Archive for October, 2009

Pakatan mulls registration of a common logo

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on October 31, 2009 by ckchew

Pakatan Rakyat, a loose coalition of three parties – PKR, DAP and PAS – is considering registering the opposition pact under a common logo with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

“We are discussing the matter now and sorting out the details before we can register the coalition,” said Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham at the conclusion of Pakatan’s first-ever national convention held today in Ipoh.

Ngeh said Pakatan was well aware of ROS’ demand that a minimum of seven political parties must be members of a coalition before it can be registered.

“That is what ROS had told us. But upon checking the Societies Act 1966, we found that the condition applies only to associations that want to go national, not political parties,” he said.

“ROS has agreed to this fact and this is a non-issue now.”

Ngeh said 10 resolutions have been passed at today’s Pakatan convention, which included the formation of a committee to work towards achieving a common logo and platform for Pakatan.

This one-day meet was attended by top Pakatan leaders including Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

Selangor was represented by one of its exco members as Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had to attend to prior commitments in his state, while PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has gone overseas.

To strengthen the unity of Pakatan, coalition members will be encouraged to look beyond race and religion, said Ngeh.

According to the DAP leader, Pakatan has vowed to strengthen its resolve to serve the people and not to fall into the trap set by the ruling BN coalition to split the opposition alliance.

The following resolutions were passed at the convention:

  • To uphold the principles of collective decisions by way of discussions as a way of solving coalition problems.
  • To form Pakatan councils at all levels of member parties in order to strengthen unity.
  • To increase cooperation within Pakatan to ensure the downfall of Umno/BN and to address suspicions or prejudices among the three member parties.
  • To eradicate the racial doctrine at its roots and enhance Pakatan’s relationship with the people, civil servants, NGOs, the palace and politicians.
  • To select Pakatan candidates with good reputation and who have the passion to serve the people to run for state and federal elections.
  • To focus on the personal development programmes of party members in order to counter the political tactics of BN.
  • To continue with the five principles – justice, freedom, truth, welfare and devotion to God.
  • To create the feeling of togetherness in Pakatan so that members will understand the struggle of the other component parties.
  • To spread information of Pakatan activities to ensure that the people get correct information and not influenced by Umno/BN propaganda.
  • To form a committee to expedite the registration of Pakatan as a party with the use of a common logo.

Humayun Kabir/Mkini

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bn accepting trash: ‘Even zakaria was better than badrul’

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on October 31, 2009 by ckchew

For a number of Port Klang voters, yesterday was the first time they have laid eyes on elected representative Badrul Hisham Abdullah, whose face was splashed across most newspaper front-page for quitting PKR.

When Malaysiakini visited Port Klang town, most locals interviewed said they were unaware of what Badrul Hisham looked like prior to this, because they had never seen him before.

Most interviewees were also nonchalant about his new status as a Barisan Nasional-friendly independent.

“Though he is an independent, he is still useless,” said R Ettiapan, who runs a social welfare group in Port Klang.

According to Ettiapan, Badrul Hisham did not help the constituents enough, adding that he had found it very hard to set up a meeting with the state assemblyperson.

He also claimed that his request for Badrul Hisham’s help was ignored. This discontent was echoed by other interviewees, but many refused to go on record.

A pale shadow of Zakaria

In fact, two interviewees who declined to be named, believe that Badrul Hisham was a pale shadow of his predecessor, the late Zakaria Mat Deros from Umno.

“Zakaria was better. At least, he went around town. He has helped me before,” said a female interviewee, who runs a sundry shop.

The irony is that Zakaria was controversial politician who built the infamous 16-room palatial mansion in nearby Pandamaran without submitting building plans to the authorities.

Zakaria’s daughter-in-law Roselinda Abdul Jamil stood against Badrul Hisham during the general election last year and lost by a big margin.

Another interviewee pondered aloud how Badrul Hisham, who was unknown in the area, managed to beat Roselinda, who was seen to be representing the ailing Zakaria.

“Badrul Hisham created history. He won despite not having any posters (of him) being strung up,” said the male interviewee, a shop attendant near the Port Klang taxi stand.

