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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Citizens of Malaysia - please pray for the nation

The URL of this blog is pray-for-malaysia.blogspot.com. Why? Because prior March 2008, it was perceived that UMNO/BN is so entranched that with so many tantacles aroung very crucial institutions like Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Agency, PDRM, civil service, the UMNO/BN complex will be next to impossible to dislodge that it may need the intervention of God's intervention.

From the look of things, the 13th General Election will soon be upon us and this time UMNO/BN will be much better prepared that March 08 plus I believe there will be even more cheating, official as well as unofficial and this round it may be an even tougher struggle.

So now that Nik Azmi has requested for Malaysians to pray, I hope all Malaysians will pray along with Nik Azmi for the welbeing of the nation and wisdom of our leaders on both side of the divide:

Let us pray ... — Nik Azmi
October 23, 2010
OCT 23 — Citizens of Malaysia.

Let us all pray over the weekend, regardless of your religious beliefs, for the following:

1. That our PM Najib and his government finally see sense and realise what is truly good and bad for the country, regardless of what his advisers, who may have personal interests, say.

2. The the leadership in Pakatan Rakyat also sense and practice the same and the term WAKIL RAKYAT is truly practiced by both sides of the political divide; to serve the RAKYAT and not any selfish political or personal interests.

3. That there will be true unity among The RAKYAT of Malaysia, internally and nationally.

4. That the RAKYAT FIRST slogan is practiced and not just a slogan.

5. That 1 Malaysia is truly ONE, without any bias or unfair practices, and not just another slogan.

6. That all races throw away all their chauvinistic traits and adhere to the constitution.

7. That all shortcomings are realised and attended to jointly, regardless of political parties affiliation, for the sake of the RAKYAT.

8. That a NATIONAL RECONCILIATION COUNCIL (NRC) be put in place to review, revamp and reconstruct any flaws in our system such as in Education, Constitution, Judiciary, Administration and other aspects of government. The membership MUST include everyone from the political, racial and religious divide

9. PM Najib to take a look back into his history and see what his father did and the calibre and integrity of the people advising his father to forge the country forward after the unwanted May 13 incident.

10. Let politics take a back seat for now till the next general election and let the NRC under the leadership of a wise statesman do its job and advise sincerely and faithfully PM Najib and his government, to steer Malaysia to GREATNESS again.

WE CAN & MUST DO IT FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION TO COME, IF NOT FOR OUR SELFISH SELVES.

* Nik Azmi reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

IPU Report: Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy 2 Trial

The 24-page report on the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim in the High Court of Malaysia observed on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) by MARK TROWELL QC, August 2010.

THE TRIAL OF ANWAR IBRAHIM
Report on the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim in the High Court of Malaysia observed on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) MARK TROWELL QC
August 2010

Introduction
My report was intended to relate to the critical period of the trial of Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (“Anwar") in the High Court of Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur in August 2010 when medical and scientiic experts were due to be called by the prosecution to prove the central allegation of sexual penetration. The complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan (“Mohd Saiful”) had tive months earlier testihed how Anwar had forcibly penetrated his anus with his penis.

In his opening remarks at the start of the trial, the chief prosecutor told the Judge that Mohd Saiful‘s allegation of anal penetration would be supported by scientific evidence establishing that Anwar’s DNA had been detected in specimens taken from his anus and rectum when he was medically examined two days after the incident.

He further explained that although the medical examination didn’t find any evidence of physical injury to the anus or rectum that wasn’t conclusive of the fact that penetration had not occurred. The trial was Hxed to be heard during the entire month of August, but another issue derailed the trial yet again. This report concerns that issue and the considerable impact it has had on the general integrity of the trial.

However, before discussing this issue, it is worth providing some background to these critical events.

General Background

Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim had in the 1990's been Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. However, in 1998 Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad dismissed him after he was charged with allegedly sodomising his wife’s driver and acting corruptly by attempting to interfere with the police investigation. He was convicted and imprisoned, but released when Malaysia’s Federal Court overtumed the conviction in September 2004.

On 2 September 2004 the Federal Court, by a majority of 2:1, upheld Anwar‘s appeal overturning the convictions and ordered his immediate release from prison. The Court was later to reject his appeal against conviction for acting corruptly, but he had already served that sentence.

The majority found the complainant, on whose testimony the prosecution was based, to be an unreliable witness. Given the various inconsistencies and contradictions in his testimony, the Judges concluded that it was not safe to convict on the basis of his uncorroborated testimony alone. They found that Anwar should have been acquitted without having to enter a defence.

The Federal Court’s decision was for Anwar Ibrahim the culmination of a 6-year struggle for justice after pleading his innocence through the various tiers of the Malaysian court system.

DDuring his lengthy period of incarceration, Anwar Ibrahim became the symbol of political opposition to the Mahathir regime. Amnesty Intemational declared him to be a prisoner of conscience, stating that he had been arrested in order to silence him as a political opponent.

Prevented by legislation from retuming to Parliament until April 2008, Anwar was still considered by many as having the potential to become the prime minister of Malaysia.

The ruling alliance, Barisan Nasional, called an early election for 8 March 2008, which some oommentators observed was an attempt to prevent Anwar returning to parliament.

The election was a disaster for Barisan Nasional. Opposition parties seized a third of parliamentary seats and Eve states in the worst ever showing for the coalition that had ruled Malaysia for half a century. Anwar‘s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who for a time had been Malaysia’s first female opposition leader, declared that she would resign her Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and force a by-election.

On 26 August 2008, Anwar won the by-election with a majority of more than 15,000 votes retuming to Parliament as leader of the three-party opposition alliance known as Pakatan Rakyat (PKR).

Anwar Charged

Earlier that year, and just before the national election in March 2008, a young man named Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan (“Mohd Saiful") was invited by a friend, employed by Anwar, to work in the opposition leader’s ofice.

Mohd Saiful, then aged 23 years, was unemployed having left his electrical engineering studies at Universiti Tenaga Nasional because his academic performance failed to meet the required standard. He joined as a volunteer, but later became a paid member of staff as Anwar's private assistant.

On 28 June 2008, Mohd Saiful lodged a police report claiming that not only had Anwar sodomised him on the aftemoon of Thursday 26th June 2008, but that he had been sexually assaulted about eight to nine times against his will by Anwar over the previous two months.

On 29 June 2008, the non-government political news website Malaysiakini reported that an aide of Anwar Ibrahim had lodged a police report claiming that he had been sodomised by him. The next day, Anwar insisted he would fight a by-election later that year and form a new govemment despite rumours he would soon be charged with sodomy. He announced that he would contest a by-election for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat vacated by his wife and PKR leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

On 30 June 2008, the Malaysiakini news service reported that police investigations into the sodomy complaint against Anwar Ibrahim had been completed and the papers had been delivered to the Attorney-GeneraI's Chambers for further action. lt further quoted senior opposition party officials saying Anwar may be arrested in the next 48 hours, arguing it was to stop him contesting the by-election.

Anwar was arrested on July 15 2008 and kept overnight but no charges were hled over the accusations made by Mohd Saiful two weeks earlier. At the time, Anwar refused to provide a DNA sample, claiming that it could be misused to fake evidence against him. Police told Anwar to report back to them within 30 days.

After his release, the former deputy premier said the allegation was a high-level conspiracy to prevent him from entering parliament, adding that he refused to give his DNA, as he did not believe in the system.

"It should not be used as a personal vendetta against me. I was questioned for 5-% hours; I was stripped naked including the examination of my private parts. Why treat me like a major criminal and a public enemy?" [Reuters Thursday July 17, 2008]

Anwar said the police chief harbored a grudge against him after he lodged a report with anti-corruption agency officials saying the police chief had fabricated evidence against him in an assault case 10 years before.

Anwar was finally brought before the Sessions Court on 7 August 2008 charged under s. 377B of the Penal Code. The charge alleged that he committed the offence of sodomy against Mohd Saiful on 26 June 2008. Anwar pleaded not guilty to the charge. Despite the allegations of earlier sexual assaults, the prosecution chose to charge Anwar only with the last act allegedly committed at the Desa Damansara Condominium.

With Anwar in the midst of a political comeback, many supporters viewed the sodomy charge as a desperate attempt by the government to cling to power. The timing of the charge, they suggested, was just too coincidental with his return to politics.

Saiful’s Allegations

Mohd Saiful alleged that on the day of the alleged incident he was asked by Anwar to come to a private condominium not far from the centre of Kuala Lumpur to meet with him and discuss work related matters and deliver documents.

He alleged that he arrived at about 2.45pm. He stopped at the security gate and gave the password “Mokhtar", which he claimed Anwar had told him to use to enable him to enter the compound. Video cameras at the security gate recorded his arrival and later departure. Security cameras also monitored the public areas of the apartment complex. Having parked his vehicle, Mohd Saiful took the lift to the tifth floor and having entered the apartment says he found Anwar seated at the dining table. He said that Anwar asked him to have sex with him and being “angry and frightened” he complied with the demand and then went into the bedroom where the alleged offence took place.

