Special video on Nov 10 March to the Palace

November 23, 2007

I have been invited by the organiser of the premiere to speak a few words before the launching of the special video on Himpunan Rakyat Aman 10 November produced by TVPAS on Monday night.

Pls come and join me in this meaningful occasion.

TAYANGAN PERDANA GELOMBANG KUNING

VIDEO PERHIMPUNAN RAKYAT 10 NOVEMBER

PADA HARI ISNIN 26 HB  NOVEMBER 2007 , JAM 8.30 MALAM

TEMPAT: DEWAN USTAZ FADHIL NOOR
MARKAZ TARBIAH TAMAN MELEWAR, KUALA LUMPUR

PROGRAM
8.00    MALAM             KETIBAAN
8.20       MALAM            KETIBAAN TETAMU KHAS
8.30      MALAM            LAGU NEGARAKU
8.35      MALAM            UCAPAN ALUAN PENGERUSI MAJLIS
8.45     MALAM            UCAPAN  WAKIL BERSIH  
9.00     MALAM            UCAPAN  PENGERUSI LUJNAH PENERANGAN
9.15     MALAM            TAYANGAN PERDANA ‘GELOMBANG KUNING’
10.00   MALAM            KOMENTAR DAN PELANCARAN DANA TVPAS.COM
10.30   MALAM            MAJLIS BERSURAI

Understand the role of monarchy

November 23, 2007

Those who are still wondering why BERSIH has chosen to present its memorandum on electoral reforms to HRH Agong should read this article.

20 years of shellshock

 

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I have one, just ONE proposal for the Honourable Minister of Education. If you do this I might, I said MIGHT, overlook your crime of sabre-rattling, or rather keris-kissing. (But I honestly don’t think the Chinese will forgive you though — but that is another subject for another time). And this proposal is that the Ministry of Education should make it compulsory for all students to memorise the entire Federal Constitution of Malaysia. And the Federal Constitution should be a compulsory examination subject, which means if you fail the Constitution test then you fail the whole exam.

I am appalled that even lawyers who have gone to court to argue cases that involve the interpretation of the Federal Constitution do not appear to know the Constitution. I have had to bring to their attention certain clauses or articles in the Constitution and help interpret it for them. Hey, I am no lawyer and I don’t even pretend to be one — although I trust myself more than lawyers when I ‘argue’ my case during the many police interrogations under Section 112 that I have been subjected to.

As a slight digression, editors of the mainstream newspapers (meaning ruling party-owned of course) should also be made to sit through a crash-course and examination on the Constitution. Although Article 32 (2) says that the Consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is called the Raja Permaisuri Agong and Her Majesty shall take precedence next after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over all other persons in the Federation, the newspapers still insist on calling the wife of the Prime Minister the ‘First Lady’.

Hey, read my lips, the Raja Permaisuri Agong is the ‘First Lady’. That is what the Federal Constitution of Malaysia says and can we please follow the Malaysian Constitution and not the United States Constitution. We are not yet the 52nd State of the United States, although if we allow Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to continue as Prime Minister that may happen soon enough (that is if we do not become Wilayah Singapura first).

It should be made mandatory for ALL Malaysians to read, memorise and understand the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Just by reading the comments in Malaysia Today’s blogs offer enough evidence to prove that Malaysians in general are ignorant about the Constitution. They make many stupid comments that reveal this ignorance. Take the recent so-called ‘official statement’ by the so-called ‘official spokesman’ of the Istana Negara as one example. “Why does the Agong not sack him?”, “Why does the Agong not make an official announcement rebutting his statement?”, “Why did the Agong not personally accept the Memorandum from the rakyat on 10 November 2007”, and so on, are just some examples of the ignorance of Malaysians on what is proper protocol and how the Agong is supposed to conduct himself according to the Constitution.

Malaysians are also ignorant about how Malaysia’s Westminster system of Parliament is supposed to function. Malaysia is supposed to have four branches of government. We have the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature, and the Monarchy, and each is supposed to work independently of each other and in a way parallel to one another.

The Legislature makes the laws, the Judiciary interprets the laws, the Executive implements the laws, and the Monarchy is the protector and trustee of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and ensures that the laws passed do not violate the Constitution. The Judiciary, although its role is to just follow whatever laws are passed by Parliament, can also play a role in looking at the spirit of the law rather than just the letter of the law. It can also make rulings contrary to the letter of the law in the event that the spirit of the law should override the letter of the law.

Let us look at one example, the Internal Security Act (ISA). The ISA, which was tabled in Parliament by Tun Razak in 1960, was passed into law specifically to combat Communist Terrorism. Since the Communist Insurgency has officially ended with the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and the Malaysian government in Hattyai, Thailand, the ISA, for all intents and purposes, has outlived its usefulness.

Now, some judges have actually ruled that detaining non-Communist Terrorists (CTs) under the ISA goes against the spirit of the law and they have not only ruled that the detention is illegal but in their judgement have suggested that the ISA be reviewed or repealed. These judges have made their ruling not based on the letter of the law but the spirit of the law. These judges have invariably been sidelined and placed in cold storage whereas by now some of them should actually be the Chief Justice if based on their experience and seniority.

What does this tell us? First, judges who rule with their conscience and according to the proper interpretation of the law and in compliance with the Federal Constitution are punished — so not many judges dare become too ‘independent’. Secondly, the Judiciary is no longer an independent branch of the government but is just another arm of the ruling elite. Therefore, the Judiciary, which is supposed to be one of the four branches of government, is rendered impotent. The Executive is ultimately that in charge and the Judiciary merely does its bidding.

The same goes for the Legislature. Members of Parliament are not allowed to represent the voters who put them in office. Whenever any ruling party Member of Parliament votes with his or her conscience and appears to side with the opposition, disciplinary action is taken against them. Remember the Deputy Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan case? And what about the most controversial Islamic Family Law episode last year where Nazri Aziz reminded ruling party Members of Parliament and government-appointed Senators that it is their obligation to vote the way the ruling party wants them to vote?

