Saturday, February 11, 2012

Han Hyo-joo Cosmopolitan Korea

Han Hyo-joo Cosmopolitan Korea

Han Hyo-joo Cosmopolitan Korea

Posted: 08 Feb 2012 11:04 AM PST

Cecilia Cheung Madame Figaro

Posted: 09 Feb 2012 10:06 AM PST

Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung on Madame Figaro Magazine. I might have crossed path with her during my Hong Kong trip in 2011 – was strolling a shopping mall when met with a lady-in-mask who has the most beautiful pair of eyes I've ever seen.

My immediate thought was that she must be an actress or something, but wasn't sure. It was my gossip-conscious buddy who somehow managed to recognise her son and babysitter who were closely behind, thus hypothetically identify the lady as Cecilia.

Cecilia Cheung Figaro Magazine

There's more, read the full post »

Cecilia Cheung Madame Figaro from YeinJee's Asian Blog

Hanbok & The Full Moon Story

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 08:54 AM PST

Interesting photoshoot by Korean photographer Kim Kyoung-soo for Vogue Korea Magazine in 2008, featuring models in traditional Hanbok costume…

Kim Kyung-soo Korean hanbok

There's more, read the full post »

Hanbok & The Full Moon Story from YeinJee's Asian Blog

Holy Moly! What Next?

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 08:32 AM PST

I am still staggering in stupefied shock after reading The Malaysian Insider's report on BBC to apologise for airing paid-for Malaysia news.

The article can be divided into two sections. The first part is about the BBC and the second part about FBC Media which has been found to be at the centre of the Malaysia news-fixing scandal facing BBC and CNBC, and is facing collapse.

It is commendable that BBC is going all out to restore its credibility and reputation by apologizing to an estimated 74 million people around the world for a news-fixing scandal in which it aired as documentaries programmes that had been paid for in a deal with a London-based publicity firm.

According to The Independent, the global apology by BBC is expected to read: "A small number of programmes broadcast on BBC World News between February 2009 and July 2011 broke BBC rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity.

The Independent reported that the apology will be broadcast worldwide on the BBC's World News channel to an estimated 295 million homes, 1.7 million hotel rooms, 81 cruise ships, 46 airlines and on 35 mobile phone platforms at four different times, staged in order to reach audiences in different time zones, the paper reported. What a marvellous effort that reflects the depth of their sincerity in making right what went wrong!

The BBC was reported to have paid nominal fees of as little as £1 (RM5) for programmes made by FBC Media (UK), whose PR client list included Malaysia and other foreign governments.

By right, BBC should state officially the full amount paid to them for the airing of the "paid for" programmes. This should be checked against the amount charged by FBC. Now that would be MOST interesting!

This gallant move by BBC to restore its reputation and integrity is in sharp contrast to the Malaysian side whose leaders have offered NO RESPONSE to the report by The Independent which you can read in full HERE. Broadcasting regulator Ofcom is investigating FBC.

Do we see politicians/ leaders apologizing for the ways in which they have erred such as for misappropriating funds or for over-spending?

Would our own MSM ever apologize like BBC if a similar situation were to arise or in the past when they came up with their own bizarre statements/reports/allegations?

What about the exorbitant amount spent on global broadcast networks??? Don't you think that amount as reported in the following excerpt would have gone a loooooong way to improve the various deficiencies that are so obvious in public goods of our country? Instead of such shameless and expensive publicity stunts, the $$$ could have been better spent on improving health care, public transport, better education, etc. Why spend good money to buy an image that can never ever hide the hideous scars and pockmarks of evil, greed, corruption and a host of other evils?

There is no need to spend the rakyat's money this way. All it takes is for the status quo to display good governance, rule of law, transparency, accountability, integrity and credibility. A tall order, perhaps?

And how much was spent? Get ready for a shock. Fasten your seat belts and read on!

According to the report,  the London-based firm and its parent company FBC Group went into administration last year — a legal term that allows a company facing bankruptcy to carry on business — following reports it accepted £17million from Putrajaya to burnish the Najib administration's image on global broadcast networks.

The final part of that article really spiked my blood pressure. Excerpt as follows:

FBC has been exposed to have also doubled up as a publicity firm for the Najib government and was paid millions of pounds to conduct a "Global Strategic Communications Campaign".

But Putrajaya has ended its RM96 million contract with FBC, which started in 2009, after it was revealed Malaysian government leaders regularly appeared in paid-for-TV programmes.

The Malaysian Insider has reported of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak contracting a series of public relations strategists, including APCO Worldwide, to polish his personal image and his government's locally and worldwide.

APCO's time in Malaysia was marked by controversy after the opposition alleged the public relations firm was linked to Israel.

The most recent hire are members of the team behind former British PM Tony Blair's "New Labour" campaign, who were reported to have started work to reinvent Najib as a moderate reformist.

Holy Moly, what next? Will another bombshell land in our backyard? Even if it did like in the past, would people admit and apologize or will they die in denial?

Najib Gadai Aqidah - Majlis Fatwa Jangan Jadi Tunggul, Perlu Beri Respons

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 09:23 AM PST

Majlis Fatwa diminta respons 'fatwa' Harussani

SHAH ALAM - Datuk Dr Ismail Ibrahim meminta Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan menyatakan pendiriannya berhubung kenyataan Mufti Perak, Tan Sri Dr Harussani Zakaria yang berpandangan bahawa Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak telah "menggadai akidah" apabila menghadiri sambutan Thaipusam, Selasa lalu.

Bekas Pengerusi Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan ini berkata, jawapan rasmi terhadap "fatwa" dibuat Harussani harus disegerakan kerana ia mungkin mengelirukan umat Islam jika tidak dimuktamadkan oleh Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan dan seterusnya disahkan Majlis Raja-raja sendiri.

Beliau yang juga bekas Ketua Pengarah Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia berkata, isu seberat ini tidak mungkin dilihat sebagai satu perselisihan pendapat atau perbezaan pandangan sahaja seperti perbezaan pentafsiran dalam hal-hal ranting dalam agama Islam.

"Hal akidah bukan lagi merupakan masalah kecil seperti masalah perbezaan mazhab dalam beberapa hukum cabang yang dikenali sebagai masalah Furu' bukan masalah usul. Hal akidah adalah merupakan hal iman, Islam seseorang," kata beliau dalam entri terbaru blognya.

Menurut laporan media semalam, Harussani melahirkan rasa terkilan dengan keputusan Najib menghadiri sambutan perayaan Thaipusam di Batu Caves. Najib juga pernah hadir samputan Thaipusam sebelum ini.

Tegas Harussani, walaupun sudah ditegur setiap tahun, namun Perdana Menteri seolah-olah tidak memandang berat akan kepentingan agama Islam dan akidah.

"Ini perbuatan syirik, saya tidak tahu mengapa jadi macam ini... sedangkan perayaan kaum lain kita tidak boleh sambut ini pula hadir di rumah ibadat mereka. Bagaimana boleh terlajak macam ini, sepatutnya perdana menteri wakilkan menteri beragama Hindu untuk menggantikan dirinya... sebab umat Islam tidak boleh terlibat dalam sambutan perayaan agama lain," katanya.

Ismail yang yang juga bekas duta Malaysia ke Arab Saudi berkata, beliau tidak berniat hendak menyokong atau membangkang kenyataan Mufti Perak yang mengatakan bahawa Perdana Menteri telah menggadaikan akidahnya dengan menghadiri perayaan Thaipusam.

Justeru soal beliau, "menggadai akidah adakah bermakna mencemarkan akidah? Menggadaikan akidah adakah bermakna terkeluar dari akidah Islam, dan seterusnya menjadi syirik?"

Katanya, "kalau inilah maksud menggadaikan akidah yang disebutkan oleh Mufti Perak itu, maka hal ini telah menjadi satu fatwa yang amat berat dan serius kepada umat Islam, terutamanya kepada batang tubuh Perdana Menteri sendiri, dan pihak bertanggungjawab tentang agama di negara kita haruslah memberikan perhatian yang serius juga kepada fatwa ini."

Tambah beliau, hal yang berhubung dengan akidah bukan perkara mudah kerana akidah merupakan keimanan kepada agama Islam itu sendiri dan akidah yang tergadai sekiranya dimaksudkan akidah yang telah tercemar atau terkeluar dari akidah Islam, maka orang itu dengan sendirinya menjadi tidak mukmin dan tidak Islam, syirik dan kafir.

"Apakah pengertian ini yang dimaksudkan oleh Mufti Perak dengan ungkapan menggadaikan akidah itu? Juga kenyataannya tentang perbuatan syirik yang dilakukan oleh Perdana Menteri itu," ujar beliau.

Malah katanya, hal itu perlu diperjelaskan supaya umat Islam tidak menjadi keliru dengan fatwa Mufti Perak tentang orang Islam yang menyertai perayaan tersebut.

"Mungkin Jakim, Majlis-majlis Agama Negeri, Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan, malah Raja-raja Melayu sendiri sebagai Ketua Agama Negeri perlu segera mengambil tindakan bagi membincangkan fatwa Mufti Perak ini dan memberikan keputusan yang muktamad dalam isu ini," katanya lagi. -SH

Teras gesa keluar fatwa Najib hadiri Thaipusam

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Feb: Teras Pengupayaan Melayu (Teras) amat kesal untuk kesekian kalinya Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan isterinya, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor tidak mempedulikan nasihat dan teguran Mufti Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria mengenai kehadiran dalam ucapara peribadatan Thaipusam baru-baru ini.

