Anwar and PKR is sinking and its not ‘wayang’

Anwar Ibrahim and PKR should be listed as ‘endangered’ political animals. Their survival ability and life expectancy in this ‘dog-eat-dog’ political realism is now highly questionable. There is very few things left to do when people are jumping of a sinking ship, especially in a storm. And this is no ‘wayang‘.

Joceline Tan of The Star, www.thestar.com.my, has the most recent story on a top PKR Exco jumping of ship:

Damage control by PKR leaders after Ezam quits

By JOCELINE TAN

PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat leaders are trying to do damage control following the resignation of their former Youth leader Ezam Mohd Nor and the devastating allegations he has made.

PKR leaders such secretary-general Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and information chief Tian Chua are keeping mum but Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar has come out strongly, calling Ezam “a traitor.”

“He is like one of the main characters in the Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms – very courageous and daring but at the end of the day, he betrayed the kingdom.

“Ezam has behaved like a traitor to our party and struggles,” said Shamsul.

Ezam, who announced on Monday that he had quit the party, is the second high-profile resignation from PKR since the party congress last month.

Former deputy president Abdul Rahman Othman resigned to join PAS earlier this month.

In resigning, Ezam had criticised Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly practising dictatorial politics and said that vice-president Azmin Ali’s power and influence was detrimental to the party.

Ezam, who was Anwar’s former political secretary, was also unhappy with Azmin’s control over Anwar on a number of political issues.

Shamsul accused Ezam of behaving like a pawn of the ruling party.

“He was committed to our struggle but now I suspect he is part of an agenda to undermine Datuk Seri Anwar and PKR with the general election so near. His motive is clear and his timing is perfect,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, Selangor vice-Youth head Khairul Anuar said that if Ezam was sincere about reforming the party, he would have taken on Azmin from within the party instead of quitting to attack PKR leaders from the outside.

“It is wrong of him to say that Anwar is a dictator because PKR is democratic. This is what happens when people join the party because they believe in a personality rather than the bigger struggle,” said Khairul.

Khalid said he needed time to come out with a consensus statement.

Chua declined to comment on Ezam’s allegations but said Ezam wanted to disassociate himself from PKR so as to give greater credibility to his anti-corruption NGO, Gerak.

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

This is was the latest of series top political bigwigs abandoning PKR and Anwarism for one reason or another. The last was former PKR Presidential candidate Abdul Rahman Osman. He abruptly left PKR recently to join PAS.

Not long before that was Dato’ Nalla Karupan and a strong number of PKR members of Indian ethnic background abruptly left at the eve of PKR’s annual convention, citing irreversable frustrations over racial issues.

This episode about Ezam was kind of expected sometime back. In March, he did a controversial pow-wow with his top personal supporters on PKR issues at his home in section 7, Shah Alam one night. It was said so many hurtful things were said and so much more unanswered questions were hurled. There had been serious ‘writings on the wall’.

Throughout the years, the Malaysian mainstream political scene have seen PKR big dogs such as Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, Datin Paduka Marina Yusof, Prof. Jomo K. Sundram, Ruslan Kassim, Nell Onn, Lokman Noor Adam and the Mighty Zainur Zakaria left PKR, citing its empty and shallow Perjuangan was no longer relevant, moreover after the street mob “Reformasi” movement naturally died, to show the struggle has lost its flavour. Even Saifuddin Nasution is on the verge of leaving and joining PAS.died.

So what is left installed for Anwar Ibrahim and PKR? Nothing much, really. After the humiliating defeat of Ijok by-elections at the end of April and PKR’s theatrical “main wayang” annual congress in May, there is a serious doubt looming over the man, Anwar Ibrahim, a former Deputy Prime Minister and one time serious challenger to UMNO President Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and BN, as a rallying point for the Oppositions in Malaysia to work together and achieved slightly better position.

Anwar and PKR have been seen as the ‘balancing’ factor and ‘pacifier’ between the conservative Islamist party the chauvinistic Chinese socialist party. PKR was ‘deceptively’ a glimmer of hope for the many who are looking for a non racial base multi ethnic political party. His so-called ‘leadership’ and ‘aura’, was said to be a rallying point of the various Opposition politicians. Anwar Ibrahim managed to be made a ‘cause’ which PAS fully capitalized to incite for their narrow political mileage and did their best in their 50 plus years in politics history in the Nov 1999 General Elections.

Actually, there had been a series of a serious in-fighting issues between Vice President Azmin Ali and former Youth Leader Ezam Md. Nor the past year, both Anwar Ibrahim most trusted aides since the days of Government and UMNO. Money and favourtism were said to be the biggest problem. So, at the moment Anwar Ibrahim is left with lesser people he can work with and unlikely more influential and strong personalities will come into the bandwagon. Even the ABIM youth leaders have stayed away from him. With these skeletal crew left and recent developments and progressive disintegration, it is doubt that Anwar Ibrahim now can command the respect and ‘aura’ from the Oppositions, namely DAP and PAS and be the convergence, as a run up before the next general elections.

Anwar Ibrahim and PKR days are really numbered. With only one seat in the 219 seat Dewan Rakyat, that shows a lot already. Being theatrical politicians, it is expected that they resort to more ‘wayang‘, most probably pleading the rakyat to maintain them as the last bastion to go against the BN, for their crucial survival in the Malaysian political platform.

Penang is the last field was Anwar and PKR can put up their last stand. However, it is expected that the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will announce the mega development agenda for the Northern Corridor (Perlis, Kedah, Penang and North Perak) anytime soon, it expected to be the catalyst to propel socio-economic development programs in the area. This will definitely diminish Anwar’s and PKR’s strong chances, even with full DAP and PAS co-operation.

The godfather for the modern theatre, playwright William Shakespeare once said, “The bigger the lie is, the more people will believe in it”. Then again being theaterics, one can play many role, including a genuine politician in a sinking political vessel!

Published in: on June 27, 2007 at 08:25  Comments (4)  

BN MPs briefed on Proton

The issue of Proton, its poor track record these past 2-3 years and the affect from the recently announced National Automotive Policy (NAP) still lurks in anyone’s and everyone’s mind, ever so often. The public comprehensive understanding on the issue is relatively low. So, sometime this week, the BN ‘Back Benchers’ Members of Parliament will be specially briefed by Proton by its executives and Khazanah Holding’s.

This is a very good move to enrich the lawmakers representing the rakyat with salient information. But what if the information fed is not actually ‘good’ information? Are they able to tell the difference between accurate and doctored information presented?

Unfortunately, that will be the case in the briefing session. The 60 page report prepared for this briefing session has been “censored” by Khazanah Holding executives and ‘The Fourth Floor Boys’.

It is expected part of the report will contain information about the on going negotiations with automobile giant Volkswagen AG (VW) of Germany. VW has been said to be interested to have minimum controlling shares of Proton (50% + 1 share) in the Proton City Tanjung Malim massive industrial complex and all Proton technology based companies. This means that VW will have the say to determine how many cars with the “Proton” label is allowed to be produced.

The control of Proton’s technology will also mean that VW be able to shortened Proton’s strategic reach, of which will affect and inhibit a lot of local engineers and automotive talents.

The “cheap sale” to VW (the Proton City is being force valued at RM seven billion) can be seen as neutering a “tiger” (the Proton label). Common business acumens should naturally value Proton with some premium, especially Proton did build the assets completely on internal funding and Proton’s impressive track record until the management change over in 2005.

