Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another great BN-bashing speech from Anwar Ibrahim!


"...Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10,11

Believe! This is the week of Christmas — and it is so important that we believe God and receive Christ.

When the angel Gabriel spoke to the virgin Mary over 2,000 years ago and said she would have a Son even though she was a virgin, she did not doubt — she believed. She said “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Mary believed God — and she received God’s promise, the Christ child.

When you celebrate Christmas this year, focus on Christ — the wonderful son of God who came to earth to be our Savior. Believe in Him as the Son of God; receive Him in to your heart if you have not done so already. And let’s pray that:
  • Millions of people across the whole world will believe in God and in Jesus Christ as the Son of God
  • People everywhere will receive Christ as their Savior and Lord
  • Your own friends and family will all welcome Christ as their personal Saviour

When Christ came to be born on earth, people had a simple choice — would they believe in Him as Savior?

Would they receive Him into their lives?

Would they welcome Him?

Our choice is the same today.

Let us celebrate the birth of Christ into the world — and into our hearts. Merry Christmas!

Please pray for all the people who are lonely this Christmas.

For many people, Christmas is a time of great joy.

Other people may be alone, and afraid, and not have anyone to spend the holidays with.

Please pray that others would come around them and show them love.


Friday, December 14, 2007


Transkip Penuh: (Full Transcript)

(Some Parts are slightly inaudible. This transcript may not be entirely accurate.)

Lingam: The CJ (Chief Justice - judiciary’s No 1 post) said his relative is now the Agong, so he wants to stay on to 68, so, Tengku Adnan said - I told Tengku Adnan, yesterday I had a meeting with him - he said PM is already very angry with him … and … he said no problem, he is going to make you acting err… confirm your position as PCA (President of Court of Appeal – judiciary’s No 2), working very hard, and then get Tan Sri Mokhtar as CJM (Chief Judge of Malaya – judiciary’s No 3).

Ah, so we just keep it confidential. I am working very hard on it. Then there is a letter, according to Tengku - I am going to see him tomorrow - there is a letter sent to … ah … CJ - I mean Tan Sri Dzaiddin - that Datuk Heliliah, …er Datuk Ramli and Datuk Maarop be made judges, and he rejected that Dr Andrew Chew and apa itu Zainudin Ismail lah because Zainuddin Ismail who condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mohtar’s appointment.

And then you also, it seems, wrote a letter for the remaining … confirmed as judges. As per our memo, I discussed with Tun Eusoff Chin and we sent the same memo to PM. I just want to get a copy letter that this has been done.

And then Tan Sri Dzaiddin said he is going to recommend six people for the Court of Appeal, but until today the letter hasn’t come to PM. He never discussed, but neither he has sent the letter to PM. He has not sent. So, I know it is under the constitution, for judges all, that is your job, Datuk, to send, but we don’t want to make it an issue now.

Ah, okay. Actually I told Tengku Adnan to inform PM, PM to call you for a meeting. But I will organise this so that Tengku Adnan will call you directly. And then I got your number, I will tell him to call you directly to for you to meet PM lah. Ah… So should be okay, then ar… correct, correct, it is very important that the key players must be there.

Correct, correct, correct. Correct, correct. You know that the same problem that Tun Eusoff Chin had. He tried to do all this and yet he has run out of soldiers. He couldn’t do it because many were from the other camp. Last time was unfortunate because Tun Daim was doing everything sabotaging, you know lah…

Otherwise how are things with you - everything is okay? No, don’t worry. You know sometimes Tan Sri Vincent said that half the time we are talking about judiciary rather than doing the work. But if I don’t do this part, my work will be useless. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Ah, yes. Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. Right, right, right. Correct. Ah. Ah. Right! Susah. You see he has now asked for six Court of Appeal judges, so that he can put his men before he retires.

Correct, correct, correct, ah, and then, ah, ah, correct, correct, correct, correct, correct.

Ah, never mind, I will do this, I will get er… Tengku Adnan to arrange for PM to call you and Tan Sri Vincent Tan for PM to call. You know why, actually, I am very grateful to Tan Sri Vincent Tan, You know why? I brainwashed him so much I even quarreled with him.

One day I went to Vincent Tan’s house, I fired him at night in his house. I said bloody hell, if you don’t do this who will do it? All these people, Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, Tan Sri Zainal all fought for …that. Then he called Tengku Adnan. Tengku Adnan he said, saya bukan Perdana Menteri Malaysia lah, you know. If the old man doesn’t want to listen to me, go to hell.

He quarreled with me. I said never mind, never mind, Tan Sri, you talk to PM again tomorrow morning to put Datuk Ahmad Fairuz to CJM. So next day morning he went and he called me back 9.30 that he said PM has already agreed. So I said never mind, we hope for the best. So I said no harm trying, the worst that it can happen is you lose.

Being the old man, he is 76 years old, he gets whispers everywhere, and then you don’t whisper, he get taken away by the other side. But, now the PM is very alert because every time he gets letters from Tan Sri Dzaiddin, he calls Tengku Adnan, he says discuss with Vincent, come and discuss. And…

Yes, yes, ya. Correct, correct. Ya, but you see although I know PM, but my views … I am a lawyer in practice… my views are… I go through them, I go through them lah.

Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah.

And then Dzaiddin will go and tell them you went and saw PM and make a big issue out of it. Oh ya, I think so, I think so.

Okay, fine, fine, fine, fine. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Right, okay, okay. Ah. Ah. Correct, correct.

Now I heard Raja Aziz, Raja Aziz ah, two weeks ago spoke to my lawyer Thayalan, and another lawyer Anad, in the High Court - they have a case with each other. So, Thayalan and Anad asked Raja Aziz, how is Tan Sri Wan Adnan?

He said he is on his way down. But you know what is the shocking thing he said? Datuk Fairuz became CJM. He overruled everybody, in three months time, he is going to be PCA, and six months time, he is going to be CJ. He said I can’t take this shock. He told lah. Ha!

It seems ah that they are going to organise a campaign … they are going to organise a campaign to run you down. But you just keep quiet - don’t say anything. Don’t … even the press ask, you said I leave it to God, that’s all. Don’t say. I really like your message. You said I work very hard, what can I do? I leave it to God. That’s the best answer, Datuk, that you can ever give. Ah.

Yes… I will also get Tan Sri to remind PM to put a Tan Sri ship this year lah. You know, this will elevate you, you know.

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Ah. Steve Shim got so fast, Tan Sri Chong waited for a whole year to get Tan Sriship.

Ah. My God, that’s why, ah. Correct, correct, correct, correct, ya, ya, ya, ya, right, right, right, correct, correct.

Don’t worry, we organise this. And if Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku Adnan want to meet you privately, they will, I will call you. We organise a private arrangement, in a very neutral place.

No, don’t worry, Datuk, I know how much you suffered for Tun Eusoff Chin. And Tun said Datuk Ahmad Fairuz 110 percent loyalty. We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of PM and for the sake of the country. Not for our own interest, not for our own interest. We want to make sure the country comes out well.

Well, you suffered so much, so much you have done - for the election petition, Wee Choo Keong, everything. How much, nobody would have done all these.

Yes, you know. Ah. Good lah. You don’t worry. I am constantly working on this. I…

Ya, ya, don’t worry, don’t worry. We work hard on this er Datuk. And if Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku want to see you, I will organise it in a confidential place.

Okay, Datuk, all the very best. God bless you and your family.

Okay. Thank you, thank you. Bye-bye, bye-bye.

[Off Camera Voice]: Who is that Dato?

Lingam: Chief Justice Malaya.

[Off Camera Voice]: Who is that?

Lingam: Dato Ahmad Fairuz

[Off camera voice]: Oh Ahmad Fairuz.

Lingam: I put him up there. Don’t tell this, please. I cannot tell this to Manjit. And he is acting President Court of Appeals Number 2 post. He is next Chief Justice. He always says “I leave it to you.”

[Off Camera Voice]: I thought you were very close to Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk?

Lingam: He is Eusoff Chin’s man, Eusoff Chin retired. But Dzaiddin hates Eusoff Chin, you understand? Ah..

[Off Camera Voice]: Because you know I…I…I..as far as I know you are very…

Lingam: Eusoff Chin and I are extremely close. Because you know…Yeah. Eusoff Chin in power, I can straight and get in Pom! Pom! Pom! Pom! But now Dzaiddin is there. So Dzaiddin is attacking our cases. That means what? James Kumar is aligned to Dzaiddin. But Dzaiddin is retiring in 15th of September. He is finished.

[Off camera voice]: Next year?

Lingam: So Dzaiddin really wants to go…Don’t worry. Dzaiddin recommended Malik Ahmad to be Chief Judge of Malaya. But we went and “cut” “cut” cut” cut” I and Tengku Adnan and Vincent told PM. I stop him for now, because he is anti-PM. We put Fairuz in. And we put…I told you three months ago he became CJM [Chief Justice Malaya]. He said “Don’t believe.” Then he got it. He rang up to thank me. And all that. He now acting PCA because Wan Adnan is sick. Right? This. Apart from law knowledge you need kow tow. Please understand that. You need to know the emperor. Knowing the law doesn’t give you the winning formula, you must also kow tow to the emperor. Correct or not? So now I am working very hard. So he agreed to meet Vincent Tan and PM and…what you call Tengku Adnan.

[Off camera voice]: Do you think Vincent has an interest over PM?

Lingam: You don’t know about the history. Businesswise may not be successful. Robert Kuok is very brilliant. Lim Goh Tong is very rich. Vincent Tan, you know what PM say? He went to Averton he went to Langkawi. He said bincang. I want you to build a hotel here. His wife pulled him away. [Inaudible] He said Dato Seri I will think about it. The wife pulled him away. There is another [inaudible] cannot get a bank loan. Vincent there. Vincent, can you build a hotel? Ready for next Air show?

