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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Forum on Media and Ethnicity: Overcoming the Challenges

*Forum on Media and Ethnicity: Overcoming the Challenges
Thursday June 30, 8-10pm*
*Hang Jebat on Level 6, Le Meridien KL Sentral*
Location map
* *

Ethnicity is so much part of the fabric of Malaysian society that it is hard
to understand events or people without using the ethnic lens. Post-2008,
media coverage of ethnic issues has come under even greater scrutiny given
how ethnicity has been instrumentalised much more than before by certain
segments of society – to the detriment of the nation.

Given this context, how should journalists cover events that have an ethnic
element? What are the challenges faced by journalists and what strategies do
they use to overcome these problems?

Although these issues have been explored in academia and by civil society,
little has been translated into a useful format for journalists.

To address this gap, CIJ has just published *Reporting on ‘Race’ &
Ethnicity: A Handbook for Malaysian Journalists* . This handbook comes at
such a timely juncture. It collates the ethical dilemmas and best practices
for reporting ethnicity culled from journalists who attended a series of
workshops conducted throughout Malaysia in early 2011, as well as available
material on the issue. To “launch” the handbook, CIJ will be conducting a
public forum to explore these challenges and more. Here are the details:

When: Thursday June 30

Where: Hang Jebat on Level 6, Le Meridien KL Sentral, 2 Jln Stesen Sentral.

Time: 8pm-10pm

Panelists: V. Anbalagan (NUJ General Secretary), Fathi Aris Omar (senior
journalist) and Dr Carmen Nge (academic and ethnicity trainer)

There will be an open discussion at the end, before supper is served.

For purposes of planning, please e-mail cijmalaysia@ or call
03.4023.0772 during office hours to register your attendance. We look
forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes,

Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia

Location Map

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Mariam Mokhtar has wise words for Najib

for Najib has no wise words for anyone, only hypocrisy:

A word to the wise, Najib

Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 27, 11

10 friends can read this story for free

At the Selayang Umno division meeting last Saturday, party head and premier Najib Abdul Razak declared that BN considers victory in a general election to be of paramount importance and that politics is all about victory.
He said, “In a general election, only becoming champion (winner) will have meaning for us...and we know that emerging as the runner-up means that we've lost in the election.”
NONENajib is wrong.
Politics is not to be treated as a game, where one wins and another loses. Only a flippant and crass person would consider politics in terms of 'champion and runner-up'.
If he is not already aware, politics is about serving the electorate.
So, how could a person who is supposed to lead 28 million people think like that?
We can overlook the fact that Najib was not elected into the top position but is he so obtuse that he is unaware that his decisions and policies affect people's lives?
For some Malaysians, his dictates may mean the fine line between poverty and subsistence; a healthy life or one wracked with ill-health; a future based on education or lost opportunities; a modern lifestyle or one mired in the past.
Politics is not a contest. However, we need only look at how some MPs abuse their position and our trust, to realise that they probably believe that politics is a productive pastime conducted at our expense.
When they travel, police outriders close the roads or stop the traffic so that they can travel through our usually clogged roads with ease.
When they go overseas, the public purse is raided when several hangers-on are included in the entourage, ostensibly as aides.
The national carrier bumps people off or downgrades passengers so that these so-called aides, who are not entitled to an upgrade, enjoy first-class treatment at the expense of the taxpayer and fare-paying passengers.
Our children fall prey to poor standards of teaching and some of our schools (especially mission schools) are literally falling apart. Many politicians send their offspring to the local international schools before dispatching them to schools in Europe, UK, Australia or th US prior to enrolment in the universities there. A two-tiered system exists.
A nation plundered
Najib announced that only Umno/BN has outshone the other political parties. He is right but perhaps not in the way he hopes we would think.
Umno/BN have plundered the nation by awarding contracts to their cronies. They have protected their own kind, who are guilty of money politics or other serious crimes such as rape, sexual assault on young girls and murder.
palace of justice istana kehakimanInstitutions like schools, universities, the police, the civil service and the judiciary have no vestige of their former glory, in the days just after Independence.
Najib stressed on information revolution and education as driving factors for change.
So why has he not put these to good use? Why are we reeling from the effects of discrimination, corruption, waste of public funds, cronyism, nepotism, abuse of power and hypocrisy?
Why is the nation wasting its time discussing a sex video when we should be discussing how to move our country forwards?
Do we need tacky soundbites to live our lives?
What is the use of education when we award contracts to a favoured few, when the use of public funds are not made transparent and accountability is not to be found in the BN vocabulary?
NONENajib encouraged BN politicians to go on walkabouts, much like himself, to meet people on the ground and to form 'alliances' with them.
Isn't Najib aware that when he engages with people he only sees a sanitised view? Far from learning the truth, he only sees what others want him to see.
For instance, in some areas, the roads leading to the places where he goes on a walkabout are cleared of vagrants, instant flower borders appear where weeds thrived before, and potholes
are repaired.
Drains are cleared of rubbish, roads are swept, electrical fixtures are repaired, some bits receive a lick of paint and the old, worn-out decrepit street is transformed, only because the PM is due for a walkabout.
Najib should instead perform spot-checks; only then will he see how things really are and which of his departments are working.

Initiative for electoral reform

Most of all, how can Najib hold his head up high and claim victory in the election when he knows only too well that victory for Umno and BN has been obtained through dishonest means?
azlanThat is the point of the Bersih rally; a demand by all Malaysians for clean, free and fair elections.
The eight-point reforms are for the good of all. It is not to benefit any one political party but it will ensure that politicians work hard to serve the public and to justify their status.
The public is shrewd enough to know that the Election Commission is impotent and ineffective in discharging its role as an independent adjudicator.
If anyone needs reform and education, it is Najib and his merry men in Umno/BN. They must not be allowed to win by the back-door method.
After 54 years of abdicating from its responsibilities, the rakyat is now taking the initiative to effect change and reform.
NONEBersih has wrong-footed Najib. He knows that if the people go on the streets on July 9 to support Ambiga Sreenevasan's call for electoral reform, he will be left with mud on his face.
Hence, the crackdown, arrests and ban. Perkasa and Umno Youth are mere smokescreens for the police to justify the use of violent tactics in the name of national security.
Who would have thought that Malaysia would be led by ruthless despots who want to reconfigure our country to suit themselves?
Without electoral reforms, any victory that BN may obtain will be as cheap and hollow as all the previous victories.
Has BN actually won any election fair and square over the past 54 years?
Please support yourself. Join the rally on July 9.

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.

