Saturday 31 March 2007

UPDATE: Court of Appeal Grants Injunction to Non-Muslim Appellant on the Religious Case Involving the Syariah Court

" In the current controversy, the perception of the Malaysian public is this:
The wisdom of our civil court judges, especially our learned Muslim judges involved in these cases, is being influenced or coloured, knowingly or unknowingly, by their own religious sentiments and their personal prejudices, instead of being guided by their profound knowledge of the rule of law and the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

The lesson Malaysians are beginning to learn from this controversy is that situations WILL arise again and again where our learned Muslim judges will be faced with personal or religious dilemma within themselves when fronted with cases involving non-Muslims, Islam and the Syariah court.

And Malaysians expect, without any exception, that this uncertainty should NEVER be a factor, and be seen as NOT a factor, in the discharge of their duties as judges of our civil courts .

The honorable thing for these affected judges to do is to simply recuse themselves from these cases."

  • Read HERE earlier posting on the recent rulings of the civil courts on religious cases
    • Excerpts: Read here for more in The SUN, article by R. Surenthira Kumar :

      "... R. Subashini's Muslim convert husband has been temporarily prevented from using the Syariah Court to dissolve their civil marriage, seek custody of their children, and unilaterally convert one child.

      In a majority decision today (March 30th) , the Court of Appeal granted Subashini an interim injunction to restrain T. Saravanan, now known by his Muslim name of Muhamad Shafi Saravanan Abdullah, from proceeding with his case at the syariah courts pending the disposal of her application to the Federal Court to hear her appeal of the Appeal Court's earlier decision.

      The three-person bench was chaired by Sri Ram, and also comprised Justices Datuk Hasan Lah and Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar.

      Following today's interim injunction, Subashini later filed the leave application to the Federal Court.

      Sri Ram and Hasan allowed the injunction, while Suriyadi dissented but NO reason was given for his decision.

      Today's injunction order prevents Saravanan from converting his second child, one-year-old Sharvind, to Islam.

      The formerly Hindu businessman converted the first child, Dharvin Joshua, to Islam WITHOUT Subashini's knowledge.

      On March 13, the same Court of Appeal bench, in a majority decision with Justice Gopal Sri Ram dissenting, had dismissed Subashini's appeal, saying she could seek recourse through the Syariah Appeal Court.

      Subashini's appeal was to stop Saravanan from dissolving their marriage, seeking custody of their children and unilaterally converting their children to Islam.

      Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

      Malik Imtiaz, representing Subashini, said the effect of the Court of Appeal's majority decision on March 13 was so momentous, in that for the FIRST TIME, the CIVIL courts have told a NON-Muslim that she must submit to the syariah courts to be adjudicated according to Islamic law.

      The Federal Court, Malik Imtiaz said, ought to properly consider the application to appeal. "It would, therefore, also be in the public interest for the status quo to be preserved," he added.

      Lawyer representing Saravanan (the husband who converted to Islam) , argued that it should be the Federal Court that heard today's application, and the move was akin to the court attempting to review its previous decision. But his argument was shot down by Sri Ram who said the Court of Appeal had the authority to do so. Sri Ram also said there was no such attempt to review its previous decision.

      "This is a very serious encroachment of her rights. Injunctions are normally granted by the courts on the basis of preventing injustice," said Sri Ram.

      But Malik Imtiaz said there was NO guarantee that would NOT happen, hence the threat still existed.

      Meera Samanther held a watching brief for the Women's Aid Organisation, Women's Centre For Change, Women's Development Collective, Sisters In Islam, All Women's Action Society and the Bar Council, and Ng Chek for the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism. ..."

      Malaysian Court Judges' Majority Decisions on Religious Issues: Making a Mockery of the Federal Constitution

      Click HERE to read on the Court of Appeal's latest decision (March 30th) on the Subashini case

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

      See below the list of judges in the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court or click here


      • Of the total NINE (9) Judges appointed to the Federal Court, only ONE (1) is a NON-Muslim.

      • Of the total SIXTEEN ( 16 )Judges appointed to the Court of Appeal, only FOUR (4) are NON-Muslims

      • Of the total FORTY (40) Judges appointed the High Court, FOURTEEN (14) are NON-MUSLIMS

      " The recent 2-1 majority decision of the Court of Appeal in Subashini Rajasingham v Saravanan Thangathoray, is most worrying in the sense that it permeates not only a feeling of uneasiness and hopelessness among non-Muslims but also of greater significance is the implications hereon and the worrying precedent the case and particularly the decision of justice Hasan Lah has for future cases. "
      -Norman Fernandez

      "... We are heading for a constitutional crisis should members of the Bench decide to abandon their role in protecting and defending the Federal Constitution, the highest law in this land."
      -Jeff Ooi

      ".... it is unfair to expect NON-Muslims like Subashini to go to Syariah Court even if there is a perfect justice in the syariah system because the law gives her right to pursue her remedy in the CIVIL courts and NO WHERE ELSE . Muslims can do away with the civil courts if they so wish...."
      -Zaid Ibrahim

      The frustration of the legal profession with the highly controversial decisions from the Bench of Malaysia's secular court on religious issues is best expressed by one lawyer's comment in his blog, "What's going on?"

      Questions are asked by Malaysians whether the judges in Malaysian secular courts deliberately refused to consider the fundamental liberties of Malaysians enshrined especially in Articles 11 and 12 of the Federal Constitution, which read, inter alia:

      "...Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it'

      ...No person shall be required to receive instruction in or take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own.

      .... For the purposes of Clause (3) the religion of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be decided by his parent or guardian."

      It is becoming obvious to Malaysians in general that the majority decisions of the courts made recently on religious issues are guided and/or influenced more by the individual judges' own religious leanings and personal prejudices instead of being based on the rule of law and the enshrined articles of the Federal Constitution protecting the fundamental liberties of the citizens.

      So, we must really ask "What is going on" on the Bench when it comes to ruling on matters affecting the fundamental liberties of each and every Malaysian, irrespective of age, sex, race and religion ?

      The majority decisions of the courts are letting down the aggrieved citizen in the country seeking justice , leaving aside the perceived injustices coming from the politics of the Executive and the Legislative.

      It would appear from recent cases that our judges in the secular courts, right up to the Appeal Court, had surrendered their sacred responsibility as unprejudiced referees on matters of fundamental liberties; in the eyes of the man-in-the-street, it is tantamounting to the courts making a mockery of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

      For those appearing before these judges, there is bewilderment in the way the majority decisions were made, leaving a feeling that their fundamental liberties are not upheld and respected by the courts.

      The question Malaysians are asking: Can our judges in the secular courts be relied upon by each and every Malaysian citizen, irrespective of sex, age, race and religion, to protect the sanctity of the Federal Constitution and his or her fundamental liberties?

      By the way the judges ruled recently on religious issues, the answer seems to be: "NO".

      For one thing, religious leanings of MUSLIM judges sitting on these cases seem to sway their decisions more than the articles of the Federal Constitution.

      Integrity of the judges's decisions could be compromised, if recent events are to go by, and they may stand accused in the court of public opinion, of acting irresponsibly in discharging their duties viz-a-viz the Federal Constitution.

      There is a constitutional crisis, undoubtedly, NOT on the state of the nation, but on the very foundation of the basic rights of Malaysians in a democracy, ie their fundamental liberties enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

      A crisis that comes not from the Executive, but from the Judiciary itself, that third estate which we least expect such a crisis to come from.

      Thus, a dark cloud is now hanging over the country when it comes to seeking redress from the Bench on our fundamental liberties.


      1. From Disquiet Blog: Read here and here and here for more

        "... I would have thought that State Authorities and the Judiciary would have begun to appreciate that the Constitution was being hijacked and the Rule of Law being undermined, in part by ill conceived decisions on the part of the latter.

