Archive for March, 2009

Batang Ai: Program ‘Anak Angkat’ strategi Pakatan Rakyat untuk sampai ke akar umbi

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

Anna Yusof

LUBOK ANTU, 30 Mac (SK) : Timbalan Pengarah Pilihanraya KeADILan Foziah Salleh telah melantik 150 wakil Orang Iban dalam program ‘Anak angkat’ yang menghuni dalam 128 buah Rumah Panjang di sekitar N29 Batang Ai untuk mereka mendekati kesemua pengundi untuk memahami menifsto Pakatan Rakyat.

“Dalam program ini, mereka dilatih bagaimana menangani masalah penipuan Barisan Nasional dalam rampasan hak tanah adat, menjaga hak mereka dari pencerobohan meruntuhkan rumah panjang serta memberi penerangan bagi memahami menifesto Pakatan Rakyat, kata Foziah kepada Suara Keadilan.

“Logistik adalah masalah paling utama untuk mereka bergerak dari satu tempat ke tempat yang lain, maka program ‘Anak Angkat’ ini amat berkesan dimana penerangan yang tepat dan cepat untuk sampai kepada kaum keluarga mereka yang tinggal di kesemua 128 buah rumah panjang akan menjadi mudah dan berkesan,” jelas Foziah.

Foziah juga berkerja sama dengan NGO tempatan seperti pertubuhan Dayak-Iban bersma -sama Angkatan Muda KeADILan (AMK) untuk menangani proses mengira undi semasa piliharaya kecil ini berjalanpada 7 April nanti.

“Persiapan seperti memeriksa kesahihan pengundi dan lain-lain masalah alamat akan di beri penekanan bagi memastikan keadilan dan ketelusan dapat berjalan lancar semasa pembuangan undi kelak,” Foziah berkata.

Sementara itu, Ketua AMK Sarawak Rahmat Aidil Latif, Setiausaha AMK Pusat Zulfikar Ali Ariffin serta wakil-wakil AMK negeri Kedah dan Sabah akan bersama-sama membantu merayu undi dan memberi latihan dalam kerja-kerja mengira undi bagi memastikan tidak ada sebarang penipuan atau pengundi hantu seperti yang sering terjadi di setiap pilihanraya.

“Setakat ini semua persiapan berjalan lancar walaupun agen-agen BN serta polis juga kelihatan disana-sini memerhati pergerakan kami,”kata Rahmat.

“Walau bagaimanapun keadaan tenang dan tidak ada kekecohan yang timbul setakat ini,” tambah beliau. SK

Ucaptama ‘Forum Krisis Ekonomi Sejagat & Masa Depan ASEAN’ di Bangkok

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim with tags on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

–SIARAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA–

30 Mac 2009 – Ketua Pembangkang Dewan Rakyat Malaysia, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, akan menyampaikan ucaptama di Forum Krisis Ekonomi Sejagat Dan Masa Depan ASEAN di Universiti Chulalongkorn, Bangkok pada 30hb Mac jam 1.30 PM. Mantan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang juga bekas menteri kewangan itu akan membicarakan krisis kewangan mutakhir ini di dalam konteks kepimpinan beliau pada tahun 1997; sewaktu krisis kewangan yang melanda Asia. Beliau juga akan menawarkan beberapa pandangan di dalam membentuk Asean yang stabil serta makmur.

Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul, Rektor Universiti Chulalongkorn akan menjadi hos forum tersebut manakala HRH Sukumphan Paribatra Boriphat, Wizurai Bangkok dan mantan Timbalan Menteri Luar Thailand akan menyampaikan ucapan pendahuluan.

Acara ini adalah sebahagian dari siri syarahan oleh pemimpin ASEAN terkemuka bagi berkongsi pandangan, pengalaman dan cita-cita untuk pembangunan demokrasi serta perkembangan rantau di tengah dunia yang melangkah pesat ini. Forum ini dianjurkan oleh Thailand Political Database Project.

PEJABAT DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

—————

–PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–

MARCH 30, 2009 – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will deliver a keynote address on the “Global Economic Crisis and the Future of ASEAN” at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on March 30th at 1:30 PM. Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian Minister of Finance will discuss the current global recession in the context of his leadership during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and offer perspectives on forging a more stable and prosperous future for the Asean region.

Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul, rector of Chulalongkorn University will host the event and HRH Sukumphan Paribatra Boriphat, the Bangkok Governor and Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, will deliver an introductory speech.

The event is part of a broader series of lectures by outstanding ASEAN leaders to speak in order to share experiences, concerns and visions regarding the development of democracy and development of the region in a fast changing world. It is organised by the Thailand Political Database Project.

The lecture will take place in Room 212 Mahitalatibej Building at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. A press conference will follow beginning at 4:15 PM in Room 208 of the Mahitalatibej Building. Please RSVP at +6622618951,+6622618953, Fax : +6622618950 (Miss Aruchita Auttamapokin)

E-mail: thaiswatch2007@gmail.com

http://www.thaiswatch.com/anwarliveinbangkok

THE OFFICE OF ANWAR IBRAHIM

Keep lamenting. Keep grumbling. Keep complaining. Keep bitching & Vote for Pakatan Rakyat – Pandai RPK

Posted in RPK on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

Keep lamenting. Keep grumbling. Keep complaining. Keep bitching. It is good you do all that. And then, come the next general election, go vote for Barisan Nasional, the only party that can look after Indian interests and guarantee Indian rights.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Now that you have finished with Bodoh Cina, Bodoh India and Bodoh Melayu, I think it is time we finish it off with a Bodoh RPK! What say you?

You must be smoking pot or drinking something way out to talk about Bangsa Malaysia as if it is here and now. This is absolutely what we must all strive to achieve, but are we anywhere near that at all?

Just because you and the rest of your family are half this and half that, that does not make for Bangsa Malaysia today for everyone. Every bloody corner we turn we are reminded that we are Indians, Chinese, non-Malays, non-Muslims, Malays, Muslims.

Whenever I help one of our discarded citizens (who, for your information, also happens to be Indian……or is it that I am making it out to be Indian this and Indian that) to fill in a form for this or that to prove their existence so they can claim their rights guaranteed in the constitution, every form asks… Bangsa? Agama? Every bloody form, RPK, every bloody form!  Now are you telling me that tomorrow if the opposition takes over that is going to away? Tomorrow?

This branding by race is something that’s been going forever, started by the colonialist who raped the country raw and left us where we are today. The way we identify ourselves has to do with this history of gross conditioning which suited the bloody colonialists and afterwards the Malaysian ruling groups. So, if you want to cure a problem, don’t hit at the symptoms, hit at the root cause – problem solving 101 bodoh RPK. Start at the cause of it all, the racist system.

You want to apply for a job – Bangsa? You want to start a business – Bangsa? You want to get a licence – Bangsa? You want to enroll your kids in school – Bangsa? You want to take a loan – Bangsa? You want to sell a house – Bangsa? You want to die – Agama? You want to claim your rights as a citizen in this country – Bangsa? Agama?

Except for the businesses that are owned by foreigners, look at the mix of races in the Malaysian companies. Look at Petronas. Look at Public Bank. You must be blind, not colour-blind, if you cannot see what is around, 360 degrees, 24 hours, in Malaysia. That is all not because I think I am Indian or because I say Indian this or Indian that.

So, Bodoh RPK, go hit at the root cause and leave the Bodoh whatever alone!!!

Naragan N

***************************************

Naragan N sent me the e-mail above and requested that I publish it, so I will. As I have always said, I invite criticism and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my views. However, I also reserve the right to reply, which I will now do.

Naragan has rightly pointed out what ails this country. And, as he said, we have to attack the cause of the disease, not the symptoms. I have repeatedly said the same thing myself in many of my articles. Whenever readers comment, lamenting about this and that, I have always reminded them that it is no use arguing about the symptoms of the problem. We should instead focus on the cause of the problem. In that sense Naragan took the words right out of my mouth.

In a way, Naragan is saying what I have been saying all this while. Why he even bothered to write this e-mail just to repeat my points is beyond me. It would have been more productive if he had argued some fresh points rather than argue my same points. Is Naragan trying to convert the already converted?

Naragan says he is an Indian. And he laments about the plight of the Indians since way before Merdeka. I can understand that because the Indians first came to this country around 1850 until the British Colonial government stopped bringing the Indians into Malaya around 1920.

The history of the Indian migration into Malaya is actually not that well known to most Malaysians. Before 1850, the British set up tea and coffee plantations in India, in particular in Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. These plantations were one day hit with a disease that killed everything and at the same time contaminated the land. So the land could no longer be used to plant tea or coffee.

Malaya, which had the same conditions as Ceylon, was a suitable alternative for these plantations. So the British planters relocated to Malaya. But the Malays would not work these plantations so the British had to bring in the workers from Ceylon and Southern India, who already had the experience anyway, as labourers for these plantations.

And that was how the Indians came to Malaya. Of course, there are others who came not as labourers in plantations. These were the traders and Chetiahs who were in the money-lending business. Basically, the Chetiahs served as bankers to the small man who could never qualify for bank loans. Some also came as clerks and teachers to serve the British Colonial Government who needed English-speaking Asians and the Malays at that time were not yet schooled in English, at least not until the early 1900s.

So the early Indians were mostly servants of the British, one way or another. When Malaya gained independence from Britain, some Indians went home but many chose to remain in this country and thereafter obtained Malayan citizenship.

The first election, the Municipal election, was held in 1955, two years before Merdeka. The Alliance Party won 51 out of 52 seats it contested. The second election, which was the first Parliamentary election, was held in 1959, two years after Merdeka. In that election, the Alliance Party won 74 out of the 104 seats up for grabs. PAS won 13, the Labour Party 6, Parti Rakyat 2, PPP 4, Parti Negara 1, Parti Malaya 1, and independent candidates 3.

Basically, the opposition depended on Malay and Chinese votes. And that is why the Islamic party, which had a Malay base, and what was perceived as ‘Communist’ parties, which had a Chinese base, grabbed 30 out of 104 seats. The Indians, since before Merdeka in the 1955 Municipal election, then two years after Merdeka in the first Parliamentary election, voted government. And the Indians continued voting government for another 50 years, whereby 90% of the Indian votes went to the Alliance Party and, later, to Barisan Nasional, right until they woke up in November 2007.

Yes, Naragan talks about the cause of the disease. We should attack the cause rather than the symptoms of the disease, argues Naragan. I agree. And the cause of the disease is that the Indians were solidly behind the ruling party in spite of all the problems the Indians (and Chinese as well, of course) had been facing since long before Merdeka.

Naragan laments about this and that. I am happy he is lamenting. Okay, maybe the Indians have just started lamenting since the last 18 months from November 2007. But I have been lamenting about all this, the same thing that Naragan is lamenting about, for more than 380 months since 1977. Naragan, 18 months, and me, 380 months. And Naragan’s 18 months of lamenting makes him more of an expert on Indian problems compared to me who has been harping on the same thing for 380 months.

I suppose, as they say, better late than never. Welcome to reality-land, Naragan. I am glad you finally woke up, although it took you 50 years to finally wake up. Keep lamenting. Keep grumbling. Keep complaining. Keep bitching. It is good you do all that. And then, come the next general election, go vote for Barisan Nasional, the only party that can look after Indian interests and guarantee Indian rights. Maybe we can start with Bukit Selambau where there is currently a by-election being held. Maybe the Indians can help swing a victory for Barisan Nasional so that the Indians can have a better future after getting a raw deal since 1850.

najib Altantuya must be screened by a royal commission of inquiry

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

By Kim Quek

In a heated press conference at the end of the UMNO Annual Assembly on Mar 28, the newly crowned President of UMNO Najib Razak failed to dispel swirling rumours of his alleged links to the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.

This press conference had attracted unusual foreign press attention, due to heightened international media coverage over the scandal as Najib’s anticipated ascension to premiership nears. And as the name of Altantuya splashes in news features that pop up all over the world from France to Australia and from US to India, Najib seems to be irretrievably linked to this sex-corruption-murder scandal over an arm purchase.

Answering a barrage of questions from foreign journalists whether these persistent aspersions would undermine his premiership, Najib only repeatedly said: “These are malicious and baseless lies. I have already given my answers, but they persist. This is an opposition ploy.”

Najib sounded as if he had already given all the necessary explanations to exonerate himself from his apparently strong connection to the case, but actually all he had done was the repeated uttering of these few words: “I had never met the Mongolian woman, I had never known her”, full stop. In fact, he swore in public several times, using the same words.

SERIOUS QUESTIONS

If Najib thought those few words were sufficient to quell the mountain of suspicion arising from the myriad of burning questions as yet unanswered – in the face of dubious action or inaction by the law enforcers – he must have been terribly naïve and completely underestimated the intelligence of the public. Just to pick a few of these in random to demonstrate how serious these questions are:

  • Private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and his entire family mysteriously disappeared a day after he revealed a sworn statement giving intimate details incriminating Najib to the murder case in July 2008. Despite promises to investigate, the police have remained silent over the contents of this affidavit. And the court had also barred the admission of this document. Why did the police and the court keep a safe distance from this document that could have led to a break-through of this trial? What has happened to Bala and family – as nobody seem to know their whereabouts?
  • Why did the court – prosecutors, defence lawyers & judge – acting in unison, block further evidence from Altantuya’s cousin Burmaa Oyunchinmeg when she testified that Najib appeared in a photograph with Altantuya?
  • Why did the court block further evidence upon revelation in court that Malaysian immigration records of Altantuya and her two Mongolian companions had been mysteriously erased? Shouldn’t such erasure have been considered an important lead and an indication that some VVIP was involved?
  • Why were Najib and his aide-de-camp Musa Safri not investigated and called to the witness stand, since it was Musa Safri who gave instruction to the first accused (first and second accused were Najib’s bodyguards) to solve third accused Razak Baginda’s ‘woman problem’. Now that Razak Baginda (a close associate of Najib) has been declared innocent, the court is now left with the bizarre scenario of a murder without a motive, since the first two accused had no motive on their own to kill the victim.

It does not take a Sherlock Holmes or a legal expert to smell a rat in the handling of this murder case – a possible conspiracy to cover up for the real culprit.

During the press conference, not satisfied with Najib’s simplistic answer, journalists repeatedly asked the same questions. Finally, Najib snapped: “We will deal with it, we know how to handle it”. When asked whether this means possible crack-downs against his political opponents, Najib protested: “It is not fair to prejudge me. Give me a chance to take office first. Judge me by my action.”

So, Najib is pleading to be allowed to become the prime minister first, then judge him for what he does.

