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The words ‘Altantuya Shaariibuu’ should not be an offence — Leslie Lau

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

al2The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 31 — By banning any mention of murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu from the Bukit Gantang campaign trail, the police has reached a ridiculous new low.

The police are supposed to be responsible for public order and security.

It should not be legislating what words can or cannot be used on the stump.

What is next?

Will the police decide that the names of certain candidates cannot be mentioned? Or will the police decide what language can be used during rallies?

If local police police officers think they are doing Datuk Seri Najib Razak a favour by imposing the Altantuya ban, then are sorely mistaken.

The repeated linking by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of Najib to Altantuya’s murder is arguably done in bad taste.

The accusations hurled at Najib have also not been backed by evidence.

But in banning the mere mention of her name will certainly fuel the rumours and speculation surrounding the murder.

There is no need for the police to ban the mention of Altantuya.

If any crime is committed by any politician then the police can initiate prosecution.

And if any body decides to make unsubstantiated accusations then he or she is subject to legal action in the law of defamation.

The police are not doing anyone any favours with such a ban.

What the police needs to do is to ensure political rallies do not get out of hand.

The job of the police is to ensure the safety of the public and to arrest anyone who commits an offence.

Mentioning the words “Altantuya Shaariibuu” is not a criminal offence.

Leslie Lau is consultant editor for The Malaysian Insider
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Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

The Mighty Pen

THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE FUTURE OF ASEAN (Keynote Address by Anwar Ibrahim at Chulalongkorn University, March 30th 2009)

anwar_ibrahim23When I first uttered the unutterable in Hong Kong sometime late last year that Hayek is history I was then bombarded with accusations of having turned my back on Adam Smith. Not too long later however, we heard reluctant acquiescence from liberal institutions that the free-market principles that guided American financial development would no longer count as biblical injunctions.

In the presence of such an erudite audience today, let me take the liberty to indulge further in the discourse. Just to be clear, I make no claim to pioneering new ideas but suffice to say that I am a mere commentator having had some experience in managing an economy which was also going through one of the worst financial turmoil in Asia. We need to remember only the boom-and-bust cycles articulated by the 19th century economists such as John Stuart Mill or Alfred Marshall, before we get carried away with the modern orthodoxy, which depicts financial markets as effective, stable, and self-correcting mechanisms.

The advocates of spontaneous order which had hitherto attained the level of religious orthodoxy having rammed free market strictures about self correction and deregulation are now conspicuously silent. What went wrong?

True, the reaction against command economies of the Orwellian kind as exemplified by the Soviet Union and other Communist countries in the past was well founded. But was there really a need to subscribe to a theory where absolute reliance is placed on the law of chaos? The issue here is not whether the free market system and the pricing mechanism based on competition is viable; but in stubbornly holding on to the view that markets are benign, championed by the likes of Hayek and a distinguished pedigree of Nobel laureates such as Milton Friedman and his Chicago protégés, with Alan Greenspan as the turn of the century poster boy, Wall Street enjoyed more than two decades of financial deregulation. During this time, we witnessed the unfolding of Enron, Worldcom, and so on and the Sarbanes-Oxley laws dealt only piecemeal. But what was left unchecked was the proliferation of the weapons of financial mass destruction —such as mortgage-backed securities and collateral debt obligations. In place of the earlier institutional giants, we now have on parade the largest financial institutions in the world, brought down to their knees.

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You can’t mention … that woman, PKR told

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

altantuya-and-son1The Malaysian Insider

TAIPING, March 31 – Campaigning for the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections has run into a bizarre roadblock, with the police stepping in to dictate what PKR cannot say or do in the intense battle to win votes.

They must not mention Altan … err, a certain Mongolian model, now deceased.

A PKR source said that was one of the conditions police imposed on the party when it applied for ceramah permits.

A certain Ruler’s decision, matters of race and religion and other “sensitive” issues are also forbidden.

In addition, PKR must also ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held.

Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang told a press conference that the party would not appeal against the restrictions but would defy them and face the consequences.

“They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression,” he said.

The same restrictions do not apply, apparently, to Pas, who have only been told to stop their ceramah by 11pm.

The murder of Altan … err, she-who-cannot-be-named, has proven to be acutely embarrassing for Umno’s new president and prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whose aide was acquitted of murder.

Najib has repeatedly denied ever meeting the woman.

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Odds stacked against Pakatan in tri-elections

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009


Neil Khor

alContrary to popular belief, the odds against the opposition parties in the three upcoming by-elections are very high despite the usual euphoria that nomination day promised.

PAS, which is the best organised of the trio in Pakatan Rakyat, understands the reality on the ground. It knows that in Bukit Gantang, the BN has managed to insert ethnic overtones into the entire Perak state governmental tussle.