The Proton Chairman Dato’ Azlan Hashim has been described as “afraid” to face the public, such as the MPs. A ‘special function vehicle’ (SPV) is expected to be used for the purpose of this “car boot sale”, a common move when assets are being disposed or a popular buzz word of the season, ‘unbundling’.

proton-results.jpg

Proton’s current cash position is something left to be desired. When cocky former CEO Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Arief was made to leave Proton a little over two years ago, Proton was cash rich and profitability was still in desirable range. However the situation much different now. Sales nowadays is actually more than half what it was five years ago. Sources within revealed that Proton failed to pay its vendors since December 2006, even though three separate audit were carried out. Of course it is a known fact that few Proton models were ready to be launched were delayed, for unclear reasons.

It looks like what former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad envisaged about Proton’s destruction will come true after all. Those people who wanted to see Proton be run to the ground will eventually get their wishes. An ambitious industrial vision to strategically place Malaysians with high end mechanics, technology and practical engineering abilities and competencies finally coming to a bitter and painfully sad end.

So the very people representing the rakyat will then be fed with ‘doctored’ information and they will continuously be insulated from the real and significant information. Mistakes and poor industrial decisions will be conveniently justified. Especially technical details involving the mechanics of Proton’s operations, track record and growth projections.

And so shall most of us, the rakyat!

Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 10:16  Comments (13)  

Crime in Kepala Batas but where’s the DAP this time?

This a latest story about serious crime involving young ladies as victims. But this time, it is not in Johor Bahru. It is not even in Johor. It is in Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang. It happened in the laid-back constituency where Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is the MP. Prime Minister Abdullah is also the Minister of Internal Security, the Cabinet member in charge of the Police.

 NST online, www.nst.com.my , has the story:

2007/06/22

Girl abducted and gang-raped

By : Adie Suri Zulkefli and Aaron Ngui

Email to friend Email to Friend Print article Print Article

KEPALA BATAS: An 18-year-old girl was abducted by bogus policemen, raped and forced to entertain more than 10 men over three days.

The victim lodged a report on Wednesday after escaping from the house where she had been locked up.

Her nightmare began here on Sunday while she was riding pillion on her boyfriend’s motorcycle.

The couple was stopped by a group of men who introduced themselves as policemen.

The men ordered her boyfriend to leave and for the victim to ride pillion on one of their motorcycles.
The girl was taken to an abandoned house in a nearby village where the men took turns to rape her.

Gagged throughout the time she was there, the victim was also raped by several other men who turned up at the house.

Upon her escape, she lodged a report at the Kepala Batas police station and was sent for a medical check-up.

Police detained two men yesterday in connection with the case, but it is learnt that the main suspect had gone into hiding.

His house is located just behind the abandoned house.

In George Town, a woman was taken on a 30-minute terror ride on Wednesday before being robbed of RM6,000 in cash and valuables.

The 21-year old victim’s ordeal began at 11.45am while she was waiting in her car for two friends who had gone into a clinic in Jalan Terengganu.

A man opened her car door and forced her at knife-point to move over to the passenger seat.

He then drove to a housing estate in Bandar Baru Air Itam, 15km away, where he parked in an isolated spot and relieved her of her cash and valuables.

The man then fled on foot and the victim drove to a nearby police station where she lodged a report.

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

 

This is the continuance of an earlier article “Politics over crime issues?” published on 21 June 2007 in this blog. So where is YB Lim Kit Siang and the DAP now, in this case? Aren’t Lim or the DAP making at least a statement condemning the morbid crime and also taking pot shots against the Prime Minister / Minister for supposedly ‘not doing enough for the people of Kepala Batas’?

Conveniently, Lim Kit Siang and the DAP have been very quiet when it comes to issues involving Prime Minister Abdullah. They said almost nothing about Khairy Jamaluddin buying up ECM Libra shares and later the unscrupulous take over of Avenue Capital, which is a GLC. They did not raise the issue about the Mitutoyo executives arrested by Tokyo Police last August. They were quiet about the much talked about ‘Oil for Food’ program were exposed. They did not question about the gullet in Turkey when Rocky raised it in his blog. They did not talk about Raja Petra’s story about the house in Mosman Park, Perth. They did not trounce Prime Minister Abdullah’s Government when I first wrote about the A319CJ being delivered by Airbus last 28 Dec. They did not even criticize the Prime Minister when he went on holiday during the really bad massive flood down south.

So what is the Evil Dark Lord Lim Kit Siang and the DAP’s game, actually? Those are pertinent issues involving Prime Minister Abdullah and too many rakyat talked about it, but where are the Lims and the DAP in these issues? Why did Lim and the DAP spare anything involving Prime Minister Abdullah and family, especially Khairy Jamaluddin, much talked about the son-in-law?

Comparatively, when Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister, Lim and the DAP did not behave like this. They would use any opportunity to politically strike against Dr. Mahathir where and whenever possible.

Now is right moment putting all of our suspicions and skepticisms to the test. If the DAP can instigate Johor Bahru residents to demonstrate infront of the MB’s official residence and later use the so-called ‘ghastly Johor crimes’ as an excuse to write a Memorandum to the Police, now would they do it again infront of the Kepala Batas MP’s home in the constituency, on the same accord?

Too many people speculate ‘Grand Old Man Kit’ has been bought over. I am beginning to understand why he has been very nonchalant when it comes to issues involving Prime Minister Abdullah & sons.

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 18:58  Comments (6)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir in Bosnia for GAPID

 

Former Prime Minister YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad arrived at Sarajevo, the capital of Balkan republic Bosnia-Herzegovina 02.15pm yesterday, Friday 22 June 2007. He will be in Sarajevo for three days and attending the Global Alliance for Partnership in International Development (GAPID). GAPID was his initiative, along few other individuals which include philosophers, entrepreneurs, business and community leaders.

img_0255.jpg

He arrived with his wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali at Butmir Sarajevo International Airport from London and was met on arrival by Bosnia-Herzegovinan Transport and Communications Minister, Nail Seckanovic.

 

 

The objective of GAPID was to strategically plan the working relationship between governments and private sectors to expedite development programs for poor and oppressed societies.

 

The focus is also to find workable solutions for problematic Islamic countries and under developed societies trapped in the vicious poverty cycle.

 

 

This effort, GAPID will emphasize to promote workable models of government-private sector relationships which could be used for development programs template and it reached an encouraging progress. This will automatically uplift the quality of life for these communities.

 

 

The Malaysian privatisation model is set to be used as a showcase in this program.

 

 

Amongst the other objectives of GAPID:

  • Analyse and prioritise the development requirements of Islamic countries and various communities
  • Identify and select the appropriate program to be implemented in the close working relationship between government and private sector
  • Work towards forging closer relations with friendly governments which have the potential to offer assistance in the development programs
  • Provide assistance to other development agencies like development banks and international development agencies and organisations

img_0309.jpg

Besides Dr Mahathir, GAPID members include Dr Ejup Ganic, former President Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now President of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

 

 

GAPID also managed to bring together commercial institutions which include Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Al-Bukhary Foundation, Bank Muamalat Indonesia, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), European Muslim Union, Malaysia Mining Corporation, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

img_03162.jpg

img_0320.jpg

 

 

Meanwhile, in an hour meeting between Tun Dr Mahathir and Bosnia-Herzegovina Prime Minister Dr Nedzad Brankovic, Dr Mahathir gave his personal commitment in the form of advice and strategic thinking to assist in the development efforts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Amongst other things, the emphasis will be the effort to improve on telecommunications services, transportation, airline service and basic infrastructures such as roadworks and tourism.

