Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zaid Ibrahim Blasts Election Irregularities in Malaysia

Zaid Ibrahim Blasts Election Irregularities in Malaysia

Zaid Ibrahim Blasts Election Irregularities in Malaysia

Posted: 01 May 2010 11:09 AM PDT

The April 25 by-election, he says, was rife with election abuse

Zaid Ibrahim, the Malaysia opposition coalition standard-bearer who lost a by-election last Sunday to P Kamalanathan, a Malaysian Indian Congress spokesman, coalition, has issued a blistering statement charging the national ruling coalition with "blatant bribery starting from…party workers right up to the Prime Minister himself."

Zaid, a prominent Kuala Lumpur lawyer and onetime justice minister under former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who left the United Malays National Organisation to join the Parti Keadilan Rakyat headed by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, called on international observers to monitor future elections in the country. The opposition lost the race in the Hulu Selangor constituency northeast of Kuala Lumpur by 1,725 votes.

Other observers said both sides had used the power of government to attempt to influence the results. The Pakatan Rakyat coalition, composed of Parti Keadilan, the ethnic Chinese Democratic Action Party and the Islamic fundamentalist Parti Islam se-Malaysia, won control of the government in Selangor in the 2008 national election. Certainly in the past, UMNO has shown no hesitation at promising contracts to likely voters, used government-owned transport to move voters to the polls and taken many other steps to seek to ensure victory although vote-counting has largely remained clean and fair.

Kim Quek, a Pakatan Rakyat spokesman, charged in his own message that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak "made innumerable on-the-spot grants of cash and promises of goodies (many were conditional upon a Barisan Nasional win) that ran easily to hundreds of millions of ringgit during that compact campaign period. These included the construction of a university and several schools, an expressway interchange and many other infrastructures, several low-cost housing projects, upgrading of mosques and temples, grants to community guilds and associations, cash payments to individuals etc."

In particular, Quek wrote, Najib himself handed RM5 million (US$1.56 million) in cash to 10 100 rural dwellers being resettled by Malaysia's Federal Land Development Authority. The settlers, Quek wrote, were among victims of a failed project committed to a private developer 15 years ago.

Zaid's loss was a setback for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.which has been suffering increasing attrition as party functionaries leave and return to the UMNO, from whence many of them had come before the 2008 election. Zaid was being seen as the logical successor to Anwar if the opposition leader goes to jail in what has become known as Sodomy II after a former aide charged him with sexual perversion.

Zaid charged that voters' names had been removed from electoral rolls, that others had been intimidated, bribed or given other inducements to influence their choice. He said his legal team would file an election petition against the poll, which took place in the Hulu Selangor constituency northeast of Kuala Lumpur. He said he would also sue the country's election commission.

"The conduct of free and fair elections is the constitutional duty of the Election Commission," Zaid wrote. "I maintain that they have violated that duty in the recent by-election. They have allowed intimidation, false information, and unfair and illegal electoral practices by the Barisan Nasional machinery without any attempt to stop them. In fact, it was obvious to me that the Election Commission was on the side of Barisan Nasional and wanting Barisan Nasional to win."

He said he also intends to file suit against the UMNO-controlled Utusan Malaysia newspaper for calling him a kaki botol or drunk. "I was never an alcoholic," he said. "Whatever I consumed was no more than whatever (former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad) and other UMNO leaders had consumed. The Election Commission should not have allowed for such a malicious and false campaign."

The opposition, he said, would launch a "Pakatan International Support group" in London in July to seek international support for free and fair elections in Malaysia. He invited overseas Malaysians to provide information to other countries and international organizations on what he described as election excesses in the country.

By-election Defeat for Malaysia Opposition

Posted: 01 May 2010 11:02 AM PDT

Najib's policies appear to be ratified by Malay voters.

Malaysia's opposition Pakatan Rakyat has been defeated in a northeastern Selangor by-election that had been billed as a referendum on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's economic and social policies.

Zaid Ibrahim, a one-time justice minister turned possible successor to the embattled Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, lost the seat to P Kalamanathan, a Malaysian Indian Congress functionary by a relatively healthy 1,725 votes.

The Hulu Selangor race appears to have been the hardest fought and perhaps most significant of the 10 by-elections since the opposition Pakatan Rakyat broke the national coalition's two-thirds hold on the Dewan Rakyat, or parliament in March 2008 national elections and it has raised speculation that Najib believes his strengthening coalition will be able to call national elections in 2011. Most of the previous by-elections took place in safe constituencies where the incumbent had either died or resigned. In Hulu Selangor, Zainal Abidin Ahmad, a Parti Keadilan Rakyat member of parliament, had died on March 25.

While Kalamanathan's 1,725 margin reversed the previous defeat, however, UMNO officials predicted a 6,000 vote margin, perhaps out of bravado. In previous elections, the Barisan pulled victory margins of as much as 10,000 in the constituency. But a win is a win and probably an indication of a rising trend.

Kalamanathan, who was personally selected by Najib against the wishes of MIC head S. Samy Vellu, won 24,997 votes against Zaid's 23,272. The result reduces the opposition's membership in the Dewan Rakyat to 76 against the Barisan Nasional's 138. It was the second straight by-election win for the Barisan.

Voting was heavy early in the Hulu Selangor constituency, a variegated district to the northeast of Kuala Lumpur, with an eventual turnout of 75.8 percent, election officials said. The contest for the seat, in which both sides have spent state funds heavily and often, and each accused the other of such offences as drinking beer and faking college credentials, was also viewed by analysts as a test of whether Najib has been able to rebuild the scandal-wracked Barisan and whether the Pakatan Rakyat's ability to rule the populous state it won in 2008 had found resonance with the voters. Najib appeared three times in the constituency to urge voters to return to the Barisan.

The central lesson of the race appears to have been the division of the electorate along ethnic lines, with the Chinese, who make up 26 percent of the electorate, going solidly for the opposition and Malays and Indians swinging back to the Barisan Nasional, the national ruling coalition. Zaid appeared to be leading initially as votes in the urban areas -- Chinese strongholds -- were counted first. However, as the ballots started to trickle in from rural Malay voters, the count swung back to Kalamanathan.

Najib, who came into the premiership a year ago dogged by scandal and with only a 44 percent approval rating, has now improved his numbers to 68 percent across the country. He has worked assiduously to heal the fractured racial divisions in Malaysia, especially with the Indian population, who make up about 8 percent of the electorate. His 1Malaysia campaign, as it is known, is aided by a US$23 million contract with US public relations giant APCO. The Chinese remain largely disaffected, turned off by factional political infighting and scandal in the Malaysian Chinese Association.

Najib has been aided by a recovering economy, with rising exports expected to push gross domestic product back to 4.5-5 percent in 2010. Some analysts express concern that employment is rising only marginally. However, his so-called New Economic Model, designed to replace the 40-year-old New Economic Policy of affirmative action for ethnic Malays, has stirred concern in the Malay community that they will be forced to give up subsidies and other privileges to the wealthier Chinese.