        ... I would have thought that it was obvious that the trend of decisions being handed down by the Civil Courts, including the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, were doing more damage to the fabric of our nation than any other element, barring corruption and mis-governance.

        It seemed to me that once the cabinet intervened over Rayappan and a more uniting form of Islam was being propounded by all concerned, greater constitutional understanding and constitutionalism were to be the order of the day.

        I was wrong.

        Take a look at a cross-section of cases that have come before the Courts in the last 3 months.

        Case 1 - In the Children's Court

        On December 28th 2006, I appeared for a Hindhu lady, X, in the Children’s Court.

        The paramount consideration of the Court in the exercise of its powers is the best interests of the child or children concerned. The powers under the Child Act as such go to the welfare of children. The Act empowers the court to exercise powers necessary to ensure that a child, or children, are kept safe.

        X was married to a Chinese man. She bore him 3 children. A short while ago, he married a Malay woman, someone who X and the children were familiar with. Though he converted to Islam for that purpose, the 3 children did not. At some point after the marriage to the Malay woman, he arranged for the children to visit him for the school holidays. Thereafter they remained with him, this decision having been arrived at WITHOUT X having been consulted. X managed to see them from time to time.

        Unbeknownst to my client, her husband passed away and some 12 days after, the children were converted into Islam. The conversions were effected without the knowledge and consent of my client. All 3 children were under the age of 18.

        The step-mother then refused to allow the children to return to X. X took out custody proceedings in the High Court. The High Court granted X custody.

        Soon after, the Majlis Agama applied to intervene into the High Court proceedings and set aside the custody order. The Majlis contended that the children were Muslims and the High Court as such did not have jurisdiction. This was the first X had any indication of the conversions. X is taking steps to challenge the conversions.

        It must be borne in mind that the right of natural parents to guardianship and custody is a constitutionally entrenched right, reinforced by statutory law.

        In mid January, the Magistrate (ruled) the (Muslim) step-mother was given custody of the children. As a consequence, the custody order granted by the High Court was rendered valueless.

        The matter is pending review by the High Court in Shah Alam.

        Was the Constitution adhered to? I do not think so.

        Was the decision in the best interests of the children? I cannot see how this could be so.

        It is a presumption in family law that a child’s interests are best secured by the child being with his or her natural mother. Section 17(1)(h) is a statutory exception to this general rule.

        Case 2 in the Federal Court

        On January 4th 2007, I appeared with Haris Ibrahim and Edmund Bon in the Federal Court for Haji Kahar who the media has described as the “self-styled Prophet of Selangor”.
        Haji Kahar had been charged with several offences under the relevant Selangor Islamic Criminal Law Enactment and these were to be tried in the Syariah Courts.

        Suffice it to say that there was a serious question of constitutionality going to the competence of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly to make the laws that were now being applied against Haji Kahar.

        It is common for a single judge of the Federal Court to sit at the first stage.

        ... we got in touch with the Attorney General’s Chambers. Leave would be agreed to. There was nothing unusual about this as there were serious issues to be considered, issues which had yet to be determined even though about 6 months had lapsed since we argued the case.

        You can imagine our surprise when we went to the Federal Court and discovered that 5 judges would be sitting to hear the leave application (Tun Fairuz, Dato’ Malanjum, Dato’ Augustin Paul, Dato’ Hashim Yusof and Dato’ Azmel).

        It was even more surprising that the Bench insisted on being addressed on the issues.

        A question was raised as to whether this was a matter which the syariah court ought be deliberating over, even though it was plainly a case concerning the competency of a law making body and a challenge which the Constitution clearly vests the Federal Court with jurisdiction to deal with.

        The syariah courts very clearly are not and cannot be empowered to adjudicate cases involving constitutional issues (see the report in The Sun on 5th January 2007).

        At one stage, one of the judges commented that the Attorney General’s Chambers should never have agreed to leave being granted.

        Leave was ultimately granted. It was a struggle though, one we did not expect. The substantive phase will be dealt with in due course. In the meanwhile, we are still awaiting the decisions in Sulaiman Takrib and Lina Joy.

        Case 3 - The Subashini Case in the Appeal Court Read Here the judgement on Malaysian Court Website

        On January 8th and 9th, I appeared for Subashini in her now notorious appeal. The case is fairly straight forward.

        Subashini is a Hindhu. She has two children. Her husband converted to Islam and indicated that he was going to convert their first child to Islam. She commenced proceedings in the High Court for a decree of divorce and consequential orders, including an order (common known as an injunction) to restrain her husband from converting their first born to Islam.

        It is beyond dispute that the High Court has jurisdiction to grant a decree of divorce and consequential orders. Unbeknownst to her, her husband unilaterally converted their first child into Islam. He also commenced proceedings in the syariah court for custody of the first child.

        Fearing the possibilities, Subashini applied for an interim injunction to restrain her husband from converting their first child into Islam and to commence and carry on with proceedings in the syariah court.

        In my view the syariah court has jurisdiction to grant decrees of divorce and make consequential orders, including those going to custody, in respect of marriages solemnized under Islamic law.

        It follows that the syariah court has NO jurisdiction to grant such decrees or orders over marriages solemnized under civil law.

        Non-muslim marriages are solemnized under civil law. There is no issue at all here and the relevant law was clarified by the Supreme Court (as it was formerly known) in a case referred to as Tang Sung Moi.

        The argument, in essence, made by Subashini was that any proceeding commenced in the syariah court would be a proceeding without proper foundation in law and therefore an abuse of process.

        More so for the fact that such proceedings would be positioned in ‘competition’ to the High Court proceedings. The High Court proceedings being correct in law (from a jurisdictional standpoint), and the law being as it is, the syariah court has no power to make any order. The question arises therefore why would any proceedings be commenced in the syariah court at all.

        The decision of the Court of Appeal (delivered last week) is an incredible one.

        By a majority decision, 2 to 1 (Suryadi J and Hassan Lah J as againt Gopal Sri Ram J), the Court of Appeal ruled that the syariah court had jurisdiction and as such there was no basis in law for the High Court to grant an injunction.

        In a far reaching (and in my view completely unfounded) step, 1 of the majority judges ruled that Subashini ought have petitioned the syariah Court of Appeal to argue that the proceedings in the syariah court were jurisdictionally deficient.

        This was despite the Constitution limiting the jurisdiction of the syariah courts to persons professing the religion of Islam. No reference was made, however, to the Constitutional limitation.

        It is equally significant that the minority judgment is a careful and meticulous analysis of the constitutional framework and the inter-relation between the civil and syariah courts. In my view it is the strongest judgment yet on the subject.

        I cannot begin to understand how to justify the position taken by the majority. All that remains for Subashini is the Federal Court. .."

      2. From Malaysiakini - Letter to Editor from a lawyer: Read here for more


        "... The recent 2-1 majority decision of the Court of Appeal in Subashini Rajasingham v Saravanan Thangathoray, is most worrying in the sense that it permeates not only a feeling of uneasiness and hopelessness among non-Muslims but also of greater significance is the implications hereon and the worrying precedent the case and particularly the decision of justice Hasan Lah has for future cases.

        .... the fact is that the Syariah Court has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims. It begets the question why couldn’t the civil courts grant her the appropriate remedies instead of shunting her to a court which under the Federal Constitution has no jurisdiction over her.

        Stranger still is the fact that the civil court was prepared to construe to section 53 of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territory) Act wide enough for Subashini, a non-Muslim, to seek redress in the Syariah Court while feeling hapless and constrained to interpret section121(1A) beyond the narrow interpretation and do justice for Subashini.

        In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the country and by virtue of Article 4(1), all other laws must be constitutionally consistent and thus also making Malaysia constitutionally secular. In contrast, Pakistan’s constitution states that all laws must be consistent with syariah.