But is it fair to ask the nation to accept the risk of appointing a prime minister when such formidable dark clouds clearly hang over his head? If there is indeed incriminating evidence, would it not act as potential time bomb that could cause the PM to be r prosecuted or subject to blackmail by those in possession of such evidence? Even if such evidence is non-existent, Najib has no way of running away from this taint, which would surely undermine his standing and effectiveness as PM at home and abroad, so long as he refuses to submit himself to a proper investigation and subsequent vindication in a court of law.

INDEPENDENT INQUIRY A MUST

It is therefore imperative that a royal commission be set up to clear Najib of such suspicion before his appointment as PM (if he is innocent) to safeguard vital national interests. That would mean a delay of a few months to his impending appointment.

I can see no possible reason to object to such delay, as incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, whose term does not end until 2013, is fully capable of helming the state, fresh from accolades heaped upon him by his party for rendering invaluable service to the nation.

Najib in particular should welcome such an authoritative process to free him from the current tag and enhance his credibility as future premier and he should therefore have no objection to such delay. Unless of course, for reasons only known to him, he cannot afford to be so probed; neither could he afford not to be at the pinnacle of power at this very moment.

As for the nation at large, such an independent inquiry should bring a sigh of relief that the future premier is cleared of at least the taint of murder. Malaysia Today

DAP lawmaker held over democracy tree DVD

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

IPOH, March 30 – Police arrested DAP’s Tebing Tinggi assemblyman Ong Boon Piaw here last night in connection with a DVD video on the “democracy tree”.

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang said Ong was arrested after the DVD was launched and shown publicly at the Chin Woo Hall and taken to the Pekan Baru police station.

“Latest example of the increasing intolerance towards fundamental liberties like freedom of speech, thought and expression in Najib’s Malaysia!” the Ipoh Timur MP wrote in his blog, referring to incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The “democracy tree” refers to the rain tree outside the State Assembly where the ousted Pakatan Rakyat government held an emergency sitting to reaffirm its status and approve its dissolution despite the Perak ruler’s refusal.

Sultan Azlan Shah had instead sworn in Barisan Nasional Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as Menteri Besar after three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers switched support.

Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, who maintains he still holds the post, is now the Pas candidate for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election in what they have termed a referendum of the Perak political crisis. MI

Loud support for both sides

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

By Debra Chong

TAIPING, March 30 – After a night of roaring rains, the pale blue sky streaked with feathery white clouds promised a return to the tranquillity that Taiping is named for yesterday morning.

But that peace was soon shattered. The armies (of supporters) for both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) were on the march even before dawn, to reach the nomination centre for the Bukit Gantang by-election battle before 9am.

Streaming in from every slip road and side lane, the supporters and campaigners for the two political giants spiritedly shouted slogans, sang songs and waved their party flags wildly in the air, though some wore it cloaked to keep off the early morning chill, made colder the closer they got to the town council office at the foothills of the famed Lake Gardens.

Hemmed in by the court complex on one side and the district offices on the other, the PR party on Jalan Kota soon resembled a religious Mardi Gras.

The party song blared on repeat through someone’s speakers while other revellers took up the battle cry of “AllahuAkbar” and “Takbir” at intervals. Bands of masked men, women and children sporting Pas candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s face on cardboard, wandered about freely, snapping pictures on their camera phones even as a helicopter circled overhead and closer to the ground, small flocks of switftlets twitted merrily as they chased each other above the rooftops.

Two streets away, on Jalan Taming Sari, the BN troopers gathered.

Among the sea of Malay faces was a small representation from the Indian Progressive Front (IPF), a small component party in the BN.

Their faces unsmiling, they hefted aloft banners portraying the de facto Perak menteri besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir, made larger and held higher than the drooping banner showing the BN candidate Ismail Saffian.

They stayed silent mostly, a sharp contrast to the festivity on the other side.

The quiet was punctuated by sharp cries of “Daulat Tuanku!” and “Hidup Barisan!” by a small band of Malay men wearing dark blue bandanas patterned with the iconic BN scales in white around their heads and a gold sash over their shoulders with the words “Malay Youth Assembly” in Jawi.

Palm-sized button badges featuring Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah against a royal yellow background were pinned to one shoulder.

A spokesman who only wanted to be known as Nazri said they were there to defend the crown against “traitors”.

As if on cue, the men began to chant in Malay: “Rise up! Rise up! Fight the traitors!” spurring the listless crowd onwards.

By 9am, the two factions could hardly be contained within the confines of their allocated meeting places. The masses rushed forward, ignoring the policemen on duty at the sidelines.

The PR army swarmed up the slopes to occupy the entire length of hill overlooking the town council office as well as the square.

The BN contingent, meanwhile, had landed themselves in a tight spot. The police had unrolled a length of barbed wire that stretched all the way from the council’s walled fence and across the road all the way to the far side of a playing field in front of the nomination centre. The same cordon kept the PR supporters out of the field on the other side, some 50 metres away.

By 9am though, the ascending sun was beating down on the BN supporters and cast a glare right in their eyes while the PR enjoyed the cool shade between the leafy trees on the high ground.

The temperature rose a notch higher when top BN leaders, led by incoming deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, walked Ismail inside the town council compound.

The PR supporters, squeezed into a tiny plot of land behind the town council office, booed aggressively at the multiracial team where minutes before, they had cheered deafeningly for the equally multiracial team of leaders from the opposition front.

“Bribery! Bribery! Bribery!” they chanted, and failing to rattle the tight group of BN men, who included controversial new Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, switched to yelling out “Altantuya murderer!”

That too did not faze the Umno veterans who merely smiled and waved back at the angry crowd.

Sadly, the BN supporters failed to follow the example set by their leaders. DAP chairman Karpal Singh recounted how he was attacked by a band of unruly Umno supporters who rained filled mineral water bottles at his van while moving through the packed street after taking a wrong turning.

He urged incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to stop what he called “the culture of violence in Umno” to ensure a smooth and clean campaign in the hot parliamentary seat.

Yet the greatest threat to campaigning appears to come not from human hands but divine intervention.

In the afternoon, the sky opened and poured forth another deluge, further swelling the already swollen river and lakes. In some places, it flooded, causing traffic to slow and delay the many dinner talks and post-dinner talks planned for the night.

The torrential rains look likely to continue, hampering the campaign efforts for both sides. Not for nothing is Taiping known as the wettest spot in Malaysia. MI

Pengundi Bukit Selambau masih dalam mood perubahan

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

PENGARAH Pilihanraya KeADILan Negeri Kedah , Johari Abdul berkata rakyat khususnya para pengundi di Dun Bukit Selambau masih berada dalam mood perubahan selepas pilihanraya umum pada 8 mac lalu dan kemenangan berturut-turut Pakatan rakyat pada dua pilihanraya kecil di parlimen Permatang Pauh dan Kuala Terengganu.

“Kita hanya perlu hidupkan semula jentera dan ketengahkan isu-isu yang masih panas untuk mengekalkan kemenangan pada pilihanraya kecil ini,”ujarnya ketika ditemui di Bilik Gerakan jentera Pilihanraya di Sungai Lalang.

Menurut beliau yang juga merupakan Ahli parlimen Sungai Petani, para petugas Pakatan Rakyat telah tiba ke kawasan itu sejak pertengahan bulan mac dan kebangkitan anak muda dapat dilihat di markas-markas Pakatan rakyat.

“Ini tunjukkan fenomena baru selepas perhimpunan Umno, rakyat bangun secara mendadak menyatakan rasa kurang senang dengan proses peralihan kuasa yang berlaku dalam Umno dan kerajaan,”katanya.

Katanya, tindakan pihak pemerintah menghalang ceramah pilihanraya diadakan di kawasan awam sebagai mencabar kebebasan bersuara dan demokrasi. Jelasnya, tindakan itu menunjukkan kerajaan kini sedang dalam keadaan ketakutan dengan gelombang kebangkitan rakyat.

“Kita nak beritahu pemerintah, parti yang bertanding perlu sampaikan kepada pengundi apakah dokongan, manifesto dan halatuju parti untuk disebarkan kepada rakyat,”

“Bagaimana kita mahu menerangkan perkara ini kepada pengundi sekiranya kempen diterhad di tempat tertutup yang hanya boleh dihadiri beberapa orang, sedangkan ada lebih 34 ribu pengundi di luar sana?,”soalnya.

Menurut Johari, Ketua Polis Kedah yang mengeluarkan larangan itu seharusnya memberi kelonggaran untuk kempen tersebut diadakan di tempat awam bagi menghormati prinsip demokrasi pilihan raya.

“Bagi BN tidak ada masalah kerana media dikawal oleh mereka, tetapi bagi Pakatan Rakyat, bagaimana kita mahu sampaikan hasrat ini sedangkan permit penerbitan akhbar parti kita sendiri pun telah ditarik balik?,”soalnya..

Ujarnya, pilihanraya kecil N.25 Dun Bukit Selambau ini merupakan peluang kepada rakyat untuk membuat keputusan kerana pada akhirnya rakyat yang akan menentukan siapakah calon yang layak mewakili mereka.

“Rakyat bukan bodoh, 50 tahun kita merdeka dan rakyat kini sudah bijak untuk menilai dan membuat keputusan,”katanya.

Dalam pada itu, Johari menyeru kepada pengundi Dun Bukit Selambau supaya membuat pilihan yang tepat tentang calon yang bakal mewakili mereka dengan memilih calon keADIlan, S.Manikumar.

“Pengundi di sini dihidangkan dengan calon yang baik, mempunyai perwatakan dan pendidikan yang baik. Yang paling penting beliau orang muda yang mempunyai tenaga untuk memberi khidmat kepada rakyat,”katanya.

Berhubung tindakan FRU yang mengasari orang ramai pada satu majlis yang turut dihadiri ketua Umum KeADILan pada 23 mac lalu, Johari berkata Polis bertindak demikian atas arahan dari peringkat atasan dan ia sebagai satu percubaan untuk menghalang hak rakyat.

Menurutnya, tindakan Polis itu adalah keterlaluan apabila menggunakan kekerasan sedangkan permit bagi mengadakan ceramah itu sudah diluluskan.

“Polis tidak menggunakan hemah. Adalah tidak benar laporan yang mengatakan ceramah itu tidak ada permit. Permit telah dapat dan pihak penganjur telah dimaklumkan,”katanya. SK

Rakaman samy velue dimaki hamun di hari penamaan calon PRK Dun Bkt Selambau

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

samy velu dimaki – Malaysiakini

Malaysia PM character put at heart of by-election

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

TAIPING, March 29 — Malaysia’s opposition put questions over the alleged involvement of the country’s incoming prime minister in the murder of a Mongolian model at the heart of a tense by-election campaign which started on Sunday.

Nominations for the parliamentary seat in the tin-mining northwestern state of Perak pit the country’s Islamic opposition against the National Front coalition and has been cast a referendum on Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who will become premier next week.

Over ten thousand opposition supporters gathered amid a heavy police presence to support their candidate, singing songs in Malay linking Najib with the murdered model, Altantuya Shaariibuu, to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Some carried a four foot long model submarine, an allusion to what they say are crooked defence contracts signed by Najib.

Najib on Saturday denounced the allegations for which no direct evidence has been produced as “malicious” lies, but they have dogged his ascent to power as he readies to take the top job next week amid a deepening economic crisis and rising tensions.

Last week, opposition websites were denied accreditation to the annual meeting of Umno at which Najib was elected president. An opposition MP has been charged with sedition and opposition newspapers banned.

“What we are worried about is that the transition of the national leadership will see an increase in this undemocratic attitude,” said Abdul Hadi Awang, president of Pas.

Pas is part of the three-party opposition People’s Alliance bloc led by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

While the April 7 by-election will not change the national balance of power it is significant as the opposition candidate is the former state minister whose administration was ousted by Najib in a putsch last month that has stoked tensions.

The vote in Perak, the state elections in Kedah and in Sarawak on the island of Borneo are seen as a referendum on Najib’s leadership the National Front coalition that has ruled this Southeast Asian nation for 51 years.

“A strong win by the People’s Alliance in Bukit Gantang will be read as an indictment on Najib’s wresting control of Perak,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

The National Front is pinning its hopes for victory on a newly found sense of unity under the leadership of Najib, a 55-year old British-educated economist.

Dogged by corruption and simmering ethnic tensions, the Front stumbled to its worst ever result in national and state elections a year ago, losing over a third of parliamentary seats.

That loss hastened the exit of lacklustre Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his replacement by Najib who has been in parliament for over 30 years and is the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister and the nephew of its third.

“There will be a change of leadership in the party and government and so we want to tell people that this is a team that means business”, Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno’s newly minted deputy president said today.

Traditionally new Malaysian prime ministers enter office with a huge bounce in support, although Najib’s approval rating of 51 percent in the most recent poll conducted by independent Merdeka Centre is less than that of Abdullah.

Najib has pledged to end corruption in the ruling party, rebuild the shattered 13-party ruling coalition that is split on ethnic lines and looks set to embark on a radical programme of economic reforms to try to improve Malaysia’s competitiveness during the global economic downturn.

His chances of doing so will depend on whether he can salvage something from the three votes, Ong, the political analyst said.

“Politically, the status quo remains if the National Front retains its seat in Sarawak and loses the other two,” he said. — Reuters

Crowded Bkt Selambau – headache for BN and PR?

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

By Shannon Teoh

SUNGAI PETANI, March 29 – Just imagine, 15 candidates for one by-election. It’s unprecedented and the presence of the 13 independent candidates for the Bukit Selambau by-election weighs heavy on the minds of both the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the Barisan Nasional (BN).

The record number of candidates – and the fact that many of them are disgruntled PKR members, both past and present – has brought a different dimension to the contest for the Kedah state seat.

However, PR leaders are confident that they hold a large enough lead on the ground to mathematically overcome whatever votes these independents may “steal.”

“Even if each candidate takes 100 votes, based on our 2,362-vote majority last year, we will still win. That is the formula,” Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak told The Malaysian Insider.

PR’s election director Azmin Ali added that voters would not back the independent candidates as those in rural areas have “been marginalised for the past 50 years, so they now need a strong leader.”

The PKR vice president added that if S. Manikumar wins, he would sit on the executive council by virtue of the fact that the previous incumbent V Arumugam vacated the post reserved for an Indian PKR assemblyman.

“So the people of Bukit Selambau will vote for him, as he can bring direct development to the area,” Azmin said.

But MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek said that the high number of independent candidates would affect PKR adversely, although BN will also have to struggle with anti-MIC sentiments among the Indian community.

“Most of the independent candidates are disgruntled PKR men who are unhappy with their candidate,” echoed MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.