Medical Examinations

Two days later, on 28 June 2008, Mohd Saiful went to the private hospital Pusat Rawatan Islam (“Pusrawi”) in Jalan Tun Razak to be medically examined.

During the examination, he told Dr. Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid that for the last few days his anus was painful and that a “plastic" item had been inserted into it.

A proctoscopy examination by Dr. Osman showed no physical signs of penetration and a nonnal anus and rectum. After the examination, Mohd Saiful then told Dr. Osman he had been sodomised by a “VlP”. Dr Osman recommended that because of the allegation of sodomy he be examined again at a government hospital.

More than two hours later, Mohd Saiful went to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (“HKL”), which was very near to Hospital Puswari. Three specialist doctors examined him later that night, but again they found no evidence of injury and in their words “...no conclusive clinical Endings suggestive of penetration to the anus and no significant defensive wound on the body of the patient."

Various swabs were taken from his body for scientific analysis. These included swabs taken from his tongue, nipples, body, perianal region and rectum. High and low rectal swabs and blood samples were also taken for DNA prohling. For some reason, these samples didn’t arrive at the chemistry laboratory for analysis until two days later and there was some issue about the proper labeling of the exhibits.

lt is interesting to note, that Mohd Saiful testified at the trial that he told the medical examiners he had not washed his anus nor had he defecated before the examination. He said under cross-examination that he had not washed to preserve the evidence, which was a curious thing for a victim of sexual assault to do.

It is well known that victims of sexual assault almost always wash their bodies in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ themselves of the sexual contact. Very few have the presence of mind not to wash themselves so as to preserve evidence of sexual contact. Mohd Saiful’s explanation was also curious because he claimed to be a devout Muslim, which meant that he would need to wash himself before being called to daily prayers.

But in any event, evidence of Anwar’s DNA upon or in the body of the complainant would undoubtedly be persuasive evidence of sexual contact, if it could be proved.

Before the adjoumment of the trial proceedings on 17 February 2010, Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair claimed there were many questionable aspects of the prosecution DNA evidence and announced that the defence had appointed foreign DNA and forensic experts to debunk the prosecution's claim of a DNA match.

Mr. Nair said the PKR leader had engaged the services of DNA expert Dr Brian Leslie McDonald from Sydney, Australia, and two forensic experts Prof Dr C. Damodaran from Chennai, India and Associate Professor David Lawrence Noel Wells from Melbourne, Australia.

The Malaysian Penal Code: "unnatural offences"

Anwar Ibrahim was charged with committing an act of sodomy. lt is more properly described as “camal intercourse" contrary to Section 377B of the Penal Code.

Homosexuality or homosexual acts are not defined in the Malaysian Penal Code. They are described by reference to "unnatural offences" deemed to be "against the order of nature" and are punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and whipping.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cancer Institute cost jump to 700 million

Another case of crony capitalism by UMNO/BN. The Cancer Institute which was supposed to cost RM340 million (even this figure is likely inflated) and scheduled to be completed June 2009 has now balloned to RM700 million and still only in the "final stages" of construction. It would not be a surprise if the cost jump even further

Cancer institute's price doubles to RM700 million
Joseph Sipalan
Oct 20, 10
3:19pm
Share
PARLIAMENT The opposition bench today launched new salvoes at Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his far-reaching government transformation plan (GTP), this time claiming that the construction cost of the National Cancer Institute in Putrajaya had jumped by 100 percent to RM700 million.

PKR Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution (right) said the institute was initially supposed to cost RM340 million as indicated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Saifuddin said the project, which was launched by Abdullah on Jan 9, 2007, was scheduled to be completed over 30 months by June 2009.

“But on March 10, 2009, the then Deputy Health Minister (Dr Abdul) Latif Ahmad said in Parliament that the institute is in the final stages of construction and will cost RM700 million,” he said at a press conference in Parliament.

“Twenty four months after the project was announced, the cost escalated by 100 percent,” he said.

Source: Malaysiakini: Cancer institute's price doubles to RM700 million

Daylight robbery at The Curve Mutiara Damansara

The security CCTV footage shown in the video below shows how blatant robbers in Malaysia have become with the robbery taking place in full daylight and I assume in a busy environment as it took place in The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya:

CIJ's Ops Bilang at Annexe Gallery, Pasar Seni


Click on poster below to enlarge:
Ops Bilang Flyer in color

Invitation to CIJ's Ops Bilang* at Annexe Gallery KL; 26 Oct (Tue) 8

*Ops Bilang**

Time
Tuesday, October 26 · 8:00pm - 10:00pm
------------ --------- --------- -------- -----------
Location: Annexe Gallery Central Market, Kuala Lumpur
see location map
------------ --------- --------- -------- -----------
Created By
Cij M'sia
------------ --------- ---------

Come join the artists/activists in exploring complex issues at Ops Bilang*.
Artis/aktivis membilang pada kita isu penting sezaman di Ops Bilang*.

Amir Muhammad - Kewarganegaraan

Anne James - Religious freedom

Fahmi Fadzil - Workers' rights

Fahmi Reza - Hak Pelajar

Jerome Kugan - Federalism

Jo Kukathas - Rape

Leong Mei Chern - Death penalty

Norhayati Kaprawi - Undang-undang Sivil atau Shari'ah?

Pang Khee Teik - Gender/sexuality rights

See Tshiung Han - Free expression

Vernon Adrian Emuang - Indigenous rights

Zedeck Siew - Culture

*Malay word for “count”; “to tell”
Bilang 1 – hitung (satu demi satu), jumlah, congkat, campur, kira
Bilang 2 – bercakap, katakan, sampaikan, khabarkan, ceritakan, adu,
beritahukan, nasihatkan

------------ --------- ------
Organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
Anjuran Pusat Kewartawanan Bebas

In conjunction with the launch of CIJ's e-forum, “Let's Talk About...”
Sempena pelancaran e-forum CIJ “Bicara Pasal...” LetsTalkAbout. cijmalaysia.
org

Location map: Pasar Seni (Central Market) Kuala Lumpur



View Larger Map

--
Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia
Web: cijmalaysia. org
Tel: +603-4023 0772

The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia (CIJ) is a non-profit
organisation that aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free,
where all peoples will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek and
impart information.

--
If you cannot express yourself you are already behind bars - Mbana Kaitako

Seri 2011 Malaysian Budget Dialogue at Wawasan Open University


budget tax spending economy

Event: SERI 2011 MALAYSIAN BUDGET DIALOGUE
Date: 22nd October 2010 (Friday)
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Venue: Wawasan Open University (see location map)
Organizer: Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI)
10 Brown Road
Penang 10350
Tel: 03-228 3306
Fax: 03-226 7042

Discussion on: "SERI 2011 Malaysian Budget Dialogue"
3.45pm: Registration
4.00pm: Introduction by Chair Dato' Dr. Toh Kin Woon SERI Economic Chair
4.15pm: Presentation by Speakers
5.30pm: Discussion and Question and Answer
6.00pm: Light Refreshment

SERI will be organizing a SERI 2011 Malaysian Budget Dialogue at Wawasan Open University on the 22nd October Friday from 4pm to 6pm. The Dialogue seeks to provide a succinct analysis of the 2011 Budget and the implications of the various policies and measures introduced. The 2011 Budget is expected to provide an insight int the directions and strategies that the government plans to execute in implementing the 10th Malaysis Plan, New Economic Model (NEM), and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) as far as Penang is concerned.

The Dialogue will feature 3 distinquished corporate and academic figures in Malaysia who will share their views and perspectives on the impact and implications of the Federal Budget to the economy, market and business.

The Speakers:

YB Liew Chin Tong, Executive Director of SERI
Manokaran Mottain, Senior Economist at AmResearch
Dr. Chan Huan Chiang, senior research fellow at SERI

For more details, click the image below to enlarge and read:


Location map: Wawasan Open University, Georgetown, Penang



View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hannah Yeoh DAP Subang Jaya Service Center

Hannah Yeoh & DAP Subang Jaya Service Center

Address

DAP Bandar Subang Jaya Service Center
24A (1st Floor), Jalan SS14/1A
47500 Subang Jaya
Tel : 603 5631 2768 Fax : 603 5631 2757
Email : dapsj(at)dapsj.com

Location map: DAP Subang Jaya Service Center



View Hannah Yeoh Service Center in a larger map

Join 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower

To all Malaysians who are concerned about this propensity of UMNO/BN splurging on mega projects probably to enrich croonies and line own pocket, please join (like) this Facebook group: 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower

RM64 billion bill compensation to PLUS to freeze toll rates

PLUS toll plazaThis is a scandal of foisted upon Malaysians by UMNO/BN who under Dr. Mahathir, signed grossly lopsided agreements with PLUS and other toll road operators with obscene guaranteed profit and regular toll rate increases. Now because UMNO/BN fears upsetting the voters, they have frozen toll rates for 5 years and open themselves to potential RM5 billion compensation to PLUS for the five years. If toll rates are frozen till the end of the concession agreements, the compensation balloons to RM64 billion. What has UMNO/BN wrought upon the suffering nation:

'Populist' toll freeze may cost rakyat RM64 bil
Joseph Sipalan
(see video)

The government may end up forking out RM64 billion to compensate Plus Highways Berhad, if it intends to freeze toll rates till the end of the concession term in 2038 as a populist move, said DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua.

