Khamis, 19 April 2012


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Posted: 19 Apr 2012 07:05 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim

Stateless Indians Demand Blue MyKad

Posted: 19 Apr 2012 04:13 AM PDT


About 200 Indian Malaysians gathered at the gates of Parliament today, demanding that their statelessness be resolved and called on the Najib Abdul Razak administration to immediately tackle the problem that is also faced by some 300,000 others.

They intended to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, but it was instead received by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, since no government representative came to meet the group.

NONEShaking the hands of the stateless Indian Malaysians present, Anwar, who is also PKR de factor leader and Permatang Pauh MP, promised to raise the matter with the government.

The crowd carried a banner that saidNajib zalimi masyarakat (Najib has wronged the community).

They also carried mock-ups of a permanent resident’s identity card with Najib’s profile and chanted, Najib, Najib! Turun padang! (Najib, Najib! Come to the ground!).

Many of them also held out their red (permanent resident’s) identity cards as they waited outside the gates of Parliament.

'Stuck in limbo’

Many of these people said they could not register their citizenship with the National Registration Department (JPN) as they did not have birth certificates and other identification documents.

NONEAs a result, they have been denied benefits from the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), among other things.

To deny these people their citizenship because they lack birth certificates is a “pathetic excuse”, said PKR vice-president N Surendran, who coordinated the group.

“They can check other sources, such as hospital records,” Surendran said, adding that proving these stateless Indian Malaysians were born in the country alone should be sufficient.

He said many of the Indian Malaysians had taken their problem to the court, but did not see any positive outcome to their applications for citizenship.

Stressing that the community had a right to citizenship under the federal constitution, he expressed confidence that a fair court would rule in their favour.

Raising the fact that many foreigners in Sabah had very easily obtained citizenship, Surendran questioned why it was so difficult to do the same for these people who were Malaysian-born.

“They can naturalise foreigners, yet they cannot do the same for these (Indian Malaysians) because they are unsure where they were born?” he asked, ridiculing the double-standard of the government.

NONESeveral other PKR leaders from Parliament also visited the gathering outside, including party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and MP for Subang R Sivarasa.

Nurul Izzah slammed the government for granting citizenship to foreigners for the sake of winning elections, calling them “traitors” to the country.

But she encouraged the crowd to stand their ground against the administration, shouting, “This is your country, your birthplace!”

“Let’s show Najib the real meaning of nambikei (trust),” Nurul Izzah added.

NONESurendran gave the government 48 hours to settle the citizenship problems of the Indian Malaysians present, as their details were attached to the memorandum that was passed on.

He also called on the government to identify the rest of the 300,000 stateless Indian Malaysians and to resolve the issue within a month, threatening more protests otherwise.

Chastising the government for not sending any representative to meet with the group, he warned that “this is the beginning of a new movement for dispossessed (Indian Malaysians)”.

Laid off workers also protest

A second, smaller group of about 30 former employees of telecommunications provider Time Dot Com also gathered at the gates of Parliament to protest against the company.

The group, led by Haron Hamim, demanded compensation for being wrongfully terminated, within a year of being transferred to a subsidiary company, Paycomm Networks Sdn Bhd.

Haron said many of the workers were already over 40 years and were hard-pressed to find new jobs, adding that many of them had seen their marriages and children’s education compromised as a result of being jobless.

Their gathering outside Parliament was the fifth protest the former Time DotCom workers have held over the past year. They had previously sent a memorandum to the prime minister and met with Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam, but to no avail.

Expressing his hope that the government would take action to help them, Haron said the government should truly “put the people first”, echoing Najib’s “people first, performance now” slogan.

0.3% Margin Can Determine Polls Outcome, Anwar Tells EC Chairman

Posted: 19 Apr 2012 03:47 AM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today labelled Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof "very irresponsible" for trivialising the existence of 42,051 "doubtful voters" in the electoral roll.

The Opposition Leader pointed out in the Dewan Rakyat today that although 42,051 only makes up 0.3 per cent of the country's 12.6 million voters, it was this small margin that had been the deciding factor in many marginal seats during Election 2008.

"The response by this very irresponsible EC chairman was that this sum is only 0.3 per cent of voters.

"But it was this [margin] that cost Barian Nasional (BN) the Wangsa Maju seat and cost Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Alor Setar. So don't just answer like that," Anwar (picture) said when debating amendments to the Election Offences Act.

