Archive for the ‘Human rights’ Category

Rawang HTZ: A victory for the people!

June 25, 2007
It’s a case of “satu hati” Vs “suka hati” (borrowing Sdr M Batumalai’s words) in today’s dramatic tussle between the Rawang villagers and TNB officials.

More than a hundred villagers managed to prevent TNB workers to start work on the high tension transmission project. We insisted that all works have to stop before a solution or agreement be reached between the villagers and the Federal and Selangor state governments.After our protest, the TNB officials have no choice but to leave the site.

I must thank the workers for refilling the big hole they have dug earlier to prevent a potential tragedy from happening.

After the protest, the authority now sets a new date for discussion and negotiation with the Rawang Anti High Tension Transmission Project Action Committee and affected landowners on Friday 29 June 2007 @9am at the Selayang Land Office.

Both Chan Kong Choy and Tang See Hang were said to be present on the day. I will be there too as the advisor of the committee.

TV8 also sent its team to cover the event and it was broadcasted over its 8pm Mandarin news a while ago. TV3 was also there to cover the entire event.

Saty tuned.

百余人力阻国能动工建电缆
万挠村民今天再打赢一仗!

■日期/Jun 24, 2007   ■时间/06:24:50 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/Merdekareview庄迪澎
           
【本刊庄迪澎撰述】国家能源公司(国能)职员今天到雪兰莪州万挠新村动工兴建高压电缆的部份工程,百多名村民拉着布条赶到现场阻止铲泥机(神手)继续挖掘深坑。由于双方各不让步,场面一度僵持不下,但一个多小时之后却戏剧性收场,国能让神手司机将已挖掘的深坑重新填回,收队离开,村民则为打赢了一仗而鼓掌欢呼!国能(营运与技术)高级副主席莫哈末西迪在本月19日向媒体宣布,雪州行政议会决定在万挠新村兴建高压电缆已成定局,高压电缆不会绕道而行,而且将在今天(6月24日)动工。【点击:广才承诺解决•国能宣布动工 万挠村民要以庭令阻高压电缆】成立“争取高压电缆绕道工委会”消息见报后,万挠“反对高压电五人小组”召集村民会商,并在昨晚成立了一个由21名村民组成的“万挠新村争取高压电缆绕道、反对逼迁工委会”,由原五人小组成员吴亚九担任主席。万挠新村居民两年前接获通知,国能计划在新村附近兴建高压电缆,并要求该村51户人家搬迁。村民拒绝国能的赔偿建议,坚决捍卫家园。后来村民成立了五人小组,展开反对高压电缆运动。

“万挠新村争取高压电缆绕道、反对逼迁工委会”今天上午11时在万挠新村召开记者会,多名党团代表都赴会声援村民,包括民主行动党非政府组织秘书刘天球、人民公正党总财政梁自坚、雪兰莪州署理主席李成金、隆雪华青团长陈松林及委员李英伟。

记者会中途,已有村民村民报告,国能职员已在新村范围动工;此时,刘天球号召村民在记者会结束后到现场阻止动工。

记者会在中午12时左右结束后,一百多个村民拉着布条,浩浩荡荡的步行到大约一公里外的动工地点。村民一到现场,其中一人看到神手已经挖掘了一个面积大约一百平方米的深坑,手持一份公文非常激动的冲上前,蓦地跪下,一时也吓坏了那名神手司机。

由于在万挠新村兴建高压电缆的纠纷仍在斡旋中,村民们不满国能单方面擅自动工,因此情绪有些许激动及鼓噪;不过,村民们仍然十分克制,间中虽有高声叫喊将深坑填回,但没有发生肢体冲突。

陪同村民到场的刘天球、李成金及梁自坚等人则与在场的国能高级职员交涉,要对方即刻停工离开现场;不过,国能职员宣称,国能是在政府的土地上动工,而且获得州政府批准,村民无权阻止。

陈广才无法找到替代路线?

刘天球告诉在场的国能雪兰莪州区经理沙尼阿末(Sani Ahmad),能源、水务及通讯部长林敬益、士拉央区国会议员陈广才、万挠区州议员邓诗汉、能讯部高级官员、国能高级管理层和五人小组曾在5月23日达成协议,给陈广才及邓诗汉一个月的时间寻求解决方案,以便将高压电路线转移到另一可行的绕道地点。

陈广才当时向媒体宣布,解决方案是把高压电路线转移到连接瓜雪亚三爪哇(Asam Jaya)和万挠邓普勒花园(Templer Park)的拉达高速公路(LATAR Highway)右边,绕过万挠新村。【点击:陈广才一个月内寻解决方案 万挠高压电事件或绕道解决】

不过,沙尼阿末(左图)却说,所谓一个月时间是用来决定高压电缆的路线,而现在雪兰莪州政府已经决定了按照原来的路线兴建高压电缆,不会绕道。万挠高压电缆工程高级经理阿兹敏(Azmin)甚至一度告诉刘天球,陈广才和邓诗汉告诉国能,他们无法找到用来绕道的替代路线。

当刘天球转身向媒体重复阿兹敏的说法,并问地方能否引述他的名字后,阿兹敏就不愿载证实上述说法。

沙尼阿末也一再重复说,他们今天动工的地点是政府地,不归村民所有,因此村民无权干涉;他也要刘天球等人先去了解实情。

刘天球及吴亚九等人不同意沙尼阿末的说法,吴亚九说,沙尼阿末并没有出席5月23日的会谈,因此不了解实况;吴亚九也点出在场的万挠高压电缆工程高级经理阿兹敏(Azmin)曾出席会谈,他应该告诉沙尼实况。

刘天球(右图右)也告诉沙尼阿末等国能高级职员,雪兰莪州政府迄今从未对此事发表声明,而且倘若雪州政府真的决定按照原来路线兴建高压电缆,以及准许国能在这片所谓“政府地”动工,必有公函。因此,他要求对方出示公函。

沙尼却回应说:“你要看公函,就正式写信给我们。”刘天球反驳对方道:“你这是官僚主义作风”,并告诉对方,如果无法出示公函,就应该立即停工离开。

结果双方一直在有没有州政府公函,以及没有公函是否能动工的问题上僵持不下;沙尼阿末一度沉不住气,拉高声量向刘天球叫喊:“是你固执!”刘天球见状,对站在沙尼阿末的身旁的另一名国能职员慕希丁(Mohiddin)说:“叫你的朋友别提高声量。”后来,沙尼阿末退到一旁,不再和刘天球对话。

下周五土地局会商

阿兹敏一度问“万挠新村争取高压电缆绕道、反对逼迁工委会”秘书王仲辉,如果国能出示州政府公函,是不是就让国能继续动工;刘天球和王仲辉都说,村民这方不能做此承诺。

尽管如此,中午12时40分左右,国能方面却突然答应回去八打灵再也的办公室取信,让工委会代表过目,并说大约一小时后回来;过后,沙尼阿末和其中几名职员开车离开现场,阿兹敏和慕希丁则留在现场。

一小时之后,沙尼阿末等人并没有带着所谓的州政府公函回到现场;阿兹敏却突然通知刘天球,说接到邓诗汉的电话通知,不但国能收队,也要“万挠新村争取高压电缆绕道、反对逼迁工委会”及刘天球等人在下周五(6月29日)上午9时30分到土地局会商解决此事。

得悉消息后,村民都很雀跃,纷纷神手司机把已挖出来的泥土重新推回深坑。刘天球等人也继续和阿兹敏交涉,要他们吩咐神手司机将深坑填回;阿兹敏后来也同意了。

当两架神手分工将泥土推回深坑时,村民都涌到深坑旁鼓掌欢呼;直到深坑填回后,村民们才离开现场。

今年5月17日,国能承包商也曾到万挠新村动工兴建高压电缆,同样遭村抗议和阻止;双方协商了三至四个小时,万挠警局副主任苏巴马尼安(Subramaniam)后来接获“上头”指示,国能技术人员、工程承包商、警察才陆续离开动工地点。当时,接获消息的邓诗汉曾表示会亲身前来,后来却不见人影。【点击:万挠人阻国能建高压电缆 邓诗汉讲要来却不见人影】

万挠新村位于陈广才所属的士拉央国会议席及邓诗汉所属的万挠州议席,陈广才也是马华公会署理总会长及交通部长,而邓诗汉自1982年便当选万挠州议员,迄今已经六届,他自1999年大选后出任雪州行政议员,目前掌管投资、工业与贸易事务。

点击:高压电缆威胁万挠村民系列报道

更新: June 24, 2007 18:09

萬撓新村高壓電纜工程動工
逾百村民包圍國能承包商
阻建高壓電纜掀罵戰

超過百名村民包圍住泥機,喝止司機立即停工離開,場面險失控。

China Press

(萬撓24日訊)萬撓新村今早展開高壓電纜興建工程,逾百位村民聞風而至,與國能職員及承包商激烈爭執,場面火爆!

