Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Opposition parties report surge of new members

More Malaysians looking beyond race and religion to sign up


By Hazlin Hassan, THE STRAITS TIMES MR VINCENT

Lee is a Christian and used to be with a Barisan Nasional (BN) party.

But later this month, the 40-year-old businessman will be appointed head of the Kuala Lumpur branch of the PAS Supporters Club.

Asked why he is backing the conservative Parti Islam SeMalaysia, Mr Lee said that 'PAS really practises democracy, and it doesn't do money politics'.

He was formerly a member of the Chinese-based Parti Gerakan, one of 14 parties in the BN coalition.

The PAS Supporters Club was set up in 2004. The party has never hidden its plan to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state, which non-Muslims worry would restrict their rights as citizens. Yet the club has been attracting more members.

Said new member Madam N.S. Srivalli: 'Religion does not matter to me. Everybody breathes the same air.'

And why did she, a professional in her 60s, not join BN? 'It has neglected the minorities for so many years,' she said.

Mr Lee and some other non-Muslims have shown interest in PAS especially after the opposition made big gains in the March general election.

The club saw a surge from 2,000 to 5,000 members just before the polls, its president Hu Pang Chow said. Today, it claims to be looking at applications from 10,000 prospective new members.

Some commentators believe the membership surge may reflect a new trend of Malaysians willing to look beyond racial and religious boundaries to openly declare their political affiliations.
'They are very pragmatic and strategic people, they are not crazy. Beyond racial boundaries, they will choose the best for themselves,' political analyst Shamsul Amri Baharuddin of the National University of Malaysia told The Straits Times.

But part of the shift can also be attributed to anger at the BN for its perceived arrogance and trampling of minority rights.

The trend of non-Muslims openly backing PAS was so novel just two months ago that many eyebrows were raised when Ms Kumutha Rahman, a Hindu and a member of the PAS Supporters Club, ran for the party at the polls.

But she had to contest under the multi-ethnic Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) because the PAS Constitution does not allow non-Muslims to run on its ticket.

And during the 13-day election campaign, Umno leaders remarked privately that they saw many Indians putting up PAS buntings and waving PAS flags.

PAS is not the only party reeling in new members.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's PKR, with 300,000 members before the polls, is processing 100,000 applications now, said party secretary-general Salehuddin Hashim.

Mr Tony Pua, an economic adviser with the opposition Democratic Action Party, said it has seen up to 10,000 new applicants and is printing 20,000 more application forms.

Before the polls, the party had fewer than 100,000 active members.

'People are a bit more willing to be officially recognised now. Previously, our sympathisers outnumber the official members. There was a fear factor in being a member of an opposition party,' Mr Pua told The Straits Times.

Wan Azizah on ACA being Independent

22 April 2008
Proposal without amendment is meaningless

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan) regards proposal by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi for Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) to become an independent body responsible for Parliament and not under the Prime Minister Department should have been carried out four years ago when he received the people’s mandate to fight corruption.

Regrettably this announcement is late since the campaign against corruption was launched by the PM himself four years ago, and it is meaningless without amendment to the Anti Corruption Agency Act.

Considering that the implementation of this proposal would involve amendment of the act, we are waiting for the PM to table the draft law to amend the act in the next session of parliament.

Other good proposals such as additional staffs to strengthen the ACA’s capacity to fight corruption and to create a whitsleblower act should be included in the draft law and not merely be a proposal.

However, the statement by the PM can be regarded as the success by the opposition parties and civil society which have always been urging for an independence ACA which should function freely especially in respect of cases involving abuses and corrupt practices among administrators and government leaders.

Equally important is the mass media should be freed from government control because without a free media, the agenda to fight coprrytion can not succeed only on the basis of an independent ACA.

Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Member of Parliament, Permatang Pauh
President, Parti Keadilan Rakyat

Pakatan Rakyat Reaffirms its solidarity with Malaysians

Joint Statement:

Pakatan Rakyat Reaffirms its solidarity with Malaysians

April 13th 2008

The Leaders of Pakatan Rakyat hereby reaffirms their commitment to implement the broad agenda to develop the nation and its desire to create a prosperous society irrespective of ethnicity, religion and culture and uphold human rights. The policies of Pakatan Rakyat are centered on objectives that have been agreed upon and accepted by the leaders of the three parties that are KeADILan, DAP and Pas.

Among these are to develop this country on the basis of justice, create opportunities for all citizens to enjoy national prosperity and to accord priority to those who are poor and marginalized.

Pakatan Rakyat is not the forum nor is it the place for any group or individual to champion personal ideologies or that of its component parties. Although there have been individuals who express personal views that are differ from the agreed agenda of Pakatan Rakyat, those views are clearly personal.

They do not represent that of any of the Parties in Pakatan Rakyat.

As such, all leaders and members of Pakatan Rakyat have been directed to desist from expressing views that contradict those that have been mutually agreed upon by Pakatan Rakyat.

There is no one party that is the backbone of Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, the strength of Pakatan Rakyat is based on principles of equality and spirit of co-operation among leaders of Pakatan Rakyat in keeping with the mandate that has been given to us by the people during the 12th General Elections.

Pakatan Rakyat is determined to implement and bring changes in accordance with the principles of democracy, socio-economic justice, equal economic opportunities and religious freedom. This great responsibility will be borne together in keeping with our pledges made during the 12th General Elections.

Pakatan Rakyat has moved forward by arranging and strengthening policies to be implemented by all the State Governments under Pakatan Rakyat. These will also be adopted by all Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament when Parliament is in session. We will announce a general declaration of principles at some later date.

YB Dr. Wan Azizah Ismail, DS Anwar Ibrahim, YB Lim Kit Siang, YB Ustaz Haji Hadi Awang
==========
Kenyataan Bersama: Pakatan Rakyat Bertunjangkan Muafakat Pimpinan dan Rakyat
13 Apr 2008

Para pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat ingin menegaskan di sini bahawa Pakatan amat komited untuk meneruskan agenda besar membangunkan negara dan memakmurkan rakyat tanpa ada sempadan kaum, agama serta budaya dan selaras dengan hak asasi sejagat manusia.

Dasar-dasar Pakatan adalah berpaksikan kepada perkara-perkara yang telah dipersetujui dan disepakati oleh semua pemimpin tiga parti iaitu, KeADILan, DAP dan PAS. Antaranya ialah membina negara ini atas landasan keadilan, membuka peluang untuk semua rakyat menikmati kemakmuran negara dengan memberi keutamaan kepada mereka yang miskin dan terpinggir.

Pakatan bukanlah medan bagi mana-mana pihak untuk memperjuang ideologi persendirian atau parti masing-masing. Walaupun ada pihak-pihak yang memberi pandangan berbeza dari yang telah dipersetujui oleh pemimpin-pemimpin utama tiga parti dalam Pakatan, pandangan itu adalah pandangan peribadi yang tidak sama sekali mewakili mana-mana parti dalam Pakatan. Oleh demikian, semua pemimpin dan ahli dalam Pakatan telah diarahkan menghentikan pandangan yang lain daripada muafakat bersama ini.

Tidak ada parti yang menjadi tunjang Pakatan. Bahkan tunjang kekuatan Pakatan berpaksikan prinsip sama taraf dan berasaskan semangat pemuafakatan pimpinan Pakatan berteraskan mandat yang diberikan oleh rakyat dalam Pilihanraya Ke-12 yang lalu.

Pakatan berazam melaksanakan dan membawa perubahan berlandaskan prinsip-prinsip demokrasi, keadilan sosio-ekonomi, peluang ekonomi yang saksama dan kebebasan beragma. Tugas besar ini kami tanggung bersama selaras dengan janji kami semasa Pilihanraya Umum Ke-12 yang lalu.

Pakatan telah melangkah ke hadapan dengan menyusun dan memantapkan lagi dasar untuk dilaksanakan oleh semua kerajaan negeri yang ditadbir oleh Pakatan dan juga untuk digunapakai oleh semua ahli Parlimen Pakatan apabila Parlimen bersidang nanti. Kami akan mengumumkan satu perisytiharan prinsip yang lebih menyeluruh kelak.

YB Dr. Wan Azizah Ismail, DS Anwar Ibrahim, YB Lim Kit Siang, YB Haji Hadi Awang

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lulu Wonders How The COmponent Parties Will Vote On This

Lulu Wonders How The COmponent Parties Will Vote On This

The Malaysian Insider reports that
Hindraf 5, ISA fireworks in store for Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Expect fireworks if the Dewan Rakyat Speaker allows an urgent debate on the Hindraf 5 and other Internal Security Act detainees tomorrow.

During the pre-council briefing to Barisan Nasional MPs yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urged them to be ready for provocative questions from the Opposition, especially on the Hindu Rights Action Force issue and ISA.

He told them to hold their ground and not be cowed by the Opposition, saying that MPs from Pakatan Rakyat were under pressure from their supporters to deliver on their election promises of abolishing the ISA and freeing M. Manoharan, P. Uthayakumar, R. Kenghadharan, V. Ganabatirau and T. Vasantha Kumar.

Prior to this, the Star had reported that

MCA calls for release of Hindraf five

Free Hindraf five, says Gerakan

Samy wants Hindraf 5 released

Lulu is now wondering which "ground" the fellas from MCA, Gerakan and MIC will hold.

http://whatalulu.blogspot.com/2008/04/lulu-wonders-how-component-parties-will.html

Opportunity to review BN system: Yong

DAILY EXPRESS NEWS

Opportunity to review BN system: Yong

Kota Kinabalu: THE country's present political scenario has opened up the window of opportunity to review the political arrangements and restructuring of the Barisan Nasional (BN), said SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

"The awakening of the Malaysian people that the political status quo is long overdue for review as reflected by the March 8 general election bolstered by Sabah and Sarawak's hefty contribution in the formation of the Federal Government.

