Feb 28, 2007

'Secret' of Toll agreement was out 10 years ago

It's a "secret" when the government says it is.

(The Sun) PETALING JAYA (Feb 27, 2007): A highway concessionnaire released details of its classified agreement with the government in its prospectus for institutional investors 10 years ago, it was revealed today.

Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak), the concession holder for the Damansara-Puchong Highway, had in the prospectus given a summary of key terms of the agreement which was classified under the Official Secrets Act.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who revealed the prospectus in a press conference today, questioned the motive of the government for continuing to insist the agreement was under the OSA.

"The prospectus has all the details of the agreement. Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu had said everything discussed in the cabinet is under the OSA.

"As such, Litrak, and its two joint global lead managers, Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Bhd and Barclays de Zoete Wedd Ltd, should also be investigated by the police as well for revealing the content."

Last month, four opposition leaders - Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua, treasurer-general Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, PAS treasurer-general Dr Hatta Ramli and DAP non-governmental organisation bureau chief Ronnie Liu - were questioned by the police for alleged violation of the OSA by revealing a copy of a concession agreement in a press conference.

Samy, who initially lambasted the four for revealing "official secrets", recently said the ministry would reveal the agreement as the premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had agreed to it, provided a paper was first tabled to the cabinet.

He had said the concession holders had no objections to this.

Lim said the government should drop its investigation against the four men and apologise to them for "selective prosecution and double standards".

Lim said the Litrak prospectus revealed the projected profit after tax of the company from 1997 to 2029 to be RM18.9 billion while the total construction cost was estimated at only RM1.327 billion, inclusive of capitalised interest of RM142.3 million.

"This is at least 15 times the cost that they put in," he said.

He asked whether this was why there was hesitation to make public the agreements.

"Samy Vellu should be ashamed of himself for protecting the interest of the company instead of the people by not wanting people to know about the agreement even though it was already public knowledge in 1996," he added.

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Feb 27, 2007

Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) Chief is a rapist?

Another shocking news for fellow Malaysians? At the beginning we are told that our beloved Prime Minister, Badawi has re-married, and now we are told that the so called "clean" Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is actually lead by a rapist?.

According to report in MalaysiaKini :

Apart from this, Ramli also disclosed that the police had allegedly investigated Zulkipli in connection with a sexual crime following a report filed by a housewife with the Dang Wangi police station in Kuala Lumpur.

Following this report, he said the housewife had also filed additional reports with the police in Negri Sembilan's Mambau and Kuala Lumpur's Segambut as well as Dang Wangi for alleged assault and use of criminal force. (see the attached police report)

While opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang is calling for Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Zulkipli Mat Noor appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity to clear all doubts that he is qualified to continue to helm the anti-corruption agency.

“I will propose at today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee that Zulkipli be summoned to appear at an emergency meeting to respond to various serious allegations which had been made against him, ranging from corruption to sexual crimes, which must not remain un-rebutted, so as to salvage the credibility, legitimacy and authority of the ACA.

“If Zulkipli is not prepared to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee to establish his integrity in an emergency meeting, he must be removed as the ACA head. The Cabinet should put this item on the top of its agenda at its meeting tomorrow.”

Read more details from Malaysia-Today.

I wonder what other shocking news is coming our way!

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Feb 26, 2007

Badawi married 2nd wife? Najib afraid of wife?

It is true that our beloved Prime Minister is married to Ms Jean Danker who used to be married to Osman Mahmud, Kak Endon’s brother. News spreading like wildfire. But no mistake that Jean Danker is not the same person as that DJ at Singapore.

How about our beloved Deputy Prime Minister, Najib is afraid of his wife?

(Malaysia-Today) In the trip he made to Perth to officiate his brother’s Nasi Kandar restaurant, it seems his daughter, Nori, went berserk when she found Jean in Pak Lah’s bedroom.

Only after Pak Lah explained that there is nothing sinister about the whole thing because they are already married did Nori calm down and, like it or not, accept the fact that her father had remarried.

The word being spread through a whispering campaign is that, just before she died, Kak Endon had endorsed Pak Lah’s marriage to Jean.

It seems, according to the spin, Kak Endon told Pak Lah that if he ever gets lonely after she has gone then he should take Jean as his wife.

According to those close to the late Kak Endon, this is a spin meant to legitimise the marriage. They dispute this and argue Pak Lah had already been eyeing Jean even while Kak Endon was still alive.

Kak Endon was in fact very upset and that was why she stayed in the US and refused to come back to Malaysia.

To explain why she was in the US and not in Malaysia, they spun the story that Kak Endon was undergoing treatment which was NOT true.

In fact, the doctors had suggested that she return to Malaysia as there was nothing much they could do for her any longer.

Anyway, Najib went to the US to visit Kak Endon and when he returned to Malaysia he disputed the talk that there was no hope for Kak Endon and that she was only waiting for death to come claim her. She is responding well to treatment, argued Najib.

Very soon after that Kak Endon returned to Malaysia and died, so there goes Najib’s prognosis that she was responding well to treatment and that talk of her getting ready to die were all lies being spewed by the Internet. So who is lying now?

Make no mistake; Jean Danker is a wonderful human being and a decent lady. In fact, I feel she makes a wonderful ‘First Lady’ and if it is true that she is already married to Pak Lah then I would like to be the first to wish her ‘Selamat Pengantin Baru’.

I also hope that Nori and Kamal would leave her alone and allow their stepmother a blissful and happy marriage.

Maybe what Malaysia needs is a lady like Jean beside Pak Lah to help our Prime Minister see the error of his ways and maybe distract him a bit from his children and children-in-law.

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Internet Users Cautioned Over Sensitive News, Pictures

As mentioned by Jeff Ooi, Cyberspace does not operate in vacuum space. Therefore. all bloggers or website owners should always be aware what is contained in their blog or website.

KUANTAN, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow today reminded Internet users against circulating sensitive news or pictures that can jeopardise public order and security.

He said that while the government did not filter Internet content, it did not mean that Internet users were immune from prosecution.

"If we find anyone circulating news or pictures that can post a threat to public safety, we will take action," he told reporters after a Chinese New Year celebration organised by the Kuantan Chinese Consultants Committee here today.