With Anwar caught in the coils of a long-drawn-out sexual abuse trial that has been nicknamed Sodomy II, Zaid, a highly respected lawyer who was appointed by former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a minister in the prime minister's office to attempt to clean out Malaysia's scandal-wracked judiciary, was perhaps the opposition's best hope to lead if Anwar is convicted. As an UMNO cabinet official, Zaid stirred the outrage of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad by saying the government should apologize for his firing of the Lord President of the Supreme Court, Tun Salleh Abbas, in 1988. After criticizing the arrests of three individuals - Democratic Action Party MP Teresa Kok, editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the Internal Security Act in September of 2008, Zaid was forced to resign and he left the party soon after.

Lim Kit Siang, the head of the DAP, sought to put the best face on the defeat, telling his supporters that the loss was narrower than expected and that Zaid will live to fight again another day. Nonetheless, the defeat still leaves the Pakatan Rakyat struggling to find a leader with the charisma to replace Anwar if he goes to jail in the long-drawn-out sexual abuse trial. Anwar spent six years in prison on similar charges after a 1998 trial that was universally condemned as concocted to drive him out of politics.

Away to PLKN (Day 36): Vain In Kitschen Boutique

Posted: 01 May 2010 09:57 AM PDT

Boy also can be vain. Really OMG.

Sometime on 17th March 2010, with Sherreen and Chien Chern.

DSC04147 by nicholaschan.
Sometime on 26th January 2010, with Chien Chern.

I love boutiques which allow people to take photos, very fun. Boutique always has good lighting. This one is Kitschen at Queensbay Mall.

Himpunan Bantah GST berjaya walaupun dihalang polis

Posted: 01 May 2010 09:39 AM PDT

Hari Buruh sekadar untuk berehat, tetapi bukan untuk pekerja menyuarakan pandangan mereka dengan bebas?

Himpunan Hari Pekerja bertemakan "Rakyat Bantah GST - Cukai yang miskinkan rakyat", anjuran Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) yang dijadualkan berlangsung di Dataran Merdeka, pada jam 11 pagi, terpaksa beralih tempat ke Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL-Selangor, berikutan penutupan kawasan tersebut oleh polis.

Pada jam 11 pagi, peserta yang dikerah terutamanya oleh JERIT dari seluruh pelusuk negara, telah berkumpul di depan bangunan Majlis Peguam Negara. Mereka bersedia untuk berarak ke arah Dataran Merdeka yang 400 meter jauh dari situ, untuk menyertai perhimpunan sambutan Hari Buruh, di samping menyuarakan bantahan mereka terhadap Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan (GST).

Bagaimanapun, mereka telah dihalang oleh polis, dan terpaksa untuk beralih ke Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL-Selangor mengikut Jalan Petaling. Sementara itu, sekumpulan peserta yang diketuai oleh ahli parlimen Sungai Siput, Jeyakumar Devaraj telah dihentikan di Jalan Duta, dan mereka terus melaungkan protes mereka di depan bangunan parlimen untuk satu jam.

Akhirnya, mereka berjaya menemui rakan seperjuangan mereka di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina KL-Selangor. Deklarasi 1 Mei 2010 ini dilafazkan bersama oleh kira-kira 500 orang peserta.

Enam ditangkap, dilepaskan kemudian

Perhimpunan ini gagal berlangsung di tempat sebagaimana yang dirancang, malah enam orang peserta ditangkap oleh polis kerana mengangkat kain rentang. Keenam-enam mereka telah dilepaskan oleh polis pada jam 1 tengah hari, tadi.

Salah seorang penyelaras perhimpunan ini, juga Setiausaha Agung Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), S. Arutchelvan berkata, ini kali pertamanya kegiatan Hari Buruh dihalang. Pihak penganjur telah memaklumkan aktiviti ini kepada polis, tetapi tidak memohon permit sama ada untuk perarakan mahupun perhimpunan.

"Buruh menyambut Hari Buruh, mengapa pula perlu memohon permit?" tanya Arutchelvan. Malah, aktivis sosial ini sempat untuk menyindir Ketua Polis Negara, yang baru-baru ini melatah berikutan kritikan umum terhadap kes remaja 15 tahun, Allahyarham Aminulrasyid Amzah ditembak mati oleh polis.

Lebih aman tanpa polis, sindir Arutchelvan

Musa Hassan sebelum ini berkata, "Jika anda tidak mahu polis menguatkuasakan undang-undang, cakap saja. Saya boleh arahkan anggota-anggota saya supaya jangan buat apa-apa termasuk memeriksa kenderaan atau menangkap Mat Rempit yang memandu tanpa lesen". Arutchelvan pula menyindir pada hari ini, "kalau beliau tidak menghantar polisnya, aktiviti kami lebih aman."

Rundingan antara penganjur dengan polis gagal apabila mereka tidak dibenarkan untuk berhimpun di Dataran Merdeka. Akhirnya, pihak penganjur terpaksa menggunakan pelan kedua untuk berarak ke Dewan Perhimpunan Cina sambil menyebarkan risalah di sepanjang jalan.

Kira-kira 400 orang berhimpun di lapangan letak kereta bangunan Dewan Perhimpunan Cina, meletakkan tandatangan mereka pada kain rentang. Mereka melafazakan deklarasi bersama apabila kumpulan yang diketuai Jeyakumar Devaraj sampai di situ.

Yang berikut adalah Deklarasi 1 Mei 2010:

Rakyat Bantah GST: Cukai Yang Memiskinkan Rakyat

Tahun 2010; Dunia dan negara masih belum keluar dari kemelut Krisis Ekonomi yang melanda kita tahun lepas. Ramai pekerja yang masih belum mendapat kerja, ditambah pula dengan masalah rumah dilelong, harga barangan naik dan melalui keadaan dimana, kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang.

Dalam keadaan ini, Kerajaan Malaysia hendak mengimplementasi Cukai GST iaitu Cukai Barangan dan Perkhidmatan. Dalam keadaan 80% rakyat Malaysia tidak bayar cukai sebab pendapatan mereka kurang dari RM 3000, kerajaan Malaysia hendak memaksa semua rakyat tidak kira tua, muda, kurang upaya, pelajar, miskin, kaya, semua orang untuk membayar cukai.

Alasannya, defisit kerajaan perlu dikurangkan dan pendapatan negara harus ditingkatkan. Namun, persoalannya adakah rakyat punca defisit kerajaan? Pastinya tidak. Punca defisit kewangan kerajaan ialah korupsi, penyalahgunaan kuasa, projek yang tidak bermaanfaat, bail out, politik wang dan pembaziran. Semua ini bukan dilakukan oleh rakyat biasa, tetapi pemimpin kerajaan dan kroni-kroni mereka. Maka kenapa pula rakyat perlu menanggung akibatnya? Bukankah kerajaan adalah untuk rakyat dan bukannya sebalik?