"As well as the post-election appointments of the Menteri Besar of Terengganu and PerlisÉhave presented the moment of opportunity for Sabah," he said.

Delivering his policy speech in conjunction with the SAPP 13th biennial delegates' conference, Yong said at the moment the structure of the BN in terms of the Federal-State relationship is a replicate of the federal parties such as Umno, MCA and MIC.

Currently, Chief Ministers or Menteris Besar were politically appointed by the federal leadership instead of by the Sultans or Heads of State since state liaison committees are centrally appointed by virtue of the federal party political system supplanting the nation's Federal Constitution, he said. But, after the 12th general election, Perlis and Terengganu, both won by the BN, had opened up a whole new chapter in defining the power relationship between the states and federal leadership when the BN-Umno nominees for Menteris Besar were rejected by the two states' authority.

Yong said in the case of Perlis, it showed the Sultan could reject the BN-Umno nominated Menteri Besar and instead appoint the leader who enjoys the majority support of the BN-Umno State Assemblyman.

In Terengganu, the case was the other way round since the Sultan-appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Nijar "was a lone ranger" since he did not have the support from the other BN and Umno assemblymen as they wanted Datuk Idris Jusoh to continue as the State Chief Executive.

"But after Datuk Ahmad Nijar was appointed, not only all the BN-Umno assemblymen turned around and joined his government, even the Prime Minister had to declare support for this Menteri Besar which was not his choice," he said.

"It was said that the Terengganu Sultan was not happy that the former Menteri Besar (Idris) did not obtain the return of petroleum royalties to the Terengganu State Government after the BN had regained the State Government in 2004," he said, adding that now the new MB had started seeking for the return of oil royalties, which rightly belongs to Terengganu.

The point is, Yong said, Sabah had always played a periphery role, almost marginalised, at the national level.

"In our own State, our successive governments ever since 1963 have had to succumb to the overwhelming will of the Federal Government. This sad, unequal and intimidating relationship is clearly described in the 1976 book, The Politics of Federalism, documenting the fall of the then Usno Government," he said.

He said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when campaigning in Labuan in 1990 had said that the BN did not need Sabah or Sarawak to form the Federal Government but only to get two-third majority.

"But we all now know that the political landscape has changed so much that without Sabah and Sarawak, the BN cannot form the Federal Government.

And, many people believe that if the BN loses its majority in Parliament, then the remaining states (still under BN rule) would likely fall as well," he said.

Yet, Yong, who is a former Chief Minister, said Sabah was still being left out and that it seemed no progress made on any of the many issues raised by the BN component parties and Sabah Umno when the Prime Minister and his high-powered delegation came here on April 7.

Towards this end, Yong said even though the BN has been the key for development but what Sabah wants now is the Master Key that would give the State Government the political strength and the backing of the people in pursuit of matters of interests to Sabah.

However, he said it was important for Sabah to take immediate steps and take advantage of the window of opportunity because it would not last forever.

In making the urge, Yong delivered two sets of Malay limericks with one of them as follows:
Bakul penuh berisi limau Sangat berat untuk dijinjing Biar mati di gigit harimau Jangan mati di gigit anjing

In this respect, Yong said that "while we still have this opportunity and the political will, SAPP has set up a Special Committee chaired by Deputy President Datuk Eric Majimbun, to collect, compile and analyse issues submitted by the people for the purpose of preparing a document".

He said SAPP would convene a Convention on Sabah Issues for public discussion and endorsement.

"We believe this document will be a basis for us to re-look at our State, ourselves, our problems and our direction. We are hopeful that we can chart a road map for Sabah to move towards a trustworthy government and a progressive, just and harmonious society," he said.

When met later, Yong clarified that he believed that the Prime Minister and Chief Minister were doing their best to see to it changes as suggested by the Sabah component parties were being made.

"SAPP stands behind them," he said, adding that the party believes that there is still hope but "we don't know for how long exactly the window of opportunity would stay open but once it closed it is forever".

Why we Sabahans voted for BN

Why we Sabahans voted for BN
(Letters: malaysiakini)

Geraint Sitaun
Mar 28, 08 4:36pm

As much as the furore surrounding the abolishment of the NEP by the new state governments of Selangor and Penang is making headlines, it must be said that the east Malaysian natives remain indifferent about whether the policy should be continued. As embodied in the constitution and the 20-Point agreement, other than the Malays, Sabahan natives, too, are bestowed with the bumiputra status, making them eligible for the benefits of the NEP.

In fact, we, too, are of the opinion that we should receive more help from the government in the form of study grants, business opportunities etc. as the native communities here are well behind the other communities in terms of education, economic participation plus declining political clout.
I believe the NEP has helped the Malays significantly, despite the many claims of abuse. Hence, it is not surprising that the many who benefitted from the policy (as well as the few who abused it), are sentimental about facing a new reality of having to do without it.

Yet, this is not the case for the Sabahan natives. The NEP may have strong racial elements and been the rock that divided the races in Malaysia. Yes, it’s true that Sabahans are less inclined to see themselves along racial lines and we do have the level of integration that west Malaysians should envy.

But no, that is not the reason why we do not envisage the dismantling of NEP as a loss. As I have said earlier, other than being Bajaus, Kadazandusuns, Muruts, Chinese etc, we also strongly share a common identity - that as Sabahans. To many, (although not accurately justified) the NEP is just another tool for the federal government to assert its authority onto Sabah.

For instance, many, if not most, of the heads of government departments here are West Malaysians while firms from the Peninsular are given tenders for most of the state’s projects or federal mega projects in Sabah.

The only remaining entity which has managed to defy the trend so far is the Sabah Bar Council which has been firm in barring lawyers from West Malaysia from practicing in the state without its consent. That ruling, too, has been heavily under siege.

Many West Malaysians may see this as a resistance to national integration but I must stress that a sense of justice must prevail here. Despite contributing much towards the country's coffers through the harvest of her abundant natural resources, Sabah still has the highest poverty rate never mind the fact that we lag far behind in terms of basic infrastructure and in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

The sense of having to give a lot and receiving very little in return was well established until somewhere the 1990s when we voted in a state government which was deemed anti-federal or anti-KL. The feeling has never subsided even after the ‘coup’ of the BN government in taking back the state government through the ‘buying over’ of assembly persons and their excessive gerrymandering which ensured the a BN government success in the following election.

We were also not helped by the unwillingness of the BN government to carry out a thorough investigation on the Project M through which hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were given citizenship in order to alter the state’s racial composition against the non-Malay natives.

There was no probe despite calls from leaders of the smaller BN component members to set up a royal commission to investigate the matter. If that was not bad enough, the illegal immigrants who also received the right to vote were also given bumiputera status, which makes them citizens a class above Chinese and Indian Malaysians.

So one may ask, why did Sabahans voted unanimously for BN in the recent elections? I must admit, I don't know for sure. If it was up to me, BN would have not a chance. But I do know that many Sabahans especially the poor, feared repercussions if they didn’t vote for BN.

The primary concern for the poor is to survive. Of course, they know that the BN government is never going to help them overcome poverty but they also know for sure that BN is going to win, at least at the state level. With Sabah PKR offering little more than ex-BN political opportunists as candidates and not directly engaging the state’s unique situation in its manifesto, there was no reason for Sabahans to risk not being part of the state government.

At least, they could hope for the new state BN government to show some mercy after having been voted in. In fact, many do consider the assembly persons from local BN component parties to be good leaders, who delivered as much as they could while being heavily undermined and restricted by their Umno counterparts, whose allegiance is seen as to lie with the West Malaysia Umno instead of Sabahans.

The PKR and DAP leadership are also to blame for the non-cooperation on seat allocations in the state prior to nomination day. The coalition would have captured most of the urban areas if it weren't for the three-cornered contests.

Anwar Ibrahim and the PKR-DAP-PAS coalition have been recently talking about the prospect of forming the federal government. I believe for this to be realised, formidable support from Sabah is needed. And for this support, the coalition needs to identify with Sabahans and to respond to its unique situation.

Talks of dismantling the NEP, open tender systems and economic competitiveness are not enough for the coalition to establish a presence in Sabah. There are other unique issues in Sabah such as the 20-Point agreement, autonomy and the matter of neutralised immigrants that must be addressed by the opposition coalition for it to be a credible federal government for all Malaysians.

SELANGOR: N19 - Bukit Antarabangsa: PKR Mohamed Azmin Ali

Monday, April 28, 2008

Kedah buka 1,500 hektar tanah sawah baru

PENDANG 25 April - Kedah akan membuka 1,500 hektar kawasan tanah sawah baru sebagai satu usaha meningkatkan jumlah pengeluaran padi untuk mengatasi masalah kekurangan bekalan beras dalam negara, kata Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak.

Beliau berkata, kerajaan negeri telah berbincang dengan Lembaga Kemajuan Pertanian Muda (Mada) berhubung perkara itu dan akan melaksanakannya secepat mungkin.

"Kerajaan negeri hanya menunggu persetujuan daripada Kerajaan Pusat untuk membantu membuka kawasan baru itu.

"Lokasi yang telah dikenal pasti ialah kawasan pinggir Mada di Yan dan Pendang," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menyampaikan sumbangan kepada mangsa ribut di sini hari ini
Azizan berkata, kerajaan negeri akan berbincang dengan Mada untuk mencari inisiatif bagi meningkatkan pengeluaran padi daripada empat kali kepada lima kali dalam dua tahun.

Katanya, bagi meningkatkan pengeluaran padi, kerajaan negeri juga mengambil langkah untuk tidak membenarkan sebarang pembangunan dilakukan di kawasan tanah sawah.

"Banyak lagi kawasan lain boleh dibangunkan. Kita perlu tingkatkan pengeluaran untuk memastikan bekalan beras mencukupi," katanya.