He added that Indians here were “overwhelmingly happy” with Datuk S. Ganesan, an MIC central working committee member, citing the support he received when he attended a function last night attended by 1,200 Indians.

However, eyewitness reports said that Samy Vellu was forced to leave the event after 10 minutes because he was booed aggressively by the crowd.

Judging by the head count of supporters, Azmin would seem to have a case, as the 5,000-strong group accompanied by a lion dance troupe waving PKR, Pas and DAP flags cheered boisterously for “Reformasi!”

Barisan Nasional’s 2,000-strong camp was dominated by the baju kurung of Wanita Umno and supported by Malay percussion instruments.

Deputy Election Commission chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar pointed out to police that using musical instruments on nomination day was an election offence and requested that they “advise the supporters to stop” but the supporters kept banging on.

PR supporters engaged in a battle to see who could be louder not with their BN counterparts, but with a police helicopter which whirled incessantly overhead.

The only undesirable incident was when Samy got caught up in a war of words with some PKR supporters, but police quickly moved in to break up the situation.

With over 100 riot police supported by FRU personnel, supporters did well to keep within their allotted areas.

BN election director for Bukit Selambau Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was visited by Azmin at the BN tent and both agreed to a clean and fair campaign.

“No provocation and no violence,” they said and shook on the deal with Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, MCA vice president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Pas information chief Mahfuz Omar as witnesses.

The first to arrive this morning was Husaini Yaacob, who was bright and early at 7am. By the time nominations began at 9am, 10 independents and Manikumar were in the centre, but Ganesan was still waiting with the BN ranks for Samy Vellu and Hishammuddin to arrive.

The 10 independents included Radzi Md Lazim, a last-minute candidate who said he was a PKR Baling division chief up to 2007, turning the 14-way fight into a 15-way contest.

But Ganesan and the three independents all managed to show up by 9.45am, 15 minutes before nominations closed.

It included A. Jayagopal, whose PKR membership was suspended when he declared that he would contest Bukit Selambau.

He arrived and spoke to reporters in English, Hokkien and Tamil and even sang in Mandarin.

“I am very close to MB Azizan but I do not want an exco post. I just want to help the poor people who do not even have clean drinking water,” he said before going on with more details about himself to the point that reporters told him to hurry into the nomination centre.

At noon, returning officer Datuk Abdullah Mat Akhir announced that nine objections were received and rejected, confirming that 15 candidates would take part in the historic by-election.

While Manikumar will run under the PKR flag, and Ganesan the BN scales, the other 13 selected various logos such as a rooster, an alarm clock, an aeroplane and a fish.

The battle for the April 7 polls is expected to be fierce, with more than just a state seat at stake.

It is seen as a referendum on the relevance of MIC and forms part of a triple header that will reflect the acceptance of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s newly-minted leadership of BN.

It will also see how the rakyat is responding to the PR administration in Kedah with a series of recent scandals afflicting the coalition’s state governments in Penang, Perak, Selangor and also here in Kedah.

PR look set to ignore a ban on open-air ceramahs reportedly issued by state police with Azizan saying that “the only black and white on that is the newsprint from the media reports.”

BN, on the other hand, is riding on the new leadership of Umno. Vice president Hishammuddin said that “the process of returning support to BN has already begun with the new Umno line-up.” MI

Tensions run high in Bukit Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

Political temperatures in Taiping, which means everlasting peace in Chinese, rose a few notches today as the town played host for the Bukit Gantang by-election nomination process.

MCPX

Thousands of supporters from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat thronged the town to accompany their respective candidates to the Taiping town hall, where the nominations would take place.

Pakatan supporters, comprising overwhelmingly of green-clad PAS supporters, began marching through Jalan Kota towards the nomination centre as early as 7.30am.

They rocked the quiet town with loud slogans that were clearly audible at the Taiping Umno division headquarters where BN supporters were assembling.

At 9.05am, BN supporters arrived at the Taiping Esplanade, next to the town hall, only to be confronted by an estimated 20,000 strong crowd of Pakatan supporters who welcomed their rivals with loud chants of “rasuah (corruption)”.

‘Mexican Waves’ from PAS supporters

BN supporters, which were estimated to be around 5,000 people, replied with: “Bangkit ayuh bangkit, anak perak bangkit, lawan kita lawan, lawan penderhaka sultan (We will fight the traitor to the sultan)“ and “Hidup BN”.

Barbwires and riot police lined up on the edges of the field separated the crowds. At times, the scene resembled rabid slogan chanting and drum beating football fans at a derby, but the only “players” on the field were the police.

The BN crowd however thinned out at about 10am, as many sought refuge from the sun. But the PAS crowd, who were shaded by a hill and trees, were unrelenting in their chants and even pulled off a series of “Mexican Waves”.

Leaders from both sides heckled

Though the two rival camps were kept far apart, leaders from both sides were subjected to verbal abuse from supporters.

Newly-elected Umno Youth chief, Khairy Jamaluddin, however took the heckling in his stride and walked up to a large group of PAS supporters near the fence of the nomination centre to shake their hands.

Reactions from the PAS supporters were mixed. Some of them even seemed confused.

Though most whom Khairy approached shook his hand, the rest chanted “rasuah” relentlessly, to which the Rembau MP replied with a smile.

DAP chairperson, Karpal Singh, however were given a harder time by BN supporters who pelted his MPV with water bottles while he was on his way to the nomination centre.

“There were quite a few (bottles thrown)… Umno must stop this culture of violence. In any event, it will not hinder Pakatan from going all out to ensure a thumping majority,” he told reporters later.
Ironically, Karpal was seated next to PAS president Abdul Hadi

Awang at the nomination centre. Karpal’s presence to support PAS in this election is significant as he has had several run-ins with the PAS leader over the latter’s intention to form an Islamic state.

Karpal lodged a police report on the incident at about 1.30pm today.
Three objections, none accepted

Nizar first to show up at centre

PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddn was the first to show up at the nomination centre and officially filed his papers at 9.06am.

This was followed by BN candidate Ismail Saffian at about 9.20am and independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

While both PAS and BN candidate were wearing baju melayu with their respective party colours green and blue, Kamarul, however, chose more modern garb and showed up all in black – including black aviator glasses and thin tie.

Kamarul, 49, a businessman, told reporters that he has no political backings but wants to spread his message of national unity.
Although three objections was lodged, returning officer Mahmod Morsidi announced at 11.15am that all three nominations were accepted.

Speaking to reporters later, BN by-election director Muhyiddin Yassin said Mohd Nizar’s candidacy does not pose a threat to BN’s chances of bagging the seat.

“It is their right in a democratic country to field whoever they want,” said Muhyiddin, adding that Mohd Nizar shouldn’t contest as he already has duties as a state assemblyperson.

He said that voters are unlikely to be persuaded by Pakatan’s position on BN’s takeover of the Perak government.

BN confident of a win

“I believe that the voters would not be easiliy taken in because the Perak government is legal and received the consent of the Perak sultan… There is no reason for voters to sympathise with the opposition. We will explain this issue to voters during campaigning,” he said.

Meanwhile, BN Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir expressed confidence that Ismail will pull off a win, judging by initial feedback from voters.

“On the opposition side, they are going to play up national issues. But when it comes to Perak, they have to be very careful because it all boils down to the sultan,” he said.

Mohd Nizar, who was ousted as menteri besar last month, said the by-election was a chance for Bukit Gantang voters to express dissatisfaction in BN’s controversial power grab in the state.

“What is happening in Perak is a serious conflict between the truth and falsehood. Pakatan represents the truth and those who rob the state represents falsehood,” he said after his nominations were accepted.

Mohd Nizar also made his often repeated call for his supporters not to engage in any unlawful activities.

Meanwhile, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang told reporters that the Bukit Gantang by-election was crucial as a convincing win by Mohd Nizar may result in BN calling for snap polls in the state.

Andrew Ong, Mkini

It’s PKR vs BN at Batang Ai

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

Sarawak’s Batang Ai state seat by-election will see a straight fight between the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Barisan Nasional. Former five-term MP for Lubok Antu, Jawah Gerang

MCPX

, of PKR is to face BN candidate Malcolm Mussen .

Johnny Chuat, an Iban blogger and publisher of an Iban magazine, who entererd the nomination centre at about 9am failed to submit his papers as an independent.

Coming out of the centre, he wore a PKR shirt and met his supporters, telling them to support Jawah Gerang.

There were some tense moments when objections were raised against the two candidates, but the returning officer, Nelson Mujah Girie overruled the objections and accepted both nominations.

The returning officer made the announcement at 11.30am.

batang ai nomination day 290309 02The large crowd estimated at 10,000 exchanged friendly taunting, but there were a few tense moments among the PKR supporters when the police started to seize PAS flags.

PKR Dominique Ng intervened and talked to a senior police officer. Later Ng told Malaysiakini that the police refused to allow PAS flags to be displayed at the field among the DAP and PKR crowd.

‘Dayakism in action’

The police told Ng that PAS was not a participating party in the by-election and according to the rules of the Election Commission, any party which was not involved should not be allowed to join the crowd displaying its flags.

Ng told the police that if that was the case, then SUPP, SPDP and PBB should also not be allowed to display their flags. But the police replied that they were parties in the Barisan Nasional, whereas Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was not a registerd body.

After a long argument, the police allowed the PAS contingent to join its partners, saying that it was all a miscommunication.

A former senior BN leader commented on the number of so many Dayak lawyers present at the nomination centre to support the PKR…it shows “Dayakism in action”.

Many ordinary Dayaks from professionals down to rural dwellers have taken a greater interest in the Dayaks’ political predicament while using PKR as the main vehicle to articulate their fears and hopes.

Joseph Tawie, Mkini

Rakaman Penyokong Pakatan Rakyat & bn di hari penamaan calon di Bkt Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

Dari: Buletinonline

Nizar: Bukit Gantang peluang menonjol prinsip keadilan

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

Calon Pakatan Rakyat bagi Bukit Gantang, Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin berkata pilihanraya kecil parlimen itu mewakili peluang terbaik mewujudkan model demokrasi yang berpaksi kepada prinsip menghormati pengasingan kuasa antara eksekutif, parlimen, institusi raja dan badan kehakiman.

“Melalui pilihan raya kecil ini, Pakatan Rakyat ingin menonjolkan model “rule of law” atau pemerintahan berlandaskan undang-undang, “ kata Nizar.

“Kita ingin kembalikan asas dan prinsip ini kepada landasan sebenarnya yang telah dirosakkan oleh Barisan Nasional,”kata beliau kepada wartawan di luar dewan penamaan calon.

Beliau menyifatkan pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang pada 7 April ini sebagai pertembungan antara kebenaran yang diwakili oleh Pakatan Rakyat dan kebathilan yang dibawa oleh Barisan Nasional.

Nizar akan menghadapi saingan daripada calon Barisan Nasional, Ismail Safian yang juga bekas Ketua Penerangan Umno Bahagian Bukit Gantang dan calon bebas Kamarul Ramizu.

Nizar tiba di Dewan Majlis Perbandaran Taiping pukul 8.45 pagi dan adalah calon pertama menyerahkan borang pencalonan kira-kira 20 minit kemudian.

Beliau disusuli oleh Ismail dan Kamarul Ramizu Idris pukul 9.30 pagi.

Antara yang mengiringi Nizar ke tempat penamaan calon ialah Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Setiausaha Agung PAS, Kamaruddin Jaafar, Naib Presiden Keadilan, Mustafa Kamil Ayub dan Pengerusi Keadilan Perak, Osman Abdul Rahman, .

DAP pula diwakili oleh Penasihat Parti Lim Kit Siang dan Setiausaha Agung yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng dan Ahli Parlimen Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo.

Keadaan kecoh seketika apabila kereta Pengerusi Kebangsaan DAP, Karpal Singh dibaling botol oleh sekumpulan penyokong di percayai daripada BN ketika tiba di Dewan Majlis Perbandaran Taiping.

Pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang diadakan beikutun penyandang kerusi sebelumnya, Roslan Shaharum yang meninggal dunia akibat serangan jantung 9 Februari lalu.

Ketibaan Nizar yang juga Menteri Besar Pakatan Rakyat Perak dan ahli dewan undangan negeri Pasir Panjang disambut meriah oleh kira-kira 20 ribu penyokong yang mengibari bendera dan membawa sepandok Keadilan, Pas dan DAP.

Calon BN diringi oleh lebih kurang 3,000 penyokongnya.

Pemerhati politik melihat keputusan pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang sebagai penilaian terhadap keabsahan kerajaan lantikan BN yang dianggap oleh sebilangan besar rakyat sebagai tidak sah di sisi undang-undang dan perlembagaan negeri Perak.

Kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat di kawasan parlimen ini akan memberi tekanan kepada BN agar akur dengan desakan rakyat supaya diadakan pilihan raya negeri sebagai mengatasi kemelut dua Menteri Besar di Perak.

Kawasan Parlimen Bukit Gantang mempunyai 55,562 pengundi, merangkumi 35,160 pengundi Melayu (63.28 %), 15,101 pengundi Cina (27.18 %) dan 5,299 pengundi India (9.54 %). TvAntara

Show of Supports in Bkt Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

From delCapo29: Behind the line of about 4000+ bn supporters

About 20,000 to 30,000 Pakatan Rakyat Supporters gathered to show their support for Nizar Jamaluddin, the Pakatan candidate for Bkt Gantang by-election

A tale of two crowds in Lubok Antu

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

Nomination Day crowds are not a sufficient indicator of voting strength or the prospects for victory. So comparisons between the crowds that turned up at the sports complex in Lubok Antu for nominations at the Batang Ai by-election should be hedged at best.

MCPX

Until returning officer Nelson Munjah announced on the public address system the opening of the nomination process at 9am, flag-waving supporters of both the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat were about of equal strength as they gathered in an open field ringed by the red artificial track. They numbered about 500 in each contingent.

Within 10 minutes, however, a roar went up as about 3,000 flag carrying BN supporters trooped up the hill from the Sarawak Electricity Board side of the sport complex to join their 500-odd compatriots on the field.

Meanwhile, the PKR-dominated Pakatan crowd had approached the complex from the opposite side – Kampong Rambai, an Iban concentration in this electorate of 8,129 voters where 93 percent are Iban.

In the forefront of the late-arriving BN reinforcements was Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, sporting a beige beret and in light-colored attire that showed prescience about what would be comfortable in weather that was turning from refreshingly cool in the earlier part of the morning to sultry.

The PKR-led contingent appeared to have a large number of supporters, bigger than the ones ranged on the field, coming in from the Sungai Rambai side in cavalier fashion, as if they were there just to see for themselves the unfolding events rather than being part of an organised show of strength.

