FROM THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
SINGAPORE, June 16 — Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew yesterday related an encounter with women clad in black from head to toe in the swimming pool of his hotel in Kelantan to show how a society’s culture changed with rising religiosity.
He said the Singapore Government had seen the change in its two closest neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, where more Muslims were now praying five times a day and covering themselves.
The government’s concern is not with specific developments in either of these countries, but with the broader and longer-term trend of Islamic resurgence, he said.
He traced the resurgence to the influence of the oil states, in particular Saudi Arabia for the Sunnis and Iran for the Shi’ites, which have set their more austere versions of Islam as the “gold standard” for other Muslim countries to follow.
Lee visited the Kelantan state capital, Kota Baru, on Sunday. The north-eastern state has been governed by the Islamic-based opposition party PAS since 1990.
While there, he went swimming in the hotel pool and saw some women clad in
“So I stopped at the pillar and went back, but Dr Ng was bolder. He swam into their midst and they waved at him and said: ‘Oh, you’re from Singapore.’
“They were clad, I suppose, in specially made swimsuits, showing only their faces, wrapped up to their wrists and ankles,” he said.
Education Minister Ng Eng Hen accompanied Lee to Kota Baru.
While in Kota Baru, Lee met PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
PAS is part of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance, which won more than a third of the seats in Malaysia’s federal Parliament in last year’s general election.
Lee asked Nik Aziz what PAS’s attitude to Singapore would be if the opposition party were to take over the federal government one day.
The Mentri Besar said he would treat Singapore as he treated the Chinese and Indians who live in Kelantan.
The Chinese in Kelantan can own land and rear pigs, even though the animals are considered unclean by Muslims.
Lee also spoke to Datuk Husam Musa, Kelantan’s Executive Councillor in Charge of Finance and an up-and-coming PAS leader.
Husam told the Minister Mentor that Islam treats all human beings as equal.
“Then he says: ‘Well, we hope one day you will accept Islam as a part of your religion, and we will cooperate’,” Lee said of his conversation with Husam.
“I told him that the Chinese have had their Muslims since the invasion of Genghis Khan… and they’re still not converted, so we left it at that.”
PAS president Datuk Hadi Awang had earlier told Lee that support for the Islamic-based opposition party would grow.
Hadi told Lee that urban Malays no longer believed they were the beneficiary of the “Malay rights” that Umno championed. Instead, they now saw “Malay rights” as a slogan by which the Umno warlords become richer. — The Straits Times
The family of murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu will have to wait for their day in court, to compel the attorney-general (AG) to appeal against Abdul Razak Baginda’s acquittal.
The hearing of their judicial application will only continue after further written submissions are made.
The matter came up in the Shah Alam High Court today before Judicial Commissioner Noraini Abdul Rahman, but another mention date was set on July 8.
This is to allow lawyer Karpal Singh (right), acting for Altantuya’s family, to submit his submission in reply.
The case will be mentioned before a deputy registrar on that day. Counsel Sangeet Kaur mentioned the case on behalf of Karpal this morning.
Senior federal counsel Kamaluddin Mohd Said represented the AG’s Chambers, while KK Wong appeared for Abdul Razak.
Mongolian honorary consul to Malaysia, Syed Abdul Rahman Al Habshi, was also present to monitor the progress of the case.
The case was filed on Dec 24 last year by Karpal on behalf of Altantuya’s father Dr Setev Shaariibuu (left).
In the application, they asked the court to quash the AG’s decision not to appeal Abdul Razak’s acquittal on an abetment charge in the murder.
They also want the court to direct the AG to use his discretionary powers under Article 145 (3) of the federal constitution to apply for leave to file an appeal.
Abdul Razak was acquitted and discharged on Oct 31 last year without his defence being called.
Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin had ruled that the prosecution had not proven a prima facie case, as a sworn affidavit by Abdul Razak was not rebutted.
AG’s discretionary power
Lead prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah announced two weeks later that the prosecution would not appeal, as the court had made a finding of fact in its decision.
AG Abdul Gani Patail (right) has since filed an affidavit, stating that the matter is non-justiciable based on Article 145 (3) of the constitution, which states that no one can question the chamber’s decision to prosecute or not file an appeal.