Terdahulu Azizan menyampaikan sumbangan berjumlah RM10,000 kepada 58 pemilik rumah di 10 buah kampung di daerah Pendang yang dilanda ribut Selasa lepas.
- Bernama

Perak to check if eviction of 53 farmers was fair

By HAH FOONG LIAN, The Star

IPOH: The state will investigate if a decision by the previous Perak government to evict 53 farmers, who have to make way for a quarry and cement factory at the Malim Nawar new village, had been fair.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said the state government would have to first check if there were elements of "injustice" in the decision to evict the farmers who had been toiling there for some 30 years.

"We will look into whether we could set aside the decision of the previous government," Nizar said Monday after meeting some of the farmers at his office at the State Secretariat Building here.

"If there were elements of 'injustice' in the decision, we will cancel it," he added.

He said state executive council (exco) member Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, in charge of agriculture, would study the matter for discussion at the next exco meeting.

Nizar reassured the worried farmers that the state government would discuss the matter with the relevant parties and in the meantime, the farmers can continue to work there.

Malim Nawar assemblyman Keshvinder Singh, who led the entourage of farmers to meet Nizar, said the 53 farmers, of whom 40 are freshwater fish rearers and the rest vegetable cultivators, received a notice to vacate the land on April 17.

"We managed to stop the tractor on that day when it came to bulldoze the land. Fortunately the workers agreed to hold on for a while until we sort out the matter with the state government," he said.

He added that he was puzzled how the land could have been awarded to the company when the farmers were working on it.

Farmer Hon Eng Kee, who attended the meeting, said he was happy that Nizar had reassured them that the government would look into the matter.

"We depend on the land for our livelihood but now we are being evicted," he added.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

People's right to know, says Guan Eng



People's right to know, says Guan Eng

Bernard Cheah


GEORGE TOWN (April 27, 2008): Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng warned the federal government today against undermining the confidence of the people of Penang and the state government or underestimating the resolve they have.


Lim (right) and Mount Miriam Hospital chairmanLau Beng Long pull dragon's beard candy at the launching of the charity food and fun fairHe said that since Penangites are also tax-payers, they should not be kept in the dark.


The people, he said, want to know decisions made by federal government which have an impact on their future.


"We hope the people of Penang will be treated (by the federal government) with respect and dignity," he said in a press conference after officiating at the Mount Miriam Hospital Ho Chiak! Food and Fun Fair 2008 charity event today.


Lim was answering questions from the press regarding Finance Minister II Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop's statement yesterday that the federal government had yet to approve the monorail system and the Penang Outer Ring Road, which are huge projects.


Nor Mohamed said they were not projects approved under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. He, however, said the second bridge project was on.


Lim said he wanted to hear from Nor Mohamed the status of these projects.


He said there had been conflicting reports on the second bridge project, with one daily newspaper recently stating that it will go on as planned and another saying it may not even take off.


"Let's hear from the horse's mouth on what the actual position is," he said.


Lim said he wondered what was happening bacause the state had been assured by both the federal government and the previous state government that all the projects had been given the green light.


"There is no communication from the federal government, therefore what we know is what we read in the newspapers. Is this healthy? We should be informed before an announcement is made," he said.


He said the state wanted to cooperate with the federal government but, at the same time, it would voice its views on the projects.


"We've got the mandate from Penangites to play our role. And I hope the federal government can appreciate our role as the state government. Is it wrong if we ask about the toll rate (for the second Penang bridge)? What if it goes up to RM20? Can Penangites afford to pay it?"


Asked if the state government had made any moves to contact the federal government, Lim said: "We have taken the initiative, for example, when we sought information about the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority."


He said the state government contacted the Northern Corridor Economic Region adviser Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini, who is also the Bernama chairman, and they held a discussion, which was a positive move.


Lim also commented on:


>> On Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Nor Omar's announcement yesterday that his ministry would stop providing development funds to the five Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states, but will be distributed through Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) instead. The funds amount to RM100 million a year:


"It's like another act of 'balas dendam' (revenge) towards the action of the public. Why should it be done? We hope that the federal government would look into the matter."


He said such action is viewed as not respecting the public's choice of government in the recent general election.


>> Lim questioned the need for a parallel government and administration to the one chosen by the people.


"If the federal government wants to set up an action council or department, we do not object. However, it should have a state representative in it.


He said the goovernment should not impose its own will without taking into account the public's rights.


"The actions taken is like colonisation of the opposition states, and we hope not to have that," he said.


> On Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar's statement that the government would not abolish the preventive laws, such as the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the Official Secrets Acts (OSA):


"We hope that such primitive laws will be stopped, and let Malaysia join the borderless world, which has freedom of information, freedom of the press, and of ideas and ideals," Lim, who was once detained under the ISA, said.


On the one-week ban on Tamil daily Makkai Osai, he said it should not have happened in the first place.


"It is understood that when they (Makkai Osai) were given the (renewed) licence, they were under probation for 60 days to see how they behave. I don't think this is right.


"The reissuing of licence is good, but why ban it in the first place? Is it a form of intimidation?"


Updated: 06:22PM Sun, 27 Apr 2008

PENANG: N36 - Pantai Jerejak: Sim Tze Tzin


KEDAH: N36 - Bandar Baharu: Yaakob Husin


SELANGOR: N50 - Sri Muda: Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei



Return cash, Khir's wife told

The Star Online > Nation Sunday April 27, 2008


Return cash, Khir's wife told


SHAH ALAM: Give back the RM9.9mil, withdraw the application to dissolve the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation (Balkis) and the matter is settled.


This is Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's offer to Datin Seri Zahrah Kechik who was the organisation's head when she and the other members decided to transfer the RM9.9mil from its coffers after Barisan Nasional lost the state during the March general election.



Open call: Salbiah (seated centre) speaking to the press, accompanied by (seated from left) deputy state Speaker Haniza Talha and state exco members Rodziah Ismail, Kok and Elizabeth Wong. Standing are assemblyman for Rawang Gan Pei Nei and Ampang MP Zuraida Kamarudin.


The group also decided to dissolve the organisation.


Khalid said his offer was the best solution to resolve the controversy.


“If not, the state will pursue the matter because the people want us to be correct. If there has been misconduct, then justice will take its course,” he told reporters yesterday.


The issue blew up when it was revealed that Balkis, lead by Zahrah, who is the wife of former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, transferred RM9.9mil to the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti) three days after the state fell to Pakatan Rakyat.


Zahrah said she had had legal advice on the matter and did it to prevent the funds from falling into the hands of the new government.


Khir was quoted as saying they were worried that the money, which was raised for the welfare of children, would not be used for the correct purpose.


In an immediate response yesterday, Zahrah said the current state government should contact Bakti since the RM9.9mil was in its hands. As for revoking the dissolution of Balkis, she said the state government could pursue the matter with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).


“Every step of the way, from holding the emergency meeting on March 11 to transferring the money to Bakti as a donation, we sought the advice of our lawyers because we wanted to be legally correct in what we did,” said Zahrah.


Dr Khir said Zahrah and Balkis were open to any investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency, the ROS or any other party because “they have nothing to hide”.


“It is not as if Zahrah planned the whole thing. On March 11, when she held the emergency meeting, it was the members who called for Balkis to be dissolved.


“It was also the members who unanimously decided for the RM9.9mil to be donated to Bakti,” he said.


Earlier yesterday, Khalid’s wife Puan Sri Salbiah Tunut said she should be Balkis president as she was the Mentri Besar’s wife.


“We are ready to continue with the good work of Balkis for single mothers, underprivileged children and other needy groups,” she said during a press conference at the Mentri Besar’s official residence in Section 7 here.


She also questioned the legality of Zahrah's actions.


Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok said there was suspicion that the emergency meeting on March 11 was not conducted legally.

Perak MB: Abolish or review ISA

The Star Online >
Nation Sunday April 27, 2008 MYT 5:16:43 PM

Perak MB: Abolish or review ISA
By CLARA CHOOI
IPOH: Review certain provisions in the Internal Security Act (ISA) or abolish it completely.
That was the appeal Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin reiterated to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during a PKR thanksgiving dinner here on Saturday.

Nizar noted that the ISA detention camp was in Kamunting, Perak, and as the new mentri besar, he had to answer to the families of the detainees.

“The parents and other family members of the more than 80 detainees come to me and ask what is happening there,” he said in his speech at the Tow Boo Keong temple.

“Please, if there is any room for a review of the provisions in the Act, do it. Or abolish the ISA completely,” he said.

Nizar said that at the very least, ISA detainees should be given the opportunity to interact with their lawyers and allow their cases to be tried in court.

“Now, they are detained without trial. This is not justice,” he said.

Nizar claimed he had broached the matter with the Prime Minister during their first hour-long meeting on April 18, adding that he was the first Mentri Besar to have done so.

Friday, April 25, 2008

History in Perak, after rows

History in Perak, after rows

By CHRISTINA KOH and SYLVIA LOOI
IPOH: History was made when Tronoh assemblyman V. Sivakumar became the first Indian Speaker to be elected to the Perak State Assembly.



However, his election was preceded by several shouting matches between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional assemblymen.



The commotion started after the Pakatan Rakyat state government nominated Sivakumar for the post, while Barisan nominated former state assembly speaker Datuk Seri Junus Wahid.
Fifteen minutes into the proceedings, Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen pointed out that Junus was not in the assembly.



Proud moment: Newly-elected Perak State Assembly Speaker Sivakumar receiving a peck from his parents M. Varatharaju and S. Karunakari after he was sworn in yesterday.


Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP - Sitiawan) cited the Standing Order saying a candidate for the post of Speaker must be physically present in the hall.
This led to a debate with former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali (BN - Pengkalan Hulu) who clarified that if Junus’ presence was required, he should have been notified.
Assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri said he himself had contacted Junus.


Another round of yelling occurred when a decision had to be made on whether the Speaker should be elected through secret ballot or by having the secretary collect the ballots from each assemblyman.