Taking the going estimate of RM5 billion in compensation for the recently announced five-year freeze on toll rates on four of Plus' highways, he said it makes no sense for the government to make such an “obscene” pay-out just to keep voters happy.

“Given the circumstances where the government is fearful of increasing any toll rates due to a potential voter backlash, should the toll rates be frozen all the way till the concession expires, the total compensation that needs to be paid over the next 28 years will amount to a mind-boggling RM64 billion,” said Pua at a press conference in the parliament lobby today.

Pua (right), who is also Petaling Jaya-Utara MP, said it would be more sensible if the government instead takes over Plus Expressways Berhad rather than to allow the Employees' Providence Fund (EPF) and UEM Berhad to buy over the toll concessionaire

Repeating the DAP's proposal to nationalise toll concessionaires, he said it would cost the government RM23 billion to buy-over Plus, based on the RM4.60 per share offer by the UEM-EPF joint venture.

Assuming that the toll rates are then frozen for 14 years, the government would still recoup its investment and allow it to either make the highways toll free or charge just minimal fees for maintenance, he said.

“It absolutely does not make sense for the government to be compensating an obscene amount of RM5 billion to the concessionaire, or possibly even as high as RM64 billion over the entire period, when the cost of directly acquiring Plus will only be RM23 billion as offered by UEM-EPF.

“Unless of course, the government is intent on making Malaysians suffer,” he said.
Najib's (left) Budget 2011 speech last Friday highlighted a freeze in the earlier planned toll hike on Plus highways, one of many populist moves that prompted critics to label the budget an “election budget”.

Earlier, Pua had criticised the planned buy-over of Plus Expressways Bhd saying that while the EPF's main task is to ensure fund contributors receive dividends, Plus was "sucking" ordinary citizens who are paying high toll rates due to lopsided highway concessions.

"This is not the way for EPF to generate returns for the people. The government might as well just create more highways with unfair contracts and let EPF manage them.



Source: Malaysiakini: 'Populist' toll freeze may cost rakyat RM64 bil


From Malaysian Insider: Guan Eng says toll-freeze meaningless:

Guan Eng says toll-freeze meaningless
By Clara Chooi October 19, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng threw a wet blanket today over the five-year toll freeze for Plus highways, pointing out that it was “meaningless” and would only lead Malaysians into greater debt.

He explained in a statement that while the people would save on toll money, they still end up paying toll-road concessionaire Plus Expressways Bhd large compensations.

UEM Group managing director Datuk Izzaddin Idris revealed yesterday that the five-year toll freeze could cost the government some RM5 billion in compensation payments, which is about RM170 per Malaysian.

If added to the outstanding RM2.5 billion presently owed to Plus, the government would have to foot a staggering RM7.5 billion bill to the company.

Izzaddin however added that although compensations averaged at RM1 billion each year in the past, the actual sum to be paid to Plus for the five-year toll freeze still needed to be finalised with the government and could cost less than RM5 billion.

Lim said today that the compensation payments would only lead to an unhealthy increase in both Federal government debt and debt service charges.

“DAP is shocked at the revelations by UEM Group’s Datuk Izzaddin Idris that toll highway operator Plus could be compensated as much as RM5 billion by the Federal government over the next five years for not raising toll rates.

“Clearly freezing toll rates is meaningless as the people still has to pay through compensation payments by the government,” said Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general.

He suggested that the government consider a one-off nationalisation programme limited to toll concession agreements to prevent irresponsible companies from reaping extraordinary profits at the expense of the public.

“Nationalisation is necessary when toll concession operators like Plus have not only recouped their investment and construction costs but also maintenance costs and are earning pure profits from toll rates revenue collected.

“Failure to do so will not only create an unbearable financial burden to the people but also strain our country’s finances for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Lim revealed that according to the Finance Ministry’s Economic Report 2010/2011, the total federal government debt would soar by 12.6 per cent from RM362.4 billion in 2009 to RM408.2 billion in 2010.

This, he pointed out, meant every Malaysian would be in debt of RM15,118 as at 2010.

“In other words for every Malaysian born, he or she will be immediately in debt of RM15,118.

“If we take into account paying an extra RM1 billion every year to Plus, it is an expense and a debt burden that the country can ill-afford,” he said.

Lim also said that corresponding to the increase in federal debt, debt service charges had also increased from RM14.2 billion in 2009 to RM15.9 billion in 2010 and was expected to soar to RM18.6 billion in 2011.

“Many Malaysians are unhappy why the country has to carry such a huge debt burden borne by 27 million Malaysians for the benefit of one company.

“Clearly unless drastic action is taken, 27 million Malaysians will lose out to enable a company comprise of BN cronies to gain,” he concluded.

Pakatan Rakyat post 308 - Who says no change

RPK is one among many who claimed that after 2 plus years since Pakatan Rakyat became the state government in the 5 states (now 4, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan) after the political tsunami March 2008, there had change. This is not quite true. Although reforms had not been as fast as what one may want, there had been incremental advances with regards to reforms that so many Malaysians now yearn for and this post will list here reforms and improvements instituted by Pakatan Rakyat as a "running total" to be updated whenever we come across any positive developments. It would be great that if you want to help add to the list to leave a comment and update us:

1. Selangor State Government tabled FOI (Freedom of Information) Act

2. Penang State Government to table FOI Act
Penang to table FOI Bill next week

3. Penang State Government have reinstated open tenders at all levels
Press Release By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In George Town On 31.1.2010

4. Selangor State Government upheld Orang Asli's right to their customary land by opting not to contest judgement in a land case awarded to them.

5. Penang State Government has won the Auditor General praise for good governance

6. To be updated

References:
TNG: Assessing Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor

Monday, October 18, 2010

UMNO/BN pre-buying votes for 13th General Election

UMNO/BN and that "You help me I help you election offence" PM Najib has become wiser and instead of resorting to vote buying during election campaign period has now resorted to pre-buying of votes, a prelude to the 13th General Election.

Malaysia 2011 Budget:
Village head or a Kafa teacher: RM800 monthly allowance.
Civil servant: special financial assistance amounting to a lump sum of RM500.
Woman civil servant: fully-paid 90-day maternity leave.
Super constructor or an Indonesian worker: you get a chance to participate in the 100-storey tower project and other mega construction projects.
Motorists: toll rates in four highways owned by PLUS Expressway Berhad will not be raised for the next five years (but the government, read Malaysian public faces a RM7.5b toll compensation bill due to lop-sided agreement)

Yum Seng to Budget 2011! – Tay Tian Yan
October 18, 2010
OCT 18 – It certainly is a good budget.

If you are a village head or a Kafa teacher, you will get a RM800 monthly allowance.

If you are a civil servant, you can get a special financial assistance amounting to a lump sum of RM500.

If you are a woman civil servant, you can enjoy a fully-paid 90-day maternity leave.

If you are a super constructor or an Indonesian worker, you get a chance to participate in the 100-storey tower project and other mega construction projects.

If you are not a village head, a Kafa teacher, a pregnant civil servant, a super constructor or an Indonesian worker, but just an ordinary middle-income wage earner like most of the people, or a busy small business owner without any special channels, you may ask: What the Budget 2011 have in store for me?

Of course you, too, will also benefit from it.

The toll rates in four highways owned by PLUS Expressway Berhad will not be raised for the next five years. Unfortunately, the government cannot afford to buy the highways to allow toll-free use.

The government has to increase revenue and thus, it proposed that the rate of service tax be increased from 5% to 6%. It follows you whenever you go and even if you just stay at home, you still have to pay the 6% of service tax once you switch on the television for the paid television channels.

In fact, most of the people prefer to have tax cuts.

Many foreign governments actually ease the burden on middle income people through tax cuts to stimulus business vitality.

However, the rates of personal income tax and corporation tax remain unchanged as the people are required to carry out their national duty during the hard time.