The article reads that the AG shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.
Abdul Gani had also submitted that Shaariibuu does not have locus standii (legal standing) in the case as the AG has represented the public interest.
Two special action squad members – Azilah Hadri, 33, and Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, – have been found guilty of the murder and sentenced to death. They have filed separate appeals.
Kamaluddin also stated that Shaariibuu’s RM100 million civil suit against the two policemen, Abdul Razak and the government is fixed for mention next month.
The AG’s chambers have requested Shaariibuu to deposit RM1 million in security to cover possible costs in the suit.
FROM THE WEBSITE OF HARIS IBRAHIM
Below is the full text of the press statement issued by Yang Berkhidmat Elizabeth Wong today
Death in Custody in DUN Bukit Lanjan
It is with grave concern that yet another person has been found dead in police custody in Selangor, this time in my constituency of Bukit Lanjan.
Mr. A. Ghana Prakasom Anthony, a resident of Damansara Damai was found dead at the Sri Damansara Police Station at 8.06 am on Sunday, 14 June 2009. He leaves behind a wife and 6 children. He was arrested on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 .
The deceased’s wife was able to see him on Friday, 12 June 2009. During her visit, A. Ghana informed her that he had complained the magistrate who heard his remand that he was beaten in police custody. Further, his wife reported to me that her husband had a bruised right eye during her visit.
Ghana’s wife was then informed by the police that her husband was expected to be released on Monday without charges. Thus, it is shocking that a day before he is due for release, he was found dead in the lockup.
It is immaterial whether the suspect has a police record or not; a suspect is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. One expects the police to be fully responsible for the well-being and fair treatment of suspects while being in their custody.
I urge the Minister for Home Affairs to investigate this case thoroughly, without favour or fear, and for all police officers on duty during the days when A. Ghana had reported he was beaten in the lockup, leading to his demise, to be suspended pending the investigation.
I urge for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Deaths in Police Custody to be formed, for the numbers of persons dying in police custody is a matter of national concern.
I join my fellow Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen in urging for the formation of the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and a coroner’s court to arrest this problem. It is our collective wish that after this tragic incident, no other person would enter into a police lockup and come out in a body bag.
FROM THE WEBSITE OF ANWAR IBRAHIM
Hari pertama mesyuarat kedua penggal ke dua parlimen ke 12 menyaksikan Dato’ Seri Nizar Jamaluddin mengangkat sumpah sebagai Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gantang yang baru menggantikan Allahyarham Hj Roslan. Sdr Nizar memulakan tugas hari ini dengan melaungkan perkataan “Hidup Rakyat” agar ianya bergema menggegar sanubari setiap ahli parlimen. Sudah tentu niat suci beliau dipandang serong, lalu kemudiannya diminta untuk meninggalkan dewan.
Saya menulis sepucuk surat kepada YB Tan Sri Speaker agar Sdr Nizar dan ahli parlimen lainnya dibenarkan hadir pada esok harinya;16 Jun 2009. Malangnya rayuan saya agar YB Speaker mempertimbangkan semula keputusannya diketepikan. Laungan tersebut haruslah dilihat mewakili suara hati rakyat Perak yang mahukan sebuah kerajaan yang sah serta terbukti mendapat mandat dari rakyat.
Pastinya esok media umno bn akan memuatkan berita khusus menyerang watak serta peribadi sdr Nizar. Skrip usang dan wayang lama diputar kembali. Belumpun puas memintal fitnah jahat terhadap saya sosok lain pula akan menjadi mangsa.
Di saat saya mencoret catitan ini terukir sendirian senyuman sinis dibibir saya. Terdetik sebentar, Dato’ Sri Najib tidak pula dituduh sebagai pengkhianat negara apabila melawat Negara China yang diperintah berdasarkan ideologi komunis itu. Walhal negara tersebut merupakan penyokong kuat parti komunis Malaya. Selainkan menyediakan dana, Beijing merupakan destinasi latihan buat pimpinan parti komunis Malaya.