Barisan argued for secret ballots but this prompted several Pakatan Rakyat representatives to object, insisting that the Standing Order stated that the ballots must be collected from the “desk” of the representatives.


Shouting matches ensued among Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN - Kubu Gajah), Thomas Su Keong Siong (DAP - Pasir Pinji) and several others until Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin agreed to secret balloting.


Sivakumar was finally proclaimed as Speaker at 4.05pm yesterday with 31 votes against Junus’ 28.


Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong, a polio victim since she was four, also created history as the first female and first disabled person to become deputy speaker. Unlike Sivakumar's, her election was smooth.


Speaking to the press after the swearing-in ceremony, Sivakumar said reviewing the assembly's Standing Orders would be his priority .


He said he wanted to review the Orders in detail to see what was still relevant and what was not.
“I will also look into improving other aspects of the Dewan such as opening its library to the public,” he said.


Perak Barisan Nasional chairman Tajol Rosli, meanwhile, confirmed that he would speak for Barisan in the assembly.


He was however loath to call himself Barisan’s opposition leader.


“We don’t have an opposition leader. There is no opposition leader,” he told reporters when approached after the swearing-in of the assemblymen at the State Secretariat here yesterday.


Sivakumar dan Hee, Speaker dan Timbalan Speaker Perak

26 April 2008

Sivakumar dan Hee, Speaker dan Timbalan Speaker Perak

IPOH, 25 April :-Ahli Dewan Negeri Tronoh, YB. Encik V.Sivakumar, 38, dan Ahli Dewan Negeri Jelapang ,YB. Puan Hee Yit Fong , 45, terpilih sebagai Speaker dan Timbalan Speaker hari ini, ia mencatatkan satu sejarah tersendiri kerana V. Sivakumar menjadi kaum India pertama yang dilantik mengisi jawatan itu manakala Hee dipercayai golongan orang kurang upaya (OKU) pertama terpilih sebagai Timbalan Speaker.Hee yang tempang selepas diserang penyakit polio ketika berusia empat tahun, juga menjadi wanita pertama dilantik sebagai Timbalan Speaker DUN Perak.

Semua 59 Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Perak telah selesai mengangkat sumpah jawatan masing-masing pada Sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak yang Ke -12 yang berlangsung pada jam 3.00 petang tadi. Persidangan itu yang pertama selepas kerajaan campuran Pakatan Rakyat ditubuhkan apabila DAP memenangi 18 kerusi, PAS (6) dan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (7) pada pilihan raya umum lepas manakala Barisan Nasional (BN) hanya menang 28 kerusi.

Pemilihan Speaker dan Timbalan Speaker telah dilakukan secara undi sulit. Sivakumar telah memperolihi 31 undi dan calon pembangkang, Dato Junus Wahid mendapat 28 undi. Manakala untuk Timbalan , Hee mendapat 30(setelah speaker tidak mengundi) dan Calon pembangkang mendapat 28 undi.

Pencalonan Sivakumar dibuat oleh Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin sementara pencalonan Junus dibuat oleh Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Pengkalan Hulu, Datuk Seri Mohd. Tajol Rosli Ghazali.

Sebelum penangguhan dewan, speaker telah memberi ucapan sulongnya. antara kandungan ucapannya beliau mengucapkan terima kasih dengan kepercayaan dipilih sebagai yang Dipertua Dewan Negeri yang ke-12.

Beliau berharap dewan akan berlangsung dalam keadaan konstruktif dan dinamik dan meminta semua ahli Yang Berhormat menghormati dewan dengan tidak menjadikan dewan tempat mengumpat.

http://idhamlim.blogspot.com/2008/04/sivakumar-dan-hee-speaker-dan-timbalan.html

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kepada Tuhan saya berserah


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kepada Tuhan saya berserah




Those were the last 4 words of my oath as I was officially sworn in as the Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri for Subang Jaya on 22 April 2008. Sitting in the State Assembly as the new state government is magical. I had goosebumps witnessing YB Teng Chang Khim rising from his seat to be sworn in as the Speaker. It was a historical day. This is a testament of people's power. The State Assembly of Selangor has been transformed with 36 Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen taking our places. A new government is in place.

I am looking forward to the next sitting of the State Assembly in May. I'm raring to submit my questions and to participate in constructive debates. The voice of Subang Jaya will be heard in the State Assembly of Selangor.

http://hannahyeoh.blogspot.com/2008/04/kepada-tuhan-saya-berserah.html

YB Pakatan Rakyat, mana BLOGnya?

Surat perutusan kepada Tuan Guru Dato’ Seri Presiden PAS, Presiden PKR dan Pengerusi DAP: YB Pakatan Rakyat, mana BLOGnya?

Kiriman: Ulit Mayang


Pengenalan Bertitik tolak dari satu siri mencari maklumat mengenai aktiviti – aktiviti yang sedang dijalankan oleh YB Pakatan Rakyat, di peringkat Parlimen dan Negeri, yang menang dalam PRU-12 lalu, di alam siber ini, apa yang diperolehi sedikit mendukacitakan, di mana tidak ramai dari YB Pakatan Rakyat yang telah mempunyai laman – laman web atau blog peribadi atau kawasan yang diwakili, maaf sekiranya tidak dapat menjejaki atau ada yang tertinggal atau tidak ditemui, sama ada aktif atau tidak aktif bukanlah persoalan besar di peringkat ini. Ini bermakna sebahagian besar masih tidak ada.

Tidaklah diketahui sama ada dalam pembinaan atau memang belum ada lagi atau belum dihebahkan lagi. Kalau boleh di sini saya senaraikan beberapa blog yang telah ada seperti YB Tuan Guru Presiden PAS, YB Husam Musa, YB Mahfuz Omar, YB Sdr Zulkifli Nordin, YB Lim Kit Siang, YB Ir Khalid Samad, ………………

Maaf, bukan dengan tujuan untuk mempromosi, laman blog YB Dato’ Haji Husam Musa, ADUN Salor, Kelantan Darul Naim, merangkap Ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perancangan Ekonomi, Kewangan Dan Kebajikan, adalah paling menarik dan boleh dijadikan contoh dan rujukan kepada YB Pakatan Rakyat.

Sehubungan dengan itu menyedari kepada kepentingan media alternatif laman web dan blog, hari ini dan akan datang, walau dengan seribu kekurangan dan kekangan, sama ada kewangan, masa dan tempat, YB dari Pakatan Rakyat tidak dapat tidak, kata orang ‘by hook or crook’, perlu menjadi sebahagian dari ahli dalam bidang itu, kita tidak boleh lari dari teknologi IT ini. Kemenangan cemerlang PRU-12, telah menjustifikasikan kepentingannya.

Sekiranya telah ada, hebahan haruslah dibuat di laman-laman web reformasi seperti http://www.tranugkite.net/, http://www.harakahdaily.net/, www.marhaen.org/v1 dan lain–lain. Jangan sekali–kali lupa maklum kepada sekalian penduduk dan pengundi di kawasan yang dimenangi di seluruh Negara.

Inisaitif ini diambil, bukan bermaksud untuk mengarah, mengajar atau menunjuk - nunjuk atau apa – apa niat yang tidak baik, diutuskan surat ini kepada pimpinan tertinggi Pakatan Rakyat, supaya ‘arahan’ atau seruan wajib atau peringatan, kepada semua YB Pakatan Rakyat di peringkat Parlimen dan Negeri, supaya memiliki laman – laman web atau blog peribadi atau kawasan yang diwakili dan membuat hebahan di kawasan masing – masing dan juga menerusi internet web reformasi.

Adalah sangat difahami, ketiadaan laman–laman web atau blog oleh sebahagian dari YB Pakatan Rakyat, sehingga kini, mungkin disebabkan oleh kesibukan diraikan dan meraikan kemenangan, dengan menghadiri jamuan dan khenduri ksyukuran di sana dan sini, yang masih belum selesai lagi.

Walau bagaimanapun, dalam kesibukan itu, harus lah juga dimulakan tugasan untuk berkhidmat kepada masyarakat setempat dan pengundi – pengundi di kawasan masing – masing. Dirasakan, sekarang iaitu setelah sebulan selepas pilihan raya umum, kemenangan ini elok sangat diisi dengan khidmat dan bakti seperti yang dijanjikan dalam manifesto.

Adalah lebih baik dan sangatlah elok, sekiranya YB dari Pakatan Rakyat memimpin gerakan, seiring dengan teknologi IT, mendahului serta menjadi contoh ‘role model’ kepada lain – lain wakil rakyat di Negara ini.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kepada yang dihormati.

YB Tuan Guru Dato' Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang
Presiden Parti Islam SeMalaysia Pejabat Agung PAS, No. 318-A, Jalan Raja Laut Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50350

YB Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat Biro Penerangan Pusat 110-3 Jalan Tun Sambanthan 50470 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

YB Karpal Singh
Pengerusi Pusat DAP No 24, Jalan 20/9, Paramount Garden, 46300, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Tarikh : 22 April 2008

Perkara : BLOG YB Pakatan Rakyat

Dengan segala hormatnya perkara di atas dirujuk

2. Pertama, tahniah diucapkan kepada Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, di atas kemenangan cemerlang Pakatan Rakyat di dalam Pilihan Raya Umum ke -12, pada 08 Mac 2008 yang lalu dengan kejayaan memenangi sebanyak 82 kerusi Parlimen dan menawan 5 +1 negeri.

3. Telah banyak dibincangkan faktor–faktor kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat dalam PRU-12 ini. Salah satu penyebab ialah keberkesanan penyaluran maklumat secara terus dan cepat melalui laman – laman web, blog dan sms. Ini telah diperakui sendiri oleh YAB Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

4. Sehubungan dengan itu, besarlah harapan sebahagian dari rakyat dan pengundi serta petugas, yang menggerakkan jentera alternatif ini, supaya Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan dapat memberikan satu arahan dan peringatan serta ‘seruan wajib’, secara jelas kepada semua ahli-ahli Yang Berhormat dari Pakatan Rakyat, samada di peringkat Parlimen atau Dewan Undangan Negeri, supaya dapat membina satu laman web atau blog, masing – masing, dengan kadar yang segera.