The Malay term for Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen is Wakil Rakyat (Peoples’ Representative). In reality they are Wakil Parti, not Wakil Rakyat, while some, such as Members of the Cabinet, in particular the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, are Wakil Pos because they won the elections due to postal votes.

It is evident that the Judiciary and Legislature are no longer valid branches of government. The Executive Branch decides what they do. In that sense, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary have been merged into one. So that leaves us only the Monarchy. If the Monarchy too comes under the Executive, then Malaysia will be reduced to only one branch of government.

And that is why it is important for Malaysians to understand the role of the Monarchy. While the Judiciary and Legislature have lost their independence, the Monarchy still has certain powers as stipulated under the Federal Constitution. For example, the common belief is that the Chairman or President of the political party that wins the most number of seats in Parliament automatically gets to become Prime Minister. That is not true. The Agong decides who gets to become Prime Minister.

The second common belief is that the Agong can only act on the advice of the Prime Minister. That is also not true. And it is also not true that once the Prime Minister goes before the Agong to request that Parliament be dissolved to make way for fresh general elections, then the Agong has to agree. The Agong can refuse to dissolve Parliament if he has reason for doing so, like for example if His Majesty feels that the election is fraudulent. And the Agong can even decree that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be set up (that is why it is called ROYAL Commission) to audit the entire electoral system and recommend reforms.

Yes, Malaysia no longer has four branches of government. Yes, the Legislature and Judiciary have been reduced to rubber stamps. But the Monarchy is no rubber stamp although it appears like it is also a rubber stamp.

Understandably, the Monarchy appears to be a rubber stamp because of the Constitutional Crisis 20 years ago where the Rulers were told in no uncertain terms that Malaysians in general want the Monarchy abolished and for Malaysia to be turned into a Republic. Only Umno is defending the Monarchy, Umno told the Rulers. Without Umno, the Monarchy will be history like in India and Indonesia. Therefore, if the Monarchy goes against Umno, then the Rulers will all be removed and the Prime Minister would become the President of the Republic of Malaysia.

This shocked the Rulers. And although 20 years has since passed, the Rulers are still in shellshock. And that is why we see much reluctance on the part of the Rulers to ‘interfere’ in the running of this country, as what Umno constantly says in the attempt to silence the Rulers.

But there is no such thing as interfering. The Rulers are not interfering. Malaysians are not asking the Rulers to interfere. The Monarchy is one of the four legitimate and independent branches of government. The other two branches, the Judiciary and the Legislature, are eunuchs. These two have been rendered impotent. We therefore have only one branch remaining, the Monarchy, which can play the role of checks and balances to the Executive.

We are not asking the Monarchy to do more than what the Federal Constitution allows. We are only asking the Monarchy to do what the Federal Constitution empowers it to do. We are asking the Monarchy to do what they are legally bound to do.

I was told the Monarchy costs this nation RM40 million or so a year. Well, if that is true, I have no problems with that. RM40 million in not much if the Monarchy performs the job it is paid to do. We also have 1,000 or so Wakil Rakyat (Members of Parliament, Senators and State Assemblymen) who cost the nation more than RM40 million a year. And we are not even including the ‘under-the-table’ payments which are costing the nation billions of Ringgit. So RM40 million is affordable if the Monarchy does its job. If reforms are introduced, which will in turn reduce or eliminate abuse of power and corruption, just one government contract properly implemented alone can save RM40 million — which can more than pay for this cost to maintain the Monarchy. Therefore, the Monarchy can pay help for itself just by reforming the manner the nation’s money is spent.

The ten Monarchs have taken an oath of office. They have sworn in the name of God that they will do the job they have been entrusted to do. Their duty is therefore to God and not to Umno. Sure, Umno has threatened to abolish the Monarchy. Umno has told the Rulers that only Umno wants to maintain the Monarchy while the rest of non-Umno Malaysians want the Monarchy abolished and for Malaysia to be turned into a Republic. Hey, this can’t be done. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia does not allow it to be done. And even talking about abolishing the Monarchy is a crime under Malaysia’s Sedition Act. You can get sent to jail for just saying it. And if you try it then you can get charged for treason against the King and be sentenced to death by hanging if found guilty. Remember what happened to the Al Maunah chaps?

The Gelombang Kuning march on 10 November 2007 was actually more than just about electoral reforms. It was also to send a message to the Agong that the people are behind His Majesty. Malaysians do not want Malaysia to be turned into a Republic. This will only mean that the four branches of government will be reduced to three. As it is now, the three have already been reduced to one. The Executive decides what the Judiciary and Legislature do. Why would we want to abolish the Monarchy and give absolute power (kuasa mutlak) to the Executive?

The people ‘spoke’ on 10 November 2007. And the message was that the people want the Agong to perform the role His Majesty is being paid to perform; nothing more, nothing less. The Monarchy has to prove to the people that it is that fourth branch of government. It has to prove to the people that it is still relevant and required. Sure, Umno will throw threats that the people want the Monarchy abolished. It did so 20 years ago and the Monarchy is still in shellshock. But that was 20 years ago. That was when the people thought the government was functioning. But the government is now no longer functioning. The four branches of government no longer exist. Today, Malaysia has been reduced to just two branches, the Executive and the Monarchy.

We do not want the Monarchy to become the Executive. We want to maintain the four branches of government. We just want the Monarchy to restore the four branches of government the way it was intended to be. That will be the role of the Monarchy. The Monarchy is not being asked to run this country. The Monarchy is being asked to restore what is already a failed system.

And we will gladly carry the Monarchy even if it costs RM50 million a year. RM50 million is extremely cheap compared to the billions we are losing because of the failed system. Sure, auditors cost money, as any company director will tell you. But ‘auditors’ are a necessary cost to safeguard this nation’s wealth.