Subsidies cut but PM & DPM spend millions on trips

The rakyat have to suffer inflation and tighten their pockets but PM Najib and Rosmah plus DPM Muhyiddin & Norainee goes on spending spree to the amount of RM25 million have no problem:

Year Najib & Rosmah Muhyiddin & Norainee
2008 RM 1.7 million RM 2.7 million
2009 RM 4.8 million RM 0.69 million
2010 RM 5.1 million RM 1.4 million
2011 till June RM 5.4 million RM 3.3 million
Total RM 17.1 million RM 8.02 million

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Panduan Bagi Peserta Perhimpunan Bersih 2.0

Guide for participants of BERSIH 2.0 Rally:  (Pls read, very useful tips)

Fakta :
Perhimpunan Bersih 2.0 Pada 9 Julai 2011 (Sabtu), Jam 2 Petang Di Kuala Lumpur
(Lokasi : Masjid Kg. Baru, Sogo & Bangunan DBKL).
Aman Dan Tanpa Senjata.

Tuntutan Bersih 2.0 :
  1. BERSIH kan Senarai Undi (Daftar Pemilih)
  2. Reformasikan Undi Pos
  3. Gunakan Dakwat Kekal
  4. Akses Media Yang Bebas & Adil
  5. Tempoh Berkempen Minima 21 Hari
  6. Kukuhkan Institusi Awam
  7. Hentikan Rasuah
  8. Hentikan Politik Kotor
Jawatankuasa Pemandu Bersih 2.0 :
Dipengerusikan Oleh Dato Ambiga Sreenavasaan (Mantan Presiden Majlis Peguam Malaysia). Anggotanya Adalah Daripada Kalangan Pimpinan Dan Aktivis NGO’s.

Kedudukan Parti-Parti Politik Termasuk PAS :
Adalah Sebagai Entiti Yang Bergabung Di Dalam Bersih 2.0 Dengan Aspirasi Bersama Iaitu Menuntut Satu Sistem Dan Perjalanan Pilihan Raya Yang Bersih & Adil Untuk Malaysia.

Jangkaan/ Unjuran :
Kita menjangkakan pelbagai kaum akan muncul, pelbagai ideologi dan kepercayaan akan berhimpun untuk menyatakan pandangan mereka khususnya dalam mendesak Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Malaysia untuk mereformasikan pilihan raya.
Oleh itu bagi melancarkan perhimpunan ini, kita mengeluarkan satu garis panduan yang diharapkan dapat membantu semua pihak dalam memastikan perhimpunan ini dapat berjalan dengan lancar, aman dan tanpa sebarang provokasi .

Perkara Yang Perlu Anda Bawa/Sediakan :
1. Kad pengenalan, lesen memandu, satu kad ATM sahaja.
2. Duit-maksimum RM100 sahaja.
3. Memakai pakaian yang sopan-T-shirt /baju berwarna Kuning. Sebaiknya ada logo Bersih 2.0
4. Setiap peserta diwajibkan memakai kasut.
5. Sediakan baju hujan berwarna kuning.
6. Aksesori kempen-Button, kopiah arm band, bendera kecil, banner dan placard yang ada Logo atau Slogan Bersih 2.0 / Bersihkan Pilihan raya boleh digunakan.
7. Bendera Malaysia atau negeri masing-masing.
8. Air mineral, sedikit makanan ringan atau gula-gula.
9. Sedikit garam batu ; Ia penting dan boleh dimakan sedikit (bukan sapu dimuka) bagi mengembalikan tenaga terutamanya jika Pihak Polis sembur air dari Water Canon atau Gas pemedih mata.
10. Kain tuala kecil basah untuk tutup mata dan hidung untuk elak terkena gas pemedih mata.
11. Digalakkan memakai penutup mulut dan hidung jenis “N100 Respirator, N95 Respirator” dan “Surgical facemask” untuk mengelak penularan wabak Influenza H1N1 dan juga menghindarkan sedutan gas pemedih mata yang melampau.
12. Jika anda mempunyai asma atau alahan sila bawa inhaler atau ubat sendiri.
13. Sila bawa beg plastik sampah kecil bagi mengelakkan anda membuang sampah merata-rata.
14. Sila bawa pen dan kertas (mini note pad) bagi mencatat nama dan no. pengenalan Polis atau perkara-perkara yang mencurigakan.
15. Jangan lupa bawa kamera, video cam atau handphone berkamera bagi merakamkan suasana himpunan – gambar-gambar atau klip video boleh dihantar kepada kami selepas himpunan di email  atau talian 019-340 7721.