I want you do it in 6 months. `Datuk Seri, Don’t worry, I will get it done.’ He paid double the price to get all of them. A big loss lah. Then Solomon Island and Fiji and all, he said, Vincent go and invest there, he went and bought…[inaudible] the government factory [inaudible] you do this project a bit and cover up your loss. PM will do what he want to do to cover your backside.

[Off camera voice]: Vincent is very close to him.

Lingam: That’s right. Don’t ask… because Vincent has taken me to PM’s residence… the house … [inaudible]… Anwar’s case… the lawyers…Wee Cheong … [inaudible]. But I cannot go and talk to PM just like that and say promote this and that…

Because ah, he knows… I am a… but when PM calls me on Anwar’s case, I can tell him… he’ll listen…But if I go promote so and so, that means I got interest. So, I don’t do that. I use Vincent and Tengku, go and do that. I don’t f*** them up. They go

and do that. But I tell you this lah. Don’t tell in front of people, of course. Life, one thing go confidential wrong is dangerous. Ah. Never, never say…You should… never. Even though to PM. You should never say. I don’t know. I always say “I don’t know.” That’s all.

[Off camera voice]: Everybody… I think many people know. Even the son case, everything I talk the father, …. Talk until he agreed.

Lingam: You know me [inaudible]. But I never talk about it. Even the son’s case, I do everything. I talk to the father…Talk until he agreed. But if it is a big crisis that affects him, ….I can talk, he will listen. But if I want to favour somebody, that I cannot guarantee. Because my interest is not his interest. You know what I mean. Tomorrow invest your interest involving your father, I can come say this this this, you will listen. But tomorrow I appeal for me, you are not obliged to listen. Because you are a politician, PM. Politician is what is your interest, not what is my interest. But if I am giving advise on your interest, you will listen. On my interest, you will not. You must be careful about this.

[Off camera voice]: Datuk, I need to ask you this question.

Lingam: Ask me. Ask me.

[Off camera voice]: For a while now…

Lingam: Because we can talk behind these people.

[Off camera voice]:… Actually, I think, you know, Daim has more equity interest in Berjaya than Vincent Tan, isn’t that true?

Lingam: Let me tell you something … [inaudible] was bought by Daim … [inaudible]. Later on he did some deals where Daim supposed to help him. One or two he helped. Supposed to give him some money. Didn’t give. Part was paid, part not paid. Later on Daim called up and he got paid.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BERSIH Memorandum to Parliament

Coalition For Clean And Fair Elections (BERSIH)
4A Jalan Sepadu, Taman United, Off Jalan Klang Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (03) 79806571 Fax: (03) 79802697 URL: www.bersih.org Email: info@bersih.org

BERSIH Memorandum to the Parliament of Malaysia and All Its Members


The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) urges the Parliament of Malaysia, which consists of His Majesty the Yang diPertuan Agong, Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara to reject the proposed bill to amend Article 114 of the Federal Constitution, which will effect in Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s extension as the Election Commission (EC) Chairperson up to one-and-a-half years.

BERSIH stresses that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid, whose service is continuously marred with recurring electoral frauds and manipulations, is not fit for the job and must go immediately. All parliamentarians must therefore vote against this Constitutional Amendment Bill so obviously being rushed through to keep him the job is an insult to both the Constitution and Parliament.

1. In principle, BERSIH has no objection to the extension of the retirement age from 65 to 66 years for all members of the EC. The removal of an EC is constitutionally stipulated to be done in the same manner as a Federal Court judge, whose retirement age has been increased from 65 to 66 years, such synchronization is not objectionable.

2. The Constitutional Bill, if passed through both chambers of the Parliament and consented by HM the Yang diPertuan Agong by this December 31, will however become a back-door extension for Tan Sri Abdul Rashid whose birthday falls on the same day. In other words, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has to retire if Article 114 of the Federal Constitution is not amended in time. On the other hand, if the amendment is passed, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid may stay on effectively till June 2009 with the conventional half-year extension after retirement. In other words, this will ensure that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid oversees the next elections.

3. The Constitutional Bill, hastily tabled for first reading in Dewan Rakyat on November 20, 2007 and scheduled for second reading on December 11, 2007, is therefore a “Save Rashid” Amendment. Such “Save Rashid” Amendment, by reducing the Federal Constitution to a tool to serve the interests of one individual especially one unfit for the job, is an insult and assault to constitutional democracy.

4. Article 114(2) stipulates “the importance of securing an Election Commission which enjoys public confidence”, which Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has clearly failed. Here is a non-exhaustive list of 10 failures and scandals in the electoral process under his service in and leadership of the EC:

4.1 The electoral rolls is contaminated with the names of the dead, non-citizens, multiple registrations and the under-aged, allowing election outcomes to be determined by phantoms rather than citizens. In 2001, Justice Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang nullified the election result of Likas state constituency in Sabah on the grounds that the 1998 state electoral roll was illegal as phantom voters, including non-citizens, had cast their votes on polling day.

4.2 The government responded to the Likas verdict by changing the Election Act so that election outcome can no longer be challenged on the grounds of electoral roll validity. All EC wrongdoings are now protected. In a manner amounting to contempt of court, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid attacked Justice Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang on December 4, 2007, alleging that the judge took it out on the government because he was 'frustrated with certain things'.

4.3 Voters are transferred from one constituency to another to secure victory for the ruling coalition. In October 2007, EC secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor blamed some assistant registration officers for cases that happened before 16 July, 2002. If found guilty under the Election Offences Act 1954, those officers shall be liable for imprisonment up to two years, fine up to RM 5,000 or both. However, no names have been disclosed and no police reports lodged.

4.4 Such transfer or implantation of voters continues to happen after 2002. The latest case is the increase of 8,463 voters within three months at Ipoh Barat constituency which the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Mr Lim Kit Siang won with a margin of 9,774 votes in 2004.

4.5 The extent of irregularities and fraudulent registrations, seen particularly in the Ijok by-election on 28 April 2007, is shocking:
• Over 50 dead voters were still on the electoral roll and 12 of them, all of them Malays from the Jaya Setia polling district, rose up from their graves to cast their votes on polling day.
• Three Chinese voters at Pekan Ijok had their votes stolen by impostors, who had turned up earlier at the polling station.
• As many as 23 voters were registered without national identity cards.
• As many as 32 voters aged between 100 and 132 years old were still listed on the electoral rolls.

4.6 In the 2004 general elections, the use of three different versions of the electoral roll led to a breakdown and chaos in polling in at least 17 parliamentary constituencies in Selangor and three in Kuala Lumpur. EC then ordered an illegal extension of polling for two extra hours in some of these constituencies. No EC officers have been prosecuted or penalized for the chaos.

4.7 Also in the 2004 general elections, provisional results showed that 98% of the registered voters collected parliamentary ballots in Kuala Terengganu, but 10,254 ballots were not returned. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid offered an absurd explanation that KT voters had the hobby of collecting ballot papers. The final result published on the Gazette saw the reduction of turnout rate to 84% and the missing ballots to 240, with no explanation offered for this changes.

4.8 For years, elections have seen high number of missing ballots in many constituencies. Top on the list for four elections from 1990 and 2004 was the Lumut constituency, which saw the extent of unreturned ballots soaring from 2,763 in 1982 to 8,176 in 1999. Had these missing ballots found their ways to polling stations in other constituencies, they would have overturned outcomes in many marginal seats. Blaming it on the weakness of postal voting registration, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has failed to end this phenomenon so damaging to the credibility of the EC and electoral process.

4.9 Mal-apportionment and gerrymandering of constituencies have gone from bad to worse with the 2002 constituency re-delineation exercise. In 2004, BN won an unprecedented 91% parliamentary majority with a mere 64% popular votes. This effectively means that one vote for BN was equivalent for 3 votes for DAP, 8 votes for PAS and 26 votes for Keadilan. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid has made a mockery of the “one person, one vote” principle.

4.10 Ultimately, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid is unfit to chair the EC for he lacks the most fundamental quality: the moral courage and the commitment to act independently, guided only by the Constitution and the best interest of Malaysia’s democracy.

In 2003, he conceded that EC’s ability to carry out its task independently has been hampered by the government. In November 2007, he indirectly admitted that the election date was set by the Prime Minister. On December 8, 2007, he inappropriately said that the ruling coalition is the only regime capable of running the country.

5. On the grounds that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid is unfit to chair EC and his retirement on this December 31 in the best interest of the nation, BERSIH urges all parliamentarians to vote against the Constitutional Amendment Bill.

Mustafa Ali arrested at Parliament Building

Mustafa Ali Arrested in Parliament

Four BERSIH Petitioners Detained in Parliament Compound

About This Video
11 December 2007

The darkest day of Malaysian Parliament

Police detained Mustafa Ali in Parliament compound this morning, without any court order.

The unparliamentary police action could be seen as 'invading' the Parliament and utter contempt of the sanctity of the Parliament.

Abdullah is bad for the country?

Abdullah is bad for the country. The people know this. The opposition knows this. And now Umno is beginning to accept this fact as well. But Umno will rally behind Abdullah if Umno is in jeopardy. They will support Abdullah if Umno’s fate is in question. They will not oppose Abdullah if Umno’s future is at risk. They will only abandon Abdullah if in the process Umno does not suffer.

Our first task in hand is not to topple the ruling party. That can come later if it ever comes at all. We need to save the nation and get rid of that which is detrimental to this nation’s health. And that cancer which will eventually see the death of this nation is the man who leads us in the corridors of power.

So we, the people, must not oppose Umno. The ruling party is not the enemy. The enemy is he who leads Umno and who will affect the future of all of us, those in the opposition as well as in the ruling party.

Courtesy of bodoland

Abdullah may have his Watergate a.k.a Lingamgate hanging over Mahathir’s head. Mahathir, however, has his own Watergate a.k.a Dolahgate hanging over Abdullah’s head as well. Is it a checkmate? Or is it a case of who blinks first dies?

