The transcript of media conference of Tun Dr. Mahathir after the launch of the book, 30 Jan 2008

PRESS CONFERENCE
YABHG TUN DR MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD

AT THE LAUCH OF “Dr Mahathir’s Letters to World Leaders”
Perdana Leadership Foundation
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First thing before you begin to ask me questions I would like to thank you very much for your presence today. What my book is all about I have already explained just now so if there are anymore questions you are welcomed to ask, if I can answer, I will, if I cannot I will just shut up. Okay…

Q: Will you contest in the coming General Election?

Dr M : Well like the comedian who was talking about his girlfried, he would like to but he didn’t…

Q: How much does the US recession is likely to affect Malaysia?

Dr M : Well actually today the US should close down because it had been bankrupt for several years now. It has deficits. But because the United States owns IMF (International Monetary Fund) the IMF has not taken any action. If we were in that situation we would have been crushed to the ground but this is the US where they can print money and where they can make use of other opeople’s money to sustain an economy that is unsustainable.

But unfortunately too many countries have trade and investment links with the uS and some of these investments abroad are really meant to supply the US with their products. If the US is not in a positin to buy their products then these companies located in other countries including Malaysia will suffer. So the fact remains that the US economy is so big that its collapse is going to affect the world. So the world is not going to allow it to collapse just like the US will not allow certain big banks to collapse. We will feel the impact whether we like it or not. We will feel the impact. In fact we are already feeling the impact. Today we are in a state of denial and bad things are coming in the future because it is not going to be easy to ensure that the US recession does not take place. It is not easy to reverse the process

Q: Tun now Malaysia does not trade much with the US?

Dr M : I dont know the last figure I had was about 30% of our exports still go to the US. So 80 per cent of our trade about…100 billion a year is a very big chunk

Q: Your comment on lacklustre attitude from OIC in response to the problems in Palestine

Dr M : It is usual that they are not interested in the suffereings of the people in Gaza or Palestine. They are too busy with other things. They have never shown any sympathy for the Palestinian. Only verbal support but no really tangible support.

Q: Tun akan turun Padang berkempen untuk BN?

Dr M : Saya dulu saya terima iaitu saya akan bantu dalam kempen tapi pada tahun 2004 oleh kerana parti BN begitu popular saya dikehendaki tidak kempen di tempat-tempat tertentu. Saya akan kempen cuma kalau saya percaya orang yang dicalonkan itu ialah orang yang boleh membawa kebaikan.

Q: Politics is dirty because of politicians or is it that politics is just dirty?

Dr M : The politicians, because i am also a politician I don’t play dirty politics but when people who have openly told lies and the whole country knows they told lies and they get re-elected…and (this) cause me to lose my respect and lose my faith in the political system as practised by them.

Q: In your book…(not audible)

Dr M : I have claimed to be a Muslim fundamentalist. This one (Hadhari) is modern Islam which is another thing altogether. I go for the fundamentals and the fundamentals of Islam is very good. It is not like the Christian fundamentalist where they are equated with extremism. To equate Muslim fundamentalist with extremisim is wrong. Its a misnomer. If you really follow the teachings of Islam, the basic teachings of Islam, you should be a very good man, a very progressive man, a well balanced person.

Q: (not audible)

Dr M : I always point out that for 1,400 years there have been many interpretations of Islam and many of these interpretations are influenced by the situation occurring at that time so the imterpretation today is because we are a democratic country we will have elections and anything that we say can be used by the opposition in order to gain support.

Q: You mean current situation our intepretation is more for political reasons?

Dr M : Yes I think it is political more than religious. If its religious we need to sit down and discuss the basis of this decision and then only we can really say that it is an Islamic injuction not to do certain things.

Q: You say you will campaign for candidates…does this include opposition?

Dr M : No, I will not campaign for the opposition. But I am saying the people who support the BN should be a little bit more selective. Should think, should choose wisdom in their choice of the people they will support. If people name some deadwood, some corrupt politician as candidates even if they are from the BN, BN supporters should not support them. That way we can clean the party, BN and UMNO because there is no hope that Umno can be cleaned from within because everything is controlled now. Nobody can have an opinion and any contrary views they will make (is) sure will not be heard.

Q: Tun mengatakan bahawa pengundi termasuk penyokong BN perlu melakukan perubahan di piliharaya untuk megubah kepimpinan BN dan Umno. Itu maksud Tun?

Dr M : Ya, itu sahaja harapan kita. Itu pun bukanlah kuat sangat harapan kerana saya berpendapat pengundi-pengundi biasa pun kadang-kadang terpengaruh dengan cara yang tidak halal tetapi kita sudah hilang keupayaan untuk menukar pemimpin di peringkat parti kerana parti sekarang ini dibenar cuma mengata “Yes” kepada apa yang presiden kata. Jadi tidak ada real opinion dalam party anymore. No way you can change the leadership of the party or the way the party operates from within. If the people in Malaysia wishes to have a party that is centred on nepotism and corruption then of course they will vote for the same people and will achieve no correction

Q: Are you saying the PM for the moment can be considered in your definition as deadwood?

Dr M : I dont know about what my opinion is but i know i have differences with him.

Q: Lepas tun lepas jawatan PM ada khabar angin tentang fail rasuah tokoh Umno kelantan yang Tun serah kepada Pak Lah untuk tindakan…

Dr M : Fail kalau ada akan diserah oleh ACA. Bukan saya punya tugas nak serah file tapi saya tahu ada kes tertentu yang harus diselidik dan tindakan diambil. Saya amat sedar bahawa kes corruption bukan mudah untuk kita buktikan. Dengan itu kita cuma akan dengar cerita yang buruk tetapi akhirnya tiada satu tindakan pun yang boleh diambil

Q: When u steppped down in 2003 you said you made a gentleman’s agreement for him to stay one term. In this case macam mana?

Dr M : Even if I said I had this gentlemen’s agreement there is no way i can prove it. That was my thinking, that since he was older than Najib he should be PM for a term and then Najib should be able to take over.

Q: In the 22 years of your administration, there was fastrack development, many things were done in record time…PM now needs more time beyond five years to develop his projects. What is your view?

Dr M : I knwo it takes time to implement plans and projects but i think if that is to be used as an excuse to stay in power for 18 years that would not be very welcome. But that time to implement…at this time only announcements are being made. He is already asking for time to do this.

Q: The PM announced economic corridor, repercussion not now…commitments made are huge. If not able to be delivered what will happen to future PM?