"Apakah PM merasa bahawa tidak perlu dipedulikan semada tingkahlakunya bercanggah dengan agama Islam atau tidak?

"Apakah teguran Mufti itu tidak dianggap perlu untuk beliau hormati?" tanya presidennya, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid.

Teras, katanya mengambil perhatian berat apabila tahun sebelum ini Najib sekali lagi menunjukkan sikap tidak peduli terhadap ingatan Mufti Perak.

Menurutnya, pada tahun itu disaksikan gambar PM didirikan setinggi patung berhala di Batu Caves.

"Bukan sahaja ini merupakan persoalan yang akan memberi natijah tidak sihat kepada masyarakat Islam, malah di kacamata anak-anak muda juga menunjukkan PM sudah menerima agama boleh digadaikan hanya untuk mendapat sokongan politik.

"Teras menegaskan agar PM tidak mengambil sikap berdegil kepada teguran Mufti kerana ini akan disahkan oleh rakyat sebagai PM yang sudah mengamalkan pemikiran plural-liberal dalam kefahamannya terhadap agama,"
katanya kepada Harakahdaily.

Menurutnya, menghadhirkan diri dalam upacara khusus keagamaan bukan Islam adalah suatu yang tidak diterima dalam Islam malah diingatkan agar umat Islam menjauhinya kerana ia boleh dilihat sebagai memperakui agama tersebut sama dengan agama Islam.

Padahal, ujarnya Islam sangat jelas dalam hal ini yang dianggap prinsip aqidah yang tidak boleh dikompromi.

"Kami menegaskan agar pihak Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan segera mengeluarkan fatwa terhadap hal ini agar umat Islam khususnya dan rakyat amnya tidak akan keliru demi menjaga kemuliaan Islam dan aqidah umat," katanya lagi.

Ulasan GB

Semata-mata kerana yang melakukan kesalahan itu ialah Perdana Menteri, sekalian ulama dan mufti serta anggota majlis Fatwa tiba-tiba menjadi tunggul kayu. Tidak berani membantah, tidak berani menegur malah tak berani bersuara.

Inilah ulama yang disebutkan oleh Nabi sebagai ulama us'suq...ulama yang mencari nama dan kemewahan dengan melutut kepada pemerintah.

Ulamak yang menjual agamanya demi habuan dunia yang sedikit!

Laporan sebelum ini
klik untuk baca

Siapa gila babi? Polis, KFC, saksi yg rakam video?!

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:21 AM PST

Insiden di KFC: Polis tak ambil kira video di Youtube

Polis akan mengambil tindakan ke atas media yang didapati menimbulkan isu perkauman dalam laporan mereka berhubung insiden pergaduhan yang didakwa berlaku di sebuah restoran di Shah Alam, Isnin lalu.
Ketua Polis Daerah Shah Alam, ACP Zahedi Ayob berkata, polis juga akan mengambil tindakan ke atas penulis komen yang menimbulkan isu perkauman di Youtube, ekoran penerbitan rakaman insiden berkenaan di laman itu.

Menurutnya lagi, polis setakat ini hanya mengambil tindakan ke atas insiden pergaduhan di Kentucky Fried Chicken i-City itu mengikut Seksyen 323 Kanun Keseksaan.

NONE"Kita hanya ambil tindakan di atas pergaduhan itu. Lepas itu (rakaman) pergaduhan ini diletak dalam Youtube, komen yang timbulkan isu perkauman itu kita akan ambil tindakan lain.

"Kalau yang itu (isu perkauman) jadi kes lain. Kalau suratkhabar yang timbulkan perkauman (berhubung insiden itu), kita akan ambil tindakan ke atas suratkhabar," katanya ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini hari ini.

Polis juga tidak akan menggunakan rakaman di Youtube itu untuk siasatan kes pergaduhan tersebut, kata Ahmad Zahedi lagi.

Sebaliknya, polis hanya akan menggunakan rakaman video litar tertutup (CCTV) dari premis restoran itu, yang setakat ini masih belum diterima pasukannya, kata Ahmad Zahedi.
"(Rakaman) di Youtube tak boleh pakai sebab dah edit semua. Anda ingat itu rakaman betul?," katanya lagi.
Sekurang-kurangnya dua rakaman insiden berkenaan dikesan telah dimuatkan di Youtube dan mendapat perhatian meluas oleh pengguna Internet setakat ini.
Tambahnya, polis juga masih menunggu laporan perubatan daripada lelaki yang mendakwa dicederakan dalam insiden itu.

"Tinggal sekarang ini, kita buat kawad cam dan semak rakaman CCTV dari KFC, lepas itu kita akan tunggu laporan perubatan orang yang kata kena tumbuk itu, dia buat pemeriksaan perubatan.

"Kita nak tengok ada kesan (cedera) atau tidak," katanya lagi yang turut mengesahkan siasatan ke atas tiga orang kakitangan restoran tersebut.

Katanya, suspek – tiga lelaki berusia 20-an – itu juga tidak ditahan dan hanya diminta untuk hadir untuk pengecaman di ibu pejabat polis daerah itu.

"Kita buat kawad cam untuk (pengadu) kenalpasti siapa yang tumbuk dia, sama ada dia kenal atau tidak kenal. Macam mana nak tuduh kalau dia tak kenal siapa?," katanya lagi.

Tambahnya, polis juga telah mencatat kenyataan daripada sekurang-kurangnya sepuluh orang saksi dalam kes berkenaan.

The Six Affairs

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 06:46 AM PST

Thanks to reader SK Tio for sending me this list of jokes which I posted some time back under a different title (which I cannot remember). Good to revisit witty jokes which I am putting up for laughs with no intention to offend anyone. Have a restful evening!

The 1st Affair

A married man was having an affair with his secretary.

One day they went to her place and made love all afternoon.

Exhausted, they fell asleep and woke up at 8 PM.

The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub them in the grass and dirt.

He put on his shoes and drove home.

'Where have you been?' his wife demanded.

'I can't lie to you,' he replied,

'I'm having an affair with my secretary. We had s** all afternoon.'

She looked down at his shoes and said:

'You lying ba**ard! You've been playing golf!'

The 2nd Affair

A middle-aged couple had two beautiful daughters but always talked about having a son.

They decided to try one last time for the son they always wanted.

The wife got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy.

The joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son.

He was horrified at the ugliest child he had ever seen.

He told his wife: 'There's no way I can be the father of this baby. Look at the two beautiful daughters I fathered! Have you been fooling around behind my back?'

The wife smiled sweetly and replied: 'No, not this time!'

The 3rd Affair

A mortician was working late one night.

He examined the body of Mr. Schwartz, about to be cremated, and made a startling discovery.
Schwartz had the largest private part he had ever seen!

'I'm sorry Mr. Schwartz,' the mortician commented, 'I can't allow you to be cremated with such an impressive private part. It must be saved for posterity.'

So, he removed it, stuffed it into his briefcase, and took it home.

'I have something to show you won't believe,' he said to his wife,
opening his briefcase.

'My God!' the wife exclaimed, 'Schwartz is dead!'

The 4th Affair

A woman was in bed with her lover when she heard her husband opening the front door.

'Hurry,' she said, 'stand in the corner.'

She rubbed baby oil all over him, then dusted him with talcum powder.

'Don't move until I tell you,' she said. 'Pretend you're a statue.'

'What's this?' the husband inquired as he entered the room.

'Oh it's a statue,' she replied. 'The Smiths bought one and I liked it so I got one for us, too.'

No more was said, not even when they went to bed.

Around 2 AM the husband got up, went to the kitchen and returned with a sandwich and a beer.

'Here,' he said to the statue, 'have this. I stood like that for two days at the Smiths and nobody offered me a damned thing.'

The 5th Affair

A man walked into a cafe, went to the bar and ordered a beer.

'Certainly, Sir, that'll be one cent.'

'One Cent?' the man exclaimed.

He glanced at the menu and asked: 'How much for a nice juicy steak and a bottle of wine?'

'A nickel,' the barman replied.

'A nickel?' exclaimed the man. 'Where's the guy who owns this place?'

The bartender replied: 'Upstairs, with my wife.'

The man asked: 'What's he doing upstairs with your wife?'

The bartender replied: 'The same thing I'm doing to his business down here.'

The 6th & Best Affair

Jake was dying. His wife sat at the bedside.

He looked up and said weakly: 'I have something I must confess.'

'There's no need to, 'his wife replied.

'No,' he insisted, 'I want to die in peace. I slept with your sister, your best friend,
her best friend, and your mother!'

'I know,' she replied. 'Now just rest and let the poison work.'

-Author Unknown-

Janson plays Angry Bird Angry Pops Pop Pop: Pt 1

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 06:36 AM PST

Nothing caring about 1Care

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 05:40 AM PST

PETALING JAYA (Herald Malaysia): The proposed healthcare reforms under the 1Care for 1Malaysia transformation plan is nothing more than a move to enrich private companies, says a health activist. Dr T Jayabalan, the Citizens Healthcare Coalition spokesman, told a press conference that the government had long been flirting with the prospect of plunging its hand into the services sector and was now pushing ahead in the outsourcing of health services.