Perkara Yang Tidak Dibenarkan :
  1. Jangan bawa kad matrik pelajar bagi student atau pass kakitangan bagi pekerja Kerajaan dan Swasta.
  2. Jangan bawa terlalu banyak wang atau kad kreadit untuk elakkan penyeluk saku, tercicir atau hilang semasa perhimpunan atau ditahan.
  3. Jangan memakai selipar, kasut tumit tinggi atau sandal yang menghalang pergerakkan.
  4. Jangan memakai kain atau skirt, digalakkan memakai seluar.
  5. Jangan memakai barang kemas atau aksesori yang tiada kaitan dengan tuntutan Bersih 2.0 / Bersihkan Pilihan raya.
  6. Jangan bawa sebarang banner, placard, bendera yang melambangkan logo parti dan organisasi.
  7. Sebarang slogan yang tiada kaitan dengan tuntutan Bersih 2.0 tidak dibenarkan.
  8. Jangan bawa sebarang benda tajam kecuali pen.
  9. Jangan bawa bahan-bahan yang boleh meletup atau mudah terbakar seperti, mancis, molotov cocktail dan mercun.
  10. Tidak dibenarkan merokok semasa perhimpunan kerana akan menganggu orang lain.
  11. Jangan bawa sebarang senjata seperti kayu, besi, rantai besi, pistol dan yang merbahaya.
  12. Bagi yang membawa anak-anak, anda tidak dibenarkan membawa permainan yang berupa seperti senjata seperti pistol, senapang atau pisau mainan.
  13. Jangan bawa anak-anak yang berumur 10 tahun ke bawah bagi mengelakkan sebarang masalah.
Perkara Yang Perlu Anda Lakukan Sebelum Perhimpunan :
  1. Servis kenderaan dan periksa peralatan yang perlu dibawa.
  2. Jangan makan atau minum terlalu banyak sebelum perhimpunan.
  3. Pastikan anda telah menunaikan ‘hajat’ sebelum memasuki perhimpunan.
  4. Bagi yang Islam, Lakukanlah solat taubat dan hajat, semoga Allah berkati perhimpunan ini dan yang bukan Islam boleh berdoa mengikut ritual masing-masing.
  5. Pastikan anda telah mengunci rumah atau meninggalkan pesanan-pesanan penting kepada keluarga atau jiran anda yang tidak pergi perhimpunan.
  6. Maklumkan mereka tujuan anda keluar.
  7. Maklumkan mereka nombor telefon sahabat lain yang bersama anda jika handphone anda tidak dapat dihubungi nanti.
  8. Jangan lupa “charge” bateri handphone dan kamera.
  9. Pastikan anda tahu arah tuju anda iaitu tempat berkumpul yang ditetapkan — Sogo, DBKL, & Masjid Kg Baru
  10. Pastikan anda datang awal untuk elakkan kesesakan jalan raya atau terpaksa berbaris panjang untuk beli tiket tren LRT atau Komuter.
  11. Datang secara berkumpulan, jangan bersendirian.
  12. Sekiranya perjalanan anda dihalang dari memasuki pusat bandar anda boleh meletakkan kenderaan dan berjalan kaki ke Sogo, DBKL, & Masjid Kg Baru (Jangan terus ke Istana Negara bersendirian).
  13. Jangan memakai baju Bersih 2.0 sebelum perhimpunan bermula bagi mengelakkan sebarang provokasi pihak-pihak tidak bertanggungjawab..
Semasa Perhimpunan Dan Perarakan :
  1. Berkumpul di tempat pertemuan yang ditetapkan Sogo, DBKL, & Masjid Kg Baru dan tunggu arahan dari “Field Commander” yang dilantik.
  2. Ikutilah arahan dari Unit Amal atau “Field Commander” sepanjang program. Jangan pedulikan arahan lain tanpa merujuk kepada “Field Commander”
  3. Jangan berganjak dari tempat perhimpunan melainkan dengan arahan “Field Commander”.
  4. Laporkan pada Unit Amal bertugas jika terlihat sesuatu yang mencurigakan.
  5. Jangan tolak menolak sepanjang perhimpunan dan perarakan.
  6. Elakkan mencerca, memaki hamun atau menunjukkan isyarat lucah semasa perhimpunan berlaku.
  7. Raikan perhimpunan ini dengan aman dan harmoni.
  8. Pastikan anda memberikan keutamaan laluan kepada kenderaan yang lalu lalang dan tidak melintas sesuka hati dijalanraya.
  9. Pastikan anda memberikan keutamaan, membantu dan melindungi warga emas, orang kurang upaya atau kanak-kanak yang hadir bersama.
  10. Maklumkan sahabat anda jika anda ingin keluar dari perhimpunan disebabkan hal kecemasan atau kerana ingin ke tandas bagi mengelakan masalah lain.
  11. Pastikan anda dapat duduk semasa pimpinan berucap.
  12. Pastikan anda tidak bersembang semasa pimpinan berucap kerana kemungkinan bunyi “sound system” akan tenggelam dengan suara ratusan ribu peserta.
  13. Ikutilah laungan pimpinan jika perlu.
  14. Pegang bendera Malaysia atau negeri anda sepanjang perarakan.
  15. Jangan buang sampah merata-rata sepanjang perhimpunan. Masukkan dalam beg plastik yang anda bawa.
  16. Rakamkan suasana himpunan – gambar-gambar atau klip video boleh dihantar kepada kami selepas himpunan di email   atau talian 019-340 7721. Kalau boleh rakamkan sekali wajah-wajah polis yang bertugas atau tragedi-tragedi penting seperti keganasan atau provokasi Polis jika ada.
Selepas Perhimpunan :
  1. Pastikan anda bersurai secara perlahan-lahan dan dengan aman selepas diberikan arahan bersurai.
  2. Pastikan sahabat atau saudara dan anak-anak anda ada bersama selepas perhimpunan. Jika tiada, sila laporkan ___________________________________[KL LAC?]
  3. Jika ada sahabat atau saudara anda ditahan, jangan terus balik.
    Dapatkan maklumat ___________________________ berkaitan untuk bebaskan mereka.
  4. Jangan tinggalkan apa-apa sampah di tempat perhimpunan. Pastikan semuanya dibuang ke tong sampah atau dibawa balik dan dibuang di rumah.
  5. Berikan ucapan terima kasih kepada pasukan keselamatan yang bertugas jika perhimpunan berjalan lancar.
  6. Jangan lupa sebarkan gambar dan berita perhimpunan kepada semua sahabat-sahabat terutamanya yang tidak hadir.
Apa Anda Perlu Buat Jika Kumpulan Anti-Tuntutan Bersih 2.0 Buat Provokasi :
  1. Jangan pedulikan mereka, diam dan teruskan mengikut arahan “Field Commander” Unit Amal.
  2. Jangan menyahut provokasi mereka, jangan baling apa-apa, jangan tunjukkan isyarat apa-apa pada mereka. Anggap mereka tidak wujud pada hari berkenaan.
  3. Jangan hampiri mereka.
  4. Jika mereka bertindak agreasif secara tiba-tiba, tahan, jangan pukul tetapi serahkan mereka pada pihak Polis.
  5. Jangan lupa buat laporan Polis terhadap mereka jika anda dicederakan atau diganggu.
  6. Buat rakaman wajah-wajah mereka jika perlu.
Apa Anda Perlu Buat Jika Polis Buat Provokasi Dan Serbuan
  1. Jangan lari atau keluar dari perhimpunan melainkan dengan arahan pimpinan, anda akan mudah ditangkap jika keluar dahulu.
  2. Jangan bersendirian, pastikan anda bergandingan tangan dan berdiri rapat-rapat bila polis acah nak buat serbuan atau tembakan water canon.
  3. Duduk jika pimpinan arahkan.
  4. Basahkan tuala anda dengan sedikit air, dan tekup dimuka bila gas pemedih mata dilepaskan. Basuh muka anda dengan air dan makan sedikit garam jika terkena air “water canon” berwarna kuning.
  5. Jangan melawan atau cuba bertikam lidah dengan polis bila mereka provoke…hanya diamkan diri.
  6. Ambil gambar mereka jika sempat.
  7. Buat laporan Polis jika anda dikasari.
Apa Yang Anda Perlu Buat Jika Ditahan :
  1. Jangan banyak cakap dengan polis. Diamkan dan tenangkan diri.
  2. Minta nama dan nombor polis yang menahan anda dan tanya dia sebab anda ditahan, seksyen berapa yang digunakan.
  3. Berikan maklumat asas sahaja jika diminta seperti nama, no kad pengenalan, alamat rumah (berikan ikut alamat dalam IC sahaja).
  4. Jika mereka tanya soal pekerjaan, jawap yang ringkas sahaja. Jangan bagi maklumat yang lengkap.
  5. Bagi pelajar, jika mereka tanya anda masih belajar atau tidak, anda hanya perlu jawab “Masih tengah cari kerja” atau berikan jawapan lain yang sesuai. Elakkan mengaku sebagai student. Biar mereka siasat sendiri jika mereka perlukan maklumat lanjut. Jangan jawab soalan yang tidak perlu.
  6. Bagi kakitangan Kerajaan jika mereka tanya tempat kerja anda, jawab “Saya kerja swasta atau kerja sendiri”. Biar mereka siasat sendiri jika mereka perlukan maklumat lanjut. Jangan jawab soalan yang tidak perlu.
  7. Minta berjumpa dengan peguam sebelum beri apa-apa keterangan. Peguam akan menunggu diluar balai jika anda ditahan.
  8. Kalau boleh jangan beri terlalu banyak keterangan, anda hanya perlu jawab “saya akan bagi keterangan di Mahkamah sahaja”. Ingat! Apa yang anda cakap di Balai Polis boleh dijadikan bahan bukti di Mahkamah. Anda berhak untuk tidak memberikan sebarang keterangan kepada Polis melainkan di Mahkamah.
  9. Semasa ditahan, jangan pedulikan provokasi polis atau jangan mudah cair bila mereka berlembut.
  10. Pastikan anda ingat semua yang berlaku, termasuklah pegawai polis yang tahan dan soal siasat anda.
  11. Jangan terlalu risau kerana, di luar balai telah disediakan orang-orang yang akan jamin dan bela anda.
Apa Yang Anda Buat Selepas Dibebaskan :
  1. Pastikan semua barang-barang anda dikembalikan oleh Polis.
  2. Buat pemeriksaan kesihatan jika ada kecederaan.
  3. Buat laporan Polis jika anda dikasari semasa perhimpunan atau semasa ditahan.
  4. Ceritakan  dan rakamkan pada peguam dan media jika anda dianiaya polis.
  5. Jangan lupa catatkan semua yang anda ingat bila balik ke rumah untuk memudahkan anda mengingatinya bila dibawa ke Mahkamah kelak.
  6. Pastikan anda ingat dan ambil nombor perhubungan orang yang jamin anda dan juga peguam yang terlibat.
  7. Serahkan pada peguam segala maklumat dan gambar yang anda ada tentang himpunan bagi memudahkan pembelaan.
  8. Jangan lupa solat sunnat syukur selepas dibebaskan dan kembalilah bertemu dengan sahabat-sahabat seperjuangan.
  9. Jangan menyepi dari perjuangan selepas melalui pengalaman ditangkap kerana itu secara semulajadi akan menyebabkan motivasi anda akan menjadi lemah dan anda akan rasa keseorangan.
  10. Teruskan perjuangan bersama sahabat-sahabat lain.
  11. Sesungguhnya anda akan rasa lebih hebat dan berani lagi selepas ditangkap kerana tidak semua orang berpeluang merasai apa yang anda lalui ketika ditahan.
Tunggu! Perhatian… :
  1. Pihak kami tidak akan bertanggungjawab terhadap sebarang kesalahan atau pelanggaran undang-undang yang tidak ada kena mengena dengan perhimpunan ini.
  2. Pihak kami tidak akan bertanggungjawab terhadap sebarang provokasi atau tindakan ganas yang dilakukan oleh mana-mana pihak secara berkumpulan atau individu.
  3. Pihak kami tidak akan bertanggungjawab terhadap sebarang kecederaan yang disebabkan oleh kecuaian atau tindakan diluarkan arahan penganjur.
  4. Pihak kami tidak akan bertanggungjawab ke atas sebarang penangkapan yang dibuat kerana pergaduhan atau aktiviti agreasif yang tiada kaitan dengan arahan himpunan ini.