Malahan pendedahan Chin Peng di dalam memoirnya bahawa pihak polis negara terbabit membeli senjata pihak komunis seusainya Perjanjian Haadyai tidak pula disanggah sebagai satu tindakan mengkhianat. Laporan media yang berat sebelah nampaknya sudah menjadi amalan sesegelintir yang mahu terus mengampu umno bn. Haru biru dasar negara kita, diskriminasi bukan sahaja berlaku ketika mengagihkan kekayaan negara, ianya juga ketika menentukan dengan siapa kita harus berdendam.
THE WEBSITE OF THE MIGHT OF THE PEN
“Kejadian itu terjadi sekitar pukul 11.00 WIB (Minggu 14/6) kemarin,” kata Farhad Abbas, pengacara Manohara, kepada detikcom, Senin (15/6/2009).
Farhad menjelaskan saat itu Dewi sedang menumpang mobil Toyota Camry yang dikemudikan sopirnya. Tiba-tiba saja sebuah Toyota Fortuner memepet mobil Dewi. “Sopirnya sempat ditempeleng,” kata Farhad.
Dewi telah melaporkan kasus tersebut ke Polda Metro Jaya Minggu malam. “Kami khawatir teror ini ada kaitannya dengan Manohara,” katanya. detiknews.
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By Wong Choon Mei
Since assuming office on April 3, Prime Minister Najib Razak has tried to rally popular support with his ‘unifying’ 1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now slogan, but after nearly three months, none of his countrymen including himself is any wiser as to what it means and how it can take the country forward.
On Monday, at the start of a two-week parliamentary sitting, he was grilled by fellow lawmakers.
The 55-year old PM tried to slither his way around racial issues but met his match in DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who caught him out after an intense session on the much-criticised 1Malaysia concept.
Sadly, Najib’s 1Malaysia has become the butt of jokes around the country, with even his mentor, ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, saying he had no idea what it meant. And this despite Najib mounting a multi-million ringgit no-costs-spared publicity campaign.
Perhaps it is time for Najib to learn that he cannot gloss over tough issues with cosmetics. Substance prevails over form, especially in an increasingly young and educated Malaysia.
Even more ineffective than Abdullah
As the PM approaches his 100 days in office, he has little to show to the nation except a penchant to resort to force and harsh police crackdowns to quell dissent, as witness the nearly 200 arrests over the Perak crisis.
Likely to leave behind even less legacy than his predecessor Abdullah Badawi, his regime stands in danger of being remembered only for clamping down on other countrymen, especially the Chinese for wearing black, drinking kopi ‘O’ or wearing black headbands to signify solidarity with the Perak folk – victims of a power grab he staged in February.
Najib is the sixth Umno prime minister to govern the country since independence from British rule in 1957. He is also the most unpopular and the least trusted by the people.
According to Karpal, Najib had vowed to bathe the keris or small sword with Chinese blood in a speech in 1987.
The Bukit Gelugor MP demanded the PM apologised for the racist remark or be exposed as a hypocrite and the 1Malaysia slogan as meaningless verbose.
However, Najib denied the accusation and refused to apologise.
He also denied that his 1Malaysia plagiarized chunks of the DAP’s Malaysia for all Malaysians concept, counter-accusing DAP of deviating from the ’spirit of the constitution’.
“There is a vast difference in the concepts. Malaysians Malaysia is not drafted based on the constitution,” Najib told Parliament.
“People should not be fearful or be apprehensive because 1Malaysia ensures the ethnic identity of each race is respected and it is an asset which we are proud of.”
Gush of hot air and hypocrisy
His comments imply that he would defend Ketuanan Melayu or Malay supremacy – a controversial issue that has not been spelt out in the country’s constitution but somehow is often used by his Umno party to rally support against the other ethnic groups.
And this would be in direct contrast with what he has said about 1Malaysia so far. Up till now, Najib has tried to imply the slogan envisioned a seamless society with equal rights for all citizens.
But today in the august house, he rubbished his own slogan.
No wonder, the PM has not been in a hurry to clarify what 1Malaysia is about. Even after his session in Parliament today, no one – including himself – has any idea what the slogan is about.
And the reason is simple.
It is meant to be a nice-sounding slogan and much like a chameleon, meaning whatever that should be meant in different situations at different times.