And that is the role of the Monarchy, the fourth branch of this nation’s government.

THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION OF MALAYSIA

Article number: 4

(1) This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

PART IV – THE FEDERATION
Chapter 1 – The Supreme Head

Article number: 32

(1) There shall be a Supreme Head of the Federation, to be called the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who shall take precedence over all persons in the Federation and shall not be liable to any proceedings whatsoever in any court.

(2) The Consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (to be called the Raja Permaisuri Agong) shall take precedence next after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong over all other persons in the Federation.

Article number: 40

(1) In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution or federal law the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or of a Minister acting under the general authority of the Cabinet, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution…..

(2) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions, that is to say :-

(a) the appointment of a Prime Minister;

(b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament;

Article number: 43

(2) (a) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representative who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House…..

PART XI – SPECIAL POWERS AGAINST SUBVERSION, ORGANISED VIOLENCE, AND ACTS AND CRIMES PREJUDICIAL TO THE PUBLIC AND EMERGENCY POWERS

Article number: 150

(2) (A) The power conferred on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by this Article shall include the power to issue different Proclamations on different grounds or in different circumstances, whether or not there is a Proclamation or Proclamations already issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Clause (1) and such Proclamation or Proclamations are in operation.

(8) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution :-

(a) the satisfaction of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong mentioned in Clause (1) and Clause (2B) shall be final and conclusive and shall not be challenged or called in question in any court on any ground; and

(b) no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any application, question or proceeding, in whatever form, on any ground……

Hindraf should be given the permit to gather on Sunday 25 Nov

November 23, 2007
The police was wrong to reject the application of permit for BERSIH’s Nov 10 Peaceful People’s Gathering. They now again made the same mistake by rejecting the application by Hindraf for the coming Sunday rally. The police must respect the right of assembly enshrined in our Federal Constitution and grant a permit to Hindraf for the rally at the British High Commission. The warning of stern actions will be taken on protesters was uncalled for.The PM should interfere immediately to grant a permit for the Sunday rally. Hindraf has the right to hold the peaceful rally to present its memo to the British High Commissioner.I understand that the Indian community are now determined to present their views to the BN government and a responsible government must be prepared to listen to those views any time, any where.I will be there as an observer on Sunday. C U There!

 Hindraf rally: Cops warn of ‘stern action’

Andrew Ong
Nov 22, 07 5:47pm
Malaysiakini
The police warning is predictable - Kuala Lumpur CPO Zulhasnan Najib Baharudin issued his first public warning against a planned rally at the British High Commission on Sunday, organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).
He warned that the planned rally is illegal and that the public should stay away.
“I will take stern action (against participants),” Zulhasnan told a packed press conference at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters today.Zulhasnan said no police permit has been issued for the event and that those who attend would be violating Section 27 of the Police Act 1967.Under the law, offenders can be fined between RM2,000 and RM10,000 and are also liable to a jail term not exceeding one year.

Zulhasnan said Hindraf had applied for a police permit but that this was rejected.

“I have received the appeal against the rejection but I rejected it after studying the matter,” he said.

On the reasons for the rejection, Zulhasnan said the police have received information that “criminal acts” such as “fights” and “arguments” would occur during the rally.

Crime prevention

The police chief confirmed that numerous roadblocks have been erected around the city to prevent rally participants from entering.

“We believe they will be wearing orange shirts,” he said in reply to a question.

After the press conference, however, Zulhasnan said the roadblocks were part of a “crime prevention” exercise.

Zulhasnan skirted a question as to whether the police would be using water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said the police had received information that gangsters would be used during the rally that would disturb the peace.

“These illegal street rallies and demonstrations would surely lead to aggression and these acts can affect the safety and economy of the country,” he said in a statement.

Hindraf plans to gather 10,000 Indians to hand a memorandum addressed to the British Queen to support a class-action suit against Her Majesty’s government for bringing Indians to Malaysia as indentured labourers and exploiting them for 150 years.

A total of US$4 trillion (RM14 trillion) is being sought for US$2 million for every Indian residing in Malaysia.

Watch the 5-min video heremkinitv_client(‘hindrafPolice_2211.wmv’);

Hindraf rally – police stop over-reacting, dismantle roadblocks and issue permit

/ Lim Kit Siang

November 23rd, 2007 « 3 Comments »

The police should not repeat their over-reaction and high-handed action on Nov. 10 over the peaceful 40,000-people Bersih gathering to hand over a petition to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for electoral reforms to ensure free, fair and clean elections and should immediately dismantle the roadblocks creating massive jams in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley since yesterday.

The massive Nov. 10 traffic gridlock creating massive congestions in Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley were largely the creation of the police and could have been avoided or ameliorated considerably with enlightened and sensitive police handling of peaceful gatherings by citizens exercising their fundamental constitutional rights to get their voices heard in a meaningful democracy.

If the Police had issued a police permit for the Bersih peaceful gathering on Nov. 10, demonstrating greater sensitivity and respect for human rights guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution as recommended by the Dzaiddin Royal Police Commission 30 months ago, all legitimate concerns would have been met – the concerns of the police and government with regard to law and order and the concerns of aggrieved citizenry to petition the Yang di Pertuan Agong for an end to electoral abuses.

For the Hindraf rally on Sunday, the Police has not only refused to learn any lesson to respect the human rights of Malaysians to peaceful assembly, but has decided even earlier to impose roadblocks – starting since yesterday on various roads and expressways in the Klang Valley.

Stop the RM300 million Monsoon Cup!

November 21, 2007

  The Rakyat must wake up to the fact that the prime minister of this country allows his son-in-law and their cronies to make fast bucks out of the taxpayers’ pockets. RM300 million just to organise an event of no significant meaning every year is a sin.