Meanwhile, first-time house buyers will be given stamp duty exemption of 50% on instruments of transfer on a house price not exceeding RM350,000, a saving of RM2,000 to RM3,000. But you may not be able to afford a house now due to the rapid real estate price hike, especially in the Klang Valley.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala had said earlier in the year that said that Malaysia could become next Greece and go bankrupt by 2019 if the government fails to cut its burgeoning expenses.

Yet, the allocations under Budget 2011 are immense – RM5 billion for a 100-storey complex in Kuala Lumpur, RM10 billion for the Sungai Buloh development project, RM3 billion for the integrated eco-nature resort in Sabah, and RM40 billion for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in Greater KL.

People had expected the government to reduce expenses, but it is embarking on several mega projects instead.

The national economy surely needs a transformation and the people’s incomes have to be doubled by 2020, the Budget 2011 should be the starting point for the transformation and every ringgit spent by the government must be carefully weighted. The Budget 2011 should have included more specific reform measures.

Productivity would not be reflected in the allowances for village heads and Kafa teachers while competitiveness would not be reflected on a 100-storey skyscraper. Instead, they are hidden in the national productivity, corporate competitiveness and government efficiency.

As the starting point of the 10th Malaysia Plan (10Plan), the budget for next year should be geared at improving the quality of education, revitalising enterprises, and strengthening the confidence of foreign investors.

However, there is still some good news from the Budget 2011. For example, at least there is no price hike for alcoholic drinks. So, let’s put aside the worries, raise our glass, and yum seng! – mysinchew.com

Budget 2011 - Change or Continuity? Public Forum

Public Forum: "Budget 2011 - Change or Continuity?"

Date & Time: Wednesday, October 20 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Poolside Cove, Sunway Lagoon Club (see location map)
No. 3, Jalan Lagoon Timur, Bandar Sunway

Speakers:
1. MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua, Chief Executive of Selangor Economic Advisory Office Rafizi Ramli, MP for Klang Charles Santiago, MP for Kuala Selangor 2. Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, political analyst Dr. Ong Kian Ming.

Organiser: Office of State Assemblywoman for Subang Jaya, Hannah Yeoh
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Enquiries: 019-2865858

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Most important reform: just independent judiciary

Because of decades of power abuses and wanton corruptions by unrepentent UMNO/BN, Malaysia urgently need reforms, but the one of the most important reform is the tainted judiciary. The Judiciary is the Last Bastion of Hope and Justice especially if our rights are trampled upon by the executive and its croonies and we need to seek justice from the courts and judges.

Just look at how Anwar is denied access to his accuser Saiful Bukhari's police statement. When one is accused of a crime, how can the accused be denied such crucial information in order to defend oneself? Imagine if you are the one who stand accused in the dock and you are unable to get whatever needed to enable you to defend yourself. Do you want to face such a desperate situation? I hope not.

Please Malaysians, do whatever you can to remove the unrepentant UMNO/BN from the seat of power in Putrajaya and help start this process of reforms, the birth of a counter-balancing 2 party/coalition system and truly free and fair elections which are only possible if you help put Pakatan Rakyat as the next federal government to initiate the process.

If you are unable to do more, at the very least do ensure you register as a voter and vote or if you are already a registered voter, participate in this voter-get-voter and get at least one eligible voter to register at the nearest post office plus verify you are still registered and check your voter registration also registered where you want to vote.

Appeal to get Saiful's statement dismissed
Hafiz Yatim
Oct 18, 10
3:58pm
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The Federal Court today dismissed Anwar Ibrahim's appeal to obtain Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's witness statement which was recorded by the police.

Today's decision comes after the apex court had earlier allowed the acceptance of a two-page broad reasons by the Court of Appeal as a basis in hearing the leave application.

In a unanimous decision, the apex court led by Chief Judge of Malaya, Arifin Zakaria, ruled that the High Court ruling was not within the definition of a decision.

“It does not dispose of the rights of the appellant. Hence, the application before us is dismissed.”

Arifin agreed with the Court of Appeal judges that it is not a final order and could be raised when the trial ends.

The other judges sitting with Arifin were Justices James Foong and Md Raus Sharif.

The sodomy charge against Anwar, faces a historic contradiction when complainant and star witness Saiful alleged the June 26,2008, Desa Damansara condominium incident was non-consensual.

Despite this, the Permatang Pauh MP was charged under Section 377b of the Penal Code with consensual carnal intercourse.

Just last Thursday the Kuala Lumpur Hospital forensic pathologist, Dr Siew Sheue Feng, told the High Court that Saiful had told the doctors the alleged sodomy incident was done without force.

On May 11, High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah dismissed lead counsel Karpal Singh's application to have a copy of Saiful's witness statement.

The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal which only provided the broad reasons of its decision rather than the lengthy detailed written grounds of judgment which under normal circumstances may run in excess of 20 pages.

Source: Appeal to get Saiful's statement dismissed

Mahathir wants Malays to be handicapped for life

Mahathir Mohamad said: "To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness" for he claimed Malays should be treated special and different, that Malays need handouts, that Malays are unable to compete with Chinese and Indians and thus deserved handicaps as in the game of golf. However, Mariam Mokhtar (The dilemma: A Malay handicap) raised a very pertinent point for unlike the sport golf where once a handicapped golfer achieve competency, the handicap is taken away (Competent golfers don't need handicaps: Mahathir failed to mention that once golfers become competent, they are 'scratch players' and do not need handicaps. Left to Mahathir, Malays will always be given a handicap and be 'handicapped' for life. One would have thought that after 53 years of Umno, the Malays would not need this handicap)

However, in Malaysia, the Malays expect the handicap (numerous privilages and rights not given to non-Malays) to be forever even for those who have already accumated huge fortunes. Is that what the framers of Malaysia's Constitution intend?

The dilemma: A Malay handicap
Mariam Mokhtar

Oct 18, 10

Mahathir Mohamad's premiership was a mixture of adulation and fear. He was considered a Third World hero, a Malay champion and a divisive character. His admirers range from kampung folk to western educated non-Malay professionals. Although he resigned in 2003, he refuses to retire gracefully and cannot resist the political limelight. Last week, his damning statement, “To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness” caused outrage.

That statement appeared in Mahathir's blog, when he apologised to the Malaysian students in Melbourne, for his failure, through illness, to present his talk, “Are we ready for 1Malaysia: Does race still play a part?”

In it, Mahathir claims to 'love' Malaysia and said, “I am past self-interest”.

Is he confirming he acted out of self-interest in the past and not out of the interests of the nation? Or is he looking down on the current crop of politicians who he believes is acting out of 'self-interest'?

His talk would have covered how “Malays must be treated as special and different”, “for as long as the Chinese and Indians prefer to be identified with their countries of origin…… and keep their home languages and their schools”.

Mahathir needs to be reminded that his policies perpetuate division. From the time we are born we are obliged to classify our racial orientation on our birth certificate, and later our identity cards. At school, specific subjects are taught to certain races. Racial quotas determine eligibility for scholarships or for civil service jobs. No one can escape their racial identity.

Non-Malays identify themselves as Malaysians. They were born here. Malaysia is home. It is the government which fails to acknowledge that.

Mahathir's obsession with race continues to be championed by Malay extremists. The problem is that the average Malay has a high expectation that his race entitles him to profits and riches.

We must be honest and make the most of ourselves by building our self-confidence. Aspiration and hard-work are not something we are born with, but something which anyone of us can learn.

Upbringing proved his success

Mahathir seems disingenuous especially as his upbringing proved his success. As a child, his highly motivated and disciplined father subjected him to a rigorous regime of study which made him excel at school and improved his mathematics and English.

Mahathir developed positive traits of discipline, hard-work, self-improvement and good learning habits. He spoke good English and was a voracious reader. All these changed his life.

Why is Mahathir denying the ordinary Malay the chance to excel, be disciplined, stretch himself, shake off his provincial thinking, be rewarded by hard work and realise that fear of failure is only in the mind? Is this political expediency or lack of political will?

On a social level, Mahathir easily made friends with people from all ethnic backgrounds. And yet, his racial stance encouraged enmity amongst the various races.

Why perpetuate the myth that Malays need handouts? Mahathir told his children “nothing came easy” and there was “no shortcut to success”.

Extremists are fuelled by Mahathir's racist rhetoric and will never earn the respect of others. These 'ultras' assume arrogance and tell unhappy non-Malays to 'return to their homeland'.

Mahathir argues that Malays who condemn the NEP fall into two groups.

The first group includes politicians or party supporters “motivated by a desire to get Chinese support”. He said “They assume that they themselves would lead the nation and enjoy power and opportunities through Chinese support” and branded ex-Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin as a “mere puppet”.

The second group is the non-politically educated Malays who are “ashamed they have to be helped”. He said, “If we study these people almost invariably they have benefited from the NEP” but “they are ashamed to admit that they were unable to compete with the other races.”