Abdullah has lost the plot. Even those close to him have become very worried. Too many things are not right. BERSIH, HINDRAF, and the host of other issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Abdullah has launched an OPS PADAM. This Ops Padam is the codename for an operation to wipe out all those opposed to him. Today, about two dozen were arrested. On Sunday, a dozen were arrested. More than 60 Indians will face attempted murder charges. Abdullah thinks that if he erases (padam) the opposition then his problems will be solved.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Anwar: Voters have themselves to blame

Daily Express, 5/12/07

Kota Belud: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said it was not the fault of the Barisan Nasional leaders if they had not performed to expectations.

On the contrary, the people had themselves to blame for having given them the mandate. "If the people continue to give their support to these BN representatives, then they would know what would befall their generations in time to come, he said.

Anwar was addressing some 2,500 PKR supporters, here, Sunday. He further claimed that supporting the BN would mean supporting the self-interests of the leaders and their cronies, family members and nepotism that would make the people even poorer and sideline their rights.

He pointed out that the PKR struggle was not a question of political challenge but more of saving Sabah, and the country in general, as the people's rights had eroded gradually.

Citing an example, he said senior BN leaders were given a RM540 million commission for the purchase of two Russian submarines, "but a serviceman only receives a RM500 monthly pension upon retirement".

He further alleged that Umno's domination in the BN totally disregards the views of component parties.

Meanwhile, Kota Belud PKR chief Jalumin Samin claimed that 15,000 people had joined the party in Kota Belud, while several former BN leaders and members, like James Bagah handed 1,500 application forms to Anwar.

Sunday's function also saw both Anwar and Jeffrey celebrating their joint 60th birthday. Anwar earlier also addressed supporters in Kota Belud, Tuaran and Tamparuli.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I disagree with the country’s leaders-Gerakan MP

By Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon
State Legislative Assemblyman for Machang Bubok, Pulau Pinang (BN-Gerakan

Several major marches and pickets, all peaceful, have taken place in our country over the last few months.

There was the ‘Walk for Justice’ organised by the Bar Council. This peaceful march called for a complete review of the country’s judiciary system with a view to restoring its independence, and hence put into effect the separation of powers so important for justice. This was followed by a march to the palace organised by Bersih, a broad coalition of political parties and NGOs, calling for free and fair elections.

The most recent, this time to hand over a memorandum to the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur , was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf, in short. Although the stated objective of this last demonstration was to demand compensation for the exploitation of Indians from the British government, it was in effect to highlight the socio-economic and cultural plight of the Indians, especially their lower strata.

To all these must be added the numerous pickets called by the trade unions for higher salaries just to meet rises in costs of living so burdensome to the workers.

All these marches and pickets, especially those organised by Bersih and Hindraf, drew tens of thousands of people. And this, despite the authorities warning the public not to take part as these assemblies were all so-called “illegal”. Participants were threatened with arrest should they take part in all these illegal assemblies.

These marches drew flak and condemnation from almost all Barisan Nasional leaders. Their criticisms centred on their illegality, potential threat to peace, the possible destablisation of the economy including frightening away foreign investors. I disagree with the views of our country’s leaders.

Instead of condemning, one would have thought and hoped that they should have been more concerned over the grievances, frustrations and disappointments that have brought so many thousands to the streets in the first place and to seek fair and just solutions to them.

Is it true that there are lots of defects in our country’s judicial system? If so, what are they? What must we do to overcome these so that we can restore its independence, and give real substance to the separation of powers in order to strengthen our country’s democratic institutions?

Likewise, what are the shortcomings in our country’s electoral system, especially pertaining to the electoral rolls, election campaigning, access to media, etc? And on Hindraf, what are the grievances, frustrations and unhappiness of the lower strata of the Indian community, and that of all the other communities, pertaining to housing, education, health, jobs, equity and religious freedom?

Until and unless these and many more issues concerning our country’s judicial and electoral systems as well as social justice for the poor are looked into seriously and satisfactory solutions found, the discontent that has brought thousands to the streets over the last several months will remain. To me, it is this discontent and unhappiness that will be a greater threat to our country’s peace and stability, rather than the marches, pickets and demonstrations.

To be fair, the government did finally agree to the setting up of a royal commission of inquiry to look into the Lingam case that triggered the outpouring of dissatisfaction over the state of our judicial system. The terms of reference of this soon to be set-up royal commission have, however, not yet been announced. Hopefully, its scope of work will include getting to the bottom of why our judicial system has declined so precipitously over the years.

A truly democratic society that allows peaceful marches, an independent and just judicial system, free and fair elections, equal respect by the state for all religious faiths and social justice for the poor are, among others, the key pillars of democracy, peace and stability. Without these, no amount of coercion, including the threat to use the obnoxious Internal Security Act (ISA), can bring us the lasting peace and security that all Malaysians desire.

Finally, I find it extremely disturbing that a backbench Barisan Nasional MP who took a divergent stand on Hindraf should be so severely rebuked and chastised by a couple of BN leaders. This clearly does not augur well at all for intra-BN democracy.

The message sent seems to be that all BN elected representatives are expected to be meek and passive followers of the views of their leaders and that no space is provided for independent views, including those articulated by the larger civil society. I wonder how such a stance by the leaders can attract people who want to seek changes from within!

The writer is a member of Penang State Gerakan Party and Chairman state Economic Planning, Education, and Human Resources Development, Science, Technology and Innovation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sidang Parlimen: HINDRAF rally - debate

The Truth behind HINDRAF rally

Hindu Rights Action Force
No. 135-3-A, Jalan Toman 7,
Kemayan Square,
70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Malaysia. Tel : 06-7672995/6
Fax: 06-7672997 Email waytha@hotmail.com


The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown
Prime Minister of the United Kindom
10 Downing Street, Fax: +442079250918
London, URGENT

Dear Sirs,




We refer to the above critical matters in Malaysia but which generally gets the least attention locally even by the Opposition parties, NGO’s, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission and the media for this community is generally regarded as politically insignificant, do not draw local or international funding and are deemed not pressworthy. To the contrary the Malaysian government has successfully projected itself to the world as a modern Islamic thinking country which is not true.

The ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia were brought in to Malaysia by the British some 200 over years ago. Since independence in 1957 the Malaysian Indians have been permanently colonialised by the Islamic fundamentalist and Malay chauvinists UMNO led Malaysian government.

Among the recent atrocities committed by this government are as follows:-

1.100 over Indians were slashed and killed by the UMNO controlled Malaysian government in the Kampung Medan mini genocide. Despite numerous appeals, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission has refused to hold a Public Inquiry. The UMNO controlled Malaysian courts struck off a victim’s public interest civil suit for a Public Inquiry to be held without even the said UMNO controlled government having to file in their defence. The UMNO controlled Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police refused to investigate and / or initiate an inquest into the death of at least six Indians in this tragedy despite.

2. Every week one person at average is killed in a shot to kill policy and in every 2 weeks one person is killed in police custody. About 60% of these victims are Indians though they form only 8% of the Malaysian population.

3. In every three weeks one Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia.

The latest being the demolishment of the Mariaman temple in Padang Jawa, Shah Alam, Selangor early this morning (15.11.2007) and the next being the (Mutaiya) Hindu temple in Sungai Petani scheduled for the 29.11.2007.

A violent armed pre down attack at 4.00a.m this morning was launched by the UMNO controlled Malaysian government backed by about 600 police, riot police, Islamic extremist and armed terrorists which completely destroyed this temple.

In an attack two weeks ago, uniformed police, riot police and city Council officers hurled rocks and attacked unarmed Hindu devotees with knives, sticks and iron rods.

At least 20 Hindu devotees were seriously injured and 19 arrested including 4 of their United Kingdom trained lawyers in direct violation of Article 5 (Right to life) Article 8 (Equality) Article 11 (Freedom of Religion) Section 295 (defiling a place of worship), Section 296 (disturbing a religious assembly), 298A(causing racial disharmony) and Section 441(criminal trespass) of the Malaysian Penal Code.

These authorities are plagued by an above the law mindset and in fact liberally take the law into their own hands. These atrocities however does not happen to almost all Islamic places of worship. Please visit www.policewatchmalaysia.com for further and better particulars.

4. State sponsored direct discrimination against the Indians in Public University intakes, Indian (Tamil) Schools, skills training institutes, civil service and private sector job opportunities, business and license opportunities and in almost all other aspects of daily life.

Despite our hundreds of letters, appeals and pleas to the Malaysian King and Sultans, the Prime Minister, Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Ministers, Chief Ministers and the latest being our letters to the Prime Minister dated 29.10.2007 and 30.10.2007 and to the Attorney General dated 1.11.2007 the Malaysian authorities are only proceeding with greater ferocity and with impunity with very little regard for the Federal Constitution and laws of Malaysia. So please help us.


We fear that this peace loving Indian community of Tamil origin having been pushed to the corner and the persecution getting worse by the day may be forced to into terrorism in a matter of time as what has happened to the Sri Lankan Tamils.


On our part we are committed to a peaceful and lawful struggle and pray and appeal that the Government of the United Kingdom:-

1. Moves an emergency United Nations resolution condemning these state sponsored atrocities and persecutions of Malaysian Indians in Malaysia.

2. Refers Malaysia to the World Court and the International Criminal Court for Crimes against it’s own ethnic minority Indians

Thank You,

Yours Faithfully

Legal Adviser

Monday, November 19, 2007


The Malaysian people has spoken. 138,000 people cannot be wrong! "THE YELLOW WAVE - PEOPLE POWER - THE PEOPLE STAND TALL' ..... Barisan Nasional government is in 'Panic'. KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN IS 'SPEECHLESS'.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Memorandum kepada DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agung

Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH)

Tarikh: 10 November 2007

1. BERSIH adalah sebuah jawatankuasa gabungan yang terdiri daripada organisasi-organisasi masyarakat sivil dan parti-parti politik dengan matlamat utama untuk memperjuangkan pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil di Malaysia.