At a press conference earlier this week, Abdul Aziz had insisted that the existence of the 42,051 "doubtful voters" in the roll does not make the registry dirty as claimed by many opposition lawmakers.

The EC had last year submitted the names of all 12.6 million registered voters for verification with the National Registration Department (NRD) but the department had not found the IC records for 42,051 names in its registry.

Anwar demanded today that the names be entirely removed from the roll, pointing out that in the Parliamentary Select Committee's (PSC) final report, it was noted that these voters were not "registered citizens".

The Permatang Pauh MP was however slammed by BN backbenchers for his suggestion.

Responding, Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) pointed out that the EC could not arbitrarily remove the names as these voters could still be alive.

"You cannot just delete them. Permatang Pauh, sometimes the things you say make me smile," the Umno lawmaker said.

Responding after several other interjections, Anwar pointed out that it was the bipartisan PSC that had said the 42,051 voters were not registered as citizens in the NRD's registry.

"I never said they were foreigners. I would like to advise you to read the PSC report carefully first.

"What did the NRD say? NRD confirmed that these were not citizens. Then the EC answered later that these are considered 'doubtful voters'… but if they are not citizens, then just slash them from the roll," he said.

Rising to debate later, Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) raised similar issues and added that although the PSC was bipartisan, its chairman from BN had refused to listen to the minority members from PR.

He insisted that panel members from PR, which included him, had pressured the committee to obtain commitment from the prime minister and his deputy to implement all 22 reform recommendations to the election process before the next polls are called.

"But the PSC chairman (BN minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili) was not brave enough. The EC was not brave enough. If they were not brave enough to get this commitment, how could they be brave enough to implement reforms before the polls?" he asked.

The nine-member PSC, which was formed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in October last year, tabled a 22-point final report to the House earlier this month.

The report was later passed without debates when PR members refused to accept the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's decision not to allow the inclusion of a minority report with the panel's findings.

The minority report was to include the assertion and views of PR's three members on the panel.

PR lawmakers and civil society groups like election watchdog Bersih 2.0 had criticised the panel's findings, claiming it had failed in its original objective to implement total reform to the country's election processes.

Bersih 2.0 has even planned a sequel to its July 9 rally last year, which is set to take place this April 28 at Dataran Merdeka.

A Commitment For Change

Posted: 19 Apr 2012 01:48 AM PDT

Speech by Anwar Ibrahim at the Economist's CEO Lunch meet, APRIL 19, 2012 at the KL Hilton

In a collection of Greek and Latin proverbs compiled by the Renaissance humanist and philosopher Erasmus, known as Adagia, we are told: Multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra.

Not to worry, because for the life of me, I too haven't the foggiest idea what it means.

But after doing some checking, this is just the Latin version of an old English proverb many of us are familiar with. It goes like this: "There's many a slip between the cup and the lip". In other words, even when the outcome of an event looks certain, things can and do go wrong.

That proverb could also be a convenient excuse when we don't fulfill our promises, especially if we have made grand pronouncements about great changes to come. Well, I think you know where I'm heading here but just to add on to the drama, let me throw in another quote. For this, T.S. Eliot is the master:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow…

Now, this is no ordinary shadow but a long drawn veil of different shades of darkness.

But seriously, I am saying this because today more than ever before we are living in a world dominated by sense perception. A world where sound bites, boiler plate pronouncements and state-of-the-art mass media image-building take the place of sincere and straightforward expressions of truth.

In this regard, we have been treated to a barrage of promising reforms, which look very good on paper and even more impressive through media campaigns which cost millions of ringgit of the tax payers' money. And this is money spent without any regard to accountability.

Indeed when it comes to promises, we have an embarrassment of riches. Firstly there is the overkill of sound bites such as the NEM, the GTP, the ETP, and the list goes on. They may all sound different but as you know, they are essentially cosmetic variations of the same stale approach to economic management.

But first let us look at the political and legal reforms which have been touted to have ushered in a new era of freedom and democracy for the nation.

To begin with, as you know the ISA is supposed to have been abolished just over the weekend. But even before we could give it a decent burial, the powers that be have already resurrected it from the grave. They've given it a different name of course, but we know that a bad law by any other name will still smell as bad.

Much has already been said by all concerned parties about the erosion of our fundamental rights and freedom, and that this new law is akin to taking away the powers of the police from their right pocket only to put it back into their left pocket. Suffice it to add that with the passing of this new repressive law, the stench of oppression still permeates the air and the Sword of Damocles still hangs over our heads.