The Perak Pakatan government, the message spells out, was dominated by the DAP (read Chinese) and Umno had to resort to extra-legal means to protect Malay rights. Malay royalty is now Umno’s flag of choice.

But the fight is quite equal for PAS has two strong political weapons: the Malay language and Islam. The use of English for the teaching of maths and science is not going down well on the ground.

Furthermore, the morality issue involving French submarine deals and the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu will continue to feature prominently. It remains to be seen if Malay voters in Bukit Gantang are more Muslim than they are Malay as in Kuala Terengganu.

The BN is now also reinvigorated by a new Umno leadership. Dr Mahathir Mohamad also seems to have returned to the fold. Chinese voters will be hard-pressed now to either continue voting for change and a more equitable future versus a return to the golden age of political stability under Umno-dominated BN.

Here again, the DAP and PKR will have to work very hard to get the message across, which is that a stronger Umno simply means weaker roles for BN component parties. It was after all a strong Umno within BN that gave rise to the situation prior to the 12th general elections.

Nonetheless, the odds are stacked against the opposition because Chinese voters will have to think hard between present needs versus future rights. But more alarmingly for the Pakatan, the first chink in its armour is showing in Bukit Selambau with its multiple candidates.

Hindraf a double-edged sword

Most commentators have it at the back of their minds but find it difficult to say that the Indian community in Malaysia have always been a divided lot. Despite the rhetoric of the MIC, there is really no such thing as a monolithic Indian Malaysian community.

Indian Malaysians have been divided along the lines of caste, place of origin, language, class and political affiliation. It was the dominance of the BN that gave the impression that the Indians were united under the MIC.

But like the recently concluded MIC presidential nominations, where there is only one approved candidate, that unity is more forced than a result of natural consensus. A dominant MIC did not solve Indian problems either but the MIC would have us believe that without them the situation would be worse.

The challenge now lies with the ability of the Pakatan to swing Indian votes despite all the fractious Indian political figures.

In Kuala Terengganu, Pakatan learned an invaluable lesson: never sweep political differences behind closed doors. The DAP and PAS stood their ground and the Pakatan won. In Bukit Selambau, the scenario is very similar except that it is PKR that is facing the acid test. It must prove that it is bigger than Anwar Ibrahim.

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Experts: Britain may be at mercy of Chinese technology

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

The Malaysian Insider

LONDON, March 30 – China has the ability to shut down Britain’s vital services, including food or power supplies, because its companies are involved in upgrading telecommunications systems, according to intelligence officials.

Ministers have been warned that a new £10bn communications network being developed by BT is vulnerable to a potential attack from within the Communist state because it uses equipment supplied by Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.

Although the risk of anyone in China exploiting the capability is currently low, intelligence experts believe the impact of any such attack would be very high. Computers at the Foreign Office and other Whitehall departments were attacked from China in 2007 and the threat from foreign governments and big companies is believed to be greater than that posed by terrorists.

Alex Allan, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), it thought to have briefed members of the ministerial committee on national security about the threat from China at a Whitehall meeting in January. Ministers were told steps to curb the potential threat have made little difference.

Huawei is China’s biggest phone company and a major world supplier. Under a multi-million pound deal signed in 2005, it is providing key components for BT’s new 21CN network which will use internet technology to speed up communications on behalf of thousands of public agencies and businesses.

Among those who will be relying on the new network are the government’s own intelligence agency GCHQ, Whitehall departments and the military.

BT would not comment on the issue and a Cabinet Office spokesman would only say the that government was working on ways to improve the security of Britain’s key systems. Huawei, whose UK division is based in Basingstoke, Hants, was unavailable for comment.

Ministers have been reluctant to replace Huawei with a British supplier, citing the cost and the government’s policy on competitive tendering for contracts.

The Whitehall meeting heard that Huawei components that form key parts of BT’s new network might already contain malicious elements that could be activated by China and which could “remotely disrupt or even permanently disable the network”, according to a report. Such action would have a “significant impact on critical services” such as power and water supplies, food distribution, the financial system and transport, which were dependent on computers using the communications network to operate.

An attempt by Huawei to merge with United States company 3Com, which provides computer security systems for the Pentagon, was blocked last year after US intelligence officials warned that it would not be in national security interests. The Pentagon is reported to believe Huawei is a key part of the potential threat from China and has close ties with the People’s Liberation Army.

However, a telecom industry source said: “There must be millions of systems containing Chinese technology all over the world the BT network wouldn’t be more or less vulnerable than any other.” – Daily Telegraph


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Nizar tidak rampas pembesar suara

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009


Johari Jaffar

TAIPING, 31 Mac (Hrkh)Pengarah Pilihan raya PAS Pusat, Dato’ Mustafa Ali menyangkal tuduhan yang sengaja dibuat oleh Menteri Besar Kudeta BN, Dato’ Zambry Abdul Kadir seperti yang disiarkan oleh media arus perdana yang mengatakan Dato’ Seri Ir Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin merampas pembesar suara dari imam untuk memberikan ceramah di Masjid Simpang.