The Pakatan crowd had a higher mixture of races as Iban mingled with Chinese, Malays and a sprinkling of Indians, likely doctors and other professionals working in this region of Sarawak.

DAP flags were prominent among a sea of PKR tricolor – blue, white and red. The white and green of PAS provided diverting variety, somewhat reflective of the ethnic, not to mention ideological, diversity collected behind the Pakatan political banner.

The dominant motif of the BN crowd, besides the blue dacing symbol emblazoned on their flags, was their superior strength, not so much racial diversity.

Pakatan breaks through racial divide

Douglas Alau, a former Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) leader, has this to say of the supporters who had gathered today: “In recent elections, the crowds for the opposition on Nomination Day were small. Not like this.”

He recalled hard-fought elections in 1987 and 1991 where he said there were crowds of comparable size, with one important difference between the those two years.

“In 1987, they were more multiracial candidates for the opposition that was then assembled under the Maju group. In 1991, the crowd for the opposition was entirely Dayak,” said Alau, who lost on the PBDS ticket in both years.

“This year the crowd for the opposition is even better than in 1987 because it is more multiracial,” he commented.

In 1987, the opposition in Sarawak obtained the support of the Dayak voters and a good portion of the Malay vote, but not the Chinese who stuck by the Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp).

“This time Pakatan appears to have broken through the racial divide, judging from this crowd,” said Alau as he surveyed the scene.

Terence Netto, Mkini

Penyokong PR melebihi BN di tiga tempat/ 15 calon termasuk wanita tandingi Bukit Selambau

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

SUNGAI PETANI,29 MAC (SK) – KIRA-KIRA 13 calon bebas termasuk seorang wanita menyerahkan borang percalonan di SMK Teknik Sungai Petani untuk pilihanraya kecil Dewan Undangan Negeri Bukit Selambau.

Calon berkenaan ialah, L Sarala bersama 12 calon bebas serta calon KeADILan S Manikumar dan calon Barisan Nasional S Ganesan kini sedang menunggu masa bantahan.

13 Calon bebas lain ialah, Anwar Abdul Hamid, Radzi Md Lazim, Khamis Awang, A Jayagopal, Tan Hock Hat, T Chandran, S Moganakumar, Husaini Yaakob, Abdul Rahim Abu, Vaneson Michael, R Loganathan dan Mohd Radhi Wahab.

Sehingga kini dilaporkan kira-kira 12,000 penyokong Pakatan Rakyat sedang membanjiri pusat penamaan calon di sekolah berkenaan.

Difahamkan pengumuman calon akan dibuat pada jam 11 pagi ini.

9.40 am Seramai 874 anggota keselamatan dilaporkan ditempatkan di sekitar pusat penamaan calon pilihan raya kecil Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Bukit Selambau di Sekolah Menengah Teknik Sungai Petani di sini

9.35 am Penyokong Pakatan Rakyat atasi BN di semua tiga tempat pilihanraya kecil. Di Bukit Gantang lebih 5000 penyokong PR, Bukit Selambau 12,000 penyokong dan Batang Ai 2000 penyokong. BN hanya memperolehi 2500 penyokong di kesemua 3 tempat berkenaan.

9.30 am Dilaporkan kini 12,000 sedang berhimpun di SMK Teknik 1, ada diantara para penyokong memakan topeng Altantuya.

9.11 MB KEDAH baru tiba bersama rombongan

8.50 Calon PKR S MANIKUMAR berjaya memasuki pusat penamaan calon,kehadiran mencecah 12 ribu orang

7.50 am helikopter berlegar2 di udara,kehadiran semakin ramai.

7.47 kehadiran penyokong dari setiap sudut jalan sudah bermula.jalan sudah sesak.penyokong calon bebas juga kelihatan mengiringi calon mereka.

7.43 Calon PKR S MANIKUMAR sudah tiba,beliau sedang bersalaman dengan penyokong.Di jangka pukul 8 pagi akan di mulakan perarakkan ke pusat penamaan calon

7.22 jalan mula sesak,kehadiran helikopter sudah kelihatan

7.19am orang ramai sedang mengambil bendera dan t shirt yang di sediakan oleh amk kedah,kehadiran penyokong pakatan rakyat semakin ramai.

6.57am di lihat lagi 5 trak fru tiba di pusat penamaan calon

6.52am. jalan masuk pusat penamaan calon kian di penuhi orang ramai,sebentar tadi kehadiran trak-trak polis dan water canon di lihat masuk ke kawasan penamaan calon.Ketika ini n25bukitselambau berada di pondok pakatan rakyat berhampiran jalan masuk ke pusat penamaan calon

It’s 15, 3 and 2-way duels on April 7

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 29, 2009 by ckchew

NOMINATION DAY LIVE

9- 10am – Candidates to hand in nomination forms.
10-11am – Objections can be lodged against candidates.
11am – 12 noon – Returning officer to decide on objections filed.


dsc09816-300x225Pakatan’s crowd at Bkt Gantang

dsc09807-300x225bn crowd at Bkt Gantang

12.30pm: Both in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau the crowd had dispersed without any incidents. The candidates have also finished the press conference. Campaigning period for all three by-elections start now. Pollings are on April 7.

11.42am: A total of five objections were received and rejected for the three seats.

11.20am: In Batang Ai, the returning officer has confirmed that the Sarawak state seat will see a straight fight between Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) and Jawah Gerang (PKR).

In Bukit Gantang, RO Mahmod Morsidi confirmed that the parliamentary seat will be fought by three candidates – Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS), Ismail Safian (Umno) and Kamarul Ramizu Idris (Independent)

11am: In Bukit Selambau, returning officer Abdullah Mat Akhir has announced that no objections were filed and as such the seat will see a historic 15-cornered fight – BN’s S Ganesan, PKR’s S Manikumar and 13 independents.

The independents are: Anuar Abdul Rahim, Radzi Md Lazim, Khamis Awang, A Jayagopal, Tan Hock Huat, T Chandrarajan, S Moganakumar, Husaini Yaacob, Abdul Rahim Abu, L Sarala, M Venason, R Loganathan and Mohd Fazil Abdul Wahab.

10.55am: In Bukit Selambau, independent candidate Abdul Rahim Abu said he hoped to garner the support of the Malay voters (50.2 percent). The former Umno man said he was frustrated by the manner Umno decided on who should contest for the seat.

He said that he will be inviting the other five Malay independent candidates for a meeting to avoid vote-splitting. Six other Indian candidates have filed nominations to contest as independents.

PKR and BN will also be placing Indian candidates respectively. There are about 30 percent Indian voters in this seat.

One Chinese candidate has also filed his papers to stand as an independent.

10.50am: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is currently overseas and was therefore unable to attend the nominations for the three by-elections today.

anwar ibrahim 02 060207His conspicuous absence at the Batang Ai (Sarawak), Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Bukit Gantang (Perak) nomination centres raised many eyebrows.

When contacted, an Anwar aide said the Pakatan Rakyat supremo is currently in the Middle East, following which, he will be speaking at a conference in Bangkok. He is expected to return on Tuesday.

10.43am: In Batang Ai, an objection has been lodged against Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) candidacy. PKR leader Dominique Ng is questioning the BN candidate on whether he has indeed resigned from his job as district officer. He also said independent Johnny Chuat withdrew at the last minute and pledged his support to the PKR candidate.

10.20am: In Bukit Selambau, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said that they were not worried about the number of candidates vying for the state seat, and expressed confidence in PKR’s Manikumar as being the right person to be able to solve the problems of the people there.

10.16am: In Bukit Selambau – or ‘Bukit Independent’ now – a 13th independent candidate has submitted his papers. His name is Khamis Awang, a 32-year-old businessman. He submitted his papers at 9.10am but everyone had missed him. With a candidate each from PKR and BN, in all 15 candidates have filed nominations.

10.15am: In Bukit Gantang, the Pakatan crowd is shouting ‘Tangkap Najib’. However the BN crowd is rather subdued. The BN crowd is also standing right under the hot sun while the Pakatan people have shaded to protect them.

10.05am: In Batang Ai, the huge crowd of 15,000 is anxiously awaiting the official confirmation of their respective candidates. Only two candidates have filed their nomination papers – Malcolm Mussen Lamoh (PRS) and Jawah Gerang (PKR).

Expected Independent candidate Johnny Chuat, who was at the nomination centre this morning, did not submit his nomination papers.

About 1,000 police officers have been deployed to control the crowd and the traffic at the nomination centre in this tiny border town of Lubok Antu. The returning officer will now take objections to the candidacy of the three before confirming the candidates.

10am: NOMINATIONS CLOSE. OBJECTION PERIOD (10 to 11am)

Three candidates have filed nomination papers in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau (15 candidates), Batang Ai (2 candidates).

9.53am: In Bukit Selambau, the flood of independents continued, with the 12th independent candidate A Jayagopal arriving at the nomination centre.

Jayagopal, who speaks fluent Hokkien, said he is contesting to help the poor and claims to have a good relationship with Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak.

He arrived at the nomination centre singing a popular Chinese song ‘Justice Bao’. He also denied facing a court case over an alleged molest charge.

9.50am: In Bukit Gantang, eyewitnesses claim that the Pakatan crowd is winning the slogan war with their continuous shouts of corruption and reformasi. Scores of flags have been raised and the supporters are also doing the Mexican wave.

Their rival supporters, however are calm and quiet.

9.42am: In Bukit Gantang, Umno’s new Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is seen shaking hands with PAS supporters and is jeered by the crowd.

9.40am: In Bukit Selambau, the EC tells rowdy Pakatan Rakyat supporters to ‘stop the music’ (the playing of the drums) as this is against the law.

9.31am: In Bukit Selambau, the 11th independent candidate – Tan Hock Huat – arrives.

9.30am: In Bukit Gantang, independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, files his nomination papers.

The businessman and father of seven, who hails from Taiping, told reporters: “Race does not matter, what matters is that we are united. Unity does not see race.”

9.18am: In Bukit Selambau, BN’s Ganesan files his nomination papers. MIC heavyweights led by president S Samy Vellu, secretary-general Dr S Subramaniam, deputy minister SK Devamany, vice-president S Veerasingam, deputy minister M Saravanan and Youth chief T Mohan are there to lend support. Other top guns present are Umno’s Muhammad Muhd Taib, Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, Sabah CM Musa Aman and PPP deputy minister T Murugiah.

Newly-elected Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein who has been tasked with overseeing the ruling coalition’s bid for the state seat, said: “We are prepared. If everything goes well, why can’t we win? Ganesan is a good candidate. Supporters are in high spirits. We are cautiously optimistic.”

When the BN candidate entered the nomination centre, Pakatan supporters greeted him by beating on drums and shouting ‘rasuah‘ (corruption).

Both sets of supporters are separated by a field with hundreds of police personnel in place.

9.17am: In Batang Ai, PKR candidate Jawah Gerang, accompanied by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and thousands of supporters, arrived at the nomination center at 8.40am.

Minutes later they were joined by PRS candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and top BN leaders including Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who marched to the indoor stadium from the BN operations centre about 2km away. He reported flew to Lubok Antu by helicopter.

The crowd gathering in a open field outside the Lubok Antu sports complex has swelled to about between 10,000 and 15,000 with BN supporters outnumbering Pakatan.

bukit gantang by election nomination day 290309 019.15am: In Bukit Gantang, Mohd Nizar files his nomination papers, followed by Ismail. An independent candidate has also arrived. Election Commission chair Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is also present.

9.15am: In Bukit Gantang, BN candidate Ismail Saffian enters the nomination centre. Spotted were newly-minted Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. BN entourage arrives at the nomination centre at 9.05am. Some 10,000 BN supporters are present.

9am: In Bukit Selambau, MIC candidate S Ganesan is accompanied to the nomination centre by Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein and several other party leaders. The BN crowd is estimated to be about 600.

Meanwhile, DAP leaders, led by Lim Kit Siang, arrive at the nomination centre at 8.59am.

The BN crowd is about 8,000, mostly from Umno. They are calm, with no slogans being chanted. Very few leaders are on the ground.

8.45am: In Batang Ai, about 5,000 supporters for the candidates have gathered at the indoor stadium in Lubok Antu, a border town in the Sarawak state seat.

While the focus of the battle will be between BN’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, who is from PRS, and PKR’s Jawah Gerang, an independent candidate may throw his hat into the ring. It is learned that Johnny Chuat, 38, an oil and gas executive and a publisher of an Iban magazine, will be handing in his nomination forms this morning.

8.40am: Nominations for the Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections began promptly at 8am today.

In Bukit Selambau, about 300 Pakatan Rakyat supporters had started gathering since early morning at their operations centre near the polling centre.

PKR candidate S Manikumar arrived at his party operations centre at about 7.15am. The crowd size later increase to about 1,500 by 8am.

And when nomination period started, three independent candidates were the first to file in their forms. By 8.50am, a total of ten independent candidates have gone inside the nomination centre located at Sekolah Teknik Sungai Petani 1.

bukit gantang by election nomination day 290309 05By 8.30am, it also started to drizzle.PKR leader Azmin Ali and several other party leaders are here. The Pakatan crowd is carrying banners stating ‘Yes to Anwar, No to Najib’, and there are shouts of reformasi.

Apart from the independents, PKR’s Manikumar will also be facing MIC’s S Ganesan.

MIC had been gathering with the supporters, numbering some 500, near the nomination centre and will be marching towards the nomination centre soon.

In Bukit Gantang, a large crowd of about 20,000 PAS supporters had gathered at the nomination centre at Wisma Perbandaran Taiping. The whole place is a sea of green flags – the colour of PAS.

PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin arrived at the nomination centre at 8.40am, accompanied by his wife and several party leaders. State legal assembly speaker V Sivakumar is also present.

Mkini

Batang Ai By-election: Will the damned dams become the killer dams?

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

The disaster of the collapsed Situ Gintung dam in the outskirt of Jakarta which killed more than 77 people must have came at the right time for the people of Batang Ai to ponder about since the current Sarawak state government is hellbent on building 12 more dams & it will also see the extension of the Batang Ai dam.

We are not against the building of dams or bringing any development to Batang Ai area but the people of Batang Ai & also concerned Malaysian should be wary about the way the state government gave away the contract of projects to cronies without any experience in dam building.

Contract Were Given to Cronies Without Any Experience In Dam Building

For dam building in developed countries, the safety aspect of the dam & the people living in the surrounding area are the foremost important & emphasize were made to ensure that there is proper early warning system in case of malfunction happening on the dam but under the White Hair regime & bn government, the safety of the pocket of the cronies is placed high above everything else. Whether the cronies has the experience to build the dams is not important but how much profit this cronies could make out of the timbers from the clearing of the land & how much percentage the cronies will pocket from the project is far outweighed any concern for the social & environmental disaster that bound to happen.