We have nothing against Maya but the Monsoon Cup is a waste of money and such an event does not need an ambassador. The public has the right to know how much Maya and the rest of the artistes are getting as entertainers for the event.

For those who are unaware, the money for the Monsoon Cup comes from the Wang Ehsan i.e. the royalty from oil and gas for the state of Terengganu. The fund is now under the direct control of the Prime Minister  and he has been spending the money ‘generously’ for several mega projects benefitting KJ and his cronies.

Soon , you will see AAB, KJ, Patrick “Badawi’  and other cronies enjoying themselves in a star-studded Monsoon Cup Gala Dinner. Last year, AAB has a jolly good time with the Bond Girl with a datukship.

Maya is monsoon cup envoy

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The organisers of the Monsoon Cup 2007 has named actress Maya Karin (pic) as the event’s “maiden”, akin to being an ambassador.

Event adviser Peter Gilmour said Maya would be the spokesman for celebrities taking part in an upcoming concert that would be held in conjunction with the annual sailing competition.

“We chose her because of her popularity in the entertainment arena, especially in TV dramas and movies,” he told reporters at a restaurant here yesterday.

The press conference also announced the upcoming concert, An Evening with Maya Karin and Monsoon Cup 2007.

Among the artistes who would be featured are Deja Moss, Farah Wahida, Zaibo, Badri, Syanie, Raja Azura and Nazri, the former singer of nasyid group Raihan.

Maya, who counts sailing as one of her favourite past times, said: “I will do my best to promote the sport as well as the local culture, especially to the foreign participants.”

This year’s Monsoon Cup is part of the World Match Racing Tour 2006-2007 and the final of 10 international legs. (A match race is a regatta for two sailing boats, racing each other around a course.)

The competition, which is in the calendar of events for Visit Malaysia Year, is the training ground for America Cup qualifiers and will crown the champion of this season’s World Match Racing Tour.

It will be held from Nov 28 to Dec 2 at the Heritage Bay Club Marina and Resort in Pulau Duyong, Terengganu.

Gilmour, a four-time world match champion, said this year’s competition would feature an all-female team in the sailing event.

Apart from sailing, there are also side events that include the arts and fishing competitions.

T-Best Events, the organisers, said the Monsoon Cup offers a prize purse of RM1mil, making it the richest sailing event in the world.

BERSIH: Missing votes unacceptable

November 21, 2007

BERSIH Ceramah at Alor Star tonight: I will be speaking together with Mohd Sabu and other BERSIH leaders. Call Nasir at 0124215955 for details.

Missing Ijok ballots: EC’s explanation weak

Nov 20, 07 5:13pm Malaysiakini
Polls reform group Bersih today rejected the Election Commission’s (EC) explanation that the 142 missing ballots in one area during the Ijok by-election in April was due to ‘human errors’.

“If 142 missing ballots can be explained away, how about the missing ballots in Lumut?” asked Bersih, which stands for the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, in a media statement today.

The Lumut parliamentary seat, where a navy base is located, has recorded as high as 2,763 unreturned ballot papers in the 1990 general election, 3,487 (in 1995), 8,176 (in 1999) and 5,486 in the last elections in 2004. 

“Can the people trust the electoral process when thousands of ballots are mismanaged in every election? Is (EC chief) Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman not concerned about his commission’s integrity and credibility,” asked the group.

The EC’s attribution of the 142 missing ballots to ‘human errors’ was conveyed to election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) in a meeting yesterday.

Mafrel, which monitored the conduct of the Ijok by-election, had urged in August for a special inquiry to be conducted to probe the missing ballots. It has since accepted the EC’s explanation.

Barisan Nasional’s K Parthiban defeated PKR candidate Khalid Ibrahim by a 1,850 vote majority amid allegations of election irregularities and phantom voters in the by-election.

Unanswered questions

Apart from the missing ballots, Bersih said there were many outstanding electoral issues in the by-election which have yet to be explained by the EC.

The bigger scandals, according to Bersih, include 50 dead voters, votes ‘stolen’ by impostors and 23 voters without national identity cards which were allowed to vote in Ijok.

“Bersih stresses that such irregularities are not isolated cases, but rather, they reflect systematic patterns,” added the coalition, which is made up of five political parties and 67 NGOs.

For example, Bersih said, the EC should explain why was there a sudden increase of 8,463 voters in the Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat held by parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

Out of the number, 3,208 of them are postal voters. The seat was won by Lim in the last general election with 9,774-vote majority.

In view of that, Bersih reiterated that the domestic postal voting – for police and army personnel working locally – must be abolished.

“Monitoring of the voting process is insufficient because postal voters are also assigned en masse to any marginal constituency to counter opposition support as and when deemed necessary by BN,” claimed Bersih.

The EC has recently said the postal voting system will not be repealed but it would allow polling agents representing the candidates to observe the casting of postal votes.

Related report
Missing ballots: Ijok not an isolated case

And this must be seen as a move to reward Rashid for his ‘special and excellent service’ to the Barisan Nasional coalition all these years.

With Rashid around, BN has no problem of winning big in general elections and by-elections.

BERSIH will do our best to stop Rashid at all cost. The longer he stays, the bigger the damage to the Malaysian democracy.

Amendment gives lifeline to EC chief
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 20, 07 3:59pm
The Constitution Amendment Bill, which was tabled for first reading in Dewan Rakyat today, may allow Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s tenure to be extended for another year.Abdul Rashid, who is due to retire on Dec 31 on reaching the mandatory age of 65, may serve an extra year after the Bill comes into implementation.Clause two of the Bill seeks to amend Article 114 of the Federal Constitution to increase the age of retirement of a member of the EC from 65 to 66 years of age.Whereas, Clause three of the Bill provides that the new age of retirement applies to a member of the EC appointed after the coming into operation of the proposed Act.