Why insult the Malays who succeeded on their own? Mahathir is emphatic he is a 'successful Malay'. Why disbelieve and begrudge the competence and capability of other Malays?

He then said, “the Chinese excel in developing Malaysia (for which they are amply rewarded)”, and “Simply to catch up with them we need handicaps. To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness, not discrimination”, as in a game of golf.

Competent golfers don't need handicaps

Mahathir failed to mention that once golfers become competent, they are 'scratch players' and do not need handicaps.

Left to Mahathir, Malays will always be given a handicap and be 'handicapped' for life. One would have thought that after 53 years of Umno, the Malays would not need this handicap.

He said, “It is selfish if having benefited from the handicaps you want to deny others from having them.” But it is Mahathir who is selfish in wanting to continue putting the Malays down.

Not all non-Malays are rich and successful. There are poor Malays AND poor non-Malays. Only the cronies benefit.

Whilst Prime Minister Najib is desperate for his 1Malaysia policy to work, his efforts are hampered by Mahathir, goading from the sidelines, like a bully and a spoilsport.

If Perkasa, who echoes Mahathir's sentiments, is keen on Malay supremacy, why lap up every word of Mahathir who has Indian ancestry?

Two school principals who made derogatory comments about their students and the Biro Tata Negara assistant director, Hamim Husan who called the Chinese and Indian communities “si mata sepet” and “si botol” respectively, have conveniently disappeared from the public radar.

No one knows if investigations proved they were guilty of racism and punished. A motion to debate racism was disallowed by the speaker of the Parliament.

Najib's insincerity towards 1Malaysia is shown by his failure to censure the racists. Moreover, a Race Relations Act was rejected presumably because Umno benefits from racial inequality.

Unsurprisingly, BN's non-Malay political parties were hardly vocal and did not hold Najib to account. Why?

If Najib was more decisive and used the laws on sedition to lock-up Mahathir, racist politicians including Cabinet members and key civil servants, only then will Malaysians get the message he is serious about 1Malaysia and racism.

If he was a capable leader, he would sack those ministers who claim they lack the 'power' to act.

Unless Najib is willing to demonstrate steadfastness and commitment, few will believe in his 1Malaysia ideal.



MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In 'real-speak', this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

Dr. Mahathir promised Chinese & Indians NEP to end in 1990

According to RPK (Raja Petra Kamarudin) who was then a member of the Malay Chamber of Commerce and thus should know what he is talking about, and later one of the Chamber’s central committee members, this was what Mahathir Mohamad said in 1982: “We promised the Chinese and Indians that the NEP would end in 1990. So we have to keep our promise and end it in 1990. So the Malays had better be ready to stand on their own feet without any government protection.”

Read rest of article:

Dear Khairy
NO HOLDS BARRED

We can stop questioning the Bumiputera equity target, as what you asked us to do. But how are we going to ensure that we reach that 30% target unless you can find a way to stop the Malays from selling what the government gives them and then secretly transferring the money overseas to buy property or to save in foreign bank accounts?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Khairy,

How are you? It’s been a long time since we last met and shared a cigar. I don’t know whether you ever make it to this part of the world but in the event you do please look me up and maybe we could shoot the breeze and have a drink or something like that. Smoking cigars is quite difficult here unless you do so outside because the UK no longer allows smoking inside the pubs or bars. However, unless we do that in summer we will find that extremely uncomfortable.

Anyway, what I want to talk to you about is your comment yesterday that no one should question the Bumiputera equity target. It is strange that you should say this because back in 1976 we too said the same. Oh, and was not 1976 the same year you were born? That means when you first emerged from your mother’s womb and first saw the light of day as a squealing newly-born baby we said exactly what, today, you are saying: don’t question the Bumiputera equity target.

I was then already 26 years old and a member of the Malay Chamber of Commerce. Later, I went on to become one of the Chamber’s central committee members. So, back when you first emerged into this world we were already fighting for what only today you are fighting for.

To be honest, however, we did question the Bumiputera equity target. You can, in fact, find my many kertas kerja (working papers) in the Malay Chamber library and archives, unless they have all been thrown away. Some of these kertas kerja were also compiled and published into books. Yes, while you were still in diapers and being breastfed (or maybe bottle-fed) by your mother we were already cracking our heads, pondering on how to help the Malays.

Now, when I say we did question the Bumiputera equity target, we did not question it from the point of view of whether it should be retained or removed. No, this would be a treacherous act because the Malays needed our help and even the Chinese and Indians agreed so. We questioned it from the point of view of it being 30%.

“Why 30%?” we asked. And may I remind you that we asked this question during the time you were born.

“Who set the figure at 30%?” we wanted to know -- although we suspected your father-in-law, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, may either know the answer or had a hand in it, seeing that he was the Secretary of the NOC at that time (so maybe the next time you have a family sit down you can pose this question and see what he says).

“Since Bumiputeras represent 60% of the country’s population why not the equity target be fixed at 60% instead of 30%?” we argued -- and no one could enlighten us and tell us why.

Finally, they admitted that 30% appeared to be a good figure and was sort of plucked from the top of the head. If it had been only 10% then the Malays would have complained that it is too low while if it had been 60% then the non-Malays would complain it is too high. So, 30% appeared to be a good and compromising figure, which both the Malays and non-Malays may not quarrel with.

In other words, we were told that there was no formula. No one sat down to work out the arithmetic and the end result of that calculation or formula revealed that 30% must be that target. It was just a convenient figure that some thought would be acceptable to all sides without a quarrel.

“But is 30% achievable?” we asked. Well, came the reply, it is just a target. It is not law. It is merely an aspiration (hasrat). We will try to work towards that figure but whether we achieve 30% or not is not as important as we have a target to aim for so that we know where we are heading.

Fair enough. We could accept that. So there is really no basis for it being 30%. It is just that 10% or 60% may upset one group or the other and that 30% is a middle-of-the-road or compromise that both sides can agree with without a quarrel. And while there is no formula for it being 30% or any guarantee that we can meet this 30% it at least allows us a target to aim for. And 30% is as good as any figure to aim for.

Another ten years passed. And by 1986 -- which by then you were ten years old and probably in standard three -- we again sat down to review the achievement (pancapaian) of this 30% and found that the target of 30% had not been met. We were told by the then Deputy Prime Minister that the pancapaian was only 19% or so.

This got us worried. We remembered the new Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (then Datuk Seri), warning us merely four years or so earlier that the NEP would not go on forever and that by 1990 the NEP would end. “We promised the Chinese and Indians that the NEP would end in 1990,” said Dr Mahathir. “So we have to keep our promise and end it in 1990. So the Malays had better be ready to stand on their own feet without any government protection.”

I must admit that I too panicked. We called for a meeting of all Malay businessmen to discuss this matter. 1990 was not that far away. If the pancapaian is only 19% and if the NEP is going to end in 1990, what are the Malays going to do?

As I said, you were then still only in primary school. At that age you probably did not worry about all this and for sure would not have panicked like we did.

We decided to hold a two-day seminar at the Shangrila Hotel in Kuala Lumpur where we invited both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to attend. We whacked Umno and the government. We whacked what we called the Umnoputeras (Umno people who kill other Bumiputeras). We whacked the trust agencies (such as Pernas, SEDC, etc.) that compete with Bumiputera businesses by using unfair and dirty tactics, and more.

I even whacked Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Berhad (BBMB) in my working paper and called BBMB ‘Bank Buat Melayu Bankrupt’. Basir was so angry he cancelled my RM5.7 million banking facilities and gave me 14 days to pay back all my outstanding balances in full -- plus I was blacklisted by the Ministry of Finance and barred from getting any further government contracts (you can talk to Idris Tulis about this because he and Izat Emir, etc., were two of the many victims of BBMB).

But nothing much happened after that because the entire world was in recession and the government could not help itself, let alone help the Bumiputeras. In fact, even the Chinese suffered and some such as Tan Koon Swan even went to jail.

This brought us to 1990 when the NEP was supposed to officially end. We were devastated. The 19% figure of 1986 was still 19% by 1990. This was mainly because of the long mid-1980s recession. So everything stagnated. What do we do?

We then decided to hold the Third Bumiputera Economic Congress and at the same time invite the government leaders to this congress so that the leaders and we can jointly ponder on this matter and consider how we could jointly solve the problems of the Malays. Of course, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and entire Cabinet would be invited.

We were then summoned by Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, the KSN, to attend a meeting in his office, which we did. Ahmad Sarji told us that Dr Mahathir had agreed to attend the congress but he insists that the government take over the organising of the congress instead of attending it as a mere guest. Furthermore, we were told, Dr Mahathir wants to invite the non-Malays to attend the congress.