He reminded the media of the outsourcing of Malaysia Airlines System's (MAS) catering system in which a private company made a killing. "It's very clear that at the end of the day it is all about outsourcing," Jayabalan said. "There has been no consultation with the public except with pharmacists and selected segments of doctors."

"Its outsourcing vehicle is the Social Health Insurance (SHI) scheme. I find it fantastic that they use the word 'social' when there is nothing social about the scheme." Under the 1Care, healthcare will be provided by a single entity and each household would be required to contribute almost 10 per cent of gross household income for the SHI which only covers basic healthcare expense.

All clinics and hospitals will be incorporated into an umbrella of 1Care facilities and access to specialist healthcare will have to be through primary healthcare providers who will act as gate-keepers. A National Healthcare Financing Authority will be set up to take charge of 1Care. The coalition expects that this authority will likely be turned into a government-linked company.

According to Jayabalan, the doctors who were consulted over the 1Care were forced to sign a pledge to keep the information confidential. But a few, who disagreed with the plan, had stepped forward to furnish him with the details. "Hushing up the scheme's details is unacceptable," Jayabalan stated. "Healthcare is a social issue which affects the country's progress and productivity."

No thought for public welfare

The coalition views 1Care as a thinly veiled attempt by the government to turn yet another public services sector into a business without a thought for the people's welfare. "We have already lost the education sector and we cannot afford to lose the healthcare sector," he said. "The biggest issue now is that the government wants to transfer part of the cost to the people in what it calls cost-sharing."

"This is the language of the World Bank which has always promoted the removal of subsidies. And the government's claim that it is illequipped to bear the cost of healthcare doesn't hold water as it doesn't fork out much anyway." Jayabalan also pointed out an alarming discrepancy in the Health Minister's words and actions pertaining to 1Care. He said that despite the ministry assuring the public that the plan was only at the conceptual stage, it has already begun nationwide roadshows to promote the plan.

"I daresay that it is already at the final stages of implementation," he said. "The government is also separating the pharmacists and doctors and this tactic of division is the best way to push a plan through." But he still believed that it is not too late for citizens to push back (the plan), especially with the general election around the corner. Noting that 1Care could be an unpopular move, he said that the government might backtrack if the dissent was strong enough.

Jayabalan also rattled off a list of alternatives to these proposed healthcare reforms. The first is to retain the current healthcare system with reforms aimed at improving public healthcare as well as increasing government funding for this sector. "The government could include the pooling of risks… with the poor being subsidised by the rich," he said. "But the country will be headed for disaster if we dispense the current system for an American one." -- By Stephanie Sta Maria, FMT
Hat tip: Catholic Herald

[Video] Filem Biadab Barat Permainkan Kematian Osama Laden

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:31 AM PST

Kematian Osama bin Laden dipermainkan

SALT LAKE CITY - Kematian pemimpin Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden telah dipermainkan sebuah syarikat penerbitan tidak bertanggungjawab di Utah selepas mereka menerbitkan filem zombi (mayat berjalan) menggunakan watak beliau.

Filem berjudul Osambie: The Axis of Evil Dead itu memaparkan pertempuran antara Unit Angkatan Khas Pertubuhan Perjanjian Atlantik Utara (Nato) dengan kumpulan militan zombi di kawasan gurun diketuai oleh Osama yang kononnya bangkit dari kematiannya.

Pengarah eksekutif, Kynan Griffin berkata, skrip tersebut telah dihasilkan sebelum Osama dibunuh pada Mei lalu.

Ia turut menggunakan tagline 'Bin Laden Will Die Again' (Osama akan mati sekali lagi) yang dianggap biadab dan dilihat bakal mencetuskan kemarahan orang Islam.

Sementara itu, sebuah lagi filem kontroversi arahan Kathryn Bigelow yang berkisar mengenai operasi memburu Osama juga akan diterbitkan walaupun menerima kritikan banyak pihak kerana ia secara terang mendedahkan misi rahsia Agensi Penyiasatan Pusat (CIA).

A Connection With Allah

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 03:15 AM PST

Civil servant earns $295 a month and drives a Porsche

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 04:18 AM PST

MANILA - On the surface, it looked like any old road-rage case, except that this one escalated well beyond the everyday realm of fisticuffs.
A minor fender bender between two cars - one a Porsche - sparked an altercation. Things quickly got out of hand when the Porsche driver pulled out a gun and took some shots at the other driver. He missed, and was later arrested.

When police investigated, things really went south for the gun-wielding driver, Mr Paulino Elevado. It turned out he was a Customs officer, and the cops' questions turned naturally to how a civil servant earning less than 10,000 pesos (S$295) a month came to be driving a Porsche worth about 5 million pesos.
The port clerk, however, maintained that the sports car did not belong to him - although local media found the car's licence plate registered to an Elevado. The case, which made the headlines in Manila, has highlighted huge problems the authorities face in trying to clean up the Philippines' corruption-riddled Customs bureau.
Pic: credit to Paultan.

Pilihanraya Dipanggil Selepas SPRM "Bersihkan" Skandal NFC

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 04:59 AM PST

Panel SPRM bincang tiga kes profil tinggi

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) akan membincangkan tiga kes berprofil tinggi, termasuk melibatkan National Feedlot Center dalam satu mesyuarat jawatankuasa penilaiannya pada 23 Februari.

Satu kenyataan dikeluarkan suruhanjaya itu menyebut, perbincangan itu juga melibatkan siasatan ke atas dua orang ADUN PKR Selangor – Amirudin Shari dan Shuhaimi Shafiei – berhubung dakwaan penyelewengan dan sindiket kecurian pasir di negeri itu.

Satu lagi kes yang akan dibincangkan melibatkan dakwaan penyelewengan dan penyalahgunaan kuasa bekas ketua pegawai eksekutif Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan, Abdul Ariffahmi Ab Rahman.

Siasatan lengkap ke atas kes berkenaan telahpun lengkap dan dikaji oleh Pejabat Peguam Negara dan akan dikemukakan kepada panel berkenaan.

"Panel ini adalah satu mekanisme bebas yang telah dibentik oleh kerajaan bagi memastikan SPRM menjalankan tugas dengan bebas, telus without fear and favour," kenyataan itu dipetik.

Terma rujukan untuk panel yang dipengerusikan bekas ketua audit negara Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil itu antara lainnya menyatakan bahawa ia dibentuk untuk meneliti kes melibatkan suspek yang telah ditahan dan dilepaskan dengan jaminan melebih enam bulan oleh SPRM.

Selain itu, panel itu juga akan menerima laporan daripada SPRM berhubung kertas siasatan yang tidak mendapat apa-apa keputusan selepas tempoh melebihi enam bulan.

Panel itu juga dibentuk untuk menerima dan meneliti laporan daripada Suruhanjaya berhubung Kertas
Siasatan yang mana tempoh siasatan melebihi tempoh 12 bulan.

Laporan tahunan dan ulasan panel berkenaan berhubung perjalanan operasi siasatan SPRM akan diserahkan kepada perdana menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak. -mk

SPRM: Siasatan babitkan 2 Adun PKR selesai

SHAH ALAM - Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) berkata, siasatan lengkap Jabatan Peguam Negara terhadap dua Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Selangor, yang didakwa terlibat dalam isu rasuah dan skandal perlombongan pasir di Selangor, telah diperoleh dan akan dibentangkan kepada Panel Penilaian Operasi akhir bulan ini.

Sehubungan itu, SPRM akan mengemukakan laporan siasatan kepada panel berkenaan untuk mengkaji, meneliti dan mengesyorkan hasil daripada keputusan itu.

"SPRM ingin memaklumkan bahawa siasatan berkaitan kes terhadap Adun Seri Muda, Shuhaimi Shafiei dan Adun Batu Caves, Amirudin Shaari telah lengkap dan pihak Pejabat Peguam Negara telah mengkaji dan meneliti kes tersebut dan kini telah diterima semula oleh suruhanjaya ini.

"Sehubungan itu, suruhanjaya akan mengemukakan kertas tersebut kepada Panel Penilaian Operasi untuk mengkaji, meneliti dan mengesyorkan hasil daripada keputusan yang telah diperolehi daripada Jabatan Peguam Negara," kata SPRM dalam satu kenyataan lewat hari ini.

Panel itu yang dipengerusikan bekas Ketua Audit Negara, Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil serta dianggotai tujuh yang lain dilantik kerajaan daripada kalangan mereka yang mempunyai kepakaran dan mewakili badan-badan profesional yang bersesuaian bagi memastikan SPRM menjalankan tugas dengan bebas serta telus tanpa rasa takut dan memihak.

Panel ini dijangka bersidang pada 23 Februari depan, kata kenyataan itu lagi.

Sebelum ini, penulis blog Raja Petra Kamarudin mendakwa Shuhaimi dan Amirudin terlibat dalam isu penyelewengan dan sindiket kecurian pasir di Selangor.

Selain kes berkenaan, SPRM juga akan turut membentangkan kes Pusat Fidlot Nasional dan kes yang melibatkan siasatan terhadap menantu Menteri Besar Kelantan, Ariff Fahmi Abdul Rahman kepada semua ahli panel.

Dalam kenyataan pagi ini, kedua-dua wakil rakyat berkenaan menafikan unsur rasuah, sebaliknya mendakwa ia laporan direka oleh blog.