Dr M : What i think is that it certainly will not be delivered by the time of the election. So this is the reason why you should allow the present Government to go on so that they can implement. But the way the things are being implemented are also questionable. Giving it to the so called GLC which then gives contracts to other people, none of which are very open that is not really the right way to do things.

Q: What is you greatest concern in 50 years looking at Malaysia?

Dr M : Well, I think the Government does not seem to know how to progress. How to implement things. Its already quite sometime since I stepped down. (It) would have been easier perhaps to just continue with the projects already on the ground but it was deided to postpone ostensibly because of lack of funds. But what I do know is that when I stepped down there was enough money to go ahead with all the so called mega projects. Now they have dedcided to go ahead with some of the mega projects but the cost is very high, as much as 50 % more simply because the cost of living, the cost of everything has gone up in the meantime. So the postponement was totally unjustified. Now they realised that these are needed infrastructure.

Q: Time to implement projects…you mean he should carry on as PM?

Dr M : It depends upon the record you have shown in some other things that doesn’t need too much time. If you show that you can implement it, the smaller projects, i think you should be given more time for the bigger projects. But what you see is just a stoppsgae, a kind of reversal of the previous policies and projects ostensibly because there was no funds and this is not such a good judgement.

Q: Now you are complaining of cronyism and nepotism in Pak Lah’s term…(question not audible)

Dr M : Well I am aware that I was not always right but those people who were called my cronies were not my cronies. As a matter of fact when I was accused of these I published, I made public the list of people who had projects etc and it was clear that they were not people I know except for the very well knwon figures. I was not practising cronyism but of course these (accusations) were attached to me as a kind of label to undermine my credibility (and) I cannot get away from it. But today we see neopotism creeping in. We see companies getting projects to the extent that many Malaysian entrepreneurs and contractors are now going abroad. They said there is no opportunity within the country.

Q: Tun, as ahli Umno No 1. are you aware of current happenings within the party, do you get any updates?

Dr M : Nothing, I am competely cut out

Q: Compared to during your time the BN is no longer as united as before…

Dr M : When we have a group of people working together, we must know how to handle them. They have grouses, they have differences but if you handle them properly and tackle the grouses, I think they will sit together. But if you show any weakness, giving in, people will take advantage of your weakness.

Q: In the recent state assemly sitting in Kelantan Datuk Mustafa Mohamad admitted he asked you to stop developing Kelantan when PAS took over Government…

Dr M : Well not only Mustafa but all the rest of Umno felt you should not develop Kelantan because if you do they will tell people…”Look even if you don’t vote for BN you will still get development, so why bother to vote for BN?” – that’s what PAS will say and that has always been a problem with PAS even in my constituency. If a village is supportive of PAS and i were to give a bridge or whatever PAS will tell people “Look you don’t have to support the Government so support us.” Because of that we had to hold back.

Q: Do you think political Islam will play a big role in the next General Election?

Dr M : It will be exploited to the utmost by PAS and the Government will have its hands full tyring to handle it.

Q: What about racial issues?

Dr M : It is unfortunate because we have never really achieved racial harmony but we have been able to keep it within control. But now people are not only taking action based on race but also on religion. They say Hinduism was not something that will cause a ….. (not audidble)….but now Hindus apparently feel dissatisfied with their lot and have made this demonstration. I don’t say that because I agree with them. I don’t agree with them. But they see a Government that is retreating and of course they want to take advantage.

Q: Apa pendapat Tun tentang sekiranya anak beranak dapat jawatan utama dalam parti UMNO. Bolehkah orang Melayudan rakyat Malaysia terima?

Psychology….attitude Melayu berbeza sikit. Dia sokong bukan kerana individu. Sokong kerana parti, kalau bagi a piece of log there or a stone they will still vote the party because this is my party and I cannot allow my party to lose. The Chinese are much more seelctive. They did not like me in 1969. They made sure I lost the electuion but they also made sure the Alliance won the election. So if you cause a person that you don’t like to lose, it doesn’t mena that the party will lose, the party will win.

Q: You were reported that MIC should be blamed for the Indians’ plight were you misquoted?

Dr M : No, its not MIC as a political party. But the thing is that people, rather Indians, who may not agree with MIC but still wish to support the BN are not given ay chance at all. In their frustration, whether MIC is right or wrong is a different matter, obviously there is no opportunity for anybody else, any other Indians, to come up.

Q: What role are you trying to play in the next General Election?

Dr M : I’m trying to promote cleansing of the party by the people, because within the party it is not possible to cleanse. If I say anything there will be a chorus of people who will curse me including some of my former ministers…they will curse me…so if I’m going to be cursed by them i might as well be cursed for everything else.

Q: Strategi pukul anak sindir menantu…

Dr M : There is a risk in all these things but i hope that we will love this country enough to vote for the best candidate

Q: Masksudnya Tun boleh terima hakikat pembangkang menang lebih?

Dr M : No, pembangkang tak mungkin menang lebih banyak daripada BN. Lebih banyak dari sekarang mungkin, tapi tak boleh jadi kerajaan.

Q: More than in 1999?

Dr M : 1999 was a different matter. A question of a black eye

Q: 99 was issues of emotion, but now isu harga barang, jenayah jadi kebimbangan pada rakyat…

Dr M : Well the issues are different. There is problem of inflation etc but more imprtant is the quality of leadership, quality of umno that has degenerated to the point where members cannot say anything. You say something you are hauled up and asked to choose between the PM and whoever. So there is not a slightest freedom that is allowed and in my case I was invited by many people and the people who invited me were called by the police not to go ahead with the invitation, to cancel the invitation. Of course you can use police for implementing the law but there is no law that allows police to threaten people that if they hold the meeting and invite me they will get into trouble. But this is what happened.

During my time Tunku wants to make a speech they can make a speech. Anybody wants to make a speech, evenTengku Razaleigh, I did not stop him. But here the moment I stepped down almost I was practically not allowed to speak.

Q: How do you plan to cleanse the party?

Dr M : Its up to the people to vote in those leaders who are clean because the party will not clean itself

Q: But what is you plan?

Dr M : I don’t know all I can say is talk to you (the Press)…

Q: How about the leadership,,,

Dr M : Its up to the people to make an assemsment as to who should continue or who should go.

Q: Your assessment…will there be total change in the line-up

Dr M : I think there will be no total change. There will be some people who will be retained some people who have not delivered they should not be retained

Q: The young generation?