“Apa yang berlaku sebenarnya di masjid Simpang, imam yang bertugas hari itu telah menyerahkan pembesar suara kepada Dato’ Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin, bukannya Nizar rampas seperti yang didakwa oleh Zamri sekaligus juga Nizar tidak merampas majlis solat hajat dan tahlil anjuran BN semalam,” jelasnya..

Dato’ Mustafa Ali berkata demikian dalam sidang media di Markaz PAS Negeri Air Kuning semalam.

“Apa yang berlaku ialah Nizar tidak rampas majlis BN, beliau cuma diminta oleh imam yang bertugas untuk memberikan tazkirah mengenai ayat al-Quran yang dibacakan ketika Haji Nizar mengimamkan solat Maghrib, “katanya.

Menurut beliau jika BN dakwa Nizar dan PAS menggunakan masjid, bermakna Umno dan BN sebenarnya terlebih dulu menggunakan masjid untuk kempen mereka,” ujar beliau

Kenyataan beliau itu sebagai mengulas kenyataan Zambry yang mendakwa Nizar merampas pembesar suara dari imam untuk memberi ceramah, sedangkan ketika itu adalah majlis anjuran BN. – azm _

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Suara Keamanan ganti Suara Keadilan

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

Dipetik dari Suara Keadilan

Suara Keamanan ganti Suara Keadilan

KERANA permit penerbitan Suara Keadilan telah digantung selama tiga bulan bermula 23 Mac lepas, parti KeADILan mengambil keputusan untuk tidak menerbitkan akhbar itu selama tempoh tersebut.

Sebagai ganti, akhbar Suara Keamanan akan menemui pembaca, secara mingguan setiap hari Selasa mulai hari ini.

Suara Keamanan adalah sebuah penerbitan tidak berkala dari segi namanya, oleh itu tidak memerlukan permit penerbitan dari KDN.

Pembaca boleh mendapatkan akhbar tersebut dari pengedar-pengedar dan penjual yang sama yang mengedar Suara Keadilan sebelum ini.

– Jabatan Editorial Suara Keamanan

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Water Works for Weight Loss

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009


Tip of the Week

Water Works for Weight Loss

Nothing quells the appetite like water, lots and lots of water. Start out with two quart bottles in the morning and carry one with you to work or wherever you go. If you like, divvy up the 64 ounces of water into eight (8-ounce) bottles or four pint (16-ounce) bottles to carry around with you all day. Freeze half of them the night before and they will last all day, even in a hot car. Keep some unfrozen so they will be ready to drink immediately.

Yes. You will have to make more frequent bathroom trips, but it is worth it. Drink your 64 ounces of water before dinner, if possible, so you’re not up half the night going to the bathroom.

Water not only fills you up and lessens your appetite, it prevents those “hungry horrors” we all encounter when our blood sugar drops and we reach for cookies, candy, ice cream, fries or other high-calorie treats. Water also flushes out the system, rids the body of bloat and toxins and rosies up the complexion. Now, start splashing.

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Malaysia’s Proton to make electric cars in Dutch tie-up

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

Agence France-Presse

Malaysian automaker Proton has said it will manufacture electric cars for eco-conscious markets in Europe and the United States, in a deal with Netherlands-based Detroit Electric.

The deal is expected to boost Proton revenue by 2.0 billion ringgit (548 million dollars over the next four years, managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamad Tahir told state media.

Detroit Electric said that by 2012 it plans to sell more than 270,000 of the zero-emission electric vehicles in the US and Europe as well as China, priced from 23,000 to 33,000 dollars.

Its chief executive officer Albert Lam said the vehicles, powered by a lithium polymer battery, will have a single-charge range of between 180 kilometres (111 miles) and 325 kilometres depending on battery size.

He said he was confident in the project despite the global downturn which has seen car sales plummet globally.

“Our target audience are those who purchase practical and affordable vehicles. This makes our products fit the pockets of a very wide audience,” he said in a statement late Monday.

Detroit Electric was an icon of the United States auto industry in the early 1900s, producing the first electric cars. But it went bankrupt in 1939 and was revived by Lam and other shareholders in the Netherlands and the US last year.

Proton also said it was considering sell the vehicles — based on its Persona and Gen.2 models — in Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Proton was formed 25 years ago as part of an ambitious national industrialisation plan, but its market share has slumped in recent years as it floundered in a newly deregulated market.