In the article “Damned dams in Sarawak”, our comrade Saudara Sim Kwang Yang aptly pointed out that what has being told by Apang on the top down tight control of the dams building project by the family of CM:

“SEB is fully in the hands of Taib Mahmud’s family members. The Chairman is Abdul Hamed Sepawi, a first cousin to the CM, who also heads Ta Ann Holdings Berhad (involved in logging and plantations) and Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad (involved in properties and construction). Brother-in-law and former State Secretary Abdul Aziz are group managing director and chief executive officer of SEB. As Aziz confirmed in the recent Al Jazeera’s interview it sure is an advantage to be well connected to the CM of Sarawak when you do big business in the state.”

When the project is in the hand of the family, will the authority take strict actions when there is non compliance of safety or building standard on part of the contractor who is well connected to those who walk the corridor of power?

Corruption Induced Lack of Maintenance of Infrastructure & Lackadaisical Attitude of the Authority.

The Indonesian & for some instances, the Malaysian are notorious for having a bad track record on maintaining the infrastructures after they were built. The Situ Gintung dam is one of the good examples where the lives of the native people living nearby to the dam were put to harm due to negligence on the part of the authority.

The same goes to Bkt Antarabangsa landslide disaster that happened recently. Nobody in the authority give a damn to the maintenance of the hill slope that eventually gave way.  The matter will be making worst in rural area like Batang Ai where widespread corruption or close one eye phenomenon will fuel the happening of a devastating disaster.

It was reported in Jakarta Globe & BBC that:

“Many in the flooded area accused authorities of failing to recognize warning signs and repair damage to the dam.”

Cracks had already been discovered at the foot of the embankment last February, and the administration had since prepared escape routes in case of flooding and held a flood evacuation simulation exercise last year.“But we never expected the water to come like a tsunami, as happened Friday morning,” said Wakidi.”

Experts told the BBC that little maintenance had been carried out on the dam since then, and warned that many dams in Indonesia are in a similar state.”

Does it sound familiar? Yes, the same observations was reported by the residents of Bkt Antarabangsa before the landslide occurred but the authority only waked up after the disaster had occurred.

Well, if these can happen in Jakarta & Bkt Antarabangsa in Kuala Lumpur, what elses can we say about rural area like Batang Ai?

We already have all the ingredient needed for a great disaster to happen & a Situ Gitung is waiting to happen to Batang Ai folks if they still keep on supporting the White Hair regime in Sarawak & giving the regime  a free hand to rob & ravage the state.

The People of Batang Ai must ask themselves:

Do we want this to happen to our beloved family members &  properties?

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For our Dayak brothers to save guard their Forest, Culture & more importantly their Future, they must kick-out the White Hair Regime. Be United & Vote wisely – Vote for Agenda For Change.

CkChew

We were beaten up at police station, two youths alleged

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

Two Indian youths, P Uthayakumar and K Batmanathan, were allegedly beaten up by the police while looking for the detained brother of one of the youths last Thursday.

MCPX

P Venayagam, the younger brother of Uthayakumar and M Khrishnan, the father of Batmanathan, have filed separate police reports on the matter at the Ipoh central police station.

police brutality on youth in chemor perak 270309 06According to Khrishnan, he was notified by the police that one of his younger sons, Vijaya Kumar, had been detained at the Tamil Settlement in Chemor on March 25 to assist in investigations into drug abuse.

According to the police report that he had filed, he claimed that: “On the night of March 25, my eldest son Batmanathan and his friend Uthayakumar had gone to the Chemor police station to check on his brother Vijaya Kumar.

“However, he was refused and asked to leave the police station. At the same time, he saw Vijaya Kumar being beaten up by some policemen and wanted to intervene.

‘Beaten until he lost consciousness’

“The policemen then turned to beat Batmanathan up instead. He was also taken to the Ipoh district police headquarters, where he was beaten until he lost consciousness.”

police brutality on youth in chemor perak 270309 05According to the complaint filed by Venayagam, he received a call from his older brother at 1.43am on Thursday, telling him that he too, had been beaten up in the police station.

“On March 26 morning, my brother and his friend Batmanathan were ordered to attend the remand hearing of Vijaya Kumar at the Ipoh Magistrates Court.

“However, both men were not seen in court. I feared for my brother’s safety as Batmanathan had been sent to the Ipoh General Hospital for treatment.

Told to contact an investigator

“On Thursday night, I called the telephone number that my brother had used in the police station to call me.

police brutality on youth in chemor perak 270309 02“I was greeted by a man who spoke in Malay. He told me to contact an investigator then hung up.”

When contacted by Malaysiakini, Khrishnan also confirmed that both Uthayakumar and Batmanathan were taken by police personnel to the Ipoh General Hospital for treatment.

He also remarked that that his son sustained swells and bruises on his eyes, lips, ears and arms.

Both Venayagam and the Ipoh central police station could not be reached for comment. Mkini

Lubok Antu gets ready for 10,000 supporters

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

About 10,000 people are expected to accompany the two candidates to the nomination centre in Lubok Antu tomorrow for the Batang Ai by-election.

MCPX

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will lead the BN side of 5,000 people to accompany Malcolm Mussen Lamoh to the centre. An equal number from PKR will be led by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to accompany their candidate Jawah Gerang.

Whether this by-election in Batang Ai will be a straight fight or not will be known tomorrow. So far, two candidates have also expressed their interest to contest as independents

For BN and PKR, the by-election is an important affair. The ruling coalition will go all out to prove that it has not lost any support from the people, the Dayak community in particular.

On the other hand, PKR will launch a serious attempt to break into the predominantly Dayak area which will have significant implications in the next election.

Posters, banners up

Meanwhile, roads leading to Lubok Antu are literally lined up with PKR posters and banners, something not seen in the past.

The PKR candidate is also being assisted by thousands of DAP and PAS members from West Malaysia.

Khalid is expected to arrive in Lubok Antu this evening by road and will spend the night there.

Much of the campaining is taking place in longhouses either reachable by road or by river in this constituency.

The main issue is that the Ibans feel that they have been marginalised under the Taib government especially in respect of their NCR land, something the BN campaigners will have to disapprove if they do not want lose the support of the Ibans.

For the past few days, Iban ministers have been announcing millions of ringgit worth of projects for the constituency. Joseph Tawie, Mkini

Bkt Selambau: One independent pulls out

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

Independent candidate Mohd Redzuan Isa has withdrawn from the race for the Bukit Selambau state seat today, just 24 hours before nominations.

MCPX

Mohd Redzuan, who was formerly a PKR member and the personal assistant to Merbok PKR member of parliament Rashid Din, resigned from his positions on March 13 to contest as an independent.

He has earlier said that he could better champion the cause of the people as an elected representative. His decision to stand as an independent was due to his party PKR opting to back newcomer S Manikumar as the candidate.

However Mohd Redzuan today told reporters that after consultation with PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, his friends and family, he has withdrawn from the by-election.

The 52-year-old small time businessman said he now backed Manikumar, adding that the party new face was the ‘best candidate’ for all the people of Bukit Selambau.

He also rejected claims that he had been offered money to withdraw from the by-election, due on April 7.

According to Redzuan, his withdrawal was to provide the people with a better candidate who could fulfil Pakatan Rakyat’s objective.

“Moreover, an independent candidate has no opportunity of winning the by-election this time around.

“We need a candidate who can represent the Indian community as well as the rest of the people,” said Redzuan.

Asked whether he would rejoining be PKR, Redzuan said: “I am going to take sometime to rest… then I will consider the option. But as of now, I give my full support to Manikumar.”

Redzuan added that he had made the announcement during last night’s PKR rally in Sungai Lalang.

He expressed that he was not unhappy with the decision although he had already prepared campaign banners.

“Nowadays the voters are smart and they can make wise decision by themselves,” he added.

Independent candidate has no chance

Kuala Kedah PKR MP Ahmad Kasim, who was also at the press conference, said that Redzuan had made a wise decision as “independent candidates had no chance of winning”.

Asked why he assumed independents did not stand a chance when V Arumugam, who had vacated the seat of Feb 8, had bagged it during the last general election as an independent, Ahmad said: “The political scenario then was different.

“On March 8, 2008, the situation was that everybody wanted to vote for any candidate but BN’s… it is not the same today,” said Ahmad.

As of now, there are 10 candidates who have each paid the RM8,000 deposit to contest in the by-election.

The 10 include nine independent candidates and BN’s S Ganesan. However, PKR candidate S Manikumar will be submitting his deposit on nomination day tomorrow.

The candidates who have paid are former Kedah PPP Wanita chief L Sarala, businessman T Chandrarajan, contractor R Loganathan, businessman Tan Hock Huat, businessman Zaharan Abdullah, retired army personnel Mohd Fadzli Wahab, Major Anuar Abdul Hamid, A Jayagopal, and Husaini Yaacob.  S Pathmawathy, Mkini

Khairy kena boo depan bapa mertua

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 MAC (SK) – KEMENANGAN Khairy Jamaluddin masih lagi tidak dapat diterima dikalangan ahli Umno yang sedang bersidang di PWTC.

Hari ini, Ketua Pemuda Umno yang baru itu terus diejek dan diboo oleh sesetengah perwakilan semasa perbahasan berlangsung.

Setiap kali namanya disebut hari ini, para perwaikilan menyorak dan memboonya. Ejekan itu kerana ada yang tidak berpuas hati dengan kemenangan sebagai ketua pemuda.

Memetik tulisan penganalisis politik Mohd Sayuti Omar dalam blognya menjelaskan “Mungkin pihak tertentu sudah mengatur dan merancang untuk membookan Khairy bagi memalukannya. Perwakilan berkenaan dari kalangan pemuda tidak mempedulikan kepada Presiden parti, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang masih tercokol di atas pentas.”

“Abdullah hanya tersengeh dan tunduk bila setiap kali mendengar sorakan itu,” lapor Sayuti.

Sebelum ini, ketika pengumuman keputusan pemilihan pemuda Umno, dilaporkan kira-kira 200 penyokong Mukriz Mahathir yang kalah dalam pertandingan itu melaungkan “Khairy rasuah! Khairy rasuah”.

Kumpulan penyokong yang kecewa ini berhimpun di tingkat bawah PWTC sejak keputusan rasmi diumumkan.

Kekecohan ini memaksa sepasukan polis mengawal mereka, yang kelihatan menghalang pihak berwajib dengan membentuk “rantaian manusia” daripada menyuraikan mereka.

Menantu Perdana Menteri itu mendapat 304 undi, bekas Menteri Besar Selangor Khiry Toyo(254) dan anak mantan Perdana Menteri Mukriz Mahathir (232).

PRK Bkt Gantang: Pilihanraya kecil kali ini istimewa: Nizar

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

SIMPANG, 28 Mac (SK) : Calon Pakatan Rakyat, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin menyeru supaya rakyat Bukit Gantang meluahkan perasaan melalui peti undi pada 7 April ini.

“Pilihan raya di Bukit Gantang pada kali ini agak ’special’ berbanding pilihan raya di Permatang Pauh kerana rakyat di Bukit Gantang masih segar dengan rampasan kuasa yang dilakukan oleh Barisan Nasional pada 5 Februari lalu, ianya merupakan satu insiden yang besar sekaligus dapat mengubah landskap Bukit Gantang dan seluruh negeri Perak amnya,” kata beliau.

Tragedi yang memberi kesan kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia ini merupakan satu kebangkitan oleh rakyat Malaysia khususnya rakyat Bukit Gantang yang dahagakan keadilan dimana ianya dapat diterjemahkan melalui peti undi.

Menurut beliau lagi, selama 50 tahun BN memerintah negara ini, mereka telah banyak menyalahgunakan kuasa yang telah diberikan oleh rakyat.

Justeru, beliau menyeru supaya rakyat Bukit Gantang bertungkus lumus untuk membantu Pakatan Rakyat dalam pilihan raya ini dengan cara keluar mengundi pada 7 April nanti sebagai satu tanggungjawab dan amanah besar bagi penduduk Bukit Gantang.

Beliau mengakhiri ucapan beliau dengan merasmikan tapak Ekspo Rakyat di Dataran Nik Aziz, Jalan Kuala Kangsar-Simpang semalam.

Pelbagai jualan terdapat di Expo ini. Orang ramai dijemput datang beramai-ramai bagi membantu usahawan-usahawan kecil ini.

P59 Bukit Gantang: 3M Strategi Pakatan Rakyat

AIR KUNING, 28 Mac (SK) : Strategi Pakatan Rakyat kali ini bersifat ‘3M’ yang bermaksud ‘Menerang’, ‘Mendampingi’ dan ‘Menawan’ hati pengundi dan tema “Kekalkan Kemenangan Untuk Rakyat” bagi Pilihan Raya Kecil Parlimen P59 Bukit Gantang.

Kenyataan ini dibuat Pengarah Jentera Operasi Pas, Asmuni Awi dalam satu sidang media bertempat di Markaz Induk Pas Air Kuning, Changkat Jering baru-baru ini.

“Kita telah memilih tema ini untuk kempen pada kali ini untuk melawan taktik kotor yang digunakan oleh Barisan Nasional Bukit Gantang ini,” jelas Asmuni.

“Taktik kotor itu bermula dengan BN telah mendesak pihak polis supaya menghalang ceramah yang diadakan di Simpang dengan alasan kesesakan lalulintas, akibatnya ceramah tersebut terpaksa berpindah tempat ke Markas Bukit Cempedak di Bukit Gantang.

“BN telah mengeluarkan risalah-risalah jahat dengan mengatakan Pas zionis, Pas bohong di mana ianya jelas bertentangan dengan pendekatan yang digunakan oleh Pas,” katanya.

Tegasnya, BN turut memainkan isu perkauman dengan membuat risalah sulit mengatakan bahawa orang Cina sedang membuat satu gerakan untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri. Risalah-risalah sulit ini telah diedarkan di masjid semasa orang ramai hendak menunaikan solat Jumaat.

Pada sidang media yang sama, beliau memaklumkan satu laporan polis telah dibuat Pas pada 13 Mac lalu berhubung kes 25 batang bendera Pas yang dipatahkan, diikuti satu lasgi laporan pada 16 Mac dengan dakwaan bahawa bendera Pas telah diconteng dengan perkataan ‘bodoh’ serta laporan mengenai risalah jahat yamg dikaitkan dengan Pas pada 23 Mac lau.