Prime Minister Brankovic on the other hand iterated the Balkan country needed industries to provide employment for its four million citizens.

Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir, who is also the Executive Director of Perdana Global Peace Organisation which is very active in communal work in Southern Thailand accompanied his father for the GAPID meetings in Sarajevo. Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah will leave for London on 25 June 2007 for a short private visit and will return to Kuala Lumpur on 29 June 2007.

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 01:16  Comments (9)  

Leadership and loyalty

We live in a very complicated world today. Some trespassed into volatile borders carelessly and conveniently make inaccurate and shallow interpretations, probably out of pure or almost near ignorance, based on virtues and universal values deemed acceptable in its plurality and diversity. A trait of an undisciplined mind.

So there shall be disagreements. There shall be disputes. There shall be off tangent stance. There will be comprehension lost in transition. Then there should be respect. A point where opposing minds withdraw with full distinction earned. A gentlemen’s duel saved for another day.

And there had been ‘other days’, before.

Unfortunately there will be people who get lost in transit. They survived the shelling. They leave feeling betrayed. ‘Collateral damage’, some said!

Then there will be the interesting part. A test of loyalty. A test of respect. A test of camaraderie. Loyalty is a virtue that I admire and value. Leadership is about willing to be tested for loyalty. Leadership is about a test of wisdom. Leadership is about a test of decision making. Leadership is about the test of trust and confidence. Most important of leadership is to gain respect, trust and loyalty, one must prepared to reciprocate.

Today I have been put on this test, again. I have been here before. So I took the choice that I am expected to make; compromise my heart and go with the wit. I went with the principle of being a sub-ordinate.

I believe in the US Marine Corp motto “Semper Fidelis“, ‘Always Faithful’. A ship is a good platform to learn about ‘leadership and loyalty’. A good platform to learn about faith, wisdom and wit. A good platform to learn about team, teamwork and team spirit.

Leadership is the key to any organisation. Sometime, we have to change leadership pre-maturely (that’s what Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad urged UMNO, in Johor Bahru, 10 Feb 2007). Bad leadership will be detrimental to the sub-ordinates, the ship and the journey. But not today, not for me. Today we must show strength. Today we must show, we work well in the ship. Today, we carry on sailing into uncharted waters.

Today, I chose to listen to the leader!

Published in: on June 23, 2007 at 03:46  Comments (7)  

EU envoy wrongfully calls for end of NEP

The special envoy for the EU to Malaysia, HE Thierry Rommel made a nasty sweeping statement against the National Economic Policy, an affirmative action plan adopted and implemented by the Malaysian Government since 1971. He said this infront an audience of local and foreign businessmen which surprised many. He also urged the Malaysian Government to rescind the NEP, a protectionism and discriminatory practices against foreign firms.

The Associated Press has the story:

June 21, 2007, 4:48AM

EU envoy blasts Malaysia’s NEP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Europe’s top envoy to Malaysia Thursday urged the government to roll back its affirmative action policy for majority Malays, saying it is discriminatory and amounts to protectionism against foreign companies.

In unusually frank comments that ignored diplomatic niceties, Thierry Rommel openly criticized Malaysia’s 37-year-old New Economic Policy, or NEP, that gives a host of privileges in jobs, education, business and other areas to ethnic Malays.

“In a dominant part of the domestic economy, there is no level playing field for foreign companies,” Rommel, the ambassador and head of the European Commission Delegation to Malaysia, said in a speech to local and foreign businessmen.

Ethnic Malays and other indigenous groups, known as Bumiputras, comprise more than 60 percent of Malaysia’s 26 million people. The government says they have a disproportionately low share of the corporate wealth compared to the minority Chinese, and need the NEP to increase their standard of living.

The government did not immediately respond to Rommel’s comments.

Rommel said the government is using the NEP as an excuse to practice “significant protectionism of its own market,” including the automotive sector, steel, consumer goods, agricultural products, services and government contracts.

Malaysia claims these are “infant” industries that need to be protected but “in reality .. it is the Malay-centered Bumiputra policy that drives protectionist policies,” Rommel said.

As part of the NEP, all public-listed companies are required to allocate 30 percent of their shares to Malays. Companies without Malay directors or employees are excluded from lucrative government contracts. Employers have quotas for hiring Malays.

Eric Reuter, sales and marketing director of freight forwarder ABX Logistics, said the Belgium-based company has a 51 percent Bumiputra partner and is required to work with local companies on government-related projects.

The limitations have eroded his profit margin, he said.

“We cannot be as flexible as we want to be and chances that corruption comes into play is higher. It is an interruption to the free market,” Reuter told The Associated Press.

Besides foreigners, minority ethnic Chinese and Indians also see the NEP as a discriminatory tool. Many Malays also have complained the policy has benefited only a few well-connected people.

NEP was started in 1970 when the Malays’ corporate ownership was 2 percent. The aim was to raise it to 30 percent by 2010, from 19 percent now. Chinese, who form a quarter of the population, control 40 percent of corporate wealth.

Rommel stopped short of saying the NEP should be scrapped but told reporters separately: “We (in Europe) have bitten the bullet on a number of sensitive issues, why can’t you?”

He warned the NEP could “lead to problems” in free trade negotiations between the EU and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Malaysia is a key member.

The two groups agreed last month to launch free trade talks, which could raise ASEAN’s exports to the EU by up to 20 percent, Rommel said. Senior officials are expected to hold their first meeting in Vietnam next month, he added.

Apparently Rommel did an “Al Gore” and “John Mallot” here. He defied protocol and insulted the host. On top of that, his information is grossly incorrect and easily regarded as something with malice.

The truth is far from what Rommel claimed to be. Too many foreign owned and managed firms flourished the past 37 years doing business here in Malaysia and were not subjected to the NEP. Foreign owned firms like Shell, Standard Chartered, OCBC, Unilever, Fraser and Neave, Nestle, IBM, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Intel and all the likes operated without having the mandatory Bumiputra partner and flourished significantly. Private European owned firms like Boh Plantations Sdn. Bhd, was established since the Russell brothers in 1908 and Tan Sri Borge Bek Nielsen’s United Plantations Bhd. were never subjected to NEP.

More than 80% firms in listed in the Bursa Malaysia do not even meet the so called 30% mandatory Bumiputra ownership and still do business as usual.

The fact is that the NEP is an affirmative action, adopted by the Malaysian Government in 1971, derived as a consensus after months of national level consultation with all political parties representing all ethnic and multiracial interests (with exception of the DAP!), to alleviate poverty and restructure socio economic level of the various ethnic group and the gap that exist between them. Education, infrastructure and economic development programs have been identified, carried out and still continue since it was launched by the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak Hussein.

Infrastructure and economic development programs successfully carried out under the NEP actually have laid the economic fundamentals and foundations for the various and multi-layered economic transformations seen. This was also the basis for the country to go for bigger and more sophisticated industrialization programs.

Even with the NEP in place, Malaysia’s economic growth was recording excellent figure, that it create a new hope and potential of where it will take the nation. In 1991, then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad launched an ambitious “Vision 2020” policy to propel Malaysia into a newly industrialized country status by 30 years. Economy was targeted to have a steady 8% annual growth during that period. Of course, a lot of fresh investments poured from all over the globe, especially in the manufacturing sector.