He was asked to comment on the circulation of pictures of local illegal motorcycle racers or "Mat Rempit" on a website managed by a company using a server abroad.

Asked whether action will be taken against the company, Fu said it would be difficult to trace the company as its server was located overseas.

Fu also reminded Internet surfers to be wary of and not be easily influenced by the news and pictures circulated in cyberspace.

He cautioned the illegal racers to stop challenging authority with their misdemeanour as the police would not hesitate to take action against them if they broke the law.

He noted that their action of throwing bottles and rocks at a police station would tarnish not only the image of the country but also their own image as well.

"I was told recently that a foreign photographer had a fright after he was threatened by these illegal racers. This should not have happened," he said.

He said there was nothing wrong with a group of youngsters riding their motorcycles in a convoy so long as they did it within the limits of the law but unfortunately some of them violated the law.

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Feb 25, 2007

Tun Mahathir : No Such Thing As A Moderate Muslim

In brief, there is NO need to have ISLAM HADARI?

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today asked Muslims to do away with false assumptions when declaring themselves as moderate followers of Islam because the religion is indeed moderate.

The former prime minister said Muslims did not need to defend themselves as moderate or liberal Muslims as this gave a picture that were only partial followers of Islamic teachings while others (teachings) were deemed extreme.

"Islam is already a moderate religion...there is no need for us to show that were are more liberal Muslims than others. We are Muslims...period," he said when opening the 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) here.

Dr Mahathir, who is also Perkim president, said that even if some Muslims were labelled extremists, it was not because of the teachings of Islam but a lack of understanding of them or the religion being manipulated by irresponsible followers.

"There is nothing extreme about Islam if we follow its teachings as contained in the Quran," he said.

Dr Mahathir said the ummah (faithful) and Islamic nations must intensify efforts to dispel the notion held by many of Islam as being extreme, its followers ignorant, poor, do not know how to administer a country and are fond of asking for help from others.

He said that if the negative perception of Islam continued, it would adversely affect efforts to spread the religion as "no one would be interested to join a religion whose followers are seen as losers".

"People will only be attracted when there is a successful track record...as such only when Muslims become successful in all spheres or better than others in them can we successfully carry out effective missionary activities," he said.

According to Dr Mahathir, efforts must also be intensified to give a clear an correct picture that the religion was not an obstacle to progress.

"We must encourage followers who want to be successful and competitive. We should show that Islam does not stand in the way of followers who want to attain great achievements," he said.

Dr Mahathir said that there were also certain quarters in the country who claimed that Malays had converted to Islam during the time of Prophet Mohamad, some 1400 years ago when in fact they only did so about 600 to 700 years back.

"There are also many who recently converted (to Islam) but their faith is no less strong than longtime Muslims. In fact, new converts oftentimes show better faith than born Muslims," he said.

Touching on Palestine, Dr Mahathir said the conflict between the Jews and Muslims there was not because of religion but lands confiscated by the former.

"That is the main reason, not because Muslims and Jews cannot live together. History has proven that...this conflict is because Muslims lost their homes and lands," added Dr Mahathir.

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Feb 22, 2007

Blogger RockyBru has Not Decided To Withdraw Application

With the recent bombardment of TV advertisements from NSTP, sometimes I do wonder whether it's because of this defamation suit that NSTP is worried of their current image.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- Blogger Ahirudin Attan has not decided whether to continue or withdraw his application to strike out the defamation suit brought by the New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP) and four others against him.

Ahirudin's counsel Edmund Bon said he needed time to discuss with his client.

Bon said he received one volume of affidavit-in-reply to strike out the application today and three volumes of amended statements of claim by NSTP and the four on Friday.

"We have to study the amended statements of claim and we need time to look into it whether to continue with the striking out of the application or to withdraw it," he said.

Bon said High Court judge Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus fixed April 2 to hear the striking out application and if Ahirudin, better known as Rocky, wanted to withdraw the striking out application, he should inform the court before April 2.

The court had fixed Thursday to hear Ahirudin's application to strike out the defamation suit by NSTP and the four.

On Jan 4, NSTP, its deputy chairman Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, chief executive officer Datuk Syed Faisal Albar, group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and former group editor Brendan Pereira filed a suit against Ahirudin for defamation and malicious falsehood.

The suit pertains to certain articles and postings that had been published or permitted to be published by Ahirudin on his weblog.

They claim that the articles referred to them and were defamatory.

The plaintiffs also applied for an inter-parte injunction to require Ahirudin, a former editor of the Malay Mail, to remove certain articles from his weblog and restrain him from further publishing articles defamatory to them.

However, on Jan 25, Ahirudin filed an application to strike out the defamation suit brought by the NSTP and the four others on the grounds that the suit was fatally deficient because it did not state the exact words in the publications.

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Feb 19, 2007

General Election This Year, Says Nik Aziz

After all the recent comments and statements made by our beloved PM, this is very plausible.

KOTA BAHARU, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat says the general election will be held this year.

"The general election is drawing near, this year at the earliest or next year at the latest, but I don't think next year as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (former deputy prime minister) can return to active politics," he said.

He was asked to comment on the statement by Prof Emeritus Dr Mohamed Ariff Abdul Kareem, Executive Director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), that now was the right time to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for the polls.

"If the economy is strong, why the kampung people are grumbling of rising prices of essential goods.

"Only people holding high positions in government and drawing big salaries and allowances are the ones telling the country's economy is strong," he told reporters after opening a sports meet for women here last night.

Nik Aziz, who is also Pas' spiritual adviser and Kelantan Pas Commissioner, nevertheless said the opposition party was ready for the general election, regardless of when it was held, just like the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Umno Youth said yesterday the Government should be given enough time to honour its last election pledges and to put the Ninth Malaysia Plan on track before fresh polls are held. (link)

"If the election is called too early without the benefits of the projects reaching the people, voters might have doubts (about BN's pledges," said deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin said in Kuala Terengganu yesterday that he was ruling out the possibility of the Parliament being dissolved to make way for a snap general election as the country had just held its general election in 2004.

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Feb 18, 2007

Samy: PM agrees toll concession agreements be made public

Shame on you Samy. After all the hoo-hah about prosecuting the four opposition members for exposing the contents of highway concession agreements, it is time for the public to know the truth.