Harapan Kita Semua :
Secara keseluruhannya, kita berharap Perhimpunan ini dapat berjalan erjay tanpa adanya sebarang masalah atau tangkapan.
Kita berharap agar dengan sedikit usaha dan kehadiran kita ini akan dapat memberikan kesedaran kepada pihak SPR dan kerajaan persekutuan mempergunakan kuasa yang ada untuk memperbaiki kelemahan erjay perundangan dan erjaya implementasi erjay kita.
Ingat, Himpunan Bersih erjaya pada  10 November 2007 kerana kesungguhan rakyat. Maka, kini adalah masa untuk kita berjuang bersama untuk mereformasikan pilihan raya, mengkukuhkan berbadanan institusi dan hentikan korupsi.
Pastikan anda mengikuti arahan-arahan yang diberikan. Sebarang masalah anda boleh rujuk kepada “Field Commander”  atau Unit Amal yang bertugas pada perhimpunan ini. Ingatlah, peristiwa ini adalah peluang untuk anda sekali seumur hidup dan ianya akan kekal menjadi sejarah yang akan menjadi sebutan kepada anak cucu kita. Jangan lepaskan peluang untuk menjadi sebahagian dari sejarah ini.

Notes courtesy of: AIMAN ATHIRAH AL JUNDI

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Low Weiyan & BERSIH: Jom Turun Padang

Supporting Bersih 2.0: It’s personal
bt Hafidz Baharom

JUNE 21 — 2008 was the first time I voted, and this was in the state of Selangor, in its capital city of Shah Alam. At the time, I was given the choice, in terms of Parliament members, of either voting for a person the same age as John McCain who had been given a “safe” seat, or vote for a person whose brother in Johore is as honest and true to his conscience in voting.

Of course, one point against the latter was that he was from PAS. However, when you have an 80-year-old aunt from Wangsa Maju suddenly calling you to vote for Umno, you know something’s up, right?

For those of you who have been reading this column for some time now, you would have noticed that I never support illegal gatherings, especially a mass protest in the streets of Kuala Lumpur. In fact, I do believe I got some heat a while back for this stance, particularly from people stating the importance of the freedom of speech and how it was the police’s fault that there were massive traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur.

This year, I will be taking part in Bersih 2.0’s march in Kuala Lumpur. And for me, the reasons are somewhat personal.

First and foremost, it’s because the area of Shah Alam, where I live, has been besieged and taken over people the likes I have never before been seen in my 28 years of existence, of which 24 were spent in this town eg. people carrying cow heads.

There has never been people stomping on the picture of an elected official in the area of the State Mosque, and there sure as hell weren’t teenagers being shot execution style by the police in Glenmarie or while fleeing to the safety of the homes.

In fact, there hadn’t been any incidents of people falling out of government offices leaving behind a family either.

And the saddest part of all this is the fact that the police and their counterparts, supposed maintainers of civil order, are the ones who have in fact done nothing. That isn’t bias. That is just injustice of the most disgusting kind.

Bersih will be a march for electoral reform, there will be no question about that. I will be joining the march for electoral reform because I believe this is the only way that I can voice my displeasure towards a government and their police force which have clearly proven their inconsistencies politically, financially and even on a social justice level.

As we have seen, the government, particularly Umno, is indeed scared of what may happen. And the reason behind this is simple. They were the ones protesting in the 40s.

They are now afraid and have gotten too comfortable in their seats of power that they have forgotten what it is to fear the power of the people, a similar notion brought to life during the Hartal and protests in the 1940s, which led to the banning of communism and socialism at the time.

And we can see this fear reflected not only in the mainstream media, but also through the actions of their cronies, the so-called independent coalition.

Frankly, Ibrahim Ali is as independent as an Aedes mosquito spreading dengue. He’s gone after gays, and when that didn’t pan out, he went after every non-Malay in this nation, even publishing that disgusting flyer of Ambiga, highlighting her as a “Hindu woman” who is a threat to public harmony.

The government can threaten all they want. The police can threaten all they want. The not-so-independent coalition can threaten all they want. My stance is simple; if they had want this protest under control, they could have simply give a permit and monitor it.

Since the police and the government through the Home Minister have refused to do so, then I guess the only way to face them is head on with headlights and horns blaring.