Beliau menegaskan bahawa sokongan daripada seluruh rakyat adalah penting tanpa mengira kaum. Tambahnya, “anak tempatan bukanlah faktor utama yang mempengaruhi pengundi,” jelas Asmuni.

Turut hadir dalam sidang media tersebut ialah Timbalan Presiden Pas, Ustaz Nasharudin Mat Isa bersama Pengarah Jabatan Pilihan Raya Pas Pusat, Mustafa Ali.

Putting my assets on the line

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

I PERSONALLY find declaring one’s assets, as the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) did at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 11 Mar 2009, a little embarrassing. Personal income and wealth are normally considered one’s private domain. Most people would consider it intrusive or even downright rude if an acquaintance were to inquire into one’s income and savings.

But there we were, the five PSM members holding public office, declaring our assets (or rather our relative lack thereof) for all to see. In a society that tends to evaluate individuals on the basis of their material possessions, our public declaration of the meagreness of our material possessions was in effect a public admission of our “failure” in conventional terms.

But we did not have much choice, as PSM had promised that this is what we would do yearly, as long as we held public office. And promises to the rakyat must be kept.

PSM, of course, has good reasons to insist on asset declaration. For far too long, Malaysian politicians have used public office as a shortcut to amassing wealth. So much so that it has almost become “acceptable”. It is seen as something politicians do. It is also rampant in many other developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

PSM feels that we need to take a firm stand on this, and play a leading role in developing an alternative political culture. Elected positions should be used for the good of the people whose votes we begged and cajoled for. Those who want to amass wealth should go into business, not politics. Politicians should take a “vow of poverty” like Catholic priests do — at least for the period in which they hold public office. Only then will there be no conflict of personal interest with the promises we make to the electorate.

So we at PSM steeled ourselves, and told the world how little we possessed. The PSM press event appears to have forced several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians to confront the issue of asset declaration. The first steps towards developing an alternative political culture, perhaps?

Keeping the spirit alive

Coming clean on income and assets also has another useful function within the party — it keeps alive the spirit of sacrifice and volunteerism among ordinary members who do not hold public office.

PSM has a core of active volunteers who have been sacrificing their time selflessly for the past 10 years. What would be the impact on the spirit of volunteerism and sacrifice among the ordinary members if I were to act as if the RM15,000 that I receive monthly was mine exclusively? RM15,000 is more than seven times the income of most of the other members in PSM’s Sungai Siput branch. And I cannot deny that I won this particular seat through the sustained activism of PSM members and supporters both within and outside Sungai Siput.

I treat my RM15,000 monthly income not as my personal right that no one else has a right to question; I treat it as a source of funding for the work PSM is doing, from which I take a modest monthly stipend. I believe this approach contributes to the maintenance of the spirit of volunteerism that is so essential to the further growth of PSM.

Malaysia is at the crossroads. The old political order has grown corrupt and self-serving. It probably is past repair and is in the process of being replaced by a new coalition of parties. The slate for this new coalition is still clean.

As the first generation of this new order, I and the rest of my cohorts in PSM and PR are in a unique position. We can actually determine the standards that those coming after us will have to live up to. This, I think, encapsulates the significance of the asset declaration press conference on 11 Mar 2009.

Salam perjuangan! We can build a better world.

Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj is a physician by training and a founding member of PSM. He is currently Member of Parliament for Sungai Siput.

Bukit Selambau dibanjiri polis, pengundi cuba ditakuti

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

Tidak mustahil ribuan anggota polis dikerah ke Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Bukit Selambau melebihi apa yang dihantar ke Parlimen Kuala Terengganu semata-mata berhadapan dengan pilihan raya kecil pada 7 April nanti.

Model operandi ketika bertembung dengan pembangkang penghujung tahun lalu akan digunapakai walaupun dalam pilihan raya tersebut Barisan Nasional (BN) gagal mempertahankan kerusi yang dimenanginya pada pilihan raya umum ke-13 lalu.

Tinjauan Harakah dua hari sebelum hari penamaan calon pada 29 Mac nanti mendapati kawasan lapang di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Kuala Muda kini dipenuhi khemah putih yang tertera kain rentang ‘Martek PDRM IPD Kuala Muda N25 Bukit Selambau’ mengadap ke jalan utama Alor Setar ke Butterworth.

Kebanjiran pasukan polis pelbagai pangkat dan unit jelas untuk menakutkan seakan-akan bila Pakatan Rakyat menang sesuatu peristiwa hitam akan tercetus sekaligus menjadikan negara Malaysia kacau bilau yang akhirnya boleh merosakan nama dan emej Malaysia di mata dunia.

Bukan itu sahaja, kediaman wartawan Harakah Kedah turut diintip seolah beliau di antara pengganas yang turut berkompromi dengan penjenayah besar yang dikehendaki polis selama ini.

Sepanjang saya, rakan saya Saad Abdullah, Setiausaha Jabatan Pilihan raya Negeri (JPN) Kedah, Kapten Zamri dan wartawan Harakah Kedah, Izwan Abdul Halim berbincang bagaimana strategi pemberitaan yang akan dilaporkan sepanjang pilihan raya kecil itu nanti di tingkat atas Markas Besar PAS di Lagenda Height rata-rata kelihatan kelibat Special Branch (SB) sekitar kedai minuman di ruang bawah bangunan tiga tingkat itu.

Fenomena itu memang biasa dilihat disetiap kali pilihan raya kecil tetapi kali ini nampak gayanya lebih serius kononya untuk menjagai keamanan agar perjalanan pilihanraya kecil itu nanti berjalan dengan aman dan tenteram.

Mesti ayat-ayat itu akan terpancul keluar daripada Ketua Polis Negera, Tan Sri Musa Hasan bila soalan diacukan wartawan kelak.

Kini, semua rakyat tahu pasukan polis bukan lagi menjagai keamanan bahkan bekerja untuk Umno dan BN yang jelas mereka sering dilihat melancarkan provokasi bila adanya perhimpunan aman atau ceramah perdana melibatkan pimpinan tertinggi Pakatan Rakyat terutamanya bila permit ditarik di saat-saat akhir.

Pasukan yang menjadi kuda tunggangan Umno dan BN akan bertindak kasar bila keadaan menjadi kelam kabut menangkap, mengheret mangsa, mengari tangan sesiapa yang dilabel kehadapan menaikan semangat di kalangan orang ramai dan sebagainya.

Peristiwa terbaru berlaku di ceramah perdana melibatkan dua tokoh Pakatan Rakyat iaitu Penasihat Parti KeADILan, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan Menteri Besar Kedah, Dato’ Seri Azizan Abdul di Taman Ria Jaya.

Walhal kelulusan permit memang ada tetapi ianya dibatal sekitar jam 5.00 petang di hari yang sama maka pastinya menimbulkan kemarahan orang ramai yang berpusu-pusu datang untuk mendengar amanat kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat.

Anehnya, Umno dan BN yang masih mempunyai saki baki kuasa terus mempergunakan pasukan keselamatan dengan alasan jika diberikan peluang pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat memperjelaskan isu yang timbul pastinya sokongan yang cuba ditingkatkan oleh jentera Umno dan BN akan luntur tambahan lagi bila bakal Perdana Menteri ke enam, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak akan mengambil alih kuasa pemerintahan serta selepas semangat ahli Umno di ‘pam’ semasa Perhimpunan Agung parti itu selesai sehari sebelum penamaan calon.

Apa yang penting… ‘kerjasama’ sepertimana yang dilaungkan oleh siri kartun kesukaan kanak- kanak ‘Wonderpet’ di TV. Mereka akan turun sepasukan membantu rakan yang ditimpa musibah dengan mencari berbagai formula terbaik demi sikap setiakawan yang tinggi.

Jadi, sebagai parti gabungan di bawah Pakatan Rakyat, PAS, KeADILan dan DAP mesti berpaut tangan antara satu sama lain bukan lagi mencari helah hasil tangan hitam yang senantiasa mahu melihat Pakatan Rakyat hancur berkecai menjadi debu.

Bila tiadanya lagi pakatan untuk menghancurkan Umno dan BN maka senanglah BN berdiri semula menyatukan tenaga dengan parti gabungan mereka berhadapan dengan serpihan Pakatan Rakyat yang hampir tengelam.

Akhirnya, siapa yang menang dan terus menang…. BN juga, manakala Pakatan Rakyat yang dulunya terkenal dengan Barisan Alternatif (BA) dan sebelumnya Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU) akan hilang ditelan zaman.

Justeru itu, jangan ada perpecahan hasil perbalahan kecil terutamanya KeADILan yang khabarnya membuka dua pejabat berasingan di Bukit Selambau.

Sikap sedemikian sekurang- kurangnya merosakan semangat pendokong PAS yang sentiasa berganding bahu untuk menghancurkan Umno dan BN yang semakin pecah kapalnya.

Walaupun Bukit Selambau akan dibantu oleh jentera daripada dua negeri utara lain seperti Perlis dan Pulau Pinang ekoran pertembungan pilhan raya kecil di Bukit Gantang, Perak dan Batang Ai di Sarawak namun percayalah dengan janji Allah SWT bahawa ia tetap membantu sekiranya usaha perperatkan sesama Pakatan Rakyat diutuhkan. – mks

Mohd Sabri Said, HarakahDaily

Lagi pembaziran sedang berlaku di Pilihan Raya Kecil Bukit Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

BUKIT GANTANG 28 Mac (SK) : Sejumlah RM15 juta dijangka akan ‘hangus’ dibelanjakan oleh kerajaan Umno/Barisan Nasional dalam pilihanraya kecil Parlimen Bukit Gantang kali ini.

Seperti yang diumumkan Timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri Chor Chee Heung berkata Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) membelanjakan RM15.153 juta bagi penugasan operasi pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Kuala Terengganu Januari lalu, perkara yang sama akan berlaku dalam pilihanraya kecil Bukit Gantang.

Chor berkata penugasan tersebut melibatkan pegawai polis daripada semua jabatan dan cawangan dalam PDRM seperti Cawangan Khas, Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersil, Pasukan Gerakan Am (PGA), Pasukan Simpanan Persekutuan, Trafik, Unit Udara Polis dan Tugas Am.

Ia adalah kerana, kerja-kerja mendirikan khemah (kanopi) untuk penugasan polis secara besar-besaran sedang dilakukan serta merta di tanah lapang jalan ke Kuala Terong disini.

Rakyat akan melihat pembaziran hasil kerajaan dan keuntungan diraih oleh pihak-pihak tertentu yang berpihak kepada Umno di Bukit Gantang.

Pada pilihanraya kecil yang lalu, Pas menegaskan penugasan polis secara besar-besaran tidak perlu dalam pilihanraya itu kerana tidak ada apa-apa ketegangan luar biasa yang berlaku dan pilihanraya berlangsung dengan suasana aman dan tenteram

Jelajah Bukit Gantang: Alahai, Dikepung Lagi!

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

Saya sempat bersama Menteri Besar Perak yang juga calon Pakatan Rakyat bagi Parlimen Bukit Gantang Dato’ Seri Nizar, Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Hj Ismail, Hj Osman dan lain-lain pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Perak di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Sapetang. Antara lain saya mengupas ketenatan ekonomi negara mutakhir ini. 60 billion melalui Pakej Ransangan Ekonomi Kedua nyata gagal merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi mikro.

Saya tekankan peri penting pesanan Confucius mengenai konsep Ta Ren (great leaders) melalui gagasan karamah insaniah. Ini garapan yang perlu terhasil melalui kepimpinan negara yang harus peka pada masalah rakyat.

Pun begitu, masalah rakyat bukan wacana utama yang dikupas di Perhimpunan Agung Umno. Yang diwar-war adalah ketuanan Melayu,  yang dimenungkan ialah lagak pimpinan Umno yang kaya raya bertempik soal Melayu. Yang dikisahkan serangan peribadi, membungkam rakyat dengan gegak gempita ‘Hidup Melayu’ yang tidak berkesudahan, walhasil majoriti Melayu termasuk di Bukit Gantang hidup merempat, rakyat seluruhnya kian meluat!

Namun buat rakyat, Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan-Dusun, Dayak – boleh bedakan kekayaan melimpah pada sagelintir dengan kehidupan mereka sebagai peladang, nelayan dan pekerja.

Alahai, buat ketiga kalinya saya dilarang dengan kepungan polis dari menjejak ke tempat ceramah di Bukit Gantang. Maafkan saya. InshaAllah saya akan kembali satelah penamaan calon kelak.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Batang Ai By-election: Penans cry foul, threaten to take back NCR land

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

The Penan longhouse community  of Rumah Ugos at Jambatan Suai in Suai, Niah, Miri Division of Sarawak this morning gave notice to senior Dayak state ministers that they will take back their native customary rights (NCR) land which has been developed into an oil palm plantation based on what is called the “

MCPX

Konsep Baru” or New Concept Joint Venture Development Agreement in 1998.

The two state leaders are  Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Rural and Infrastructure Development Alfred Jabu and State Land Development Mnister Dr James Jemut Masing.

Led by their ketua kampung Ugos bin Sugon ,78, and ex-councillor  Jadam anak Eken, 58, they met Kayan lawyer, environmentalist and former Baram Member of Parliament, Harrison Ngau Laing in his office complaining that they have been totally kept in the dark by their joint venture partners, the Ministry of Land Development and Ministry of Rural and Infrastructure Development as to what is going on with the joint venture project.

According to Jadam, the joint venture project involved 2,128 hectares of their NCR land and during the negotiation in 1998, it was agreed that the Penans will have 30 percent shares and the Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) which shall be their trustee will have 10 percent shares and the remaining 60 percent shares will be held by the private investor.

“During the official launching of the JV project in Miri in 2000 by  Jabu, we were paid 10 percent of the value of our 2128 hectares of NCR land valued at RM1,250.00 per hectare. We were also told that the balance will be invested on our behalf in the Amanah Saham Sarawak (Assar) by SLDB,” said  Jadam.

According to Jadam, during the parliamentary election in March 2008, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud handed a cheque for RM500,000.00 through his (Jadam’s) brother  Hasan Sui which was supposed to be their dividends from the JV project.

The right to see statement of accounts

“We have asked how this sum of exactly RM500,000.00, not more and not less of our dividends for our 2,128 hectares of NCR land was calculated or arrived at but no one was able to tell us,” added Jadam.in a statement to Malaysiakini.

Ugos and Jadam also said that they and the other NCR landowners have not seen the statement of accounts of the JV project until today.

“As such, how do we know whether the NCR-JV project has made a profit or not,” said Ugos.

An angry Jadam said: “Being owners of the NCR land involved and shareholders in the project, surely we have the right to ask for and to see the statement of accounts.”