由于村民的情緒激動,國能職員逗留約兩個小時后,在萬撓區州議員拿督鄧詩漢的來電指示下撤退,定于本月29日在土地局舉行對話會,再作談判。

今日上午10時左右,行動黨中委劉天球及雪華堂青年團,在萬撓新村舉行高壓電纜匯報會。

11時許,10多名國能職員及承包商,攜同兩輛神手進入新村,引起轟動。

國能及承包商在廟宇旁挖掘土地,但很快被聞風而至的村民團團包圍,阻止對方。

劉天球促請對方出示雪州政府的批准信,但是對方一再推辭,強調劉天球必須致函國能總部來索取信件,他的答覆引起村民不滿。

村民與承包商僵持近1小時,國能接獲上層指示立即填回坑洞撤退,這場糾紛才和平結束。

劉天球強調,較早前的會議上已議決,交由鄧詩漢及士拉央區國會議員陳廣才一個月時間,來尋找交替地點建高壓電纜,豈料言猶在耳,國能卻迫不及待動工。

國能澄清,他們已經確定,所有建議的交替地點並不適用,所以決定在原地動工。

雙方各執己見,場面火爆,大約半小時后,國能同意讓步,回到總部領取批准信。

這時,村民要求神手司機停止挖土,不過國能職員很快就折返,結果無法得逞。

下午1時許,中區強化計劃(CAR)高級經理阿茲敏接獲鄧詩漢來電,指示國能及承包商先撤離新村,待本月29日會議再作商討。

國能同意撤離,更把已挖掘的土地,重新填好。

無論如何,阿茲敏強調,國能興建高壓電纜的地段,屬于國能保留地,並沒有重新征地,所以沒有違法。

續採法律行動保護家園
“村民堅決不搬”

劉天球(右2)代表村民與國能代表談判,要求出示施工批准信卻遭拒,雙方僵持近半小時;左起為梁自堅及李成金。

爭取繞道、反對逼遷、萬撓新村工委會主席吳亞九指出,盡管萬撓州議員拿督鄧詩漢答應安排村民、國能與土地局開會,但他們仍不會放棄任何一線免除搬遷的希望。

他說,各造皆未取得雙贏方案,國能卻一再委派承包商進入村內展開工程,還好每次經過村民爭取,對方妥協停工離開,但難保他們哪天會強硬施工。

他表示,工委會將在本月29日與各造開會后,若仍無未能取得讓村民滿意的結果,他們將繼續採取法律行動保護家園,堅拒搬遷。

“村民絕對不會搬遷。”

他今日參與村民匯報會及和國能承包商接涉后,如是指出。

在今日匯報會上,各造也一再抨擊當地國州議員拿督斯里陳廣才和拿督鄧詩漢失信,沒有積極協助他們處理遭逼遷,讓路高壓電纜計劃的問題,才會造成今日局面,讓村民深感失望。

工委會前身“五人小組”主席林成昌指出,鄧詩漢早在10年前已得知這項計劃,而村民則在2005年正式收獲國能的搬遷通告信,可是過去2年來卻沒有積極為村民解決問題。

他說,他們上月23日與能源、水務與通訊部長拿督斯里林敬益開會時,國能表示只待州政府處理土地問題,繞道計劃絕對可行,要求國州議員在一個月內提呈繞道計劃書。

“最近,國能單方面宣佈繞道計劃不可行,理由非常牽強,包括需時一年時間重新策劃及技術不允許等,各造出爾反爾的態度很沒城意。”

他重申,村民不反對發展,只希望不必搬遷,也無需受高高壓電磁波影響。

申請司法審查
★爭取繞道、反對逼遷、萬撓新村工委會代表律師梁自堅

雖然雪州行政會議已批准新村建高壓電纜,但村民還是有權入稟法庭,要求暫緩計劃,以便有充裕時間,尋找替代方案及繼續談判。

村民除了向高庭申請停工令,也可以申請司法審查。

現在只有國能單方面宣佈,州政府已批准工程,以及繞道方案不可行;可是州政府一直沒有作出回應,這對村民很不公平,因此我建議村民申請司法審查,讓法官判定誰是誰非。

村民注重的不是賠償,而是希望擁有安全及健康的生活環境。

國能出爾反爾
★雪州中委劉天球

國能出爾反爾,之前說繞道沒有問題,現在反口說技術問題行不通。

我覺得,如果申請停工令,國能還是有方法向法庭申請撤銷,所以最佳方法是申請司法審查,至少能拖延一段時間,進一步與各造談判。

將辦簽名運動
★隆雪華堂青年團團長陳松林

我們將協助村民,尋找以前的地方大藍圖,證明是先開闢新村后,才設下高壓電纜保留地。

同時,隆雪華堂將在本月27日召開會員大會,屆時我們將進行簽名運動,以示支持萬撓新村村民爭取繞道、反對逼遷

200村民力阻高压电动工
僵持两句钟国能无功而返
实习记者黄勃扬
07年6月24日 晚上9:26
Malaysiakini
国能公司按照原定动土计划

,今日派出两辆铲泥机到万挠新村进行高压电工程

,但是在大約200名新村村民的齐力阻止下

,成功迫使当局暂停施工。

双方在现场僵持不下,气氛相当紧张,所幸没有酿成肢体上的冲突。经过大约2个小时的互不让步,最终由国能公司做出妥协,承诺在下一轮会谈之前不会贸然施工,令所有村民欢呼胜利。

交通部长兼士拉央国会议员陈广才和万挠州议员邓诗汉,曾在上个月杪与能讯部长林敬益、能讯部高级官员、国能高级管理层和“万挠新村反电缆5人小组”举行会议,同意在一个月内解决村民的问题,另觅绕道路线建高压电缆。

不过,国能却在上周表示,经过国能向雪州政府解释之后,州政府并不接纳绕道的建议,而允许国能按照原定计划进行电缆工程。而国能也铁定在今天於万饶新村展开兴建高压电缆的工程。

国能动土消息传出后,万挠“反对高压电5人小组”几天后召集村民商讨对策,并成立了21人的“争取绕道,反对逼迁” 万挠新村工委会,由5人小组成员吴亚九担任主席、林成昌担任副主席、王仲辉担任秘书和温伟明担任财政。该工委会也召开了今早的村民大会。

共有大约200名村民出席今早11时开始的村民会议,其中民主行动党非政府组织主任刘天球、雪州财政巴都玛莱、公正党总财政梁自坚、雪州署理主席李成金、隆雪华堂青年团团长陈松林,以及属下的“关注万挠新村高电压逼迁”小组协调员李英伟也到场给予支持。

由于接获消息,在结束村民会议和记者会后,与会的村民立即赶往到新村边境一起阻止高压电工程的进行。

村民抵达工程现场后,发现铲泥机已经挖了一个约十尺深的洞,更有村民立即上前呼喝在内的司机下车。

要求出示州政府批准公函不果

在群众的一片谩骂声下,国能公司聘请的私人承包商被迫停下铲泥机。此举引起国能公司职员的不满,并以州政府已批准有关工程为由,指示司机继续动工。

这时,有村民出示一封近期由国能公司发出、承诺会在7月6日后才动工的公函。刘天球也也要求国能公司方面出示州政府批准工程进行的文件,否则在政府未作出宣布之前,村民将继续阻止国能公司动工。