5 Untuk pengetahuan Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, media alternatif ini merupakan salah satu saluran pilihan komunikasi yang sangat berkesan pada hari ini, yang bertujuan untuk membentuk satu kaedah berkomunikasi antara sebahagian daripada rakyat di sesuatu kawasan dengan wakil – wakil rakyatnya. Disamping itu, kemungkinan banyak juga cadangan – cadangan, idea dan buah fikiran daripada penduduk dan pengundi setempat serta dari luar, dapat disalurkan terus kepada YB Pakatan Rakyat, demi untuk memajukan sesuatu kawasan tersebut.. Walaubagaimanapun, adalah diharapkan YB Pakatan Rakyat atau pekerja–pekerja di Pusat Khidmat Masyarakat yang telah diwujudkan mestilah secara berkala, kalaupun tidak setiap hari, sentiasa mengaktifkan dan mengemaskini maklumat – maklumat yang terdapat di dalamnya.

6. Sebahagian daripada rakyat merasakan kecanggihan teknologi maklumat ini, tidak perlulah ditakuti oleh Ahli – ahli Yang Berhormat dari Pakatan rakyat, malah perlulah kita memanfaatkannya secara maksimum.

7. Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, Kandungan, format dan set up laman- laman web dan blog, terpulanglah kepada kemahiran Ahli – ahli Yang Berhormat Pakatan Rakyat untuk membinanya. Walaubagaimanapun, asas utama kandungannya perlulah mengandungi beberapa perkara berikut, iaitu Biodata YB Pakatan Rakyat, Objektif, Misi, Visi, Pelan Tindakan, Program, Aktiviti dan Biro–biro pentadbiran dan pengurusan setempat serta lain – lainnya.

8. Diharapkan dengan kewujudan laman-laman web dan blog ini, dapat menjadi satu kaedah untuk pengundi, penduduk setempat menilai keberkesanan Ahli–ahli Yang Berhormat, memberikan khidmat dan berkhidmat di sesuatu tempat. Sekiranya pencapaian tidak memuaskan atau tidak memenuhi kehendak minimum penduduk setempat, maka bagi penggal yang akan datang pengurusan parti mempunyai pilihan bagi mencari calon – calon yang lebih baik dan berwibawa.

9. Untuk pengetahuan Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, banyak juga manfaat lain yang akan diperolehi dari laman – laman blog ini, dimana pengurusan parti di peringkat ibu pejabat dan negeri dapat mengawasi dan menilai prestasi kerja setiap YB Pakatan Rakyat, di samping untuk membolehkan semuanya mahir dengan teknologi IT.

10. Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, pengurusan parti mungkin dapat mengadakan kursus, seminar dan brainstorming mengenai penyediaan dan pengendalian laman – laman web dan blog, kepada semua YB Pakatan Rakyat, dalam masa terdekat dengan kadar yang segera, mungkin tindakan ini perlu disegerakan. Maaf dimohon sekiranya, dengan mengutuskan surat ini, ia tidak mengikut lunas, adat dan tata susila serta peraturan dan prosidur yang sepatutnya.

Kerjasama dan pertimbangan dari Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri/Datin Seri/Tuan, sangat dialu – alukan dan dihargai.

Sekian, terima kasih
TT ______________________ Ulit_Mayang Ulit_mayang@yahoo.com
Malaysia

- Ulit Mayang (Ulit_mayang@yahoo.com)
24.04.2008

Potential departure from race-based politics

Potential departure from race-based politics

Thursday, 24 April 2008
Aliran member Toh Kin Woon looks at the possibility of a two-coalition system emerging in the future that would involve more multiracial parties.

A major political tsunami occurred on 8 March 2008, when the country held its 12th General Election. The Barisan Nasional was first denied its two-thirds’ majority, which has been set as a goal to be achieved in every election. Until the recent election, the BN coalition has always succeeded in attainting this goal in all elections after 1969. The significance of having a two-thirds’ majority lies in the power it will have to amend the constitution, without the necessity to seek opposition support.

Next, the BN lost control of four states -. Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor. It also failed in its attempt to regain power in Kelantan, where Pas won with a much-increased majority. Equally dismal was its performance in Kuala Lumpur, where the opposition swept 10 out of 11 parliamentary seats at stake. In all, the BN failed to win power in two of the richest states -. Selangor and Penang - and the two Malay heartland states of Kelantan and Kedah. Support for the BN came mainly from the rest of the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

It is worthwhile to note that the BN did not win a majority of the popular vote in Peninsular Malaysia. It obtained only 49 per cent of the popular vote compared to 51 per cent obtained by the combined Opposition. Only when we include Sabah and Sarawak did the BN win a majority. Even then, at 50.8 per cent compared to 49.2 per cent for the Opposition, it was a razor-thin majority.

Why the erosion of support for BN?

The poor performance of the BN in the recent election was reminiscent of that of 1969. In fact, some claimed that its recent performance was even worse than in 1969. What accounted for this considerable loss of support for the BN among all ethnic groups? There are several factors, almost all of which are already known.

Rising costs

The first was the rise in the cost of living. With nominal incomes rising at a pace much less than the rate of inflation actually experienced by the middle- and lower-income groups, especially the urban salariat, real standards of living for a significant proportion of the population actually fell over the last few years.

Growing disparity

This was exacerbated by the dissatisfaction and discontent of many ordinary citizens over the widening gap between them and the rich. While the government has done quite well in reducing the incidence of absolute poverty, it has not addressed the issue of relative poverty seriously. It often glosses over the issue in many plan documents by making only passing reference to it. Indeed, many of the economic measures that have been taken over the years tend to make the disparity yawn ever wider. Examples include privatisation of many important services; the change in the taxation structure by deliberately increasing the share of government revenue from indirect taxes, which tend to burden the poor more, while reducing direct taxes, especially income tax, which tend to make the rich pay progressively more; withdrawal or reducing subsidies and unequal distribution of income-yielding assets; including knowledge.

Rising Crime Rate

The rising crime rate has also angered many Malaysians. Many now feel unsafe and insecure, especially women and children.

Tarnished Image of the BN

Perceived widespread corruption, numerous scandals and the arrogance of those in power have alienated the BN further from the voters. By the time the General Election was held, people were generally angry, disenchanted and frustrated.

Anwar’s charisma

To all these must be added the charisma of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of the combined Opposition. Wherever he went, he charmed thousands with his oratorical skills. His consistency in calling for the abolition of the New Economic Policy won a lot of support from among the non-Malays, without at the same time alienating the Malays. Overall, the election machinery of all the opposition parties was run efficiently and smoothly. While this machinery was operating at full gear shortly after nomination day, the BN was still bogged down with internal feuds over candidacies and positions.

A two coalition system for the future?

While supporters of the major component parties, Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan - lament the considerable erosion of support for their parties, many others, however, welcome the outcome of the election. They see this significant shift in support for the combined opposition parties of PKR-DAP-Pas as the possible beginning of a two-party or coalition system in this country. If this is indeed the case, Malaysia will henceforth see the emergence of a more competitive political system, replacing the previous system where there was an overwhelming concentration of power in the ruling BN coalition, in particular, Umno.But for this to happen, the three-party opposition alliance must be further strengthened. Thus far, their coming together has been premised largely on ensuring one-to-one contests between any one of these parties and the BN. But this won’t suffice, if it is to present itself as a viable alternative to the BN in the contest for control of the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s lower house of parliament, and hence the Federal Government, in the next general election. A closer alliance, based on common political goals and ideals, and preferably using a common symbol, may be necessary. This may be too much for the DAP to swallow, however, especially when the alliance involves Pas. A merger between PKR and DAP may well be possible.

Departure from race-based politics

More significantly, the outcome of the 12th General Election also signals a potential departure from race-based politics and the rise of multi-racial parties. Parti Keadilan Rakyat or PKR did particularly well, with 31 members of parliament comprising Malays, Chinese and Indians. What was impressive was the success registered by PKR and DAP in mixed constituencies, traditionally regarded as BN strongholds. In past elections, Pas and DAP were relatively strong in predominantly Malay and Chinese seats respectively. While they retained their ground, significant inroads were made by DAP and PKR into the so-called middle ground. This time around, the BN performed relatively badly in these constituencies. The fact that multiracial parties such as PKR and to a lesser extent the DAP could perform well in constituencies covering the middle ground, suggests that people from all races now support these two parties and even Pas. They are now prepared to accept parties that propound a socio-economic agenda that is not race-based but is based more on needs. If this is indeed the case, this marks a refreshing and welcome change from the past, where electoral success was often based on narrow ethnic appeals. It is to be hoped that the ruling BN coalition will take note of this shift and make the necessary changes to past policies that run counter to what seems to be the wishes of all communities for a more non-communal and needs-based approach.

What of Parti Gerakan?