Ulasan GB

Tiba-tiba kes pasir di Selangor dan kes Ariffahmi di Kelantan ditimbulkan semula dan disekalikan dengan kes NFC.

Itu sebab mengapa sebelum ini GB menulis sewaktu mengulas mengapa isu pasir yang telah lama ditimbulkan semula. Petikan:

Sekarang ini semacam wujud satu fenomena baru iaitu mewujudkan isu-isu lapuk untuk memburukkan imej kerajaan PR Selangor seperti siu pasir, isu gambar bogel Elizabeth Wong dan sebagainya menjelang PRU13 di dalam misi UMNO BN Tawan Selangor.

Mereka ketandusan isu, lantas cuba "menggilap" isu lama dengan harapan rakyat terpedaya.

Maka diperalatkan Pengarah Eksekutif NFCorp dan RPK yang sekarang ini tersepit dengan pelbagai skandal dan isu yang melanda mereka berdua.

Mereka berdua (Wan Shahinur &RPK) seperti "disuruh" oleh pihak tertentu untuk membangkitkan isu berkenaan.

Mengapa isu pasir dan Ariffahmi ditimbulkan? Kerana untuk memerangkap Pakatan Rakyat: jangan kecoh-kecohkan NFC, kami juga boleh buka semula kes pasir dan lain-lain.

Hasilnya nanti ialah: NFC akan diisytiharkan bersih dari penyelewengan, sekali dengan isu pasir dan Ariffahmi!

Hal yang sama pernah berlaku dimana dua kes ditutup serentak oleh SPRM dahulu untuk menyelamatkan Ketua Menteri Melaka dimana kes politik wang membabitkan Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam disekaliguskan dengan 7 kes lain dan salah satunya ialah kes lembu korban yang membabitkan Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Walaupun nyata Ali Rustam bersalah dan Tan Sri Khalid tidak berslaah, tetapi ia disekaliguskan untuk pastikan rakyat tidak "menyoal" mengapa Ali Rustam dilepaskan. SPRM akan menjawab: kami juga lepaskan MB Selangor!

Kes-kes lain yang ditutup termasuk siasatan terhadap timbalan menteri di jabatan perdana menteri, Datuk T Murugiah; kes bekas speaker DUN Perak, V Sivakumar; kes bekas timbalan ketua menteri Pulau Pinang, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin; kes dakwaan salahguna kuasa dan peruntukan ADUN Jawi Tan Beng Huat; kes ADUN Batu Tiga, Selangor Rodziah Ismail serta dua anggota Majlis Pimpinan Pusat PKR yang didakwa cuba merasuah calon bebas DUN Penanti, Pulau Pinang Aminah Abdullah.

Kesemuanya disekaliguskan untuk menyelamatkan profail-profail BN.

Tetapi SPRM jawab: "Tengok, bukan saja pemimpin BN, tapi pemimpin PR pun dilepaskan sebab tiada kes!"

Demikianlah yang bakal berlaku untuk kes NFC.

Dan sebaik saja SPRM mengumumkan demikian nanti, maka pilihanraya pun dipanggil dengan harapan rakyat tidak lagi bersuara mengenai NFC.

Nak bersuara tentang NFC, maka SPRM akan keluarkan sekali isu pasir dan Ariffahmi semula. Begitulah taktiknya, hasil baccan GB, dan sekalian orang yang mahu mengikuti kebenaran dan keadilan.

SPRM bijak bukan? Tapi mereka terlupa bahawa Allah Maha Bijaksana!

Allahumma... arinal haqqa haqqan... warzuqnat-tiba'ah
wa arinal bathila bathilaan ... warzuqnaj tinabah...

Tuduhan Hassan Ali, Pemuda PAS Buat Laporan Polis, Nasruddin Buat U-Turn [updated]

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 02:24 AM PST

Pemuda PAS lapor polis terhadap Hasan Ali

Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat hari ini membuat satu laporan polis terhadap Datuk Dr Hasan Mohd Ali ekoran kenyataan bekas exco Selangor itu yang didakwa boleh mencetuskan suasana tegang dan mengancam keselamatan negara.

Ianya merujuk kepada kenyataan Hasan ketika berceramah pada 31 Januari lalu di Padang Awam Seksyen 2, Bandar Baru Bangi yang dilaporkan berkata bahawa apabila Pakatan Rakyat mengambil alih tampuk kuasa Putrajaya, DAP akan menggabungkan Malaysia dengan Singapura untuk menubuhkan sebuah negara republik.

Di samping itu, Hasan Ali yang dipecat keahlian dari PAS awal Januari lalu itu juga dilaporkan mendakwa bahawa DAP akan memansuhkan Artikel 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan menghapuskan elemen-elemen Islam di negara kita.

"Ucapan ini pada kita sangat bahaya dan boleh mengundang ketidakharmonian antara kaum.

"Ia juga satu kenyataan berniat jahat yang cuba menghasut masyarakat membenci PAS serta parti komponen lain dalam Pakatan Rakyat," kata Naib Ketua Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat Dr. Raja Ahmad Iskandar Al-Hiss.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika dihubungi Harakahdaily selepas selesai membuat laporan polis itu di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Dang Wangi pagi tadi.

Turut serta dalam rombongan itu, exco Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat termasuk Mohd Sany Hamzan dan Mohd Adram Musa.

"Kalau ianya tidak benar, dia (Hasan Ali) kena nafikan lah, namun sehingga hari ini belum ada sebarang penafian dari beliau.

"Jadi untuk permulaan kita serah kepada pihak berkuasa menyiasat perkara ini dan kita telah bersedia untuk mengambil tindakan lanjut selepas itu," kata Raja Ahmad. -HD

Hasan Ali Perlu Buktikan DAP Mahukan Negara Republik

SHAH ALAM 9 FEB: Bekas Exco Selangor, Datuk Dr Hasan Ali diminta supaya tidak terus membohongi dan menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu dengan kenyataan DAP akan menjadikan Malaysia sebagai Negara Republik sekiranya Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) menang dalam Pilihanraya umum ke-13 (PRU-13) akan datang.

Ahli Parlimen Shah Alam, Khalid Samad berkata, adalah tidak logik DAP mampu membentuk kerajaan sedangkan mereka hanya bertanding 15 kerusi di Selangor dan 46 kerusi Parlimen.

Oleh yang demikian, beliau mencabar Hasan Ali supaya mengemukakan perkiraan yang membolehkan DAP berkuasa di negara ini.

"Saya nak mintak dia gunakan PhDnya buktikan kepada saya macam mana bertanding 15 kerusi di Selangor boleh menang 29 kerusi. Gunalah PhD awak, tunjuk kepada saya. DAP hanya bertanding 15 daripada 56 kerusi di Selangor.

"Bertanding di peringkat pusat, DAP bertanding 46 kerusi Parlimen daripada 222 kerusi. Kalau nak memerintah negara, sehingga ingin menjadikan Malaysia negara republik, dia memerlukan dua pertiga. Majoriti mudah mereka memerlukan 112 kerusi. Minta dia buat tesis macam mana bertanding 46 kerusi bagaimana boleh menang 112 (kerusi)," katanya.

Sekiranya gagal, adalah lebih baik Hasan mengambil pendekatan berdiam diri daripada terus menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu jelas beliau.

Sebelum ini, DAP melalui Penasihatnya, Lim Kit Siang menyatakan pendirian bahawa parti itu menyokong 100 peratus Islam sebagai agama rasmi negara serta bukan sebuah parti anti Melayu dan institusi DiRaja.

Beliau turut mencabar Timbalan Presiden Umno, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin supaya mengemukakan bukti yang mengatakan DAP ingin menjadikan Malaysia sebuah negara republik.

Katanya, adalah lebih baik berhujah mengenai dasar masing-masing dan membiarkan rakyat membuat keputusan dalam menentukan pemimpin mereka.

Katanya, meskipun jumlah kerusi campuran DAP dan PKR berjumlah 27 kerusi tidak ada keperluan untuk PAS tunduk kepada DAP walaupun hanya memiliki 7 kerusi memandangkan untuk membentuk kerajaan negeri memerlukan sekurang-kurangnya 29 kerusi.

Ujar beliau, sudah semestinya Pakatan tidak boleh membentuk kerajaan di Selangor tanpa PAS.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika mengadakan sidang media hari ini. -tvsnews

Nasrudin: Saya tidak lagi dengan Hasan Ali

GOMBAK - Ketua Pemuda Pas Pusat, Nasrudin Hasan menegaskan, beliau tidak lagi bersama Datuk Dr Hasan Mohamed Ali, malah tidak ambil peduli terhadap tindak tanduk bekas Pesuruhjaya Pas Selangor itu.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas spekulasi mendakwa Dewan Pemuda Pas berada di belakang dan menyokong tindakan-tindakan diambil Hasan.

Nasrudin berkata, setelah Hasan dipecat dan tiada rayuan dibuat, beliau menganggap bekas Exco Selangor itu sebagai orang luar yang tiada kena-mengena dengan Pas.

Hasan dipecat oleh Pas pada 8 Januari dan minggu lalu, beliau mengumumkan tidak akan membuat rayuan.