        Further, Schedule 9, List 2(1), of the Federal Constitution clearly limits the jurisdiction of the syariah courts to persons professing the religion of Islam. Thus it is unconstitutional to elevate and extend the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court (which is constitutionally subordinate to the civil court) to non-Muslims when none exist. And that is precisely what has happened in Subashini’s case.

        In Subashini’s case, and as in previous cases, the unfolding saga is almost similar.

        To some extent, the civil courts are at fault too. When marriages break down, the innocent child unwittingly becomes the pawn. In divorce proceedings/custody applications, there is a tendency for many judges to maintain status quo and favour or leans towards the wife by giving custody and care to the wife while giving the husband/father limited access to the child.

        ... the civil courts when called upon to adjudicate takes the easy way out by referring to Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution which prevents the civil courts from interfering with the decisions of the syariah courts. Article 121(1A) ought not to be an escape clause or an excuse for the courts to abdicate responsibility.

        At the parliamentary roundtable on Article 121(1A) on Jan 5, 2006, the former attorney-general who incidentally was responsible for drafting the said Article) had this to say to the judges of the civil court:

        “In a democratic country, one has to accept the view of the majority. 121A(1A) will not be a problem if the civil court has the courage to act fairly and independently. The system is just if the judicial process is in place. The reason for such a clause was that the Syariah Court was more competent to deal with Islamic affairs.

        “Schedule 9 of the constitution is clear that the Syariah Court only has jurisdiction over people professing Islam. Yet it has constantly been ignored. However, the constitutionality of law rests upon civil court. But none of the civil judges are prepared to look at it this way. It is an abdication of power and function.

        “Therefore, it is the problem of the court and not the legislation. If the civil court judge is true to the oath, there will be no problems like we are facing now. 121(1A) is not intended to limit the civil courts.”

        In Subashini’s case, justice Gopal Sri Ram said “at the end of the day, the courts decide on justice and remedy of individuals and not the legislative body”.

        Zaid Ibrahim, a lawyer writing in The Sun on March 27, 2007, rightfully expressed the views of the non-Muslims when he said,
        “To Muslims, I say it is unfair to expect non-Muslims like Subashini to go to Syariah Court even if there is a perfect justice in the syariah system because the law gives her right to pursue her remedy in the civil courts and no where else. Muslims can do away with the civil courts if they so wish.

        "They can seek changes to the law to incorporate criminal, contract, property laws, etc, as part of syariah law. What Muslims cannot do so is to expect non-Muslims to submit to Syariah Court.”

        Rightfully said.... "
      3. From Malaysiakini-Letter to Editor: Read here for more


        "... There is a general feeling of despondency over the gradual erosion of non-Muslims rights as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

        The majority decision went on further to declare quite wrongly and in direct contravention of the Federal Constitution that Subashini's recourse albeit a non-Muslim was at the Syariah Court and not at the High Court.

        How two learned judges could circumvent the Fedaral Constitution and arrived at such an erroneous decision is certainly mind boggling.

        There are two possibilities why a straight forward case ended in such an acrimonious fashion.

        Firstly, the two judges were so illiterate in their knowledge of the provision of the Federal Constitution that they overlooked the relevant provisions embodied in the constitution. This is quite unlikely as the provision in the constitution is so elegantly crafted without any ambiguity that a chambering law student would not even overlook it.

        The second more plausible possibility is that unseen hands already decided on the fate of Subashini's case even before her appeal was to be heard by the High Court.

        Earlier, all three attempts to divert the case of S Sharmala, M Moorty and A Rayappan to the Syariah Court ended in failure.

        For some in the syariah and civil courts, there is a fervent desire to prove to the world that justice for the non-Muslims can also be obtained at the Syariah Court.

        In order to prove this, a non-Muslim must first be made to submit to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court. Failure to bring a non-Muslim to the Syariah Court would tantamount to failure to reveal to the world how Islamic jurisprudence would deal with a non-Muslim and receive justice.

        In short, there is an attempt by some authorities to compel a non-Muslim to submit to the Syariah Court so that it will have an opportunity to vindicate its propaganda that Islamic law is impartial to all and sundry. "

      4. From Screenshots: Read here for more


        "... We are heading for a constitutional crisis should members of the Bench decide to abandon their role in protecting and defending the Federal Constitution, the highest law in this land.

        In a secular country, most recently affirmed and hitherto uncontested in a landmark case in 1986, that adopts a dual-system in legal practice, namely the Civil Law for non-Muslims and the Syariah Law for Muslims, members of the Bench are slowly, but firmly, passing down civil court verdicts that create precedents to instal the supremacy of the Syariah Law over the other, no matter if one of the aggrieved parties is a non-Muslim.

        March 20, Bar Council's newly-elected president Ambiga Sreenevasan went on record as saying that the Syariah court should have jurisdiction only over Muslims. "It is the Bar Council's view that where one party is a non-Muslim, the matter must be heard in the civil courts. This is in accordance with the law as it has stood for many years," she told theSun."

      5. Press Statement from the Christian Federation of Malaysia. Read here for more


        "....The Christian Federation of Malaysia views with great concern the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Subashini v. Saravanan, where she, although a non-Muslim, was urged to submit to the jurisdiction of the Syariah courts to seek recourse from the break-up of her family, when her husband converted to Islam.

        It is troubling to note, and indeed of great concern to all Malaysians, that what is clearly stated in the Federal Constitution, that the Syariah courts shall have jurisdiction only over persons professing the religion of Islam [Schedule 9, List 11 (1)], is now being extended, by the court decision, to include non-Muslims.

        The Christian Federation of Malaysia respects the Federal Constitution to be the supreme law of the country [Art 4 (1)], and therefore, it must guarantee the right of all non-Muslim Malaysian citizens to find justice served in the civil courts of the country.

        In view of this development, the Christian Federation of Malaysia joins with all other likeminded Malaysians in raising our concern to the government. Decisions like this impact negatively on the social fabric of Malaysia.

        We therefore, call on all elected members of Parliament to do everything within their means to defend our Constitution, and to safeguard the right of non-Muslim citizens to find remedy and justice in the civil courts in matters pertaining to civil rights and liberties...."

      These are the individuals who were appointed as judges deciding on the fate of Malaysians.