We protested. How can non-Malays be invited to a Malay congress? There may be some very nasty things said during the congress and what would the non-Malays feel if they were present and heard all this?

Never mind, Ahmad Sarji said. It is good that the non-Malays attend so that they can hear what we say. This will give them an idea of how the Malays feel. This will also allow the non-Malays to participate in the debates so that they too can suggest how to assist the government in overcoming the problem of the Malays. Anyway, said Ahmad Sarji, the Prime Minister has made up his mind and this matter is not open for negotiations.

Reluctantly we had to agree because, as you know, once Dr Mahathir has made up his mind there is no turning back. And the congress was held with the participation of the non-Malays and with the government as co-organisers.

We lamented about the 19% pencapaian of the Bumiputeras and how, now that the NEP has ended, we will never see it touch 30%. The Minister of Trade, Rafidah Aziz, and Minister of Finance, Anwar Ibrahim, even argued on stage in front of the entire audience. It was actually quite embarrassing to see two senior ministers arguing on stage in front of all of us who sat there dumbfounded.

“The trouble with the Malays is that they are dayamaju (viable) but not dayatahan (resilient),” Rafidah chided us. “You can’t blame the government if the pancapaian is only 19% and not 30%,” screamed Rafidah. “It is the fault of the Malays and not the government,” Rafidah said.

Rafidah then explained that the government had given many Malays shares, permits, quotas, contracts, etc. The problem is, once the shares go up, the Malays sell them. If the Malays had retained or kept all the shares the government gave them, then it would be 30% instead of 19%. In fact, it may even be more than 30%.

We had no choice but to admit defeat. Rafidah was right. In fact, I too am guilty of exactly what Rafidah had said we Malays normally do. So how could we dispute what she said? Many Malays sell the shares the government gave them and secretly transfer the money overseas to buy property all over the world.

If you include all the overseas property and cash in foreign banks that the Malays own, and if you add this to their equity holdings, then we could probably see the figure touch more than 30%. But then if you ignore the overseas assets and cash of the Malays and just look at their shares in Malaysian companies, it would appear like the Malays own only 19% instead of 30%, or probably more.

There is hardly any successful or elite Malay who does not own property or cash outside Malaysia. And most of these are undeclared. So it does not reflect in the 19%. If it did then it would not be 19% but much more. It may even be more than 30%.

Realising that most of us are guilty of doing what Rafidah said we are doing, we decided to let the matter rest. The only way to establish whether the Bumiputera wealth is really 19%, or 30%, or maybe even 40%, we would need to declare all our hidden assets overseas, which no one was prepared to do.

Of course, there is one way we can solve this. And this would be whenever shares are issued to Malays you stamp it ‘non-transferable without government permission’. And even then if permission is granted the shares can only be sold to another Malay and not to a non-Malay.

In other words, these shares would be ‘Malay reservation shares’ just like how we have ‘Malay reservation land’. Therefore, just like in the case of Malay reservation land, shares allocated to Malays can only be sold to another Malay and to no one else.

But then the Malays do not want this. Malay reservation land is very much lower in value compared to freehold land because only Malays can buy Malay reservation land. If the land can be sold to non-Malays then the land value is so much higher. And this would be the same for ‘Malay reservation shares’ that can only be sold to Malays and not to non-Malays.

There would also be the problem of the stock exchange listing. There will be two sets of shares quoted on the stock exchange. The ‘freehold’ shares will be quoted at one price, which will be higher, and the ‘Malay reservation’ shares will be quoted at another price, which is lower.

Now, what happens when a RM1.00 share, which is 'freehold', is quoted at RM10.00 per share on the stock exchange while the ‘Malay reservation’ share is quoted at only RM0.80? The Chinese would make millions while the Malays would lose their pants. I, for one, would never buy a ‘Malay reservation’ share but would rather buy shares that can be sold freely on the market at a much higher price.

The important thing, however, is that once shares are issued to Malays they are 'frozen' and cannot be sold unless to another Malay. This would ensure that the 30% target can be achieved and Malays will forever own those shares. But the shares will hardly be worth more than the issue price and at times maybe even less than the issue price. But if the 30% target is the main issue then this would address the issue although in terms of real wealth there would not be much to shout about.

So you see, dear Khairy, at around the time you were born we already discussed this matter at great length. And the best brains in Malaysia at that time were not able to find a solution. We can stop questioning the Bumiputera equity target, as what you asked us to do. But how are we going to ensure that we reach that 30% target unless you can find a way to stop the Malays from selling what the government gives them and then secretly transferring the money overseas to buy property or to save in foreign bank accounts?

And please don’t say this is not happening. It is. In fact, your own family does it as well -- as do many of my Malay friends, most of whom you too personally know.

Dear Khairy, let me assure you that I will support any move of yours to address this Malay problem. But, as we discussed back in 1976 when you were first born, we need to find a solution on how to enlarge the cake so that there is more to go around and not on how to steal other people’s cake. And we also need to solve the problem of how the Malays can keep the cake and not eat it because once you eat the cake it will be gone. You just can’t eat your cake and have it as well.

I trust your Oxford education will not go to waste and that you can use the wisdom you have gained in Oxford to find a solution to a problem that many of the best brains in Malaysia were not able to solve since the day you were born back in 1976.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Kamarudin

PS. I have some Cuban cigars in stock and will wait to meet you in London before I smoke them.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

UMNO's Corporate Cornucopia by Asian Sentinel



UMNO's Corporate Cornucopia
Written by Our Correspondent
WEDNESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2010

How Malaysia's companies funneled money into the country's biggest political party

In the 1980s and 1990s, Halim Saad and Tajudin Ramli were two of Malaysia's brightest stars, picked by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to lead the country's ethnic Malays onto the national stage as exemplars of a new Bumiputera business culture that would catch up with the ethnic Chinese who had dominated commerce as long as Malaysia had been in existence.

When Mahathir took office, insiders say, his plan was to create a cadre of 100 super-rich bumis who in turn would help rural Malays into prosperity under a konsep payung, or umbrella concept routed through the United Malays National Organization, much the way he envisioned driving the country into industrialization through massive projects. But greed intervened. Once the privileged got rich, there was little incentive to share it with the kampongs, the Malay rural villages. Many of the companies eventually collapsed and are being supported by government institutions such as Kazanah Nasional, the country's sovereign investment fund, or the Employee Provident Fund.

Although the Umno connection was widely assumed during Mahathir's 22 year reign as prime minister, today a flock of explosive court documents filed in different Kuala Lumpur courts appear to be breaking open conclusively the open secret that Tajudin and Halim and others were essentially front men for the United Malays National Organization, the country's biggest ethnic political party and part of a class of rentier businessmen who became known as Umnoputras, a play on the word Bumiputera, or native Malaysians, predominantly ethnic Malays.

Nor were they alone. Others included Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, one of Malaysia's richest men, as well as Yahaya Ahmad, who headed Mahathir's national car project and who tragically was killed with his wife in a helicopter crash, and Samsuddin Abu Hassan, introduced by Mahathir to the government of Nelson Mandela but who had to flee South Africa after being accused of misappropriating millions and evading South African debts totaling about R50 million (US$7.233 million at current exchange rates). Samsuddin left behind his glamorous wife, Melleney Venessa Samsudin, along with a failed Durban bank, and returned to Malaysia.

Samsudin ultimately ended up on the board of directors of Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd., another Umno-linked company that has played a significant role in major national projects including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KL's Light Rail Transit System, the CyberJaya Flagship Zone and numerous other projects.

At least 23 of Malaysia's biggest companies (see list below) appear to have been vehicles for Umno to siphon off vast amounts of money in government contracts as Mahathir's plans went awry. The companies and the people who run them are so hard-wired into Umno, the government and its investment arms that de-linking them would probably destroy the party. That in effect makes a mockery of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's widely publicized speech in July in which he promised to root corruption out of his party.

Much of the ownership appears to have been channeled through a mysterious company that emerged in 1993 to stage an RM800 million management buyout of a major chunk of Malaysia's media including the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and TV3. Realmild already owned a controlling interest in Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, which got the contract to develop the massive Kuala Lumpur Sentral transport hub. It also acquired ownership of the Labuan and Sabah Shipyards, which supply the Malaysian Navy, as well as Redicare and Medivest, which were awarded lucrative contracts to supply medical supplies to government hospitals.

In September, Syed Anwar Jamalullail, the brother to the Sultan of Perlis, and others testified in a tangled court battle in a Kuala Lumpur High Court that Daim Zainuddin, the prime minister's close associate, often told Malay businessmen to act as nominees in the management of Malaysia's top companies. The long-running suit was launched five years ago in2005 by Khalid Ahmad, a former Realmild director, who alleged he had been cheated out of a RM10 million payment for five percent of Realmild's shares by Abdul Rahman, thought to be the beneficial owner.