"Saya difahamkan sebelum ini dalam 'roadshow' beliau, Hasan ada berkata yang Pemuda berada di belakangnya, menyokongnya. Di sini saya nak tegaskan bahawa saya tak bersama beliau selepas dia keluar Pas dan dia tidak kemuka rayuan. Saya tak bersama beliau," katanya pada sidang media selepas mesyuarat bulanan Pemuda Pas di sini, hari ini.

Selain itu, Nasrudin berkata, walaupun terdapat beberapa kenyataannya sebelum ini yang didakwa menyebelahi Hasan, ia disebabkan Adun Gombak Setia itu masih lagi ahli Pas.

"Pemuda sejak awal lagi konsisten perjuangkan Islam. Kita tak pernah menyeleweng seperti yang didakwa dia (Hasan) yang mengatakan Pas kini mengabaikan perjuangan. Dari segi penubuhan negara kebajikan, kita cuma memperhalusi pendekatan dan perbaharui tindakan yang sesuai mengikut suasana. Itu perkara biasa.

"Mungkin bila kita ubah nama dari negara Islam kepada negara kebajikan, dia mengatakan kita sudah abai perjuangan. Sebenarnya tidak ada beza pun. Negara kebajikan ialah membina negara Islam," tegasnya. -SH

Ada Juga Lembu NFC Yang Masih Mahu Shahrizat Jadi Menteri

Posted: 11 Feb 2012 01:10 AM PST

Umno: Sharizat tidak perlu letak jawatan

JENGKA – Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil tidak ada sebab untuk meletakkan jawatan ekoran isu kontroversi Pusat Fidlot Nasional (NFC), kata Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Ketua Penerangan Umno berkata, Shahrizat tidak seharusnya meletakkan jawatan kerana suaminya yang merupakan Pengerusi Eksekutif NFCorporation tidak disabitkan dengan sebarang kesalahan sebagaimana didakwa oleh sesetengah pihak.

"Shahrizat tidak seharusnya dibebani dengan masalah NFC ini kerana beliau tidak ada kena-mengena dengan syarikat tersebut walaupun suaminya mempunyai kaitan.

"Itu adalah satu kebetulan. Shahrizat tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk menghalang suaminya untuk berniaga. Tambahan pula, jika suami atau isteri menteri tidak berniaga, apa lagi kerja yang mereka boleh lakukan," katanya di sini, malam tadi.

Ahmad berkata demikian sebagai respons kepada desakan beberapa pihak supaya Ketua wanita Umno itu melepaskan semua jawatan dalam kerajaan dan parti bagi melicinkan proses siasatan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) terhadap isu NFC.

Beliau turut berkata, geran bernilai RM250 juta yang diberikan oleh kerajaan kepada syarikat tersebut bukan diperuntukkan secara percuma, sebaliknya ia adalah satu bentuk hutang yang perlu dibayar.

"Selain itu, NFC, sama seperti lima atau enam syarikat lain, mereka turut bertanding untuk mendapatkan tender di mana mereka akan membuat pembentangan atau taklimat dan hanya syarikat terbaik sahaja yang terpilih.

"Tambahan pula, syarikat tersebut mendapat kelulusan projek dari Kementerian Pertanian (dan Industri Asas Tani) dan bukan Kementerian Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat yang dipegang oleh Shahrizat," katanya.

Beliau turut menegaskan, jawatankuasa NFC juga telah memutuskan bahawa Shahrizat tidak ada kaitan dengan syarikat tersebut. -SH

Umno Cheras: Selesaikan isu NFC sebelum p'raya

Ketua Umno bahagian Cheras Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee berkata kontroversi yang timbul berhubung isu syarikat National Feedlot Corporation perlu diselesaikan sebelum pilihan raya umum ke-13 diadakan.

Katanya, beliau tidak mahu isu yang membelenggu ketua sayap wanita parti itu, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, menghakis sokongan rakyat terhadap kepemimpinan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Isu tersebut bakal menjadi beban besar kepada Umno sekiranya tidak ditangani, katanya seperti dipetik blog

"Jangan salahkan rakyat (pengundi) jika mereka beralih sokongan disebabkan kegagalan kerajaan menangani isu berkaitan kepentingan umum termasuk NFC," katanya lagi.

Kenyataannya itu timbul berikutan pendedahan terbaru PKR semalam berhubung dakwaan pembelian dua lagi kondominium, bernilai RM34.6 juta di di kawasan mewah Pusat Kewangan Marina Bay, Central Boulevard, Singapura.

Pengarah strategi PKR, Rafizi Ramli semalam berkata, pembelian tersebut dipercayai diluluskan oleh bank-bank terbabit sebagai urusan timbal balik kerana National Feedlot Centre dan syarikat-syarikat berkaitan yang dimiliki keluarga Shahrizat mempunyai deposit yang besar di bank-bank tersebut.

Deposit berkenaan didakwa merupakan sebahagian daripada dana RM250 juta yang diluluskan bagi tujuan operasi National Feedlot Centre.

Kedua-dua hartanah itu dimiliki oleh suami Shahrizat, Datuk Mohd Salleh Ismail dan anak mereka, Wan Shahinur Izran.

Syed Ali juga menegaskan bahawa rakyat mahu isu yang mendapat perhatian media antarabangsa itu dijelaskan secara sahih.

"Jika semua dakwaan pembangkang terutama PKR itu fitnah, saya minta pihak berkenaan menafikannya secara terbuka berserta bukti atau fakta yang tepat bagi meyakinkan rakyat," katanya lagi.

Masyarakat umum mungkin membentuk persepsi bahawa dakwaan tersebut sebagai sesuatu yang "benar" sekiranya tidak dinafikan oleh keluarga Shahrizat, tambahnya.

Katanya lagi, keluarga Shahrizat juga tidak perlu takut jika mereka benar-benar tidak terlibat dalam penyelengan mahupun salahguna kuasa dalam kes tersebut.

MIC’s subservient and self sentered support for UMNO has eroded the basic human rights of Malaysian Indians

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 10:22 PM PST

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk S.K. Devamany supported the proposed race Relations act by referring to incidences such as the Kampung Jawa temple demolition and the Interlok novel controversies which have been could have been avoided. He further added we must understand that Malaysia is a multiracial country and we want to preserve unity in main stream newspapers. The examples Devamany gave seem to be puzzling. Is the Race Relations act just to avoid minorities and victims from voicing their grievances?

Race Relation Act is needed to eliminate racial discrimination in public and private sector employment, entrance to university and matriculation levels, open tender in government procurements and providing equal opportunities in employment.  At the same time, the government needs to set up a Race Relation Commission which is made up of all races in Malaysia.  This act will also outline the mechanics and methodology in implementing the Race Relation Act.

Instead of giving the above mentioned reasons for supporting Race Relations Act, Devemany is giving the examples of Kampong Jawa temple breaking and interlok novel as reasons why Malaysia needs a race relations act. The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, along with the squatter settlement of Rimba Jaya, was demolished in 2007 by the then BN-led state government as part of its Zero Squatter programme. The kampong Jawa temple breaking in November 2007, infuriated the Indian community to revolt against the BN government which lead to the loss of 5 states to PR and the denial of 2/3 majority in parliament. The introduction of interlok novel upsets and irked Malaysian Indian parents who persistently campaigned against the novel till the government withdrew as school text book.

Before introduction Race Relations act the government must remove all discriminative policies and practices. All race based political parties must be disbanded. All higher education institutions for exclusively one race must be converted into multi racial institutions where students of different backgrounds meet and mingle with each other. Without preparing the ground for such open and inclusive interactions amongst all Malaysians, race relation act will be another peaceful assembly act.

From the incidences referred by Datuk Devemany, as reasons for introducing race relations act, the intent and purpose of Malaysian race relations act looks sinister and restrict Malaysian human rights and not to provide equal rights. With MIC henchmen like devemany around UMNO will wipe out what ever little space the minorities have.  Malaysian Indians must resolve to wipe out MIC from the political scene once and for all to redeem their dignity and pride as citizens of this country.

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

PM Najib Has Split and divided the Indians

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 10:17 PM PST

Malaysian Indians were the loyal supporters of MIC/BN with high hope of being uplifted from their socio economic quagmire due to the induction of NEP. The New economic policy introduced in 1971 had deliberately blocked and hindered the progress of Malaysian Indians. To overcome the effect of NEP blockage MIC ventured into setting up their own educational institutions like Tafe, AIMST etc and set up their companies like MAIKA holdings. MIC went to the Indian community for financial support to set up these institutions. The poor community in good faith gave them whatever they had. But MIC cheated, betrayed and let down the community which became poorer. But MIC continued to give hope without any results. Finally in March 2008 the community dumped MIC.
Having lost all respect and faith of Indian community, MIC lost the confidence and trust of UMNO. To UMNO, MIC can no more deliver Indian votes.  After the 2008 election results the Prime Minister Datuk seri Najib tun Razak took it upon himself to win the Indian votes. In fact he is the defacto leader of Indian community. The prime minister in his personnel capacity reached out to the various groups like the sikhs, Malayalees, Telegus, temple of fine arts (TFA), divine life soceity (DLS) etc and MIC just prod along to show that they still matter. He gave handouts directly from his office. 
The prime minister has recruited a personal assistant for Indian affairs who report directly to him. MIC leaders now have to go through him to reach the prime minister. MIC has become just a show piece without any power to decide on the Indian community. Besides the Prime minister has created other Indian bases to work along BN like the chamber of Indian traders, Makkal sakti group, Anwar discard Nallakaruppan, PPP, IPF, new party called justice party etc. MIC has become irrelevant to the Indian cause and their local leaders at district level are remnants of samy velu era. They are just runners of UMNO warlords. 