HE Rommel’s incorrect outburst was really unnecessary and regarded as undiplomatic etiquette. In fact its outright “Kurang Ajar”! The whole country should rise and defy this attempt to insult our nation with a notion of inaccurate concept and whole context articulated poorly. If this EU team of ten diplomats really regard Malaysia as an important ‘ally’ for ASEAN-EU bilateral relations, then at least there should be an immediate statement of revocation and followed by an unconditional apology.

Otherwise, one of these days, maybe one of our statesmen make a damaging voracious attacks against EU’s own protectionism policies, discriminating under-developed countries products with non trade barriers such as environment or labour issues. Of course, he reciprocate this outburst at a significant event somewhere in Western Europe.

 

* An update as of 2300hrs, Saturday 23 June 2007.

Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Tun Razak, the son of the NEP founder 2nd Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, came out strong against Rommel’s calling to dismantle the NEP.

Bernama.com has the story:

June 23, 2007 20:03 PM  

Don’t Meddle In Malaysia’s Domestic Affairs, Warns Najib

KUANTAN, June 23 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed regret over the statement by the Ambassador and Head of the European Commission Delegation to Malaysia with regard to the New Economic Policy (NEP), saying that the envoy should not interfere in Malaysia’s domestic affairs and policies.

Refuting the facts presented by the envoy, the Deputy Prime Minister said that as an ambassador accredited to this country, Thierry Rommel should play a role to forge closer relations between the two countries.

“Normally, an ambassador or envoy does not comment on the affairs of the country they are accredited to. This has been the practice because when we comment on the policies adopted by the country concerned, it means that we are interfering in the affairs of the host country,” he told reporters after launching the national level Campaign On Early Intervention To Prevent Children’s Disability, here.

Najib said this when asked to comment on Rommel’s remarks on Thursday which were carried by foreign wire agencies.

A foreign wire report quoted Rommel as saying that the government was using the NEP as an excuse to practise “significant protectionism of its own market” and urged the Malaysian government to roll back its affirmative action policy for the Malays.

The foreign news reports had stated that the NEP gave a host of privileges in jobs, education, business and other areas to ethnic Malays.

As part of the NEP, all public-listed companies are required to allocate 30 per cent of their shares to the Malays. Companies without Malay directors or employees are excluded from lucrative government contracts, the report said.

On Malaysia’s action or official protest against the statement, Najib said: “Wait first, I will seek the opinion of the Foreign Ministry.”

“The role of an ambassador is to forge close relations between the country he represents and the host nation. In terms of diplomatic principles and practices, Rommel’s remarks contradict the practice that we adopt.

“What was raised can certainly be disputed factually,” the Deputy Prime Minister added.

– BERNAMA


Published in: on June 22, 2007 at 05:21  Comments (34)  

Politics over crime issues?

This is the continuance of the earlier article, “Singaporeans, better stay away!”, published yesterday.

The recent outcry against so called increased in crimes could look suspiciously politically motivated, with a cunning twist. YB Lim Kit Siang and the DAP seemed to be taking this opportunity to mount so called rakyat’s anger against the UMNO / BN led Dato’ Ghani Othman’s State Government. And of course, the Police Force had always been a convenient attack by the DAP, when ever the opportunity arises.

The truth of the matter is really far for what had been perceived that has been “painted” in the rakyat’s head. In ACP Amar Singh Sidhu’su in depth analysis, presented at the Commissioner of Police / Chief Police Officer’s convention 23-34 March 2005 at the Royal Malaysian Police College stated these three eminent points (with respect to Johor):

1. On pp 15, figure # 8, Johor is the 4th on the crime index per 100,000 population, after Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang

2. Johor’s crime per capita index is somewhat along the same Singapore’s national index level

3. On pp 10, figure # 6, there is no substantial increase in violent crimes since ten years ago, factored with the increase in population and influx migration of workers

Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor are all industrialized and developed area and of a more sophisticated society, Johor actually faired better than the list.

So why is it that Lim Kit Siang and the DAP is focusing on Johor and not Penang? Penang is free from voracious crime? It because Lim Kit Siang is careful not to offend the Penang voters, the target group he wants to sway into backing him in the next General Elections where as DAP has little or no hope politically in Johor anyway (its been a while since a DAP ever represented voters from Kluang!)?

The next pertinent issue is, being a predominantly (some say ‘chauvinistic’) Chinese based political party, what has the DAP done to improve and substantially increase the recruitment of the Malaysian non-Malays into the Police Force? Does the DAP feel its convenient to take pot shots against the Police Force on the pretext of “veiled racism”, where as the people who supports the DAP actually do little to make the Police Force a more formidable law enforcement agency?

The media has a very big role in this process of making the place seemed to be “unsafe”. Ever since Riong Kali took over, almost a transformation that the crime stories had been systematically hyped up, on a progression to ‘paint’ the picture crime is on the serious rise. In ACP Amar Singh’s study, it does show a rise but if factored with the population and migration pattern, it actually on the reducing per capita rate. Is the media trying to play into anyone’s political agenda with this “increased crime” ‘propaganda’?

Twenty years ago, Riong Kali himself were unable to get pass “security clearance” when he first worked for then the Deputy Prime Minister Ghaffar Baba. Close linkage to Singapore was said to be excuse. He was then summarily discharged and eventually ended working for Straits Times. In recent developments, lets all do the math ourselves where Riong Kali is in, in all these.

When carefully dissected, crime is what it was when we felt much safer back not too long ago. Of course some crime cases are more sophisticated, but then again as the society progressed, so shall all the problems inherently come with development.

At the end of the day, to minimize crime and make the place a more liveable and conducive place to live, raise a family, earn a living and eventually retire, its an effort that needs everyone’s participation. Everyone have to do their bit, like the environment, completely without exception.

Lim Kit Siang and his brand of chauvinistic DAP politics just think and conveniently blame only some people need to do their bit for security. That is purely, politics!

Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 17:45  Comments (2)  

Singaporeans, better stay away!

Of late, there has been some active reporting by local media on crimes in and around Johor Bahru, Asia’s most southern city in the mainland continent. Regardless whether the statistics really showed there is a substantial increase or it is only a perception, especially played up by media and/or political agenda behind it, the local people are becoming edgy. The solutions of this issue could be ‘manipulated’ by certain parties for their own narrow agenda.

The issues brought to attention ranged from the rape case, which include the most gory Nurul Huda Ghani, age ten, to petty snatch cases, some which tantamount to manslaughter when the victim eventually dies after resisted to release the snatched purse and got dragged by the perpetrators.

On Sunday, apparently some Johor Bahru residents took this matter up to their own hands. A demonstration organized, most probably instigated by an Opposition political party, outside the Menteri Besar Official Residence, Saujana, to express their grave concern about the increased and increasing crime rates issues, which was broken up by the Police.

The Star, www.thestar.com.my, has the story:

Police break up protest outside Johor MB’s residence

JOHOR BARU: The police stopped an anti-crime demonstration outside the Mentri Besar’s official residence here and picked up two protesters who resisted a police order to disperse.

About 100 people had gathered outside Saujana at 10am to stage their protest.

They were hoping to get the attention of Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman but the Mentri Besar at that time was attending a state Umno meeting in Jalan Yahya Awal, not far from his official residence in Jalan Abdul Rahman Andak.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Shafie Ismail used a loud hailer and directed the group to disperse when they started to carry a banner and chant slogans. Most of the protesters dispersed within 10 minutes but the two refused to budge.

ACP Shafie said that they were detained for investigations.