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister has approved in principle for the concession agreements for all highways to be made public, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said.

"I had mentioned it in the Cabinet on Feb 7 and the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) asked me to submit the working paper.

"Now I have already got the approval (tomake the agreements public)," he told reporters at the MCA Chinese New Year Open House at Wisma MCA here on Sunday.

Samy Vellu said he had consulted the attorney general on the matter and was now writing to the highway concession companies

This was because there was a clause stating that the consent of the concessionaires was required before publicising the doocuments.

"Once this is done and the Cabinet approves it, everybody can come and see it. I have the agreements in my office," Samy Vellu added.

Asked when he expected the agreements could be made public, Samy Vellu said :"Wait for the Cabinet to approve it."

It was recently reported that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that the Attorney-General's Chamber was studying mounting requests from the public to reveal the contents of highway concession agreements, classified as official secrets, in the wake of the recent steep toll hikes.

Information from such agreements was already made available to investors and bond-holders and earlier four opposition officials had also been investigated under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) over the disclosure of a toll concession agreement.

On the toll rates for Sungair Nyor toll plaza at the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), Samy Vellu said the rates had yet to be discussed and decided.

He said toll collection at the Sungai Nyior toll booth had been deferred indefinitely following strong public protests in the area while toll collections at two other toll plazas, Prai and Bagan Ajam, along the 12.1km highway would begin on Feb 20.

"There is a slight misunderstanding. The stretch (Sungai Nyior) was constructed about six years ago. It is part of the highway. The people were then allowed to use it and said that it's an old road."

However, Samy Vellu said he would discuss the matter with the residents, concessionaires and the Penang state government.

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No elections anytime soon, says Khairy

The famous son-in-law knows it all..

(NST) REMBAU: The government is unlikely to call for a general election anytime soon, said Deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said various factors had to be taken into account, not just the current strong economic situation.

"Other factors such as politics, the country’s development and issues outside the party have also to be considered," Khairy said yesterday after flagging off the Taman Rembau Utama National Park Expedition convoy.

"Certain parties may think that the time is now right for a general election because of the current economic situation.

"However, others may think why call for an election when Barisan Nasional is only into its third year of its five-year term."

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research director Prof Emeritus Dr Mohamed Ariff Abdul Karim had recently said that the time was suitable in view of the strong and stable economic situation with all domestic economic fundamentals pointing towards recovery.

Khairy, the Rembau Umno Youth chief, said another factor that should be taken into account was the smooth implementation of projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

"The projects were only just announced and the effects have yet to be felt at the grassroots level. The government must fulfil its promises made during the last election. I think the government should be given time to fulfil the promises."

Khairy said Umno Youth was ready to face a general election and was focusing on efforts to get members to register as voters.

He urged Umno members to take seriously party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reminder that Umno leaders and members must always be close to the people and to set aside internal differences in preparation of a general election.

"We need to enhance solidarity in the party and reduce problems, not just within Umno but also within BN," said Khairy.

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PM : Dasar Ekonomi Baru (NEP) is not a permanent feature

Yesterday PM reminded us that we, Malaysians are enjoying a high standard and comfortable living under his administration, and now our beloved PM is highlighting that New Economic Policy (NEP) is not a permanent feature in Malaysia's economic policy. Don't you think that he is trying very hard to sell something? Maybe election is really just around the corner.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- While the New Economic Policy (NEP) is intended to address the economic imbalance between the ethnic groups in the country, it would not be a permanent feature in Malaysia's economic policy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

He said the policy will only be implemented until the country had achieved the policy's objectives and there was no reason for the continuation of the policy once the objectives were met.

"When the objectives are met there is no reason for the continuation of the policy because the policy is anchored to that objective, and the faster we get to that objective the faster we will be able to throw away the crutch," he said in an interview with cable news channel Al-Jazeera.

The NEP, introduced in the 1970's, aimed to address the ethnic economic imbalance and to close the gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous people which Malaysia aimed to achieve before 2020.

Acknowledging that the vision would not be easily achieved, the Prime Minister said this was especially in ensuring that the indigenous people, who previously had only two percent of the economic cake, obtained up to 30 percent of the share.

"At the same time, it is to create a situation where the indigenous people can now also be actively involved in business and industry. That's not easily done," he said to questions fielded by host Teymoor Nibili in the 25-minute interview.

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Feb 16, 2007

PM : Study Shows M'sians Lead Comfortable, Happy Life

Dear PM,

How come I was not included in the study? How come most of my friends were not included too. I am sure that none of them show any signs of high standard of living, nor they are having a comfortable and happy family life, especially with the latest increment of toll rate, petrol price and daily expenses.

I am also in doubt regarding such study being conducted by unknown party. It is unbelievable that a person with a status as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, would announce a study result without showing any data to back it up. After so many indifferent claims made by your government, it's hard to believe all the data shown to us this time.

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 16 (Bernama) -- A study carried out recently showed that Malaysians enjoyed a high standard of comfortable and happy family life, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday.

The prime minister said the study showed the index on comfortable and happy family was at 8.2 from the highest scale of 10.

He said the study also showed the index on the people's courtesy at 7.2 from the scale of 10.

"To have an index of more than seven is a good achievement. We must make more efforts to raise the index from time to time," he said at the Internal Security Ministry's monthly assembly here.

Abdullah, who is also Internal Security Minister, however, did not say the party which conducted the study.

He told civil servants to carry out their jobs sincerely, with the intention of serving the people and making them happy instead of enriching themselves.

He said the people were now more confident in the country's economic growth following the increase in investments, the vibrant capital market and the stronger financial position.

"The country's economy has improved. Foreign and local investments have exceeded RM40 billion. The capital market is active, with high performance, volume and index.

"The country's financial position is also getting stronger from time to time," he added.

This, he said, made the people more relieved compared to before when there were uncertainties.

A total of RM46 billion in local and foreign investments was approved for 1,077 projects in the manufacturing sector last year from RM31 billion in investments in 2005.