However, a serving member will be given an option to retire at the age of 65 years or the new age of retirement.

Prepare to lead EC

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who tabled the bill, told reporters that the Bill will also apply to members of Public Service Commission.

Explaining that the Bill would be tabled for second and third reading on Dec 11, Nazri said: “We need a two-third majority to pass this bill in the Dewan Rakyat as it involves amendment to the Federal Constitution.”

The Star today quoted Abdul Rashid as saying that he has not received any notice from the Prime Minister on the possible extension of his tenure.

“I have received no notice and I don’t care. But if I am asked to, I am prepared to lead the commission into another election, even upon retirement,” Abdul Rashid said.

Proton cannot afford to hold on to its controlling stake

November 21, 2007

We have said it many times and we want to say it again: Proton must merge with other giant carmaker and allow the giant to hold a controlling stake. That’s the way to go and the Government should stop wasting time and money to allow Proton to struggle on its own because it’s destined to fail in the face of the global challenges.

PM Abdullah must not drag his feet on this failed project for too long. He must stop the costly financial bleeding before it’s too late. It’s silly for him to think that any giant carmaker would want to partner with an ailing brand like Proton without the controlling stake.

No deal between Proton and Volkswagen
Nov 20, 07 10:17am Malaysiakini

The government and Volkswagen said today they had shelved long-running talks about an alliance between the German firm and Malaysia’s national carmaker Proton.

Malaysia’s state investment arm Khazanah Nasional, which controls Proton, said it had discontinued negotiations with Volkswagen.

The German carmaker also said in a statement it and the Malaysian government had for the time being decided “to shelve their joint talks” about the alliance.

The talks began in October 2004 aiming to revitalise Proton, which experts say has suffered from stiff competition, a lack of new models and a reputation for poor quality.

Khazanah said it had also ended talks with General Motors. The government had earlier said it would turn to the US auto giant if talks with Volkswagen failed.

An improvement in Proton’s domestic sales and exports had led to the decision to halt negotiations, the state investment arm said in its statement.

“The government is therefore of the view that Proton’s management should be allowed to continue with its plans to further strengthen the company,” it said.

But it also left the door ajar for a future tie-up, saying a strategic alliance could be considered at a later date.

“Talks with Volkswagen have not broken down. They may have discussions later on,” a senior finance ministry official, who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP.

“For the time being, Proton will not enter into any pact with any car manufacturer. The government has decided that Proton will be managed by itself,” the official said.

Proton has suffered a sharp decline in market share and been hit by losses, including a 46.75-million-ringgit loss over the three months to June.

New models ‘mostly rebadged versions’

A deal was expected to boost Proton’s efforts to reclaim top spot in Malaysia and gain a foothold in the lucrative European market.

But such partnerships were hard to forge because of the government’s reluctance to cede control of a key national company to foreign hands, analysts said.

“We can only speculate but management control and the shareholding structure was probably the main issue. The talks have really dragged on,” Kurnia Insurans chief investment officer Pankaj Kumar told AFP.

“Proton cars have been selling well locally for the last few months but at the end of the day, Proton has to be competitive globally,” he said.

“I don’t think it has been that innovative. The new models are mostly re-badged versions of previous models,” he added.

A Volkswagen spokesman said in Frankfurt that the group was now looking for “new commitments” in Southeast Asia.

“The company continues to pursue the goal of developing a successful foundation for production and distribution in Southeast Asia for years to come,” the firm said.

- AFP

BERSIH: Rashid must stop lying through his teeth

November 21, 2007

We have presented ‘ tons’ of evidence to Rashid that the SPR under his leadership is full of ‘shits’ ; but this chappie is so thick-skinned that nothing could change his tendency to lie.

He is leaving very soon and we will do our best to make sure his ‘disservice’ as the EC chairman would not be extended for even a single day by HRH Agong. The longer he stays, the bigger the damage.

Rashid is nothing but a hypocrite. In front of the DAP delegation, he said PAS disagrees with the use of indelible ink because of religious issue. In front of the PAS delegation, he said DAP was not keen for a longer campaign period because a longer period would be too tiring for the DAP. When I pointed out his antics right in his face in one of the meetings with BERSIH, he just kept quiet.

He can be extremely friendly with you but you would never know what he would say about you in your absence.

PRESS STATEMENT

20 November 2007

BERSIH demands explanation for the “Phantoms of SPR”

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) demands that the Election Commission (SPR) Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid explain how “phantoms” were created in Ijok, Ipoh and numerous other places.

BERSIH dismisses Abdul Rashid’s attempt to divert attention by focusing only on the 142 missing ballots in Ijok and ignoring the bigger scandals in the Ijok by-election on 28 April 2007:

(a) Over 50 dead voters were still on the electoral roll and 12 of them, all of them Malays from the Jaya Setia polling district, rose up from their graves to cast their votes on polling day. Opposition support was slashed by about 18% in this district.

(b) Three Chinese voters at Pekan Ijok had their votes stolen by impostors, who had turned up earlier at the polling station. A swing against BN had been expected and realized at the Chinese-majority polling district.

(c) As many as 23 voters were registered without national identity cards.

(d) As many as 32 voters aged between 100 and 132 years old were still listed on the electoral rolls.

BERSIH stresses that such irregularities are not isolated cases, but rather, they reflect systematic patterns. Most recently, Ipoh Timur (the seat of the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang which he won with a margin of 9,774 votes) saw an increase of 8,463 registered voters. The problem is more than just a clandestine form of gerrymandering.

The integrity of the electoral roll in Ipoh Timor is reflective of the integrity of the SPR. Prominent local blogger Ahirudin Attan (Rocky’s Bru) who had never registered as a voter found out that he has been a resident and voter at Taman Rapat Setia since 1999. Another example is a Ms. L.L. Wong, who has never registered as a voter, recently found that she has been a voter in Johor Baru since 1990.