The prime minister has successfully split and divided the Indian community so much so that they have no say at all in BN. He guards UMNO and Malays from getting divided and no new Malay based party is admitted into BN. But for Indians more groups are welcomed and he will give the party leaders cash handout generously. As in the past the biggest problem of Indians in this racially segregated country is political leadership. The Tamil political leadership has failed to lead the masses. A few trusted leaders have let down the community in the past. Now we have trust deficit on Indian leadership by the Indian community in Malaysia. BN is struggling to redeem its relevance to the current political expectations of Malays and Chinese. Can the Indian community come up with their assessment of the political development and their position? Can we as a community send a message to the national leaders? 
The vacuum and opportunities has made many unworthy candidates vying to fill in the leadership position. Unless the educated and dedicated Indians come forward we may be worse off in the changing political landscape in Malaysia. Our future is in our hand. Can we stand up and be counted?

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

The slaying of our sacred cows by S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 10:21 PM PST

COMMENT I have been reading with cynical amusement the comments section on the Malaysiakini reports regarding Prime Minister Najib Razak's sincere appeal to the "Hindu" community to trust the BN government. Najib is being mocked for asking for the trust of the "Hindus" but I suspect readers may have misunderstood our honourable PM. He is merely applying the same standards as he would on his own community, seeing as how there are so many Indonesian, Filipinos and Burmese, he assumes that all Indians are Hindus as are all these constitutionally created Malay-Muslims. So I take no offense.

Before The Obedient Wives Club become the fashionable object of public scorn, the MIC - the oldest political party in Malaysia - had already staked a claim to that title. And for the past 30 or so years, who can claim that it has not served its lord and master (Umno) with the utmost diligence. One only has to conjure up the well-documented image of MP P Kamalanathan kissing the hand of DPM Muhyiddin Yassin (in a Malay wife like fashion) to understand the depth of the MIC's commitment to the institution of Umno matrimony.

The MIC or CashMoneyBrothers as I like to refer to them (to understand this reference, readers are encouraged to watch the overwrought movie, New Jack City) has no doubt played a major role in the dismal situation of the Indian community, but the reality is, Indians themselves are also to blame for their misfortune. Voting members of the Indian community (generally poor and disenfranchised) voted for the MIC and the BN believing the propaganda that MIC spewed because the reality for them was much worse. Better to vote in hope then not at all. The bourgeois class either abstained from voting out of disinterest in the thug politics of the MIC or a general apathy towards the political process.

This of course did not preclude them from embracing indulgent Indian "cultural" societies or attending glittery Indian society events, both of which had the grubby handprints of the MIC. What Hindraf managed to do, and do really well, was to wake up an apathetic Indian middle class to the plight of their less fortunate brethren. It is ironic, since this Western educated section of the Indian electorate who for so long felt alienated from the political process now feels estrangement from the general Indian population because of the rhetoric of P Uthayakumar which vacillates from sublime race-baiting to the downright bizarre.

The fact that the movement is a hodge-podge of Indian intellectuals and working-class foot soldiers is a reminder of the class divisions which is endemic in the Indian community. What is it with Indians and blame shifting? Didn't S Samy Vellu right here in Malaysiakini blame the failures of MIC and the problems of the community he was supposed to represent on former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad? So much for Indian brotherhood.

Politics of temples and Tamil schools

The Indian community like their Malay sibling suffers from the same religious enthrallment. However, unlike the Malays, who have a state-subsidised religion, the Indian community has to pay for their religious fervour in the forms of temples and themselves. The moneyed class provides some of the funds (as does the state) but more often then not, it is the poor who fork out exorbitant sums for these impressive structures which serves no purpose but to bilk the most vulnerable members of the community of their hard-earned money.

The priest caste which is in substance a mercantile class is sourced form India and Sri Lanka who lord it over a subservient Indian population all the while living in conditions far beyond the means of the average devotee. Of course, the MIC is part of this process but who do we blame but ourselves for the millions of ringgit spent on "poojas" and accoutrements of piety when such money could have been used for purposes far more practical and beneficial to the community then the worship of a thousand Gods?

Hindus may mock the overt consumerism of their born-again Christian brothers and sisters but have they taken a good hard look at how temples recycle the flowers, fruits and various other religious paraphernalia? It's big business and these so-called men of god know how to make a profit. They are the modern Pharisees. Do they not see the sacrilege of wasting milk when washing idols, when there is poverty all around them? The temple issue and it's always revolves around temples has become the focus point of the "Indian" issue and has been used by the MIC to demonstrate its influence in the government or the lack of opposition influence, when it comes to matters pertaining to the Indian community.

How much money spent over the years, raised from the ignorant Indian masses for the construction of temples which then become contentious issues in the ongoing race debate? The MIC did not force us to give them money, we willingly handed it over to them. Umno had nothing to do with this. And if there is a level of ignorance amongst the general Indian population, then the finger must surely be pointed at the Indian school system. No doubt the MIC is to blame for this sad state of affairs but just as the MCA together with the DAP can rightly claim a part of the tremendous success of the Chinese school system, the bulk of the credit should go to the Chinese community as a whole as the blame for the state of Tamil schools to the Indian community.

Can Indian schools boast the same level of academic achievement as Chinese schools? Can Indian schools boast the same level of discipline in its student population as Chinese schools? And if these schools are transmitting some sort of "Indian culture", something that I believe is in the purview of parents not a school system, what kind of culture is being transmitted looking at the level of crime, gender inequality and subservience to religious figures plaguing the Indian community? I am very well aware of the systemic racism that is inflicted upon the non-Malays but let us acknowledged at the very least, that the discrimination faced by a certain disenfranchised segment of our (Indian) community is perpetuated by the still simmering caste divisions.

Take a page from MP Jeyakumar

In Sungai Siput, Dr Michael D Jeyakumar (below) was fast becoming the patron saint of his own lost cause. The best thing that has happened to the Indian community besides the spurt of Hindraf-inspired activism is the fall of the long-time MIC despot at the hands of this humble country doctor in the 2008 general elections. The PSM stalwart symbolises everything that is admirable about politics in this country (and there is precious little which is admirable) and these few brief words does the man and his cause a great injustice.

I hope to elaborate on why I think politicians like him are the way forward for a new generation of Malaysians in a future piece. I know many Pakatan Indian representatives in PKR and DAP. They are honourable people but what I fear is that old habits die hard, especially when they get so much political mileage and the Indian reps in Pakatan will be forced to voice the same old concerns for the community as the MIC did.

Furthermore, some of my Indian friends, those from the middle class have expressed concern that Indian problems would shift from a race-based perspective to a class-based one. I don't have a problem with this except that experience has shown that any class-based discourse concerns itself with the problems faced by the middle class and not the poorer members of society.

Perhaps we can take a page from MP Jeyakumar who when asked how he intends to serve the Indian community after his win over Samy Vellu, replied, "I am here to serve all members of the community, not only the Indians." So yes, I am arguing that Indian activists should abandon the struggle for Indian schools and the creation of more temples and disregard this absurd notion that 'Indian interests" is best exemplified by the two.

I'll go further, until we get to a place where the Indian community has recovered from their own ignorance and the machinations of the MIC, we should halt construction of temples and only support high performing Indian schools or those with potential. The student populations of most Indians schools should be integrated into mainstream national schools.

This in no way means that we should not protest against efforts to demolish existing temples or any other non-Muslim religious structures. Najib is correct in asking for the trust of the "Hindu" (Indian) voting public because for the past 30 years Umno-BN has known exactly what they want. However, he has no interests or desire in discovering or fulfilling what the Malaysian public - be they Orang Asli, Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians - really need. Malaysiakini.

UMNO insults and degrades non Malays but no qualm robbing them their share

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 10:14 PM PST

UMNO the dominant party of BN has long treated the non Malays and non Muslims as second class citizen. With the mass influx of Muslim foreign workers the non Malays and non Muslims even rank after them further down. This is the political structure which Malaysians don't talk in the open but everybody knows and lives and moves about accordingly without upsetting each other. That is the strength or weakness of Malaysians. The UMNO politician may not say it himself but when others say so he will be indifferent or silently encourage it. They implemented racist policies and practices all the way right from 1970 in the name of equality and fairness. They deprived the non Malays and non Muslims their fair share of their own sweat and blood. That nefarious and hypocritical are UMNO politicians when dealing with rights of non Malays and non Muslims.
UMNO leaders have introduced policies and procedures that will knock off the non Malays and non Muslims from scholarships, university enrolment, government employment, procurements and contracts from eligibility to compete and bid. This blatant blockage has reduced and eliminated the participation of non Malays and non Muslims in civil service, uniformed service, providing services to government and its agencies. The non Malays and non Muslims were reduced to the periphery in education and medical services. 

But all these racial policies have reduced and restricted Malaysian competitiveness, efficiency and integrity. Malaysian economy is heading nowhere despite all the transformational programs. These preferential state ethnic policies have stifled the quality of reasoned and informed decisions and thinking in the government decision making bodies. Recruitment and promotion is race based and not meritocracy.  As a consequence of these racial policies many Malays themselves have grown despondent and start distancing from UMNO. 