      1. Dato' Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mohamad

      2. Dato' Alauddin bin Dato' Mohd. Sheriff

      3. Dato' Arifin bin Zakaria

      4. Dato' Bentara Istana Dato' Nik Hashim bin Nik Ab. Rahman

      5. Dato' Augustine Paul a/l Sinnappen

      6. Dato' Abdul Aziz bin Mohamad

      7. Dato' Haji Hashim bin Dato' Haji Yusoff

      8.Dato' Azmel bin Haji Maamor


      1. Dato' Sri Ramachandra a/l Ramasamy Gopal Iyer

      2. Datuk Haji Mokhtar bin Haji Sidin

      3. Datuk Denis Ong Jiew Fook

      4. Datuk Wira Haji Mohd Ghazali bin Mohd Yusoff

      5. Tengku Dato' Baharudin Shah bin Tengku Mahmud

      6. Dato' James Foong Cheng Yuen

      7. Datin Paduka Zaleha bt. Zahari

      8.Dato' Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin

      9. Dato' Low Hop Bing

      10 . Datuk Haji Suriyadi bin Halim Omar

      11. Dato' Md. Raus bin Sharif

      12. Dato' Abdull Hamid bin Embong

      13. Datuk Zainun bt. Ali

      14. Dato' Hasan bin Lah

      15 Datuk Heliliah bt. Mohd Yusof


      1. Datuk Ian Chin Hon Chong

      2 . Dato' Vincent Ng Kim Khoay

      3 . Dato' Haji Abdul Malik bin Haji Ishak

      4 . Dato' Selventhiranathan a/l Thiagarajah

      5 Dato' Mohd. Hishamudin bin Haji Mohd. Yunus

      6 . Dato' Kang Hwee Gee @ Kang Keng Beng

      7 . Dato' Nihrumala Segara a/l M.K. Pillay

      8. Dato' Abdul Kadir bin Musa

      9. Dato' Tee Ah Sing @ Tee Boon Hooi

      10. Datuk Abdul Wahab bin Patail

      11. Dato' Abu Samah bin Nordin

      12. Dato' Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha

      13. Dato' Azhar @ Izhar bin Haji Ma'ah

      14 . Dato' Wan Adnan @ Addinan bin Muhamad

      15. Dato' Muhamad Ideres bin Muhamad Rapee

      16. Datuk Sulong bin Matjeraie

      17. Datuk Clement Allan Skinner

      18. Datuk Ramly bin Haji Ali

      19. Datuk Ahmad bin Haji Maarop

      20. Dato' Sulaiman bin Daud

      21. Dato' Thiripurasingam a/l Veerasingam

      22 . Datuk Zakaria bin Sam

      23. Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy bin Syed Ahmad

      24. Datuk Su Geok Yiam

      25. Dato' Balia Yusof bin Haji Wahi

      26. Dato' Zainal Adzam bin Abd.Ghani

      27. Dato' Alizatul Khair bt. Osman Khairuddin

      28. Tuan Mokhtaruddin bin Baki

      29. Dato' Abdul Aziz bin Abd.Rahim

      30. Sangau Gunting

      31 . Puan Lau Bee Lan

      32 Datuk Siti Mariah bt. Haji Ahmad

      33. Dato' Wan Afrah bt. Dato' Paduka Wan Ibrahim

      34. Dato' Haji Mohamed Apandi bin Ali

      35. Datuk K.P Gengadharan a/l C.R Nair

      36. Datuk Linton Albert

      37. Datuk Zaharah bt. Ibrahim

      38. Dato' Azahar bin Mohamed

      39. Datuk Mohamad Zabidin bin Mohd. Diah

      Friday 30 March 2007

      Tun Dr. Mahathir Still Playing Politics of Fear and Insecurity of the Malays : Blaming Others for Problems of the Malays

      From Malaysiakini. Read Here

      Excerpts: Read here for more

      ".... Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped up his criticisms against the government today, arguing that the country is bowing to Singapore's demands, and that leaders would rather play golf to appease foreigners than defend the nation's sovereignty.

      Mahathir said the Malays are under threat of becoming “enslaved” to foreign powers yet again

      Stating that Johor is losing its independence by allowing the free trade Iskandar Development Region to continue, he said Malays are allowing themselves to be colonised by foreign powers again, this time by the Israelis.

      The former premier's main contention was the government greenlighting the free trade area, which allows land ownership by foreign companies. .

      He said Singapore would take advantage of such a situatio at a public forum of 500 organised by Umno Kulai Besar branch. This was his first Umno-invited function of the year. The forum was entitled 'Malay leadership in the era of globalisation'.

      Mahathir said:

      " Foreigners can come in without using their passports. They can build skyscrapers which could be owned by anyone.

      ... Who would come in? We all know that Singapore would. Even the Israelis can come in. They have an embassy in Singapore... They call me anti-Semitic, but it is a fact that anyone can come in.

      ....Who knows what would have transpired in the event that the island was populated mostly by Malays ... Now we are surrendering this area to people who can enter without using passports.

      I am not using racialism, but if we surrender our rights, who would come stand for us. Who can we depend on but ourselves.

      People have said I voiced my concern because the bridge is my pet project. My baby. Yang mana bukan saya punyan projek (Which is not my pet project?). I have been in office 22 years, a lot has been done.

      The number of cars are not going to decrease. We have to plan ahead before it becomes a problem. The causeway was constructed in 1927... I'm not sure but I think by now there are a little bit more cars moving across the bridge.

      Twenty-two years in office .. mereka (Singapore) tak layan kita (They never entertained us). Saya pun tepuk belakang (I also pat people in the back). He's (former prime minister Goh Chok Tong) is quite tall.

      But I didn't play golf. I don't know how to play golf. We never came to hugging though. Now because we are afraid of them (Singapore), we play golf and pat them in the back.

      Even the water can pass through which would clear up the straits. If Tunku (Abdul Rahman) were alive today, he would feel utterly disappointed because we gave up our sovereignty.

      ....the cost of the Centre of Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) had shot from RM800 million to RM1.4 billion It is an increase of RM600 million in cost. This is an example of mismanagement.

      The money is there for a purpose. If we just kept the money under a pillow, its value would depreciate eventually. Believe me, we have the money. From oil.

      Whatever the King decreed, we just resigned ourselves to it.

      ...People deserve the government they get...."

      Wednesday 28 March 2007

      WE DID THE RIGHT THING! Babies Released from Immigration Detention Facility

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
      Mothers hold their babies after their release into UNHCR custody by Malaysian authorities.
      (Photo courtesy of UNHCR/E.Tan)

      Read here article by Yanti Ismail on UNHCR Website


      "... The office of the UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur was abuzz with excitement as staff awaited the arrival of six babies aged between 30 and 40 days – after being released on Thursday from an immigration detention facility.

      The babies were among a group of 25 persons of concern, who were released into UNHCR custody by Malaysian authorities.

      They and their relatives – all from Myanmar – had been arrested and held for up to four weeks for not having valid immigration documents.

      The Malaysian Immigration Act does NOT distinguish between a refugee and an immigrant, thus refugees and asylum seekers are sometimes arrested and detained in the immigration holding facility.

      Volker Türk, UNHCR representative in Malaysia, said:

      "We are grateful to the Malaysian authorities for this humanitarian act of releasing these babies and their parents from the immigration detention.

      Refugees are a group of people with special protection needs and UNHCR provides this for them.

      We are happy that they have been released back into our care. Our immediate concern now is for the health and welfare of the newborn babies and their mothers."

      The adults were relieved to be out of custody and under the protection of UNHCR.

      Some were hungry. "Can we have some food, please?," asked one woman, adding that she had been so excited at the prospect of freedom that she had given her lunch to another detainee in the immigration facility.

      Others were worried about health issues.

      Min Thlang, an asylum seeker from Myanmar, said her 40-day-old son, Simon, had kidney problems.

      "Because I was detained, I have missed two appointments with the hospital where they were going to give my baby medication," she said, adding that she had been told her boy would need a kidney transplant but was too young for the operation now.

      "We were in detention for a few weeks and my baby's health has deteriorated," said Min Thlang. "Although I am happy that I have been released, my heart is full of worries for my baby's future and for my husband who is still in detention."

      Khim Mung was also worried about the health of her child, 40-day-old Robert. The asylum seeker from Myanmar said her body hadn't been producing sufficient milk for Robert because she had not been taking enough nutrition while in detention. She shrugged at queries about her post-natal health conditions.

      " I want to take Robert to the hospital right now," she said, impatient to leave. "I am very, very happy to be released and now I need to take care of family again."

      Rahimah Bee, a Muslim from Myanmar, wept as the celebrations swirled round her baby and husband at the UNHCR office. "These are tears of joy," she reassured staff. "I was held for 16 days and it was the hardest experience of my life. I am so grateful that I am released. That is why I am crying."

      Rahimah said that for her, the hardest part about being in detention was that she could not decide how to use her time. Detainees had to observe timetables set by the detention centre, even when it was inconvenient for them and their babies.

      "Even when my baby was feeding or sleeping, if it was time to queue for head count, then I had to get up," said Rahimah, who was looking forward to a bath and a sleep.

      As of January this year, there were some 43,000 persons of concern registered with UNHCR in Malaysia, including some 27,000 from ethnic minority groups in Myanmar.