When met at the Umno meeting, Abdul Ghani defended the police action and advised the public not to exploit recent crime cases for political reasons.

There had been two violent rapes over the past week, one involving a 19-year-old girl on June 12 and the other involving a 35-year-old woman the next day.

Last month, a woman who was waiting in a car while her husband went into a toilet was held at knifepoint and taken on a terror ride, gang-raped and robbed.

Last year, in Bandar Baru Uda, Form Three student Syafiqah Mohd Borhan was found dead in a drain with bruises on her head, neck and knees.

In 2001, 10-year-old Nurulhuda Ghani died after being raped and left in a toilet of a guardhouse in Kampung Perkajang in Gelang Patah.

Abdul Ghani said that the victims of the crimes were from different backgrounds.

“The recent rape cases should not be politicised in a racial way.”

This is the Police’s reaction on the same issue, also reported by The Star on Tuesday:

 

Johor police to rent shoplots to boost presence

JOHOR BARU: Policemen will be taking to rented shoplots here, especially in crime-prone areas.

Johor MCA chief Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that 400 police personnel would also be deployed to the state within two to three months.

“Eight temporary stations will start operations as soon as possible, with two in northern Johor Baru, five in eastern Johor Baru, and one more in the central region.

“This will be carried out as soon as possible,” he said, adding that police would also increase their presence in certain hotspots in the city.

Dr Chua said these were interim measures pending the completion of 11 new police stations in the Iskandar Development Region, and also three new district stations.

He was speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting between representatives from the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association, Johor Baru Chinese Businessmen Association, Johor MCA assemblymen, Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hussin Ismail and senior police officers.

The meeting was held after concerns from the Johor Baru Chinese community over a spate of violent crimes in the city, especially the robbery and gang rape of a 19-year-old girl by three suspects on June 11.

The Johor Government was promised an additional RM 330 million budget on the security aspect for the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), under 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP). This budget was originally for the inclusion and investment into technology, communications and sophisticated equipment under the C4I concept (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence), on top of slight increase in personnel to be deployed and improved the security and crime prevention monitoring programs. CCTV and telecommunications will be an important apparatus to assist ‘police’ the area.

However there has been a ‘shift’ from the original plan. It was said that someone within “The Level Four Boys” changed the original specs of the proposed technologically laden increased special budget on security to spending the RM 300 million into building four new police stations within the specified IDR area.

The crux of the matter is actually far different from what has been reported and perceived, especially from the build up of stories-onto-stories, about the increasing crime rate, especially in and around Johor Bahru. One senior police officer, ACP Amar Singh Sidhu did a deep analysis on the subject matter and how its been linked to the Malaysian Quality Life Index (MQLI).

This sudden outcry about “increasing” crime rates in and around Johor Bahru, is the new hyped-up gossip amongst the Singaporeans, who enjoyed sundry shopping and entertainment. So much talk has been invested on this issue. It was drummed up further, especially by the media. Of course, the media across the Johor Straits been harping on this for quite a while. In fact, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew caused a stir almost a diplomatic incidence in 1997 when he recklessly made a statement about the high Johor Bahru crime rate and it was deemed as an insult to the Johoreans.

He conveniently apologized later. This is an excerpt of his apology, as captured by The Economist magazine:

Lee Kuan Yew: an apology. (Singapore’s senior minister)(Asia)

From:The Economist (US)

Date:March 22, 1997

Lee apologized for referring to the Malaysian state of Johor Bahru as crime-ridden. His remark, never intended for the public, provided a vent for simmering resentment and political and commercial rivalry between the two nations.

MANY politicians agree with John Wayne’s cowboy: “Never apologise and never explain-it’s a sign of weakness.” Conversely, accepting an apology can be a sign of strength as well as magnanimity. All the better if the relationship is fraught with repressed resentment and rivalry. So Malaysia’s cabinet must have relished its meeting on March 19th, when it accepted …………..

However, the story did not end there. Recently, at the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Tun Razak to the Island, questions about the crime rate re-appeared again and was portrayed as a ‘concern’ by the Singaporean media. The manner is were raised, almost tantamount to an insult. Considering that the Malaysian Government is embarking into a ultra-mega property development project with high technological and value added components and Singapore has been singled out as a very important ‘stakeholder’ in this exercise.

The truth is, this issue about getting the Singaporeans involved in a Joint Ministerial Committee on the development of the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) is not really crystal clear. It also sounded that the reciprocity is rather non-encouraging. On the other hand, it was mentioned and harped by the Malaysian media as if it was already carved in stone but the truth is far reaching.

This was a press statement issued by the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, www.mfa.gov.sg, on the matter dated on Monday:

18/06/2007

MFA Spokesman’s Comments on recent Malaysian media reports on the Joint Ministerial Committee for the IDR to be set up between Singapore and Malaysia

–>

MFA SPOKESMAN’S COMMENTS


In response to press queries on recent Malaysian media reports on the Joint Ministerial Committee for the IDR to be set up between Singapore and Malaysia, the MFA Spokesman said:

“We have read the media reports. However we have not received any official notice from the Malaysian Government on the members of the Committee or the proposed Terms of Reference. We look forward to hearing from them and will study the proposed Terms of Reference once they have done so.”

So, on IDR, are we trying too hard, in fact far too much, to get the arrogant Singaporeans very much into it, where as they are non-chalant about the ultra-mega project and the deliverables?

Or have we allowed ourselves to be treated like cheap tarts and the laughing stock, together as a package?

Regardless, Opposition Leader YB Lim Kit Siang planned to hand over the “Memorandum on the rampant crime and lawlessness” in Johor Bahru to the Bukit Aman on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 at 1130hrs. This almost look like some people wants to take opportunity and earn political mileage on this issue.

Maybe stunts like these, will not bring back faith of the larger South Johoreans to the Police Force, especially the morale of the Police Force have been tested the past 2-3 years. And at the end of the day, positively help make the place a better city for everyone. Then again, the DAP had always tried to debunk the Police Force whenever they find a convenient opportunity to do so.

And Singaporeans, you better listen to your political masters and their bastard off spring and stay away from Johor Bahru!

 

* An update on the subject matter. This is what the Cabinet decided as of Wednesay 20 June 2007 morning, on a three prong solutions. One of it has been announced by Dato’ Dr. Chua Soi Lek on Monday.

Bernama has the story:

June 20, 2007 20:42 PM  

Three Immediate Measures To Fight Crime In Johor Baharu

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) — The Cabinet has approved three immediate measures to slash the crime rate in Johor Baharu, one of which is a RM6-million allocation for the police to lease shoplots to establish three new district police headquarters as soon as possible.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the other measures were deploying 400 more policemen in the Johor Baharu district by August and sending 200 more police patrol cars to Johor Baharu.

The Cabinet agreed that the three new district police headquarters should be set up immediately without having to wait for permanent buildings to be constructed, he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Service Training Department and Bank Negara’s Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency at the Defence Ministry, here.

The three district police headquarters are for Johor Baharu Timur, Nusa Jaya and Kulai.

Najib said the deployment of more policemen should be made as soon as possible. He was standing in for the Minister of Internal Security as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who holds the portfolio, is on a visit to Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy.

Yesterday, Johor Chief Police Officer Datuk Hussin Ismail told Johor MCA Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk Chua Soi Lek that 400 additional policemen would be deployed to several strategic areas in Johor Baharu soon to check crime and social ills.

On the additional patrol cars, Najib they should also have efficient and trained drivers so that the vehicles could be used to patrol more efficiently.