Dr M : Unfortunately the young generation does not even bother to register

Q: Claims of vote buying, any proof?

Dr M : In my case I have proof. People were bribed not to vote for me in my constituency and I expect that to be extended, it was nothing just a small matter but still these attempts were made to prevent me from becoming just a wakil

Q: Do you think there will be outright vote buyng?

Dr M : There is that possibility. I was told in the by election that thing happened. Terima kasih.

Ends

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 13:10  Comments (3)  

The day after….

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad made a very stern call for Malaysians “Not to vote corrupt and ‘deadwood’ politicians to office”. This is what has been featured by mainstream media, the day after:

The Star has the story:

 

Dr M: Be more selective

BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is willing to help Barisan Nasional campaign in the next general election provided candidates fielded by the coalition are “clean, honest and straight”.

The former prime minister said he would only want to campaign for candidates who he believed could bring good to the people.

“I believe that people who support the Barisan should be a little bit more selective. They should think, use wisdom in choosing the people they want to support.

“If there are dead wood and corrupt politicians being fielded as candidates, the people should not support them, not even if they are representing Barisan,” he told reporters after a preview of his latest book entitled Dr Mahathir’s selected letters to World Leaders at the Perdana Leadership Foundation yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said it was his hope to see the people “using their power as voters” to make changes to the leadership in Barisan and Umno as this was the only way to “clean” the government, claiming “cleansing” could not come from within the party as “everything now is being controlled and any contrary views will not be heard”.

“There is a risk in saying all these things and there will be a chorus of people who will curse me, including some of my former ministers.

“But I hope we will love this country enough to vote for the best candidate,” he said.

Asked if it was true that there was a gentleman’s agreement when he resigned in 2003 that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would only stay as Prime Minister for only one term, Dr Mahathir said:

“Even if I said that such an agreement was made, I cannot prove it but that was my thinking since he was older than Najib, he should be the PM for a term and then Najib should be able to take over.”

On racial issues, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia had never really attained racial harmony but was able to keep it within control, adding there were quarters that have begun to use religion when taking action.

On his book, he said it contained 70 letters, all correspondence with world leaders on the crises and conflicts in the Middle East during his tenure as the prime minister.

The 239-page book contains letters to and from Dr Mahathir to, among others, former French president Jacques Chirac, Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former United States President Bill Clinton and current President George W. Bush.

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

On the other hand, things moved on as there are too many things to be takeen care of.

This morning, UMNO Youth Exco in charge of International Affairs and NGO Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir would be handing over development grants to the Malaysian Down Syndrome Association.

JEMPUTAN KE SIDANG MEDIA

PERLANCARAN PROGRAM KERJASAMA

OPCOM HOLDINGS BERHAD BERSAMA PERSATUAN DOWN SINDROM MALAYSIA

Jemputan untuk Sidang Media yang akan dipengerusikan oleh YBhg Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir dengan kehadiran bersama Presiden Persatuan Down Sindrom Malaysia, Prof. Madya Dr. Sharifah Zainiyah Binti Syed Yahya di butiran sebagaimana di bawah:

Tempat: Rumah PSDM

No 79, Lingkungan U Thant

Kuala Lumpur

Tarikh: Khamis, 31 Januari 2008

Jam: 10.30 pagi

Sidang Media ini diadakan sempena Majlis Penyampaian Geran Program Pembangunan bagi Persatuan Sindrom Down Malaysia, Kedah, Perlis, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor dan Terengganu yang akan menyentuh kehidupan lebih 50,000 anak-anak istimewa Down Sindrom.

Published in: on January 31, 2008 at 08:05  Comments (1)  

“Use votes wisely against corrupt & ‘deadwood’ leaders”, Tun Dr. Mahathir urged for ‘leadership cleansing’

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad urged the rakyat to use their votes wisely and elect people who are fit the lead the Government and rakyat. “Consider your votes for leaders who are not ‘deadwood’ and corrupt, as the party failed to ‘cleanse’ itself from these sort of people”. He said this in the media conference after the launching of “Dr. Mahathir’s selected letters to world leaders”, a book compiled and authored by former Malaysian Ambassador to the UN and NSTP Chairman Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad.

dscn3640.jpg

He added the changes are required to be made as political parties failed to make the necessary changes within and did not manage to the “cleansing”, to stay relevant for the rakyat. This is a landmark call made by the former UMNO President and BN Chairman of 22 years and it contradicts his last year’s 10 February call in Johor Bahru, “For UMNO to not fear pre-matured leadership changes”.

When asked about how UMNO will react to this, Tun Dr. Mahathir was seen today as explicitly expressing his displeasure of the morbid “Yesman” mentality of the UMNO leadership, middle level management and some members resorted to, since he left the office. In his own words, “Corrections required!”.

“Orang Melayu sokong parti, tak kira calon”

However, he did also say that he BN should win and continue to lead country, as it has been the past fifty years. His reservations clearly demonstrated that he was gravely unhappy on the fact that some leaders use the mandate the rakyat gave to BN, especially UMNO, as a self-fulfilling endorsement for some leaders to trump up their own beating drums and blow their horns, where else in actual fact, these leaders are worthy to be considered as “deadwoods”.

Amongst the questions raised in the PC were about international issues. One of the current issue highlighted is the ‘Seige of Gaza’. In reference to what been documented in the book, Tun Dr. Mahathir who on several counts wrote to world leaders and explained about Islam said the OIC leaders now no longer interested and bothered about the suffering of the Palestinian people. At best, they would just throw intangible support. It clearly showed that he was not happy with the current OIC leadership, who till now, failed to react something tangibly to ease the suffering of Gazans, under constant shelling and absolute blockage.

When asked about the US economy, he said that although the US Government is almost bankrupt with too much deficit and the system is too heavily geared, the world can’t afford to allow the US economy to crash as it will bring a spirally catasthrophic effect to the the rest of world economy.

Issues of corruption were raised during the PC. When asked about him being associated with nepotism and cronyism practices when he was the Prime Minister ten years ago, he explained that he had cleared all these unfounded allegations, as he don’t even know many of those who managed to get contracts and business opportunities. Unlike today, many of these business people are complaining as business opportunities are hard to come by and what ever left available goes to the same small group of people and GLCs.