According to the testimony, Abdul Rahman paid out the RM10 million but later reneged after he learned from Mahathir that the shares actually belonged to UMNO. The trustees for Realmild in fact were Mahathir himself as well as former Berita Harian Group Editor Ahmad Nazri Abdullah, New Straits Times Group Editor Abdul Kadir Jasin and Mohd Noor Mutalib. Another witness, Ahmad Nazri, said in a deposition that he held the majority share of 80 percent in Realmild, although 70 percent of the shares were actually in trust for Mahathir.

The companies others ran included Faber Group Bhd, a member of the UEM Group, now involved in integrated facilities management and property solutions sectors; KUB Malaysia Bhd. A holding company dealing in information, communications & technology, property, engineering & construction and food related industries.

The companies have been involved a wide variety of activities including media, property development, construction, toll roads, hospital equipment, logistics and distribution, cellular telephony and other businesses. What they had in common was that most of them benefited from government contracts doled out by the Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition that has controlled Malaysia since its inception as a country. The other thing they had in common was that at some point most of them were mismanaged into financial trouble of one kind or another and had to be bailed out or bought out by the government.

Realmild unloaded Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd onto the Employee Provident Fund in late 2005 as part settlement for an outstanding Rm500 million loan. Putera Capital Bhd, is threatened with bankruptcy. It formerly owned the Putra World Trade Center, Umno's headquarters, which rents out office space to businesses. UEM Builders Bhd, an offshoot of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), along with UEM World Bhd, was dumped onto Kazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the government and the government's strategic investment vehicle.

Kazanah Nasional now also owns PLUS, which held the tollway contract for the national north-south highway, as well as Pharmaniaga, a former UEM subsidiary dealing in hospital supply and other services. Court documents show that MAS, then the state-owned flag carrier, was taken over and privatized by Tajudin Ramli only to lose an estimated RM8 billion (US$2.77 billion at current exchange rate), with a major part of that being funneled into a Frankfurt, Germany cargo logistics company whose directors were closely connected to Tajudin.

According to the website Malaysia Today, Tajudin's lawyers revealed that Tajudin had only been a front man for Umno and that Umno "not only has to protect him from prosecution but that they also had to ensure that the government bought back the shares at the same price that they were sold to him although the shares were only worth a portion of the real value."

Other depositions made available in recent weeks have listed a long series of documents detailing misdoings in UEM/Renong, once headed by Halim Saad, which has long been accused of looting the government treasury through vastly overpriced construction contracts. Halim told the press in September that he had left the UEM/Renong board in 2001, saying authorities wanted Kazanah to take it over "to prevent a systemic risk to the banking system in Malaysia and to enable a sustained restructuring of the group."

UEM itself is still at it. The government-linked company was given the contract to build a second bridge from the mainland to the northern city of Penang at a price estimated in 2007 at Rm2.7 billion. It has since climbed to RM4.3 billion without figuring in a variety of ancillary costs including compensation for fishermen and project development costs of RM285 million, with the total now nearing RM5 billion.

Other documents show how completely the country's press was in the thrall of UMNO. Media Prima Bhd, a listed company, apparently took over the ownership from Realmild of TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9 as well as 90 percent of the equity in The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd, which publishes three national newspapers; the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. It also owns three radio networks, Fly FM, Hot FM and One FM. Other cross media interests of Media Prima include content creation; event and talent management.

It also owns outdoor advertising companies Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd, UPD Sdn Bhd, Right Channel Sdn Bhd, Kurnia Outdoor Sdn Bhd and Jupiter Outdoor Network Sdn Bhd. It is online through a digital communications and broadcasting subsidiary, Alt Media, with the Lifestyle Portal gua.com.my and the newly launched TonTon, a cutting-edge video portal with HD-ready quality viewing experience that offers the individualism of customized content and interactivity of social networking.

The companies:
Faber Group Bhd
KUB Malaysia Bhd
Malaysian Resources Corp. Bhd
Media Prima Bhd
New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Putera Capital Bhd
UEM Builders Bhd
UEM World Bhd
PLUS
Pharmaniaga
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (partly owned by Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, another Mahathir crony and one of Malaysia's 10 richest men according to the Forbes List
Renong Bhd
Realmild Sdn Bhd
Mahkota Technologies (Also a partnership with Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary
Malaysian Airlines
Celcom
Malaysian Helicopter Service
Temasek Padu Sdh Bhd
Sabah Shipyard
Labuan Shipyard
Redicare
Medive

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bala first statutory declaration - Altantuya murder

Malaysia Today has published the answer PI Bala had given to the MACC in London. Here is the first statutory declaration made by Balasubramaniam on the first of July 2008:

PI Bala reiterates his first SD and says he was offered RM5 million to retract it (see Video: Private Investigator Bala reiterates his first SD and says he was offered RM5 million to retract it)

STATUTORY DECLARATION

I, Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal (NRIC NO: xxxxxx-xx-6235) a Malaysian Citizen of full age and residing at [deleted], Selangor, do solemly and sincerely declare as follows :-

1. I have been a police officer with the Royal Malaysian Police Force having joined as a constable in 1981 attached to the Police Field Force. I was then promoted to the rank of lance corporal and finally resigned from the Police Force in 1998 when I was with the Special Branch.

2. I have been working as a freelance Private Investigator since I left the Police Force.

3. Sometime in June or July 2006, I was employed by Abdul Razak Baginda for a period of 10 days to look after him at his office at the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang, between the hours of 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. each working day as apparently he was experiencing disturbances from a third party.

4. I resigned from this job after 2 ½ days as I was not receiving any proper instructions.

5. I was however re-employed by Abdul Razak Baginda on the 05-10-2006 as he had apparently received a harassing phone call from a Chinese man calling himself ASP Tan who had threatened him to pay his debts. I later found out this gentleman was in fact a private investigator called Ang who was employed by a Mongolian woman called Altantuya Shaariibuu.

6. Abdul Razak Baginda was concerned that a person by the name of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian woman, was behind this threat and that she would be arriving in Malaysia very soon to try and contact him.

7. Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that he was concerned by this as he had been advised that Altantuya Shaariibuu had been given some powers by a Mongolian ‘bomoh’ and that he could never look her in the face because of this.

8. When I enquired as to who this Mongolian woman was, Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that she was a friend of his who had been introduced to him by a VIP and who asked him to look after her financially.

9. I advised him to lodge a police report concerning the threatening phone call he had received from the Chinese man known as ASP Tan but he refused to do so as he informed me there were some high profile people involved.

10. Abdul Razak Baginda further told me that Altantuya Shaariibuu was a great liar and good in convincing people. She was supposed to have been very demanding financially and that he had even financed a property for her in Mongolia.

11. Abdul Razak Baginda then let me listen to some voice messages on his handphone asking him to pay what was due otherwise he would be harmed and his daughter harassed.

12. I was therefore supposed to protect his daughter Rowena as well.

13. On the 09.10.2006, I received a phone call from Abdul Razak Baginda at about 9.30 a.m. informing me that Altantuya was in his office and he wanted me there immediately. As I was in the midst of a surveillance, I sent my assistant Suras to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office and I followed a little later. Suras managed to control the situation and had persuaded Altantuya and her two friends to leave the premises. However Altantuya left a note written on some Hotel Malaya note paper, in English, asking Abdul Razak Baginda to call her on her handphone (number given) and wrote down her room number as well.

14. Altantuya had introduced herself to Suras as ‘Aminah’ and had informed Suras she was there to see her boyfriend Abdul Razak Baginda.

15. These 3 Mongolian girls however returned to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office at the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang again, the next day at about 12.00 noon. They did not enter the building but again informed Suras that they wanted to meet Aminah’s boyfriend, Abdul Razak Baginda.

16. On the 11.10.2006, Aminah returned to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office on her own and gave me a note to pass to him, which I did. Abdul Razak Baginda showed me the note, which basically asked him to call her urgently.

17. I suggested to Abdul Razak Baginda that perhaps it may be wise to arrange for Aminah to be arrested if she harassed him further, but he declined as he felt she would have to return to Mongolia as soon as her cash ran out.

18. In the meantime I had arranged for Suras to perform surveillance on Hotel Malaya to monitor the movements of these 3 Mongolian girls, but they recognized him. Apparently they become friends with Suras after that and he ended up spending a few nights in their hotel room.

19. When Abdul Razak Baginda discovered Suras was becoming close to Aminah he asked me to pull him out from Hotel Malaya.

20. On the 14.10.2006, Aminah turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house in Damansara Heights when I was not there. Abdul Razak Baginda called me on my handphone to inform me of this so I rushed back to his house. As I arrived, I noticed Aminah outside the front gates shouting “Razak, bastard, come out from the house”. I tried to calm her down but couldn’t so I called the police who arrived in 2 patrol cars. I explained the situation to the police, who took her away to the Brickfields police station.