      Many live close to illegal immigrants, which makes them vulnerable during government crackdowns on illegal immigrants.

      Saturday 24 March 2007

      Government's Official Race-Based Policies : The Major Contributing Factor to National Instability

      From Inter Press News Service Agency (IPS) - "Racial Melting Pot on the Boil": READ HERE


      Baradan Kuppusamy


      ".. Malaysia is celebrating 50 years of independence against a backdrop of mounting racial disquiet.

      ...(It is) fuelled by race-based politics, redundant policies that divide and discriminate, and affirmative action that favours native Malays over minority Chinese and Indians.

      ... there is a clash between resurgent Islam and the secular (Federal) Constitution.

      ...Inter-racial mistrust, resentment and condescending attitudes are common features of daily life.

      At the CORE of racial divide is the New Economic Policy or NEP which was originally designed to eradicate poverty irrespective of race, create wealth and ensure economic equality.

      In implementation (of the NEP), Malays benefited over other races -- including in preferential employment, education, scholarships, business, access to cheaper housing and assisted savings.

      ...Experts say racism is too deeply entrenched in OFFICIAL policies and the socio-political system...."

      -Baradan Kuppusamy

      Excerpts: Read here for more

      ".... Asia's melting pot, Malaysia, is celebrating 50 years of independence from British rule but against a backdrop of mounting racial disquiet fuelled by race-based politics, redundant policies that divide and discriminate and affirmative action that favours native Malays over minority Chinese and Indians.

      Half a century into nationhood, the ideal of a ‘Bangsa Malaysia' -- that promised a blended Malaysian race that was to have climbed out of the melting pot -- is still nowhere in sight.

      Instead there is a clash between resurgent Islam and the secular constitution.

      Even Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi admitted recently that the major races that make up this unique country are drifting apart owing to racial and religious divisions and built-in discriminations.

      ''The situation is worrisome,'' Badawi told Malaysians during a televised address last December, appealing for racial understanding, tolerance and national unity.

      Foreign travellers who only see peace, stability and development are unaware that racism and discrimination pervade every aspect of Malaysian society.

      The country's first ever survey of race relations conducted last year confirmed that, below the façade of unity and peace, racism, discrimination and religious bigotry run deep.

      For instance all political parties are race-based and champion the cause of their particular race.

      Playing the "race card" is a sure and tried method to advance politically.

      The education system is heavily segregated with nearly 90 percent of Chinese students studying in Chinese vernacular schools and as large a proportion of Malays preferring national schools or Islamic schools where the Malay language and Islam are emphasised.

      Inter-racial mistrust, resentment and condescending attitudes are common features of daily life, as the race relations survey showed.

      Despite these setbacks, nowhere in Asia can one find so many different races and cultures calling one country home. Besides the majority Malays, other racial groups include Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Europeans, Eurasians and dozens of ethnic and aboriginal communities.

      A potpourri of religions co-exist from the majority Muslims to Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Sikhs and numerous native belief systems.

      Opposition lawmaker Kula Segaran, said:

      " We coexist, even live together but we live separately in our own worlds. The outward peace and stability is NOT built on justice or meritocracy but made possible by fear and other drastic measures.

      An expanding economy with tremendous wealth creation had hid the warts...
      as the economy slows, the warts are surfacing''

      We celebrate 50 years of independence as a nation but the people are further apart than ever.

      We don't know each other, we go to different schools, have people from our own races as friends and live separate lives."
      Malay Muslims, about 60 percent of the population, were the most backward economically at independence in 1957 but, through "Malays-first" policies, have advanced on many fronts and today form a sizeable middle-class.

      Despite the advances, Malay wealth is in the hands of a politically well connected elite while in the rural areas of the country the Malay poor predominate.

      The Chinese who first arrived as labourers to work the tin mines, now form 25 percent of the population and are economically the most vibrant -- controlling some 60 percent of the economy.

      At the core of racial divide is the New Economic Policy or NEP which was originally designed to eradicate poverty irrespective of race, create wealth and ensure economic equality.

      However, in its implementation, Malays benefited over other races -- including in preferential employment, education, scholarships, business, access to cheaper housing and assisted savings.

      Originally designed to last for 20 years, the basic policies of the NEP have continued under different names, sparking envy and resentment between Malays and non-Malays. Non-Malays have come to accept the discrimination as the price they have to pay for peace and stability.

      But as the economy shrinks and wealth contracts and a new generation of Malaysians come into their own, many are unwilling and unable to stomach the discrimination that is institutionalised.

      "I was born here, I am a citizen, why should I be treated as second or third class," said law student Amarjeet Singh, who did not make it to the local university despite having good grades.

      "We simple CAN'T continue with these unfair policies," he told IPS.

      Even some sections of the Malay leadership led by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad have said that unfair advantages given to Malays have made them uncompetitive.

      He called the aid "crutches" in a major speech a year before he retired in 2003, calling for the aid to be reviewed.

      Badawi also believes the "crutches'' have to go, but a class of Malays have arisen with powerful political clout who have enjoyed these privileges and see them as their birthright and demand their continuation.

      Although the political will to make major changes is missing, the government has taken steps to close the divide. But critics say it is only curing the fever without killing the cause of the infection.

      One experiment in racial integration is the "Vision Schools" where students from all races share sports fields, assembly halls and canteens, but attend classes conducted in their own languages.

      Another initiative is a compulsory national service programme for 18-year-olds that was started in 2004.

      It puts youths from different racial background under a single roof. Students are chosen at random and taken to camps for three months to learn teamwork and absorb one another's cultures.

      But the experts say racism is too deeply entrenched in official policies and the socio-political system for such "half hearted" measures to make an impact.

      On the political front, opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim, on a political comeback after six years in prison, is campaigning on a platform offering affirmative action for all needy Malaysians and an end to race politics. But it is left to the voters to decide.

      Thursday 22 March 2007

      Fighting Corruption: Here is PM Abdullah Badawi's Report Card

      From Asia Online, "Anti-graft war backfires in Malaysia": READ HERE


      Ioannis Gatsiounis
      (Ioannis Gatsiounis is a writer from New York, USA but based in a Kuala Lumpur)

      Excerpts: Read here for more

      "... It has become evident to many Malaysians that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's war on graft NEVER really got started.

      .....Abdullah and his family would become the target of a mounting chorus of accusations, linked to the same allegations of corruption, nepotism, and abuse of power that the once-reform-minded premier has so publicly campaigned against.

      Much attention has focused on the meteoric rise of Abdullah's only son, Kamaluddin, and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin - both for the most part political and business unknowns before Abdullah assumed the premiership in 2003.

      While their role cannot be overlooked in what increasingly has the markings of a family business empire in the making, Abdullah's approach to managing the country has done little to break the endemic patronage that has long hobbled Malaysia's political and economic progress.

      Indeed, his style of governance may in fact be encouraging it.

      A turning point in Abdullah's premiership arguably came last October in the run-up to the general assembly for the ruling party he heads, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). At the time, Abdullah's promise to battle corruption "without fear or favor" was meeting resistance among the conservative party's old guard.

      Then, on the eve of the assembly, in an apparently unprecedented move by a Malaysian prime minister, Abdullah reportedly distributed RM3 million (more than US$856,000) to each division chief for "development" purposes.

      Opposition critics at the time said the gesture smacked of vote-buying. Abdullah for his part has denied any foul play.

      At the very least, the gesture signaled to the party's old guard that Abdullah is as committed as his predecessor - former premier Mahathir Mohamad - to oiling UMNO's patronage machine. And even where the UMNO elite have not benefited directly from Abdullah's style of governance, they have been able to take stock in what appears to be a man being swallowed by the system he had earlier promised to change.