Tun Dr. Mahathir also repeated that when he left office, he made sure that the economy was well and there is enough to sustain all the so-called ‘Mega projects’ launched during his tenure. When PM ‘Flip-Flop’ took over, he decided to halt and psotpone most of these projects, as his ‘people’ argued that it were “Not the best use of resources”. Later, they discovered that these projects were necessary to stimulate and sustain growth in the economy and when he revived these projects, the cost have gone up.

This is the second ‘strike’ former Tun Dr. Mahathir lashed against PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, since the Reuters interview yesterday, after he underwent a second coronary arterial by-pass graft surgery on 4 September 2007. He had been out of the Malaysian political scene, since then.

Earlier, in his speech, he said that he had to explain to world leaders. including President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair on issues like in Bosnia and Croatia. He also said that Muslims are not anti Jews. Infact, Muslims are kinder to Jews, compared to the Christians in the middle ages and renaissance. Example he quoted that the Christians labeled the Jews as “The ones who betrayed Jesus” and they were persecuted. Jews who fled persecution, find solace and sanctuary amongst Muslims, in countries like Morrocco, Syria and Turkey.

tun-dr-mahathir-book-launch.jpg

 

In the opening address, book author Tan Sri Abdullah “Dollah Kok Lanas” Ahmad said that the book was about telling the truth on hos it happened and it is not about ‘flattery’. He described Tun Dr. Mahathir as “Sometimes, he talked too much. BUT he performs!”. He also described the current political scene as “Domestic politics has become dark!”. He summarised that the book is a good study for international politics and diplomacy.

Over 200 people attended the event, which include envoys from diplomatic missions to Malaysia and corporate leaders. Veteran politicians and media editors were also present.

*Photo uploaded from Rocky’s Bru, at 5.00pm

*Updated as at 5.30pm, Wednesday 30 January 2008

 

This is the AFP’s report of the same PC:

Malaysian PM overstaying his welcome: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) — Malaysia‘s former premier Mahathir Mohamad said Wednesday he never intended his successor Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to serve more than one term and suggested he should stand down.

Abdullah, who has had a very public falling out with the veteran leader, will contest for his second term in general elections expected to be held in March.

Mahathir previously said he made a mistake in picking Abdullah, and should have opted for influential deputy prime minister Najib Razak.

“That was my thinking, since (Abdullah) was older than Najib, he should be PM for one term and then Najib should be able to take over,” he told a press conference.

“I know it takes time to implement plans and projects but I think if that is to be used as an excuse to stay in power for 18 years then that will not be very welcome.”

Abdullah won a landslide victory in 2004 polls when voters were enthused by his plans to fight corruption, but since then he has been widely criticised for inaction and suffered a steep tumble in popularity.

In recent months he has faced an unprecedented wave of public protests over the rights of minority ethnic Indians, as well as electoral reform and rising food and fuel prices.

“They see a government that is retreating and they want to take advantage,” Mahathir said of the street rallies which would have been unthinkable during his term in power which ended in 2003 after more than two decades.

Abdullah was Mahathir’s hand-picked successor when he stepped down, but after the new leader dumped several of his pet projects he began launching accusations of economic mismanagement, nepotism and corruption.

 “An update as of 6.30pm, Wednesday 30 January 2008

This is MStar online’s report:

Jangan sokong tunggul kayu, calon korup, nasihat Dr M

30-01-2008 05:59:34 PM

Oleh SA’ODAH ELIAS

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata beliau bersedia turun padang membantu Barisan Nasional dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang dengan syarat calon yang diletak adalah mereka yang terdiri dari kalangan orang yang bersih dan amanah.

Bekas perdana menteri itu berkata, dengan cara itu, beliau berharap satu “pembersihan” akan dapat dilakukan di negara ini memandangkan Barisan Nasional sudah pasti akan menang sekali lagi walaupun majoriti kemenangan tidak sebaik pada 2004.

“Pembersihan melalui pilihan raya sahaja harapan kita untuk memperbaiki keadaan di negara ini kerana ia adalah mustahil untuk dilakukan dari dalam Umno kerana sudah tidak wujud sedikit pun kebebasan di dalam parti itu,” katanya.

Beliau mendakwa “segala-galanya dalam Umno dikawal ketat dan semua orang tidak dibenarkan mempunyai pendirian berbeza, dan sesiapa sahaja yang mempunyai pandangan yang bertentangan dengan pucuk pimpinan pasti menerima padah.”

“Kita kini sudah hilang keupayaan untuk membuat perubahan dalam barisan kepimpinan parti kerana kawalan yang sangat ketat di dalam Umno,” katanya pada sidang media selepas majlis ulasan buku yang mempaparkan sebahagian surat-surat yang ditulis beliau kepada pemimpin dunia ketika masih memegang jawatan perdana menteri, Rabu.

Dr Mahathir berkata beliau sangat sedar mengenai risiko yang dihadapi dengan membuat kenyataan sedemikian kerana beliau mendakwa sudah pasti akan “disumpah” ramai pemimpin Umno, termasuk orang-orang yang dahulunya penyokong kuat beliau dalam parti dan pernah dilantik sebagai menteri oleh beliau.

“Bagaimanapun saya berharap, sayang kita pada negara cukup besar untuk kita meletakkan kepentingan negara mengatasi yang lain dengan memastikan hanya calon yang layak dan bersih dipilih,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir bagaimanapun menegaskan bahawa beliau tidak sekali-kali akan berkempen untuk pembangkang tetapi akan cuba menyedarkan rakyat bahawa sokongan mereka kepada BN mestilah bertempat dan mestilah berasaskan akal waras.

“Sekiranya orang yang seperti tunggul dan korup dicalonkan, walaupun jika mereka mewakili BN, rakyat tidak patut memberikan sokongan. Dengan cara itulah sahaja kita dapat membersihkan kerajaan,” tegasnya.

Beliau juga melahirkan kebimbangan bahawa isu-isu agama yang dipolitikkan dan isu perkauman akan menjadi intipati kempen pilihan raya akan datang.

“Dulu pun kita bukannya berjaya mencapai keharmonian kaum dalam erti kata sebenarnya, tetapi sekurang-kurangnya keadaan terkawal, tetapi kini segala tindakan diambil berasaskan sentimen perkauman dan agama.

“Lihat sahaja apa yang dilakukan oleh Hindraf. Saya tidak menyokong tindakan itu, tetapi itulah yang berlaku apabila kerajaan dilihat terlalu lemah.

“Apabila kita tidak pandai menyelesaikan masalah sesama kita (dalam BN), kita tunjukkan bahawa kita lemah dan terlalu sangat mengalah, sudah pasti ada pihak yang akan cuba mengambil kesempatan daripada kelemahan itu,” katanya.