Yes – pretty much a gush of hot air and hypocrisy, plus a convenient political tool to mask his inadequacy.
“If Bangsa Malaysia, inspired by Vision 2020, is in its final stages, then 1Malaysia is a guide to help speed us to towards achieving the goal,” the PM expounded.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 – With no love lost between him and Lee Kuan Yew, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pulled no punches today and called the Singapore leader “a little Emperor … of a tiny Middle Kingdom” lecturing Malaysian leaders on how to run the country in his recent “triumphant visit to Malaysia”.
The longest-serving Malaysian prime minister also took a swipe at his successor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, calling him “the great 5th Prime Minister” who had decided not to build a new bridge or settle other outstanding issues with the island republic when Johoreans said they did not want to sell sand to Singapore for its reclamation works.
“During Lee Kuan Yew’s triumphant visit to Malaysia, he made it known to the Malaysian supplicants that Singapore regards the lands within 6,000 miles radius of Singapore as its hinterland. This includes Beijing and Tokyo and, of course, Malaysia,” Dr Mahathir said in posting at his popular http://www.chedet.cc.
He did not meet Kuan Yew, who is Singapore’s longest-serving prime minister, during the latter’s eight-day visit to Malaysia which ended today. The two leaders had an acrimonious relationship while in power.
“Of course this self-deluding perception places Singapore at the centre of a vast region. It is therefore the latter day Middle Kingdom. The rest are peripheral and are there to serve the interest of this somewhat tiny Middle Kingdom,” he added.
Dr Mahathir pointed out Kuan Yew’s explanation that Singapore Chinese would control the “Iskandar whatever” was not justified as Malays could work there, sarcastically saying “It is good to know that Malays can also work in their own country. I wonder as what? Maybe someone should make a study of the Malays of Singapore just to know what it is like to be a Malay minority in their own country”
He has been a long-term critic of the Iskandar development corridor launched by Abdullah three years ago, saying Singapore would dominate Malaysian territory, which is modelled on the fast-growing Shenzen region across Hong Kong.
Dr Mahathir also picked up his pet peeve about the price of raw water being sold to Singapore at 3 sen per 1,000 gallons under two agreements made in the 1960s.
“Lee says it was absurd for the former Prime Minister of hinterland Malaysia to ask to increase it to RM8 per 1,000 gallons. I don’t know where he got this. Some Malaysian officers did suggest this figure but we were ready to bargain and maybe settle for RM3.
“And why not? Johor sells raw water to Malacca for 30 sen, 1,000% higher than to Singapore. And Malacca is, I believe, a part of Malaysia! Some Malaysians may see the irony of this,” he added.
Reserving some vitriol for his favourite whipping boy, Abdullah, Dr Mahathir said, “The great 5th Prime Minister has decided that since the people of Johor did not want to sell sand to Singapore, Malaysia would not build any bridge, straight or crooked, or negotiate and settle the other issues like the Central Provident Fund, the Railway land.
“Maybe the 5th Prime Minister thinks he is punishing Singapore. Actually he is giving Singapore what its wants, including the 3 sen per 1,000 gallons water until 2060. Think of how many grains of nasi lemak we can buy with 3 sen in 2060. Imagine what 1,000 gallons will earn for Singapore at that time. Can’t think of a more astute PM for Malaysia,” he added
He also made a stinging observation about Kuan Yew’s visit to Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Ipoh, Penang, Kota Bharu and Kuantan with his delegation in the past week.
“All those who met the great man from the little country were lectured on how Malaysia should be run. We should not have any more problems now. We have been told the direction to take. MCA must help Umno to win because Singapore does not want an Islamic party like PAS to win. We must ensure this.
“Sorry, PAS. Working with the DAP, the offspring of PAP has not endeared you to Mr Lee,” he wrote.
But he promised this was not the end of his diatribe against Kuan Yew.
“I have a lot more to say about this little Emperor but I will reserve it for later,” Dr Mahathir vowed.
Shots have been fired during a massive rally in Iran against last week’s presidential election results, with reports saying one person was killed.
Hundreds of thousands rallied to support candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, but a group of them was fired on from a militia base they had surrounded.