Najib wanted the police and the Ministry of Internal Security to take immediate measures to fight crime in Johor Baharu.

He said these immediate measures would be able to instil confidence in the community in Johor Baharu on the ability of the police to check the rising crime rate.

Claims by certain quarters on a rise in crime in Johor Baharu caused apprehension among the people of the city, forcing some groups of people to hold gatherings.

– BERNAMA

 

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 04:21  Comments (14)  

Salman Rushdie is still not of the hook!

Salman Rushdie, the arrogantly renegade writer has caused a stir again. After his fictional but morbidly provocative work based on the Islam prophet Muhammad S.A.W., “The Satanic Verses”, published in 1988, which was regarded as blasphemous and even Iranian spiritual leader Ayahtollah Khomeini issued the fatwa for a death decree, he is back in the spot light.

salman_rushdie.jpg

Recently, Rushdie has been awarded the Knight of the British Empire (KBE) in the Queen’s recent honours list, which carry the title “Sir”, in recognition of his work. However, it created so much public outcry, not only from the five million British Muslims but also the Muslims all over the globe.

The Times of London, www.timesonline.co.uk, has the story:


From

June 19, 2007

Muslim world inflamed by Rushdie knighthood

Sir Salman Rushdie celebrates his 60th birthday today in familiar circumstances: he is once again the subject of death threats across the Islamic world.

Eighteen years after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill him, a government minister in Pakistan said yesterday that Rushdie’s recent knighthood justified suicide bombing.

The question of blasphemy in The Satanic Verses, Rushdie’s 1988 tale of a prophet misled by the devil, remains a deeply sensitive issue in much of the Muslim world and the author’s inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last week has inflamed anti-British sentiment.

Gerald Butt, editor of the authoritative Middle East Economic Survey, told The Times: “It will be interpreted as an action calculated to goad Muslims at a time when the atmosphere is already very tense and Britain’s standing in the region is very low because of its involvement in Iraq and its lack of action in tackling the Palestine issue.”

Opening quoteFor nine years Salman Rushdie lived as a virtual prisoner, changing addresses constantly, and protected around the clock by British security at an estimated cost of £10 million Closing quote

Hardliners in Iran revived calls for his murder yesterday. Mehdi Kuchakzadeh, a Tehran MP, declared: “Rushdie died the moment the late Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] issued the fatwa.”

The Organisation to Commemorate Martyrs of the Muslim World, a fringe hardline group, offered a reward of $150,000 (£75,000) to any successful assassin.

Forouz Rajaefar, the group’s secretary general, said: “The British and the supporters of the anti-Islam Salman Rushdie could rest assured that the writer’s nightmare will not end until the moment of his death and we will bestow kisses on the hands of whomsoever is able to execute this apostate.”

Effigies of Rushdie and the Queen were burnt in Pakistan, where presidential elections at the end of the year have destablised an already volatile political climate. Hundreds of protesters in Multan, Karachi and Lahore set fire to British flags and chanted “Death to Britain, death to Rushdie” and Islamist leaders called for nationwide protests after Friday prayers.

Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.

He later retracted his statement, explaining that he had intended to say that knighting Rushdie will foster extremism. “If someone blows himself up, he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West? We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims.”

Pakistan’s national assembly earlier unanimously passed a resolution condemning Rushdie’s knighthood, which it said would encourage “contempt” for the Prophet Muhammad.

Rushdie was forced to go into hiding for almost a decade after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued the death sentence over The Satanic Verses.

On Valentine’s Day in 1989 the spiritual figurehead of the Iranian revolution pronounced on Teheran radio that: “The author of The Satanic Verses, which is against Islam, the Prophet, the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.”

In Britain, the subsequent hate campaign helped to politicise and radicalise a generation of young British Muslims. The taxpayer is believed to have spent more than £10 million protecting Rushdie.

Only Khomeini had the power officially to lift the fatwa and he died without doing so, but in 1998, the Iranian Foreign Minister promised his British counterpart, Robin Cook, that Iran would not implement it.

Gradually, Rushdie emerged back into the literary spotlight and in recent years has appeared at events in London and New York, where he now lives.

It is understood that when he is in this country, Rushdie continues to receive round-the-clock police protection.

Muhammad Ali Hosseini, Iran’s foreign affairs spokesman, said on Sunday that the knighthood “will definitely put the British officials in confrontation with Islamic societies. This act shows that insulting Islamic sacred values is not accidental. It is planned, organised, guided and supported by some Western countries.”

Ahmed Salman Rushdie was born into a Muslim family, to Bombay (now Mumbai) lawyer in 1947. He went to school in Rugby Shool and later King’s College, Cambridge.

A novelist, his book “The Satanic Verses” published in 1988 created so much controversy and turned into a serious diplomatic issue between UK and Iran where they broke off diplomatic relations for nine years. The issue was so significant that a lot of Sunni nations lauded and strongly supported the Shite Ayahtollah’s fatwa, which is a very rare phenomena.

Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org , has the synopsis:

The Satanic Verses and the Fatwa


See The Satanic Verses for a timeline of the events.

The publication of The Satanic Verses in September 1988 caused immediate controversy in the Islamic world because of what was perceived as an irreverent depiction of the prophet Muhammad. The title refers to a Muslim tradition that is related in the book. According to it, Muhammad (Mahound in the book) added verses (sura) to the Qur’an accepting three goddesses that used to be worshipped in Mecca as divine beings. According to the legend, Muhammad later revoked the verses, saying the devil tempted him to utter these lines to appease the Meccans (hence the Satanic verses). However, the narrator reveals to the reader that these disputed verses were actually from the mouth of the Archangel Gibreel. The book was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities. Muslim anger is directed mainly at the suggestion in the book that the religion of Islam was founded by Muhammad after experiencing hallucinations caused by smoking hashish and that his vision of the angel Gabriel was only that, a drug-induced hallucination.[citation needed] His biggest critics were his peers, such as Roald Dahl (author of children’s books) who called him “a dangerous opportunist”, Germaine Greer who called him “an Englishman with dark skin” and Hugh Trevor-Roper who said “I would not shed a tear if some British Muslims should waylay him in a dark street”. (http://weeklywire.com/ww/02-08-99/tw_book1.html)

On 14 February 1989, a fatwa requiring Rushdie’s execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran at the time, calling the book “blasphemous against Islam.” A bounty was offered for the death of Rushdie, who was thus forced to live under police protection for years to come. On 7 March 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over the Rushdie controversy. In this manner Khomeini became more popular, even in Sunni countries, and many Sunni figures approved of his fatwa[citation needed].

Meanwhile, further violence occurred around the world, with the firebombing of bookstores. Muslim communities throughout the world held public rallies in which copies of the book were burned. Several people associated with translating or publishing the book were attacked and seriously injured or killed[12].

On 24 September 1998, as a precondition to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Britain, the Iranian government, then headed by moderate Mohammad Khatami, gave a public commitment that it would do nothing to harm Rushdie.[13] But the hardliners in Iran have continued to reaffirm the death sentence.[14] In early 2005, Khomeini’s fatwa was reaffirmed by Iran‘s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message to Muslim pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.[15] Additionally, the Revolutionary Guards have declared that the death sentence on him is still valid.[16] Iran has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwa on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it.[15]

Salman Rushdie reported that he still receives a “sort of Valentine‘s card” from Iran each year on February 14 letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him. He was also quoted saying, “It’s reached the point where it’s a piece of rhetoric rather than a real threat.”[17] Despite the threats on Rushdie, he has publicly said that his family has never been threatened and that his mother (who lived in Pakistan during the later years of her life) even received outpourings of support.