      Most recently, Abdullah was accused of procuring a new $50 million jet for his personal use. The plane, he explained, was being leased from a government company for use by top officials, including the king. Either way, Abdullah's administration has shown a special fondness for the country's royal sultanates. His government directly awarded a RM400 million palace project to two little-known companies, Kumpulan Seni Reka and Maya Maju.

      In response to the contract, opposition leader Lim Kit Siang asked in Parliament: "Who are [the companies]? Are they a crony company? Why wasn't there an open tender? Why wasn't there a contract? Why do we need this new palace?"

      Those questions are still being debated, but the opposition is making much hay of the allegations for its own political benefit.

      Meanwhile, Abdullah's own family members have during his term likewise, fairly or unfairly, found themselves at the center of controversy.

      Kamaluddin -The Son

      His son Kamaluddin's business activities, including his position as leading shareholder of Scomi Group, a local oil-and-gas company, have come under particularly sharp scrutiny. Scomi's share price skyrocketed 588% four months after listing on the local bourse in May 2003.

      While the growth of Malaysia's energy industry has since certainly played a role in pumping up the company's shares, Kamaluddin's family clout is also thought to have inflated investor confidence. Mahathir, now a vocal Abdullah critic, estimates that Scomi has secured RM1 billion worth of government contracts during Abdullah's tenure. Industry analysts, meanwhile, are perplexed as to how Kamaluddin, 38, could suddenly be worth an estimated $90 million.

      More controversially, a Scomi subsidiary, Scomi Precision Engineering, was fingered in 2004 by US and European intelligence officials for supplying dual-use centrifuges to Libya, which allegedly could have been used in the country's covert nuclear-weapons program. The company was hastily cleared of any wrongdoing by both the Foreign Ministry and police, even as the United States was applying pressure for full disclosure about Scomi's business dealings.

      Meanwhile, Abdullah has stoutly defended his son's independence as a businessman, saying that Kamaluddin "has never abused his ties with me ... He has never asked help from the government or anything that required a bailout for him."

      Khairy Jamaluddin -The Son-in-Law

      Abdullah has likewise defended his son-in-law Khairy's recent advances in politics and business, which have drawn opposition scrutiny.

      Khairy, deputy chief of UMNO's youth wing, has been described in some political circles as "Malaysia's most powerful 31-year-old".

      Several of Khairy's closest confidantes are also known to be close to Abdullah, including businessman and newspaperman Kalimullah Hassan, whom the premier appointed editor-in-chief of the UMNO-controlled New Straits Times newspaper.

      Both Khairy and Hassan have been linked to controversial financial dealings at ECM Libra-Avenue Capital.

      On December 27, 2005, ECM chairman Hassan along with two other company co-founders announced that they would each sell 1% of their shareholdings in the company to Khairy in a deal that was transacted at 71 sen per share, for a total of RM9.2 million.

      Khairy is on record saying that the deal was financed through the company, but many viewed his invitation to join ECM as a way to earn the company valuable political connections.

      Soon thereafter, ECM acquired government-linked financial company Avenue Capital Resources and reportedly was not required to raise any outside capital to make the multimillion-dollar acquisition. Critics, including most prominently former premier Mahathir, say the deal lacked transparency. ECM has persistently denied any foul play.

      Khairy has also been loosely linked to Khazanah Holdings, the state-run investment arm that Abdullah chairs and which manages an estimated RM25 billion worth of government funds. Two years ago, Khairy was widely tipped to become Khazanah's chief operating officer, but amid a public outcry the appointment didn't go through.

      However, Ganendran Sarvananthan, 29, Khairy's close friend during his time in school in England, was in February 2006 appointed to the surprisingly senior position of Khazanah's executive director of investments.

      Abdullah's Promise of "Anti-Corruption" Drive

      It is of course entirely possible that there is no political connection to any of Abdullah's family's growing businesses, as the embattled premier has consistently argued.

      But with opposition criticism mounting, if Abdullah were true to his word about an "unconditional" anti-corruption drive, the authorities should have probed at least some of the allegations.

      To date, NO such probes have been launched.

      Rather, top appointments in the government's fight against graft could be viewed as hindering that process. Former Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officer Mohamad Ramli Manan recently filed a police report alleging that the ACA's current director general, Zulkipli Mat Noor, was involved in various crimes - from living beyond his means to sexual misconduct - when he was a top cop with the Royal Malaysian Police.

      Ramli said the ACA had begun to investigate Zulkipli's conduct beginning in 1997, but since he filed his original complaint to the attorney general's office last July, there have been no signs that the relevant authorities plan to move on the case.

      The Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity last week decided to call both Zulkipli and whistle-blower Ramli in for closed-door hearings.

      As currently constituted, the ACA is NOT an independent outfit, but rather reports to the Prime Minister's Office.

      The agency's corruption-related arrests have risen from 339 in 2003, to 497 in 2004, and 485 in 2005, but critics contend that the ACA has merely netted minnows and not any big fish. Indeed, some of the agency's once-prime suspects have later landed in the Prime Minister's Office as top-level appointees.

      Transparency and accountability have also arguably been impaired by Abdullah's frequent use of the Official Secrets Act (OSA), which gives the government the right to classify as a state secret any document it deems to be sensitive to national security.

      The government has used the OSA in many instances to avoid scrutiny, including for deals it strikes without tender with politically connected private companies, opposition politicians say.

      No-man mission

      Abdullah has frequently said that the fight against corruption cannot be a one-man mission.

      But his actions have hardly inspired cooperation among the ruling elite, let alone at the grassroots. Instead, his government has moved to take down self-fashioned whistleblowers and maintained sharp curbs on the media.

      The UMNO-backed New Straits Times newspaper group, for instance, is currently suing two bloggers for defamation over postings that were sharply critical of the government, and Abdullah has in press interviews supported the legal action.

      To be sure, an anti-corruption campaign waged by the leader of a party that arguably institutionalized the practice in Malaysia was bound to be a slippery slope.

      And after three years in power, should Abdullah try to recommit himself to the fight he would run the risk of dissent within UMNO with new general elections on the horizon. "Abdullah has learned that this is the way to do business in UMNO if you want to stay in power," contended Tian Chua of the opposition Justice Party.

      If it all sounds familiar, that's because it is.

      Corruption and patronage within UMNO reached endemic proportions during Mahathir's 22-year rule.

      He sought through any means possible to catapult the nation rapidly to developed world status by 2020.

      If someone could get the job done - in business or politics - to Mahathir it often did not matter how as much as when. Those practices continue largely unabated under Abdullah's government, in part because their consequences are not readily visible.

      Malaysia still makes a convincing show that economically things are humming along. In the capital city, shiny modern trams dart and slither between glass office towers. Well-groomed highways connect the peninsula's far corners. Unemployment is low.

      The state-run media gloss over government abuses to paint a picture of economic progress and social harmony. And the unquestioning feudalistic masses digest what they are fed by pontificating politicians.

      All the while, however, Malaysia has seen foreign direct investment drop from $3.8 billion in 2003 to $1.4 billion last year.

      Leaders have struggled to come up with a new vision for the country, with grand pronouncements about becoming an agriculture, biotech and high-tech hub showing few signs of materializing. Meanwhile, corruption is also having long-term adverse social consequences.

      Recent opinion polls prioritized the need to tackle graft above rising inflation and unemployment concerns.

      Political analyst Bakri Musa recently noted on his blog: "We are sending precisely the wrong message to our people. That is, in order to succeed or afford a mansion and other trappings of the 'good life', we do not have to study diligently or work hard but merely ingratiate ourselves to the powerful in order to hog our own little spot at the public trough."

      Abdullah's sagging anti-graft campaign promises to become a big issue at the next general elections, which some believe could be called in the coming months.

      Anwar Ibrahim

      The opposition Justice Party has promised to weed out corruption should it come to power, and it has singled out corruption issues as the main plank for building up its meager support base.