Malaysia's trade last year was RM1.06 trillion, which was 10.5 per cent higher than the preceding year, with the superlative performance aided by exports rising 10.3 per cent to RM588.95 billion and imports up 10.7 per cent to RM480.49 billion.

Reflecting the bullish sentiment, share prices on Bursa Malaysia closed steadier yesterday, with share volume hitting an all-time high of 3.5 billion shares.

Its market barometer, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, closed at 1,258.63 yesterday, a new 10-year high.

Abdullah said the encouraging performance gave new hope for the people in the country's economy.

At a time when the people wanted development and to enjoy progress, they also wanted peace and security, he added.

Abdullah said the people enjoyed the comfort of a peaceful country, which was further strengthened by the strong economic growth.

The ministry, he added, had a big role to ensure the people's hopes were fulfilled.

He reiterated his hope for improvement in the public delivery system to ensure quality services for the people

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Feb 15, 2007

Court fixes April for strike out bid for defamation suit

(MalaysiaKini) The Kuala Lumpur High Court today fixed April 26 to hear ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s application to strike out a defamation suit by his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim.

“By mutual consent, it has been agreed that the application will be heard before Judicial Commissioner Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on April 26,” Anwar’s counsel Sankara Nair said.

He was met by reporters after a brief meeting in chambers involving lawyers from both parties before Deputy Registrar Azmi Kari at the high court this morning.

Apart from Nair, Raja Aziz Addruse, Param Cumaraswamy and Anuar Shaddat are also representing the ex-deputy premier. Mahathir is represented by VK Lingam.

In an bid to avoid a courtroom showdown, Mahathir had on Jan 5 sought to strike out the defamation suit, which had resulted from his remark during a human rights conference in September 2005.

At the time, Mahathir had said: “I cannot have a person who is like that in my cabinet who may succeed and become the prime minister. Imagine having a gay prime minister. Nobody would be safe.”

Seeking vindication

In his application, Mahathir had argued that Anwar’s suit was “frivolous” and explained that he (Mahathir) had been accounting for his actions as to why he had sacked the latter.

In a 48-page affidavit, Mahathir also accused Anwar of aspiring to be the premier and using the suit to “rehabilitate himself for high office or to undermine and attack the various court findings against him”.

Anwar had criticised Mahathir for not having the ‘moral ground’ for the move.

Anwar had earlier vowed to reveal that the fallout between the duo had begun as early as 1995 - three years before he was sacked - over several decisions which upset Mahathir.

Anwar had previously expressed shock over Mahathir’s remark, particularly as it came after a court in 2005 awarded Anwar millions of ringgit in damages over a book that carried the sodomy allegations.

Although Anwar demanded a public apology and RM100 million from Mahathir, his lawyers had said he was looking for vindication, rather than compensation.

After his removal from the government and Umno in 1998, Anwar was tried and convicted of sodomy and corruption. He spent six years in jail, until the sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004.

He has always maintained that the charges were fabricated but this has been denied by Mahathir.

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Feb 13, 2007

No more lucky draw or contest for Malaysians

Another sad news for fellow Malaysians. The Home Ministry has officially discontinued the lucky draw to encourage more Malaysians to change their identity cards to the new MyKad. The lucky draw that was announced 18 months ago. Three lucky draws were supposed to be held in September, November and December that year, offering a total of 80 prizes every month with the RM50,000 MyVi as the grand prize.

While the "Press, Send and Win" contest organised by the Road Safety Department (JKJR) to capture traffic violators in pictures has also been called off. The contest offering cash prizes to road users who send in photos of motorists violating traffic regulations has been getting flak from many quarters.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has directed the department to stop the contest with immediate effect due to possible abuse by some quarters.

Under the contest, the department offered RM150 for the best photo, RM100 for second place and RM50 for third place to be given out daily between Feb 10 and March 10.

So much for winning something from the government! Let's hope there is something to win for the coming election. Maybe a grand prize for not choosing the imcumbent Prime Minister. :-)

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Feb 12, 2007

I’m not a bad boy, Samy Vellu tells critics

You are not a bad boy, but a very very bad man!

(NST) Are the vociferous criticisms about toll hikes taking a toll on Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu?

The veteran politician who takes on the toughest attacks and has withstood many a challenge, yesterday lamented the blistering criticisms levelled against him.

"Many people think I’m a bad boy as if I decide on the tolls, as if I put people in trouble, that I go for blood and all that.

"I’m a minister of the government and I implement the decision made by the Cabinet.

"It’s not my decision to raise the toll or to reduce it," said the agitated minister.

Samy Vellu said toll rates were decided by the government and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

"Privatisation is purely an EPU decision. It is then approved by the Cabinet and the Ministry of Works takes over. The ministry has to announce the toll rates, has to carry all the burden and has to face all the scoldings," Samy Vellu said after presenting cash awards to 580 Tamil pupils who scored 7As for the UPSR exam last year.

Citing the Damansara-Puchong Highway as an example, Samy Vellu said the toll rate was originally set at RM1.80 but was brought down to RM1.60.

"I took it to the Cabinet and explained to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that RM1.80 is not something that is acceptable to many people.

"I suggested we charge RM1.60 and pay RM150 million compensation to the concessionaire in two instalments. When the prime minister and the Cabinet agreed, we made the announcement."

Responding to a question on the Smart Tunnel toll rates, Samy Vellu said it would be announced after discussions with the EPU and after a Cabinet meeting.

He lashed out at certain quarters who said they would buy up the toll companies if they were in his position.

If all the toll companies were taken over, said Samy Vellu, it would cost the government nearly RM500 billion.

"I can see the standard of political argument going down very low. Politicians should be mature enough to understand what is happening."

He said demonstrations over toll hikes were instigated by small groups of interested parties.

"The ordinary man is paying the toll and travelling. If (opposition leader) Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng don’t like it, it’s not their decision.

"Only if the people don’t travel on this road and the user capacity comes down will the government look into alternatives," he said.

On Tamil schools, Samy Vellu said Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had agreed to rebuild 16 schools to the tune of RM18 million.

He said he was proud of the number of straight-A students in the UPSR examination from Tamil schools. The number had increased from 45 in 1999 to 580 last year.

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Tun Mahathir Allowed To Return Home

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- "I am fine, nothing really," said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was allowed to go home, Monday after undergoing treatment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) since Sunday for flu.

Accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and wearing a light blue long-sleeved shirt, he appeared to be in high spirits saying, "it was just a general check, they found nothing," when met by reporters at the lobby of the hospital at 4.15pm.

The institute's cardiology specialist Datuk Dr Mohd Nasir Muda, who was also with him, said: "He came in for a bout of flu.

"As usual, we did our normal tests and he was found to be well."

He said Dr Mahathir, who underwent coronary bypass there in January 1989, needed to undergo annual follow-up checks at the IJN but this depended on the state of his health.

Dr Mahathir was admitted to IJN early yesterday morning after complaining that he was not feeling well and was warded at its CoronaryCare Unit (CCU), but was later transferred to the normal ward after it was found that it was only a case of flu.

Last Nov 9, he was admitted to IJN after suffering a mild heart attack but was discharged after being treated for five days.

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Feb 11, 2007

Tun Mahathir back at heart hospital

According to BERNAMA, Tun Mahathir is Fine, He's In Normal Ward, Says Mokhzani

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 (Bernama) -- "Doctors say he's OK. Nothing serious as the last time (November). He is still on medical check-up," said Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir on the health condition of his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was admitted to the National Heart Institute (IJN) here Sunday.

"It's only a bout of flu, nothing to do with the heart," said the second son of the former prime minister.

He said his father was admitted to the country's premier heart centre at 1am this morning after he complained of discomfort.

"Alhamdulillah (All praises to God), Tun is now in the normal ward from the cardiac care unit where he was initially warded," he told reporters.

Mokhzani said his father, who was unwell due to the bout of flu, would be on observation at the IJN for two days before doctors decide whether to discharge him.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir's aide Sufi Yusoff said the former prime minister was initially admitted to the CCU on the advice of his personal doctor attached to the IJN to conduct a thorough check-up on him.

"There's nothing to worry about Tun's health as he can walk and talk. Currently, Tun is under observation at the Bunga Raya Ward.

"Initially, Tun had a bout of flu. Upon arriving here, it is routine for doctors at the IJN to do blood tests, medical check-up and other examinations," he added.

On Nov 9 last year, Dr Mahathir, 82, was admitted to the IJN for a mild stroke. He was discharged five days later.

Dr Mahathir was in Johor Baharu yesterday to deliver a keynote address at a leadership seminar organised by a website blog MYKMU.NET.

About 500 people attended the one-day seminar.

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Mahathir warns against Umno helping start dynasty

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants Umno members to reject any attempt to establish a Singapore-style dynasty in the party, just as he had avoided doing so during his 22 years as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The former Prime Minister said that while he was in power he had not wanted any of his children to be involved in politics though there had been suggestions by other leaders then to field his children in the elections.

"Any attempt to establish a dynasty should be opposed. Umno does not have to duplicate the way of Singapore, which has the Lee Kuan Yew Dynasty," he said in his keynote address at a leadership seminar organised by website blog MYKMU.NET here.

"Don't try to make your son or son-in-law as the PM," Mahathir told the 400-strong crowd at a function.

"I hope all Malaysians would oppose any attempts to start a dynasty. In our country anybody can become the PM even the fisherman."

Dr Mahathir said every member of Umno, since the party was set up by Datuk Onn Jaafar 60 years ago, has the right to express his opinion and criticism if decisions adopted by the leadership are not right.

The act of criticising leaders, he said, was not alien to Umno members because it has been happening since the time that the party was helmed by its previous leaders - Onn, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and he himself.

"We have to be bold enough to criticise leaders if their decisions are not good and undermine the self-esteem of the people," he said.

The 82-year-old Dr Mahathir said his criticisms of his successor (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi only touched on the way the country was administered and were never personal in nature.

"They had nothing to do with the personal aspect," he said.

Dr Mahathir also spoke of what he described as Umno members' loss of freedom and boldness to express opinions contrary to those of the party and its leadership.

"I feel very sad because Umno has now changed. Today it is not ready to hear what it doesn't want to hear," he said. "There's climate of fear."

He claimed that now only views in support of the leadership were allowed while opinions on the contrary would be prohibited.

"Umno members have to listen to opinions and views of both sides to enable them make an evaluation before making the right decision. If we listen to the views of only one side, we will be incapable of making the right decision," he said.

According to him, the situation was similar to that of a judge who required explanations from the prosecution and the defence before he could arrive at a just decision in a case.

Dr Mahathir, who had recovered from a mild heart attack three months ago, said party members who expressed opinions and views contrary to the decisions of the leaders faced the possibility of losing opportunities, contracts and such.

According to him, the Umno of today is different from the Umno during his time and before that, whereby members were now not permitted to listen to differing views.

Dr Mahathir said that by only allowing the views of one side to be heard by members, all the decisions adopted would be supported, even if they were not right.

He said it was not necessary for Malaysia to sign the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States because by signing it Malaysia would lose its right to several things such as government procurement.

The talks between both sides are now being held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He said Washington wanted to control government procurement contracts, not only in Malaysia but also throughout the world. - Bernama

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Tun Mahathir : Government should revive water talks with Singapore

The Star reports the topic of Singapore bashing by Tun Mahathir, but not "Badawi" bashing. Readers are advised to view the videos of Tun's speech at Malaysia-Today or on Youtube.

(The Star) JOHOR BARU: The Government should revive water talks with the Singapore Government as the country was getting a raw deal for the water supplied to the island republic.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the negotiations should be continued although Malaysia had suspended all negotiations pertaining to the bridge project with Singapore last year.

Dr Mahathir stressed that during his time as Prime Minister, the Federal Government had spent RM700mil to build water treatment plants in Johor to stop the state from purchasing treated water from Singapore.

“Now we can negotiate for a new amount for our raw water as we do not need to purchase treated water from Singapore anymore,” he said, adding that if nothing was done on the matter, Singapore would continue to purchase water at three sen per 1,000 gallons until 2061.

Dr Mahathir was addressing some 400 people during a seminar on the challenges faced by the country to achieve 2020 organised by Kelab Maya Umno (Umno Cyber Club) here yesterday.