2. Hanya menerusi pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil sahajalah, rakyat Malaysia mampu untuk menentukan nasib mereka sendiri Malaysia dan mengharapkan mereka yang menjawat jawatan-jawatan awam untuk bertindak dengan pertanggungjawaban dan berkesan. Selagimana, rakyat tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk menyingkir golongan jahat dalam pemerintahan negara, maka selagi itulah harapan untuk mendaulatkan undang-undang, melindungi hak asasi manusia, mengadakan urus-tadbir kerajaan yang baik dan menggalakkan pembangunan rakyat yang berterusan/lestari akan terus tertakluk kepada budibicara ahli politik yang mempunyai kepentingan peribadi. Matlamat utama untuk menukar kerajaan hari ini adalah merupakan kunci ‘semak dan imbang’ dalam menentang penyalahgunaan kuasa pemerintah.

3. Adalah amat malang bagi Malaysia kerana walaupun sudah 50 tahun merdeka, ternyata Malaysia masih gagal untuk mengendalikan proses pilihanraya yang bebas dan adil. Kesimpulan ini bukan sahaja dipersetujui oleh masyarakat sivil, parti-parti politik dan pemerhati antarabangsa, malah ia juga diakui sendiri oleh Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya. Selepas pilihanraya umum pada bulan Mac 2004 yang dihantui oleh pelbagai penyelewengan dan kontroversi yang jauh lebih serius daripada pilihanraya-pilihanraya sebelumnya, maka, beliau merasakan perlu dan setuju dengan tuntutan awam untuk menjalankan penyiasatan bebas. Namun, amat mengecewakan penyiasatan bebas tersebut akhirnya tidak dijalankan.

4. Proses pengendalian pilihanraya yang tidak telus ini menimbulkan pelbagai persoalan khususnya persoalan terhadap kuasa mutlak badan pemerintah negara ini. Keadaan sebegini jika dibiarkan berterusan akan membawa petanda yang buruk untuk masa depan masyarakat dan boleh memusnahkan keutuhan sistem politik negara kita. Ini dapat dilihat pada negara-negara yang telah mengalaminya iaitu Thailand, Filipina dan Taiwan. Oleh yang demikian, BERSIH merasakan adalah perlu bagi semua rakyat Malaysia berganding bahu dan menggembleng tenaga untuk membawa perubahan yang menyeluruh dalam proses pilihanraya yang mendatang. Justeru, kami mencadangkan agenda perubahan jangka-panjang dan tiga sasaran kerja dengan segera.

5. Dalam masa jangka-panjang yang akan membatasi batas pilihanraya akan datang, BERSIH yakin dan percaya bahawa kelapan-lapan aspek ini perlu dikaji dan diperbaharui secara keseluruhannya:

a. Sistem pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk memperbetulkan ketidakseimbangan yang tinggi antara undian rakyat dan kerusi yang dipertandingkan dalam pilihanraya, dimana undi sebanyak 64% boleh diterjemahlkan kepada 91% kerusi bagi parti pemerintah. Ini adalah kerana berteraskan kepada prinsip asas ‘First-Past-The-Post’ atau ‘Yang-Pertama-Melepasi-Tiang’ dan juga manipulasi menerusi pembahagian kawasan pilihanraya yang bericirikan ‘agihan-timpang’ dan ‘curang’ atau ‘tipu-belit’.

ii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan satu sistem yang menyenaraikan semua perwakilan parti, supaya jumlah minima 30% perwakilan wanita di parlimen terjamin.

iii. Adalah perlu untuk memperkenalkan semula pilihanraya tempatan dengan sistem pilihanraya yang lebih adil, termasuk memberikan ruang yang lebih kepada penglibatan wanita dan kelompok terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

b. Pentadbiran pilihanraya:

i. Adalah perlu untuk merubah Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya sekarang yang ternyata gagal untuk bertindak sebagai sebuah institusi yang bebas dengan bergerak ke arah struktur perwakilan pelbagai parti sebagaimana yang dipraktikkan di negara-negara yang mengamalkan demokrasi

ii. Memperuntukkan undang-undang yang berkaitan dengan hak pemerhati-pemerhati antarabangsa dan tempatan

c. Penamaan calon dan parti - bahawa ketimpangan ini mesti diperbetulkan:

i. Kuasa berasaskan budibicara yang diberikan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan menyebabkan keputusan berkaitan pendaftaran dibuat secara sewenang-wenagnya. Ini dapat dilihat dalam kes Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) dan Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC);

ii. Keputusan berat sebelah dan sewenang-wenang oleh Pegawai Pengurus Pilihanraya yang akhirnya menggugurkan kelayakan calon-calon pembangkang adalah tidak adil;

iii. Klausa kontroversi yang membenarkan calon menarik diri selepas penamaan yang akhirnya membawa kepada pertuduhan rasuah dan kemenangan tanpa bertanding yang menyangsikan.

iv. Wang deposit pilihanraya yang tertinggi di dunia yang secara langsung menghalang penyertaan warga Malaysia yang kurang sumber kewangannya, termasuk golongan wanita dan beberapa kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat.

d. Kempen pilihanraya – Peruntukan undang-undang bagi perkara-perkara berikut:

i. Menetapkan satu tempoh berkempen wajib yang jauh lebih panjang daripada tempoh 8 hari berkempen dalam pilihanraya lepas yang nyata tidak bermakna langsung;

ii. Memberikan hak kebebasan bersuara dan berkumpul yang sebenar-benarnya sebagaimana yang telah diperuntukkan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia;

iii. Pengawalan secara berkesan dan menyeluruh dalam proses pembiayaan kos untuk berkempen untuk membendung amalan rasuah

iv. Pertimbangan untuk mengadakan pembiayaan awam bagi kos berkempen kepada parti-parti politik khususnya bagi calon wanita, kumpulan-kumpulan terpinggir dalam masyarakat dan latihan yang mesra gender.

e. Media;

i. Merombak undang-undang yang sedia ada yang telah membolehkan media cetak dan penyiaran dimonopoli oleh para proksi Barisan Nasional

ii. Peruntukan undang-undang bagi membolehkan semua parti politik mendapat akses atau capaian percuma kepada TV dan radio awam serta akses secara adil (percuma atau berbayar) kepada media swasta

iii. Peruntukan undang-undang bagi menjamin hak semua parti politik dan calon untuk menjawab segala bentuk tuduhan dan kritikan ke atas mereka menerusi media.

f. Kerajaan Sementara atau Caretaker

i. Bahawa kerajaan lama adalah dilarang sama sekali untuk membuat sebarang polisi atau keputusan berkaitan dengan pembangunan bilamana Parlimen atau Dewan Undangan Negeri dibubarkan.

ii. Bahawa menyalahgunakan semua sumber dan instrumen negara bagi tujuan memenangi pilihanraya atau untuk kepentingan parti adalah merupakan kesalahan jenayah

iii. Bahawa penyediaan dan penyemakan daftar pemilih perlu dibuat secara telus dan tertakluk kepada semakan kehakiman

g. Daftar Pemilih:

i. Bahawa daftar pemilih perlu dikemaskinikan dan tepat, untuk mengelakkan (i) penyingkiran dan pemindahan secara tidak sukarela para pengundi yang sah dan (ii) penyamaran dan pengundian berganda oleh ‘pengundi hantu’.
ii. Bahawa semua rakyat yang layak mengundi perlu secara automatik didaftarkan sebagai pengundi.

h. Undi:

i. Melaksanakan penggunaan dakwat kekal (indelible ink) untuk menghalang pengundian berganda;

ii. Memansuhkan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi yang berada di luar negara memandangkan pertanggungjawaban dan kerahsiaan amat terancam dalam amalan semasa

6. Untuk jangka terdekat, BERSIH telah menyeru kepada Pengerusi dan Setiausaha Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR), Tan Sri Abd. Rashid bin Abd. Rahman dan Datuk Kamaruzaman bin Mohd Noor untuk melaksanakan empat pembaharuan yang diperlukan dan boleh dilaksanakan serta-merta:

(a) penyemakan semula daftar pemilih yang lengkap demi memastikan segala kesalahan dan ketimpangan yang sedia ada dapat dihapuskan;

(b) penggunaan dakwat kekal untuk menghalang pengundian berganda;

(c) pemansuhan sistem pengundian pos kecuali untuk para diplomat dan pengundi lain di luar negara; dan

(d) akses media yang adil kepada semua pihak dalam pilihanraya.
Malangnya, setakat ini, pihak SPR cuma bersetuju dengan satu permintaan iaitu penggunaan dakwat kekal.

7. Dalam menjalankan kempen kesedaran di seluruh Negara, BERSIH telah berhadapan dengan satu tragedi sehingga pihak berkuasa menggunakan senjata dan menembak orang awam dengan peluru hidup. Peristiwa ini berlaku di Pantai Batu Burok, Kuala Terengganu pada 9hb September lalu. Bahkan, BERSIH dilontarkan tohmahan sebagai memulakan satu rusuhan. Penyiasatan bebas juga tidak dijalankan oleh badan-badan yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

8. Kami memohon Ke Bawah Duli Tuanku agar Tuanku akan
Menyuarakan kehendak rakyat menuntut pembaharuan pilihanraya termasuk mengutarakan cadangan untuk sebuah Suruhanjaya diRaja untuk mengkaji pembaharuan sistem and proses pilihanraya.

Menggunakan kuasa Tuanku di bawah Perkara 40(2), Perlembagaan Persekutuan, untuk menolak apa jua permintaan untuk membubar Parlimen selagi empat pembaharuan serta-merta di atas tidak dilaksanakan.