但是,在场的国能公司雪州区域经理沙尼阿末却拒绝出示有关文件。沙尼阿末表示,村民如果要求有关文件,必须书写正式函件向国能申请;而且,他也反驳说,国能目前只是在政府保留地动工,并没有违背7月6日前不到新村动工的承诺。

国能公司中马区输电工程高级经理阿兹敏甚至表示,陈广才和邓诗汉已经通知国能说,有关替代路线已经没办法采用了。

国能公司代表的强硬态度引起村民的情绪益发高涨,并将国能公司的代表团团围起,人群中也不断传出村民高亢的抱怨和谩骂声,造成双方的谈判一度陷入僵局,无法继续。

约半小时后,阿兹米做出妥协,答应村民出示州政府批准工程进行的文件,不过文件需要1个小时才能够送到。虽然在中午艳阳高照下,村民依然毫无离开之意,纷纷坚守在现场等待结果。

邓诗汉允本周五召开多边会议

阿兹米在一个小时后再次出现时,但是他没有出示州政府批准工程进行的文件,而是带了邓诗汉的口讯,指后者表示将于本月29日早上在士拉央土地局召开多边会议,包括陈广才、新村村民和国能,针对这悬而未决的课题进行另一番讨论。

此外,在村民的要求下,阿兹米也允许铲泥机司机将已经挖好的洞填补回去。他也承诺,在下一轮会议之前,国能不会再擅自动工。

此项宣布马上换来现场村民的欢迎,并在一片胜利的气氛中看着洞逐渐被填平。

刘天球之后向《当今大马》记者表示,经过今天的事件后,身为万挠居民代议士的陈广才和邓诗汉一定要站出来向村民交待,而不是一直躲在国能后面。

Human rights condition not improved under AAB

May 24, 2007

Report on Malaysia in Amnesty International Report 2007

State of the World’s Human Rights

Head of state: Raja Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin

*(Sultan Mizan took over from April 2007)


Head of government: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Death penalty: retentionist
International Criminal Court: not ratified

The year ended without the government fulfilling its pledge to establish an independent police complaints commission. At least 80 men accused of links to Islamist extremist groups were held without charge or trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Freedom of expression, association and assembly continued to be constrained by restrictive laws. People suspected of being irregular migrants or asylum-seekers were harassed and detained in harsh conditions pending deportation. Hundreds of people, mostly alleged irregular migrants, were imprisoned or caned after unfair trials. Death sentences continued to be passed and four executions were carried out.

Police reform

Non-governmental organizations continued to press the government to create an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). In 2005 a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the police had recommended a wide range of reforms, including the establishment of an IPCMC by May 2006. Draft legislation to establish an IPCMC remained under consideration by the Attorney General at the end of the year. A range of other reform recommendations, including repeal or review of laws allowing for detention without trial or requiring police permits for public assemblies, were not implemented

Police brutality

There were continued reports of excessive use of force by police officers during peaceful
demonstrations. In March and May police armed with shields violently dispersed a series of peaceful protests in Kuala Lumpur against fuel prices, with batons and water cannon. Several people were reported seriously injured and dozens arrested. All were subsequently released. There was still concern over the effectiveness of safeguards to ensure the safety and wellbeing of detainees in police custody. At least five people, including one woman, were reported to have died in custody during the year.

Detention without trial

The ISA, which allows for detention without trial for periods of up to two years, renewable indefinitely, continued to be applied and also used as a threat. At least 80 men accused of membership of or links to Islamist extremist groups remained in detention at the end of the year. At least 20 detention orders were renewed, and the reasons were not made public.

• In May, 11 people were arrested under the ISA in Sabah for alleged involvement in an Islamist group known as Darul Islam Sabah.
• In October, at least 17 alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah and the Malaysia Militant Group (Kumpulan Militan Malaysia) were released, but remained under orders restricting their freedom of movement.

At least 700 criminal suspects remained in detention under the Emergency (Public Order andPrevention of Crime) Ordinance (EO), which allows for indefinite detention without trial. Many were detained under the EO because the police did not have sufficient evidence to charge them. In October, the Federal Court ruled that the lawfulness of EO detentions by police could not be challenged in the courts once the Minister of Internal Security had issued a detention order.

Migrant workers, refugees and asylum-seekers

Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrant workers remained vulnerable to arrest, detention in poor conditions and deportation under the Immigration Act. Migrant workers were subjected to psychological and physical abuse by agencies and employers, and were often denied equal access to benefits and protections guaranteed to Malaysian workers, including maternity provisions, limited working hours and holidays.

Excessive use of force and ill-treatment were reported during repeated raids and mass arrests,mostly conducted by members of the volunteer civilian armed corps RELA (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia), of suspected irregular migrant workers. Hundreds were whipped after being found guilty of immigration offences.

• In February, the bodies of five migrant workers who allegedly fled a RELA raid were found in a lake in Selayang, near Kuala Lumpur. Witnesses reported that at least one body bore signs of ill-treatment.

Freedom of expression and association

There was continued criticism of the Printing Presses and Publication Act which allows the authorities to refuse, revoke or suspend printing permits.

• During the year, two newspaper editors were forced to resign following their newspapers’ coverage of police abuses, and four newspapers were suspended after publishing drawings of the Prophet Muhammadfirst published in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and judged offensive.

• In May the opposition People’s Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) protested at the refusal to grant a printing permit for the party’s official paper.Two opposition parties, the Malaysian Dayak Congress and the Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia), were denied registration under the Societies Act.

Death penalty and corporal punishment

In March the Malaysian Bar Council passed a resolution calling for the abolition of the death penalty and a moratorium on all executions.

Death sentences, however, continued to be passed during 2006, mostly as a mandatory punishment for certain drug-related offences. Four executions for armed treason were carried out. The authorities continued not to disclose regular statistics on capital punishment.

In May, Parliament passed a water privatization bill, which also extended the death penalty to cover serious cases of water contamination.

Caning, a cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment, was also carried out.

AI country reports/visits

Report

• Malaysia: Amnesty International’s campaign to stop torture and ill-treatment in the ‘war on terror’
(AI Index: ASA 28/003/2006)

Visits

Amnesty International delegates met government officials in March, and local civil society groups in June to discuss progress in the implementation of police reform.

MCA elected reps betray Rawang residents

May 14, 2007
Several ministers have promised the Rawang villagers who were affected by the TNB high-tension transmission project to bring the matter to the Cabinet for discussion and to find a solution. These promises were made during both Machap and Ijok by-elections. Ministers who have pledged to help them include Ong Ka Ting, Chua Soi Lek and Samy Vellu. Even DPM Najib has personally received the memo from the villagers in Ijok. But these promises now appear to be nothing but empty promises. The affected villagers held a press conference as well as a protest yesterday. I was invited to speak as their advisor. In my speech, I encouraged them to seek a judicial review as a last resort in the event that all negotiations with the Selangor State Government and TNB failed to resolve their problems. The whole episode so far has clearly shown that the local MCA elected reps Tang See Hang and Chan Kong Choy have betrayed the villagers. Tang, a ‘big time’ developer, was said to have vested interest in the project.

PKR’s Information chief Tian Chua and a representative from the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall were also there to lend their support and solidarity.

Malaysiakini has the story…

万挠高压电事件州政府作梗?
国能透露没因技术问题拒绕道

实习记者黄勃扬
07年5月14日 下午3:03
调整字体大小:
国家能源公司(国能)日前揭露,他们不曾以“技术问题”为由,来拒绝以绕道方式解决万挠新村兴建高压电缆的问题,反之只是听从州政府的指示办事。万挠新村反电缆5人小组的成员之一的王仲辉向《当今大马》表示,该5人小组曾于4月9日和国能高级副总裁西迪,连同土地局和州政府代表举行闭门会议。在会议上,西迪不曾表示,他们是因技术原因和经费的增加才拒绝绕道。“西迪告诉我们国能并没有决定是否绕道的权力,而且钱和技术也不是他们面对的问题,他们说一切只是听从州政府指示办事。而州政府代表,即雪州行政议员阿都法达也当场表示,将会重新考虑绕道的建议。”

万挠区州议员邓诗汉曾表示,该区国会议员陈广才以及能讯部长林敬益都支持绕道建议,惟国能却以技术问题而拒绝。

不过,王仲辉认为,邓诗汉所说的“技术问题”和国能的说法不符,所以他怀疑邓诗汉敷衍回应居民,甚至有意蒙蔽真正绕道被拒的原因。

“从头到尾都是州政府玩的把戏,在这件事中有滥权的迹像,我怀疑有人为了私利而枉顾居民的权益!”