Jadam also complained that the official record on the size of the land of the individual NCR landowners including a copy of the JV agreement on the project have not been given to them.

Some of the NCR landowners have died and without such records, how are their children able to know that their parents have NCR land involved in the JV project.

The duo demanded that “since our JV partners are not prepared to disclose the relevant information on this project, we call upon Jabu and Masing as the Ministers responsible for  this matter to take immediate action failing which we shall take appropriate action to take our NCR land back or shall evict our JV partners therefrom.”
Harrison Ngau said he supported the demands made by the Penans, including their proposal to take back their NCR lands from the JV project or to evict the JV partners from the land.

‘Kick them out in the coming election’

He said: “This is the same sad story of NCR landowners being cheated, we have heard this over and over again throughout Sarawak.  It just confirmed once again the failure, incompetence and the betrayal by the BN leaders especially the so-called Bumiputra or Dayak leaders in the state BN of the poor longhouse folks and Penans who have voted for them in the previous elections.”

“I just hope that our people will remember this repeated and continuous betrayal by the BN leaders and that the people will kick them out in the coming election.”

The well-known Kayan NCR lawyer referred to the recent case of the Ibans of Rumah Ranggong and Rumah Belili in Ulu Niah whose NCR lands was also developed based on the same “Konsep Baru” with SLDB and Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn Bhd through their JV company, Niamas Istimewa Sdn Bhd in 1999.

The deal was abruptly terminated in 2008 or after nine years allegedly on the ground that there was no NCR over the land involved in the said project. In that particular case, the JV project was also officially launched by  Jabu in 2001.

“It is therefore not surprising that the Dayaks in particular have now lost faith and confidence in  Jabu,” Harrison added.

He also mentioned that he and a few other lawyers together with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be launching a campaign against the proposed 12 dams which the Sarawak government has planned to build in the state. – Tony Thien, Mkini

Batang Ai By-election: Damned dams in Sarawak

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

After timber and land for plantations, the water resources to generate electricity at many of Sarawak’s great rivers are the last opportunity for making mega bucks by crony capitalism in the state of Sarawak.

MCPX

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has recently announced that plans to build 12 more hydroelectric dams in Sarawak will go ahead to meet future industrialisation needs. They will be located at Ulu Air, Metjawa, Belaga, Baleh, Belepeh, Lawas, Tutoh, Limbang, Baram, Murum, and Linau Rivers. The plan will also see an extension to the Batang Ai Dam. The construction of these dams will push the total generating capacity of Sarawak to 7000 mw by 2020.

The Bakun Dam

I was vehemently opposed to the construction of the Bakun Dam since the early 1980s. Unfortunately, the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad came to Kuching and launched the project together with the Sarawak CM in the early 1990s. The project was awarded to Ting Pek Kiing’s Ekran Bhd and associates without an open tender. Neither Ting nor his company had any track record of dam building at all.

sarawak energy board slide show hydropower project in sarawak 180608 bakun damThe project became messy. Finally, the project was halted in 1997 due to the Asian Financial Crisis. As a result, the Malaysian government had to take it back from the consortium. According to information divulged in Parliament, RM700 million to RM1.1 billion was paid to Ekran as “compensation”.  (That’s negotiated contracts for you!)

The on-and-off Bakun project is still fumbling forward, with unknown cost overrun.

Meanwhile, the social and environmental disasters that I and many environmentalists had predicted have come to pass in Bakun.  Writing on the subject on the blog The Borneo Project, Harian Thompson and San Hui had the following grim story to report:
“While project logistics continue to be developed, thousands of people resettled for the Bakun Dam continue to suffer at resettlement sites. In 1999, 10,000 indigenous Kenyah and Kayan people were forcibly relocated from their ancestral homes to make way for the dam. Most were forced to move to the government-sponsored Sungai Asap resettlement site, while a few communities moved to other sites or remained on their land.

In the past, the indigenous peoples subsisted in a self-sustainable economy, cultivating land, fishing in rivers and hunting in forests. They occupied 70,000 hectares of ancestral lands. Now, living in poorly constructed longhouses and forced into the cash economy, unemployment and hunger are prevalent.

Compensation for people’s land has reportedly been paid out, but resettlers claim that the amounts were inadequate and below market-value. Problems with food security are rising as cash-poor villagers are unable to grow food on their small plots of mediocre land. As a result, many villagers have resorted to meals of rice and salt. Alienation has led to increased alcoholism and violence. In recent months the population at the resettlement site has since increased 40 percent, further straining meager resources.

The desperate situation for people living at the resettlement site threatens to worsen in the next couple years, particularly as compensation payments run out and the fertility of their small plots of land drops. It is likely that many will be forced to purchase expensive fertilizers to cultivate food to feed their families.

Further problems loom ahead as residents at the resettlement site must pay back government loans for housing construction. A five-year grace period to begin repayment of the $13,700 in debt is set to run out in 2003. At that time, families will owe an average of $80 per month over a 25-year period. The Malaysian government has offered to reduce payments for families who cannot afford to pay; however, they will still be required to pay back the loans with interest.

“There is not much to look forward to these days,” said Junis Win, a Kayan farmer from the Sungai Asap resettlement site. Junis, like many others, is concerned about the future, particularly how he will pay back the housing loan despite the fact that he does not have a stable income.”

Urbanites have little idea of how important land is to the native people of Sarawak. As long as they have their ancestral land, they will always survive in the jungle far away from the cities.

They plant their rice for food self-sufficiency, fish in the river, hunt for wild games in the jungle, and collect or plant vegetables in their backyard.  Since they need to fallow their land after a harvest, they do need a few plots of land to grow rice on rotation year after year.

Left alone, they tend to be happier, healthier, and less stressed out than city folks who have to mortgage their lives for material things.
Plunge them into a small resettled site to make way for the Bakun Dam with inferior housing and push them into cash economy, they soon degenerate into social and financial chaos, going down the path of the Native Americans (“Red Indians”) on their reservations!

Development for whom?

These native Sarawakians who are the original residents of the vast Bakun territory for God-knows-how-long have become the first victims of the Bakun Project. They put paid to the lie touted in the BN slogan of Politics of Development. You have to ask: development for whom?

(The proposed dams on the upper reaches of the great Baram River are particularly worrisome. More than a few Penans would be resettled there. The Penan people’s way of life makes them very vulnerable to drastic change to their surrounding eco-system. I shudder to think of how they are going to survive with dignity at the resettled site!)

At the moment, Sarawak’s total generating capacity stands at 933 mw, which is much more than current demand. So why build 12 more dams? Macro-economic planning aside, that question needs to be answered.

Let us take the proposed RM3 billion Murum Dam for instance. The developer is Sarawak Energy Berhad. This is what the contributor to my communal blog The Hornbill Unleashed Apang had to say in his latest posting:

“What is not announced is that Sarawak Energy Berhad is the sole “developer” but not the actual dam builder. SEB is fully in the hands of Taib Mahmud’s family members.The Chairman is Abdul Hamed Sepawi, a first cousin to the CM, who also heads Ta Ann Holdings Berhad (involved in logging and plantations) and Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad (involved in properties and construction). Brother-in-law and former State Seretary Abdul Aziz is group managing director and chief executive officer of SEB. As Aziz confirmed in the recent Al Jazeera’s interview it sure is an advantage to be well connected to the CM of Sarawak when you do big business in the state.”

On how big money is made through political connection and rent, Apang takes us to the Bengoh Dam: “The Bengoh Water Reservoir Dam, an hour’s drive from Kuching has already begun construction since late 2008. The construction contract was awarded without tender to Naim Cendera for about RM310,650,000 to be exact. The company then sub contracted it out to the dam builder from Mainland China, Sinohydro for RM145 million. Sinohydro is finishing the infamous Bakun Dam. See how easy it is to make big money in Sarawak when you are well connected?

Four Bidayuh villagers with hundreds of years of history and ancestral land must give way for the project. The Sarawak Government is in the process of acquiring NCR lands belonging to other 20 Bidayuh villages in Semadang-Bau areas for this sort of twisted ‘development’.

It seems every time there is a mega development project, the wealth of the elites in Sarawak politics will be vastly developed, while the rural people would lose their land upon which they depend for their survival.”

These are the stories about Sarawak politics that Sarawakians are very familiar with. Children grow up with them, hearing them at the family dinner from a young age. Friends exchange inside information about these deals, over dinner and in private conversations. None of these important bits of information would ever see the light of day in the Sarawak mainstream media.

It used to be the Chinese who were informed and angry over the status quo, and they punished the BN in the last state general election in 2006. On my last trip home, I discovered that many Dayaks and Malays are also getting nauseated.

At my age, I am supposed to have mellowed. Indeed, I have. But whenever I read of minor BN ministers descending on Batang Ai in droves mumbling as if in a dream about their politics of development, dropping Maggie mee from the sky, and dispensing with their petty cash to the voters, I am overcome with a rage at the massive hypocrisy of it all.

If we tell a lie, and we know it is a lie, at least we still know the truth, and that is not so bad at all. But if we live a lie, talk the lie, and eventually believe in the lie as truth, then that is a fate worse than death. I did not say that. Socrates said it in The Republic.

Damn the stupid Dams in Sarawak!

(PS – The roving reporters from Hornbill Unleashed Willie and Chee How will be reporting live at Ground Zero in the morning of nomination day at the nomination centre in Lubok Antu, Batang Ai, on Sunday, March 29, 2009. I thank Malaysiakini for the free advertisement.) Mkini


SIM KWANG YANG was opposition MP for Bandar Kuching in Sarawak between 1982 and 1995. He can be reached at kenyalang578@hotmail.com

Full Chinese support for Nizar in Bkt Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

Ousted Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin has made an impassioned plea to the Chinese community to reach out to the Malay voters of Bukit Gantang.

MCPX

Mohd Nizar said that the Chinese community – influenced by a freer Chinese media – were already solidly behind Pakatan Rakyat, but Malays were still largely unable to hear his explanations on current affairs first hand.

He explains that this was due to the authorities thwarting several of Pakatan Rakyat’s bid to reach the Malay voters, particularly in Trong and Kuala Sepetang.

Citing an example, Mohd Nizar said that the authorities had stopped a function at a mosque in Trong yesterday.

“You represent the business community here. It is incumbent upon you to inform all Malays who frequent your shops or do business with to support Pakatan,” he said.

Mohd Nizar said this during a dinner organized by DAP in Taiping, which is the nearest major commercial area to the Bukit Gantang constituency.

bukit gantang by election 280309 nizar shaking handsEarlier in his speech, Mohd Nizar explained why Pakatan was staking its claim as the legitimate government of Perak and why it was crucial for the coalition to win in the upcoming Bukit Gantang by-election.

“It seems like a minor election, but the implications are huge. It is very symbolic as (a win by Pakatan) will open the doors of democracy and racial harmony,” he said.

Large turnout at dinner

He adds that Bukit Gantang was the opportunity for the public to “bury” Umno, prompting loud cheers from the crowd.

“Let us put Najib (Abdul Razak) to rest and open up a new chapter for Malaysia,” he said.

Later, Mohd Nizar appeared overwhelmed when the crowd replied to his question who to vote for come polling day on April 7.

“PAS,” shouted the crowd. But as Mohd Nizar tried to correct them by saying “Pakatan Rakyat”, his voice was drowned out by boisterous chants of “Nizar, Nizar, Nizar”.

The fully packed 140-table dinner was organized in one of the largest Chinese restaurants in Taiping. As all seats had been sold out, many were left standing outside the restaurant to watch a long-list of speakers, mostly DAP state reps, on projector screens.

Half the guests paid RM40 for a seat inside the air-conditioned restaurant, while others paid RM30 for a seat on a road-side table.

It was announced later that more than RM31,000 was collected in donations for the Bukit Gantang by-election fund.  Mkini

BN takut dengan perjuangan Pakatan Rakyat

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

CHANGKAT JERING, 28 Mac (SK) : Presiden Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam se-Malaysia (GAMIS) Mohd Dzul Khairi Mohd Noor, membidas pengharaman pengeluaran Harakah dan Suara Keadilan kepada umum oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri awal minggu ini.

Beliau mendakwa kerajaan BN terdesak kerana takut dengan perjuangan dan pendedahan yang dilakukan di dalam media-media tersebut serta takut dengan penerimaan rakyat terhadap kesalahan yang dilakukan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat.

Sehubungan itu, Dzul Khairi menyeru orang ramai agar terus menghebahkan segala kerja kebaikan yang telah dilakukan oleh Pakatan Rakyat di negeri Perak keseluruhanya walaupun ketiadaan kedua-dua akhbar tersebut.

Dzul Khairi menyeru orang ramai agar membuat penilaian berdasarkan asas cinta kepada keadilan, demokrasi dan kebebasan bersuara dalam semua bentuk media.

Melalui perbandingan antara pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dan Umno, beliau berkata ini jelas menunjukkan bahawa Pakatan Rakyat berjuang untuk kebaikan rakyat. Perjuangan PAS yang berlandaskan Islam dalam kepimpinan mampu untuk merubah nasib rakyat.

“Saya sentiasa berdoa untuk kejayaan Pakatan Rakyat dan mengundi calon Pas iaitu Mohamad Nizar Jalaluddin untuk mengembalikan demokrasi di negeri Perak,” jelas beliau.

Dalam ucapannya di Cangkat Jering semalam beliau bertahya “Adakah rakyat Bukit Gantang sanggup untuk menjadikan parti korup Umno/Barisan Nasional sebagai pemimpin mereka?”

Perhimpunan Agung Umno yang sedang berlangsung juga menunjukkan bahawa Umno adalah sebuah parti yang korup, dimana rasuah bermaharajalela dan menjadi tradisi yang bukan lagi rahsia dengan perlucutan jawatan Ali Rustam.

Walaupun telah didapati bersalah dengan tuduhan rasuah yang dipanggil ‘politik wang’ oleh mereka, Ali Rustam masih lagi dapat mengundi dan memimpin kerajaan negeri Melaka.

Manikumar: Satu-satunya calon Agenda Perubahan & bakal Exco kerajaan negeri

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

CALON pilihanraya Dewan Undangan Negeri BUkit Selambau, S. Manikumar berkata penduduk di kawasan itu terutama masyarakat India tidak mempunyai pilihan lain selain memilih beliau sebagai Ahli dewan Undangan negeri dan seterusnya dilantik sebagai ahli majlis mesyuarat kerajaan negeri (Exco).

Katanya, ini kerana tidak ada wakil masyarakat India yang berupaya membawa suara dan masalah mereka dalam mesyuarat exco selepas bekas Adun kawasan itu, V.Arumugam yang juga Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna, Hal Ehwal Masyarakat Siam, Perpaduan, Pekerja Ladang dan Hal Ehwal Masyarakat India meletakkan jawatan sebagai Adun kawasan berkenaan pada awal Febuari lalu.