So as I’ve said, this time it’s personal. I will be marching alongside Bersih members from NGOs and political parties but moreover, I will be marching with other Malaysians who are just sick of the way this government is running this country and truly do want the electoral process to be reformed.

So if you see a fat gay guy wearing pink and brandishing a giant yellow golf umbrella, just know that’s no plainclothes policeman.

They wouldn’t be caught dead wearing pink.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Welfare state will bankrupt Malaysia - my response

Dr Mahathir statement that a full welfare state will bankrupt Malaysia should not go unchallenged. Why? Because a welfare state need not necessarily means giving money to the people. It can just be that the actions and policies of the state are always done with the welfare of the public in mind, opposite of the UMNO/BN so called welfare state where the welfare of the elites and cronies come first before the public. That is what is bankrupting the nation and should stop.

CIJ supports Bersih 2.0’s call for peaceful assembly

*Media statement (17 June 2011)*

*CIJ supports Bersih 2.0’s call for peaceful assembly*

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia expresses its support
for Bersih 2.0’s call for a peaceful assembly on 9 July 2011 to highlight
the need for free and fair elections.

CIJ is also concerned that various parties, including the police and
Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia, have condemned this peaceful assembly and
asked for it to be called off. CIJ is particularly concerned that Home
Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has raised the possibility of detentions
without trial under the Internal Security Act arising out of this assembly.

CIJ would like to remind the authorities that the right to peacefully
assemble is a guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
Furthermore, the need to apply for a police permit for peaceful assemblies
goes beyond the permitted restrictions under Article 10. CIJ draws attention
to the Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s repeated recommendations that the
requirement for police permits for peaceful assemblies be repealed and that
the police actively cooperate with demonstrators.

CIJ also would like to state that “causing traffic jams” is not a legitimate
reason to prevent peaceful assemblies. Such assemblies are a constitutional
right and the authorities should be taking steps to actively protect this
right and educate the public about the importance of this fundamental right.

If the government and the authorities are truly serious about preventing
“chaos” and maintaining public order, it should cooperate with Bersih 2.0,
instead of taking steps to hinder the gathering.

Properly cordoned-off roads, traffic marshals and police escorts along the
demonstration route will help to ensure a smooth demonstration and maintain
order. Setting up unnecessary road blocks across Petaling Jaya and Kuala
Lumpur, calling in hundreds of anti-riot police and busing in reinforcement
from outside Klang Valley, firing tear gas and water cannons and making
hundreds of arrests, as has been done in the past, only contributes to the
chaos that the authorities are purportedly keen on avoiding.

Bersih 2.0 has pledged to hold a peaceful, responsible gathering and has
openly stated their wish to cooperate with the police. This offer should be
actively taken up by the police to ensure the gathering remains peaceful and

CIJ supports Bersih 2.0’s call for free and fair elections, especially the
call for free and fair access to media during elections. It is apparent in
CIJ's ongoing media monitoring exercise that most of the mainstream print
media are heavily biased towards the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders are often criticised without being given the right of
reply. This violates journalism ethics and must be corrected before the next
general election. All political parties should be given equal access to the
media and be allowed to advertise in all media without discrimination and
censorship, as demanded by Bersih 2.0.

CIJ also supports Bersih 2.0’s demands that proportionate airtime be
allocated on RTM and Bernama for all contesting parties, since these are
publicly funded media agencies.

For more information, please contact: Masjaliza Hamzah, CIJ Executive
Officer, 03-4023 0772

Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia
Web: cijmalaysia. org
Tel: +603-4023 0772
Twitter: CIJ_Malaysia
Facebook: Centre for Independent Journalism
Blogs: http://worldpressfr eedomday. blogspot. com/;
http://right2info. wordpress. com/

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

If the law is wrong, change it

Any sensible person will say that Najib commited bribery (election offence) in his infamous Sibu by election: You help me I help you offer RM5million (from memory) to help solve Rejang Park's flood problems.

However, right or wrong, a previous court judgement had ruled such ploys were not election offence because they were not offered by the candidate. However, at the very least, Najib should be charged for bribery if an election offence cannot stick.

Alternatively, wrong laws should be corrected so that such chicaneries do not occur

Comments: Yen Yen to face Cabinet over Facebook debacle

It has been reported that Yen Yen will have to face the Cabinet over the RM1.8 million for Facebook which is free, so what can we say about this.

Well we will have to see what are the questions raised in Cabinet and what Yen Yen's replies are plus also whether what had transpired in the Cabinet will be made public.

In addition, it is to be noted that this involve a relatively "small sum" (the operative word is relative) as compared with much bigger cases reported but nothing done. It could be that Yen Yen is dispensible as a small fry so as to protect bigger sharks.

Update: , Rasah MP Anthony Loke expressed his disbelief at Ng's clarification yesterday.

“She said that a portion of the money went to software, hardware and server. I don't know since when you need software, hardware and a server to set up a Facebook page."

Like Facebook Curi-Curi Malaysia to show display of misuse of public fund

Folks, here is an inexpensive way to show your displeasure over the still ongoing misuse of public fund in blowing RM1.8 million (RM1,800,000 for impact) over some Facebook applications. Go to Curi-Curi Wang Malaysia Facebook wall and register your like and thus prove that one can more cost-effectively run a Facebook campaign.

Najib Razak of Razakstan the hypocrite

Dean Johns is at it again coining new terms. In this case, he invented the term Razakstan. Razak as in Najib Razak and stan as in Pakistan and Afganistan.

Wow and do you know he flew 250 of his closest relatives and cronies to Kazakhstan one would assume at great expenses, and there is is cutting subsidies left and right while still free spending like there is no tomorrow.

Read how Dean Johns rips into the hypocrisy of Razak below in Malaysiakini: Lies rule in Razakstan:

Lies rule in Razakstan

Dean Johns
Jun 15, 11

10 friends can read this story for free

As long as Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still breathing, Najib Abdul Razak can't be accused of being the world's most pathological liar. But that doesn't stop him striving for the number one spot.

NONEPosing as an enlightened leader of a progressive Malaysia and preaching reform, inclusiveness, integrity and good governance around the world Najib (left) presides over a corrupt, repressive and outright criminal Razakstan of his own.

He was at it again last week, jetting off to Kazakhstan with 250 of his closest relatives and cronies to treat the World Islamic Economic Forum to a dose of his sanctimonious, hypocritical drivel.

"Good governance should come naturally for Muslim nations," he declared, going on to claim that Muslim nations have long known that "justice, equity, probity and prosperity for all, including women," as advocated by the fourth caliph, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, "are not merely the preserve of Western democracies."

"Governing as Ali ordered with justice, equity and probity," he continued, was "not about falling in line with Western attitudes, but acting in line with Quranic teachings."

Unfortunately, however, Quranic teachings appear to have little to no effect on the government of any Muslim-majority nation on the planet, very much including Najib's own.