He touched on the bridge project to replace the causeway saying that it should have been continued as it would have benefited the country since it would have taken ships only three hours instead of 24 hours to sail from Port of Tanjung Pelepas in western Johor to Pasir Gudang in the eastern side. Ships now had to travel around Singapore.

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Tun Mahathir renewed his attack on PM

JOHOR BARU, Malaysia (Reuters) - Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday renewed his attack on his successor, calling him intolerant and asking the people to reject nepotism.

The outspoken 81-year-old, in his first political speech after a lull following a heart attack in November, said Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had created a climate of fear within his ruling UMNO party.

Speaking at a forum in the southern city of Johor Baru, he also warned Abdullah, whose son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin is an ambitious politician, against forming a political dynasty.

"Don't try to make your son or son-in-law as the PM," Mahathir, who in September asked Abdullah to resign, told the 400-strong crowd at a function.

"I hope all Malaysians would oppose any attempts to start a dynasty. In our country anybody can become the PM even the fisherman."

The rally could mark the start of a second round of an Abdullah-Mahathir fight which has unsettled Malaysians as well as foreign investors.

Mahathir, who led the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the country for 22 years until he handed power to Abdullah in late 2003, remains a party member.

"I feel very sad because UMNO has now changed. Today it is not ready to hear what it doesn't want to hear," he said. "There's climate of fear."

Abdullah's aides could not be immediately reached for comments.

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Feb 10, 2007

Tun Mahathir Mohamad's interview with The Nation, Thailand

Part 1

Part 2

Tun Mahathir Mohamad's interview with The Nation's Thepchai Yong in Langkawi in Jan 2007. In this section, he talks about ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's recent visit to Singapore and Thai government's reactions. Good videos for another round of bashing Singapore.

Read more about the interview, here

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Feb 9, 2007

Cabaran UMNO Menghadapi Wawasan 2020

Cabaran UMNO Menghadapi Wawasan 2020
New York Hotel Johor Bahru
10 pagi, Sabtu Februari 10, 2007

* Picture obtained from Kickdefella

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Galvanise The Second Superpower, Tun Dr. Mahathir Tells The World

(Bernama) -- Terming the voice of the people of the world as the second superpower, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today it is imperative for the people of the world to tell trigger-happy nations that war is not an option to settle disputes.

"We have to use this second superpower and mobilise the people of the world to sow the seeds of new ideas that going to war with any country is illegal and a crime.

"The public opinion is already turning against leaders of countries who go to war at the slightest reason. We can only mobilise the second superpower through networking. We need to link up and sustain the network built.

"We need a strong network, especially in the
US and Britain," he said in his closing remarks at the War Crimes Conference.

The conference, organised by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation headed by Dr Mahathir, also set up a pro tem Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission and the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal during its three-day deliberations at the Putra World Trade Centre.

He said the world's second "superpower" could bring down any government and even change leaders.

The former prime minister said this was proven after the US invaded Vietnam when the superpower had to withdraw due to public pressure not only in the US but also throughout the world.

"When the American public saw US soldiers returning in body bags, things started to change. They held protests...students from universities came out in droves and this forced the US administration at that time to decide that the war in Vietnam was a foregone conclusion and they pulled back," said the vocal fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

He "congratulated" the resistance put up by the Iraqis as their opposition proved that "it is not so easy to walk into a country and take over".

"If the US thought it could use Iraq as a base in the Middle East, then the resistance has proven how wrong the US was. The resistance in Iraq should have a plan, they should strategise to ensure the US pays a high price for its adventure in Iraq but to do this, unfortunately US soldiers will have to be killed...this will change the minds of the Americans," he said. He said it was now clear that the US invasion of Iraq apart from other things was to contain the oil supply to China, which was expected to become a major world power in the next 20 years.

He said the US also wanted to acquire wealth through occupation but this method would not work as it required death of people.

"We are prepared to have wars and legalise them if (US President George W.) Bush is willing to lead his army and stand in the frontline. Having the General sitting some 5,000 miles away from the war zone is not a very good thing," said Dr Mahathir, in a sarcasm-filled winding-up speech.

He said part of the world now realised that the war against terrorism championed by the US was a mere trick, and that the crash at the New York's World Trade Centre was an excuse to invade Iraq and increase its presence in the Middle East.

"I saw it on TV...when Bush was informed of the crash, the way he reacted was like he was expecting the news. Within three hours after the disaster, they pointed their fingers at Osama bin Laden. If they knew Osama was such a huge threat, why didn't they act before the so-called terrorist attack?" added Dr Mahathir.

He said one of the main reasons for the US invasion of Iraq was because it wanted to control China, realising that China could not be broken through military might or even economic sanctions.

"So they have to control the oil supplied to China. Some 60 per cent of oil supplied to China come from the Middle East. Only 2 per cent of oil used by China is from the US.

"Containing China is the American dream," added Dr Mahathir to a thunderous applause from more than 1,000 people attending the three-day conference.

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Feb 8, 2007

PM says "NO ELECTION"; he is still PM till April 2009

Ouch! Our beloved PM wants to be PM till the last minute?
Still thinking about work? Oh C'mon enough of the promises, please show us some results.

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 8 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today he has not thought about the general elections as he was focusing attention to honour the promises made in the last general election.

"I'm not thinking (about the general election). What I'm thinking now is about work. There's a lot of work now.

"Promises made to the people in the last general election are being implemented," he told a news conference after accompanying the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin who visited the Prime Minister's Department here today.

Abdullah, who has the parliamentary mandate until April 2009, was asked whether the stability prevailing in the country now had prompted him to consider calling for an early election.

Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, said he was glad with the positive developments in the country's economic indicators, including strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar.

"There are still other aspects that I hope can improve further. We cannot expect everything to turn out good suddenly," he said.

Abdullah said the Government would continue to improve the country's economic performance besides focusing attention on the people's well-being.

"We are not taking an indifferent attitude. We are aware and understand the people's anxieties and difficulties. Efforts will be made (to address the hardship).

"We mean business. We are serious. I promised before and I will honour my promises stage by stage," he said.

Abdullah said the people were witnessing and enjoying economic growth while the local stock market was showing improved performance.

"With our international trade volume performance touching more than RM1 trillion, I want this achievement to be improved further or at least be maintained at the high performance level," he said.