The SPR has tried to blame this on some assistant registration officers who used the old registration system before July 2002 but it has failed to given any names to support the accusations. It has also failed to guarantee that all such irregularities will be rectified and not be repeated since the new registration system was introduced in 2002.

The petition by 100,000 members of the public to the Yang DiPertuan Agong on 10 November was to express, amongst others, this legitimate demand: the electoral roll must be cleaned up so that all phantoms can be exterminated before the next general election.

BERSIH also dismisses SPR’s attribution of the 142 missing ballots in Ijok to “human errors” as irrelevant to the larger question of the necessity of postal voting. If 142 missing ballots can be explained away, how about the missing ballots in Lumut, which were as high as 2,763 in 1990; 3,487 in 1995; 8,176 in 1999 and 5,486 in 2004?

Abdul Rashid has in the past attributed such missing ballots to postal voting. Can the people trust the electoral process when thousands of ballots are mismanaged in every election? Is Abdul Rashid not concerned about his commission’s integrity and credibility?

Taking the example of Ipoh Timur, 3,208 of the 8,463 increased voters for the next elections are postal voters. In 2004, 92.9% of the 4,807 postal votes in Bukit Bintang went to the BN. The local residents must wonder where all these police officers and army personnel in the city centre are hiding, as the high figure of policemen is not reflected in the actual situation on the ground.

BERSIH emphasizes that domestic postal voting must be abolished. Monitoring of the voting process is insufficient because postal voters are also assigned en masse to any marginal constituency to counter Opposition support as and when deemed necessary by the BN.

Chan Kong Choy on-the-run again

November 20, 2007

 

Outside the 512 Gudang, PKFZ

Chan Kong Choy ran away again! He certainly have no answers for the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang on the subject of RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal. The only way out (at least temporary) for him was to run away to London.

Chan also run away from the Rawang people on the issue of high tension transmission towers. He promised to bring the matter to the Cabinet after much pressure from us; more than a month now but nothing has come out from the Cabinet.

Media Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Tuesday, 20th November 2007:

2008 Budget Committee stage debate on Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan Kong Choy returns from London next week or this is evidence of the Transport Minister on-the-run to escape accountability for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone bailout scandal

I was surprised to read a Bernama report last night that the Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has left for London to attend the 25th International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly and will not be back until later next week.

My immediate reaction is that the Transport Minister is on-the-run from Parliament to escape accountability for the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal, as the committee stage debate on the Transport Ministry for the 2008 Budget is scheduled for this Thursday or latest by Monday – when Chan will still be in London.

This is most irresponsible, as Chan knows that the PKFZ scandal will feature prominently in the debate on the Transport Ministry as for the past three months of the parliamentary meeting, no satisfactory answer had been given to the many issues and questions which I had raised repeatedly about the PKFZ scandal.

In fact, last Monday in Parliament during the committee stage debate on the Finance Ministry, I had posed the specific question as to why the government was “on-the-run” on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal.

I had protested that government ministers were kicking the issue of the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal from one Ministry to another, evading accountability by refusing to give a direct answer to many pertinent questions which I had posed – with the ball being kicked among the Prime Minister’s Department, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport with no one wanting to give a proper answer.

I had even simplified the questions on the PKFZ scandal which cry out for answer, viz:

1. Was it true that when the Port Klang Authority and the Transport Ministry insisted on buying the 1,000 acres of Pulau Indah land for PKFZ at RM25 psf on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis, in the face of strong objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Treasury which had recommended that the land be acquired at RM10 psf, the Cabinet had given its approval subject to two conditions: (i) categorical assurance by the Transport Minister that the PKFZ proposal was feasible and self-financing and would not require any public funding; and (ii) that every RM100 million variation in the development costs of PKFZ would require prior Cabinet approval.
2. In the event, the first condition was breached when the PKFZ project ballooned from RM1.1 billion to RM4.6 billion requiring government intervention and bailout while the second condition was breached with the original PKFZ development costs of RM400 million ballooning to RM2.8 billion without any prior Cabinet approval ever been sought for every RM100 million increase in development costs.

3. The Transport Minister had unlawfully issued four Letters of Support to Kuala Dimensi Sdn. Bhd (KDSB), the PKFZ turnkey contractor – to raise RM4 billion bonds, which were regarded as government guarantees by the market. The Transport Minister had no such powers to issue financial guarantees committing the government, as it could only be issued by the Finance Minister and only after Cabinet approval. The first Letter of Support was issued by the former Transport Minister, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik on May 28, 2003, which was Liong Sik’s last day as Transport Minister while the other three were issued by Kong Choy.

4. Whether it wasn’t true that in recognition that the four unlawful “Letters of Support” of the Transport Minister had nonetheless given implicit government guarantee to the market that the Cabinet had in mid-year to give retrospective approval for the unlawful and unauthorized four Letters of Support by the Transport Ministers in the past four years creating RM4.6 billion liability for the government in the bailout of PKFZ.

5. Why no action had been taken against the Transport Minister, both Liong Sik and Kong Choy, as well as the government officials responsible for the unlawful issue of the four “Letters of Support”. Kong Choy had said that he did not know that he had no power as Transport Minister to issue such Letters of Support, Was this an acceptable explanation for getting the government embroiled in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal?

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz had said that questions on the PKFZ scandal should rightly be answered by the Transport Minister.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Ministry, Datuk Seri Dr. Hilmi Yahya when pressed on the issue last Monday, asked that he be allowed to answer by way of written reply. When asked when the written reply would be given, he declined to give any firm date on the ground that a proper study had to be done. When I persisted in asking whether an answer could be forthcoming in a week’s time, as this was not a new issue and had been raised for over two months, Hilmi said he would try.