王仲辉是于昨天召开居民大会后向记者如此表示。这场大会获得约80受影响的村民的响应。民主行动党非政府组织局主任刘天球、人民公正党宣传局主任蔡添强和隆雪华青秘书李英伟也到场呼吁居民捍卫自己的权益。过后,他们也愤起拉布条抗议,力促雪州州务大臣、士拉央区国州议员和国能“拿出良知来做事”。 

蔡添强:大选来临居民便能得尝所愿

万挠新村居民是在去年2月接获通知,国家能源公司计划在当地兴建高压电缆,并要求该村51户人家搬迁。随后村民成立了5人小组坚持不搬迁,以危害健康为由,反对在新村毗邻兴建高压电缆的计划,并向国能提出其他的电缆绕道路线作为解决方案,唯遭受拒绝。

另一方面,蔡添强(左图)对政府宁愿要求居民搬迁,也不愿将高压电缆绕道建在其他政府保留地的作法感到不甚理解。

他也籍此揶揄国阵政府,“国阵政府在选举上靠幽灵选民来获胜,所以照顾鬼多过照顾人!他们不要绕道是因为怕侵犯山神野鬼,所以只好选择动生人!”

“为什么没人住的地方不建高压电缆,而选择要居住在这里长达十年的居民搬迁?这根本是漠视居民对这片土地的贡献和感情!”
蔡添强呼吁居民继续坚持斗争,并预测多几个月居民便能得尝所愿。

“多几个月后大选来临时,你们就是“王”,到时你们拒绝搬迁的要求就会受到政府重视了!”
5人小组多次寻求州议员邓诗汉与国会议员陈广才的协助,两人都承诺会带入内阁讨论,但随后事情却毫无下文。于是他们趁着马接和依约补选,先后向马华总会长黄家定、副总会长蔡细历、国大党主席三美威鲁,和副首相纳吉提呈备忘录要求介入,但都不得要领。

在居民引颈长盼各人民代议士作出回应之际,国能在上周一派出铲泥机进入万挠新村欲展开高压电缆工程。虽然铲泥机最终遭居民驱赶离开,但居民对国能贸然展开兴建工程的行径感到错鄂和担忧,所以立即号召聚集起来商讨对策。

刘天球:上庭是最后的行动

刘天球(右图)恫言,假如政府还是枉顾人民居住的权力,在迫不得已的时候上庭是最后的行动。

“目前我们先相信政府能帮居民解决问题、继续和有关单位谈判,但同时我们也会收集一些法律文件,以便在谈判破裂之后立即上庭!到时我们就不是以万挠新村居民的利益来打这场官司,而是以公众的利益来打官司!”

刘天球也提醒居民,在这段关键时期不要听信谣言、不要畏惧恐威胁,也不要私下接受任何妥协条件,以免让人有机可乘。

他也认为万挠新村居民目前必须极力争取外界人士的支持,不断针对此事向政府施压。

“新建的电缆会经过位于新村的三育小学,影响学生的健康,那为什么该校董事、家教协会和校友会无人站出来反对?事实上只要是学生的家长,都有站起来反对的权力。我也很遗憾万挠的社团在这时候选择沉默!”

除此之外,刘天球也建议居民呼吁附近的村民都加入反对的行列,因为高压电缆对周遭的居民都会带来影响。

据悉,5人小组接下来将向附近的李金狮新村和16英里新村村民游说签署反对建高压电缆的连署书,以加强反对的声浪。

A meeting of minds

April 14, 2007

Siva, Ponniah, Kohila, Hatta, Nasir and Nizar at the forum organised by Jerit (Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas). They spoke against the unjust neo-liberalism.

Several representatives of various coalitions ( water, health care, toll and fuel hikes, FTAs, human rights and environment activists) gathered at the S&KLCAH to discuss about how NGOs and political parties in the country could work together more cohesively and effectively  for the common good of the Malaysian people.

We have decided to meet more regularly to exchange views and to strengthen our coordination and cooperation.

I have suggested that all political parties and NGOs should bring their issues to Ijok. We should take the opportunity provided by the by-election to highlight various important and burning issues facing the rakyat and convince the Ijok people to vote against the Umno-led BN government.

On the other hand, the 6th toll hike demo which was scheduled on 22 April has been postponed in view of the impending Ijok by-election.

I aslo stressed on the need to adopt  “agree to disagree” as a guiding principle for greater cooperation among the different organisations in order to challenge the hegemony of Umno. Only a cohesive alternative movement could challenge the mighty, arrogant and powerful Umno-led government.

The time has come for real changes but time is not on our side. We must unite to fight the common enemy instead of messing up among ourselves. And we must not allow Umno the chance and space to consolidate after the next general elections.

Machap: Rawang villagers and Youth4Change Sunday outing successful

April 8, 2007
 When I was addressing the Machap people on various issues, the Rawang delegation dispalyed a banner of protest against Ong Ka Ting, Chan Kong Choy and Tang See Hang for failing to help them. These MCA leaders sided with the TNB to evict them from their homes without proper compensation.

I have just got back from Machap together with the Rawang villagers who were affected by the high tension

transmission towers project. Some 40 of them went to Machap to air their grievances and plight. They were

greatly disappointed by their local MCA elected representatives Chan Kong Choy and Tang See Hang

because these MCA leaders sided with TNB instead of fighting for their rights. They were also disappointed

 with MCA President Ong Ka Ting who refused to meet them on three occasions. Their representative

Mr Goh gave a short speech at the DAP ceramah, outlining why the Machap people should not trust

any MCA candidate or leader. The audience gave them a big applause; they were obviously sympathetic

 with the predicament of the Rawang villagers.They have held a pc with the help of Sdr Lim Guan Eng

 in the morning and managed to meet Health Minister Chua Soi Lek. Chua has promised to raise

 their matter in the Parliament on coming Wednesday but who would believe him?

Meanwhile, some 60 students, activists and members of the SOS Damansara Action Committee

led by Lee Khai Loon of Youth4Change have visited Machap besides holding a ceramah in Machap

 Baru. The ceramah attracted some 200 people.According to a Malaysiakini report, ministers like

 Mustapha and Fong Chan On have embarrassed themselves in front of the students and activists.

 MCA Youth leader Wee Ka Siong has once again avoided the SOS Damansara chairman Yoong

 Yoke Sang. Wee had earlier promised to help resolve their problem. The original SJKC

Damansara has been shut down for more than seven years thanks to MCA leaders like

Chew Mei Fun, Hon Choon Kam, Ling Liong Sik and Ong Ka Ting.We hope more coalitions

and rights groups will send their teams to Machap to highlight their problems, giving BN l

eaders a taste of their own medicine.

I have visited Kg Air Pasir and Machap Baru in a house-to-house campaign with other DAP l

eaders like Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Thomas Su, Vincent Wu, Anthony Loke, M Kula, Fong

 Po Kuan, Goh Leong Sun, Apalasamy and our candidate Liou Chen Kuang. A good number of

leaders and members from Selangor and Negri Sembilan were also with us.

I was very impressed by the twin brothers of Bai Xiao who accompanied us to Machap. They

distributed leaflets and talked to the Machap people from house to house, shop to shop

tirelessly for hours under the sun. The response from the electorates was very encouraging.

Keadilan leaders have been helping the DAP over the last few days and more heavy-weights

will be coming here for campaign. They include Tian Chua, Tan Sr Khalid Ibrahim ( 9 April onwards)

Mustafa Kamil and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar (9 April),

Datin Wan Azizah, Fuziah Salleh and Ezam(10 April) and

Anwar Ibrahim and Sivarasa Rasiah (11 April).

Polling is fixed on 12 April ( Thursday ), a move widely seen as discouraging young voters

(who are working in Singapore and KL) from voting. Shame on you, SPR. You have once

again demonstrated to Malaysians that you behave like the 15th component parties to the BN coalition.