In fact, for all the imperfections of the Western democracies, they are the only source of hope, inspiration and protection for people denied justice, equity and probity by Quran-defying governments from the Middle East to Africa and Asia. Russia couldn't care less, and China is always on the side of its fellow suppressors of the people.

Razakstan-style regimes wreak havoc

So it's the Western democracies that are spending untold quantities of blood, sweat, tears and treasure on protecting the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya from the malevolence of their Muslim governments. And it's Western democracies that are exerting political, financial and legal pressure to persuade the rulers of Syria, Iran, Pakistan and dozens of other Razakstan-style regimes to stop robbing and killing their citizens.

NONEIn his speech to the gathering in Kazakhstan, Najib tried to excuse the appalling state of Muslim governments, with the disclaimer that "in a world characterised by unbridled political influence, unequal competition and opportunities, strong family ties, unlimited greed, inadequate rules and regulations and poor enforcement, good governance is easier said than done."

Then, ignoring the fact that the aforesaid "unbridled political influence, unequal competition and opportunities, strong family ties, unlimited greed, inadequate rules and regulations and poor enforcement" all-too-accurately describes his own Umno/BN regime, he went on to present Malaysia as a paragon of progress.

"Numerous initiatives and measures to inculcate good values and ethical conduct, integrity and efforts to combat corruption in all sectors of society have been introduced," he lied, given that all of these so-called 'measures' are nothing but cosmetic.

Najib then added insult to perjury by claiming that "in order to provide a healthy mechanism of checks and balances, the government also welcomed comments and views from within its own institutions as well as from religious organisations, minority groups, the media and business."

This glowing portrait of Malaysia as an oasis of reform in a desert of Muslim-government turpitude is simply too preposterous for words, considering that Najib has absolutely no intention to reform what it actually his own Razakstan.

Reality far from expectations

Far from aspiring to the "good values, ethical conduct and integrity" that Najib claims, his regime conceals its financial and other crimes against the Malaysian people with an Official Secrets Act as draconian as any on earth.

Far from combating corruption, the Najib regime employs the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as its shock-troops, security guards and assassins.

Far from welcoming sundry comments and views from all, it employs the nation's media as its paid propagandists and suppresses free speech by means of its appalling Printing, Presses and Publications Act.

And far from promoting religious and racial unity, as Najib's fake "1Malaysia" slogan pretends to proclaim, the government does its damndest to foment discord through the regime-owned gutter 'newspaper' Utusan Malaysia and through race-hate pressure groups like Perkasa (or, as I prefer to think of it, Pukeasa).

NONEDespite the dire reality of his Razakstan regime, however, Najib had the gall to issue a rallying call to his partners-in-crime at the Kazakhstan conference to join him on "a journey that does not end until good governance truly becomes the mainstream value of all Muslim nations."

And no sooner had he returned from his Kazakhstan jaunt to be in full cry again during the opening of the Wasatiyyah Convention at the First Millennium of Islam in the Archipelago in Putridjaya, calling on Muslims "to set their house in order first before they can become the guiding light for mankind, like their forefathers."

"Why is it that corruption, maladministration, mismanagement and inefficiency are often associated with the administration of an Islamic state when we know that Islamic teachings, as contained in the Quran and the sunnah of the Prophet, can serve as guidance?" he asked.

Precisely the question I've been asking myself, and in fact the entire civilised world has been asking of rulers of Razakstan-style regimes for what seems like forever.

Cruel intentions made clear

Not that Muslim nations are by any means on their own in the gruesome-government department. Buddhist Burma, the Catholic Philippines and Kim-worshipping North Korea, to name just a few, are all as bad if not worse than their Islamic counterparts.

In fact religion or the lack thereof has nothing to do with government criminality - a point Najib is demonstrating by his willingness to extend an ecumenical welcome to two of the world's arch-criminals for the Langkawi International Dialogue on June 19 to 21.

The Muslim president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, has the dubious distinction of being the first serving head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, and is now a fugitive from justice.

And Robert Mugabe, the non-Muslim dictator of Zimbabwe, an old crony of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir, is one of the most reviled figures on the international stage, having spent decades destroying his nation's economy and civil institutions.

Consorting with such scum provides the ultimate example of Najib's fraudulent attempts to be perceived as a reformer, let alone a 'religious' one, and once and for all demonstrates the reality of his intention to keep running - and ruining - Malaysia like some kind of Umno/BN Razakstan.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

UMNO-BN government still misusing public fund?

It was reported in Malaysiakini: RM1.8mil ... for a Facebook page? that RM1,800,000 (zero’s added for impact) was spent on creating Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry Facebook pages when Facebook is free to use. Even Khairy Jamaludin agreed it was too much. So looks like despite Malaysia’s population being very unhappy on how the UMNO/BN government using public funds, they are still happily wasting it on simple or unnecessary projects:

RM1.8mil ... for a Facebook page?

Joseph Sipalan
Jun 14, 11

10 friends can read this story for free

The Tourism Ministry came under fire again today, as MPs questioned why it had spent RM1.8 million to start and maintain its Facebook page - yet another on the list of controversial projects.
NONEAnthony Loke (DAP-Rasah) slammed the decision to use so much money when the social networking site can be used free of charge.
“On my last check, there are 20,308 fans on the ministry's Facebook page. Comparably, the 'Visit Penang' Facebook page, for which the Penang government did not spend a sen, got over 100,000 fans. Why spend RM1.8 million?” he asked during Question Time.
Loke said it is hard to believe that not one person in the ministry has knowledge of how to maintain or update a Facebook account.
He stressed that the Tourism Ministry could have easily sought advice from various parties, including BN and opposition MPs, many of whom are ardent users of social networking sites.
NONE“You don't even have to ask members on this side (opposition). There are those among the backbenchers, such as Kota Belud and Rembau... they can come in as consultants,” he said, referring to Umno MPs Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Khairy Jamaluddin, who are both heavy Twitter users.
Deputy Tourism Minister James Dawos Mamit said the budget covers the cost of hosting various activities on the Facebook page, including six interactive Flash applications, development and maintenance work and advertising, which was tendered out to a company, Impact Creations Sdn Bhd, on a three-year contract from 2011-2013.

James added that it cost the ministry nearly RM300,000 to develop each of the six applications found on their Facebook page.
'It looks like a waste of money'
Khairy, in a supplementary question, agreed with Loke that the RM1.8 million budget “looks like a waste” of funds, stressing that the low interest in the ministry's Facebook page is not reflective of the expenditure.
NONEHe acknowledged that it would take money to maintain the page and its various activities, but insisted that by engaging a company to focus on promotional work, there should already be big returns.
“Currently there are 2,013 'likes', and the page design is nothing extraordinary. It's only using the same template. We don't even have to look at the Penang tourism page; some of the MPs here are even more popular,” he said, while asking how the ministry will measure the success of its campaign.
James pointed out that Impact Creations was engaged to run an advertising campaign to promote domestic tourism, particularly among Generation Y Malaysians who are generally more tech-savvy.
He said the success of the ministry's social networking campaign, including advertising, will be measured based on the national return of investment in terms of an increase in domestic tourists.

