Joseph R. Samuel who appeared for Zakaria, his partners and the two companies said the charges were withdrawn because the "outstanding problems had been settled".

    Companies Commission's prosecutor Azmil Haron told magistrate Fadzilatul Isma Ahmad Refngah that he had been instructed to withdraw the charges against the two companies and its directors.

    While Malaysikini reported :

    Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy and his subordinates once again evaded fielding questions on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) controversy.

    The minister was conspicuously absent from a press conference called Tranport Ministry at the PKFZ headquarters regarding the issue today.

    Other ministry officials also did a disappearing act, leaving PKFZ officials to distribute a five-page statement from the ministry.

    Unfortunately, the statement does little more than state some facts already known about the fiasco, fudge other facts, while completely ignoring a host of other important questions that have been raised with regards to the development project.

    The statement confirmed that the government has approved a 'soft loan' to Port Klang Authority (PKA), the state-owned agency responsible for the mega-project. "Details of the borrowing are being finalised," it said.

    According to the statement, the ‘facts’ are:

  • The land on which PKFZ now stands was bought at RM1.088 billion which, paid over 15 years with 7.5 percent interest, amounts to RM1.807 billion. This clarifies earlier discrepancies on the actual sum paid - put simply, the land price was RM1.1 billion while PKA which bought the land had to pay in total RM1.8 billion over 15 years.

  • PKFZ was initially to be developed in two phases - the first, to develop 500 acres with a price tag of RM400 million.

  • However, following the advice of the Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), PKFZ’s owner Port Klang Authority agreed to develop the land in one go at a cost of RM1.845 billion, said the statement, which appeared to suggest that Jafza should shoulder part of the blame.

    This included additional developments such as the building of a business-class hotel with 135 rooms.

    “Hence, the total cost of PKFZ after including the land purchase and development costs, interest cost of 7.5 percent, professional fees of 10 percent and a variation order limited to 20 percent (if used) is estimated at RM4.632 billion,” read the statement.

    The ministry also said PKFZ is a national project to help increase the volume of cargo at Port Klang “to serve as a catalyst for national economic growth and to create employment opportunities and ancillary support services and business activities.

    “Hence, because the total PKFZ costs are high, the government has agreed to approve a soft loan to PKA. The details of that loan are under discussion,” it added.

    tags :

    Aug 21, 2007

    Internal Security Ministry : Stop publishing reports related to the ‘Negarakuku’

    It is time to stop?

    Malaysiakini : The Internal Security Ministry has directed the mainstream media to stop publishing reports related to the ‘Negarakuku’ controversy.

    This was confirmed by the ministry’s Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit senior officer Che Din Yusof.

    “Yes, the directive was issued today,” he said when contacted. “What more is there for the papers to write? Enough is enough.

    “There are so many other things that can bring benefit to the nation, why focus on this issue and bring in other points? He (Wee Meng Chee) has already apologised,” he added.

    However, Che Din said the media can still report on comments made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak on the issue.

    Raise tensions

    Meanwhile, Che Din justified the ministry’s move in issuing the directive on the grounds that the issue can raise tensions in the country.

    “(If we keep talking about it) it will raise tensions, do you know that?

    “You as an emotional layman can say anything, If I wasn’t a civil servant, I can say anything too. It’s too polemic already in the newspapers,” he said.

    According to him, political leaders, NGOs and Wee himself can no longer have their statements published in the newspapers.

    As for the exception given to the prime minister and his deputy, Che Din said the statements made by these leaders are aimed at "fixing the situation".

    Asked whether there is a similar ban on the broadcast media, he said: “Those belong to other ministries but if it was under (my ministry), I would order them to stop (broadcasting the Negarakuku issue too).

    Related updates :

  • Malaysiakini : Rap song - what’s the big deal?

  • JeffOoi : Beneath the smoke-screen ( 3 ): The Free Zone bailout

  • LKS : Negarakuku - Cabinet tomorrow last chance to ensure 50th Merdeka not celebrated under dark cloud of worst generational polarisation

  • tags :

    Aug 20, 2007

    'Negarakuku' : Meng Chee now investigated by MCMC

    Ok, so far he has been charged under the Sedition Act 1948 and the National Anthem Act 1965, and now he is being investigated by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

    As reported by Malaysiakini :

    The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will investigate if student Wee Meng Chee has broken the law by posting a video parody of the national anthem.

    Contacted today, MCMC director Abdul Halim said the case has set a precedent as the subject of the investigation is overseas. Wee, 24, is a university student in Taiwan.

    “We will complete the investigation papers. We have to record statements from the relevant parties,” he said, adding that Wee’s family members are expected to be interviewed as well.

    On whether MCMC will question Wee in person, Abdul Halim said the issue would be referred to the Attorney General’s Chambers.

    “This is the first time that such a case has happened. Aside from the location of the subject, it will be a normal process,” he added.

    Report lodged

    The investigation was based on a report lodged with MCMC against Wee last week, for allegedly inciting racial hatred.

    The rap video, entitled Negarakuku, was posted on YouTube in July. It has been viewed over half a million times since then.

    Wee received fervid responses from thousands of Internet users who in the comments section, said his video displayed racial insensitivity and was insulting to Islam.

    Government officials and community leaders have also criticised the video.

    For his video, Wee went under the moniker Namewee, the first two syllables translate to a foul word in the Hokkien dialect.

    In the video, Wee, who has since apologised for his action, accused the Malaysian police of being corrupt and described the subuh (Muslim dawn) prayers as his wake-up call.

    He also insinuated that the Malays, who form the majority of government servants and enforcement officers, are lazy and proud. He described the Chinese as hardworking.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that while his apology is accepted, Wee will not be exempted from possible legal action.

    The student could be charged under the Sedition Act, which carries as maximum three-year jail sentence upon conviction.

    ‘Aren’t they real issues?’

    When contacted, Wee said that he believed that the problems which arose as a result of his Negarakuku song could be solved amicably.

    He said that he wanted to come back to Malaysia to personally settle the issue but was hampered by financial difficulties at the moment.

    He further said he wanted to explain to the people here on the meanings of his lyrics.

    “Even if I had not sung the matters in my song, does it mean that what I have mentioned do not exist,” he asked.

    He also rejected claims that he had meant ill-feelings to anyone in another song titled Kawanku (My Friend) which is now making its round in the YouTube.

    Related Updates :

  • Bernama - Changing Negaraku Lyrics To Express Dissatisfaction Is Wrong - Koh

  • TheStar - MP: Song is about youth narrating his problems

  • Jeffooi - More... Meng Chee now investigated by MCMC

  • LKS - Negarakuku rap — end the persecution mania and listen attentively to the legitimate grievances sung by Wee

  • tags :