      Yet the party's figurehead, Anwar Ibrahim, has been curiously silent on allegations of corruption linked to Abdullah, UMNO and his family.

      Despite his insistence to the contrary, Anwar may be looking to re-enter UMNO, the party he was ignominiously ousted from nearly a decade ago on charges of corruption and sodomy.

      Rumors abound that he has quietly been cultivating close ties with Abdullah in preparation for just such a move. Despite opposition grumblings and signs of business-as-usual, the general public has hardly shown a level of outrage over recent corruption allegations that would indicate they intend to abandon Abdullah or UMNO's ruling coalition at the next polls..."
      -Ioannis Gatsiounis

      Tuesday 20 March 2007

      Please Register As a Voter, TODAY and Vote WISELY !

      From Malaysia-Today (The Straight Times) by Ibnu Hakeem: READ HERE

      "......If we wish to live well then please get yourself registered to vote.

      Tell your children, family, friends and relatives to go and get registered to vote.

      Do it fast while the voter registration rolls are still open.

      And also when the time comes, please go out to vote. Rain or shine, thunder or squall, we must all go out to vote in the upcoming General Elections.

      Register as a voter. Voting is your right. Vote wisely.

      This is the power of democracy. This is the power of each individual vote...."
      -Ibnu Hakeem
      Excerpts: Read here for more


      Ibnu Hakeem

      ".... I address all right thinking Malaysians, the people who inhabit this most beautiful land, country and nation that we call Malaysia.

      Our nation is in danger, extreme danger of being swamped by the insatiable greed, utmost dishonesty, blatant corruption and gross stupidity of those whom WE (including me) have helped put in power.

      I have none other to blame except myself.

      Never before in the history of our young nation have the lives and the future of so many millions been at the mercy of such a handful few incompetents.

      We must eradicate this unfortunate condition from this country and make sure that we are never put in these same circumstances again.

      The time has come to act.

      With almost all avenues for free speech and expression tightly controlled by the Government, there is only Cyberspace left open to us.

      And we are thankful that it is a huge amount of space that we still have.

      The time has come for all Malaysians who are of voting age to make sure they are registered to vote.

      This is no more our civic or patriotic duty. If we wish to live well then please get yourself registered to vote. Tell your children, family, friends and relatives to go and get registered to vote.

      Do it fast while the voter registration rolls are still open.

      And also when the time comes, please go out to vote. Rain or shine, thunder or squall, we must all go out to vote in the upcoming General Elections.

      And please vote wisely.

      Every vote is counted and every vote will count.

      We have heard of electoral rolls being rigged and elections being stolen - this has happened on all sides - but let this irritation not hinder anyone from voting.

      To the Malay voters:

      You are the largest voting group. Look around and see all that has been wrought.

      If you are happy, then vote your conscience.

      If you are not, then show your disagreement.

      To the Chinese voters:

      .. Do not be afraid to vote as per your conscience. It is NOT the end of the world if you do not vote BN.

      The Chinese have always been a practical people, who are rightly concerned about their wellbeing and the future of their children. After all, in the final analysis, that is all that matters.

      But because of this the Chinese have frequently been subject to blackmail, coercion and threats.

      The Chinese fear too much that without a BN government there will be chaos. So they toe the line.

      Perhaps it is time to step out of line just a little. Not too much but maybe just enough.

      Trouble only starts if we create it. So let us not create any trouble. Let’s just go about our businesses and go about voting our choice without creating any trouble.

      To the Indian voters:

      The Indians have always been the most loyal supporters of BN. Their almost undivided loyalty to the BN is legendary.

      Never in the history of elections in Malaysia has the Indian vote ever been successfully split or deviated away from the BN.

      But the Indians too must consider carefully where exactly the country is headed.

      It does not look as if the country is headed anywhere anytime soon.

      Having been born and bred under a BN Governments since Independence, many of us are too comfortable with the BN and do not want to see the BN lose in the elections.

      But the BN has become too much of a dinosaur.

      The BN is either too constipated or suffers embarrassing incontinence.

      Too many of us now feel that the time has come to reduce the size of the BN. The excess fat, the sluggish, the snobbish, the corrupt and the fools have to be culled. The time has come for some drastic carving with a meat cleaver.

      What does it mean to VOTE WISELY ?

      We must remember that the urban constituencies are only about one third (approx.) the importance of the rural constituencies.

      This means a rural constituency with 10,000 voters has as much importance as an urban constituency with 30,000 voters.

      This means ONE voter in a rural constituency has as much power as THREE people voting in an urban constituency to determine our future.

      And remember that the strength of the BN is in the RURAL constituencies.

      This means that even if the BN loses all the urban constituencies but wins all the rural constituencies, they will still rule, thanks to the delineations carried out by the Elections Commission.

      Therefore BN supporters in the urban areas can be more flexible or generous with their voting preferences this time around.

      Don’t worry. Even if you don’t vote BN in the urban constituencies, BN will still rule from the rural constituencies.

      Don’t worry. So vote wisely.

      We voters CANNOT give ALL our support to BN any longer.
      1. If there were three friends voting BN, let there be one less vote for BN this time round. If there were five voting for the BN before, let there be two less now.

      2. If a husband and wife both voted BN, let there be only one this time.

      3. And to all voters, if there are two seats on the ticket, a Parliamentary seat and a State seat (DUN), give just one to the BN.
      We have to reduce the size of this dinosaur that we the BN supporters have created.

      We have to do this to save the BN from self-destruction and from destroying the country in the process. For the good of the BN and for the future of this country, reduce the support that we have given to the BN.

      This is the power of democracy. This is the power of each individual vote.

      Register as a voter. Voting is your right. Vote wisely.

      Shieh's (Kickdefella) Take on Dato Husam Musa, PAS Vice President

      From Kickdefella Blog: Read Here on Husam Musa by Shieh (profile)

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
      Husam Musa, Vice President of PAS

      Excerpts: Read here for more on Shieh (Kickdefella)'s take on Husam Musa and HERE

      "....Yes, Husam was there during the funeral of the late Buddhist Chief High Priest of Malaysia and Singapore, Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera.

      Yes, Husam is a cool dude as you put it.

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
      Husam at the Funeral of Ven. Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera
      (Photo courtesy of Jeff Ooi's Screenshots)

      Yes, Husam is Nik Aziz protégé.

      Yes, the talk-about in town is Husam going to be the next Menteri Besar of Kelantan or at least, that is what the Kelantanese wanted.

      Will Husam be appointed as Menteri Besar before (the) state election? I am not able to comment on that.

      Will the ruling party in Kelantan appoint Husam as MB and call for a snap election? Well it is possible and why not.

      If they think it will give them the advantage, then we are staring at the possibility of the state assembly election in Kelantan anytime from now.

      Will Husam be a good MB? Well, we will never know until he actually becomes the MB.

      But one thing for sure, it is not hard to be better than the former BN government of Kelantan, which was, lead by the clown Mat Yaacob the Panglima Layu.

      If you compare Husam with Pak Lah, my goodness, Husam is way ahead.

      Husam holds a first degree in economics, where Pak Lah failed to even qualify as a candidate in that discipline. I never came across any photo of Husam sleeping in public while Pak Lah, obviously the champion.

      Husam is always on time for a meeting where Pak Lah is a disaster when it comes to punctuality.

      So, if Pak Lah can lead Malaysia, why cannot Husam lead Kelantan?

      Will Kelantanese accept Husam as their MB? I cannot see a reason why we, as the Kelantanese cannot accept him. Having him is already considered godsend. Having him leading us shall be a bonus.

      On UMNO and the State Ruling Party

      Can the current ruling party win the next state election?
      Well, someone in 1990 screamed out loud that it would take 20 years before BN can afford to take over Kelantan back. 20 years will be due in 2010.