民间组织趁马接补选提出诉求
失望慕斯达法冯镇安冷漠以待

黄勃扬与王慧仪
07年4月8日 下午5:36
malaysiakini
今日是马六甲州马接区补选的“超级星期天”,趁着距离星期四的补选投票日期还有四天的时间,许多朝野领袖尤其是国阵的部长显要,皆现身马接拜访选民拉票。按照往常惯例,一些民间组织也趁机前往补选地区派发本身的传单,宣扬本身的议题,甚至在补选地区遇见高官显要时,趁机当面反映,以期获得关注。近来峰头甚健的新崛起多元种族青年组织――动力青年(Youth For Change)就在今日号召了约60位年轻人及民间组织活跃人士组成“年轻人关政(关心政治)拜访团”乘坐巴士和汽车,今日一早就从吉隆坡出发,一起前往马接区走透透,拜访选民及朝野候选人。随团浩浩荡荡前往马接区拜访的人士,还包括了著名独立电影导演阿米尔,著名英文杂志《Off The Edge》编辑以及其他的媒体记者。不过,在补选期间提出博特拉大学(博大)华文学会申请注册被拒问题的博大华文学会主席郑屺强,却惨遭两名内阁部长高等教育部长慕斯达法和人力资源部部长冯镇安的公然回避,惨吃闭门羹。而曾与白小保校工委会主席熊玉生有“喝茶之约”,以谈论重开白小议题的马青总秘书魏家祥,在马接区不期而遇熊玉生时,却以“改天先”为由敷衍。慕斯达法当提问博华主席“透明”郑屺强是 “年轻人关政拜访团”的参与者之一。他是在甘榜柏美的巴刹以及附近的咖啡店遇到这两位部长,就趋前提出有关博大社团注册被拒的问题,惟却完全不获理睬,一度使得现场气氛异常尴尬。“我是因为看到慕斯达法正亲切的问候当地居民,就走向前表达我的来意。”郑屺强表示,起初慕斯达法(左图)对他的态度还不错,只是当他问到有关“大学社团注册指南”最新的进展时,慕斯达法直接转移视线冷落郑屺强,完全不回应他的提问。“他完全没回应我的提问,好像突然不把我当一回事,然后继续和其他居民拍照问候。”冯镇安:我在吃饭,不要打扰稍后,郑屺强一行人又在一间咖啡店遇到冯镇安。不甘心诉求不获正视的郑屺强再次鼓起勇气,向冯镇安提出了博大华文学会注册被拒的问题。

“但冯镇安竟以‘在吃饭’的理由拒绝和我继续谈下去,并叫我们‘不要打扰他。’”

郑屺强认为,冯镇安(右图)曾担任过马大经济系学院院长,根本不可能不知道大学生面对的问题。

“他还建议我们去找同样身处于马接的慕斯达法反映,还说‘这不关他的事’!”

郑屺强对于部长们接连逃避问题的反应深表失望,并指责敷衍失责。 “我不明白为何身为国会议员、部长、人民代议士的他们,竟然可以用这种不负责任的态度,来回应人民所面对的问题?”

熊玉生:没想到还是那句“改天先”

除了博大华文学会注册遭拒的问题被冷漠以待之外。白小保校工委会和马青总秘书魏家祥之前相约的“喝茶会谈”也没有随着双方在马接区的不期而遇,有任何突破性的进展。

白小保校工委会主席熊玉生是在去年12月,参与由一群年轻人所号召的“黄丝带—与马华领袖喝茶”的场合中,而与魏家祥(左图)邂逅,于是双方就定下了“喝茶会谈”的约定。

“所以我今天在这里(马接)见到他就问起我们的约定,没想到他还是那句‘改天先’来回应我。”

熊玉生表示本身之所以选择参与由动力青年号召的“年轻人关政拜访团”前来拜访马接,是希望透过这次的补选,能够会见一些政党领袖,来争取实现重开白小原校的目标。

博大职员现身记者会拍摄照片

另一方面,正当动力青年以及其他的民间组织人士,今早在马接翁武巴刹毗邻的游乐场举行记者招待会时,突然冒出一辆博特拉大学的校园货车,并走出2位佩戴博大职员证的人士。

这两名不请自来的“博大职员”竟在众目睽睽之下,不断向正在举行记者招待会的“年轻人关政拜访团”参与者拍摄照片,使到现场气氛一时略显紧张。而关政拜访团的参与者也不甘示弱,以反拍摄的手法反制这两名身份存疑的“博大职员”,不过双方并未发生任何肢体上的冲突。

公正党重量级领袖倾巢而出
安华周三为行动党站台造势
■日期/Apr 07, 2007   ■时间/05:45:06 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview 宏祥
           
【本刊林宏祥撰述】人民公正党重量级领袖将倾巢而出,为民主行动党在马六甲马接区(Machap)州议席补选中拉票造势!

该党顾问安华依布拉欣、主席旺阿兹莎(Wan Azizah)、副主席西华拉沙(Sivarasa Rasiah)、慕斯达法卡米尔(Mustaffa Kamil Ayub)、总财政卡立依布拉欣(Khalid Ibrahim)、副总秘书塞维尔(Xavier Jeyakumar)、妇女组主席傅芝雅莎列(Fuziah Salleh)、全国宣传主任蔡添强、前公青团团长依占(Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor)等人,将在投票日(412日)前三天,为民主行动党作最后冲刺。

两党早前为争取在马接补选上阵,不惜在媒体上公然放话,产生摩擦。无论如何,人民公正党内定候选人蔡添强最终选择退让,由民主行动党候选人廖政光重披战袍,单挑国阵候选人。

人民公正党宣传局在今日的文告中解释,由于该党刚在周五(46日)庆祝人民公正党成立八周年纪念,紧接着在砂拉越和沙巴两州进行菁毒貉〔呗匝刑只幔蟛糠种醒肓煨浣允苎鱿曰埃式刂林芤晃梗嘉尴局苯硬斡肼斫又』疃?/FONT>

文告补充道:“不过州级和地方领袖自提名日开始,一直都积极给予行动党协助,其他州属的公正党党员也陆续赶来马接助选,为的是团结所有可以团结的力量,以让马来西亚的在野党联盟能不断前进,以重拳打出一个新的反对政治大版图。”

在提名日当天,除了公青团代团长三苏依斯干达(Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin),早前传言上阵马接补选、也是该党媒体协调主任的林秀凌(上图左一),也前往为民主行动党打气。

安华效应能否冲击国阵?

根据2004年大选时的选民资料,马接州议席选区共有9887名选民,马来人占39.5%、华人占45.7%、印度人占14.5%、其他族群占0.3%。在过去四天,民主行动党助选团多把拉票活动专注于华裔选民地区,无法充分顾及占总选票近四成的马来选民。

一般分析认为,民主行动党寄望安华(右图)能为该党吸引马来选票,趁势扭转乾坤。无论如何,标榜“多元族群政治”的人民公正党领袖,能否以“拒绝种族政治”的招牌,唤引非马来人选票,也是另一个值得关注的现象。

自去年巫统大会上,巫青总团长二度举剑、代表们以煽动族群情绪言论哗众取宠后,华社普遍酝酿着不满情绪,也对束手无策的马华公会领袖感到失望。

该党领袖初步行程如下:

星期一(49日):慕斯达法卡米尔、塞维尔

星期二(410日):旺阿兹莎、傅芝雅沙列、依占;

星期三(411日):安华依布拉欣、西华拉沙。

Malaysiakini

马华女青年团主任临阵退缩
政坛新秀辩论会变人民论坛
郭史光庆
07年4月9日 下午3:57
调整字体大小:

由于马华年轻领袖的临阵退缩,使到动力青年(Youth For Change)在马接主办的“政坛新秀辩论会”临时胎死腹中,被迫改为马接人民论坛,邀请民间组织上台演讲。