Mengikut laporan Model Ekonomi Baru, Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang berpendapatan rendah di mana 80% rakyat mendapat pendapatan RM 3000 dan 40% daripada mereka mendapat pendapatan RM 1500 sahaja sebulan. Dalam laporan ini juga dikatakan jurang di antara kaya dan miskin di Malaysia semakin melebar. Mengikut laporan UNDP 1997 dan Laporan United Nations Human Development 2004, Malaysia mempunyai jurang pendapatan yang tertinggi di Asia Tenggara, lebih daripada Filipina, Thailand, Singapura, Vietnam dan Indonesia. Laporan ini mengatakan, 10% orang kaya di Malaysia mengawal 38.4% kekayaan negara manakala 10% yang termiskin hanya menikmati 1.7% kekayaan negara.

Dalam keadaan ini, adakah patut Cukai GST yang membebankan rakyat diperkenalkan? Bukankah Cukai GST akan miskinkan rakyat kerana rakyat perlu bayar cukai untuk segala barangan yang dibeli atau perkhidmatan yang diguna? Lagipun dengan pengenalan cukai GST, sudah tentu harga barangan akan meningkat dan akan membawa kepada inflasi. Walaupun kerajaan kata harga barangan tidak akan naik, tetapi pengalaman negara lain menunjukkan ia tidak benar.

Rancangan kerajaan adalah untuk melaksanakan Cukai GST dan mengurangkan cukai pendapatan individu dan syarikat. Adakah ini sesuatu yang adil dalam negara di mana 80% penduduknya tidak mampu membayar cukai? Bukankah ini satu tindakan yang akan membebankan rakyat?

Jadi, Hari Pekerja, 1 Mei 2010 yang menjadi lambang kebangkitan kaum Pekerja terhadap penindasan adalah hari yang paling bermakna kepada kita untuk menyuarakan dengan kuat dan jelas iaitu:

Di samping itu, tuntutan-tuntutan lain kaum pekerja ialah:

2. Kekalkan Cukai Korporat di tahap 27%. Pengurangan cukai ini akan menyebabkan pengalihan beban cukai kepada rakyat biasa melalui Cukai GST

3. Gubal Akta Gaji Minima untuk semua pekerja dan mansuhkan polisi gaji murah

Wujudkan Tabung Pembuangan Kerja Dengan Segera - Bantuan terus kepada pekerja yang kehilangan kerja. Kerajaan harus memperuntukkan RM 0.5 billion untuk mulakan tabung ini dan gunakannya untuk membantu mereka yang dibuang sehingga dapat kerja.

5. Cuti Bersalin 90 hari untuk pekerja wanita.

6. Menandatangani Konvensyen ILO berkenaan Pekerja Rumah dan juga instrumen antarabangsa yang berkaitan dengan perlindungan dan kebajikan pekerja.

7. Pengiktirafan Kesatuan Sekerja secara automatik dan pemansuhan undang-undang yang mendiskriminasi pekerja dan sebarang undang-undang baru bermotif memudahkan pembuangan pekerja oleh majikan.
8. Pastikan tempat kerja bebas daripada diskriminasi terhadap pekerja wanita. Gubal undang-undang Anti Gangguan Seksual.

9. Hak saksama kepada pekerja migran dan Pelarian dan perlindungan dari dianiyai oleh pihak Majikan, PDRM, RELA dan Imigresen.

10. Kementerian Kewangan harus mengadakan perbincangan dengan bank-bank untuk menangguhkan dan mengurangkan bayaran bulanan pinjaman perumahan warga pekerja berpendapatan rendah .

11. Sediakan atau Laksanakan Skim Perumahan Rakyat pada harga yang mampu dibeli/dimiliki, lokasi strategik dan selesa untuk golongan yang berpendapatan rendah.

12. Hentikan penswastaan perkhidmatan asas seperti air dan hospital dan hentikan Skim Pembayaran Penuh Pesakit (Full Paying Patient) di hospital kerajaan dengan segera.

13. Laksanakan Polisi ekonomi yang tidak mengira kaum dan jantina tetapi berlandaskan keperluan. Menuntut suatu model pembangunan yang saksama, yang memberi kepentingan kepada rakyat setempat di mana segala rancangan pembangunan mestilah dibincang dan dipersetujui oleh semua.

14. Iktiraf Hak Tanah Adat Orang Asal di Malaysia dan berikan hak milik kekal serta kukuhkan status tanah Rizab Orang Asli di Malaysia. Rancangan pembangunan tanah Orang Asli hendaklah berasaskan kehendak, keperluan dan aspirasi Orang Asli.

15. Mansuhkan segala undang-undang yang menindas dan mendiskriminasi para pekerja, antaranya ISA, OSA, EO, DDA, Akta Universiti & Kolej Universiti (AUKU), Akta Pertubuhan, Akta Penerbitan dan Mesin Cetak.

16. Menuntut suatu sistem kerajaan yang benar-benar telus, bersih, kredible dan bebas dari segala bentuk rasuah, kronisme dan penyelewengan.

Ditandatangani bersama
1. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas ( JERIT)
2. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
3. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita
4. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
5. Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
6. Alaigal
7. Community Development Centre ( CDC)
8. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
9. Persatuan Penduduk Taman Muhibbah
10. Penggerak Belia Zon 23 MPSJ
11. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
12. Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+).
13. Lawyers for Liberty
15. Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM)
16. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor ( Empower)
17. Centre for Orang Asli Concern ( COAC)
18. Pusat Komas
20. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
21. Migrant Care
22. Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)
23. Health Equity Initiatives (HEI)
24. Women Aid Organisation (WAO)
25. Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN)
26.Student Progressive Front Universiti Utara Malaysia (SPFUUM)
27.Student Progressive Front Universiti Sains Malaysia (SPFUSM)
28.Student Progressive Front New Era Collage (SPFNEC)
29.Gerakan Maju Mahaisswa Universiti Putra Malaysia (GMMUPM)
30.Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua Universiti Sains Malaysia (PBTUSM)
31.Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independent (KAMI)
32.Student Reserved Unit (S.E.R.U)
33. Bahagian Pemuda Persatuan Murid-murid Tua Sek. Serdang Bharu
34. All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
35. People Service Organisation (PSO)
36. Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC)
37. Sisters In Islam (SIS)
38. Kesatuan Gupply Plastic
39. Kelab Rakan Siswa Islah Malaysia (KARISMA)
40. Food Not Bombs (FNB)
41 Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Se- Malaysia(GAMIS)
42. Persatuan Untuk Belia Baru Universiti Malaya (UMANY)
44. Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation (MSN)
45. Community Action Network

*Wong Shu Qi ialah wartawan MerdekaReview, edisi bahasa Cina. Diterjemah dan disunting oleh Lim Hong Siang -MR

May 1st 2010

Posted: 01 May 2010 07:46 AM PDT

When the whole Malaysia is celebrating May 1st 2010, I spent 1/2 of the day on bed as i woke up @ 12pm. Yup~ 12pm ... >.>

After took my shower, got ready to head out to my cousin place for lunch. At about 3pm, came back and felt lazy to go to gym cause it was going to rain. So No gym on the May 1st 2010. I spent all my afternoon sitting in front of the computer. So boring...

Mom cooked simple dinner, had dinner about 7pm and now i feel hungry again... anyone wanna supper?