Klang municipal councillor S Selvadurai, when met, declined to talk about Badrul Hisham’s performance but confirmed that the latter did not attend council events.

“We always invite him, but I’ve never seen him attend them,” he said.

In search of Badrul’s service centre

The search for more information about the elusive Badrul Hisham took Malaysiakini to his service centre, listed on the Selangor government website.

As it turned out, the double-story terrace corner lot, painted in PKR colours of red and turquoise, was vacated by Badrul Hisham in July, just after four months.

“One day, the owner came and removed everything,” said a neighbour, who requested anonymity, pointing to the service centre signboard which is lying in the garden.

Another neighbour and homemaker Christine D’Costa told Malaysiakini that she encountered Badrul Hisham on several occasions, but never spoke to him.

According to D’Costa, there was not much activity in the building and she was told by some of those who waited for Badrul Hisham were stood up by him.

“They make appointments but leave empty handed,” she said, adding that she was unsure if Badrul Hisham has started a new service centre.

Asked how she felt as a Port Klang voter, about Badrul Hisham’s defection, she replied: “It means we cannot rely on anyone. Like lalang, they (politicians) sway from side to side.”

PKR logo still on his front door

Since news of Badrul Hisham quitting PKR broke, reporters have been making a beeline for his home in Kampung Raja Uda, a stone’s throw away from Port Klang town.

Reporters were waiting as early as 9am at his home in order to obtain further comments, but like those at his service centre, also left empty handed.

When Malaysiakini visited the house yesterday afternoon, a plaque bearing the PKR logo still adorned the front door.

His concrete bungalow house – with two cars parked inside – stood out against a backdrop of mostly wooden houses in the village.

Although the heavily-tinted main sliding doors were shut, the backdoor was ajar but no one responded to repeated calls at the gate.

Andrew Ong/Mkini

Klang Pakatan leaders: Badrul will not be missed

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

Keadilan big guns in Klang seem to sigh with relief at Badrul Hisham’s departure and are actually wishing Umno good luck with their current recruit.

Irwan Ismail, Head of Keadilan Youth, Klang division:

Badrul is obviously influenced by “Ezam’s people” who were also present at the press conference. In fact, his prolonged absence has indeed fueled speculations of his defection.

The fact is, Badrul has not fulfilled his responsibility towards his constituency since March 2008, despite using up all his allocation.

As youth members, we are his machinery and we had continuously offer our services to him. But the last time we managed to contact him was during the fasting month through his personal assistant.

Badrul’s service centre could not operate and had to close down because he was never there. So people have been bringing their complaints to other state assemblypersons. But even the state assemblypersons have complained that their funding could not sustain this.

So we had to open an extra service centre in Port Klang, under the supervision of Nik Nazmi, a few weeks ago. But it’s a bare bones operation. We can’t even afford to put up proper signage. But still, people are coming.

We feel that now that Badrul has left, things will be more organized and streamlined. The state government will be able to provide more assistance to the new service centre.

I believe that Umno will have a great challenge on their hands if Badrul joins their ranks, as it is a difficult task to teach him that his responsibility is to the rakyat.

The people of Port Klang should not fear because, in fact, many programs have been taking place despite Badrul’s absence. So we wish Badrul ‘good luck’ and we hope that he can maintain his ‘record of excellent service’ in the direction that he has chosen.

Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament, Klang:

Speaking as an MP for Klang, I must say that his performance has been dismal. He has been very uncooperative, and when I asked him why, it was like talking to a wall.

He cannot say that he didn’t perform because he did not have the funding because he was initially allocated RM500,000, and had four or five special officers to assist him, but even they ended up openly complaining about him in the press.

Port Klang is a constituency of poor people, so they really need assistance. His absence meant that people have been coming to me instead. I had to even visit suraus and mosques in Port Klang during Ramadan, to ensure Pakatan’s presence was felt.

I think the lesson here is that proper vetting should be done before a candidate is fielded. The party should also have developed a way to organise his activities.

I don’t think there is any rationale behind the timing of this defection. This has been going on for a long time. Even from day one you can see that he was always hanging around the Umno boys, although it has been more intense in the past few months.

I don’t think he will be an effective state assemblyperson even if he is with Umno because he appears to be more busy securing contracts for his cronies.