More than a week had passed and I have not yet received any written reply from Helmi, while Chan has run away to London on the pretext of attending the International Maritime Organisation meeting in London.
Chan should be reminded that while his international commitments are important, they should not be allowed to overshadow his responsibilities to Parliament and Malaysians as Transport Minister.

After all, if Chan is not Transport Minister, he would be nothing in the International Maritime Organisation! This is why he must not forget his roots by running away from his primary responsibilities to Parliament and Malaysian taxpayers to evade answer and accountability for the biggest financial scandal in the Abdullah premiership.

If Chan feels that it is very important that he should attend the International Maritime Organisation conference in London which clashes with the parliamentary schedule for the Transport Ministry in the committee stage debate on the 2008 Budget, he could easily ask for the debate on the Transport Ministry to be changed to a later date when he is back from the London Conference.

Chan must stand accused of using the International Maritime Organisation conference in London as an excuse to run away from Parliament and escape accountability for the PKFZ scandal in the 2008 Budget committee stage debate on the Transport Ministry, especially as Chan’s role in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal is a major and central one.

I have given notice of a RM10 cut motion for the salary of Chan as Transport Minister over his major role in the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal – and it will be the height of Ministerial irresponsibility and parliamentary cowardice for Chan to run away to London when the Transport Ministry comes up for debate on Thursday or Monday.

I have written a strong protest to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs for the Cabinet over the absence of Chan in the debate on the Transport Ministry and to ask that the debate of the Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan has come back from London to “face the music” over the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal.

    Lim Kit Siang

国会反对党领袖兼民主行动党怡保东区国会议员林吉祥于2007年11月20日(星期二)在国会召开记者会发表的声明:

交通部的2008年度委员会阶段的预算案辩论应展期到陈广才下周从伦敦回国后才进行,否则这将成为证明交通部长在逃循,避免交待46亿令吉拯救巴生港口自由区计划丑闻之证据。

当我从马新社昨晚的报导中获悉交通部长拿督斯里陈广才已飞往伦敦出席第25届国际海洋组织大会,将在下周才回国时,我感到很惊讶。

我的首个反应是,交通部长在逃循,他要躲避而不交待46亿令吉拯救巴生港口自由区计划(PKFZ)的丑闻,因为交通部的2008年度委员会阶段的预算案辩论订在本周四或最迟下周一进行,而陈广才届时仍在伦敦。

这是极不负责任之举,因为陈广才知道,PKFZ丑闻将成为交通部辩论的焦点。在过去3个月的国会会议中,尽管我不断的提出这项丑闻,但许多相关的问题都未获得答案。

其实,上周一在国会的财政部委员会阶段辩论时,我就特别提问,为何政府在逃避PKFZ丑闻问题。

我抗议政府将此丑闻从一个内阁部门踢到另一个内阁部门,针对许多相当关键性的问题都顾左右而言他。这个球在首相署、财政部与交通部之间被踢来踢去,没有一个部门给予应有的答案。

我甚至将各项问题简化,即:

1. 巴生港务局及交通部是否真的尽管面对总检察长署及财政部的强烈反对,并建议以每平方尺10令吉价格徵用之下,仍然坚持在”买者愿买,卖者愿卖”的每平方尺25令吉价格下购买浮罗英达的1000依格土地供作PKFZ用途,而内阁已在两个条件下给予批准:(i)交通部长明确地保证PKFZ计划可行及自行融资,不会花半分钱公款;及(ii)PKFZ发展每增花1亿令吉,都必须先获得内阁的批准。

2.结果,首个条件已被违背,PKFZ的经费从11亿令吉暴涨至46亿令吉而需要政府拯救,而第2个条件也被违背,因为在没有每增加1亿令吉都须经过内阁核准程序下,PKFZ的原有成本额从4亿令吉暴涨至28亿令吉。

3.交通部长违法的发出4封信给PKFZ的总承包商Kuala Dimensi有限公司(KDSB),好让后者通过发出债券集资40亿令吉资金,这形同政府向市场作出担保。交通部长并没有权力作出政府的融资担保,只有财政部长在内阁核准后才能作出。首封支持信是由前交通部长拿督斯里林良实于2003年5月28日发出,当天是林良实担任交长的最后一天。其馀3封是由陈广才发出。

4.这4封交长发出的非法”支持信”仍获得政府的担保,因为内阁在年中以追溯方式核准了两名交长在过去4年里非法与未经授权发出的支持信,使政府为了拯救PKFZ而背负了46亿令吉债务,这种说法是否属实。

5.为何政府至今没对付这两名交长,即林良实及陈广才,以及其他涉及非法发出4封支持信的高官。陈广才说,他不知道交长无权发出这种支持信。这是否能作为政府卷入46亿令吉拯救PKFZ丑闻的借口?

首相署部长拿督斯里纳兹里说,PKFZ丑闻的问题最好由交长解答。

当财政部政务次长拿督斯里希尔米上周一在国会被询及有关问题时,要求以书面作答。当被询及将在何时给予书面答覆时,他没给一个肯定的日期,理由是需要时间研究。当我追问答案是否可以在一周内获得(因为这不是新的课题,而且已提出超过两个月时间)时,希尔米说他会设法。

一周时间已过去,我仍未接到希尔米的答覆,而陈广才却已躲到伦敦去,表面上是要到那里出席国际海洋组织大会。

陈广才应被提醒,履行国际任务固然重要,但身为交长的他,不应因此忽略了他对国会及国人的责任。

而且,如果他不是交长,他在国际海洋组织大会上只能靠边站!因此,他不应忘了本身的责任,不应为了逃避阿都拉政权下最大宗的金融丑闻之问责,而漠视对国会及大马纳税人应尽的责任。

如果陈广才认为,伦敦的大会很重要,必须出席,但又与交通部的辩论撞期,他大可要求将辩论展期至他回国后才进行。

否则的话,陈广才将面对借伦敦大会逃循的指责,即他要避开PKFZ丑闻的问责,尤其是他在丑闻中扮演主要的角色。

我已通知议长,将提呈要将交长陈广才减薪10令吉的动议,如果交通部的2008年度委员会阶段预算案辩论在本周四或下周一进行的话,将会是陈广才高度不负责任与不敢面对国会之举。

我已经致函给负责国会事务的首相署部长拿督斯里纳兹里,抗议陈广才缺席交通部的辩论,并要求将辩论展期到陈广才回国,要他亲自交待PKFZ丑闻的来龙去脉。

林吉祥

‘Runaway’ Chan under fire for missing PKFZ debate
Yoges Palaniappan
Nov 20, 07 2:54pm
Malaysiakini 

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang today demanded for the committee stage of Supply Bill 2008 debate on Transport Ministry to be postponed until the transport minister returns from his foreign visit next week.