Strictly, this significant political change should be welcomed by parties that profess to be multiracial, including Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, long a member of the ruling BN. For after all, multiracialism was what was advocated by the founders of the party. Besides stressing multiracialism, the party’s constitution that was drafted by the founders also propounded a social democratic platform. Since joining the BN in the early 70s, however, the party has increasingly lost its multi-ethnic character. It is increasingly being perceived by many outside the party to be just another Chinese-based party, its Indian membership notwithstanding. Worse, it has not been consistent in following a truly non-racial Malaysian line. It often vacillates from the racial to the non-racial and back. The electoral pressures coming from many of the largely Chinese constituencies it has been asked to contest, especially in Penang, and perhaps the limited space for multiracial parties within the BN, which is dominated by three major race-based parties, may have contributed to this Gerakan trend.In the recent election, the party did badly. It achieved a lowly 16 per cent success rate in parliamentary elections. But more devastating was the total annihilation of the party in both state and parliamentary elections in Penang, the party’s power base, where it lost in all seats contested. With this major electoral setback, there is hardly anything to celebrate in this year’s 40th anniversary of the founding of the party. Instead, this anniversary might be better devoted to some honest soul-searching on where the party has gone wrong. Ways must be sought to bring the party back to its glorious past that is best remembered for the party’s doubtless contribution to the economic development of Penang over nearly four decades.Going forward, the party needs to return to basics as advocated by the party’s founders. This implies that the party needs to stay firm and true to a non-racial approach that eschews racism. It must continue to adopt a social democratic agenda for progress in the economy, politics, education, health, transportation and housing. Assuming that this is accepted in principle by the leadership and the party at large, it must next mull over the strategic options that it must follow in order to realise this basic socio-economic and political party agenda. To me, there are several possible options:

• Stay in the BN and have more of the same, with the party unable to abandon totally its ethnic character. This to me is the least desirable for it may lead to the party becoming an irrelevant force.

• Stay but seek reforms from within. One major reform, and one which has been earlier advocated by the party’s youth chief, is for all component parties to merge to form a truly multiracial BN. Besides doing away with racial calls, this will also avert the seeming lack of parity in the relationship between Umno and the rest. It was this that has in part cost the MCA, MIC and Gerakan dearly in the recent election. The party must, however, give itself a certain time span to pursue this major change.

• Should it fail to achieve the above within the time span set, it must then seriously consider leaving the BN and to independently develop the party as a serious multiracial social democratic party. If need be, it could join forces with other like-minded parties outside the BN to forge an even larger multiracial movement for greater democracy, ethnic equality, gender parity, and social justice.

Ultimately, of course, it is up to the leaders and members of the party to consider these and other options for the revival for the party. But reform and change it must, if it is to remain a force that can fulfill the ever-rising tide of expectations of the Malaysian electorate in a rapidly changing world.

Toh Kin Woon was a former Associate Professor of Economics at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and former Penang State Executive Councillor. He is presently Executive Chairman of the Socioeconomic and Environmental Research Institute (Seri) and Advisor to the Institute of Training and Development in Penang

http://www.aliran.com/content/view/549/10/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Speaker atur Manoharan angkat sumpah

Speaker atur Manoharan angkat sumpah

Apr 22, 08 4:18pm
Upacara mengangkat sumpah tahanan ISA, M Manoharan sebagai Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) kawasan Kota Alam Shah, akan diatur secepat mungkin, kata Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor Teng Chang Khim.Upacara tersebut akan diadakan dalam tempoh enam bulan dari tempoh seseorang itu dipilih sebagai wakil rakyat dalam pilihanraya.

Manoharan, yang mewakili DAP menewaskan calon Barisan Nasional (BN) Ching Su Chen dengan majoriti 7,184 undi dalam pilihanraya umum 8 Mac lalu.Sekiranya Manoharan tidak mengangkat sumpah dalam tempoh tersebut, kerusinya akan dikosongkan dan pilihanraya kecil perlu diadakan. "Saya akan aturkan tetapi belum tahu masanya. Kini sudah sebulan setengah berlalu.

"Jadi saya mengikut peraturan tetap dalam Dewan yang tidak menetapkan angkat sumpah itu dijalankan dalam dewan," katanya.Sebelum ini, dua calon DAP yang ditahan di bawah ISA - Chan Kok Kit yang menang kerusi parlimen Sungai Besi dan Chian Heng Kai (Batu Gajah) dalam pilihanrayA 1978 - mengangkat sumpah dalam kem tahanan.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kenyataan Media / Press Statement: MP Wangsa Maju

Wee Choo Keong
Mesyuarat perbincangan anjuran Kementerian Wilayah Persekutuan
- Terjemahan oleh Lee Wee Tak - Ucapan ribuan terima kasih dari Wee Choo Keong -
(tiada susunan perkataan “mesyuarat meja bulat”)
Dalam mesyuarat yang diadakan pada 17 April, saya telah membangkitkan 12 perkara dan 12 perkara ini memang sudah dibangkitkan dahulu. Semua perkara tersebut tidak dijawab kecuali perkara di mana pihak DBKL tidak menjawab aduan-aduan daripada orang awam. (Nota penterjemah, DBKL menjawab aduan bahawa tiada jawapan untuk sebarang aduan dengan tidak memberi jawapan kepada aduan. Keliru? Saya pun keliru. Lebih baik membayar cukai pintu dengan cara tidak membayarnya) 12 aduan telah dibangkitkan dalam mesyuarat itu satupun tidak dilayan oleh Menteri WP. YB Datuk Zulhasnan, Menteri WP dan YB Datuk Saravanan, Timbalan Menteri kekal berdiam diri sepanjang masa ini.

Kesemua perkara tersebut telah dirakam dalam blog saya (sila rujuk http://www.weechookeong.blogspot.com/). Saya tahu Kementerian WP membaca blog saya kerana Timbalan Menteri menyebut perkara tertentu daripadanya namun dia tidak berminat dalam memberi penyelesaian kepada perkara-perkara yang dibangkitkan.

Beliau tidak memberi jawapan/penyelesaian kepada 12 pekara yang dibangkitkan oleh saya serta perkara-perkara lain yang dibangkitkan oleh wakil rakyat lain tetapi lebih berminat mencari sebab-sebab yang paling remeh untuk membidas 10 orang wakil rakyat daripada Pakatan Rakyat.

Saya dapat baca dalam akhbar the Star (Metro) hari ini dan rasa kesal bahawa YB YB Datuk Saravanan menyatakan bahawa Chinatown adalah tempat pelancongan dan oleh itu mereka tidak boleh mengambil tindakan terhadap pendatang haram yang berniaga di situ.

(Nota penterjemah: kenyataan ini mungkim menarik perhatian tauke-tauke rumah pelacuran yang telah banyak menyumbang kepada kesejahteraan ekonomi negara negara asing).

Beliau juga menyatakan bahaw kementerian terpaksa membenarkan pengendali-pengendali di situ menyesuaikan diri dan kementerian tidak boleh mengambil tindakan tegas.

(Nota penterjemah: dari segi pengurusan kewangan, jika kementerian ini tidak boleh bergerak, lebih bermakna jika duit rakyat digunakan untuk membantu golongan miskin, cacat, yatim piatu dsb).

Ini adalah kenyataan nan amat menakjubkan daripada seorang Timbalan Menteri WP! Memanglah amalan kerajaan untuk menangkap dan menghantar pulang pendatang-pendatang haram daripada negara kita. Bahkan, ini adalah amalan tetap semua negara lain. Walaubagaimanapun, Kementerian WP nampaknya sangat bertolak ansur dengan pendatang-pendatang haram. Adakah sikap amat bertolak ansur kepada pendatang haram supaya boleh berniaga di Malaysia merupakan amalan baru kerajaan Malaysia?

Timbalan Menteri juga mengesa orang ramai supaya jangan pergi jumpa wakil rakyat untuk membuat aduan mengenai kepincangan DBKL dan Kementerian WP, dan dia menawar setengah hari untuk melayan aduan orang awam. Menteru dan Timbalannya seharusnya menawarkan perkhidmatan ini semenjak hari pertama. Namun mereka belum pernah buat ini. Lebih baik buat lewat daripada tidak buat langsung. Untuk memenuhi amalan baru Kementerian supaya menjawab aduan-aduan awam, pihak Menteri dan Timbalannya harus mengiklankan nombor telefon bimbit masing-masing untuk kemudahan pihak awam.

Saya menyeru Menteri WP agar menjelaskan perkara-perkara di bawah:
1. Adakah amalan baru kerajaan baru BN untuk amat bertolak ansur dengan pendatang haram di Jalan Petaling dan tempat-tempat lain di Malaysia bahkan membenarkan kewujudan mereka?
2. Mengapa Kementerian tidak dapat menyelesaikan masalah banjir di KL?
3. Mengapa Kementerian tidak dapat menukar tanggapan awam bahawa DBKL adalah dianggap sebagai seiring dengan perbuatan rasuah?
4. Mengapa pihak Kementerian tidak dapat memberi penyelisaian kepada kelemahan-kelemahan nan terkenal DBKL dan Kemeterian WP dalam bidang pungutan sampah, membersihkan longkang dsb?

Wee Choo Keong
======================================
Round table conference organised by FT Ministry
Press Statement by Wee Choo Keong, MP for Wangsa Maju, on 19-04-08 at KL.
THE ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY FT MINISTRY
During the Round Table Conference on 17-04-08 I have raised 12 issues and these 12 issues have already been raised with Datuk Bandar KL. All the 12 issues raised by me were unanswered except for the issue of DBKL not responding to public complaints. The same 12 issues were brought up at the Round Table Conference and not one of the 12 issues were addressed by the Ministry for FT. YB Datuk Zulhasnan, the Minister for FT and YB Datuk Saravanan, Deputy Minister remained silence throughout the events.

All the 12 issues were posted in my blog: http://www.weechookeong.blogspot.com/. I knew that the Ministry of FT read my blog because its Deputy Minister had quoted certain things from it but he was not interested in providing solutions to the issues raised.

Instead of providing answers or solutions to the 12 issued raised by me and other issues raised by other MPs, the Deputy Minister was more interested in looking for the slightest reason to attack the 10 Pakatan Rakyat MPs.

I note in today Star (Metro) with dismay that YB Datuk Saravanan, Deputy Minister for WP, has said that Chinatown is a tourist destination and therefore they cannot take harsh actions against the illegal immigrants trading in the place. He also said that the Ministry had to allow the operators to adjust themselves and the Ministry cannot just carry out harsh enforcement.