I think this is a warning for Pakatan Rakyat showing that people didn’t vote for Pakatan in the last elections, but voted to kick BN out. People voted against Zakaria, (Deros) and not for Badrul, so he should definitely resign.

Aidila Razak/Mkini

Turmoil worsen in bn, “If the people no longer want you, then just leave…get out.”: bn backbencher tells ong & koh to quit

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

KUALA LUMPUR: A Barisan Nasional (BN) backbencher today told Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to quit in keeping with the slogan “1Malaysia — People First, Performance Now” while accusing Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon as a non-performer.

Datuk Mohamad Aziz (Sri Gading-BN) said Ong, who is also the MCA president, had lost the confidence of his party members and ought to quit and not be a burden to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“What is he waiting for? He should just quit. I am reflecting the public sentiment. If your party members do not want you, you should just go.

“We have a dignified PM, the ministers too must have dignity. You should know where you stand. Why stay when your leadership is ineffective? You don’t have the people’s trust. Get out,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat while debating Budget 2010.

Mohamad did not name Ong at first but merely said a minister, but was prompted by BN Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) deputy chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan-BN) who asked: “Are you talking about Ong Tee Keat the transport minister?” This drew laughter from the opposition bench.

Mohamad, who sits on the same row as Bung Moktar and BNBBC chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (Bintulu-BN), then replied that he was indeed referring to Ong. He added that Ong had lost credibility after his party’s EGM on Oct 10.

“He said he would quit if he lost the confidence of his party members. But now he is singing a different tune. He wants to stay and is creating problems for the prime minister,” he said, adding that ministers should not be a burden to the government and should instead serve the people and MPs well.

“Some seem to have forgotten us (members of parliament). They (ministers) are here when the PM is here. When the PM is not here, they are not here. These are ministers whom I call mengampu (“apple polishers”),” said Mohamad, whose remark elicited loud cheers from both sides of the floor.

He went on to say that some ministers were defeated in the general election and were now seated in the House as senators. He added that the prime minister had placed his trust in these ministers but instead they had failed to carry out their duties.

“Some are tasked to look after key performance indicators (KPIs) but didn’t do it. Instead they are busy taking care of their interest,” he said.

At this juncture, Lim Kit Siang (Ipoh Timur-DAP) stood up and asked Mohamad to be direct and state his views clearly. “Don’t you mean the Gerakan chief Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon? Both Ong and Koh should leave?” asked Lim, drawing much laughter in the House.

Mohamad, who often crosses swords with Lim, agreed, saying that Koh had not just lost the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat but the entire Penang state.

When the opposition bench remarked that he was behaving like an opposition member in chastising the ministers, Mohamad snapped: “We are not here to warm the chairs. If the government is good, praise is in order. If bad, we have to criticise.”

Sharon Tan/The Edge

BN MP urges Tee Keat, Tsu Koon to quit as ministers

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — A government backbencher today called on MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to withdraw from his post since he has lost the confidence of his own party and that his image has been tarnished.

Sri Gading member of parliament Datuk Mohamad Aziz also urged Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, to do the same as he is deemed to be not performing well as a minister.

Mohamad said as a Cabinet frontliner, a minister should not lose the confidence of his party members, more so not have his honour and image tarnished in the eyes of the public.

“If they have lost their own party members’ confidence, then they should no longer remain in the Cabinet.

“If one have any morals and self-respect, one should step down. Don’t create problems for the prime minister. Another person in the MCA can replace him. Why does he think he’s the only clever one?” Mohamad said when debating on the Supply Bill 2010 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said the minister involved should withdraw, in line with the government’s slogan of “People First, Performance Now”.

“I am just saying what most people feel. If the people no longer want you, then just leave…get out.” Mohamad also questioned the government’s action of appointing Koh as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department overseeing the Key Performance Index (KPI) as he regarded Koh as not having performed well himself.

“How can you take care of KPI when you yourself didn’t show good KPI? Your subordinates will have no confidence in you. So, how can you be effective as the minister in charge?