May Day: Police arrest six anti-GST protesters

Posted: 01 May 2010 09:07 AM PDT

Stopped from entering Dataran Merdeka, the 500-strong group marched to the KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall to protest against the proposed GST.
may first worker against gst gathering 010510 crowd in klscah 05

Police have early this morning cordoned off Dataran Merdeka and at 11am, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Bar Council building about a stone's throw away from Dataran Merdeka - the venue for a May Day event to celebrate International Workers' Day and to protest against the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST).

May 1st committee coordinator S Arutchelvan and Kota Damansara state assembly representative Dr Nasir Hashim - both leaders of Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) - tried to negotiate with the police to allow the group to gather but the police gave the protesters five minutes to disperse. Even though five police trucks were parked nearby, no water-cannon trucks could be seen.

By hook or by crook or END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS

Posted: 01 May 2010 05:56 AM PDT

By hook or by crook

Meaning - By whatever means necessary – be they fair or foul.

This phrase formerly meant "by fair means or foul", although now it often (especially in the U.K.) means simply "by whatever necessary means". Source: [Mark Israel, 'Phrase Origins: "by hook or by crook"', The alt.usage.english FAQ file,(line 4953), (29 Sept 1997)]
"By hook or by crook" is an English phrase meaning "by any means necessary", suggesting that one need not be concerned with morality or other considerations when accomplishing some goal.

The origin of the phrase is obscure, with multiple different explanations and no evidence to support any particular one over the others.

END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS – "The Greek playwright Sophocles wrote in Electra (c 409 B.C.), 'The end excuses any evil,' a thought later rendered by the Roman poet Ovid as 'The result justifies the deed' in 'Heroides' (c. 10 B.C.)." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).

Another source explains the phrase as meaning: "Anything is acceptable if it leads to a successful result." First use in the United States: "Diary" (1657) by Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705), American clergyman and poet. "The means justify the end" is a variation.

From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

Cf. [Ovid Heroides ii. 85] exitus acta probat, the outcome justifies the deeds. The negative of this is also often asserted.

The ende good, doeth not by and by make the meanes good.
[1583 G. Babington Exposition of Commandments 260]

The End must justify the Means: He only Sins who Ill intends.
[1718 M. Prior Literary Works (1971) I. 186]

'The police don't like to have their bodies moved.'‥'In this case the end justifies the means.'
[1941 'H. Bailey' Smiling Corpse 238]

The conservatives' war on drugs is an example of good intentions that have had unfortunate consequences. As often happens with noble causes, the end justifies the means, and the means of the drug war are inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and our civil liberties.
[2001 Washington Times 2 Aug. A16]

A good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it. For example, He's campaigning with illegal funds on the theory that if he wins the election the end will justify the means, or The officer tricked her into admitting her guilt–the end sometimes justifies the means. This proverbial (and controversial) observation dates from ancient times, but in English it was first recorded only in 1583.

In ethics, consequentialist doctrines are those which judge actions by their effects (or, sometimes, their intended effects) rather than by their conformance to rules, rights, or obligations. Consequentialist ethics are normally contrasted with deontological moral arguments (from the Greek deontos, meaning duty), which have been the overwhelmingly predominant form of moral judgements for most of human history. The most important tradition of consequentialist ethics is utilitarianism.

In ethics, the doctrine that actions should be judged right or wrong on the basis of their consequences. The simplest form of consequentialism is classical (or hedonistic) utilitarianism, which asserts that an action is right or wrong according to whether it maximizes the net balance of pleasure over pain in the universe. The consequentialism of G.E. Moore, known as "ideal utilitarianism," recognizes beauty and friendship, as well as pleasure, as intrinsic goods that one's actions should aim to maximize. According to the "preference utilitarianism" of R.M. Hare (1919 – 2002), actions are right if they maximize the satisfaction of preferences or desires, no matter what the preferences may be for. Consequentialists also differ over whether each individual action should be judged on the basis of its consequences or whether instead general rules of conduct should be judged in this way and individual actions judged only by whether they accord with a general rule. The former group are known as "act-utilitarians" and the latter as "rule-utilitarians.

by Highlander is semi-retired from AB on November 26th, 2007 

In the British TV show The Prisoner, the beginning of each episode contains the phrase, with Number Two stating that The Village authorities will gain information from the protagonist Number Six "by hook or by crook."



Origin - 

  1. It is sometimes suggested that 'by hook or by crook' derives from the custom in mediaeval England of allowing peasants to take from royal forests whatever deadwood they could pull down with a shepherd's crook or cut with a reaper's billhook. This feudal custom was recorded in the 1820s by the English rural campaigner William Cobbett, although the custom itself long predates that reference.
  2. Another commonly repeated suggestion is that the phrase comes from the names of the villages of Hook Head and the nearby Crooke, in Waterford, Ireland. Hook Head and Crooke are on opposite sides of the Waterford channel and Cromwell (born 1599 – died 1658) is reputed to have said that Waterford would fall 'by Hook or by Crooke', i.e. by a landing of his army at one of those two places.
  3. A third suggestion is that the phrase derives from two learned judges, called Hooke and Crooke, who officiated during the reign of Charles I (born 1600 – died 1649) and who were called on to solve difficult legal cases. Hence, the cases would be resolved 'by Hooke or by Crooke'.

Only the first of the above suggestions stands up to scrutiny by virtue of the age of the phrase. The earliest references to hooks and crooks in this context date back to the 14th century – the first known being from John Gower's Confessio Amantis, 1390:

What with hepe [hook] and what with croke [crook] they [by false Witness and Perjury] make her maister ofte winne.

Gower didn't use the modern 'by hook or by crook' version of the phrase, but it is clear that he was using the reference to hooks and crooks in the same sense that we do now.

The earliest citation of the phrase that I can find is in Philip Stubbes' The Anatomie of Abuses, 1583:

Either by hooke or crooke, by night or day.

There are several other theories as to the origin of 'by hook or by crook', all of which are either implausible or arose too late. Taking away those, we are left with two serious contenders: sheep farming and wood gathering.

Crooks are the curved or hooked sticks that shepherds use to catch sheep by hooking their hind legs. Hook is a synonym for crook. It is quite possible that the two words were put together to mean 'one way or another', for no better reason than the rhyming. Either that, or the 'wood gathering' derivation is correct. We may never know which.

Consequentialism from Wikipedia

Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action (or create a structure for judgment, see rule consequentialism). Thus, from a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence. This view is often expressed as the aphorism "The ends justify the means".

Consequentialism is usually understood as distinct from deontology, in that deontology derives the rightness or wrongness of an act from the character of the act itself rather than the outcomes of the action, and from virtue ethics, which focuses on the character of the agent rather than on the nature or consequences of the action itself. The difference between these three approaches to morality tends to lie more in the way moral dilemmas are approached than in the moral conclusions reached. For example, a consequentialist may argue that lying is wrong because of the negative consequences produced by lying — though a consequentialist may allow that certain foreseeable consequences might make lying acceptable. A deontologist might argue that lying is always wrong, regardless of any potential "good" that might come from lying. A virtue ethicist, however, would focus less on lying in any particular instance and instead consider what a decision to tell a lie or not tell a lie said about one's character and moral behavior.