Ditandatangani oleh organisasi-organisasi berikut:

Parti Politik:

1. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) (KeADILan)
2. Democratic Action Party (DAP)
3. Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Party) (PAS)
4. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Malaysian Socialist Party) (PSM)
5. Sarawak Nation Party (SNAP)

Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan:

  1. Save Ourselves (SOS Penang)
  2. Tamil Foundation
  3. Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC)
  4. Citizens’ Health Initiative (CHI)
  5. Aliran (reform movement for justice, freedom and solidarity)
  6. Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
  7. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Oppressed People’s Network) (JERIT)
  8. Pusat Janadaya (EMPOWER)
  9. Community Action Network (CAN)
  10. Persatuan Kebangsaan Hak Asasi Malaysia (Malaysian National Society for Human Rights ) (HAKAM)
  11. Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
  12. Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
  13. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Voice of the Malaysian People) (SUARAM)
  14. Labour Resource Centre (LRC)
  15. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (Social Communications Centre) (KOMAS)
  16. Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
  17. Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (Malaysian Ulama Association) (PUM)
  18. Women’s Development Collective (WDC)
  19. ERA Consumer
  20. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
  21. Unit Pemikiran Politik, Institut Kajian Dasar (Political Thought Unit, Policy Research Institute) (UPP-IKD)
  22. Malaysian Voters’ Union (MALVU)
  23. All-Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  24. Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam SeMalaysia (Malaysian Islamic Students’ Coalition) (GAMIS)
  25. Research for Social Advancement (REFSA)
  26. Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (Malaysian Students’ Solidarity) (SMM)
  27. Gerakan Anti Korupsi (GERAK)
  28. Citizen Think Tank
  29. Police Watch Committee

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some UMNO Myths Young Malaysians Should Know About

by Fan Yew Teng

In the remaining months of the year in which we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Merdeka and the 44th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, and to reflect on the meaning of nationhood, it is perhaps important and necessary to examine some of the more persistent myths upon which Umno, the predominant party in the ruling coalition for the past 52 years, grew and deceived - and are still deceiving - the populace, particularly the Malays.

For a start, after 61 years, Umno is still unashamedly the political party which claims to unite and represent all the Malays. Hence, the misnomer the United Malays National Organisation, always in English, however much you might want to remind them of their claim to be champions of Bahasa Malaysia and Malay nationalism.

Most Malaysians who have been around for the past quarter of a century would very likely know or remember the interesting power struggles within Umno during the Mahathir years (1981 - 2003). The Mahathir - Tengku Razaleigh contest for the Umno presidency in 1987, which spilled over into the deregistration of Umno itself, the fights between Team A and Team B backed by the then ailing former primer ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn, the massive 'Operation Lalang' crackdown on dissidents, and the highly sensational and controversial sacking of the top judge, Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas. And then, 10 years later, Mahathir's sacking and subsequent arrest of the then deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim.

However, up to this very day, many Malaysians in general and many Umno members and supporters in particular are woefully ignorant of the tensions and undercurrents among the earlier generation of Umno leaders.

One of the enduring myths that has dominated Umno all these years is that its founding fathers - or at least the early leaders - were all self sacrificing and had always put party unity - and by extension, national unity - before personal interests.

The truth, however, is more complicated.

May 1946. Umno is born, as a movement of many Malay organisations and groups against the Malayan Union, a constitutional arrangement created by the returned British colonial masters after the Second World War.

Dato Onn Jaafar of Johore became the man of the moment after the British decided to withdraw the Malayan Union scheme, to be later replaced by the Federation of Malaya constitutional arrangement. Umno, as a confederation of Malay organisations throughout Malaya and Singapore, was triumphant. But there were already problems of disunity.

As a matter in fact, even before Umno was established, Dato Onn had faced some hostility from some influential Malay leaders in his home state of Johore. There were some strong differences between Dato Onn and Dato Abdul Rahman bin Mohd Yasin, a pre war Johore Treasurer in regard to the behaviour of Sultan Ibrahim over the MacMichael Treaties (for the Malayan Union).

Dato Abdul Rahman and some other Malay leaders in Johore had thought that Dato Onn was being too kind towards the Sultan. His two sons, Sulaiman and Dr Ismail (later Tun Dr Ismail) had refused to join Umno until after Dato Onn's resignation as Umno president in 1951.

More serious was the withdrawal of the Persatuan Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM), the Malay Nationalist Party, from the Umno confederation at the Umno meeting in Ipoh on 29 and 30 June, 1946. Ostensibly, the withdrawal was due to differences over the Umno flag. But, as Firdaus Haji Abdullah points out in his book Radical Malay Politics, "behind this issue, there were serious and substantive disagreements over policy."

The PKMM's proposal for the symbol was defeated by one vote. After a lengthy speech by Ahmad Boestamam, he and all other PKMM representatives and supporters walked out. The Malay left had broken ranks with Umno. At the same meeting, and for the same reason, the Persatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Junior Malaya also withdrew from Umno.

In mid 1947, when it was proposed to turn Umno into a political organisation and that affiliate member organisations should dissolve themselves and merge completely into Umno, the move was opposed by several organisations which, apart from the fear of losing their identity, were established long before Umno itself. Moreover, there were organisations whose leadership were drawn from the working class rather than the aristocracy and the English educated administrative group.

Thus, the Singapore Malay Association, the Sabak Bernam Malay Association and Saberkas of Kedah (which had some radical and 'socialist' orientation), chose to remain as associate member organisations only rather than dissolve themselves. The Perikatan Melayu Kelantan and the Kesatuan Melayu Johore withdrew completely from Umno.

More serious splits were to come.

In February 1950, mainly to draw away support from the Hizbul Muslimin, the Muslim Party formed during the second week of March 1948, UMNO formed a body within itself called the Persatuan Ulamak Sa-Malaya. Haji Ahmad Fuad, Dato Onn's friend, became the leader of this body.

(Consider for a moment the irony and hypocrisy of Umno leaders who now say that politics and religion shouldn't mix)

In June 1951, however, the Persatuan Ulamak Sa-Malaya teamed up with another Islamic group consisting of former adherents of the Hizbul Muslimin, at the former's meeting in Kepala Batas, Penang. At this moment, the Persatuan Ulamak Se-Malaya decided to change its name to Persatuan Islam Sa-Malaya,to be known in short as PAS.

Another shock was waiting for Umno. After Umno had rejected Dato Onn's proposal to open Umno to the non Malays and transform it into a Malayan political party, he resigned formally from Umno on 26 August, 1951. His position was taken over by Tunku Abdul Rahman, then an unknown deputy public prosecutor.

After Merdeka in 1957, the public perception of the Tunku as prime minister and Abdul Razak as his deputy was that their relationship was one of great harmony. Some even characterised it has a father and son kind of relationship. But it was only valid for a while.

For none other than the Tunku himself had exploded the myth that his relationship with Razak was as harmonious as commonly believed. Writing in the 29 August 1983 issue of The Star (and later reproduced in his book Contemporary Issues in Malaysian Politics), the Tunku related a telling incident in this vein: "Once at the Residency, Khalid Awang Osman, the former High Commissioner to India, mentioned in front of Tun Razak that he (Razak) would have to wait for a long time before he could become the Prime Minister. I could see the shocked surprise on the face of Tun Razak. As it happened, after that day I noticed his attitude took a change."

Well, well, from the horse's mouth, so to speak. The myth of an almost perfect political and working relationship was, well, just a myth. In an article published in The Star on 20 February 1978, the Tunku said that Asiaweek's M.G.G Pillai had alleged in the 17 February 1978 issue of that magazine that "many political figures still insist privately that the Tunku stepped down unwillingly in 1970 and that he was in fact pushed aside by Tun Abdul Razak."

The Tunku commented: "As regards the late Tun Razak pushing me aside, he made no attempt openly to do so but it must be admitted that he felt a bit small to be my deputy for so long, and being an ambitious man, he would no doubt have liked to take over as prime minister. Only those around him wanted to take over dramatically and with a blare of trumpets."

It may be true that Tun Razak made no attempt openly to push the Tunku aside. But did he make any attempt secretly to do so? And who were those around Razak?

Mahathir, Musa Hitam, Harun Idris, Syed Jaafar Albar? And some other Umno extremists or ultras?

It is interesting to note that the Tunku, in reference to what Khalid Awang Osman said, as mentioned earlier, had added: "I took the remarks as a joke, but soon after things began to happen."

What things began to happen?

Well, in an interview with Asiaweek, published on 10 May 1985, exactly 16 years to the day after the fateful general elections on 1969, the Tunku actually blamed Tun Razak and other colleagues for his political downfall. In relating the charged atmosphere just before the 1969 general elections, the Tunku said: "It started when one of them (alleged communists) was killed near the airport, and they asked for a funeral procession to bury the dead. I would never have allowed that. But I was not there. I was away campaigning. But my colleagues, who were trying to make trouble for me, gave permission, and so when the communists carried the body, they stopped at every corner to harangue the people, to curse the government, to curse me..."

Responding to further questioning, the Tunku actually said that "My deputy allowed it", meaning the procession.

To another question, the Tunku said: "I couldn't have stayed on. To stay, you have to be sure of the loyalty of your friends and colleagues. I wasn't sure. In fact I was very, ah, frustrated with the behaviour of some."

The Tunku had often said that he wanted to be the "happiest prime minister in the world" - but how could he be happy when some of his friends and colleagues wanted to stage a coup against him?,/div>
In order to get rid of the Tunku politically, some criminal elements and over ambitious leaders in Umno orchestrated the bloody May 13 Massacre which killed a few hundred Malaysians, maimed a few hundred more other Malaysians, burned down a few hundred shophouses and homes and looted some of them and burned scores of cars and other vehicles. All crimes against humanity.

No inquiry after 38 years. Who says law is law? Why then no rule of law as far as the May 13 Massacre is concerned? Why is this continued rape of law being allowed? In whose interests?

And what about other Umno crimes against humanity like the Memali Massacre in the mid 1980s? When will there be an accounting? Where is the transparency? And where is the much talked about integrity? Including the integrity of the law?