What a shocking statement coming from a Deputy Minister for FT! It is always the policy of the government to arrest and deport illegal immigrants from our country. In fact, it is the established policy of all countries to deport illegal immigrants. But the Ministry of FT seemed to have extreme tolerance for illegal immigrants. Is this extreme tolerance for illegal immigrants trading in Malaysia a new government policy?

The Deputy Minister also said that the people should not go to their MPs to complain about the inefficiencies of DBKL and Ministry of FT, and he offered to spend half a day to attend to the people's complaints. The Minister and Deputy Minister should have provided such service to the people from day one. But they didn’t do it before. It is better late than never. In order to fulfill the Ministry’s new policy in attending to people's complaints, the Minister and his deputy should advertise their respective handphone numbers for easy public access.

I call upon the Minister of FT to clarify the following:

1. Whether it is the new BN government policy to exercise extreme tolerance for illegal immigrants trading in Jalan Petaling or elsewhere in Malaysia and where possible to condone their existence?
2. Why the Ministry could not solve the flood problems in KL?
3. Why the Ministry could not change the public perception of the image of DBKL that “Corruption is synonymous with DBKL and DBKL is synonymous with corruption?
4. Why the Ministry was unable to provide solutions to resolve the well known inefficiencies of DBKL and Ministry of FT in dealing with collection of rubbish, clearing up clogging drains and etc?
Wee Choo Keong

Kenyataan Media / Press Statement: MP Wangsa Maju

21 April 2008

Media release re Jalan Petaling as reported in The Star
Media Release of Wee Choo Keong, MP for Wangsa Maju, on 21 April 2008 in Kuala Lumpur
ON THE ISSUE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DOMINATING JALAN PETALING AND DBKL NOT TAKING ACTIONS
The Star report in page M4 today:
“ASSOCIATION TELLS WEE NOT TO INTERFERE”
THE DBKL, IMMIGRATION DEPT. AND POLICE TO ENGAGE IN A JOINT ACTION TO WEED OUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN MALAYSIA
On page M4 of The Star headline of today reads: Association tells Wee not to interfere – City Hall and MP handling the problem. This headline is a definite SLANT to protect the BN controlled DBKL, Ministry of Wilayah Persekutuan and the illegal immigrants. Whoever tries to protect illegal immigrant is doing a disservice to the nation.
Background to this media statement
For the background: on 19-04-08 I have issued a press statement in respond to the Deputy Minister of Wilayah YB Datuk Saravanan’s attack on my stand on illegal immigrants in the Wilayah Persekutuan Round Table Conference and my statement was not published in The Star for obvious reason. But the Deputy Minister's statement to the effect that DBKL cannot take harsh actions against illegal immigrants because Jalan Petaling is a tourist destination was published in the same newspaper.
Of course, I protested to the Star because I was denied the right to a reply. I feel that it is the basic rule in professional journalism that one should always be allowed to reply. I am really pleased that today a small part of my statement was, of course, published in the Star.
The Star said report headlined: “Association Tells Wee Not To Interfere” shows that it has no in-depth knowledge of this association called: KL Hawkers and Petty Traders Association (hereinafter referred to as the “Association”) and the problems of illegal immigrants in Jalan Petaling and throughout Malaysia.
For a start, the said Association has been headed by its president one Mr Chan Kai Mun, who was in the early 1990s banished to Cameron Highland by the Home Ministry as a restricted residence (kena buang negeri) due to his criminal activities in Jalan Petaling and KL. But he returned to KL just after 3 months in Cameron Highland which was and still is a holiday resort, and his short 'resrticted residence' period was extremely unusual.
Beautification Project in Jalan Petaling
Prior to the Beautification of Jalan Petaling Project around 2001/2002, this Chan Kai Mun has put up his own electricity meters around Jalan Petaling and he was collecting electricity charges from the hawkers averaging RM300 to RM500 per month per hawker (RM0.70 per bulb and RM1.50 per florescent tube) per session (from 12:00 noon to 5 pm for the afternoon session and 5 pm to 11 pm for the night session) for more than 20 years.
In fact during the DBKL beautification project, the Association president was openly allowed by DBKL to lay his personal underground cables to each hawker stall for the supply of electricity. The Association president was allowed to collect the electricity charges even after the beautification project was completed. The Association president was indeed a very powerful figure in DBKL. I wonder WHY? DBKL should explain why no actions were taken for so many years to stop this activity of the Association president?
There are more than 800 licenced hawkers and a few hundred unlicenced ones. The collections per month by the said Association president was more than RM100,000.00!
The hawkers were extremely unhappy as they felt that the charges were highly excessive and they were licenced hawkers and such services should have been provided by DBKL. The hawkers knew that the collections of electricity charges were unlawful. But the hawkers dare not openly protest because of the Association president’s known notorious background (which is an open secret). They sort my help even though I was no longer the MP for Bukit Bintang.
Since I was active in Bukit Bintang under Malaysian Democratic Party (MDP), I had no alternative but to fight for the hawkers. I have had many meetings with DBKL over the collections of the electricity charges by the said Association president and DBKL agreed in principle that no one has the right to collect electricity charges from the hawkers.
Unfortunately, DBKL did not take any action to stop this activity until 2003 when DBKL heard that I intend to file an action in Court to apply for an order to force DBKL to take actions to stop these unlawful activities. DBKL finally issued a notice to all the hawkers notifying them that no one is authorised to collect the electricity charges in Jalan Petaling. Hence these unlawful activities were stopped. Now the hawkers paid a flat rate of about RM200.00 throughout the day with no restriction on the usage of electricity. They were extremely happy.
The Association was used as a platform
The Association is not really the Association of the hawkers in Jalan Petaling. The Association is dominated by its president Chan Kai Mun and his boys like DATUK ANG SAY TEE. The hawkers generally feel threatened by personality of Chan Kai Mun. It is a general knowledge that the said Association does not represent the hawkers in Jalan Petaling. The said Association has been used as a platform and a front for Chan Kai Mun, who was a restricted resident, and other businessmen.
I call upon the police to check whether Chan Kai Mun is still involved in the illegal activities in Jalan Petaling and elsewhere.
The Association’s deputy president Datuk Ang Say Tee
DATUK Ang Say Tee (hereinafter referred to as DATUK ANG) was never a hawker in Jalan Petaling. He was never a hawker but a well to do businessman. It is extremely unusual for a hawker to be conferred the title of Datuk. I think that DATUK ANG is the only official in a hawkers association throughout the country that is conferred Datukship and I believe that like many other Datuks, he must have contributed a lot to the state that conferred him the Datukship!
DATUK ANG - MCA Background
DATUK ANG was and still is a businessman in the garment business in Jalan Kenaga area. DATUK ANG is a member of MCA. DATUK ANG was the vice-chairman of MCA Ampang Division and now a committee member only.
So it is now understandable why DATUK ANG made such a statement asking me not to interfere even though he knew that Jalan Petaling is dominated by illegal immigrants. DATUK ANG was just carrying out the policy of BN to protect the illegal immigrants. It is also understandable that The Star had to perform its duties accordingly and slanted its reporting the way it did. But facts are facts. Nothing can change facts.
DBKL duty to KL residents and the community
The KL residents have spoken on 8th March. It is now an undisputed fact that the illegal immigrants are a problem in Jalan Petaling and the whole of Malaysia, and they caused untold miseries to Malaysians generally.
Our national interests dictate that our securities are the most important aspect of the nation and also jobs and business opportunities must be reserved for Malaysians.
Further, DBKL and the government must take note that generally ILLEGAL immigrants in any part of the world caused social problems to the nation and they are not welcomed.
For our national interests, I call upon DBKL, Immigration Department and the police to immediately engage in a joint action to weed out illegal immigrants in KL and other parts in Malaysia starting in Jalan Petaling.
Wee Choo Keong

It will worsen situation: Jeffrey

It will worsen situation: Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said building more temporary detention centres in Sabah will worsen the illegal immigrant problem since it will be encouraging more to come.

"I suggest the Government do something more concrete by using political will. There is still no political will and it has been that way the last 20 years," he said.

He said what Sabah needs is a comprehensive foreign labour policy that provides for a win-win situation for migrant workers and host country, Malaysia.

He said, among others, the Government should lengthen the working period for foreign workers to encourage them to stay legally in the country.

The management of immigration should also be given to the State Government, while the Federal Government must make it priority to hold government-to-government talks with the neighbouring countries.

Speaking to announce a talk themed "Perubahan dan Keadilan" (Changes and Justice) to be facilitated by him as the organising chairman and PKR Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on April 23, Dr Jeffrey claimed the present BN government has no capacity to truly address the problems.

"I see the actions taken by the Government on illegal immigrants, as announced by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, are not aimed at solving the problem.

"They are merely reacting to it. So the problem becomes more serious," he said, adding the BN Government must also no longer deny the importance for the Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegals and problems associated with it like false documents.

On the talk, he said it would be held at Hongkod Koisaan, KDCA in Penampang at 7pm where leaders from the various communities in Sabah are invited to attend.

"We want meet with them and listen to their views on the current political scenario," he said, the PKR leaders would also be receiving applications from new members.

During the event, Dr Jeffrey would also be launching his blogsite as well as handing over the Tambunan Declaration to Anwar.

On whether PKR had obtained the necessary permit from the police to hold the function, he said, "we are in the process of getting it".

GMI jumpa Menteri Besar Selangor

Oleh Norlaila Othman,
Keluarga Tahanan ISA,
Pusat Sokongan Keluarga Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)

Pada 16 April 2008, saya telah berpeluang bertemu dengan MB Selangor yang mewakili Pakatan Rakyat pasca PRU12, iaitu Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim .

Saya ditemani oleh Bendahari GMI, Puan Nashita Mohd Noor.

Saya hadir ke majlis itu bersama-sama gabungan NGO yang ingin bertemu dengan MB untuk berbincang tentang sokongan dan kerjasama yang akan dapat di berikan oleh gabungan terhadap kerajaan yang baru ini.