 

 

 

 

Published in: on January 30, 2008 at 15:02  Comments (7)  

Dr. Mahathir renewed criticism against PM ‘Flip-Flop’

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said he will continue criticizing his successor, the Prime Minister ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. During an interview with the media, on his latest book of selected letters sent to world leaders, compiled by Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, when asked about his relationship with his successor, he lashed fresh attacks against the PM ‘Flip-Flop’ and said will continue to do so.

He said that there are too many deadwoods in the Government and they need to go. The former UMNO President and BN Chairman also said there should be differentiation on the support the rakyat gave to the party against personalities and some of them should not feel the strong support the rakyat gave them as an endorsement of able to do anything and everything, at their whims and fancies.

He also reminded that the Prime Minister should stop the ‘lavish spending’ using funds meant for the rakyat. He meant the acquisition of A319 CJ VIP transport, the lavish elitist “Soiree” party in Seri Perdana last September dan probably the wasteful ‘Moonsoon Cup’ held annually in Terengganu.

He also stressed that since PM ‘Flip-Flop’ took over, Malaysia have been playing into the tune of Singapore and he was vehemently against this. Decisions made such as the abrupt cancellation of the ‘Scenic Bridge’ in March 2006 and Iskandar Development Region launched in November the same year, shown clearly what the former Prime Minister meant.

Reuters has the story:

Malaysia’s Mahathir sees no easing of rift with PM

Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:15pm IST

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By Jalil Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would remain a thorn in the side of his successor in the run-up to elections, and would continue to speak his mind.

Until subdued by heart problems last year, the outspoken Mahathir was the most vocal critic of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, accusing his government of lacking “guts” and selling out Malaysian sovereignty.

“I still disagree on several of his policies, mainly allowing Malaysians to be subject to Singapore‘s wishes,” the 82-year-old told select foreign media in an interview ahead of Wednesday’s launch of his new book.

The book published for the first time his personal correspondence with world leaders including U.S. President George W. Bush, on issues ranging from terrorism to Islam and Myanmar.

“We are not as independent as before in terms of our attitude towards international affairs,” said Mahathir, who ruled the nation for 22 years with an iron grip. “We tend to be very accommodative.”

DEAD WOOD

In the interview, he took Abdullah to task for “wasting (public) money”, dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as a “daydreamer” and asserted that the domestic economy was in “bad shape” without a rally in commodity prices.

Mahathir said Abdullah’s ruling front would be returned with a strong majority in the polls, widely expected by March, but said voters must get rid of dead wood in the coalition.

“But there are certain people whose contribution is negative. These people should not be chosen as candidates,” Mahathir, wearing a collarless Nehru suit, said at his office in the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers.

“I still support the party and I still believe the party will win with a good majority but one must not confuse support for the party with support for the individual,” he said.

On Anwar, Mahathir said his political enemy would not be a major factor in the coming elections.

“He’s not a real factor,” he said. “There’s no more political future for him. If he thinks he’s going to be the prime minister, it’s daydreaming of the worst kind.”

A charismatic speaker, Anwar was sacked from government in 1998 after falling out with Mahathir. Anwar then led street protests before he was arrested and later jailed on what he called trumped-up charges of graft and sodomy.

Released in 2004, his corruption conviction means he cannot stand for elected office or hold political office until April this year.

Mahathir, who has a history of heart problem, underwent a heart bypass in September and doctors have advised him to cut down on travel and other activities, including horse-riding.

The operation was Mahathir’s second such surgery since 1989 and followed two heart attacks over the past 13 months.

His quarrel with Abdullah came to the fore after the government scrapped Mahathir’s idea to replace a causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore with a bridge.

Asked if Abdullah should quit, he replied: “It is up to him to decide. It’s also up to the people to decide. If the people want him to move on, if they think his administration is not benefiting them, they should make a decision.”

Tun Dr. Mahathir had been consistent with his criticism against the PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah, since his first speech on the issue, 22 June 2006 at Paradise Century Club, Taman Melawati, Ulu Kelang, Selangor. In Johor Bahru on 10 February 2007, he urged UMNO “Not to fear ‘pre-mature’ leadership changes”, which was a strong message for UMNO members to ‘do the right thing’.

 

 

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 18:19  Comments (2)  

“Dr. Mahathir’s selected letters to world leaders”

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, will launch a book titled “Dr. Mahathir’s Selected Letters to World Leaders” at Perdana Leadership Foundation, Precinct 8, Putrajaya, tomorrow @ 11.00am.

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It is a collection of letters compiled by former Ambassador to the United Nations and Chairman of NTSP, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad. He also did the editorial comments to each letters and the story preceding it.

The book has been on sale at bookstores since two weeks ago. The publisher is Marshall Cavendish.

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 10:06  Comments (14)  

PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah tidak menghadiri pengkebumian Pak Harto

Majlis pengkebumian Allahyarham Bapak Haji Mohamad Suharto, mantan Presiden Indonesia dan pemimpin yang bertanggung jawab mengakhiri era ‘Konfrotasi’, “Ganyang Malaysia!” yang Indonesia ‘kena’kan bermula era Presiden Soekarno keatas penubuhan Malaysia dan mengasas penubuhan ASEAN, dihadiri oleh pemimpin pemimpin ASEAN seperti Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah dari Brunei dan Negarawan Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dari Malaysia.

 

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Awal pagi, jenazah Allahyarham diterbangkan oleh pesawat C130 TNI-AU dari Pengkalan Udara Halim. Upacara ini diadakan di Solo, Jawa Tengah dan Allahyarham disemadikan disebelah pusara isteri tersayang, Ibu Tien, penuh dengan protokol istiadat majlis rasmi pengkebumian negara dan ketenteraan.

 

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Presiden Suharto telah menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada 1.10 tengahari (waktu Jakarta) kerana kegagalan orang orang utama, selepas mengalami pelbagai komplikasi organ semenjak tiga minggu dahulu.

Semalam PM Singapura Brig. Gen. (NS) Lee Hsien Loong telah pergi menziarah jenazah Allahyarham dan minggu lepas, Menteri Mentor, mantan Perdana Menteri Singapura dan salah seorang pemimpin pengasas ASEAN Lee Kuan Yew juga melawat di Unit Rawatan Rapi Hospital Pertamina, Jakarta.