Friday, November 02, 2007


Inilah pemandangan Jalanraya kampung menuju ke SRK Biar, diBakong kawasan ADUN N66 dan Parliament P192 Baram yang wakil rakyat BN banggakan. Jalan ini kalau mengikut papantanda, adalah sudah dinaik taraf. Tetapi jikalau diteliti dengan lebih dekat jalan ini adalah Jalan Ladang sawit tuanpunya ladang dan bukan jalan yang dibina olih kerajaan BN. YB ADUN N66 mengikut penduduk setempat, tidak pernah melawat ke kawasan mereka sejak pilihanraya yang lalu. Inilah wakil rakyat BN, hanya muncul masa pilihanraya sahaja dan berjanji akan membawa pembangunan hanya sekadar untuk memancing undi.

Ini adalah pemandangan jalanraya menuju ke SRK Sungei Seputi, Rh Anai. Jalanraya ini tidak mendapat perhatian YB ADUN N66. Penuduk kampung kawasan ini seringkali menyuarakan kesulitan mereka kerana jalanraya ini sudah begitu lama tidak diselengara dan menyukarkan perjalanan kerana jalanraya ini begitu teruk sekali, berlubang. Jambatan kayu yang merintang sungei kecil disitu juga sudah hampir reput dan membahayakan perjalanan penduduk yang melalui jambatan itu. YB ADUN N66 tidak ambil peduli kesulitan para pengundi kawasan ini yang telah mengundi beliau, yang terpaksa melalui jalanraya yang berlubang-lubang hingga menyukarkan penghantaran bekalan makanan ke sekolah disitu.

Ini adalah pemandangan jalanraya Beluru - Lapok yang amat sukar dilalui musim hujan. Jalan ini sepatutnya diturap (tarred) sepenuhunya tetapi YB's BN dikawsan ini tidak pernah mengambil berat tentang kesulitan orangramai yang mengunakan jalan ini setiap hari. Akan tetapi setiap pilihanraya kerajaan berjanji menurap jalanraya ini dan selepas piliharaya hanya tinggal janji kosong sahaja sapertimana janji mereka yang lain-lain untuk memancing undi semata-mata.

Untuk pengatahuan umum ADUN N66 Marudi adalah YB Sylvester Entri anak Muran (Muhamed Hadi bin Abdullah) dan wakil Parlimen P192 Baram YB Dato' Jacob Dungau Sagan, kedua-dua YB adalah wakil SPDP/BN.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Even God can’t sink Umno

by Raja Petra Kamarudin

“This ship in unsinkable, even God Himself can’t sink it!” screamed the newspaper headlines just before the Titanic sailed off on its maiden voyage.

The sinking of the Titanic was certainly a great tragedy. They were so confident that even God Himself could never sink it they did not provide enough lifeboats for every passenger because they never thought they would need them. While the higher-paying first class passengers faced no problems finding a seat in the limited lifeboats, the poor rakyat who could not afford the luxuries accorded the first class passengers only had one choice; a watery grave. But it was not a tragedy for everyone though. Decades later they made a movie about the incident and grossed hundreds of millions while Celine Dion made tons of money from the theme song.

Anyway, what does this whole episode teach us? First, the poor rakyat is always at the bottom of the food chain. Second, never tempt fate. Fate just loves challenges and will never shy away from proving you wrong. And this is something Umno should learn. But Umno being Umno, it will never take advantage of lessons of the past. It will keep repeating history to the detriment of the party. And today Umno is saying that even God Himself can’t sink the party.

On 15 October 2007, the Chief Minister of Melaka, Mohd Ali Rustam, officiated the People’s Progressive Party’s state convention and he sang the same old tune, Umno is unsinkable and even God Himself can’t sink the party. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit what he said, but this was what he was telling the assembly of PPP leaders and members in a very long-winded manner; one and a half hours to be exact.

Ali Rustam, the self-proclaimed ‘Senior Vice President’ of Umno -- actually there is no such post but he likes to address himself as such -- stood on stage in front of the entire hall filled with PPP leaders and members and with fingers pointed said that PPP can leave Barisan Nasional. Leave today, or even tomorrow, said Ali Rustam, just don’t wait for the next election before leaving.

The PPP President and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk M. Kayveas, fidgeted in his seat, as did the entire hall. Ali Rustam was going berserk. He was reminiscent of Adolf Hitler jumping up and down, ranting and raving like a dog foaming at the mouth that had gone mad with rabies. Nobody reacted. Nobody could react. They were all too shocked to react and just sat there for the next one and a half hours as Ali Rustam told PPP and the entire non-Malay population of Malaysia that they are insignificant and Umno does not need them.

Ever wonder why Nazri Aziz told the Agong off and declared that he is nothing more than the Prime Minister’s clerk? The Prime Minister decides and the Agong just signs like a good little boy or else he will get sent to bed without any ice cream. Such is the arrogance of Umno. And if there were any doubts before this, 15 October 2007 laid that matter to rest once and for all when Ali Rustam repeated numerous times, “I was with Najib yesterday,” as if to send the message to all and sundry that he has Najib’s blessing to tell the Indians and Chinese that they can go back to India and China for all Umno cares.

Umno has ruled Malaysia for 50 years, said Ali Rustam, and they can rule for another 50 years more. And Umno does not need PPP, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, Sabah, Sarawak or anyone else to do this. Yes; and even God Himself can’t sink Umno like He could not sink the Titanic.

Ali Rustam should not tempt God or fate or whatever it is that he believes in. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is fond of relating the story of the mistake he made in 1969 when he told the Chinese he does not need their votes. 3,000 Chinese swung to PAS, said Mahathir. And Yusuf Rawa won that seat while the Grand Old Man of Malaysian politics was sent into temporary retirement. Even the great and very confident Mahathir will caution you about telling the non-Malay voters that you don’t need them. And surely Mahathir is a bigger man than Ali Rustam.

Well, that is probably what we think. But Ali Rustam does not think this way at all. He thinks he is the Chief Minister of the greatest nation on earth. Melaka is not part of Malaysia, said Ali Rustam, Malaysia is part of Melaka. This may sound strange to a student of history, and to ensure that you get a new twist to history, Ali Rustam warned the assembly that Melaka was once a great empire that included half of Thailand and half of Indonesia.

I thought that maybe in my old age my memory was beginning to fail me so I flipped through the pages of Joginder Singh Jessy’s and D.J. Muzaffar Tate’s ‘History of Malaya’ but could not find any reference to this. Maybe it is true, as they say, history is written by the victor, not the vanquished. But I was reading the history books written by Malayans and not those written by the Orang Puteh such as Stamford Raffles, R.O. Winsted, Barbara Watson, Leonard Y. Andaya or J. Kennedy.

Anyway, that just goes to show I am not really as clever as I thought I was. There are still many things about Malayan history that I am not aware of. And one thing that I was not aware of was that Melaka had once upon a time colonised half of Thailand and half of Indonesia. I suppose this is why Ali Rustam is the ‘Senior Vice President’ of Umno and I am not. In fact, Ali Rustam is so clever he can become the ‘Senior Vice President’ of Umno even when no such post exists.

Umno does not need any of the component members of Barisan Nasional, Ali Rustam went on. Umno has four million members and it can win the elections without the help of the rest of the component members of Barisan Nasional. Umno has been strong for 50 years and it will continue ruling this country for the next 50 years as well, Ali Rustam assured the assembly of PPP leaders and members.

PPP had better not ask for any seat in Melaka, Ali Rustam warned the assembly. If Perak wants to allow PPP a seat then that is up to the Perak Menteri Besar. That is his own decision and the party does not support him on this matter. After all the Perak Menteri Besar is a kaki bodek, said Ali Rustam to the shocked audience who could not believe they were hearing all this.

Maybe PPP was once a strong party, Ali Rustam added. When it joined Barisan Nasional it had four Parliament and 14 state seats, but that is an old story. Why bring up an old story? It is like Lee Kuan Yew talking about old stories. Now Ali Rustam was shifting his aim to the Island State south of the border, across the Causeway. Lee Kuan Yew is an old man, argued Ali Rustam, insinuating that the Grand Old Man of Singapore was getting senile, and he is illogical. And to emphasis the point, Ali Rustam repeated, “Yesterday I was with Najib,” as if to drive the point home that Najib is with him on this.

The punch-line that Ali Rustam wanted to deliver the assembly of PPP leaders and members is that the party is not going to be given any seat in Melaka. And to demonstrate that he meant business he asked PPP to leave Barisan Nasional. Leave now! What are you waiting for? Leave now! You want a seat is it? No seat for you! Who says Umno needs the component members, especially PPP? PPP means nothing to us. Leave now.

And as if what he had said thus far was not shocking enough, Ali Rustam took a swipe at the Pahang Menteri Besar. If the Pahang Menteri Besar wants to give you a seat in Pahang then that is his problem. He is crazy and he does crazy things. He can give PPP a seat in Pahang. Why ask from the other states? And the icing on the cake was when Ali Rustam said that if the Prime Minister gives PPP a seat then he has no balls (pengecut). Tak boleh ikut cara dia, Ali Rustam boldly declared. Yes, since Malaysia is part of Melaka and not Melaka that is part of Malaysia then this would certainly make sense.

Until today no one knows what triggered Ali Rustam’s outburst that 15 October 2007. It was as if the message to the Indians and Chinese is that Umno does not need them anymore. The latest poll shows that the non-Malay support for Barisan Nasional has gone below 50% while the Malay support is still above 70%. This would mean that the non-Malay parties in Barisan Nasional may not be able to deliver the votes if the general election is held within the next month or so.

Ali Rustam seems to feel that Umno ruled Malaysia for 50 years without any help or support from the non-Malays and they can continue to do so another 50 years without any problems. Of late Ali Rustam has been demonstrating his contempt for the non-Malays. His move to kill the pigs in Melaka and drive the Chinese pig farmers out of business is one case in point. He boasted to all and sundry that he wants to show the Chinese that he is the boss, something his predecessors were not able to and did not dare do. The pig farmers and their family and friends command a lot of votes and it is better that the government leaves them alone. All the Chief Ministers before this adopted this policy but Ali Rustam wanted to show them that he decides and he calls the shots. And this is what he told the PPP convention that 15 October, “I decide.”