这个青年组织原本计划趁着马接补选热潮,邀请来自马华、行动党和人民公正党的年轻领袖,在昨晚于马接峇鲁组屋区进行一场“政坛新秀辩论会”,让政治人物接受选民的检验。

周志琳难敌压力,王乃志有顾虑

不过,动力青年召集人李凯伦昨晚表示,原本答应出席辩论的马华女青年团主任周志琳,据说是党内压力所致,在数天前突然改变主意。

李凯伦透露,他也曾力邀马青明日之星–马六甲市区国会议员王乃志参与辩论,后者起初保持开放的态度,但是后来却为了避免在补选的“敏感时期”出现差错,最后婉拒邀请。

早前盛传将参与马接补选的人民公正党媒体协调主任林秀凌,以及行动党社青团国际秘书李映霞,皆已答应出席辩论会。

基于马华无法派出任何代表,“政坛新秀辩论会”最后改为“马接人民论坛”,让各公民社会组织的代表轮流上台发表他们的诉求,以及对补选的看法。

民间论坛旨让人民发出声音

针对马华领袖临阵退缩的行为,李凯伦(右图)在昨晚的人民论坛上演讲时,毫不客气地进行批判,“很遗憾的是,我们曾经邀请的一些领袖或者重量级代表出席我们的辩论会,由于担心个人及党的政治前途会受到影响,而选择拒绝出席这场辩论会,导致先前的辩论无法进行”。

“这是非常可惜的事件,原本政治人物的使命就是要提升民间的醒觉与政治水平,但是他们却为了个人与自己的政党而选择逃避。”

从晚上8时至10时在马接峇鲁组屋区举办的“如果我是YB…马接人民论坛”邀请了马六甲猪农林卧豹、白沙罗华小(白小)保校工委会主席熊玉生、大马人民之声协调员郑立慷、维护媒体独立撰稿人联盟(WAMI)秘书曾剑鸣、马来西亚选民联盟(Malvu)协调员黄文强,以及马来西亚青年与学生民主运动(学运)文书郑倩仪,轮流上台演讲。

李凯伦强调,这个别开生面的论坛,并没有获得任何政党的赞助,也不是为朝野政党站台,而是旨在发出人民的声音,因此人民才是民主选举的主体。

林卧豹疑收回指令缓兵之计

揭发猪农使用长肉剂而造成举国轰动的林卧豹(左图)表示,尽管猪农们已经按照甲州首席部长的指示,提呈养猪场图测与提升排污系统,但是猪农们却在上个月接获亚罗牙也县署的回函,驳回他们申请将农耕地改为养猪地的转换土地要求。

较后马六甲卫生、人力资源及消费人事务委员会主席佘贵忠行政议员公开指当局错误发出公函后,土地局官员隔日马上骑着电单车,挨家挨户把另一份公函交给猪农,取消之前驳回土地申请的指令,表示该局仍在考虑猪农的申请。

不过,林卧豹并不相信此事纯粹是“错误发函”,而是甲州政府为了避免补选期间出现不利国阵的课题,被迫采取的缓兵之计。

“如果政府的办事效率有那么高,能够在第二天派出官员骑着摩多一家一家收回指示,我们不用等到2020年,2010年就可以成为先进国了。”

忧签署猪农宣誓书更易遭陷害

至于政府强制要求猪农签署宣誓书(Surat Akuan)的政策,林卧豹也不表赞同,担心猪农因此更容易遭人陷害。

他声称,其中一家位于万扰的养猪场,虽然将不可能呈阳性反应的小猪尿液样本交予兽医局检验(长肉剂只用在大猪身上),对方却在离开农场的一小时后,致电告知小猪的尿液样本呈阳性反应,该养猪场最后惨遭关闭,这个例子突显当局的检验方式并不可靠。

由于马六甲养猪业问题多年未解,这名作风强悍的猪农毫不掩饰自己对该州代议士的不满,“代议士是人民的医生,如果无法解决人民的问题,倒不如去扫马路算了!”

熊玉生揶揄生育多没华小好读

昨晚马华与行动党皆有举办活动,不过,仍然有约200名村民围驻观看这场不同于政党拉票活动的“马接人民论坛”。然而,这个郊外选区的人民作风矜持,尽管主持人李凯伦数次呼吁村民上台发表当地人的声音,但是台下村民们始终保持沉默。

甲华青团长房有平也特意从马六甲市区,前来观看这场论坛。

外号“大声公”的熊玉生除了与马接村民分享白小保校运动的斗争经验,也调侃马华妇女组日前赞扬马接村民多生育,壮大华裔人口、捍卫华社政治地位的言论。

“黄燕燕讲你们要生育多点,可是孩子要去哪里读书?去哪里读书?你讲啊?那些做母亲的,要三更半夜去排队抢学额,这是很不公平的。如果政府是开放的,建多几间华小给你,我们还要争什么?”

熊玉生草根又有趣的演讲,赢得村民们不断的掌声。白小保校工委会也仿效马华的选举策略,现场进行卡拉OK表演,不过,唱的却是保校运动的主题曲《把根留住》。

撰稿人亲往马接突破媒体封锁

另外,维护媒体独立撰稿人联盟秘书曾剑鸣(左图)在论坛上,回顾2001年马华收购《南洋商报》引起华社发起反对政党收购媒体运动的起源,并分析《1984年出版与印刷法令》赋予部长太大权力,导致媒体拒绝报道一些“敏感”新闻的现象。

这名自称是“书生”的社运分子,却能以简单草根的方式,带出媒体独立的重要性,“把媒体控制在政党的手中,就等于把你的眼睛刺瞎,把你的耳朵弄聋,听不到,搞到我们要来马接宣传,有好有坏,多认识村民好嘛,对不对?”

“补选为什么好玩?有人说是吃吃喝喝好玩,可是我们认为补选好玩,是因为可以听到不同的声音…如果部长东西做好了,我们就不用来了;如果部长把所有真相告诉你了,我也不用来了,我们要来,就是要告诉你不同的声音。”

曾剑鸣也通过投影机,向村民播放遭媒体封杀的吉隆坡反对大道涨价示威录影片段。

争取学生权利的学运,则委派郑倩仪向马接村民控诉政府一方面要大专生建立独立思想、关心政治,另一方面却通过《1971年大专法令》,禁止大专生参与社会与政治活动,打压大专生在校园内的结社自由。

这个论坛是动力青年主办的“年轻人关政拜访团”的其中一项节目。该组织在昨日带领了约60名年轻人及民间组织活跃人士,从早到晚在马接选区内走透透,拜访选民及朝野候选人。

Rawang villagers bring their case to Machap on Sunday

April 7, 2007

The Kg Sg Terentang Rawang affected by the upgradation of high tension transmission towers certainly know the true colour of MCA ministers and state assemblymen.

Some 40 of them will charter a bus to visit Machap on Sunday 8 April 2007, armed with protest banners and placards. They were very disappointed with their local MP Chan Kong Choy, state assemblyman Tang See Hang and MCA President Ong Ka Ting for not helping them to resolve their problem. They will share their “kisah benar” with the Machap people and hope the Machap voters can sympathise with their plight and predicament. I will be there to assist them in my capacity as their advisor.

Raja Nazrin: Be colour-blind

April 6, 2007
We like to say that our youth are the future of this country, but then we proceed to ignore or marginalise them. We want our future generations to be able to think and act wisely, but then we do not give them sufficient opportunities to do so.” —Raja Nazrin

 In recent times, it has become usual to try and place the blame for the disintegrating state of world affairs on the doorstep of religion. This is a misunderstanding of the first order. Religion is not the cause of societal dystrophy; it is the antidote. It is a social stabiliser that allows believers to reconnect to values that are fast being lost in today’s ever more materialistic and self-centred world.” – Raja Nazrin

“Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun. Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.”- Raja Nazrin

“I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness. And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option.”- Raja Nazrin

IMO, the speech delivered by Raja Nazrin Shah for young Malaysians should be read by all Malaysians, from an ordinary citizen right up to the prime minister of this country.

I will try my best to translate the speech into Chinese and Malay ( and get an expert to do it in Tamil). Watch this blog.

I thank the Sun for publishing the full text of his speech.

EXTRA! :: Cover Stories – the Sun 6 March 2007

Raja Nazrin: Be colour-blind
Malaysians of all races and religions have a place in this country. Sharing a common destiny, we must put our shoulder to the yoke and work to build the nation, in particular preserving the national unity we have enjoyed through 50 years of nationhood. Given our plural composition, it is a difficult task but it must be done for failure would prove too costly. The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, tells of the ways to do this in his keynote address at the Young Malaysians’ Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development on Tuesday. Here is the full text of his speech.