Update: Malaysia Insider reported Yen Yen as saying “The Facebook pages do not cost a single sen. This is a social media advertising, promotions and branding campaign and also data collection,”.

However, her contention that the Facebook pages were free appeared to contradict her ministry’s detailed account of the cost for each page

Update 2: From Malaysian Insider: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that Cabinet would seek an explanation from Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen over the tourism ministry’s RM1.8 million expenditure to develop six Facebook pages.

Pakatan Rakyat Convention - 10 resolutions

Pakatan Rakyat Convention - 10 resolutions

You won't get this in the newspapers

The Pakatan Rakyat convention in Penang sent an unmistakable and chilling signal to arch rivals - Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Umno-BN coalition. Despite a roller coaster journey since sweeping to power in the 2008 general election, Pakatan has not been diminished by the enmity and malice unleashed by its political opponents, but has been able to mature and grow stronger in the process.

Indeed, the star-studded conference hall was packed with the likes of PAS president Hadi Awang, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, PKR president Wan Azizah, Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh.

Pakatan delegates and other members of the public who wanted to meet their 'reformasi' heroes were spoiled for choice. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also Penang Chief Minister, played host to the 2,000-strong
crowd at the convention.

Racial policies rejected, preliminary 10-point manifesto unveiled.

In a rousing opening address, Guan Eng warned Prime Minister Najib Razak's Umno party not to 'hijack' the federal constitution and misinterpret the controversial Article 153 to divide the ethnic groups in the country.

"Somehow Umno always fails to mention that Article 153 also states that the legitimate interests of other communities must also be protected, Guan Eng said.

Guan Eng also unveiled a ten-point document to be signed by all the top Pakatan leaders and which is set to become the coalition's preliminary manifesto in the coming general election. The resolutions o utline in detail the changes Pakatan will introduce within the first 100 days of its taking over Putrajaya if it wins the next general election expected to be held early next year.

The resolutions are:

1. A restructure of institutions including the Elections Commission (EC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Royal Malaysian Police. During a debate on the policy framework, DAP's Anthony Loke requested PR bring the MACC under the purview of Parliament.

2. A repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA)

3. Instruct Khazanah Berhad, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and other government bodies to take over highway assets from the concessionaires in order to abolish the toll system.

4. A restructure of the country's subsidies, to lessen subsidies given to the private sector (such as the RM19 billion in gas subsidies given to independent power producers) and transferring these to subsidies for the
man on the street.

5. Acknowledging the role and sacrifices of civil servants by studying the current pay schemes and increasing the incentives for teachers by RM500 a month

6. Transferring private water concessions to the government

7. Offering free wireless Internet access to those in urban and semi-urban

8. Cancelling Felda Plantations and opening up its farms to second- and third generation Felda settlers.

9. Increasing oil royalty payments to Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan to 20 per cent from 5 per cent currently.

10. Formation of a Royal Commission to solve the problem of illegal immigrants and citizenship issues in Sabah and Sarawak .

Sunday, June 12, 2011

UMNO/BN still wasting public’s money?

UMNO/BN Complex is still wasting public’s money if the report by Malaysiakini: Rais blew half year’s budget in 1 day is true:

Artiste Day: 'Rais blew half year's budget in 1 day'

Jun 12, 11 3:30pm

10 friends can read this story for free

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has slammed minister Rais Yatim for splurging RM100 million, or half the annual budget for creative projects, on a poorly attended one-day arts event that local artists reportedly dubbed an "instant noodle project".
rais yatim pc 020709 01Lim said a fraction of that amount, or RM2 million, would have gone a long way in funding the internationally-rated month-long George Town Heritage Festival in Penang.
“Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim (right) must explain the rationale of wasting RM100 million for the 2011 Artistes Day on May 29 that received a lukewarm response from art activists.
“DAP is shocked by a Bernama reportthat RM100 million was allocated for the event that was criticised by art activists,” said Lim in a statement today.
According to Bernama, Najib had in his 2011 budget speech allocated RM200 million for “purchase of creative products, such as high-quality locally-produced films, dramas and documentaries”.
NONELim (left) asked if the Bernama report was accurate in citing the massive amount spent on the allegedly mediocre event.
“DAP suspects that the Bernama report is false and Rais should explain the actual amount spent.
“It is difficult to believe that the government can be so reckless as to allocate RM100 million for the 2011 Artistes Day event when 27 million ordinary Malaysians are hurting from rising prices caused by BN's subsidy cuts,” said Lim.

'Hey big spender...'

“If Rais Yatim is sincere about promoting arts, then he need only allocate RM2 million not for a one-day event like Artistes Day but a month-long event in the George Town Heritage Fest beginning in July by international and local artists,” the DAP secretary-general and Bagan MP continued.
penang world heritage town 140708 01After all, he said, the event was significant internationally and was held to commemorate the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site status that was granted on July 7, 2008.
Artiste Day was initiated in 2005 and set on May 25 in memory of local film legend P Ramlee.
Arts activists reportedly snubbed the event as an "instant noodle project".
A perplexed Rais was reported in Star on Jun 1 scratching his head why the country's “artistes” had not shown support for the event saying they had to step up to “steer” the arts industry.
Star reported the minister advising artists to use up “the remainder of the Creative Industry Funds provided under the 2011 Budget by the end of this year”.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Conberra meets Putridjaya. What?

Dean Johns is a master at coining words so what impression is he hoping to make by coining the words Conberra and Putridjaya?

Con = An instance of deceiving or tricking someone

berra is taken from Canberra, the administrative capital city of Australia.

Taken together so Conberra indicates that Australia is seeking to con the rest of the world that their exchange of refugees between Australia and Malaysia deal is totally above board.

How about Putridjaya then? Putridjaya is taken from Putrajaya, administrative capital of Malaysia.

Putrid = Of or characteristic of rotting matter, so Putridjaya indicates the level of decay of Malaysia.

Read his take on the refugee deal between Australia and Malaysia below taken from Malaysiakini: Conberra meets Putridjaya:

Conberra meets Putridjaya

Dean Johns
Jun 8, 11

10 friends can read this story for free

As an Australian, I would like to believe that my Canberra government is largely honest and honourable in its dealings with the world, not some Conberra in league with the likes of the gang in Malaysia's Putridjaya.
money ringgit malaysia wang duit currencySo I'm far from delighted that Securency, a producer of plastic banknotes half-owned by the Reserve Bank of Australia, years ago allegedly bribed public officials in Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria as well as Malaysia, and so far nobody has been charged.
The company was awarded government contracts for producing banknotes for Malaysia in 1998 and 2004 through the agency of 'businessperson' Abdul Kayum Syed Ahmad, and is now revealed by the Melbourne Age newspaper to have since approached Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's brother, Haris Onn Hussein, to lobby on its behalf.
There is no suggestion whatever that this latter relationship is corrupt. But the fact remains that corporations and countries, just like people, are judged by the company they keep.