      Nevertheless, my argument is: Why should we return the Kelantan state government to BN?
      Does BN Kelantan deserve it? Does Annuar Musa or even Tok Pa deserve it?

      These two (are) merely a bunch of jokers and do we want them to clown around the state like Mat Yaacob or Husein Serama (did)? Didn’t we have enough?

      The only bright leader that comes out of Kelantan’s UMNO is Zaid Ibrahim. But as usual, they themselves already butchered him long time ago.

      1. Has the current state government being misunderstood?

      2. Has the current state government succeeded in developing the state? YES !
      And if you compare the current leadership with the Mat Yaacob regime before 1990, it is without doubt, the people of Kelantan had made a RIGHT choice since 1990.

      3. Should Kelantanese retain the current ruling party in the next election? If Husam is the one who is going to lead us, I do NOT see the reason why we should NOT let the same party to rule us again.

      ....For many years now, we, the Kelantanese, had been condemned for not electing UMNO into office.

      I just wish they can be truthful to us and openly let us know WHY we should actually vote for UMNO. WHY?

      UMNO had proven (to be)a failure in Kelantan.

      If these jokers care to remember, it is not the Kelantanese who voted UMNO out but it is they themselves in 1990 and it is also they themselves who, in 2004, created their own internal problem and as a result, they missed their best chance to return to power.

      And from today, for every step that Khairy Jamaluddin takes on Kelantan’s soil, will only mean UMNO will lose at least one hundred votes. For that, it means, from the moment he steps out of the airplane and steps into the car, UMNO will already lose one state seat.

      On top of that, if Annuar Musa is going to stand as candidate, rest assured, UMNO will be history in the state assembly.

      Dropping Zaid Ibrahim and Ku Li from Parliament Kota Bharu and Gua Musang will only mean BN is reducing their majority in the Parliament.

      Let Kelantanese decide what best for them. The decision is not for those in Putrajaya.

      According to some sources, 5 million voters yet to register as electors. Out of that, only 10 percents are UMNO members.

      This means if 4,500,000 unregistered electors do register on time for the election, UMNO will be in grave danger. ...."

      Monday 19 March 2007

      The Good News Rolls On: Kin Keat & Boon Heong Scored Hat-Trick by Winning Badminton Men's Doubles Trophy at Swiss Open

      Read here and here

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

      Koo Kin Keat and Tan Boon Heong entered history as the winners of 3 out of the 4 legs of the Super Series competition.

      KOO Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong fulfilled their pledge to win back-to-back titles when they captured the Swiss Open crown in Basel yesterday.

      It is their third success after the Malaysia Open and All England.

      They defeated Danish veterans Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen 17-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the final of the fourth round of the Series and the victory came hot on the heels of their success in the prestigious All-England in Birmingham last week.

      Malaysia is NOT a REAL Federation : A Brief History of Why

      From Inferal Ramblings: Read Here

      John Lee Ming Keong,
      (John Lee Ming Keong is a 16-year-old teenager living in a suburb of the Klang Valley in Selangor, Malaysia. Read here)


      ".....The real reason we are a federation is because we want to give more power to the Sultans, rather than getting rid of them.

      It's quite clear that Malaysia is far from a true federation. Indeed, we are a unitary state, at least de facto.

      We may have the trappings of a federation, but in reality, the individual state governments and local authorities have almost no discretion whatsoever. The Constitution promises only a pittance of powers for state governments, and even then, these powers are normally only used to further an agenda set by the central government.

      The ruling Barisan Nasional regime of course has a vested interest in centralising power.

      It may be more inefficient, it may engender more corruption, it may make more waste, it may deny people the chance to govern themselves, but who cares?

      Centralisation makes plundering and pillaging all the easier for the central government, without state governments to get in the way...."

      -John Lim Ming Keong

      For some odd reason, the Malaysian government enjoys harping on our status as a federation. Whenever we talk about the Malaysian Constitution, it's NEVER just the "Malaysian Constitution".

      Oh, no, it has to be the "Malaysian Federal Constitution".

      But why all this hubbub about our ostensible federal nature of government? It's all a farcical sham anyway.

      We're not a federation at all. But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.

      Let's go back to why we have a Federation in the FIRST place.

      The British instituted the Federated Malay States to standardise the systems of government and administration in several of their Malayan colonies. (Recall, our country was never signed over to the British as a whole, unless you count the brief period of the Malayan Union. Rather, it was given away in bits and pieces by individual rulers.)

      After World War II, the British came back and decided to institute a unitary state under the Malayan Union. The Malays rose up furiously and fought for a new polity. They got it - in the form of the Federation of Malaya.

      Sometimes in the midst of the huge debate about the government's pro-Malay policies today, it's easy to forget that there were other reasons for opposing the Malayan Union besides its guarantee of political equality. One such reason was its unitary nature.

      Because the Union was a unitary state, it made NO provision for individual states.

      And NO individual states meant that the rulers were no longer just de facto meaningless symbols. Now, they were de jure figureheads, and this made the Malays mad.

      This is the reason why when we became independent, our country's name was not just "Malaya". Oh, no. It was the "Federation of Malaya".

      Why were and are we a federation? Is it because we want to give more power to the people, as a real federal entity would promise?

      Ironically, the answer is no.

      The real reason we are a federation is because we want to give more power to the Sultans, rather than getting rid of them.

      The middle course of constitutional monarchy is conveniently put aside in favour of a more feudalist mentality, as evinced by the insane craze people have for noble titles such as "Datuk" these days.

      For this reason, it's easy to see that if NOT for the Sultans, we probably wouldn't be a federation today. We'd be a unitary state.

      After all, being a unitary state makes it much easier for the central authorities to exploit their people and resources, and abuse their fellow men. (That's why the British wanted a unitary state, remember?)

      Indeed, we are a unitary state, at least de facto.

      We may have the trappings of a federation, but in reality, the individual state governments and local authorities have almost no discretion whatsoever. The Constitution promises only a pittance of powers for state governments, and even then, these powers are normally only used to further an agenda set by the central government.

      The ruling Barisan Nasional regime of course has a vested interest in centralising power. It may be more inefficient, it may engender more corruption, it may make more waste, it may deny people the chance to govern themselves, but who cares? Centralisation makes plundering and pillaging all the easier for the central government, without state governments to get in the way.

      Local governments already are rendered subordinate to the state government, with almost no autonomy whatsoever. They are not elected by the people, but are state appointees. It's not surprising, then, that more efforts go towards kissing the Chief Minister's ass than actually serving the electorate.

      The state governments are in a similarly dire state. They have no discretion whatsoever in setting domestic policy, despite the clear benefits of a more heterogenous and plural approach to governance. There is no room for being different in Malaysia. Whether you are from Perak, Kelantan or Johor, you are governed in almost exactly the same way.

      State governments merely carry out the edicts of the federal government. That is exactly the role they would play in a unitary state, where they cannot draft real laws, and are no more than federal lackeys.

      The only state governments with even a scrap of real autonomy are those in East Malaysia. They were fortunate in getting a better deal since they had leverage when joining the "federation", as opposed to the West Malaysian states which had to take it or leave it.

      Even then, the deal these states struck is a bit odd. The autonomy they get isn't really the kind they would get in a true federation, since their wings are still clipped quite a bit, and yet they have control over immigration policy there. (Believe it or not, they have even banned certain West Malaysians — mainly opposition politicians — from entering East Malaysia.)

      It's quite clear that Malaysia is far from a true federation. The only reason we have a federation in the first place is so we can claim our place in some book of records for having the most monarchies in the world.

      I am a strong supporter of a real federation for Malaysia. But this real federation should be a federation for the right reasons — greater democracy and power to the people. Not for preserving a ruling class of Sultans.