Raja Nazrin is greeted by Malaysian Bar Council
president Ambiga Sreenevasan on arrival at the Bar
Council premises in Kuala Lumper for the function

It is my pleasure to be here to deliver the keynote address at this Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Challenges and Prospects for Nation Building. I am always happy to take part in an event where there are many young informed Malaysians. I find that this is time well spent. Not only does it give me a chance to share my thoughts, but it also lets me do a bit of opinion research among the younger generation.

We like to say that our youth are the future of this country, but then we proceed to ignore or marginalise them. We want our future generations to be able to think and act wisely, but then we do not give them sufficient opportunities to do so.

In my view, this is not a good way to prepare those who will take our place. If the young are to be good leaders and citizens, they must be exposed to more than just abstract concepts. Even those nation states which have failed miserably have had great political ideals.

I believe that good and upright leadership must be demonstrated. It has to be both taught and observed at work. Then, those who are found to be able, must be mentored by those who are capable. In this way, success can be learned and replicated.

Finally, the young must be given responsibilities they can handle. They should be allowed to make mistakes along the way as part of their overall learning process. If we do these things, our actions will echo loudly into the future.

My address this morning is on the challenges and prospects of nation-building, a topic that is of the greatest and gravest importance. Nation-building is essential to national unity which lies at the heart of what this country was, is and will be.

With the passage of time, it seems that we are starting to forget this and it is imperative that we do not. In the time available, I hope to say enough to provide some fuel for the discussions to follow. It is my earnest wish that you will gain some further perspectives on the nature of nation- building and that you will also deliberate on specific actionable ways to further it in this country.

Confucius insisted that language must be properly used if things are to get done, if justice is not to go astray, and if people are not to “stand about in helpless confusion”. He disapproved of those who misused words to hide their true intentions and actions.

So what exactly is nation-building? Not surprisingly, there are many definitions, some which differ by a little and others by quite a lot. In his book, The Making of a Nation, for example, Prof Cheah Boon Kheng defined it as “both economic progress and socio-political integration of a nation, that is prosperity and national unity”.

This captures what are hopefully the two end-results of nation building, but it makes no mention of its nature and process. I prefer the more common understanding, which is that it is the use of state power across different dimensions to ensure that a country is politically stable and viable in the long term. These dimensions include ethnicity and religion.

As a brief footnote, it should be noted that nation-building is a heated and even hated notion in some parts of the world. The main reasons for this are, first, that it is taking place in the midst of great domestic turmoil and, second, that it is primarily initiated and managed by foreign powers.

Trying to cobble a functioning state by papering over deep social and political rifts is, of course, easier said than done. History has shown us, time and again, that it is much easier to break down, rather than build up, nations.

In the case of Malaysia, nation- building has occurred in generally peaceful circumstances. It was not imposed by another country. And it is undertaken mainly by collective choice rather than compulsion.

The fact that we have been able to forge a nation without resorting to the rule of the gun has made us something of a rarity and a case to be studied, if not emulated. It has allowed a relatively effective system of governance to develop. Our track record in development and resolving problems such as illiteracy, poverty and poor health has been good.

There is, of course, much more that can be done. Our institutions of governance are far from perfect and quality improvements will probably occupy us for at least the next 50 years, if not longer. Nevertheless, for all the criticisms that have been made, it is only common sense that we could not have survived, let alone prosper, these last 50 years if government institutions had not been responsive or effective.

So, what are the central challenges to nation-building going forward? Let me speak first more generally about the world, and then move specifically to Malaysia.

To my mind, there are many challenges, but one that stands out most is that of having to balance the need for change with that of continuity.

Globalisation, in particular, has unleashed sweeping economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have weakened national institutions, values and norms. It is as if all the boats on the ocean had suddenly lost their anchors, rudders and compasses overnight.

Naturally, this has produced a strong reaction in the form of a desire to preserve identity, character and tradition. These are among the strongest motivations known to mankind and have been at the foreground or background of practically every conflict that has ever been waged. Add to this, a deep sense of deprivation, powerlessness and injustice, both real and imagined, and the tension between change and continuity mounts greatly.

Managing change on a national level is never easy, and certainly not on the scale and speed that we are witnessing. Multi-ethnic countries have to be especially watchful, and particularly if they have a weak sense of national collective identity.

In the absence of a strong binding nationalism, they are prone to polarisation and competition along ethno-religious lines. The state, which may well start out by being a relatively honest broker, can become increasingly pressured to act in ways that favour the interests of one group over another.

If the pendulum swings too far in one direction, dissatisfaction and frustrations will inevitably result. These can be expressed in ways that range from passive non-cooperation to active opposition and even violent conflict. To a large extent, this has led to the fragmentation of states.

Countries need to recognise the larger macro forces at work and understand their implications. They have to engage creatively to ensure that there are sufficient investments in social capital and cohesion. They must create and capitalise on cooperative systems within societies.

In recent times, it has become usual to try and place the blame for the disintegrating state of world affairs on the doorstep of religion. This is a misunderstanding of the first order. Religion is not the cause of societal dystrophy; it is the antidote. It is a social stabiliser that allows believers to reconnect to values that are fast being lost in today’s ever more materialistic and self-centred world.

What does Malaysia have to do to ensure that it continues to be successful at nation-building? Psychologists say that our short-term memory can only hold seven items. Let me outline seven guidelines that I think will have to be borne in mind in future nation-building efforts.

First, Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun. Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.

In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulate the rights, hopes and aspirations of the population in a way that no other documents do. The integrity of these documents must be defended and promoted, especially the first.

Second, when we seek solutions to problems in nation-building, we must be careful not to assume away problems. Nation- building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. If we all walked, talked and thought the same, it would probably not be needed.

There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant. The existence of these groups, however, does not mean that nation-building is a futile exercise.

It does mean that we must be prepared to negotiate our way through and around these differences. We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.

Third, nation-building requires accommodation and compromise. In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical. We should not allow perfection to be the enemy of the good. Yes, we should seek the best solutions and expect the highest standards of performance.

But we should also be prepared to sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole. The virtues of pure self-interest are largely a myth. What seems to be a reality is that individuals end up worse off when they act out of self-interest, as opposed to acting in their collective group interests.

Fourth, if nation-building is to be successful, enforced solutions must be avoided. Nation-building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. Might cannot, and must not, be shown to be right. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.

Fifth, nation-building occurs when society is open, tolerant and forward-looking. So important are these values that they are embedded in Vision 2020’s nine strategic challenges, as are those of mature democracy, caring society and innovation. Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.

Sixth, nation-building is a process rather than an outcome. When Malaysia started off 50 years ago, there were no examples to study. There were no manuals to follow. Mistakes were made and, to a greater or lesser extent, lessons have been learned.

While a sense of impatience is perhaps fully understandable, nation-building takes place over a period of time and only with persistence. Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.

Seventh, the political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad. I know that this statement is virtually self-evident, but it is a fact that many countries are as likely to punish good behaviour as to reward it. After all, if there are benefits for corruption, then there is a real cost to being honest. The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high.

I believe fostering national unity is the responsibility of every Malaysian. However, schools, institutions of higher learning and sports centres have a very special role to play. This is because the sense of national unity is best inculcated in the young.

Through textbooks, sports and interaction, educators should eliminate ethnic stereotypes. Through the imaginative teaching of the history of Islamic, Chinese and Indian civilisation, educators could foster greater understanding among different ethnic groups.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe this is true. To me, the village comprises three main institutions – family, school and community.

From birth, we should be taught to respect and honour each other’s culture and heritage. Learning to interact with others is part of this process. Playing with children of other races on the playground and in friends’ homes, we learn to go beyond the colour lines early in life. In school we should be taught about other cultures and beliefs under the same roof as others of different ethnic groups – once again cutting through the colour lines.

I am aware that there are many Malaysians who are deeply troubled at the state of national unity in this country. What I have tried to do today is disabuse you of the notion that there are any “quick fix” solutions in nation-building.