Ali Rustam believes that the Prime Minister will announce the dissolution of Parliament on 9 November followed by the general election on 25 November. If this happens then the Chinese would be with the opposition. Ali Rustam realises that how much you may court the Chinese it would be futile. Therefore, since you cannot get their support anyway, you might as well whack them. It makes no difference anyway.

Of course, many would ask why whack the Chinese? Well, PPP in Melaka is led by a Chinese and it would be Chinese and not Indians who matter, though the Indian support for PPP is nevertheless strong since it has a large Indian membership.

This is Ali Rustam’s version of keris waving. The fact that he repeated many times, “I was with Najib yesterday,” was his way of telling the world that he is Najib’s de facto number two. This means if Najib goes up to become the Prime Minister then he would be the Deputy Prime Minister. To become the number two in Umno is not up to the voters. It is up to the Umno divisions. So he must come out looking like a Malay hero from Melaka a la Hang Toh Ah and Hang Jer Baht, never mind that these two may have been Chinese rather than Malays. And this ranting and raving about Melaka once being an empire that ruled over half of Thailand and half of Indonesia fit nicely into the theme. But Ali Rustam probably thought that Kayveas and his PPP members are all illiterate rubber tappers who never read history when he said that Malaysia is part of Melaka and not Melaka that is part of Malaysia.

But why the need to repeat so many times that he was with Najib the day before? Everytime he dropped a bombshell he would add that he was with Najib the day before. What was his message here? Was it that he was delivering Najib’s message or that Najib has endorsed what he is saying? Or is it to demonstrate that he is Najib’s number two?

Anyway, whatever it may be, Ali Rustam has made it very clear that Umno does not need anyone. Umno has managed 50 years without depending on anyone and it can carry on another 50 years without them. Is this Ali Rustam’s or Najib’ message: that if the component members do not deliver the votes then they will be kicked out of Barisan Nasional? When MCA did badly in 1969 it was proposed they leave the Alliance Party since the Chinese no longer support them. The only difference this time around is that Umno is telling them before instead of after the general election.

There is much speculation on who will be Najib’s Deputy when he takes over as Prime Minister. This question has been satisfactorily answered on 15 October 2007. Ali Rustam made it clear that he and not the Prime Minister makes the decisions. As far as Ali Rustam is concerned the Prime Minister pengecut, the Perak Menteri Besar is kaki bodek while the Pahang Menteri Besar is gila who does crazy things. Yes, that leaves only him remaining as the most suitable candidate to become the next Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Hmm.....should I seriously consider migrating?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The national hoopla on "Eight Virtures and Eight Shames"

Ba Rong Ba Chi
by Andrew Swerdloff

Earlier this month, President Hu Jintao declared the importance of developing an "advanced socialist culture" when he met with members of the Tenth National Meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's political advisory body. President Hu explained his socialist value system by laying out a list of do's and don'ts:

1. Love, do not harm the motherland. Serve, don't disserve the people.

2. Uphold science; don't be ignorant and unenlightened.

3. Work hard; don't be lazy and hate work.

4. Be united and help each other; don't gain benefits at the expense of others.

5. Be honest and trustworthy, not profit-mongering at the expense of your values.

6. Be disciplined and law-abiding instead of chaotic and lawless.

7. Know plain living and hard struggle; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.

The system aims to refresh and define China's values by amalgamating traditional Chinese values with modern virtues. It also aims to "add to efforts by communist leaders to assure the public that they are fighting corruption and trying to close the gap between an elite who have profited from China's economic reforms and the poor majority". Hu made it clear that he intends to promote this concept to the masses, especially young people, and "make it part of social norms." On the same occasion, Hu further proclaimed, "In our socialist society we must not allow the boundaries to be blurred when it comes to right and wrong, evil and kindness, beauty and ugliness. What we support, what we resist, what we oppose and what we promote all must be crystal clear" (China Daily, March 13, 2006).

So far, Hu's "socialist concept of honor and disgrace" appear to be well received and supported by government officials, scholars, members of the PLA, and the media. For example, Wu Guangzheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, during an inspection tour to Jilin Province, urged all to uphold the new concept of advanced socialist values and to increase officials' awareness of clean governance. He especially encouraged leading officials to play an exemplary role in implementing Hu's new concept of values.

Another government official, Liu Yunshan, a member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat and head of the Publicity Department of the CCP Central Committee, supported Hu's socialist concept and sponsored the incorporation of these principles into textbooks to better popularize the concept across the country.

Members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) also expressed their acceptance and appreciation of Hu's socialist values. Upon hearing about Hu's morality system, two musicians from the PLA even turned the so-called "eight virtues and eight shames" (or eight honors and eight disgraces) into a song. According to military sources, these musicians taught the song in a PLA barrack in Beijing, and it became a huge hit. One possible reason why Hu's new value system has been so widely accepted, according to Sheri Liao, an environmental activist and former philosophy teacher, is that "the nation is starting to take an interest in and adopt a friendly attitude to traditional culture and values" (China Daily, March 13, 2006).

Besides leaders from the Party, government and military, Hu's socialist virtues also received support from businessmen, religious leaders, and scholars. For example, during the CPPCC annual session of 2,280 delegates, businesspeople, religious leaders, and dignitaries in various fields closed out the annual session with a resolution praising Hu's list of virtues and pledging to "make it part of social norms." Zhang Kangkang, a novelist and a CPPCC delegate, voiced her approval of Hu's socialist values. She believes that the Party's earlier campaigns to induce the youth to embody certain socialist virtues were not effective and that Hu's newly defined principles are better suited for the Chinese people. Sheri Liao, one of China's best-known environmental activists, also approved of Hu's socialist value system because the language used to describe it is neutral and apolitical and the concept is very populist and middle-of-the-road. This makes it appealing to many of the Chinese people. She believes that the Chinese people have lost the moral compass since Deng Xiaoping initiated his aggressive economic reforms and that Hu's socialist virtues will help restore some of that lost bearing.

Chinese print, televion and online media have created a hurricane to publicize Hu's new moral guideline. For example, the People's Daily published a commentary that praised and advocated Hu's "advanced socialist culture". The commentary stated that the thorough implementation of the "socialist concept of honor and disgrace" is a significant and pressing task for the country. It further stated that people should grasp the essence of the concept and learn how to tell right from wrong, good from evil, beauty from ugliness, and to apply it to their daily work. Other news sources such as China Daily and Xinhua have also described Hu's new concept as a theoretical new high in applying Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory to China's ongoing political and economic undertaking.

In a sense, Hu Jintao's new emphasis on socialist values is relevant. After two decades of reforms, the importance of morality in Chinese society has been replaced with a desire to become rich at all costs. Hu's formal explanation of a new, clearly defined socialist system reflects this change and the desire of the Party to address this issue. It is high time to contemplate when old ideologies, mission statements and goals are becoming increasingly irrelevant, what will be the new substitutes?

However, it remains to be seen if such top down mobilization and intensive campaign will work. In fact, the CCP itself is still in the middle of a 28-month long campaign to get its 70 million members to maintain the zeal and purity so as to better lead the Chinese in her peaceful rise. While the report card on the "baoxian" is yet to come out, indications are it is not working. All the funds and time that have been poured into the campaign seem to have generated little to make the Party and government more responsive and less abusive in the name of serving the people.

It is understandable why the elite stakeholders have expressed support for their "visionary" president and determined general secretary of the Party. It is also noticeable that we do not know how ordinary Chinese feel about this new campaign to distill yet another set of values that have all the rhetoric license and no legal deterrence at all. There is nothing wrong to purify the morality of the Chinese people but it seems to be a huge blunder to only focus on ideological fermentation and neglect installing other much more effective mechanisms that can better reduce corruption, abuse and unaccountability. A responsible government does not teach her people how to think and behave but asks her people to choose the best leaders, seeks approval of her people for her decisions, and makes it easy for people to find fault with her.

Another English version of the eight honors and eight shames is as follows:

1) The honor of loving the motherland ; the shame of endangering the motherland

2) The honor of serving the people; the shame of turning away from the people

3) The honor of upholding science; the shame of ignorance and illiteracy

4) The honor of industrious labor; the shame of indolence

5) The honor of togetherness and cooperation; the shame of profiting at the expense of others

6) The honor of honesty and keeping one's word; the shame of abandoning morality for profit

7) The honor of discipline and obedience; the shame of lawlessness and disorder

8) The honor of striving arduously; the shame of wallowing in luxury

Monday, October 15, 2007

BAKUN DAM: The Dam that wouldn't Die

From Asia Sentinel

Sarawak’s politically motivated Bakun Dam has a new Australian friend to help keep it going

The resuscitation of the controversial Bakun Dam as the result of an agreement to build a nearby aluminum smelter is the latest chapter in a long running saga to push forward the environmentally sensitive project closely linked to the longstanding Sarawak chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and his family.

The mammoth dam, one of the cherished mega-projects of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, has already wiped out 23,000 hectares of virgin rainforest, delivered the timber into the hands of timber barons and displaced 9,000 indigenous people. It is also a textbook example of how the New Economic Policy, Malaysia’s affirmative action program to improve the economic wellbeing of its bumiputera, or ethnic Malay majority, instead concentrates riches in a few hands.

On August 7, Australia-based Rio Tinto Aluminum signed a deal with Malaysian conglomerate Cahya Mata Sarawak, whose principal stakeholders are members of the Taib Mahmud family, for a joint study to build a US$2 billion smelter in Similajau, near Bintulu, 80 km inland from the dam itself. Expected to open in 2010, it will be one of the largest in the world, with initial production capacity is projected at 550,000 tonnes a year with the capability to expand to 1.5 million tonnes later.

Rio Tinto, with its projected takeover of Alcan, Inc., of Canada, is already expected to become the largest aluminum producer in the world. The smelter, which will use power from the Bakun dam, is expected to be the fifth and biggest aluminum plant for Rio Tinto, its external affairs manager Jim Singer told The Associated Press. Rio Tinto picked Sarawak for the project due to strong government support, a credible local partner, abundant electricity supply from the Bakun dam and robust demand in the region, Singer said.