And Haris is not only closely related to leading figures in the crooked Umno/BN regime, but also a major shareholder in companies that have been granted lucrative government contracts for such sure-fire money-spinners as printing cigarette and alcohol labels and operating toll highways.
NONEWhen queried about his brother's involvement with Securency, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein(right) reportedly replied: “Firstly, I don't even know what my brother is doing and secondly, I don't think an Australian (company) would do that.”
I wish I could share Hishammuddin's presumptive faith in the probity of Australian companies. During the Howard administration, the Australian Wheat Board was caught paying massive bribes in the notorious Iraq 'oil-for food' scandal, and as far as I'm aware none of the management then have ever been charged with any criminal offences.
But what concerns me personally right now about Australian involvement with the Umno/BN government is not so much financially corrupt as morally and ethically rotten: the proposed trade in asylum seekers, boat people, refugees or whatever else they may be called.
This is not only a breach of human rights and a contravention of refugee charters to which Australia is a signatory, but a flagrant breach of one of the Labor Party's principal - and supposedly principled - election promises.
Decrying the Howard government's 'Pacific solution' with its offshore detention centres as inhumane, the Rudd Labor government had vowed to shut these down and also to ensure that no children would remain in detention.
However, first under Kevin Rudd and now Julia Gillard it has utterly failed to free most detained children into community care, and has kept so many adults locked up for so long that they've perfectly justifiably taken to rioting, self-harm and suicide.
Find compassionate solution
But now the Australian government has gone even further overboard in its failure to keep its promises by threatening to export these traumatised people to Umno/BN's Malaysia, which can't see its way to extending human rights and civil liberties to its own citizens, let alone to refugees.
Australia's Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, claimed that exporting these unfortunates to Malaysia will “send a message” to people-smugglers to stop plying their disgraceful trade to Australia.
But as far as I'm concerned Bowen would be far better advised to send his message directly to governments like those of Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries whose officials corruptly condone, encourage or even support the activities of these traffickers in human misery.
As a prosperoazlanus and spacious nation largely inhabited by immigrants and refugees or their descendants, and with such a sorry record of displacing and decimating its indigenous people to atone for, Australia should by rights be a caring and inclusive society.
Instead of going begging to poorer, smaller countries like East Timor to take the boat people, as it first did, or paying Putridjaya to take them in a trade-off for Malaysia's unwanted refugees, the Gillard government should come up with its own constructive and compassionate solution to the situation.
Or, better yet, as long as it's so determined to punish boat people for their plight, perhaps it could extort money from them like its pals in Putridjaya are proposing to do with the 'amnesty' they're currently offering Malaysia's estimated two million illegal immigrants.
Here's Umno/BN's price: RM400 per person for 'legalisation' plus RM2,000-3,000 for check-ups, visas and 'other things', plus another RM4,000 or so for a work permit.
At around RM7,000 per head, this plan, code-named '6P' forpendaftaran (legalisation), pemutihan (registration), pengampunan(amnesty), permantuan (supervision), penguatkuasan(enforcement) and pengusiran (deportation), certainly promises to be 'P' for 'profitable' for Umno/BN and its crooked immigration 'agents'.
It's like the slave-trade all over again, only this time without the trouble and expense of sourcing and importing the human merchandise, just exporting those who can't or won't pay up.
barisan nasional bn 181110And as long as the Umno/BN keeps denying both Malaysian and imported workers the protection of a minimum wage, the regime's cronies in the construction and plantation sectors will continue to reap the benefits of sweated labour. Plus the rest of the populace will still enjoy dirt-cheap teh tarik and nasi lemak, not to mention cut-price household help.
For my part, all I want is an Australian government with the guts to stand up for what's right. Not some bunch of wimps that goes to water every time big business or big mining objects to a tax, then picks on the poor and helpless by trading people in boats for the bigot vote.
And most of all I want a government in Canberra that's not prepared to turn it into Conberra by doing dodgy deals with the likes of the current putrid regime in Putrajaya.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he mentors creative writing groups. Already published in Kuala Lumpur is a third book of his columns for Malaysiakini, following earlier collections 'Mad about Malaysia' and 'Even Madder about Malaysia'.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Najib official visit to Kazakhstan coincides with daughter wedding

Is Najib abusing his position as Prime Minister when he timed his official visit to Kazakhstan to coincide with his daughter’s (Nooryana Najwa Naji) wedding to Daniyar Nazarbayev, son of a top Kazakhstan official. This was revealed by Malaysiakini: MP: Using public funds for wedding trip morally wrong.

Apparently this is not the first time. Najib also timed an official visit to the US his daughter Nooryana’s  graduation from Georgetown University in Washington on May 21

MP: Using public funds for wedding trip morally wrong

Hazlan Zakaria
Jun 7, 11

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While not problematic procedurally, the use of public funds to pay for Prime Minister Najib Razak and his official entourage to Kazakhstan for Najib's daughter's wedding is morally wrong, Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad says.
"It may no problem procedurally, if your boss (the PM) approves something no one is going to question.
"But it is morally wrong to use public funds to travel to your daughter's wedding. Najib has no class!" Dzulkefly told Malaysiakini.
NONERegardless of whatever reason Najib may concoct to justify coinciding his visit to Kazakhstan with his daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib's wedding, the PAS MP says the fact remains that the premier is misusing his station for personal reasons.
The parliamentarian clarified that it was not wrong for Najib to go to Kazakhstan for his daughter's wedding, but Najib should take leave and go there on his own time and expense, and not by spending public funds.

The MP was responding to reports that Nooryana, 22, is set to marry Daniyar Nazarbayev, the son of a top Kazakhstan official, was the main reason for the date of the PM current visit to that country.
Daniyar apparently met and fell in love with Nooryana when she was a student at Georgetown University.
Some quarters have questioned the purpose of the trip and the PM's entourage, as to whether there is any real official reason - or just a manufactured reason for Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor to visit their soon-to-be in-laws.
Dzulkefly related the tale of Muslim leader Umar Abdul Aziz who had two candles by the side of his bed.

'Not the first time Najib has abused privileges'

If he were awakened at night for affairs of the people, he would light a candle paid for with state coffers. But if he was awakened by friends or family on a visit, he would use a candle he paid for himself.
NONE"This is the highest level of transparency in administration that we should emulate, not abuses unchecked, like we see with Najib," Dzulkefly said.
This is not the first time that Najib has abused the privileges accorded to him as the prime minister, he said.
Recalling another time when the premier, Rosmah and his entourage travelled at public expense, he said this was to the United States when his daughter Nooryana graduated from Georgetown University in Washington on May 21.
Such abuses, if unchecked, would lead to other civil servants, who are supposed to serve the public, using their station for personal gains instead, Dzulkefly warned.
"If the top guy pees while running, what do you expect? District police chiefs and other officials may soon use their staff and government resources for their own ends," the PAS leader said, and expressed his fears that more public funds may be spent come the wedding proper.