That was not so nice place to be and life to go through, especially after nineteen years, some people remembered as fresh as it was and still very much committed as they were, to defy someone else’s abused “Kurang-Ajar” interpretations to the universal concept “Freedom of Expression”.

Afterall, as they say, no man is an Island. In Rushdie’s case, he was made into an Island, for his own doings!

 

*An update as of 1900hrs, Tuesday 19 June 2007.

More reaction on the Knighthood of Salman Rushdie has taken place. Massive demonstrations were seen in Pakistan. The British High Commissioner, Robert Brinkley were summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.

BBC.com, www.bbc.com , has the story:

 

Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK

demo-anti-rushdie.jpg

E-mail this to a friend

Printable version

 

More anger over award to Rushdie

Protests in the Pakistani city of Quetta against Rushdie’s award

There have been more protests in Pakistan over Britain‘s award of a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie.

The assembly of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) passed a resolution saying the honour was part of a move to “hurt the feelings of Muslims”.

On Monday the national parliament condemned the award, demanding Britain retract it.

The publication of Sir Salman’s book The Satanic Verses in 1989 sparked protests by Muslims around the world.

A fatwa was issued in Iran, calling for his execution.

‘Campaign’

“This house strongly condemns the decision to confer the title of Sir on Salman Rushdie, who is hated in the Muslim world for his blasphemous book The Satanic Verses,” the NWFP resolution said, the AFP news agency reports.

Sir Salman says he is thrilled by the honour

“The move is part of a campaign being waged in Europe and the West to hurt the feelings of Muslims.”

It urged the national government to cut diplomatic ties with the UK.

The British High Commission in Islamabad moved to defuse the row on Monday night.

“Sir Salman’s knighthood is a reflection of his contribution to literature throughout a long and distinguished career which has seen him receive international recognition for a substantial body of work,” British High Commissioner Robert Brinkley said in the statement.

“It is simply untrue that this knighthood is intended as an insult to Islam or the Prophet Mohammed.”

On Monday Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Ejaz-ul-Haq caused uproar in parliament when he was accused of inciting violence during a debate of Sir Salman’s knighthood.

“If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honour of the Prophet Mohammad, his act is justified,” he said, according to the translation by the Reuters news agency.

The minister later had to return to the floor of the assembly to say that he was not trying to condone or incite terrorism but to stress its origins.

Pakistan’s parliamentary affairs minister Sher Afgan Khan Niazi, who proposed Monday’s resolution in the National Assembly, said the knighthood would “encourage people to commit blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad”.

On Sunday, Iran also criticised the knighthood, saying praising the “apostate” showed Islamophobia among British officials.

Perceived blasphemy

Like Iran, Pakistan is an Islamic republic with an overwhelmingly Muslim population which saw violent protests against The Satanic Verses in 1989.

Sir Salman, 59, was one of almost 950 people to appear on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, which is aimed at recognising outstanding achievement.

The controversial Indian-born author’s fourth book – The Satanic Verses in 1988 – describes a cosmic battle between good and evil and combines fantasy, philosophy and farce.

It was immediately condemned by the Islamic world because of its perceived blasphemous depiction of the prophet Muhammad.

It was banned in many countries with large Muslim communities and in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s spiritual leader, issued a fatwa.

In 1998, the Iranian government said it would no longer support the fatwa, but some groups have said it is irrevocable.

The following year, Sir Salman returned to public life.

Of his knighthood for services to literature, Rushdie said: “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honour, and am very grateful that my work has been recognised in this way.”

Published in: on June 19, 2007 at 09:11  Comments (6)  

PM Abdullah tidak dipengaruhi legasi Tun Razak

Perdana Menteri Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mengaku bahawa pengaruh Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Perdana Menteri Malaysia ke II dan Bapa Pembangunan Negara ujud padanya adalah amat tidak tepat sekali. Dalam banyak keadaan, sudah ujud usaha usaha berstruktur dan sistematik untuk me’nengelam’kan apa yang mula diusahakan Tun Razak seperti penyusunan semula sosio-ekonomi masyarakat Malaysia melalui Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB), dalam masa pentadbiran PM Abdullah 3-4 tahun dewasa ini.

Akhbar Utusan Malaysia, www.utusan.com.my, dipetik untuk kenyataan PM Abdullah “menyamakan diri” dengan Allahyarham Tun Razak:

Pengaruh Tun Razak masih ada pada saya – PM

Oleh: RAJA LUVENA SHARIFUDDIN

KUALA LUMPUR 15 Jun – Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, hubungannya yang rapat dengan Perdana Menteri kedua, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein dalam Majlis Gerakan Negara (Mageran) dahulu masih lagi meninggalkan pengaruh ke atas dirinya hingga ke hari ini.

Menurut Perdana Menteri, ini dapat dilihat melalui pelaksanaan pelbagai dasar masa kini yang boleh dirujuk kepada pendekatan pragmatik yang dibuat semasa kepimpinan Allahyarham.

Antara legasi Bapa Pembangunan negara itu ialah Rukun Negara, pembangunan luar bandar, pembasmian kemiskinan dan kesaksamaan serta perpaduan kaum melalui Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB).

‘‘Inspirasi kami adalah dasar yang digubal dahulu menjadi petunjuk kepada kita dalam merangka pendekatan hari ini,’’ katanya dalam klip video yang ditayangkan pada majlis pelancaran Seminar Legasi Tun Razak kepada Pembangunan Negara, di sini hari ini.

Seminar dua hari anjuran Akademi Pemuda dan Persatuan Alumni Yayasan Tun Razak itu dirasmikan oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Mageran yang ditubuhkan setelah Parlimen dan Dewan Undangan Negeri dibubarkan ekoran rusuhan kaum 13 Mei 1969, diketuai Abdul Razak sebagai Pengarahnya, manakala Abdullah bertindak sebagai Ketua Penolong Setiausaha Hal Ehwal Awam.

Abdullah menambah, impian Perdana Menteri kedua agar penglibatan dalam sektor-sektor ekonomi tidak didominasi kaum tertentu juga terus menjadi pendirian politik negara hingga ke hari ini.

‘‘Dia tidak mahu lihat di masa depan, perniagaan hanya untuk orang Cina, Melayu menjadi polis.

‘‘Beliau berjiwa Malaysia dan menegaskan semua kaum mesti bersatu padu dan bekerjasama. Jangan pencilkan mana-mana golongan, semua kaum mesti memperoleh manfaatnya,’’ katanya.

Kesannya, kata Perdana Menteri, dapat dilihat melalui kemajuan negara dengan pencapaian ekonomi yang progresif dan dinamik menerusi pelaksanaan DEB.

Semasa menjadi Pengarah Mageran, Abdullah berkata, Abdul Razak tidak pernah menyalahgunakan kuasanya.

‘‘Beliau boleh memerintah seorang sahaja sebagai diktator kalau mahu tetapi tidak berbuat demikian dan tidak mengekalkan Mageran.

‘‘Mageran hanyalah untuk mengembalikan kestabilan dan keamanan kepada negara,’’ jelas beliau.

Dengan dua pegawai yang cukup penting kepadanya, iaitu Tun Dr. Tan Siew Sin dan Tun V. T. Sambanthan, kata Abdullah, Allahyarham telah memastikan Malaysia kembali kepada sistem demokrasi berparlimen pada Februari 1971.