The educated and informed Malays could see the duplicity and self enriching actions of UMNO leadership.  Majority of Malays are still vulnerable and affected by the economic uncertainties and very dependent on government aid. But a small section of elite UMNOPUTRAS have enriched themselves at the expense of state coffers. The vast majority of Malays poor are hoodwinked and bribed in the name of race and religion to support these few elite UMNOPUTRAS. UMNO is fighting tooth and nail to keep these Malay poor in good humor by giving goodies and cash. When the competition for the Malay heartland is intense the role of non Malays and non Muslims will decide which way Malaysian politics will go. 

The non Malays especially Indians must believe that their one vote counts and makes a difference. The minorities are the king makers. They must be registered as voters first and vote during general elections. Indians must discard the thinking that whether Rama rules or Ravana rules, nothing going to change. There is difference in Rama's and Ravana's rule. Our future is in our hand and not in the UMNOPUTRAS hand. Make hay when the sun shines. Sail when the wind blows. This is the moment. Let's not miss it and blame everybody else except ourselves. It's now or never.  

Senator S. Ramakrishnan

Racial eyesores on the Malaysian landscape

Posted: 10 Feb 2012 10:06 PM PST

The recent outbreak of violence with racial overtones at Petaling Jaya Selatan squatter settlement requires Malaysians to face up quickly to this most critical yet unresolved problem of racism and racial discrimination in Malaysian society. 
This agenda is highly appropriate and timely because this year happens to be the year the United Nations will hold its conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa in August.

Racism and racial discrimination have been part of Malaysian political, economic, social and cultural realities ever since colonial times. Today, race has been so deeply institutionalised that it is a key factor determining benefits from government development policies, bids for business contracts, education policy, social policy, cultural policy, entry into educational institutions, discounts for purchasing houses and other official policies.

Practically every aspect of Malaysian life is permeated by the so-called 'bumiputra policy' based on Malay-centrism. This is unabashedly spelled out by political leaders in the daily mass media in Malaysia.

It is an established fact that racial polarisation is prevalent in various Malaysian institutions. A new survey by Universiti Malaya shows that 98 per cent of Malay students do not mix with non-Malays while 99 per cent of Chinese students and 97 per cent of Indian students do not mingle with the other races.

While the government tries to account for this problem by blaming other extraneous factors such as the existence of vernacular
schools, it is clear that the roots of polarisation lie in this institutionalisation of racism and racial discrimination.

Integral part
Racism is an integral part of the Malaysian socio-political system. The ruling coalition is still dominated by racially-defined component parties, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). These parties compete for electoral support from their respective constituencies by pandering to 'racial' interests. Invariably, their racist inclinations are exposed at their respective party congresses.

Some opportunistic opposition parties likewise pander to their constituencies using racist propaganda to win electoral support and they have also contributed to the vicious circle of racial politics which has characterised Malaysia all these years.

Umno, the ruling party, continues to insist that 'Malay unity' and even 'Malay dominance' is essential for national unity. 'Malay dominance' is invariably used interchangeably with 'Malay privileges', which the ruling Malay elite justifies through the Federal Constitution.

Consequently, we have witnessed the periodic controversies over the alleged challenges to Malay special privileges every time sections of Malaysian society call for non-racist solutions to Malaysian problems. The recent fracas over the appeals by the Chinese Associations of Malaysia (Suqiu) is a case in point. There have been other cases in recent Malaysian history in which the ruling party has allowed racist reactions to be used against the non-Malay communities.

White Paper
The official White Paper on the mass ISA detentions of 1987 documents the Umno Youth rally at the Jalan Raja Muda Stadium on Oct 17, 1987, at which racist and seditious sentiments were flagrantly displayed, e.g.: "May 13 Has Begun; Soak it (the kris) with Chinese Blood…" Umno leaders, including those who are ministers today, were among the rabble rousers on the podium. 

The ruling party condoned such racism on the grounds that theirs was a reaction to the protests by the Chinese organisations over the posting of unqualified officers to the Chinese schools in 1987. In the same way, Umno Youth tried to justify their recent boorish protest over Suqiu at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall by the fact that they were 'provoked' by Suqiu. These realities are principally because they were trying to externalise the internal problems within the ruling party, Umno itself.

Even more recently on Feb 4, 2001, a Malay Action Front rally was organised by former and current Umno leaders using the emblem of an unsheathed kris (Malay dagger) against a blood-red backdrop and calling for the further extension of Malay rights and privileges. Racism and racial discrimination are also manifested in the way indigenous peoples are uprooted from their traditional homelands and displaced to ill-planned resettlement schemes to make way for dams, plantations and other industrial projects. Many development agencies do not respect their native customary land rights. The underlying assumption in official circles is that their cultures and way of life are backward and they need to be 'modernised'. They are rarely properly consulted over these projects and their fate is tantamount to 'ethnocide'.

Migrant workers, including foreign domestic workers, are another group of people who face racism and racial discrimination in Malaysia. There are over two million foreign workers in the country, out of which there are over 10,000 hired as domestic help. The negative and derogatory perception of foreign workers held by many Malaysians condone the abuse of these workers. As women, foreign domestic workers are often subject to verbal, physical and even sexual abuse. The are discriminated against because of their gender, race as well as class.

Affirmative action
The ruling party Umno prides itself on the supposedly 'successful' affirmative action in favour of bumiputra. Bumiputra literally means 'princes of the soil', the official epithet for Malays and other indigenous peoples but which excludes the original peoples, i.e. the Orang Asli of Peninsula Malaysia. This has been the cornerstone of development plans since the New Economic Policy was started in 1971.

Consequently, while this populist bumiputra policy has been applied to the benefit of bumiputra as a whole, the new Malay ruling elite is strategically placed to reap the full benefits of this racially-based policy. Totally committed to capitalism and to privatisation, this policy has ensured that the non-Malay local and foreign elite have also gained from the New Economic Policy since 1971. This class cohesion among the Malaysian ruling elite underpins the racialist politics which has characterised Malaysian society since Independence.

It is time for Malaysians to reaffirm the non-discriminatory basis of the Federal Constitution and to uphold human rights principles which are strictly anti-racist.
Article 8 (1) of the Constitution clearly spells out the principle of equality of all Malaysians while Article 12 (1) allows no discrimination against any citizens on the grounds of religion, race, descent or place of birth.

Article 153 on the special position of Malays was inspired by the affirmative action provisions of the Indian Constitution to protect the minority under-privileged class of harijans. Ours is fundamentally different from those provisions because the ethnic group in whose favour the discrimination operates in Malaysia happens to be the one in political control, the Malays.

Malay dominance
At the time of Independence in 1957, four matters in relation to which the special position of Malays were recognised and safeguarded were: land; admission to public services; issuing of permits or licences for operation of certain businesses; scholarships, bursaries or other forms of aid for educational purposes. The Constitution certainly does not adhere to any notion of "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay dominance), which is a totally racist concept.
When the Constitutional (Reid) Commission was considering whether such a provision should be included in the 1957 Constitution, it made the following comments:

"Our recommendations are made on the footing that the Malays should be assured that the present position will continue for a
substantial period, but that in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease so that there should be no discrimination between races or communities." (Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957, Govt Press, para 165, p.72)

After the Tunku was deposed in 1971, the new Malay ruling elite felt that adequate opportunities had not been made available to Malays, especially in education and that there should be a larger proportion of Malays in the various sectors. In 1971, under Emergency conditions, Article 153 was duly amended to introduce the quota system for Malays in institutions of higher learning. Clause (8A) specifically provided for the reservation of places for bumiputra in any university, college and other educational institutions.

Quota system
Nevertheless, the quota system was not intended to be the totally non-transparent and non-accountable and unfair system we know it today:

Firstly, Article (8A) makes it clear that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can only order a reservation of a proportion of such places for the Malays. It would therefore mean that the quota system is applicable only on a faculty basis and more importantly every faculty or institution should reserve places for students of every race. No faculty or institution under this provision could cater for the Malays alone to the exclusion of the other races.

Years after the implementation of this racial quota system, there was no trace of any such order being made by the Agong nor was there evidence of any such order having been gazetted. Such a directive would thus seem to have been made by the officials of the Ministry of Education.

Thus, it is not clear whether the quota system is made applicable on an institutional basis or on the basis of the total number of places available in a particular course of study of all the universities in the country. To apply the quota system on the total number of places available in any particular university will again be a wrong interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 153 (8A) does not authorise the administrators of any university to refuse admission to any student of a particular race. It only allows a proportion of the places to be reserved for Malay students. On such a reasoning, the constitutionality of institutions like the Asasi Sains in the University of Malaya or the science matriculation course of the Universiti Sains Malaysia which cater only for bumiputra students is doubtful.

Furthermore, the Constitution of the University of Malaya expressly prohibits discrimination on grounds of race for the admission of any student to any faculty or institution of the university. In this context too, the constitutionality of other institutions which admit students of a particular race only to the exclusion of other races is also doubtful as it violates the equality provision of Article 8.

From the above, it is clear that the question of the constitutionality of the quota system as it has been practised since 1971 especially in totally bumiputra institutions has never been tested.