Let me now share some thoughts with you on our social and economic policy road map which is encapsulated in the Pakatan Rakyat's Orange Book. Firstly, this policy is founded on a new social contract between the government and the people. In the event of a transition to power, we pledge to introduce sweeping reforms.

We want to establish a real democracy to reflect and empower the supremacy of the people. We want to build a dynamic and sustainable economy to provide prosperity to all. The drivers for growth will be essentially led by the private sector. But this will not be crony capitalism driven by a philosophy of greed. It will be free market capitalism with a humane face. This is not an ideal in the clouds but a reality that can be achieved because we will be guided by the principles of social justice.

We will continue the practice of transparent and responsible government as currently done by Pakatan Rakyat states. We will free the nation's institutions from the undue influence of politics and restore them to their past glory. The Judiciary has been savaged by the UMNO/BN Executive. We pledge to stop the political meddling in judicial proceedings and restore its independence and competency.

Other national institutions of government must be reformed: the Election Commission, the MACC, the AG's Chambers and the Police – these are essential institutions to ensure the rule of law. They work for the people, not the political masters. They must be transparent and accountable.

In the coming years, we will enhance our pro-rakyat approach while pursuing the best practices in governance. Specific growth oriented and pro-rakyat steps will be introduced at state and national levels. Among others, the areas which will be given particular emphasis are as follows:

There will be complete reformulation of our national policies with regard to key economic, political and social challenges. To ensure a proper check and balance mechanism, there will be full implementation of the Freedom of Information Enactments already introduced in Pakatan Rakyat states.

Another top priority is to establish a quality education system. Funding will be given for educational institutions at all levels and for academic, technical and vocational streams. We need this in order to expand access to effective education for Malaysians of all walks of life. Free education is a fundamental liberty.

Now, as for subsidies, let us put the whole thing into proper perspective. Contrary to what the propaganda tells us, we are not out to create a society that will end up relying on them like crutches. We want a fair and equitable system of wealth distribution. To this end, we will overhaul the current structure of national subsidies. Corporate sector subsidies must be reduced, for example, the gas subsidies of RM19 billion to independent power producers. We then pass on these savings toward subsidies for the rakyat.

To further promote a pro-Rakyat administration, we will fix a time line for government bodies that own highway concessions to transfer them to the government so that tolls will be abolished. Similarly, all private water concessions will be restored to the government. Water is a public asset of the rakyat, not the private money machine for the corporate big wigs.

Do all these measures and reforms make us anti-business? Certainly not. Can we seriously say that rakyat friendly policies coupled with an administration that is fully transparent and accountable will not be conducive to business?

In a matter of four years, we have shown how Selangor and Penang have been able to increase the state revenues through business friendly policies and proper governance. And this is in spite of Selangor and Penang getting a raw deal from the Federal government in terms of funding. And speaking of raw deals, we know how Kelantan has been victimized all these years by the vindictive and completely unreasonable policies of the UMNO/BN government.

So, the answer is a clear 'no'. We are totally committed to bringing economic prosperity to Malaysia. Unlike what has been going on all these years, we will not allow the nation's wealth to be pillaged and plundered by the few.

Before I conclude, let me take a moment to address you directly in your capacity as CEOs. Occupy Wall Street has given a clear signal. In this free market capitalism, the dignity of the person should never be played down. Apart from being the chief drivers of business expansion and hence the creation of value added employment, you are also the custodians of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Now, we know that is easier said than done. Historically, corporations, being largely driven by profits, have been good on the promise about CSR but unfortunately end up rather short on the delivery. Profit is fine but profiteering contributes to the gross inequities of the free market. The philosophy of greed is not cast in stone. You have the power to implement CSR according to the principles of justice and fairness in dealings. This is where CSR and social justice meet and flow into the mainstream of corporate governance.

In tandem with ensuring the fulfillment of CSR, an even greater more profound duty beckons. And that involves you being part of the paradigm change that is going to happen to this nation.

In this imminent transformation, I am optimistic and confident that you do not want to remain as mere passengers but, as CEOs, you should be at the driver's seat to help bring about the change.

Thank you.

As Dr M Signals The Use of Racism in GE-13,: Pakatan Must Unite Behind Anwar

Posted: 18 Apr 2012 08:35 PM PDT

Malaysia Chronicle

The Tun Dr Mahathir who still stubbornly remains fixated on the falsified notion of his that the Malays and the Chinese are potent forces with ingrained enmity against and for each other deserves outright condemnation. It in fact is a racist remark and deserves the Rule of Law to act decisively.