To a question on whether the Ringgit's appreciation would render the country less competitive, Abdullah said such a problem does not arise.

Asked whether his proposal to increase civil servants' retirement age to 60 would be enforced this year and implemented selectively, the prime minister said the government was listening to the people's reactions on the matter.

"We will take into account the views expressed," he added.

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Mahathir a 'war criminal' too

History is always interpreted in to relative to the person's perspective. But one thing for sure, we should never let bad history to repeat itself.

(MalaysiaKini) Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is on a crusade against war crimes and warmongers, has been accused of being a war criminal himself.

The Police Watch and Human Rights Committee (PWHRC) said his hands are ‘stained with the blood’ of the victims in the March 2001 Kampung Medan clashes.

The committee was responding to the formation of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission and War Crimes Tribunal mooted by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation headed by Mahathir.

In a statement today, PWHRC’s legal adviser P Uthayakumar said while the formation of the august bodies is to be lauded, it is however ‘embarrassing’ that they are led by Mahathir.

“It would be six years on March 8 this year, when all of a sudden, peaceful Malaysia witnessed the killing of six and more than 100 Indian Malaysians seriously injured,” he said.

“It has been 2,167 days since this tragedy but there has only been pin drop silence. Despite scores of appeal, there has been no royal commission of inquiry, inquest, Parliamentary White Paper or anyone prosecuted for the crimes,” he added.

Uthayakumar also cited an International Herald Tribune news report in 2001, which claimed that the police did not act when one victim was being beaten to death.

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Tun Mahathir interviewed on 101 East, Al-Jazeera network

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Tun Mahathir's interview with Al-Jazeera 101 East programme

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Tun Mahathir gets forum for attack on Abdullah

Be prepared for another ride with Tun.

(Asia Media) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will take the mike at a Johor Baru forum on Saturday in what might be the start of a series of roadshows against the government.

The 81-year-old former premier has never quite stopped criticising the leadership of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, although he was slowed down by a mild heart attack last November.

Over the past four months, he has been ready with his comments whenever he was approached by reporters.

But the mainstream media had mostly ignored or played down what he said.

The Johor Baru meeting is being organised by a political website aligned with Tun Dr Mahathir -- making it noticeable that the online media is once again playing a prominent part in a shadow battle against the Abdullah administration.

Saturday's function will allow the former premier to address the audience directly, in what could be Round 2 of the Mahathir versus Abdullah fight.

"We want people to know the real story directly. We will organise the meetings all over the country, but it depends on Tun Dr Mahathir," said an administrator of the mykmu.net website, which is organising the talk.

The website is short for Kelab Maya Umno (KMU), or Umno Cyber Club. It is one of a number of political websites and blogs that are openly anti-Abdullah.

It was the first to run a report that said Datuk Seri Abdullah had bought a US$50 million (S$77 million) jet for his personal use. The Premier said the government was the one actually buying the jet through one of its companies for top officials, including the Malaysian king, to use.

Saturday's talk is titled Umno's Challenges in Facing Vision 2020. But Tun Dr Mahathir has used such forums -- whatever the topic was -- to attack Datuk Seri Abdullah.

'Based on the title of the talk, there is nothing to worry about. But at the end of the day, if there is criticism of the government, it would not be good for the party,' said a member of Umno's decision-making Supreme Council who did not want to be named.

The last political public talk by Tun Dr Mahathir in which he attacked the government was in Kijal, Terengganu, last September. He was then scheduled to speak in Johor Baru and make an appearance at the Umno General Assembly last November, but he suffered a mild heart attack on Nov 9.

Since then, he has mostly kept a low profile until making a major speech on Monday at his annual anti-war conference.

At the weekend, Tun Dr Mahathir told an interviewer that his 67-year-old successor had failed to manage race relations, resolve problems and give the country a sense of direction.

A senior leader of Umno Youth said yesterday: "He has the democratic right to say anything. But the government has already replied to the issues raised, and we will reply again if we need to."

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Feb 7, 2007

Anwar Ibrahim rules out rejoining UMNO

No UMNO, therefore no chance to be the next Prime Minister?

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Anwar Ibrahim, a former Malaysian deputy premier planning a return to politics, ruled out rejoining the party he was once poised to lead, even as some analysts say that's his only viable route to power.

Anwar, the heir to former premier Mahathir Mohamad until the 1997 Asian financial crisis, said he plans to challenge the ruling United Malays National Organization rather than join the party from which he was ousted the following year.

``I am committed to a reform agenda, UMNO is not,'' he said in an interview from Bangkok today. ``Why does one insist that I should rejoin UMNO purely for political expediency.''

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who led a coalition of parties to victory in 2004, must call an election by early 2009. Anwar, who turns 60 this year, has insufficient public support to mount a challenge, according to political analyst Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.

``Deep down in his heart, he knows full well that given the situation of the opposition, they are not at all ready to give a formidable fight,'' said Ishak, a professor of politics at Universiti Utara Malaysia in the northern state of Kedah.

Anwar said he'll stand for a seat with his People's Justice Party, as part of what he called a ``coalition of opposition.''

Anwar, who was finance minister between 1991 and 1998, is an adviser to the People's Justice Party. It is currently led by his wife and holds the seat of Permatang Pauh in Penang, western Malaysia.

Alternative Leader

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad recruited Anwar for UMNO in 1982 and groomed him to take over until the Asian financial crisis. Anwar, who called for reform then, was dismissed by his boss and imprisoned for almost six years on corruption and sodomy charges.

Malaysia's Federal Court, the highest court of appeal, quashed the sodomy conviction in 2004, although it upheld the corruption charge, which means Anwar cannot run for public office until 2008. Anwar has called the corruption and sodomy charges a conspiracy to destroy his political career.

Anwar, who described his relations with Abdullah as ``cordial,'' declined to say whether his goal is to become Malaysia's prime minister.

``Whether we are going to make it, or win or not, whether we are going to contest, or anyone to be chosen as an alternative prime minister, that is not the issue at hand for the present,'' he said in the interview.