At a press conference held at the Parliament lobby today, an irate Lim said that Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy was on the run from parliament to escape accountability on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal

Bernama reported yesterday that Chan has left for London to attend the 25th International Maritime Organisation (IMO) assembly and will not be back until later next week.

Lim described Chan’s visit as “most irresponsible” because he would still be in London when his ministry is scheduled to wind up the debate on Thursday or the latest by next Monday.

“Chan knows PKFZ scandal will feature prominently in the debate as for the past three months of the parliament sitting, no satisfactory answer had been given to the many issues and questions raised about the scandal,” he said.

“Last Monday, I had protested that government ministers were kicking the issue from one ministry to another, evading accountability by refusing to give a direct answer to many pertinent questions I had posed,” he added.

Answerable to parliament

“When pressed on the issue when the Finance Ministry was winding up the debate, the ministry’s parliamentary secretary Hilmi Yahaya asked that he be allowed to give a written reply.

“More than week has passed and I have yet to receive any written reply from Hilmi, while Chan has run away to London on pretext of attending the assembly.”

Lim reminded Chan that while his international commitments are important, they should not be allowed to overshadow his responsibilities to parliament and Malaysians.

He said Chan would be nothing in the IMO assembly if not for his position as the transport minister.

“This is why he must not forget his roots by running away from his primary responsibilities to parliament and Malaysian taxpayers to evade answer and accountability,” he said.

“If he (Chan) feels that it is important to attend the assembly, he could easily ask for the winding up of debate to be changed to a later date when he’s back from London.”

Lim also said that he had written a protest note to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, who is in charge of parliamentary affairs, over the absence of Chan.

Over-priced project

“I have asked for the winding-up debate by the Transport Ministry should be stood down until Chan has come back from London to face the music over the PKFZ scandal.”

Chan’s role in the grossly overpaid PKFZ project included issuing letters of support to contractor Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd to raise RM4 billion bonds.

The minister had no such powers to issue financial guarantees committing the government, as it could only be issued by the Finance Minister after cabinet approval.

After a litany of complaints ranging from mismanagement and inflated financial costs, the government said that it would give a soft loan to Port Klang Authority to ensure the success of the PKFZ project.

SPECIAL REPORT: Poser over mega ‘ghost town’

Spread the Yellow Wave across the country

November 19, 2007

BERSIH leaders are now working very hard to spread the Yellow Wave across the country through talks, dinners and ceramahs.

I was speaking in Klang with Sdr Dr Hasan Ali last night. I will be speaking on 20 Nov at the PJ Dinner organised by DAP with Sdr Lim Kit Siang, Tony, Weng San and Dr Cheah , 21 Nov in Alor Star with Sdr Mohd Sabu, and 25 Nov in Kg Nalla Batu Gajah with Sdri Fong Po Kuan.

 Mohd Sabu

More programs will be drawn up by BERSIH up and down the country to spread the Gelombang Kuning in the coming months. Every NGO and parties under the umbrella of BERSIH was encouraged to organise activities and events to spread the Yellow Wave.

PM Abdullah has just announced publicly that BN will relaunch its Blue Wave to drown the Yellow Wave. Will he succeed or fail miserably like the Nov 10 rally? The answer lies with the Rakyat.

Pls remember to wear something YELLOW on every Saturdays. May the Yellow Wave crush the Blue Wave into ripples.

PJU: Phantom voters live in phantom houses

November 18, 2007

The house numbers of SS3/39 ends at 111; but if you check the electorate rolls for PJU (where I lost in 1999 and 2004), you could find house numbers from 201 to 1518 ! And 90% of these phantom voters who lived in these phantom houses were Malay voters.

Now you know why BERSIH is so keen in cleaning up the electoral rolls and press for a clean and fair electoral system.

  

灵北SS3区39路幽灵选民过百

(八打灵再也讯)雪州民主行动党秘书刘永山说,八打灵再也北区一条街道竟出现超过3百名幽灵选民,令民主行动党质疑有关“幽灵住宅区”,为何连门牌都不存在的地址却能出现在选民册上。

他周六在记者会上揭发有关幽灵选民名单,该名单人数超过300人,当中有超过90%是马来人,都是被指居住在八打灵再也北区SS3区39路的居民。

39路门牌仅111号

他披露,该条街道的房子都属独立式洋楼,他们是依据选举委员会所提供的选民册地址,沿家挨户分发传单时才发现此事。根据地图所指,39路的门牌号码最多只有111号,实地考察也正是如此,但是幽灵住宅却从201号起跳直到1518号,犹如扩展出来的新住宅区,不过当地居民被询问时都表示,对这些突然多出的门牌号码表示不知情。

“我不晓得这些幽灵选民几时出现在选民册内,但翻回过去纪录,这些幽灵选民早在2006年时已出现。”

他声称,除了人瑞、幽灵选民,现在还有幽灵路,而且连没有门牌注明的也可纳入选民册内。他补充,雪州行动党将向选举委员会做出上诉。


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