Apabila Mageran ditutup, Abdullah diberi jawatan Pengarah Belia dan Sukan oleh Abdul Razak bagi memastikan golongan muda memiliki kemahiran dan mampu mendapat pekerjaan.

Ini, katanya, adalah atas kesedaran bahawa 60 peratus daripada penduduk Malaysia merupakan golongan belia.

‘‘Ini menunjukkan bahawa beliau memandang ke depan dan melihat belia sebagai aset negara.

‘‘Ia serupa dengan pembangunan modal insan yang saya tekankan,’’ tegasnya.

Abdullah menambah, selain sifat-sifat tersebut, Abdul Razak juga amat bersemangat apabila mahu mencapai sesuatu dan gemar turun padang.

Ini pula sebahagian yang dilaporkan akhbar The Star, www.thestar.com.my, dimana PM Abdullah mengaku sebagai “anak politik” kepada Allayrham Tun Razak:

Razak’s deeds honoured

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Abdul Razak was not only a big influence on his son Datuk Seri Najib Razak who followed his footsteps into politics, but the nation’s second prime minister was also a mentor to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Najib said Abdullah told him this after appointing him Deputy Prime Minister: “You are his biological son, but I’m his political son.”

Apa yang sebenarnya berlaku adalah lain dari kenyataan ini. Pentadbiran PM Abdullah mula merubah sebahagian DEB dan dasar dasar lain yang berkaitan dengan perlaksanaan DEB.

Pertamanya, Wilayah Pembangunan Iskandar (WPI) sudah dirancang untuk dilaksana tanpa menerapkan DEB didalamnya. Pembangunan berstruktur dengan imbuhan berbillion Ringgit kepada kawasan premium 2,217 km persegi diSelatan Johor ini dilihat sebagai usaha “menyusukan kera dihutan dan membiarkan anak dirumah mati tak makan” dengan begitu banyak perhatian diberikan kepada Singapura sedangkan idea ini tidak menerima reaksi setimpal.

Pentadbiran PM Abdullah juga mengeluarkan Dasar Automotif Nasional (NAP) dimana industri motorkar nasional Proton sengaja dibiarkan terancam oleh persaingan terbuka dari pasaran ‘lambakan’ motorkar import dan dalam masa yang singkat memberikan kesan negatif kepada industri sokongan kepada Proton, Industri ini merupakan ‘medan bimbingan’ banyak usahawan Melayu berkecimpung dalam industri pembuatan dan pengeluar komponen permotoran.

Malaysia Airlines adalah syarikat penerbangan dan logistik udara tulang belakang yang lahir pada tahun 1972 apabila rakan kongsi MSA iaitu Singapura tidak berminat untuk membantu proses pembangunan Negara, terutama kawasan pendalaman diSabah dan Sarawak dan mempunyai agenda kommersial berbeza. Akhirnya Malaysia Airlines yang dibina selama 35 tahun ini dipersada antarabangsa sambil memberikan perkhidmatan kepada berjuta rakyat Malaysia diluar bandar dibiarkan ‘tenat’ kerana memberikan kelebihan kepentingan sebuah syarikat baru milik peribadi. Ramai professional Melayu berkedudukan strategik didalam Malaysia Airlines dibiarkan meninggalkan syarikat GLC itu dan kekosongan ini dipenuhi dengan mereka Bukan Melayu.

Tanpa kestabilan dan kemudian, sokongan masyarakat pelbagai keturunan, mustahil pentadbiran Tun Razak mampu merangka dan melaksana DEB dengan effektif. Tun Razak berjaya memopok perpaduan antara kaum, walaupun selepas peristiwa konflik berdarah rusuhan dan pergaduhan kaum 13 Mei 1969. Dalam masa pentadbiran PM Abdullah, timbul pula isu isu yang menunjukan elemen elemen tidak sihat yang akan membawa kepada perpecahan masyarakat dan konflik antara fahaman ugama dan pertentangan budaya amat serius dikalangan rakyat Malaysia. Mungkin pendekatan dan cara pentadbiran menangani masalah asas kes kes ini membawa kepada keadaan menjadi sebegini atau lebih keruh dan rumit lagi.

Tun Razak membawa “pulang” akhbar Inggeris perdana News Straits Times (NST) ke Kuala Lumpur. Usaha strategik ini amat penting kerana NST merupakan ‘lidah’ berbahasa Inggeris mewakili kepentingan majoriti untuk ‘bercakap’ dipersada antarabangsa. NST juga menjadi agen penyebar maklumat dan bertindak sebagai ‘pemangkin’ kearah pembinaan negara. PM Abdullah pula membiarkan anasir anasir beragenda sempit dan tidak memenuhi aspirasi majoriti, mengawal NST dan lantas seolah olah membawa nada baru mewakili suara majoriti. NST kini tidak lagi dilihat sebagai akhbar berbahasa Inggeris prima mewakili aspirasi majoriti.

Zaman Tun Razak melihat ekonomi global dihimpit krisis inflasi meruncing apabila negara negara OPEC berpakat untuk menaikan harga bahan bakar utama sebagai reaksi kepada sokongan Amerika Syarikat keatas Israel semasa Perang Arab-Israel Oktober 1973. Masalah yang sama dihadapi pentadbiran PM Abdullah kerana serangan tentera penceroboh AS keatas Iraq tetapi pendekatan menangani krisis dan kesan kepada ekonomi dalaman dan mikro Malaysia amat berbeza sekali.

Tun Razak menyusun strategi pembangunan semula sosio-ekonomi masyarakat, terutama majoriti diluar bandar dirangka berlandaskan peningkatan pendidikan, kuantiti dan kualiti. Ini merupakan teras utama perlaksanaan DEB. Hari ini, pentadbiran PM Abdullah berhadapan krisis graduan menganggur yang amat meruncing (dikhabarkan sehingga 80,000 orang). Namun begitu, dua malam lepas, beliau mengeluarkan kenyataan ada kemungkinan pasaran perkerja mahir Malaysia akan dibuka untuk kemasukan tenaga asing.

Jelas bahawa tiga tunggak yang Tun Razak usahakan dalam program penyusunan masyarakatnya lebih 35 tahun lalu iaitu Pendidikan, Budaya dan Ekonomi amat berbeza dengan pendekatan, cara dan kesan PM Abdullah menanganinya sekarang. Dari sudut pengaruh politik juga berbeza. Tun Razak amat disanjungi pemimpin pelbagai kaum dan fahaman politik sehingga berjaya membawa Pembangkang seperti Gerakan dan PAS menyertai parti memerintah dan melancarkan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada Ogos 1973. Zaman PM Abdullah pula menyaksikan lapan orang Menteri Kabinet Bukan Melayu memajukan Memorandum diluar perbincangan mingguan dan menunjukan konsep “mesyuarah dalam Jema’ah” itu mula tiris dan tidak effektif. Ditambah pula beberapa siri ahli politik sesama BN bertelagah secara terbuka sehingga melibatkan seorang Timb. Menteri digantung kerja.

Untuk PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mengukur diri dengan Allahyarham Tun Razak adalah “jauh panggang dari api”, inikan pula mengaku sebagai pewaris legasi dan di‘pengaruhi’ @ “anak politik” pemimpin Agung Bangsa Malaysia itu.

Published in: on June 16, 2007 at 23:14  Comments (7)  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,133 other followers