Some analysts aren't convinced. Anwar's return may yet see him stand for his wife's seat at the next election and switch to UMNO during the following five-year parliament, said Terence Chong, a fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

``He'll try and find his way back to UMNO,'' Chong said. ``If you're an Anwar supporter within UMNO, you're going to hold your cards close to your chest.''

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Feb 6, 2007

Tun Mahathir promotes War Criminal Tribunal on YouTube

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad speaks out about the dangers of war. He films himself via computer.

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It's OK to shout "Hoi, PEKAK kah?" to our policemen

This is interesting. We are not told that it is part of a policeman's job to take criticisms. But becareful, not to imitate this action. :-)

PENANG: Uttering the words “Hoi, pekak kah?” (Hoi, are you deaf?) at a policeman is not tantamount to breach of public peace, the High Court ruled.

In allowing lawyer R.S.N. Rayer’s appeal against his conviction by a magistrate’s court which found him guilty of using insulting and abusive language on a traffic cop, High Court Judicial Commissioner Abdul Rahim Uda said yesterday that it was part of a policeman’s job to take criticisms.

Last Aug 4, the lower court fined Rayer, 34, the maximum RM100 under the Minor Offences Act for verbally abusing Kpl Abdul Rahman Kamarul Hailan in front of a florist”s shop in Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling at 1.20pm on July 5, 2003.

During the trial, Rayer testified that he had asked Kpl Abdul Rahman whether he was deaf when the latter ignored his explanation that he was waiting in his car for his wife who was in the shop, and instead left a traffic summon on his windscreen.

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War Exhibition May Change Your View On Horror

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Bernama) -- If you think visiting a ghost house at a fun fair which drops by your town is scary, you should see the International Exhibition on War Crimes being held here.

The exhibition (admission is free), which began Monday and will be held until Sunday, is being held in conjunction with the three-day global peace forum "Expose War Crimes - Criminalise War".

It was officially opened by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is the chairman of the event organiser, the Perdana Global Peace Organisation.

During a tour of the exhibition, Dr Mahathir and the guests, including the media fraternity, entered a tunnel where the voices of people shouting and mourning in pain could be heard as if they were being tortured.

The exhibition also exposed visitors to the effect of depleted uranium used as part of bomb shells that cause defects on newly born babies.

Also highlighted were atrocities that took place at the Abu Ghraib Prison, the massacres in Haditha, Qana, Jenin, and the impact of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the use of agent orange in Vietnam and the danger of cluster bombs.

The most horrifying scenes were the replica of a rat cage used during the Vietnam war, where a prisoner was put in a cage and rats were let in to eat his flesh alive and also a prisoner tied to a double decker bed with his head facing downwards while naked in Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the tour, Dr Mahathir shared his thought on war crimes by leaving a note "Everyone should see this exhibition to understand the horrors of war. Criminalise war", on a white board with a signage of "Share Your Thoughts Here," in the exhibition hall.

The exhibition was also attended by Ali Shalah, a survivor of Abu Ghraib.

The following is a two-part video documentary on how prison life was like in Abu Ghraib as experienced by Ali Shalah during his painful stay in prison. It depicts how the Americans were so cruel and make us really think that the Americans are just a big bully, and their cruety towards citizens from other countries.

Warning: The videos are pretty graphic and not for the faint-hearted! Do not watch if you feel uncomfortable with seeing nudity and violence.

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Feb 5, 2007

Tun Mahathir slams Bush, Blair as "killers of children"

I can see it now, Bush and Blair burning in HELL.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Bernama) -- Proving that he is still a firebrand, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Monday lashed out at United States (US) President George W. Bush and British Premier Tony Blair saying that the world should remember them as "the killers of children" or as "the lying Prime Minister or President".

"What Blair and Bush had done is worse than what Saddam (Hussein) had done," the former Malaysian Prime Minister said.

Delivering this message in his keynote address at the three-day War Crimes Conference and Exhibition, here, Dr Mahathir said these leaders who used war as a means to gain support should be accorded the names they deserved for the evil deeds they committed.

The conference, dubbed the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalise War, is organised by Perdana Global Peace Organisation, which Dr Mahathir chairs.

The conference will also work towards the setting up of a permanent tribunal, recognised by the victims of aggression, to hear charges levelled at the warmongers, leaders and governments of aggressor nations, to determine their innocence or guilt and to prescribe punishment.

"We should not hang Blair if the tribunal finds him guilty but he should always carry the label as a war criminal, killer of children, liar. And so should Bush and the pocket Bush of the bushlands of Australia (referring to Australian PM John Howard)," said Dr Mahathir.

He said while the world might not be able to get governments of countries to enact laws to label these leaders as "war criminals," non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the sympathetic media could append the label whenever their names were mentioned.

The people and NGOs for peace, he said, should make these war criminals feel unwelcome wherever they went and that "they should be literally hounded."

"They should have full frontal and profile pictures put up everywhere as war criminals. And historians should always refer to them as war criminals in history books," said Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister.

He said the first move in the struggle for peace was to ensure that people of the world knew the truth about war and its dangers as "the media is owned and controlled by warmongers."

"We have to build a base for spreading the word, the idea that wars are crimes against humanity, that those who resort to wars in furtherance of their ideology or agenda are common criminals and must be labelled as such and punished," said Dr Mahathir.

He said there was now a need for the establishment of a worldwide network of NGOs for peace, to encourage peace activists everywhere to talk peace and criminalisation of war, to physically obstruct war, stop the preparations for war and do everything possible to gain support for the movement to make war a crime in the statute books of the international community.

On another note, he said the permanent tribunal mooted by the conference must be made up of respected international jurists, who would have no personal or national interest in matters referred to them, whose judgement must be based on evidence and not sentiment.

He said while the tribunal would have no power of enforcing its punishment as "the people tried may be too powerful," the international network should not be daunted by this but find ways and forms of punishment that were within their capacity until such time the international community respects and upholds the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

"We are seeing today examples of the form of punishment that can be meted out. Bush and Blair are now totally reviled and condemned by the world and by their own people.

"The tribunal that we set up can conduct a proper trial even if the accused is not present. A respectable and totally impartial tribunal applying recognised laws will surely find its findings respected by the world just as the world respects the Nobel laureates, for example," said Dr Mahathir.

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