Original intentions
We know what the original intentions of the 'Malay special privileges' provision in the Merdeka Constitution were, but to maintain that it is a carte blanche for all manner of racial discrimination as we have witnessed since 1971 is a violation of the spirit of the Constitution.

International law sets major limits on affirmative action measures. Notably, affirmative action policies must be carefully controlled and not be permitted to undermine the principle of non-discrimination itself nor violate human rights. Holding the equality principle uppermost, the raison d'etre and reasonableness for differential treatment must be proven.

Another important criterion to ensure successful affirmative action and synonymous with international law is that such special measures should be introduced for a limited duration as was suggested by the Reid Commission in its Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission in 1957.

A consequence of the so-called affirmative action policies up to now is that for the poor of all ethnic communities, including the
indigenous peoples in Malaysia, these objectives of wealth redistribution for their benefit have not been met.

While it is widely recognised that racial polarisation exists in many Malaysian institutions such as schools, universities, the civil service, it must be stressed that this is not a 'natural' consequence of a plural society.

On the contrary, through the years there have been deliberate attempts by those in power to create divisions among the people.
There is general agreement that racial polarisation has its origins in the colonial divide-and-rule strategy. This has been well-documented in studies by W R Roff (The Origins of Malay Nationalism, 1974:24) and Hua Wu Yin, (Class and Communalism in Malaysia, Zed Press 1983)

The racialist formula was institutionalised in the Alliance at Independence and perpetuated by the Barisan Nasional to the present day. Attempts at creating racial discord among the people continue to be perpetrated in public institutions and the mass media whenever it suits the politicians.

These instances have been well-documented. (See Kua Kia Soong (edited) 'Polarisation in Malaysia: The Root Causes', K Das, Ink, KL 1987; 'Mediawatch: Use and Abuse of the Malaysian Media',Huazi Research Centre 1990 )

Of all the official policies and public institutions which practice racial discrimination, there is none more pervasive than the New Economic Policy (NEP) which was implemented as a fait accompli after the Emergency was declared in 1969.

Elite cohesion
Although its specific objectives were 'restructuring of society to correct the economic imbalance of wealth holding which led to the identification of race with economic function' and 'eradication of poverty irrespective of race', the NEP has been implemented these 30 years in a racially discriminatory way with little transparency or accountability.
Just 10 years after the NEP was implemented, the 1980 census showed that more than 80 percent of all government executive officers were Malay; Malays held 75 percent of publicly-funded tertiary education places; and 96 percent of Felda settlers were Malay.
By 1990, it was widely held by observers that the wealth restructuring policy objective was very much on target if nominee companies listed under 'other Malaysians' were analysed. It is also well-known that many of these nominee companies have been formed by the bumiputra elite.

All the same, these figures showing ownership of equity capital, however distorted, also reveal that the rich non-Malay elite have done quite well under the NEP. This perhaps accounts for the elite cohesion which has held the Barisan Nasional coalition together for so long. The evidence further shows that the NEP's 'wealth restructuring' has mainly resulted in increased wealth concentration and greater intra-ethnic inequality.

By the mid-80s, it was found that the top 40 shareholders in the country owned 63 percent of the total number of shares in public companies; the top 4.4 per cent of investors in the Amanah Saham Nasional had savings amounting to more than 70 percent of ASN's total investments.

The ASN is a prime example of a savings institution, secured by Malaysian taxpayers irrespective of race, but which blatantly discriminates against non-bumiputras. This racial discrimination extends to loans, end-financing, purchase of housing, shares
allocation, etc. 

Problem ignored
Racial discrimination in the education policy is manifested in unfair financial allocations to the different sectors and language streams and the reluctance of the government to allow development of the mother-tongue schools of the non-Malays.

Thus the number of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the country have actually dropped from 1,342 and 888 at Independence to 1,284 and 535 today respectively, even though the population of the communities has doubled in the last 44 years. The government has continued to ignore the grave problem of the shortage of qualified teachers for these schools for years.

By 1990, the realities of the racially discriminatory quota system in education were as follows: an average of 90 percent of loans for polytechnic certificate courses, 90 percent of scholarships for Diploma of Education courses, 90 percent of scholarships and loans for degree courses taken in the country and almost all scholarships and loans for degree courses taken overseas were given to bumiputras.

Regarding the enrolment of students in residential schools throughout the 80s, 95 percent of them were bumiputra. The enrolment in Mara's Lower Science College, the Maktab Sains Mara, was almost 100 percent bumiputra throughout the 80s.

High time
Racial discrimination in the realm of culture is seen not only in the education policy but also in the discrimination against non-Malay cultures and religions in the National Cultural Policy. Non-Muslims face obstacles in their freedom to build places of worship and access to burial grounds, among other complaints.

Racism and racial discrimination have dominated Malaysian society for far too long. Now that the Malay ruling elite has clearly gained control of the Malaysian economy, it is high time for a new consensus based on non-racial factors such as class, sector and need to justify affirmative action.

It is time for all Malaysians who hunger for peace and freedom to outlaw racism and racial discrimination from Malaysian society once and for all and to build real unity based on adherence to human rights, equality and the interests of the Malaysian masses:

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian political institutions
1) Political parties formed on the basis of race to further the interests of their respective races should be outlawed as such
practices are inconsistent with international conventions against racism and racial discrimination;

2) Ratify all the international covenants and UN Conventions that have not been ratified by the Malaysian government to ensure that all legislation in the country abide by international human rights standards;

3) Enact a Race Relations Act and institute an Equal Opportunities Commission to combat racism, racialism, and racial discrimination in all Malaysian institutions;

4) Delineation of constituencies must be based on the principle of 'one person, one vote' and there should not be wide discrepancies between the number of voters in different constituencies;

5) Reintroduce elected local government so that problems of housing, schools, etc. can be solved in non-racial ways;

6) Ensure that there is no racial discrimination in the civil and armed services and that every ethnic community has equal chance of promotion;

7) Establish an Independent Broadcasting Authority which is fair to all ethnic communities in Malaysia; 

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian economic development

8) There must be full transparency and accountability to ensure that contracts and shares are not dispensed on a racial basis through nepotism, cronyism or corruption;

9) Public money must not be used to bail out failed private businesses under the guise of affirmative action;

10) Government policies should be strategically aimed at reducing income disparity between the rich and poor regardless of race, religion, gender, disability or political affiliation;

11) Small and medium industries, the backbone of national industrialisation, should be developed without racial discrimination;

12) Fair and adequate support should be provided to all sectors including pig farmers especially during times of crisis;

13) Land should be fairly distributed to farmers of all ethnic communities;

14) The racially-based quota system should be replaced with a means-tested sliding scale mechanism for deserving entrepreneurs; 

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian social development

15) Modernise the 450 or so New Villages in the country which have existed for more than 50 years, in which many of our small and medium industries are located and where basic infrastructure is inadequate;

16) Improve the living conditions (e.g. a guaranteed minimum monthly wage) and basic amenities such as housing, education and health facilities of plantation workers;

17) Ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and members of their families;

18) Set up an Equal Opportunities Employment Commission to address all forms of discrimination in the workplace;

19) Gazette all communal lands of the Orang Asli and other indigenous peoples so that they can control their own land resources and choose their own way of life;

20) Enact laws to confirm the rights of urban settlers and obligations of developers to provide fair compensation and alternative housing to urban settlers;

21) Cater to the special needs of women, children, senior citizens and the disabled;

22) Provide more recreational facilities for the youth regardless of race to allow them to develop positive and healthy lifestyles and to encourage tolerance and awareness of cultural diversity and equality;

23) Establish a housing development authority to direct construction of low and medium-cost public housing for the needy irrespective of race;

24) Poverty eradication programmes to benefit the poor of all ethnicity must be seriously pursued;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian education

25) Special assistance must be based on need by under-privileged sectors and classes and not on race;

26) Institute a means-tested sliding scale of education grants and loans for all who qualify to enter tertiary institutions regardless of race, religion or gender;

27) Recognition of educational certificates, diplomas or degrees should be dealt with by the National Accreditation Board on strictly academic grounds and not politicised or subject to racial discrimination;

28) Schools using the mother tongue of Malaysian minorities should be built as long as there is a demand for them in any catchment of these ethnic communities and they should not be racially discriminated against in financial allocations;

29) Establish a long-term solution to the crisis of teacher shortage in the Chinese and Tamil schools;

30) Amend the Education Act 1996 to reflect the national education policy as originally stated in the Education Ordinance 1957 ensuring the use, teaching and development of the mother tongue of all Malaysian ethnic communities;

31) Make available compulsory Pupils' Own language (POL) classes within the normal school curriculum as long as there are five pupils of any ethnic community in any school;

Non-racial solutions to Malaysian cultural policy

32) Promote knowledge, respect and sensitivity among Malaysians on Malaysian cultures, religions and ethnicity;

33) All places of prayer and worship for all ethnic communities should be gazetted in their areas of domicile free from any encumbrances and there should be no arbitrary restrictions on these places of worship;

34) National artistic and literary awards and scholarships considerations should be for all works by Malaysians regardless of the language in which they are written;

35) All ethnic Malaysian cultures should be fairly represented in official cultural bodies and the media. 

former ISA detainee 
Member of Parliament
Director of Suaram.

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