The term "consequentialism" was coined by G. E. M. Anscombe in her essay "Modern Moral Philosophy" in 1958, to describe what she saw as the central error of certain moral theories, such as those propounded by Mill and Sidgwick.[1] Since then, the term has become common in English-language ethical theory.

The defining feature of consequentialist moral theories is the weight given to the consequences in evaluating the rightness and wrongness of actions.[2] In consequentialist theories, the consequences of an action or rule generally outweigh other considerations. Apart from this basic outline, there is little else that can be unequivocally said about consequentialism as such. However, there are some questions that many consequentialist theories address:

  • What sort of consequences count as good consequences?
  • Who is the primary beneficiary of moral action?
  • How are the consequences judged and who judges them?

[edit] Kinds of consequences

One way to divide various consequentialisms is by the types of consequences that are taken to matter most, that is, which consequences count as good states of affairs. According to hedonistic utilitarianism, a good action is one that results in an increase in pleasure, and the best action is one that results in the most pleasure for the greatest number. Closely related is eudaimonic consequentialism, according to which a full, flourishing life, which may or may not be the same as enjoying a great deal of pleasure, is the ultimate aim. Similarly, one might adopt an aesthetic consequentialism, in which the ultimate aim is to produce beauty. However, one might fix on non-psychological goods as the relevant effect. Thus, one might pursue an increase in material equality or political liberty instead of something like the more ephemeral "pleasure". Other theories adopt a package of several goods, all to be promoted equally. Whether a particular consequentialist theory focuses on a single good or many, conflicts and tensions between different good states of affairs are to be expected and must be adjudicated.

[edit] Consequences for whom

Moral action always has an effect on certain people or things, the consequences. Various kinds of consequentialism can be differentiated by beneficiary of the good consequences. That is, one might ask "Consequences for whom?"

[edit] Agent-focused or agent-neutral

A fundamental distinction can be drawn between theories that demand that agents act for ends in which they have some personal interest or motivation and theories that demand that agents act for ends perhaps disconnected from their own interests and drives. These are called "agent-focused" and "agent-neutral" theories respectively. Agent-neutral consequentialism ignores the specific value a state of affairs has for any particular agent. Thus, in an agent-neutral theory, an actor's personal goals do not count any more than anyone else's goals in evaluating what action the actor should take. Agent-focused consequentialism, on the other hand, focuses on the particular needs of the moral agent. Thus, in an agent-focused account, such as one that Peter Railton outlines, the actor might be concerned with the general welfare, but the actor is more concerned with the immediate welfare of herself and her friends and family[3]. These two approaches could be reconciled by acknowledging the tension between an agent's interests as an individual and as a member of various groups, and seeking to somehow optimize among all of these interests. For example, it may be meaningful to speak of an action as being good for someone as an individual but bad for them as a citizen of their town.

[edit] Human-centered?

Many consequentialist theories may seem primarily concerned with human beings and their relationships with other human beings. However, some philosophers argue that we should not limit our ethical consideration to the interests of human beings alone. Jeremy Bentham, who is regarded as the founder of Utilitarianism, argues that animals can experience pleasure and pain, thus demanding that 'non-human animals' should be a serious object of moral concern[4]. More recently, Peter Singer has argued that it is unreasonable that we do not give equal consideration to the interests of animals as to those of human beings when we choose the way we are to treat them.[5] Such equal consideration does not necessarily imply identical treatment of humans and non-humans, any more than it necessarily implies identical treatment of all humans.

[edit] Action guidance

One important characteristic of many normative moral theories such as consequentialism is the ability to produce practical moral judgements. At the very least, any moral theory needs to define the standpoint from which the goodness of the consequences are to be determined. What is primarily at stake here is the responsibility of the agent.

[edit] The ideal observer

One common tactic among consequentialists, particularly those committed to an altruistic (selfless) account of consequentialism, is employ an ideal, neutral observer from which moral judgements can be made. John Rawls, a critic of utilitarianism, argues that utilitarianism, in common with other forms of consequentialism, relies on the perspective of such an ideal observer[3]. The particular characteristics of this ideal observer can vary from an omniscient observer, who would grasp all the consequences of any action, to an ideally informed observer, who knows as much as could reasonably be expected, but not necessarily all the circumstances or all the possible consequences. Consequentialist theories that adopt this paradigm hold that right action is the action that will bring about the best consequences from this ideal observer's perspective.

[edit] The real observer

In practice, it is very difficult, and at times arguably impossible, to adopt the point of view of an ideal observer. Individual moral agents do not know everything about their particular situations, and thus do not know all the possible consequences of their potential actions. For this reason, some theorists have argued that consequentialist theories can only require agents to choose the best action in line with what they know about the situation.[2] However, if this approach is naïvely adopted, then moral agents who, for example, recklessly fail to reflect on their situation, and act in a way that brings about terrible results, could be said to be acting in a morally justifiable way. Acting in a situation without first informing oneself of the circumstances of the situation can lead to even the most well-intended actions yielding miserable consequences. As a result, it could be argued that there is a moral imperative for an agent to inform himself as much as possible about a situation before judging the appropriate course of action. This imperative, of course, is derived from consequential thinking: a better informed agent is able to bring about better consequences.

BERSIH Perlu Dihidupkan Semula

Posted: 01 May 2010 04:22 AM PDT

Calon Parti Keadilan Rakyat pada pilihanraya kecil Hulu Selangor, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim menyeru badan-badan bukan kerajaan atau NGO seperti Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH) untuk menghidupkan kembali gerakan memulihkan sistem pilihanraya tanahair.

Mengulas apa yang berlaku pada pilihanraya kecil Hulu Selangor, Zaid berkata, rakyat Malaysia tidak harus membiarkan senario seperti pilihanraya kecil Hulu Selangor berulang kembali.

"Kita harus mempunyai pilihanraya kecil yang bebas. Saya menyeru badan-badan bukan kerajaan, NGO seperti BERSIH untuk menghidupkan semula kempen-kempen supaya Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya dan undang pilihanraya diaplikasikan di negara ini sama dengan negara lain" ujar Zaid.

Pada pilihanraya kecil Hulu Selangor, 25 April lalu, kerajaan UMNO telah menggunakan segala taktik yang ada termasuk memberi sogokan RM 50 ribu kepada bekas peneroka Felda Sungai Buaya, mendirikan sebuah sekolah Cina bernilai RM 3 juta dan banyak lagi untuk membeli undi penduduk.

Mengulas kenyataan Zaid, Presiden TERAS Pengupayaan Melayu, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid yang turut serta dalam perhimpunan BERSIH pada 10 November tahun lalu berkata, seruan dari mantan Menteri Undang-undang itu mempunyai asas yang begitu kuat.

"Saya kira pengalaman di Hulu Selangor ini sesuatu yang membuktikan tidak ada perubahan pun yang berlaku seperti yang dijanjikan oleh BN. Mereka masih lagi mengamalkan perkara yang nampaknya sama. Menggunakan satu pendekatan yang mencemar demokrasi" ujar Azmi.