21. I followed the patrol cars to Brickfields police station in a taxi. I called Abdul Razak Baginda and his lawyer Dirren to lodge a police report but they refused.

22. When I was at the Brickfields police station, Aminah’s own Private Investigator, one Mr. Ang arrived and we had a discussion. I was told to deliver a demand to Abdul Razak Baginda for USD$500,000.00 and 3 tickets to Mongolia, apparently as commission owed to Aminah from a deal in Paris.

23. As Aminah had calmed down at this stage, a policewoman at the Brickfields police station advised me to leave and settle the matter amicably.

24. I duly informed Abdul Razak Baginda of the demands Aminah had made and told him I was disappointed that no one wanted to back me up in lodging a police report. We had a long discussion about the situation when I expressed a desire to pull out of this assignment.

25. During this discussion and in an attempt to persuade me to continue my employment with him, Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that :-

25.1. He had been introduced to Aminah by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a diamond exhibition in Singapore.

25.2. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak informed Abdul Razak Baginda that he had a sexual relationship with Aminah and that she was susceptible to anal intercourse.

25.3. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted Abdul Razak Baginda to look after Aminah as he did not want her to harass him since he was now the Deputy Prime Minister.

25.4. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had all been together at a dinner in Paris.

25.5. Aminah wanted money from him as she felt she was entitled to a USD$500,000.00 commission on a submarine deal she assisted with in Paris.

26. On the 19.10.2006, I arrived at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house in Damansara Heights to begin my night duty. I had parked my car outside as usual. I saw a yellow Proton Perdana taxi pass by with 3 ladies inside, one of whom was Aminah. The taxi did a U-turn and stopped in front of the house where these ladies rolled down the window and wished me ‘Happy Deepavali’. The taxi then left.

27. About 20 minutes later the taxi returned with only Aminah in it. She got out of the taxi and walked towards me and started talking to me. I sent an SMS to Abdul Razak Baginda informing him “Aminah was here”. I received an SMS from Razak instructing me to “delay her until my man comes”.

28. Whist I was talking to Aminah, she informed me of the following :-

28.1. That she met Abdul Razak Baginda in Singapore with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

28.2. That she had also met Abdul Razak Baginda and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a dinner in Paris.

28.3. That she was promised a sum of USD$500,000.00 as commission for assisting in a Submarine deal in Paris.

28.4. That Abdul Razak Baginda had bought her a house in Mongolia but her brother had refinanced it and she needed money to redeem it.

28.5. That her mother was ill and she needed money to pay for her treatment.

28.6. That Abdul Razak Baginda had married her in Korea as her mother is Korean whilst her father was a Mongolian/Chinese mix.

28.7. That if I wouldn’t allow her to see Abdul Razak Baginda, would I be able to arrange for her to see Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

29. After talking to Aminah for about 15 minutes, a red Proton Aeroback arrived with a woman and two men. I now know the woman to be Lance Corporal Rohaniza and the men, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azahar. They were all in plain clothes. Azilah walked towards me while the other two stayed in the car.

30. Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue Proton Saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The driver’s window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.

31. Azilah then informed me they would be taking Aminah away. I informed Aminah they were arresting her. The other two persons then got out of the red Proton and exchanged seats so that Lance Corporal Rohaniza and Aminah were in the back while the two men were in the front. They drove off and that is the last I ever saw of Aminah.

32. Abdul Razak Baginda was not at home when all this occurred.

33. After the 19.10.2006, I continued to work for Abdul Razak Baginda at his house in Damansara Heights from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 a.m. the next morning, as he had been receiving threatening text messages from a woman called ‘Amy’ who was apparently ‘Aminah’s’ cousin in Mongolia.

34. On the night of the 20.10.2006, both of Aminah’s girlfriends turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house enquiring where Aminah was. I informed them she had been arrested the night before.

35. A couple of nights later, these two Mongolian girls, Mr. Ang and another Mongolian girl called ‘Amy’ turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house looking for Aminah as they appeared to be convinced she was being held in the house.

36. A commotion began so I called the police who arrived shortly thereafter in a patrol car. Another patrol car arrived a short while later in which was the investigating officer from the Dang Wangi Police Station who was in charge of the missing persons report lodged by one of the Mongolians girls, I believe was Amy.

37. I called Abdul Razak Baginda who was at home to inform him of the events taking place at his front gate. He then called DSP Musa Safri and called me back informing me that Musa Safri would be calling my handphone and I was to pass the phone to the Inspector from the Dang Wangi Police Station.

38. I then received a call on my handphone from Musa Safri and duly handed the phone to the Dang Wangi Inspector. The conversation lasted 3 – 4 minutes after which he told the girls to disperse and to go to see him the next day.

39. On or about the 24.10.2006, Abdul Razak Baginda instructed me to accompany him to the Brickfields Police Station as he had been advised to lodge a police report about the harassment he was receiving from these Mongolian girls.

40. Before this, Amy had sent me an SMS informing me she was going to Thailand to lodge a report with the Mongolian consulate there regarding Aminah’s disappearance. Apparently she had sent the same SMS to Abdul Razak Baginda. This is why he told me he had been advised to lodge a police report.

41. Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that DPS Musa Safri had introduced him to one DSP Idris, the head of the Criminal division, Brickfields Police Station, and that Idris had referred him to ASP Tonny.

42. When Abdul Razak Baginda had lodged his police report at Brickfields Police Station, in front of ASP Tonny, he was asked to make a statement but he refused as he said he was leaving for overseas. He did however promise to prepare a statement and hand ASP Tonny a thumb drive. I know that this was not done as ASP Tonny told me.

43. However ASP Tonny asked me the next day to provide my statement instead and so I did.

44. I stopped working for Abdul Razak Baginda on the 26.10.2006 as this was the day he left for Hong Kong on his own.

45. In mid-November 2006, I received a phone call from ASP Tonny from the IPK Jalan Hang Tuah asking me to see him regarding Aminah’s case. When I arrived there I was immediately arrested under S.506 of the Penal Code for Criminal intimidation.

46. I was then placed in the lock up and remanded for 5 days. On the third day I was released on police bail.

47. At the end of November 2006, the D9 department of the IPK sent a detective to my house to escort me to the IPK Jalan Hang Tuah. When I arrived, I was told I was being arrested under S.302 of the Penal Code for murder. I was put in the lock up and remanded for 7 days.

48. I was transported to Bukit Aman where I was interrogated and questioned about an SMS I had received from Abdul Razak Baginda on the 19.10.2006, which read “delay her until my man arrives”. They had apparently retrieved this message from Abdul Razak Baginda’s handphone.

49. They then proceeded to record my statement from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. every day for 7 consecutive days. I told them all I knew including everything Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had told me about their relationships with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak but when I came to sign my statement these details had been left out.

50. I have given evidence in the trial of Azilah, Sirul and Abdul Razak Baginda at the Shah Alam High Court. The prosecutor did not ask me any questions in respect of Aminah’s relationship with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or of the phone call I received from DSP Musa Safri, whom I believe was the ADC for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and/or his wife.

51. On the day Abdul Razak Baginda was arrested, I was with him at his lawyers office at 6.30 a.m. Abdul Razak Baginda informed us that he had sent Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak an SMS the evening before as he refused to believe he was to be arrested, but had not received a response.

52. Shortly thereafter, at about 7.30 a.m., Abdul Razak Baginda received an SMS from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and showed, this message to both myself and his lawyer. This message read as follows :- “I am seeing IGP at 11.00 a.m. today …… matter will be solved … be cool”.

53. I have been made to understand that Abdul Razak Baginda was arrested the same morning at his office in the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang.

54. The purpose of this Statutory declaration is to :-

54.1. State my disappointment at the standard of investigations conducted by the authorities into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

54.2. Bring to the notice of the relevant authorities the strong possibility that there are individuals other than the 3 accused who must have played a role in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

54.3. Persuade the relevant authorities to reopen their investigations into this case immediately so that any fresh evidence may be presented to the Court prior to submissions at the end of the prosecutions case.

54.4. Emphasize the fact that having been a member of the Royal Malaysian Police Force for 17 years I am absolutely certain no police officer would shoot someone in the head and blow up their body without receiving specific instructions from their superiors first.

54.5. Express my concern that should the defence not be called in the said murder trial, the accused, Azilah and Sirul will not have to swear on oath and testify as to the instructions they received and from whom they were given.

55. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

SUBCRIBED and solemnly )

declared by the abovenamed )

Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal ]

this 1st day of July 2008 )

Before me,

………………………………….

Commissioner for Oath

Kuala Lumpur


Video: Private Investigator Bala reiterates his first SD and says he was offered RM5 million to retract it