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Namun begitu, Perdana Menteri Malaysia PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, yang juga Pengerusi OIC dan mantan Menteri Luar Negara Malaysia yang lama (1991-99), gagal hadir dan memberi penghormatan secara peribadi dan rasmi kepada seorang Negarawan agung negara jiran dan mantan Presiden negara yang mempunyai penduduk Islam teramai didunia.

Sebaliknya beliau telah membuat keputusan untuk mengutus Timbalan Perdana Menteri Dato Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, mantan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tun Musa Hitam, Menteri Penerangan Dato’ Zainuddin “Zam” Maidin dan Panglima Angkatan Tentera Jen. Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal untuk mewakil Negara, walaupun beliau telah kembali dari persidangan World Economic Forum di Davos, Switzerland pagi semalam.

Bernama.com melaporkan:

 

28 Januari, 2008 18:38 PM

 

Najib Sampaikan Takziah Dan Penghargaan Kepada Keluarga Suharto

Oleh Mohd Nasir Yusoff

SOLO (Jawa Tengah), 28 Jan (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hari ini menyampaikan ucapan takziah daripada rakyat dan kerajaan Malaysia kepada keluarga bekas presiden Indonesia Suharto pada upacara pemakaman Allahyarham Suharto di Astana Giri Bangun di sini.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata beliau juga merakamkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan di atas jasa dan bakti serta sumbangan yang dicurahkan oleh Suharto sepanjang 32 tahun memerintah Indonesia terutama dalam memperkukuhkan hubungan dua hala Malaysia-Indonesia

“Kejayaan Suharto dalam konteks Indonesia dan hubungan dua hala yang terbesar ialah menghapuskan ancaman komunis termasuk di rantau ini,” katanya kepada pemberita sebelum berangkat pulang ke Kuala Lumpur, selepas mewakili Malaysia pada majlis pemakaman itu.

Najib diiringi oleh Menteri Penerangan Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, Panglima Angkatan Tentera Jeneral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal dan bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tun Musa Hitam.

Turut mengiringi mereka ialah Duta Besar Malaysia ke Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Mohd Zain manakala bekas perdana menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad turut menghadiri upacara pemakaman sahabat lamanya itu.

Suharto, 86, meninggal dunia pada 1.10 petang semalam waktu tempatan (2.10 waktu Malaysia) setelah berada dalam keadaan kritikal akibat kegagalan fungsi pelbagai organ dalaman sejak awal pagi semalam.

Beliau yang memerintah Indonesia selama 32 tahun dari 1966 hingga 1998 berada dalam keadaan kritikal sejak dimasukkan ke Hospital Pusat Pertamina, Jakarta Selatan pada 4 Jan lepas.

Najib berkata secara peribadi beliau juga merasai pemergian Suharto itu.

“Semasa ayahanda saya (Tun Abdul Razak Hussein) sedang berusaha menamatkan konfrontasi Malaysia-Indonesia, Suharto adalah pemimpin Indonesia yang merupakan penyumbang utama dalam menamatkan konfrontasi itu.”

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata peranan Suharto sebagai satu daripada tunggak Asean juga telah membolehkan pelbagai bentuk kerjasama dimulakan secara serantau dan juga secara bilateral antara Malaysia dan indonesia sehingga menjadikan kedua-dua negara itu sangat akrab sepanjang zaman.

Sementara itu, upacara pemakaman Suharto yang diadakan penuh istiadat tamat kira-kira pukul 1 petang ini waktu tempatan.

Istiadat itu diketuai sendiri oleh Presiden Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono dan turut dihadiri beberapa pemimpin negara sahabat.

Berikutan kematian Suharto, Presiden Indonesia mengumumkan tempoh berkabung selama tujuh hari mulai semalam di negara itu.

– BERNAMA

Jelas, jasa Pak Harto, kepada Malaysia amat besar. Selain dari menamatkan ‘Konfrontasi’, dasar pembangunan ekonomi yang beliau mulakan berjaya mengelakan negara terlampau ramai penduduk itu dari kebuluran dan hasil dari petroleum digunakan untuk mengadakan peluang peluang pekerjaan dan aktiviti ekonomi, dan menjadikan Indonesia sebagai negara pengeksport bahan pertanian. Lantas, usaha strategik ini berjaya mengekang kebanjiran ‘pelarian ekonomi’ luar-kawalan ke sempadan Malaysia selama 32 tahun pemerintahan. Secara tidak langsung, ini mengurangkan “pengimportan masalah” yang dibawa ‘pelarian ekonomi’ Indonesia ini.

Dibandingkan pula, semenjak Indonesia menerima ‘selesaian ala Barat’ kepada masalah ekonomi mereka, peluang pekerjaan dan aktiviti ekonomi makin meruncing dan kebanjiran PATI ke sempadan Malaysia meningkat. Lantas, masalah yang ‘diimport’ seperti peningkatan jenayah runcit, amat ketara.

Kehadiran PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mewakili Negara dan Rakyat Malaysia sudah tentu akan mengerat dan terus mengukuhkan hubungan akrab diplomatik, masyarakat, kebudayaan  dan persaudaraan serumpun Nusantara, seugama dan paling penting, jiran tetangga ini.

Pendekata, Allahyarham Pak Harto adalah SAHABAT KARIB MALAYSIA!

Keputusan PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi untuk tidak meluangkan masa memberikan penghormatan di Jakarta atau Solo, sebagaimana pemimpin/negarawan ASEAN lain, sebenarnya AMAT MENGECEWAKAN!


Published in: on January 28, 2008 at 21:49  Comments (5)  

“Newspaper-free Tuesdays”

That is what People’s Parliament founder, activists-solicitor Haris Ibrahim said this morning, during the launching of the “Boycott Newspapers on Tuesday” campaign, at The Bloghouse, Damansara Heights.

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“The consumers should get their money’s worth of balanced news and reporting”, when he explained on the campaign, initiated by a civil society movement, formed on-line.

Haris hoped that the campaign will be carried through on-line by bloggers and websites, although all the mainstream media (MSM) editors were informed of this campaign, via sms, as a mark the of officiating the launch. Since internet have had more user in the country and movement and dissemination of information is seamless and efficient, the MSMs should be more aware of the demand and expectation of the more affluent readership.

According to Haris, lately the MSMs have been acting on the ‘instructions and benefit’ of the Government, despite the alternative medias report stories from an entirely different perspective and focus. When asked how is it different now as compared to five years ago, since broadband internet is already available then, he quipped “No difference!”.