Critics are livid. In a forum early this month organized by the United Nations Development Program in Kuala Lumpur to mark World Indigenous Day, Colin Nicholas, the coordinator of the Center for Orang Asli (Indigenous People) told local reporters that "From our point of view, by allowing the Rio Tinto project to go ahead, it is just like trying to cover up one natural disaster with another.”

“There was no open tender for the (aluminum smelter project) and no public announcement of it,” fumed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in an email to Asia Sentinel. “Combined, the smelter and the dam raise serious concerns about environmental impacts and the treatment of indigenous populations.”

Just as disturbing, to some observers, is the way Cahya Mata Sarawak, which means “light of Sarawak’s eye” in English and goes by the acronym CMS, has maneuvered itself into position to benefit from the dam.

Begun in 1974 under the name Cement Manufacturers Sarawak Bhd, the company originally produced Portland cement as a state-owned firm. Its transformation has been remarkable, according to a doctoral thesis submitted to the University of London in 2002 by Andrew Aeria, currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University Malaysia Sarawak in Kuching.

“The rapid growth and transformation of CMS since the 1990s has been nothing short of phenomenal, and is due to two main factors, namely the privatization and restructuring of CMS from a state-owned public-listed company into a private sector public-listed conglomerate owned by the Mahmud family, and the huge amount of state rents CMS secured for itself and its subsidiary companies from 1992 through political patronage,” Aeria wrote.

Aeria’s study tells the story in voluminous detail. Beginning in the early 1990s, Cement Manufacturers Sarawak Bhd, a state-owned company, bought major stakes in three highly profitable subsidiaries of the Sarawak Economic Development Commission – PPES Quarry, Steel Industries Sarawak and PCMS, for 117.4 million Malaysian ringgit, 50 million of that in cash, the rest covered by 13.48 million shares. For that, CMS got, in addition to the assets, 30.94 million ringgit in cumulative retained profits, according to the company’s annual reports. That moneyproved helpful, allowing CMS to acquire two other companies owned by the Mahmuds, namely Syrakusa Sdn Bhd and Concordance Sdn Bhd, via cash and share swaps. This resulted in the "privatization to the Mahmud family via a reverse takeover. Bank Utama, Sarawak Securities and Archipelago Shipping -- all Mahmud family companies -- were subsequently injected into CMS.

The CMS takeover also reflects the politics of New Economic Policy privatization exercises in Malaysia, which tend to favor hiving off profitable public enterprises instead of loss-making ones to well-connected individuals in the private sector, Aeria claims. Apart from cultivating cronyism and promoting rent-seeking, such privatizations deprive the state sector of lucrative sources of income end up raising the tax burden of ordinary taxpayers, he writes.

During the privatization and restructuring of CMS, numerous public-funded infrastructure projects also were channeled to CMS. These helped CMS maintain an extremely healthy cash flow and high annual turnover. They bolstered its restructuring efforts, hiked up the share price of CMS and helped CMS raise funds easily from banks and other money markets.

By 1996, the Mahmud family had consolidated the cement business, Bank Utama, Sarawak Securities, and Archipelago Shipping, turning the firm, now named Cahya Mata Sarawak, from a publicly-owned cement producer into a private-sector diversified conglomerate involved in stock brokering, road construction, water, quarry operations, steel bar manufacturing, trading, cement production and investment holdings.

“Taib Mahmud’s control over the levers of power and resources in Sarawak saw the SEDC (Sarawak Economic Development Commission) privatize profitable state enterprises to his family,” Aeria wrote in his thesis. “Similarly, his position of favor with the federal government meant that his family received various rents, principally a stockbroker license (to Sarawak Securities) that became a lucrative monopoly, and waivers on mandatory general share offers. Taib Mahmud’s powerful political position also meant that the companies linked to his family easily raised loans from the capital market.”

Taib Mahmud’s 26-year tenure as the chief minister of Sarawak also gave the company at least the appearance of having ready access to government power and favors during a time when the family company had a healthy cash flow and high annual turnover that drove up the share price. The company also got involved in numerous infrastructure projects.

“What is notable about these infrastructure projects is that most of them were secured via negotiated tender from the Sarawak government and its agencies without going through a process of competitive tenders,” Aeria writes. “Not only were many public sector projects channeled towards CMS but CMS also actively undertook a process of seeking out profitable public sector jobs like the maintenance of federal and state roads by the Sarawak Public Works Department estimated at between RM300-RM500 annually, and negotiated for their being transferred to CMS on a turnkey basis.”

Born in relatively modest circumstances, Taib Mahmud now is locally famous for wearing double-breasted suits and driving around Kuching, Sarawak’s capital city, in a cream-colored Rolls-Royce. According to Aliran Monthly, the reformist Malaysian magazine, Taib Mahmud’s spouse Laila and his children are the majority shareholders of Sitehost Pty. Ltd., Australia, which owns the Adelaide Hilton Hotel. Company records dated December 2000 show them holding 95 percent of the company or 9.5 million fully paid up shares, the magazine said.

Onn Mahmud, Taib Mahmud’s brother, his daughter Jamilah Hamidah Taib and her husband Sean Murray are listed as director-shareholders of SAKTO Corporation, a major real estate operator of non-residential buildings in Ottawa, owning and managing more than half a million square feet of prime office space with affiliate offices in the US, Asia, the UK and Australia. They also own SAKTO Development Corporation, a multi-million dollar development and construction company in Ottawa. Jamilah is the sole director of SAKTO Investment Corporation. “Now, it may well be that the Mahmud family is one of the best and most astute business families in Malaysia,” Aliran wrote. “And more power to them on that account. But much of their known wealth has arisen during the tenure of Abdul Taib Mahmud as Sarawak chief minister. Is there then any wonder why there exists so much public skepticism about the sources of Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family wealth? Would not a transparent audit do well to quash such obviously unscrupulous rumors once and for all?”

The construction of the dam, which had been under development in fits and starts since the 1960s, began to mesh with Cahya Mata’s capabilities in 1994, when construction began, led by a privatized joint-venture consortium called the Bakun Hydroelectric Corporation comprised of Ekran Bhd, the national power company Tenaga Nasional Bhd, the government of Sarawak, Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation (Sesco) and Malaysian Mining Corporation Bhd (MMC).

The dam project itself is part of a grandiose plan to meet electricity demand in peninsular Malaysia, nearly 700 km away, via a high voltage direct current cable, since the entire island of Borneo, where the dam is situated, is unlikely to be able to use the amount of electricity it is projected to produce.

Thus an additional 300km line was also envisioned to feed power throughout peninsular Malaysia. Because of the distance of transmission, the underwater cables are expected to leak more than half of the wattage before the power reaches peninsular Malaysia. Even without Bakun, Sarawak’s installed electricity reserve capacity was estimated at 25 percent two years ago. At one point, the massive operation was projected to tie up the world’s entire cable-laying capability.

In 1996, Cahya Mata expanded its steel and cement production capacities in response to a massive economic boom in the construction sector. CMS’s new steel and cement plants were financed by large short and long-term loans from both local and international offshore money markets.

The Asian financial crisis, however, brought the Bakun dam project to a halt and forced the government to assume control from the consortium at an estimated cost of 1.6 billion ringgit to Malaysian taxpayers. It was revived in 2000 through a wholly owned-government company, Sarawak Hidro, along with the Malaysia-China Hydro JV consortium. (This also isn‘t Bakun’s first flirtation with an aluminum smelter. One was previously proposed for Similajau, to be funded by the international financier Mohamed Ali Alabbar as a joint venture between Dubai Aluminum Co. Ltd and Gulf International Investment Group. Those plans collapsed due to construction delays and squabbles over contractual terms. By 2004 most of the minor partners to the consortium posted losses or substantially decreased profits.)

The Asian crisis of 1997-1998 also resulted in a spectacular 439 million ringgit pre-tax loss for Cahya Mata for the year ending December 1998 and a reversal of fortunes to the tune of 670.7 million ringgit, primarily because of severe nonperforming loan losses in the company’s banking and financial services arms. By 1999, the company’s total debt burden ballooned to 787.33 million ringgit and resulted in a downgrade of its bonds.

Cahya Mata’s cumulative debts and financial troubles at the turn of the century meant that Bakun took on added importance. A large portion of its debt was secured by pledges of securities as collateral, the share price of which was tied directly to the terms of its debt. CMS’s share price dropped below RM3.00, Aeria wrote.

The revival of Bakun became an overnight confidence boost to Cahya Mata and strengthened the financial status of its majority owners as well as numerous other shareholders. But Bakun was more than just that. From a political standpoint, the dam was a major lifeline thrown at a very crucial time to Taib Mahmud, other client businesses having dealings with the conglomerate, and ordinary shareholders in Sarawak. This lifeline was thrown back in the form of a Sarawak majority party that delivered all 28 of its parliamentary seats to offset the federal Barisan Nasional’s losses of seats in national elections and helped Mahathir to maintain his critical two-thirds majority in parliament.

Taib Mahmud himself has faced numerous corruption allegations by critics over his 26-year career as chief minister, most recently earlier this year when Japanese media reported that he had been implicated in a 1.1 billion yen timber export kickback scheme involving a cartel of nine Japanese timber shipping companies through Hong Kong-based Regent Star, which is linked to Taib Mahmud and his family. He has not been charged and has publicly denied any wrongdoing. He recently said he would sue several Malaysian publications for defamation over articles relating to the case.

When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came to power in 2003 as Malaysia’s prime minister, he vowed to cut back on the number of mega-projects that Mahathir had lumbered the country with, telling delegates to the 57th United Malays National Organisation’s 57th general assembly that he would turn away from Mahathir’s economic strategies. “That era is over,” he told the delegates. But Abdullah Badawi has been weakened by a series of missteps and scandals, and meanwhile Bakun dam soldiers on.