“Ini lah satu-satu pilihan yang ada supaya Exco boleh dilantik di kalangan masyarakat India untuk mewakili suara mereka dalam mesyuarat exco, ini kerana tidak ada lagi wakil dari masyarakat India di kalangan Adun dan Exco kerajaan negeri,”katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian kepada Suara Keadilan ketika mengadakan pertemuan dengan petugas-petugas jentera pilihanraya KeADILan di Bilik Gerakan KeADILan di Taman Ria, Bukit Selambau pada malam tadi

Menurut Manikumar, dengan kemenangan beliau sebagai Adun kawasan terbabit akan melayakkannya untuk dilantik sebagai exco bagi menggantikan tempat Arumugam dan seterusnya berupaya untuk membawa suara dan pelbagai isu melibatkan masyarakat india.

“Saya percaya ini juga yang dikehendaki oleh penduduk pelbagai kaum di kawasan ini,” ujarnya.

Katanya lagi, pemilihan beliau sebagai Adun juga bermakna akan dapat mengimbangi komposisi exco kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di negeri Kedah yang dibentuk dengan sokongan pelbagai kaum.

Terdapat 35,140 pemilih berdaftar di DUN Bukit Selambau yang terdiri daripada 35,125 pemilih biasa dan 15 pemilih pos bakal menentukan kemenangan Manikumar pada 7 April ini.

Manikumar berkata, Pilihanraya yang membabitkan 22 pusat mengundi dengan 64 saluran mengundi itu akan menjadi medan penduduk kawasan berkenaan menolak amalan politik perkauman yang dibawa oleh rejim Barisan Nasional.

Bukit Selambau : 1000 petugas dijadual tiba hari ini

BUKIT SELAMBAU,28 MAC (SK) – Kira-kira 1000 petugas parti yang berkhidmat sebagai jentera kempen Pakatan Rakyat akan tiba di Bukit Selambau hari ini.

Petugas berkenaan akan ditugaskan di lokasi daerah mengundi di kawasan Bukit Selambau seperti yang telah dibahagikan mengikut negeri masing-masing.

Setakat ini mengikut laporan yang diterima oleh Suara Keadilan online, delegasi dari Melaka, Wilayah Persekutuan dan Negeri Sembilan telah tiba di Bukit Selambau serta telah membuka bilik gerakan.

Manakala lain-lain negeri akan dijadual tiba petang ini seterusnya akan memulakan operasi bilik gerakan mereka.

Sementara itu, Bilik Gerakan Utama Pilihanraya Kecik Bukit Selambau di Taman Tengku Hamidah di Jalan Kelab Cinta Sayang, Sungai Petaniakan memulakan operasinya selama 24 jam mulai hari ini.

Untuk sebarang pertanyaan mengenai pembahagian jentera dan bilik gerakan, sila hubungi Setiausaha Bahagian Merbok Othman Isa di talian 019 540592. SK

Pembubaran Balkis:JPPN Selangor Ditegur

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

SHAH ALAM, 26 Mac – Tindakan Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Negeri (JPPN) Selangor yang menurut anggota Selcat, Mohamed Azmin Ali, tidak memberi nasihat dan ulasan yang tepat kepada jabatan di peringkat pusat berhubung pembubaran Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Isteri-isteri Selangor (Balkis) dikesali.

Azmin berkata sebagai satu badan di peringkat negeri, JPPN Selangor seharusnya bertanggungjawab memandangkan ia yang telah meluluskan perlembagaan Balkis.

“Mengapa JPPN Selangor ambil inisiatif meluluskan perlembagaan (Balkis), tetapi tidak mengambil inisiatif untuk memastikan sama ada perlembagaan itu dipatuhi atau tidak?,” katanya.

Menurut Azmin, juruaudit bagi Balkis turut mengesahkan yang Balkis tidak memberi penyata kewangan bagi tahun 2007 untuk diaudit walaupun telah diminta beberapa kali.

“Adakah Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Putrajaya telah melanggar peruntukan dan perlembagaan?,” soal Azmin.

Apa yang menjadi persoalan Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Mengenai Keupayaan, Kebertanggungjawaban dan Ketelusan atau Selcat ialah bagaimana permohonan Balkis untuk dibubarkan diberi kelulusan walaupun penyata kewangan mereka tidak diaudit.

Hadir memberi keterangan hari ini saksi kesembilan Pegawai Pendaftar Pertubuhan JPPN Selangor, Tairah Yusof.

Pengerusi Selcat, Teng Chang Khim pula berkata selepas pembatalan pendaftaran Balkis, semua harta akan diuruskan oleh Jabatan Insolvensi. Ini katanya membawa maksud yang penyata kewangan Balkis yang dihantar ke jabatan itu sudah terlebih dahulu dihantar ke JPPN Selangor.

Menjawab soalan itu, Tairah berkata beliau tidak tahu mengenai perkara itu.

“Mana boleh tidak tahu, kamu yang proses, bila (permohonan untuk pembubaran) sudah lengkap baru hantar ke Putrajaya,” soal Teng.

“Kami ingat ia (penyata akaun) yang betul,” jelas Taira.

Menurutnya lagi, selepas mengemukakan permohonan berkenaan kepada pengarah untuk ditandatangani, beliau tidak tahu perkembangan perkara berkenaan selepas itu.

“Ia bukan bidang kuasa kita untuk mengkaji sama ada penyata itu telah diaudit atau belum. Pada saya, kalau dia (Balkis) bagi (penyata) yang tak betul, itu kesalahan dia,” katanya.

Teng berkata jabatan itu seharusnya menyemak dengan teliti permohonan Balkis yang minta dibubarkan, termasuk penyata kewangannya yang perlu diaudit oleh juruaudit yang dilantik mengikut perlembagaan.

“JPPN langsung tak tengok, lebih baik kita musnahkan sahaja Akta Pertubuhan kalau tak semak,” kata Teng.

Tairah berkata urusan penyemakan diuruskan oleh unit kawalan jabatan itu. – NOOR ALLIA KASSIM, Sgorkini

PNSB Diibaratkan Juruwang Kepada Balkis

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 28, 2009 by ckchew

SHAH ALAM, 24 Mac – Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas mengenai Keupayaan, Kebertanggungjawaban dan Ketelusan (Selcat), Teng Chang Khim hari ini melabelkan Permodalan Negeri Selangor Berhad (PNSB) umpama ‘cashier’ ataupun ‘juruwang’ kepada Badan Amal Kebajikan Isteri-isteri Wakil Rakyat Selangor (Balkis).

Teng yang juga speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor berkata, label itu diberikan ekoran tindakan PNSB yang mengikut sahaja kehendak ataupun permintaan Balkis dalam memberi dana sumbangan dan pembayaran dalam setiap program dan aktiviti yang dianjurkan badan berkenaan.

Dalam masa yang sama, label sebagai ‘juruwang’ itu turut dipersetujui oleh anggota Selcat, Shaari Sungib di mana beliau mengulangi kesimpulan yang dibuat Teng bahawa anak syarikat kerajaan negeri ketika itu sememangnya berperanan seperti juruwang bukan sahaja melibatkan pembayaran yang besar tetapi juga melibatkan pembayaran kecil bernilai RM180 terpaksa dibayar PNSB.

Menjelaskan mengenai perkara itu kepada panel Selcat petang tadi, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif PNSB, Datin Khairiyah Abu Hassan berkata adalah menjadi kebiasaan kepada PNSB untuk membayar dan menyediakan dana sumbangan berbentuk wang ringgit setiap kali diminta badan tersebut.

Dalam perkembangan berlainan, Khairiyah memberitahu, Dato’ Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo pernah menerima hadiah mahal daripada PNSB ketika beliau memegang jawatan sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor.

Pada sesi petang pendengaran awam terbuka petang tadi, Khairiyah berkata PNSB telah menaja cenderahati berjumlah RM4,200 kepada Balkis termasuklah hadiah jaket Summer Man bernilai RM3,600 dan juga bayaran keraian sambutan Tahun Baru Cina pada tahun 2004.

Menurutnya, jaket itu dihadiahkan oleh badan itu dengan menggunakan dana sumbangan PNSB.

Berikutan pendedahan pemberian hadiah mahal itu, Mohamed Azmin Ali yang juga anggota Selcat mempersoalkan tindakan PNSB yang memberikan cenderamata kepada penjawat awam yang didakwanya melanggar perintah am pegawai kerajaan.

Menjawab mengenai perkara itu, Khairiyah berkata beliau hanya selaku pelaksana. – MURIZA ABDUL HAMID Sgorkini

Damn the Dams — They only make the First Family richer!!

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 27, 2009 by ckchew

By Apang,  Hornbill unleash

Batang Ai is more often than not associated with the hydro electric dam that supplies electricity to other places outside of Batang Ai, such as Kuching. The Sarawak Chief Minister of donkey number of years had just confirmed in public that there will be 12 more dams in Sarawak.

n_01sarawakdams1Same old developmental arguments are used. The dam projects will benefit the people of the area and of course of the state’s economy as well blah blah blah. Of course what is not mentioned in the public domain is the development of the personal wealth of family members and cronies.

The Stark reality in Batang Ai

In Batang Ai, while the resettled settlements have electricity, others upriver who are so near but are still so far from the electric supply generated in their own backyard. The mighty hydroelectric dam at Batang Ai (the first in Sarawak) has transmission line to wire the power to as far as Kuching some 300 kilometers away but those poor communities within the Batang Ai area upriver from the dam still live in the pitch darkness of socio-economic backwardness.

Those parroting the CM’s Politics of Development would say that the Batang Ai Dam would benefit the Batang Ai people when it was proposed. Two decades after the completion of the dam, there are still those Batang Ai Ibans still living in poverty, without basic amenities like electricity, clean water, roads, and a hospital!

The murky Bakun story

The Bakun Dam was meant to bring development benefits to the people of Bakun and the state. Well-connected companies were rushing to whack the remaining timber before it was submerged by water. Then there was also the well-connected company, Ekran Berhad who did the initial dam works, before public funds came in the form of compensation and the change in the builder.

The some 10,000 people were resettled to Sungai Asap to make way for the Bakun Dam. They were promised a better life after resettlement. To-day, their miseries stand testimonies to the kind of development that victimizes rather than benefits the local people.

To-day, the resettled Bakun people at Sungei Asap regret having to lose their original NCR land for a sum of cash compensation which soon disappeared. Without their ancestral land, they are struggling to survive.

They do enjoy water and electricity, for which they have to pay in cash. Recently, the authorities have threatened to cut off their utilities unless they pay up. This is the heavy price they have to pay for their promised “progress”.

Same over at Murum Dam

The same pathetic fate awaits the indigenous communities to be affected by the construction of the proposed RM3 billion Murum Dam, especially the Penans there.

The White Hair Rajah of Sarawak had confirmed in public that the once secret list of 12 dams will all be constructed, at Kapit, Baleh and Baram, and elsewhere.

Who benefits? Trace the extended family!

What is not announced is that Sarawak Energy Berhad is the sole “developer” but not the actual dam builder. SEB is fully in the hands of Taib Mahmud’s family members. The Chairman is Abdul Hamed Sepawi, a first cousin to the CM, who also heads Ta Ann Holdings Berhad (involved in logging and plantations) and Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad (involved in properties and construction). Brother-in-law and former State Seretary Abdul Aziz is group managing director and chief executive officer of SEB. As Aziz confirmed in the recent Al Jazeera’s interview it sure is an advantage to be well connected to the CM of Sarawak when you do big business in the state.

Big dams are now the last big business to be monopolised by “The First Family” of Sarawak.

That is how big money is made in Sarawak: the Bengoh story

The Bengoh Water Reservoir Dam, an hour’s drive from Kuching has already began construction since late 2008. The construction contract was awarded, without tender to Naim Cendera for about RM310,650,000 to be exact. The company then sub contracted it out to the dam builder from Mainland China, Sinohydro for RM145 million. Sinohydro is finishing the infamous Bakun Dam. See how easy it is to make big money in Sarawak when you are well connected?

Four Bidayuh villagers with hundreds of years of history and ancestral land must give way for the project. The Sarawak Government is in the process of acquiring NCR lands belonging to other 20 Bidayuh villages in Semadang-Bau areas for this sort of twisted “development”.

It seems every time there is a mega development project, the wealth of the elites in Sarawak politics will be vastly developed, while the rural people would lose their land upon which they depend for their survival.

Many more dams are on the cards. There is an abundance of BN stooges drumming support for dam projects.  The most recent voice is from Telang Usan assemblyman Lihan Jok, who showed his own ignorance by describing dams as “god-sent”. Is he suggesting that White Hair Rajah is God? God may not take kindly to this sort of desecration of His divine name.

Who is fighting in Batang Ai?

Batang Ai by-election will not be merely about Jawa of PKR or Malcolm of BN. It is a battle beyond PKR and BN. It is a battle between the people of Sarawak against all the bad things that we have known for 45 years about the same old Barisan Nasional, their greed, their self-enrichment, their racial tactic of divide and rule, and their rape of our natural wealth in the false name of development.

Batang Ai voters now and Sarawak voters in the next election must choose between small people or big and well-connected businesses, freedom or virtual political slavery, a change for a brighter future or more of the same.

To you the Batang Ai voters, you have seen and heard about the lies of “development’ for three decades. You have suffered from the construction of the Batang Ai Dam.

The Batang Ai by-election is a chance for you to say to BN: no more lies! Vote for PKR and Jawa Garang for change!

Agi Idup, agi ngeleban!

Anak Sarawak, Bangsa Malaysia!

la-niam

nc-letter-of-acceptance-on-bengoh-dam-with-contract-price-increase

sina-hydro

sinohydro-contract-price-for-bengoh-dam

Anwar on Bkt Selambau: Vote for a party with Agenda for Change

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim with tags , on March 27, 2009 by ckchew

SUNGAI PETANI (March 27, 2009) : Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today advised voters in the Bukit Selambau state constituency not to vote for any independent candidate in the by-election on April 7.

He said the anticipated large number of independent candidates, possibly up to 13 in all, could cause the voters to make a wrong choice.

“We have to take into account the agenda of the candidate, his/her party, the sponsor, etc. We have to know all these, and not blindly support any candidate,” he said when approached after a meeting with voters at the Yayasan Aman, here.

Anwar said a large number of independent candidates would not dampen the spirit of the PKR which, he added, viewed the competition in a positive light. The Sun

umno samseng for 2 bkt by-election

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 27, 2009 by ckchew

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