The Tun fails to see that the DAP, PKR and PAS all have all races within their party as members. Has he ever walked the streets of Kota Bahru to see how Malays and Chinese eat, work, play, live and laugh side by side? Has he walked into any Taman in sprawling Kuala Lumpur to see how all races live side by side and in the same flats happily?

Stop your racist view points for this is 2012 not 1969, Tun. You have seemingly deep frozen your philosphies with your Malay Dilema, really. The same type of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians that still float within BN are also the members within the opposition coalition.

Opposition does not have Japanese, Russians, Mongolians or any other as their party members. They are all citizens of this land, please do not forget Che Det.

Loose coalition? What about Samy Vellu telling you off

Now the Tun also spoke of PR being a loose coalition that would spilt up quite easily. How presumptuous.

He fails to recall that only last week his MIC kingpin, Samy Vellu, who stood by him for 22 years revealed that he was stabbed in the back by none other than the Tun himself. Is this not worst than splitting because of ideology?

It is very clear that either the Tun is living a life too high up or that his gurkas are not keeping him piped on the ground realities today.

In any case PR better be forewarned. As the General Election looms around a mysterious corner, it is obligatory and a categorical imperative that all three members – PKR, DAP and PAS get their act cemented together. There should be no space for even a hairline crack or tiny chip to your solidarity, viewpoints and coalition principles.

It is mandatory that you script the same verse, sing the same song and dance to the same tune. You cannot afford any disagreement and conflicting statements to hit the sail. If you are not vigilant and are unable to harness the changing winds that is proving to be increasing in your favour, you risk losing all of it with any signs or even a whisper of your in-congruent positions.

And it certainly calls for solidarity and sacrifice; forget about compromises. Your combined intentions is to act in the best interest of nationhood and the future of all Malaysians who are the subjects of His Majesty and Council of Rulers and citizens of the same land.

Pakatan must stay united behind their anointed Leader

Let your anointed Leader be the torch bearer at all times; let your lieutenants be a team. Put aside your ideologies and stand united for a common goal and agreed pathways.

This is not the season to go to battle with internal conflicts and jostlings with a mysterious enemy who cannot even tell you fairly and squarely when election date is. Hold on to a nation-manifesto not a party-blueprint. The 13th GE is not about political party winning; it is about returning to society what rightfully belongs to a nation’s citizens.

Once you have won the battle hands down, you can get back to your drawing boards to see how best you can galvanise your divergent strengths and distinct ideologies to work together in delivering on the promises to nationhood.

Tough yes, but it is do-able. It is worth all the price and prize because we get to put the nation back on its path that is not riddled with corruption, racism, divisive politics and personal, self-serving greed.

Like they say,:When the going gets tough, only the tough can get going.

DSAI must prove the Tun wrong

And having said that, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the responsibility falls on your shoulders.

Surely you can carry the yoke with ease given your incarceration in prison, the unceremonious and acrimonious slanders slammed upon you and your family, and most importantly with the dedicated support of the coalition members who have come a long way of fifty over years struggling with commitment and determination despite the mammoth and almost insurmountable challenges and frustrations thrown in their way.

In short, prove the Tun wrong. There is no space for self-centered mistakes. PR cannot afford to make apologies like their opposition the BN.

Let us march on and show the world that we have made Malaysia ‘Truly Asia’ – a nation of solidarity, harmony, co-existence, justice, civil liberties and democratic to the dot.

And on that score, dear Tun, please also be informed that people who vote for the opposition are not lacking in common sense. It is just that the voters have grown tired of all the promises undelivered and the hurt thrown at them for half a century. And you Sir will have to take the whole blame because we gave you the benefit of doubt for 22 years only to drive us to the other side of the wall.

Wee Choo Keong

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Wee Choo Keong

Dep MOF: MOF to investigate serious allegations about CCF & RA

Posted: 19 Apr 2012 10:00 AM PDT

Updates @ 3:20 am 20-4-2012: Parliament has just been adjourned at 3:20 am! Malam yang bersejarah!  A historical event!  Previous record was Parliament adjourned at 2:30 am. Good morning to all. Updates @ 3:00 am on 20-4-2012: Parliament is still sitting to debate on the “Cukai Kastam” Bill. YB Senator Datuk Awang Adek, the Deputy [...]


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