"Jadi seharusnya memang rakyat perlu bangkit untuk menyatakan bahawa kita tidak boleh bertoleransi lagi dengan amalan yang dibuat begini. Jadi saya kira ada relevannya supaya rakyat sekali lagi menyatakan pendiriannya melalui apa cara sekalipun seperti BERSIH tetapi mesti ada sesuatu yang dilakukan" tambah beliau lagi. -TVS

M'sia may be the next Greece, warns economist, and may end up as a PIG

Posted: 01 May 2010 02:07 AM PDT

A council member of National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) warns that resisting the GST will set the nation on the economic downslope like Greece and other PIGS countries - PIGS is an acronym referring to Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, and more recently the Ireland and the UK, which are all facing issues of high government debt and deficit, relative to GDP.

Danny Quah, the NEAC council member and London School of Economics (LSE) professor, said the council  was proposing a reduction in corporate and income tax to soften the blow of the GST.

I'm no economic expert but I think GST or no GST, the Government has to be responsible for the income that it receives from taxpayers. Is the government spending the people's money wisely? The answer: NO! 

SAGA & Toastmasters - Inter-Schol Public Speaking Speech Contest 2010

Posted: 01 May 2010 02:05 AM PDT

SAGA, Swan City Toastmasters Club and Toastmasters Club Sibu jointly organised "Inter-School Public Speaking Speech Contest 2010" this afternoon at Wei Kuok Hall.

This was the first of its kind by SAGA and the two English-speaking Toastmasters clubs in Sibu. SAGA chairman Temenggong Vincent Lau in his opening address said," This joint effort augurs well and I hope to see more to come!'

The speech contest aimed at providing a platform for secondary school students to learn from each other through contest. With this, the organisers hoped to raise the local standard of students in public speaking.

I noted that most of the participants exhibited pretty high standard of public speaking in English. I was deeply impressed!

I hope SAGA would continue to take initiative to organise English-orientated activities.

Hurray, SAGA & Toastmasters clubs!

After opening, we posed for a group photo. Front row from R to L: Dr. Clement Chen, Miss Wong Toh Hee, Miss Alice Lau, Temenggong Vincent Lau, Dr. Hu Chang Hock, me.

Inter religious Dialoge @ Kajang

Posted: 01 May 2010 01:41 AM PDT

Had a very good Inter-Religious Dialogue at the Holy Family Church in Kajang this morning, good presentation - sad I could not stay till the end.

Hope this initiative continue to evolve into a greater platform for social transfromation

As promised, those who wanted a copy of my slides (with pictures) can download it HERE

Have great weekend everyone.

Mercedes tembus dinding

Posted: 01 May 2010 12:23 AM PDT

TULSA (Oklahoma): Seorang pemandu terselamat selepas keretanya merempuh dinding hingga hampir separuh daripadanya terjulur keluar di tingkat tujuh sebuah bangunan tempat letak kereta di sini semalam.

KEADAAN kereta Mercedes di tingkat tujuh.

SEBAHAGIAN kereta Mercedes yang terjulur keluar.

Kejadian berlaku selepas kaki pemandu berkenaan tersepit antara pemecut dengan brek ketika dia berundur.

Kereta Mercedes itu meluncur laju sehingga melanggar dinding menyebabkan ia berlubang dan sebahagian kereta itu terjulur keluar.

Pemandu berusia 67 tahun yang namanya tidak didedahkan bagaimanapun terselamat.

Kejadian itu juga menyebabkan batu dinding itu jatuh menghempap dan memecahkan cermin beberapa kereta yang parkir di bawah.

Jurucakap Jabatan Polis Tulsa, Korporal David Crow berkata: "Mujur tidak ada orang lalu lalang ketika kejadian." Pihak berkuasa tidak menghadapi kesukaran menarik kereta itu kerana roda belakangnya tidak terkeluar keseluruhannya.

Seorang saksi berkata: "Ia kejadian paling pelik pernah saya lihat. "Bunyinya sungguh kuat. Kami melihat ke atas dan nampak kereta itu menembusi tembok." Lubang berkenaan kini ditampal sementara dengan papan lapis.

Crow berkata: "Kira-kira jam 1.50 petang, kami menerima laporan mengenai sebuah kereta melanggar tembok.

"Kami tidak dapat bayangkan apa sebenarnya berlaku. "Tetapi apabila tiba di sini, kami melihat Mercedes berkenaan tergantung di tingkat tujuh." - Agensi

Altantuya link to sub deal will be made public @

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 11:45 PM PDT

Any French enquiry into the submarine deal could lead to details on an embarrassing whos who of involvement in the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

NONEJoseph Brehem (right), the French lawyer engaged by human rights NGO Suaram to look into the highly suspicious case, said Altantuya's murder was "tightly linked" to the illegal commissions issued by DCN, France's largest defence conglomerate but for French jurisdiction to make an inquiry, the crime must occur in France, to a French victim by French perpetrators, "he added, saying this is not the case with the death of the Mongolian national in 2006.

Joseph added that if for any reason, during the investigation, it is revealed that DCN members had met with (PM) Najib Tun Razak, (Abdul) Razak Baginda and Altantuya, and the meeting was linked to any corruption and commission, the judge will look into it and if the information can be used, they can use it freely, but the purpose of the enquiry cannot be to find out about the absence or presence of Altantuya at these meetings, he told Malaysiakini.

Membanting tulang

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 10:36 PM PDT

Happy Labour Day to my dad!

And all those working hard to make money for the nation. They are the real people that contributed very much the nation's development. Not your ketuanan politicians, that only know how to bashing people here and there. Regardless creeds and races, they are all together make the country better. Not only certain portion of race!

The full list of demands in the May Day declaration endorsed by dozens of Malaysian civil society groups:


Di samping itu, tuntutan-tuntutan lain kaum pekerja ialah:

2. Kekalkan Cukai Korporat di tahap 27 peratus. Pengurangan cukai ini akan menyebabkan pengalihan beban cukai kepada rakyat biasa melalui Cukai GST

3. Gubal Akta Gaji Minima untuk semua pekerja dan mansuhkan polisi gaji murah

4. Wujudkan Tabung Pembuangan Kerja Dengan Segera – Bantuan terus kepada pekerja yang kehilangan kerja. Kerajaan harus memperuntukkan RM0.5 billion untuk mulakan tabung ini dan gunakannya untuk membantu mereka yang dibuang sehingga dapat kerja.

5. Cuti Bersalin 90 hari untuk pekerja wanita.

6. Menandatangani Konvensyen ILO berkenaan Pekerja Rumah dan juga instrumen antarabangsa yang berkaitan dengan perlindungan dan kebajikan pekerja.

7. Pengisthiharan Kesatuan Sekerja secara automatik dan pemansuhan undang-undang yang mendiskriminasi pekerja dan sebarang undang-undang baru bermotif memudahkan pembuangan pekerja oleh majikan.

8. Pastikan tempat kerja bebas daripada diskriminasi terhadap pekerja wanita. Gubal undang-undang Anti Gangguan Seksual.

9. Hak saksama kepada pekerja migran dan pelarian dan perlindungan dari dianiyai oleh pihak Majikan, PDRM, RELA dan Imigresen.