If you look closely enough at any country, even those that are regarded today as highly successful, such as Japan, you will find there have been episodes in their past where events were very tenuous.

I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness. And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option.


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The voice of conscience from the Crown Prince of Perak

April 5, 2007

Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak must be commended for his boldness and sincerity. He said all  Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution.

What Raja Nazrin, the Crown Prince of Perak, has addressed in a recent forum organised by the Bar Council and Transparency International KL Chapter certainly deserved our attention. Umno leaders who subscribe to the Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu) concept should heed the call and abandon all race based policies for the good of all Malaysians.

the Sun today carries his speech in full. Grab a copy today. It’s FREE! (Congrats to the Sun for achieving a circulation of 275 thousand as endorsed by ABC)

Raja Nazrin: M’sians must defend, promote integrity of Constitution

 

Cindy Tham
The Sun

All Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said today.

The Raja Muda listed this as one of seven things Malaysia has to do to ensure it continues to be successful at nation building.

“All Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, have a place in this nation, and society must recognise that they share a common home and responsibility to build the nation together.

“Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun.

“Only when each citizen believes he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.”

He said the Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulated the rights, hopes and aspirations of the people.

He stressed that the integrity of these documents, especially the Constitution, must be defended and promoted.

Raja Nazrin said these in his keynote address at the Young Malaysians’ Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Prospects and Challenges for Nation Building.

The discussion was organised by the Bar Council’s National Young Lawyers Committee and Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute’s Centre for Public Policy Studies.

Eleven panellists shared their views at the discussion, attended by some 150 participants from the legal fraternity, non-governmental organisations, government departments and the public.

The other six guidelines for successful nation-building are:

* In seeking solutions to problems in nation building, don’t assume away problems.

“Nation-building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant.”

He pointed out that the existence of such groups meant that society must be prepared to “negotiate our way through and around these differences”.

“We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.”

* Nation-building requires accommodation and compromise.

“In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical.”

Nazrin said to seek the best solutions, society should be prepared to “sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole”.

* Avoid enforced solutions.

“Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. ‘Might’ cannot and must not be shown to be ‘right’. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.”

* Be open, tolerant and forward-looking

“Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.”

* Nation building is a process, not an outcome

It takes time and persistence to build a nation. “Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.”

* Political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad.

“The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high.”

Rawang villagers brought their case to Parliament

April 2, 2007

Ong explains their proposed alternative to Lim Kit Siang and Wan Azizah. Goh explains to Chong Eng and M.Kula (not in the picture).

Some 40 villagers who were affected by the 275KV high tension transmission towers project from Kg Sg Terentang Rawang met the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, MP Chong Eng, MP M.Kula and MP Wan Azizah (PKR) at the Parliament House this morning. They presented a memorandum to Lim after explaning their case to the MPs. Lim will raise the matter in the Parliament besides holding a discussion with Lim Kean Yaik on the matter.

Basically, the villagers wanted to remain in the village and they hope the authority could adopt the alternative route (drawn up and submitted by the 5-men committee representing all 51 affected families) for the high tension transmission towers. In earlier meetings, Minister Lim Kean Yaik has basically accepted the proposal but the Selangor state exco has rejected it on grounds unknown to the villagers.

M.Batumalai and me at the controversial site in Rawang

Their local elected representatives Tang See Hang and Chan Kong Choy (both from MCA) have sided with the TNB and Selangor state government instead of fighting for the villagers. They have openly declared that they have washed their hands in the matter.

On the other hand, the land office has collaborated with TNB to proceed with the project. Letters of compensation have been sent out to various landownners after the calling off of the cheques presentation ceremony held at the Selayang land office on March 27, 2007. The ceremony was called off after our strong objection.

We are still waiting for the meeting to be held within two weeks between Selangor State Exco member Abdul Fatah and the 5-men committee. I will be attending the meeting as their Advisor.

Villagers in stand-off with TNB
Yoges Palaniappan-Malaysiakini
Apr 2, 07 5:19pm Adjust font size:

Some 20 villagers from Kampung Sungai Terentang, Rawang, have submitted a complaint over the installation of high-tension electric cables and a transmission tower in their village to Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

The group, who handed Lim a letter of complaint in Parliament House today, said they have been forced to turn to the opposition because of a deadlock in their bid to negotiate with government authorities.

Their plight began in 2005 when Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and the Gombak land office sent them notice to vacate their houses, to make way for installation of the infrastructure.

The villagers then formed a five-member action committee which met local elected representatives to resolve their problem. However, they were later told that nothing could be done as this is a “national project that involves public interest”.

“The committee proposed an alternate route for the cables but unfortunately, the state government rejected this,” said committee member Ong Tiong Huei.

“The route proposed is over vacant agricultural land but they don’t want to consider it, citing several reasons like cost and time constraints.”

He pointed out that the proposed route would not only benefit the villagers but TNB as well in the long run, should it want to upgrade the infrastructure “since this is an unoccupied land”.

“We’ve been ordered to move several times, but villagers refuse to do so because they don’t understand what is happening. The village already has two high-tension cables running through it.”

Compensation offer

Another committee member, Ong Tiong Chin said TNB has offered a compensation plan, but that the villagers have rejected this.

“The plan does not state a definite sum, it only states that the villagers are entitled to an amount between RM31,000 and RM167,000,” he said.

He also said the most recent notice instructed the villagers to attend a cheque presentation ceremony, where they are to receive compensation.

“This is wrong, we haven’t been given any (final) eviction notice. Arranging a cheque presentation ceremony assumes that we will leave our homes.”

The villagers, who are prepared for the worst, have set up a legal fund, in case they have to take the case to the court.

Pandamaran assemblyman was called a liar by his voters

March 25, 2007

I was listening to the problems facing the Jalan Papan residents. They said they were cheated by the local MCA state assemblyman Dr Tee Kim Poh.

Tee must honour his election pledges and quickly find a solution for the Jalan Papan residents.

I have just returned from Pandamaran, Klang with EanYong Hian Wah, Lau Weng San, Sam Chong, Wey Keng and Francis Chang. We were distributing the anti toll hike leaflets(in 4 languages) in the market place together with Tee Boon Hock, Peter Tan and other local members. Our local chaps also set up a voter registration counter at the China Town Food Court near the market.

In the press conference, I touched on voters registration (urging all youths to register as voters at any post office or register with the DAP before 31 March 2007) and the toll hike demonstration plan ( 22 April at 4pm at the Leisure Mall,Cheras). Eanyong Hian Wah, the Selangor DAP chairman, wanted the government to disclose all toll agreements and bring down the toll prices. He also wanted the Umno-led BN government to build more Chinese primary schools in Pandamaran.

I also thanked PKR for avoiding a three-cornered tussle in Machap besides asking the opposition parties (including PKR) to help in the campaign. I also took the opportunity to urge Machap voters to focus on national issues such as toll and fuel hikes, educational and economic issues, abuses of power and corruption.

All the 2,000 leaflets we brought were distributed within one hour. The response was very encouraging. The hawkers (mainly Chinese and Malays and some Indians) responded positively to our campaign. One Malay lady responded by saying ” lawan habis-habis” when I told her that we were fighting against the Kesas toll hike (increased from RM1.50 to RM2.20). Another Malay hawker actually said “tol jangan naik, bagi Rocket naik tak apa.” One Chinese trader asked why the BN government refuses to reduce the price of petrol now that the price of crude oil has dropped significantly. You can see them reading our leaflet or keeping it for future reading. This is another indication that the toll and petrol hikes were certainly very unpopular decision.

Dr Tee must keep to his election pledges and help find a solution for the Jalan Papan residents.

At the end of our leafleting campaign, we met a procession from the local Jalan Papan squatters. Some 80 of them, mostly Indian settlers, were holding banners and placards, calling the local MCA state assemblyman a liar. They called him a ” xiao ren  Ph D holder who went back to his pledges and promises”. They said the man not only did not help to resolve their problems (providing an opportunity to buy medium cost houses with a discounted price after the demolition of their homes in Jalan Papan), he now interferes with the negotiations between the Jalan Papan residents and the developer. The group were walking from street to street with their protest banners and placards. Just imagine how frustrated they were with Dr Tee, the local MCA warlord who happens to be the Klang MCA division head.