“I sympathise with my friend from Batu Kawan (former MP Huan Cheng Guan), who was a good MP but his seat was taken by the (Gerakan) president (Koh) who contested (in the last general election), but he lost the whole state. And still (he) wants to take care of KPI)?”

Mohamad also accused Koh of being an “apple polisher” for turning up in parliament only when the prime minister was around, besides being a senator through the “back door”.

His comments, however, went down well with some of the MPs including from the opposition. Then in a gentler voice, Mohamad, who has been an elected representative for three terms, advised ministers not to be arrogant even with other elected representatives.

“As our elders say, ‘when you look up at the sky, don’t forget the grass you step on’. Today you are a minister, tomorrow you may not be. Better be like me, yesterday I was MP, today, tomorrow and forever an MP,” he said, followed by laughter from the other MPs.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee interjected, asking whether Mohamad had meant that he was not interested in becoming a minister.

“I had the experience of being a state exco member. Had to attend 241 meetings in a year, hardly had time for my wife and children. Ask the ministers who really work hard, they know the situation. “Suffice being just a ‘wakil rakyat’, alhamdulillah,” he replied, followed by applause from those in the House. — Bernama/MI

Rakaman video polis jadi BARUA bn di DUN Perak

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

BN Perak took ‘counter-terrorism’ like measures

After getting adverse national and international public notoriety at the controversial May 7 assembly sitting and the forced removal of Pakatan Speaker V Sivakumar, the state BN government went into high gear to ensure that the episode was not repeated during yesterday’s state budget assembly sitting.

BN took drastic measures that were unprecedented, including denying or reducing press passes to the new media, especially Malaysiakini, which is being seen as the main culprit in highlighting the chaotic May 7 sitting.

BN appointed speaker R Ganesan  and other state BN leaders have blamed Malaysiakini for the adverse publicity on that eventful day which saw the `rape’ and abuse of all assembly procedures that were thrown to the wind in a desperate attempt to seize control of the House.

Prior to the assembly sitting, when asked for media passes, Ganesan was quick to jump the gun and accused Malaysiakini of making matters worse by saying “It was your video recording that gave the wrong picture of us during the May 7 sitting.”

He became agitated and said “No! No! I will not allow cameramen or video shooting by the media during the state budget on Oct 28.”

As the deadline for the sitting neared, the fate of the three media passes promised to Malaysiakini seemed uncertain and the figure started to drop to two and finally came down to one which was the only consolation that most new media got.

Many others did not even get one.

‘No place for all media’

The reason for the reduction in media passes, according to Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir press secretary Nizamuddin Mat Isa: “There is no place in the assembly to accommodate all the media.”

However mainstream media supporting the BN were given passes ranging from two to three or more, depending on their BN media ranking and track record.

During yesterday’s budget sitting, Ganesan had set up recording equipment on the third floor in the public gallery of the assembly to keep an eye on the movement of Pakatan assemblypersons in the House.

“I want to monitor the conduct of the assemblymen during the sitting to ensure that they toe the line and obey the law,” Ganesan had reasoned.

However, Malaysiakini has come to understand from a police source that the live telecast recording is connected to the state police headquarters and Bukit Aman for the monitoring of the activities of the opposition assemblypersons.

On Tuesday, there was concern in the state DAP headquarters that the device (transmitting gadget) erected by police at the back portion of the State secretariat was either being used to eavesdrop on the Pakatan meeting or as a jamming device to prevent Pakatan assemblypersons from operating their mobile phones in the assembly.

However, it turned out to be the transmitting pole  for the assembly live telecast by BN.

The police had also mounted video recording devices at the front and back of the State secretariat to keep track of the movement of people into the state government building.

Private parts grabbed in public

Ganesan also had issued an order that Pakatan assemblypersons should not bring their mobile phones, cameras or video equipment into the budget assembly sitting to prevent any recording of events in the House.

Another of his directives was for all the Pakatan politicians to undergo metal detection screening and frisking.

These two directives were sore points with Pakatan assemblypersons as they see it as an infringement and a threat to their democratic rights as elected representatives of the people.

Pantai Remis assemblyperson Nga Kor Ming received the wrath of the police when he resisted the attempts to a bodily search.

Nga claimed that a police officer named Khairul had grabbed his private parts during a body search.