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Views : And you said you fear PAS

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

raja_petra3_new2Malaysia Today

You might not agree with Islam or PAS’ policies on Islam. But at least with PAS you know what’s coming and you can voice out if you don’t like it. With Umno, you are not allowed such luxuries.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

First read this:

News Item 1: Jerai PKR division dissolved

A PKR division chief has pulled out from PKR, taking over 400 party members with him. Jerai PKR division chief B. Kalaivanar said his decision to leave PKR was due to his disappointment and frustration, as well as many other members’, with the party’s leadership that has ignored the voices of those who had struggled for the party. (You can read the rest of the news item below).

Now read this:

News item 2: PKR man faces cheating rap

Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate for the Gurun state seat in the last general election B. Kalaivanar was charged at the magistrate’s court yesterday with two counts of cheating involving RM3,600. Kalaivanar, who is also Jerai PKR division chairman, claimed trial to inducing R. Patchama, 59, to hand over RM2,000 in April 2004 as payment to process an application for aid with the Social Security Organisation (Sosco). (You can read the rest of the news item below).

Do I need to explain what is going on in Kedah or are you intelligent enough to grasp the situation? It is quite simple really. Contest the by-election and then win. And after you win you negotiate a deal to cross over to Barisan Nasional — such as a cash payment of RM5 million plus for the court case to be dropped.

Sounds reasonable? Okay, enough about Kedah. Now read the following news item:

News Item 3: Delegates want Islamic law to be ennobled

The Islamic legal and economic systems must be ennobled immediately to ensure that the ummah remained strong and supreme in future, a Puteri Umno delegate, Seriwani Sabtu said today. The Setiawangsa Puteri Umno head said that the role and power of the syariah courts should be widened to enable them to hear various cases pertaining to Islam instead of confining to marriage and divorce cases only. (You can read the rest of the news item below).

What is that I hear? PAS is dangerous because it is propagating the setting up of an Islamic State based on Syariah laws? For those who speak without understanding what Islamic laws are all about, Syariah laws comprise of many laws. The Hudud law, which is a bone of contention to many, is just one of these Syariah laws. Hudud, however, deals with seven specific crimes. But there are other Islamic laws that deal with inheritance, marriage, and so on.

At least PAS openly propagates Islamic laws. In that same breath, however, PAS says it shall not unilaterally implement Islamic laws if it ever comes to power in the federal government. And that, of course, is another issue to argue. How can PAS implement Islamic laws if it comes to power in the federal government when it will need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to do so but it contests only one-third of the 222 seats and wins less than half that?

Nevertheless, PAS has agreed that any policy matter requires unanimous agreement by all the partners in Pakatan Rakyat (and the implementation of Islamic laws is a policy matter). A simple majority is not enough. So, if PAS wants Islamic laws, and even if PKR agrees to this (which it will not of, course), as long as DAP opposes the idea then it just can’t be done. Simple! So the issue is a non-issue from the word go.

But what should not be ignored here is Umno’s plan for Islamic laws. Forget about PAS. They can’t do it. First, they do not control two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. Second, DAP will not support Islamic laws so it can’t be done since it will not be unanimous. But Umno can do things unilaterally. Umno does not need to ask the other 13 members of Barisan Nasional permission to do anything. Umno does what it wants to do. Umno is Barisan Nasional and Barisan Nasional is Umno.

Furthermore, PAS announces what it wants to do. It makes no secret of its plan to eventually see Islamic laws implemented in Malaysia. But it can also accept the fact that it may never see that happening. And PAS is quite prepared to leave well enough alone.

Umno, however, Islamises Malaysia in secret. They don’t make any noise about it, like PAS, which talks but never really gets to do it. With Umno, you wake up one morning and suddenly find out that this or that is a new ruling.

Take the ‘Allah’ ban for Bibles as one example. Take the arresting of non-Muslims who hold hands in public places. Take the ban on the building of Buddhist temples. Take the demolition of Hindu temples. Take the body snatching cases. All these, and more, are either federal government policies or events that happened in Umno run states.

In PAS run states, the Hindus, Buddhists and Christians face no problems. In Kelantan, the Hindus were offered permission to build a temple even though they had not asked for permission. The biggest Thai temple in Malaysia is in Kelantan. While Umno says that non-Muslims can’t use the word ‘Allah’, Nik Aziz says they can. During the Umno days, the Chinese could not slaughter pigs in Kelantan. Now, they can.

Do I really need to run through the entire list, which I have already talked about so many times in the past?

With PAS, you know what you are getting. They will announce what they want to do and you are free to oppose it if you disagree. With Umno, they just go ahead and do it without telling you first. And if you oppose it because you disagree, they will accuse you of insulting Islam and take action against you.

You might not agree with Islam or PAS’ policies on Islam. But at least with PAS you know what’s coming and you can voice out if you don’t like it. With Umno, you are not allowed such luxuries.

If you think you are more protected from Islam by voting Barisan Nasional, think again. Let the track record speak for itself. I too don’t agree with some of the policies of PAS. But I will take PAS over Umno anytime. With PAS, WYSIWYG.

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