When asked about the impact that they will achieve from the campaign, Haris explained that this is an awareness program and it should be carried on, “…. to ensure that the mainstream medias and newspaper carry balanced and unbiased news and reporting” and “…. the objective is not based on the rumours of the XIIth General Elections, luring around the corner”.

Examples he cited the discrepancies of the MSMs as stated in the People’s Parliament media statement,which was distributed to members of the media and bloggers attended, were:

  1. Malaysia Kini reported on 9 October 2007 on the rapid increase of voters registration in Ipoh Timur
  2. The 10 November 2007 BERSIH rally from Dataran Merdeka to Istana Negara
  3. The Straits Times (Singapore)’s piece of the Pulau Batu Putih dispute in International Court of Justice, with regards of the Malaysian team’s argument
  4. The 25 November 2007 HINDRAF rally reporting
  5. The Port Klang Free Zone fiasco, reported in Malaysia Kini 19 December 2007
  6. The MIC initiative of “Meet the PM session”, at the Badminton Stadium in Cheras on 21 January 2008

Of course, there was the other issue which he missed out, where The Star unbalanced report on the group which demonstrated infront of the Seri Perdana and again, Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, Chief Editor of a major English daily practicing plagiarism, Chairman of the same major English daily lied and biasness of a Chief Editor in his weekly major English daily column.

This is not the first time there is a boycott campaign against the MSMs. In the 90s, the Oppositions launched campaign against the MSMs, especially after former Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from Cabinet and UMNO on the 2 September 1998.

Published in: on January 28, 2008 at 18:45  Comments (3)  

President Suharto passed away

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Former Indonesian President Suharto, was pronounced dead in Pertamina Hospital, Jakarta after three weeks of organ complications and failure. Despite shown improvement early last week and managed to stabilised, his conditions worsened few days ago.

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Al fatihah

Suharto, born on 8 June 1921 near Jogjakarta, Centra Java, was a general in the TNI before taking over from President Soekarno on 12 March 1967, after foiling a coup d’etat staged by Indonesian Communist Party in 1966. He served as Indonesian President from 12 June 1967 to 21 May 1998, in the midst of pandemonium caused by financial melt down in the region.

Despite criticism against corrupt practices, Suharto managed to stabilise and balance the economy, growth and development in a very diversified and human-resource-rich under developed poor country, which is logistically challenged spread over 30,000 major islands. Proceeds from oil exploration were used for basic economic development programs which elevated tens of million of Indonesians from near starvation poverty level. He was also one of the pioneers of ASEAN.

Suharto’s downfall started when he accepted the ‘IMF solution’ as a remedy to the Indonesian ailing economy, after the region’s bourses and money market suffered a near catastrophy and an economic meltdown, which started from the ‘attack against currencies’ by some hedge funds. When he signed the IMF proposal as Michelle Camdessus looks over, it was captured and later depicted as “Suharto surrenders to the West”.

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Indonesia went into a viscous spiral downwards economy, which saw inflation and unemployment escalating. A massive nationwide street demonstration and rioting “Reformasi” movement was born and Indonesia, especially in Jakarta went into near pandemonium state as Suharto rapidly, relieves himself from power and control of the nation. Finally, Suharto was forced to relinquish his position on 21 May 1998.

He was succeeded by technologist Prof. Jusuf Habibie. Indonesia have never had any stability since he left power and now being plagued by political and economic pressure from the West, especially United States and Australia, on issues such as ‘terrorism’. Infact, Indonesia also was ‘forced’ to cede East Timor, for an autonomy and later independence, from the Western pressures.

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*An update of 3.10pm, Sunday 27 January 2008. From The Star:


MYT
2:58:58 PM

Suharto dies at 86

JAKARTA (Indonesia): Former Indonesian president Suharto, an army general who crushed Indonesia‘s communist movement and pushed aside the country’s founding father to usher in 32 years of tough rule that saw up to a million political opponents killed, died Sunday. He was 86.

“He has died,” Dr Christian Johannes told The Associated Press, adding that he died at 1.10pm (2.10pm Malaysian time).

Dozens of doctors on Suharto’s medical team had been rushed to the Pertamina Hospital in the capital, Jakarta, after his blood pressure fell suddenly Saturday night. Suharto had slipped out of consciousness for the first time in more than three weeks of treatment, doctors said.

Suharto, had been in intensive care with lung, heart and kidney failure since he was admitted to the hospital on Jan 4. Over the past week his physicians had spoken of a recovery, but by Sunday that had changed dramatically. – AP

Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 14:31  Comments (4)  

Paranoia Singapura dibuktikan

Memang sah dan terbukti Singapura merupakan sebuah negara paranoia dan di’buru dengan bayang bayang dan “hantu” imaginasi’ sendiri.

Mereka mempunyai mentaliti tegar bahawa mereka bberada dalam situasi ‘ancaman dan bahaya’ maksimum dan perlu sentiasa berada dalam keadaan berjaga jaga (satu peringkat sebelum tahap ‘peperangan’).

Mungkin hantu dalam kepada sendiri ini sebenarnya ialah baying baying dan perasaan kegelisahan mereka, sebagai ‘agen’ dan penoyong kuat (ally) Yahudi Zionism, dalam rantau Nusantara yang dihuni 220 juta masyarakat Islam Sunnah-wal-jamaah ini.

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Peristiwa terbaru, ialah apabila dua pesawat tempur canggih F16C tentera udara ‘pseudo Israel’ ini dikerah, seluruh Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) diletak dalam keadaan berjaga jaga dan sehinggakan lapangan terbang antarabangsa Changi terpaksa ditutup selama 50 minit dan melibatkan berpuluh ribu pengembara. Ini semua kerana satu pesawat awam Cessna 208 tanpa jadual asal masuk ke ruang angkasa Malaysia, dalam perjalanan ke Singapura (lapangan terbang pesawat peribadi Seletar) dari Selatan Thailand.

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Laporan The Star:

Singapore informed by DCA of Cessna flight

PETALING JAYA: The Department of Civil Aviation informed its Singapore counterpart of the flight plan of a Cessna 208 plane, which caused a major security alert at Changi Airport on Tuesday.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the DCA allowed the plane, which took off from Koh Samui in Thailand to enter Malaysian airspace, as it posed no danger.

“It was just a small plane and we had confirmed that it brought no threat to the country’s defence.