Yesterday, he had lodged a police report against the police officer at the Ipoh police station.

Humayun Kabir/Mkini

polis jadi BARUA bn di DUN Perak: Sivakumar disrobed in ‘bn/police conspiracy’

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

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Barisan Nasional has been accused of orchestrating an elaborate plan to prevent ousted Pakatan Rakyat speaker V Sivakumar from exercising his duties at the state assembly sitting today.

Sivakumar, who levelled the charge at a press conference in Ipoh, said this was evident when a large group of police personnel stopped him at the car park of the state secretariat building, where the legislative assembly is located.

He said their motive was to confiscate the speaker’s robe and songkok that he was wearing.

“It was a BN conspiracy to grab the official robe from me,” he claimed, saying the police choked him in the ensuing struggle as he attempted to hold on to it.

Teja state assemblyperson Chang Ming Kai said he went to Sivakumar’s assistance, but was in turn was stopped by police personnel.

“One of them grabbed me and pulled me to the ground (in the melee),” Chang said.

At a press conference later at state DAP headquarters, ousted Pakatan menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin provided more details, saying he had witnessed the incident.

“During the struggle with the police, Sivakumar managed to hang on to the collar of the speaker’s robe. There was a threat to the life of the speaker,” Nizar claimed.

Sivakumar, who lost the battle – first for the songkok and then for the robe – did manage to save the collar which he displayed to the media.

Nizar said there is video footage of the assault on Sivakumar and that legal action is being considered against the police.

As a result of police intervention, the Pakatan delegation’s attendance at the sitting was delayed. By the time they entered the assembly, BN speaker R Ganesan had ordered a recess of an hour.

Chronology of events

This chain of events was reconstructed from details provided at the press conference.

Sivakumar was wearing the robe when he started out with the Pakatan delegation from DAP headquarters for the 10am sitting.

After passing through three barriers and two checkpoints, he lost the songkok to a police officer who snatched it off his head. At the time, Sivakumar was about to enter the lift at the basement, to go to the chamber on the second floor.

Enraged, the Pakatan team left the building and returned to the main road where they told the media about what had happened.

They also said the police had tried to detain Sivakumar under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code to record a witness statement in relation to police reports lodged against him earlier.

Nizar said he grabbed the cap of a police officer in anger and refused to give it back to him, asking instead: “How do you feel when your official cap is unlawfully (snatched)? That is how Sivakumar felt (about losing the songkok).”

After arguing for five minutes with the police, the Pakatan team returned to the state secretariat where other police personnel confronted Sivakumar. This is when they tried to get the robe off him.

Again, Sivakumar returned to the main road to brief the waiting media about the ‘assault” on him. However, realising that any assemblyperson who fails to attend two sittings could lose his seat, he made his way to the assembly.

Police reports lodged

Sivakumar later lodged two police reports – one was about the alleged assault by police personnel and the other was to disclaim knowledge of a fake notice that he is accused of circulating.

The document states that a state assembly sitting would be convened at the Heritage Hotel in Ipoh today to table the 2010 budget, as well as a motion by Nizar, the Pasir Panjang representative, to dissolve the assembly.

It said Nizar would seek the Perak sultan’s consent to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh state elections, at an audience with the ruler at Istana Kinta at 3pm today.

According to Bernama, Sivakumar claimed that he is a victim of dirty politics. He denied having issued any such notice, which carries the letterhead of the speaker’s office and is dated Oct 23, 2009.

Swift state budget

Meanwhile, Nizar also chided the BN government for passing of the 2010 state budget within an hour.

The people-friendly budget when tabled by Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir was passed in a very swift manner with a show of BN hands as the Pakatan side did not participate in the budget debate.

“They shovelled and bulldozed the state budget within a hour as they fear that we might jeopardise their 2010 budget,” said Nizar.

“Normally it will take about 45 days for the federal budget to be passed in Parliament but here in Perak we have the shortest time for the passage of the budget,” he reasoned.

“I believe this is the fastest budget that was passed in the state’s history,” he said.

Bahas Bajet 2010: Cukai RM50 untuk kad kredit hanya tambah hutang Rakyat !!!

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

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