Seramai hampir seratus peserta hadir mewakili lebih enam puluh badan bukan kerajaan di Malaysia di ketuai oleh SUARAM.

Majlis yang sepatutnya bermula pada jam 3.00 petang telah terpaksa di tunda ke pukul 5.00 petang kerana Tan Sri Khalid terpaksa menyelesaikan irisan denga pihak polis berkaitan isu perhimpunan "Black 14".

Walaupun dua jam lewat dari jadual asal, tetapi sebaik Tan Sri masuk ke Bilik Gerakan SUK itu, semua kegelisahan peserta hilang dan bertukar kepada dengan suasana ceria.

Saya adalah salah seorang dari barisan panel yang membentangkan isu rakyat kepada MB dan barisan exconya.

Exco yang hadir pada petang itu adalah YB Elizabeth Wong, YB Ronnie Liu, YB Dr Halimah Ali, YB Nik Nazmi,YB Rodziah Ismail dan YB D Jayakumar.

Selain saya, ahli panel yang lain ialah Gerald Joseph dari KOMAS, Cynthia Gabriel dari SUARAM, Gayathri dari Center of Independent Journal dan Maria Chin dari Sisters In Islam.

Majlis itu di pengerusikan oleh Yap Siew Seng dari SUARAM.

Seperti biasa, selain dari pelbagai isu utama rakyat seperti ketelusan pemimpin, kebebasan maklumat, isu pekerja, hak-hak wanita,anak-anak dan remaja, isu alam sekitar dan kebebasan berugama, saya tidak dapat lari dari isu utama yang sedang di perjuangkan iaitu mendedahkan kejahatan ISA yang mengancam kebebasan hak asasi rakyat negara ini.

Saya amat bersyukur kerana Tan Sri Khalid memberi respon positif kepada isu yang saya utarakan.Menurut beliau, selain memberikan sokongan mansuhkan ISA di Parlimen , beliau juga akan telah memberi pengakuan akan membantu semua keluarga ISA di Selangor melalui wang zakat yang disumbangkan oleh orang ramai.

Sebaik saja mesyuarat berakhir, saya telah bertemu dengan exco Selangor yang memegang portfolio Wanita dan Kebajikan, YB Puan Rodziah Ismail.

YB Rodziah dengan wajah ceria berjanji akan segera membantu kami mangsa ISA, mendapat pembelaan yang lebih baik lagi.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Teng dilantik Speaker DUN S'gor

Wakil rakyat DAP bagi Sungai Pinang, Teng Chang Khim telah dilantik sebagai Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Selangor.Beliau merupakan penyandang bukan Melayu pertama yang dilantik memegang jawatan tersebut.Pelantikan Teng yang merupakan bekas ketua pembangkang di DUN Selangor, diumumkan oleh menteri besar, Khalid Ibrahim hari ini.Pengumuman itu mengesahkan spekulasi sebelum ini bahawa Teng akan dilantik sebagai Speaker selepas tidak dilantik dalam barisan exco kerajaan negeri Selangor.

Khalid juga mengumumkan pelantikan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Taman Medan, Haniza Talha sebagai timbalan Speaker.

Sementara itu, bekas setiausaha agung Gerakan, Lee Kah Choon, yang bersara dari politik tiga minggu lalu, dijangka dilantik sebagai pengarah Perbadanan Kemajuan Pulau Pinang (PDC) dan InvestPenang.Rabu lalu, edisi bahasa Cina Malaysiakini melaporkan ketua menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng dijangka melantik Lee ke jawatan tersebut bagi memperkukuhkan lagi pentadbiran kerajaan negeri.PDC berfungsi sebagai badan pelabur kerajaan negeri dan antara tugasnya ialah untuk merancang projek-projek pembangunan, manakala InvestPenang pula ditugaskanmenarik pelabur ke negeri tersebut.Lembaga pengarah PDC secara tradisinya diketuai oleh dua timbalan ketua menteri - Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin dan Dr P Ramasamy.Bulan lalu, Lee melepas semua jawatan parti yang disandangnya, iaitu pengerusi Gerakan bahagian Jelutong, penolong setiausaha Gerakan Pulau Pinang, anggota jawatankuasa kerja Gerakan di peringkat negeri dan pusat.

Friday, April 18, 2008

MB among those honoured by Perak Sultan

MB among those honoured by Perak Sultan

By SYLVIA LOOI


IPOH: Two Perak state executive councillors and two federal ministers will receive one of the state's highest awards in conjunction with Sultan Azlan Shah's 80th birthday on Saturday.


Mentri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Chuan and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will receive the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak (SPMP), which carries the title of "Datuk Seri".


State Finance, Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Energy, Water and Non-Islamic Affairs Committee chairman Ngeh Koo Ham will also be one of 28 people awarded with the Darjah Datuk Paduka Mahkota Perak (DPMP), which carries the title of "Datuk".


Heading the list of 773 recipients this year is Chief Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad, who will be awarded the state's highest award Darjah Seri Paduka Cura Si Manja Kini (SPCM), which carries the title of "Datuk Seri".


The other SPMP recipients are Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini, Bank Muamalat Malaysia chairman Datuk Ismail Shahudin and retiree Datuk N. S. Selvamany.


Of the three recipients to receive the Darjah Seri Panglima Taming Sari, which carries the title of "Datuk Seri", are Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, army chief Jeneral Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief Jen Tan Sri Azizan Ariffin.


The Darjah Datuk Paduka Cura Si Manja Kini (DPCM), which carries the title of "Datuk", will be awarded to the state legal adviser Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Aminah Ayob.
Other DPMP recipients are deputy state secretary (administration) Mohd Jamal Mahussin, Kinta district officer Razali Othman, Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council president Mohd Shafie Arifin and state Drainage and Irrigation Department director Abdul Razak Dahalan.


The group also includes Malaysia's High Commissioner to Namibia Hayati Ismail, United Plantations Bhd vice-chairman Carl Bek-Nielsen, Malaysian Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysian Institute for Road Safety Research director-general Prof Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi and WWF-Malaysia's executive director and chief executive officer Dr Dionysius Shankar Kumar Sharma.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Selangor Government gets thrifty with first trip abroad

The Star Online > Nation Thursday April 17, 2008

New Selangor Government gets thrifty with first trip abroad

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Government is planning its first overseas study trip, but it's one that's not costly. It's a trip to Singapore – by bus.

Local Government, Study and Research state chairman Ronnie Liu said the trip to the island state would be by air-conditioned coach with only relevant officers and no family members allowed.

“No flights; it’s costly,” he said.

“Some might hate the idea of a bus tour that takes about five hours with the two stops along the way, but you see it is ratepayers' taxes that we are using.

“By bus we can hit the main sites in our plan and skip the ones we don’t want to visit. So, it will be fun as all get to hop on and hop off when we want to see something,” he added.

Liu said the study tour was to get useful and practical understanding on the efficient domestic waste management methods, serene landscaping and other aspects of town management.
“Singapore is a good place to begin as their approach in managing town areas through the Community Development Councils in Central Singapore, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest are excellent. Since they are our neighbours we should learn from them,” he said.

Liu added that the study trip would include all 12 local council presidents, district officers, relevant heads of department and a few state executive councillors.

“Another area we are going to look into is soft landscaping. From Central Singapore to Changi Airport we can see the serene pockets of greenery and we want our local council officers in-charge of greenery to pick up ideas on how to keep the trees alive,” he said.

He added that the state government wanted to reduce the usage of foliage lighting on trees as it was artificial and cost the local councils a hefty electric bill sometimes hitting RM1mil a month.

On road repairs causing much inconvenience to road users, Liu said that with immediate effect contractors with local councils would only be allowed to carry out road, drainage, painting of road lines and earthworks from midnight to 6am.

Present situation may never repeat for Sabah, says Jeffrey

17 April, 2008

Present situation may never repeat for Sabah, says Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan thinks Sabah MPs and leaders should regard it a duty to back Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister and Pakatan Rakyat as the alternative government. He said they should think about the tremendous political benefits that this could bring to Sabah and Sarawak.

"The current political situation is something that may never present itself again and should be appreciated as a unique opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak to come together and re-negotiate what they want," he said.

"Its like rewriting history and a chance to correct past shortcomings as well as to make a New Deal for Sabah," he said in a statement, Wednesday.

Jeffrey said for 44 years the special rights of the Borneo states had been slowly eroded.
"The 20-Points, which listed out the conditions for Sabah before agreeing to be a partner to form the Federation were later ignored along with other assurances and promises given by Tunku Abdul Rahman and by successive BN governments," he said.

He said the Umno-led Federal Government had always called the shots, translating the concept of Malaysia from that of a loose federation of three separate state entities to that of a unitary system of 14 states.

He said that for 44 years Sabahans had no real choice but to accept and accommodate whatever Umno/BN says.

"In fact, anyone who stood up and fought could end up in prison under ISA or be removed from their positions such as the case with Donald Stephens and Stephen Kalong Ningkan of Sarawak when they were Chief Ministers," he said.

"But today we have a choice. Sabahans have a real opportunity to choose and to re-carve our future with the unique political situation presenting itself at the Federal level."

He said Anwar's party had in October 2006 accepted and approved (February 2007) a proposal called "The Tambunan Declaration" presented by him which later became part of the PKR 2008 Election Manifesto.

Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat are now offering these packages to Sabah in exchange for Sabah MPs' support, which included more autonomy, 20 per cent oil royalty, a Second Deputy Prime Minister for Sabah and Sarawak, six to seven Cabinet Ministers and Borneonisation.

Others in the packages were the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to solve illegal immigrant and Project IC problems, return of Labuan, more ambassadorial posts (15 each for Sabah and Sarawak) and the scrapping of JPPS.

"These offers are significant and, for the most part, fulfil the wishes and aspirations of Sabahans," he said, adding that the "record had shown that Anwar is one who can deliver."

Daily Express, Sabah