10. Kementerian Kewangan harus mengadakan perbincangan dengan bank-bank untuk menangguhkan dan mengurangkan bayaran bulanan pinjaman perumahan warga pekerja berpendapatan rendah .

11. Sediakan atau Laksanakan Skim Perumahan Rakyat pada harga yang mampu dibeli/dimiliki, lokasi strategik dan selesa untuk golongan yang berpendapatan rendah.

12. Hentikan penswastaan perkhidmatan asas seperti air dan hospital dan hentikan Skim Pembayaran Penuh Pesakit (Full-Paying Patients) di hospital kerajaan dengan segera.

13. Laksanakan Polisi ekonomi yang tidak mengira kaum dan jantina tetapi berlandaskan keperluan. Menuntut suatu model pembangunan yang saksama, yang memberi kepentingan kepada rakyat setempat di mana segala rancangan pembangunan mestilah dibincang dan dipersetujui oleh semua.

14. Iktiraf Hak Tanah Adat Orang Asal di Malaysia dan berikan hak milik kekal serta kukuhkan status tanah Rizab Orang Asli di Malaysia. Rancangan pembangunan tanah Orang Asli hendaklah berasaskan kehendak, keperluan dan aspirasi Orang Asli.

15. Mansuhkan segala undang-undang yang menindas dan mendiskriminasi para pekerja, antaranya ISA, OSA, EO, DDA, Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti (AUKU), Akta Pertubuhan, Akta Penerbitan dan Mesin Cetak.

16. Menuntut suatu sistem kerajaan yang benar-benar telus, bersih, kredible dan bebas dari segala bentuk rasuah, kronisme dan penyelewengan.

p/s: Adios!

Tuduhan Rasuah Agenda BN Jatuhkan Kerajaan PR Di Perak

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 10:06 PM PDT

Barisan Nasional (BN) didakwa mempunyai agenda terselindung untuk menjatuhkan Pakatan Rakyat di Perak dengan mensabitkan 16 pertuduhan rasuah ke atas ahli Exco Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN), Changkat Jering Kapten (B) Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu dan Adun Behrang, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi.

Ironinya dua bekas exco serta tiga individu lain yang terlibat dilepaskan oleh Mahkamah Sesyen Ipoh 23 April lalu tanpa dipanggil bagi membela diri.

Pembebasan mereka jelas ekoran pendakwaan gagal membuktikan kes 'prima facie' dan mahkamah mengarahkan mereka dibebaskan serta merta.

Menurut Ahli Parlimen Beruas Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham, peguam bela Abdul Roni Rahman yang mewakili kedua-dua exco terbabit mengaku bahawa BN mempunyai agenda tertentu untuk mensabitkan anak guamnya.

"Mengikut kenyataan peguam bela, Abdul Roni beliau mendedahkan kenyataan anak guamnya (Osman Jailu dan Jamaluddin) mengakui bahawa BN mempunyai agenda tertentu untuk mengenakan mereka.

"Sedangkan pertuduhan dikenakan ke atas mereka tidak berasas sama sekali," kata Ngeh yang juga Adun Sitiawan ketika dihubungi Free Malaysia Today, hari ini.

Ngeh mendakwa pertuduhan rasuah terhadap mereka berdua hanya bertujuan untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) di Perak semata-mata.

Strategi jatuhkan Pakatan

Beliau berkata, "saya bersetuju dengan Abdul Roni, BN cuba merangka strategi untuk jatuhkan Pakatan dengan dakwaan ke atas bekas exco terbabit.

"Malah menyalah gunakan kuasa dengan menggunakan institusi mahkamah dan kehakiman dengan membuat pertuduhan yang tiada asas. Mereka melakukan sedemikian hanya untuk menjatuhkan Pakatan," kata beliau lagi.

Ngeh berkata tuduhan ke atas bekas exco terbabit berunsurkan 'tuduhan politik' kerana tiada asas pendakwaan untuk disabitkan.

Maka beliau menggesa agar Peguam Negara lebih meneliti 'asas pertuduhan' agar tidak mengheret individu yang tidak bersalah dalam hal tersebut.

"Pada hemat saya, jika mereka bersalah atas tuduhan rasuah itu, maka perlu bukti kukuh untuk sabitkan mereka. Semua asas pertuduhan perlu dibuktikan," jelas Ngeh.

"Maka sebagai Peguam Negara beliau perlu meneliti asas pertuduhan. Jika ada asas maka boleh melakukan pendakwaan di mahkamah.

Namun dalam kes ini katanya, tiada asas pertuduhan tetapi lebih kepada 'tuduhan politik' semata-mata.

"Situasi ini amat bahaya kerana individu yang dituduh didakwa di mahkamah sedangkan mereka tidak bersalah," katanya. -FMT


Posted: 30 Apr 2010 09:25 PM PDT

I would like to once again raise the much talked about issue regarding the award of two army contracts that is believed to be mired in corruption and abuse by the winning bidder, working in cohorts with certain individuals that has influence in supporting the bidder win the contract. The contracts in question are the supply of Ballistic Helmets (BH), and Bullet Resistance Vest (BRV) for the army. I had in an earlier posting questioned the rational of why does army need 30,000 pieces of BRV; an amount that I think is nonsensical. I had also talked about the defective BH supplied by the contractor, but yet it was deemed acceptable by army. The latter issue is well exposed in public domain.

As far as I know, and having been a staff in the Trial & Development Wing of PULADA at two different periods, I am aware that there are stringent international rules governing the issuance and approval of safety equipments to members of the Security Forces; and both BH and BRV are categorized as safety equipments. I believe too that local companies that are suppliers or manufacturers of such equipments must be in possession of a police permit to deal in both these equipments. I am told too that the plates used in the BRV are restricted items requiring police and import permits.

The recognized international body that governs the issuance of approval for security related equipments for use by the world's Security Forces is the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which is a research and development agency of the US Department of Justice. The NIJ issues the classification and categorization of various equipments depending on its level of resistance, purpose etc. If NIJ is the authority, then what has the army trial team got to do with the trials of such equipments, or is the army trial team superior to NIJ? I would like to know the nature and level of tests that they conduct, and whether the team members are technically proficient in conducting such trials. What army should have done was to verify the source and manufacturer of the equipment (be it imported or local manufactured), and whether the equipment has the prerequisite NIJ classification and categorization. Verification status can be easily accessible via internet.

I am told that there is an existing government policy that gives preference to locally manufactured products, and that the company has ready been manufacturing such products either for exports or for domestic use. In the above two issues, the company that was awarded the contract is believed to neither have the manufacturing facility, nor has been manufacturing such equipments for exports or for domestic use. But yet, I am told that there is already a local company that is manufacturing the BRV with export capability, and yet the company failed the army's test. If it is true that the winning bidder does not have a ready manufacturing capability, than one can assume that the equipment that was presented for trials has been brought in from a foreign manufacturer, without verifying the NIJ status of the manufacturer itself. What is even worse is that neither has all other bidders who have failed in their bid, be given access to the trial reports conducted locally, which in itself can be a source of abuse and manipulation by the trial team, and I believe this happens most of the time. Now, where is the transparency that one talks about? This has been the general complaint by bidders, with some having lost the desire and confidence to do any further tender dealing with Mindef.