 “The DCA immediately informed its Singapore counterpart after getting the information from the Thai DCA that the plane was having some problems and needed repairs in Singapore,” he said after attending the memorial service of Prof Dr Wolfgang Franke here yesterday.

Dr Franke, who died in September last year, was a guest professor at the Chinese Faculty, Universiti Malaya where Chan graduated.

It was reported that Singapore scrambled two F-16 fighters to intercept the plane, piloted by two Australians.

The incident caused a major flight disruption at Changi which was forced to close for 50 minutes.

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

Sejak kebelakangan ini, SAF dibawah pimpinan Rear Admiral (NS) Teo Chee Hean telah dibangunkan dengan pelbagai senjata dan peralatan peperangan yang strategik. Senjata seperti program kapal selam Kockum Class dari Sweden, program frigat Lafayette Class “Project Delta” dari Perancis, pembelian kereta kebal Leopard III dari Jerman, pesawat tempur F16C, pembelian helicopter tempur AH 64D Apache Longbow dan paling terbaru, program pesawat tempur superior F15-ST Eagle dari Amerika Syarikat (yang disokong oleh pesawat pengangkut minyak KC-130H and pesawat amaran awal (AWACS)E-2C Hawkeye) .

SAF E-2C which operates from Tengah Air Base

Pembelian dan pembangunan senjata senjata ini menunjukan bukan sebagai ‘alatan pertahanan’ (asset of defense and ‘deterrence’), malah ianya lebih cenderung kepada Singapura sebagai ‘aggressor’, dirantau ini. Ini kerana Singapura merupakan sebuah negara kecil dan jiran jiran sekeliling rantau ini bukanlah bersifat hostil (hostile), malah tidak pernah menunjukan ‘kuasa’ (force) dalam apa apa masalah intra ASEAN ini, yang memberi sebab untuk persenjataan sebegini kuat dibangunkan.

Mungkin ini boleh dijelaskan dengan doktrin pertahanan, sebagaimana yang dihuraikan Tim Huxley, seorang penganalisa pertahanan terkemuka rantau ini dalam bukunya Defending the Lion City.

Ianya, berkaitan rapat dengan SAF yang telah dibangunkan oleh jurulatih dan ‘penasihat’ teknikal dan strategik Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), semenjak PM Lee Kuan Yew dengan mendadak dan tergesa gesa membuat keputusan untuk membangunkan angkatan bersenjata sendiri, setelah di’nyah’ keluar dari Malaysia pada Ogos 1965. Ini dinyatakan dalam buku memoir beliau, From Third World To First dan The Singapore Story.

Singapura sebagai ally kuat Israel dirantau ini dan peristiwa serangan pesawat keatas pusat dagangan dunia Manhattan, New York 11 September 2001 ‘menghantui’ dan menjadikan Singapura ‘paranoia’.

*Gambar-foto dimuat naik dari http://www.airliners.net

Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 11:23  Comments (4)  

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders insult the Al Quran

A little two years after the caricature that defame Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. in Denmark which saw the Muslims globally vent their deep dissatisfaction and anger, the Western Europeans done it again.

This time, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders produced a ten minute video that depicts Holy Book Al Quran as a “Facist book” and “by bad people to do bad thing”. Of course, it drew so much hate reaction amongst Muslims, all over the globe.

As early as last November, he already planned to produce the video. The Dutch authority claimed they had no authority to stop this move. This wasn’t Wilders first attempt to defame Islam and the Muslims.

From the Associated Press:

Dutch lawmaker planning film criticizing the Quran

The Associated Press

Published: November 28, 2007

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: A Dutch conservative lawmaker said Wednesday he is making a film to highlight what he describes as “fascist” passages in the Quran, his latest high profile criticism of Islam.

The interior and justice ministers said they were concerned, but believed they had no authority to prevent the lawmaker, Geert Wilders, from screening his film.

Wilders plans to depict parts of the Quran he says are used as inspiration “by bad people to do bad things.”

Less than 10 minutes long, the film is expected to air in late January. It will show “the intolerant and fascist character of the Quran,” said Wilders, whose anti-Islam campaign helped his Freedom Party win nine seats in parliament in last year’s election.

 

In the past, Wilders has said that half the Quran should be torn up and compared it with Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf.” He has claimed the Netherlands is being swamped by a “tsunami” of Islamic immigrants.

Immigrants from Muslim countries number about 1 million of the country’s 16 million people.

Wilders’ planned broadcast is reminiscent of the film “Submission” — a fictional study of abused Muslim women with scenes of near-naked women with Quranic texts engraved on their flesh.

“Submission” director Theo van Gogh was shot and had his throat slit by a Muslim extremist on an Amsterdam street in 2004. Prominent Muslim critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the screenplay, was threatened in a note left on Van Gogh’s body. She now lives under round-the-clock protection in the United States.

Justice Ministry spokesman Wim van der Weegen said the government is “taking measures” before the broadcast of Wilders’ film. He declined to elaborate.

“Based on the discussion, the ministers have expressed concern,” Van der Weegen said. “But at the same time (they) have said that Mr. Wilders has freedom of expression.”

Wilders said he is not afraid of reprisals if his film angers Muslims. “I have lived with 24-hour protection for three years,” he said.

“I will make the film and see what reaction it creates.”

Dutch Muslim leaders did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

However, some Dutch Muslim urged everyone to remain calm over the video, as some of them tried to “neutralize the threat”.

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This could be the most controversial anti Islam remark since Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” were published in 1988 and drew so much hate remarked. The highlight of all the negative publicities reached its peak when Iranian Shiite spritual leader Ayahtollah Khomeinei called the book “Blasphemous” and issued a death fatwa that tantamount as a threat against Rushdie in early 1989. Until present day, despite that Khomeini had died, the threat has not been revoked and for many years, Rushdie lived in hiding.

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Then another major controversy rose when Danish newspaper Jyllands-Polsten published caricatures on 30 September 2005 which depicted Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. that insulted the feelings Muslims. Muslims are known not to depict Muhammad S.A.W. in any form of portraits or sculptures. The publications of these caricatures lead to Muslims group, including in liberal countries such as Dubai to campaign for a boycott of Danish produces.

This is definitely not a good time for these sort of negative publicities and hurt the feelings of Muslims, one fifth of the entire world’s inhabitants as vox populi vox Dei, at the same week where Western media highlighted fellow Gazan brothers were under siege and total blockade by the Israeli Zionist regime while an ‘undeclared war’ escalate.

Published in: on January 25, 2008 at 20:43  Comments (2)  
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