Mr Mousavi has lodged a legal appeal against the result but says he is not optimistic it will succeed.
US President Barack Obama has said he is “deeply troubled” by the violence.
On Monday evening, in his first public comments since the election results, he said that free speech and the democratic process must be respected in Iran
The BBC’s Jon Leyne, in Tehran, says Monday’s rally was the biggest demonstration in the Islamic republic’s 30-year history and described it as a “political earthquake”.
Mr Mousavi says the vote was fixed – a claim President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies.
The government had outlawed any protest following two days of unrest, with the interior ministry warning that “any disrupter of public security would be dealt with according to the law”.
Despite this, correspondents said riot police had been watching the rally during the afternoon and had seemed to be taking no action.
The first indications of trouble came at about 2045 local time (1615 GMT), when the protesters were beginning to disperse from Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square shots.
“There has been sporadic shooting out there… I can see people running here,” Reuters quoted a reporter from Iran’s Press TV as saying.
“A number of people who are armed, I don’t know exactly who they are, but they have started to fire on people causing havoc in Azadi Square.”
A photographer at the scene told news agencies that security forces had killed one protester and seriously wounded several others. A man is said to have been arrested over the shooting.
He said the shooting began when the crowd attacked a compound used by a religious militia linked to the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Other sources told the BBC as many as six people might have died in the incident.
The AFP news agency reported that police fired tear gas and groups of protesters set motorbikes alight.
A BBC correspondent said there had also been gunfire in the north of the city – traditionally an anti-government stronghold – and that the security forces appeared to be hunting down protesters.
There was a large police presence on major streets of the city on Monday night, but evidence of few ordinary people, our correspondent added.
Earlier, the demonstrators had gathered in Tehran’s Enghelab (Revolution) Square, chanting pro-Mousavi slogans, before marching to Azadi Square.
“Mousavi we support you. We will die, but retrieve our votes,” they shouted, many wearing the green of Mousavi’s election campaign.
Fire on the streets of Tehran as mass protests continue
And Mr Mousavi eventually appeared, addressing the crowd from the roof of his car.
“The vote of the people is more important than Mousavi or any other person,” he told his supporters.
His wife, Zahra Rahnavard, a high-profile supporter of her husband’s campaign, later said they would keep up their protests. “We will stand until the end,” she told the AFP.
The renewed protests come after Mr Mousavi and fellow defeated candidate Mohsen Rezai filed official complaints against the election result with the Guardian Council – the country’s powerful clerical group.
State television reported that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has upheld the election result, urged the Guardian Council to “precisely consider” the complaints.
The 12-member council is due to meet Mr Mousavi and Mr Rezai on Tuesday.
Its head said the decision would be taken soon.
“I hope it will not take long that the noble people will see that the question has been examined in the best way and we will give the result to the people,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told state television on Monday.
But the Iranian leadership has put itself in an impossible position, our Tehran correspondent says.
He says that Ayatollah Khamenei has given his complete endorsement to the election result and to President Ahmadinejad, and by doing so he has put at risk the very foundations of the Islamic republic.
And Mr Mousavi’s website quoted him as telling crowds on Monday that he was “not very optimistic” about the judgment of the Guardian Council.
“Many of its members during the election were not impartial and supported the government candidate,” Mr Mousavi said.
Dozens of opposition activists have been arrested since the protests began, while internet sites appear to have been blocked and the media heavily restricted.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was following the situation closely.
“The position of me and the United Nations is that the genuine will of the Iranian people should be fully respected,” he told reporters.
EU foreign ministers expressed “serious concern” and called for an inquiry into the conduct of the election, while France and Germany each summoned their Iranian ambassadors to explain what was going on.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the use of “completely unacceptable” force against protesters and called for a “transparent evaluation of the election result”.
Groups of Ahmadinejad supporters gathered outside French and British embassies in Tehran, protesting against what they consider to be foreign interference in Iran’s affairs.
“We have gathered here to protest the hidden interference of the Brits and the world, who are trying to create chaos in our country,” one protester said.
The French government issued a statement saying they had told Iranian diplomats that security forces “must protect the French embassy”.
Among the countries congratulating Mr Ahmadinejad on his victory were Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela and North Korea.