I am still puzzled as to how the two contracts were awarded out, and I do hope someone from within Mindef itself will be bold enough to open up an investigation into these two tender awards. Will the new army leadership that is scheduled to take over the reins of the Army in the next few days be willing to do this? I hope they do.

Let us all take a cue from the submarine deal where the case of kickbacks is still open to investigation by the French government.


Malaysiakini : Anzac Day, remembering Australians and New Zealanders who died building Burma Death Railway (1942-43) linking Bangkok-Rangoon

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 09:05 PM PDT

Anzac Day, remembering Australians and New Zealanders who died building Burma Death Railway (1942-43) linking Bangkok-Rangoon

Malaysiakini by Terence Netto
karl hack 270904 death railwayLast Sunday was Anzac Day celebrations when Australians and New Zealanders remember their dead in the first and second world wars.

Ordinarily, the occasion would not mean anything to Malaysians save those who possess a memory of soldiers from the two countries who died in the course of Imperial Japan's drive for dominion over Southeast Asia in the first half of the 1940s.

death railway prisonersA Malaysian resident happened to be holidaying in Kanchanaburi in the west of Thailand last Sunday and observed the commemoration of Anzac Day there, held to remember Australians and New Zealanders who died while building the Death Railway in 1942-43 that linked Bangkok with Rangoon in Burma.

He requested anonymity but what he said merited publicity in these times when atrocities committed in the past rear up in the public consciousness in ways to trouble our sleep.

What seemed inexplicable to this 'accidental' witness of the Anzac commemoration at Kanchanburi were the statistics at the war museum in the Thai town and what these told of the relative dignity or lack of accorded to those who died in building the infamous Death Railway.

He said the Australian government had built and maintained the museum and the cemetery in Kanchanburi, though at some 3,000 dead out of 13,000-odd thousand Australians forced to work on the railway, their casualties were relatively small compared to the Malayans who perished.

The figures for the latter are only estimates but at 42,000, it constituted the highest mortality rate among the British, Australian, Canadian, American, Burmese, Thai and Malayans who died from maltreatment, disease and accidents while building the 415km railway.

"I was surprised that there was not a single Malaysian dignitary at the ceremonies held to honour the dead whereas most of the rest of the nationalities had some representatives at the ceremonies," observed the long-time Malaysian resident.

Asian war dead less worthy?

He said estimates of Burmese deaths were the second highest at 40,000. Together with the Malayan deaths, they constituted the bulk of the 90,000-odd who perished in what he said must have been a concentration camp not very different from the ones in Europe in which millions of Jews had met their deaths during the Second World War.

death railway cemeteryAmong the Malayan deaths were Malays, Chinese and 'Tamils', as the museum murals reported, said our resident-reporter.

'Given the scale of the Malayan deaths and the conditions in which these were met I could not fathom why there does not seem to be a shred of recognition for them," he opined.

"Are the war dead of Southeast Asia less worthy than the others?" he asked.

Generally speaking, modern Malaysian history is regarded as something that began in 1946 when Umno was formed to fight the Malayan Union proposals of the British colonial authority.

death railwayMost incidents prior are regarded as tangential rather than germane to the historical narratives that Umno has caused to be constructed in order to bolster their hegemony over the Malaysian polity.

A rewrite of history more in keeping with the relative importance of the whole panorama of events that constitute 20th century Malayan-cum-Malaysian history await a Malaysian Thucydides not likely come forth until a new political order is inaugurated.

Malaysia Insider : Arizona police chief criticises immigration law

Posted: 30 Apr 2010 08:44 PM PDT

Arizona police chief criticises immigration law

WASHINGTON, May 1 — The police chief of Arizona's largest city said yesterday the state's controversial new crackdown on illegal immigrants would likely create more problems than it solved for local law enforcement.

The remarks by Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris came as US Senate Democrats vowed to push ahead with their uphill bid to pass legislation this year overhauling the nation's immigration laws, saying the furore in Arizona has given them a lift despite a lack of support from Republicans.

Arizona's week-old law calls for state and local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the United States illegally. It has outraged Latinos, civil rights activists and organised labour.

With polls showing the crackdown has broad public support in Arizona and nationwide, Harris said at a news conference he understood Americans' frustration over illegal immigration.

But he criticised the new law as unlikely to solve problems caused by any of the estimated 10.8 million people who are in the United States illegally.

"I don't really believe that this law is going to do what the vast majority of Americans and Arizonans want, and that is to fix the immigration problem," he said. "This law … adds new problems for local law enforcement."

Harris said asking officers to determine immigration status during an investigation would interfere with their primary job and "instead tells us to become immigration officers and enforce routine immigration laws that I don't believe we have the authority to enforce."

The chief said his force already had 10 US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in its violent crime unit and that the law provided no additional enforcement tools.

"We have the tools that we need to enforce the laws in this state, to reduce property crime and reduce violent crime, to go after criminals that are responsible for human smuggling," and other border-related crimes," Harris said.

Republican backers say the law is needed to curb crime in the desert state, which is home to some 460,000 illegal immigrants and is a furiously trafficked corridor for drug and migrant smugglers from Mexico.

Phoenix, the state capital and a clearing house for unauthorized immigrants and drugs headed to cities across the United States, has recently averaged one drug-related kidnapping nearly ever day.


Revealing stark divisions among police in the Phoenix valley over immigration, an Arizona sheriff known for cracking down hard on undocumented migrants continued a two-day immigration and crime sweep in the west of the city yesterday afternoon.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "crime suppression" drives have led to allegations of racial profiling. Deputies stopped and arrested at least 63 people for minor offences who could not prove they were in Arizona legally since the operation began two days ago.

In Washington, Democrats have been accused of playing election-year politics by proposing a comprehensive immigration overhaul that critics insist has little chance of success.

The Senate draft proposal, quickly endorsed by President Barack Obama, includes calls for bolstered border security, new sanctions on US employers who hire illegal immigrants and high-tech identification cards that all US workers would be required to carry.

Senate Democrats appear to lack support from their Republican colleagues, however, and time is running out for legislative action before the November congressional election.

Republican Orrin Hatch, a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, said Americans did not trust Washington to solve the illegal immigration problem.

"Law-abiding immigrants, ranchers, farmers and families have no confidence that Washington can stop the drug traffickers, gangs and even those low-enough to traffic human beings from illegally coming into the United States," Hatch said late two days ago.

"Instead of fixing our broken borders, Washington politicos are playing a cynical game of introducing so-called immigration reform that I fear will turn into nothing more than amnesty," Hatch said.

The uproar unleashed by the Arizona law has galvanized Latinos and is expected to translate into higher turnout at annual May Day rallies in more than 70 cities nationwide today.

Organisers say the crowds on the streets, from Los Angeles to New York, could be the biggest since 2006, when hundreds of thousands of marchers urged former President George W. Bush to overhaul federal immigration laws.

He tried, but was torpedoed by Republicans in Congress. — Reuters

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