Justice For All Malaysia

Archive for January 2009

Lagi Adun Perak pasang niat keluar BN
Muda Mohd Noor | Jan 28, 09 12:39pm malaysiakini.com
Selepas kejutan yang dibuat Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Bota, kini wakil rakyat Lintang pula Datuk Ahmad Fakeh Adam sedang menimbang untuk meninggalkan Umno “beberapa hari lagi”.

“Ketika ini 50-50. (Niat) nak kekal (dalam Umno) dengan masuk pembangkang sama banyak.

“Orang PAS, PKR dan DAP hari-hari telefon dan hantar SMS. Yang dah datang jumpa pun ada, yang nak jumpa pun ada lagi,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini hari ini.

Beliau bagaimanapun belum memutuskan parti pembangkang yang bakal disertainya jika meninggalkan BN.

Beliau menambah, ada pemimpin DAP ingin menawarkan jawatan menteri besar Perak tetapi “saya tahu itu gula-gula sahaja.”

“(Tetapi) hati rasa hendak keluar (Umno). Kita (Adun) telah dipinggirkan.

“Kami seolah-olah tidak penting. Yang lebih penting sekarang ialah ketua Umno bahagian,” katanya.

Ahmad Fakeh yang kalah bertanding jawatan ketua Umno bahagian Sungai Siput, Oktober lalu, berkata, ada beberapa Adun lagi yang tidak puas hati dengan keadaan yang berlaku sekarang.

Beliau kalah kepada timbalannya Datuk Mohd Zulkifli Harun dalam pertandingan satu lawan satu jawatan tersebut.

Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (Adun Kubu Gajah), Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar (Pengkalan Baharu) dan Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat) diura-urakan turut kecewa.

Ahmad Fakeh bagaimanapun tidak pasti sama ada mereka juga berhasrat untuk meninggalkan Umno dan menyertai parti pembangkang.

“Saya sudah membawa perkara ini dalam mesyuarat Umno Perak tetapi tiada tindakan yang diambil.

“Tetapi bila (Datuk) Nasharuddin Hashim (Adun Bota) keluar parti, baru kelam-kabut, baru kami ini penting,” katanya.

Nasharuddin mengumumkan menyertai PKR hujung minggu lalu, menjelang sambutan Tahun Baru Cina.

Ahmad Fakeh berkata, beliau kecewa kerana kerajaan pusat lambat memberi peruntukan kewangan walaupun wang sudah ada.

Sebaliknya, kata beliau, peringkat persekutuan begitu cepat meluluskan bantuan kepada ketua Umno bahagian.

Sebagai contoh, katanya, Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah mudah memberikan bantuan kepada ketua bahagian walaupun mereka bukan wakil rakyat.

“Ini menjadi masalah kepada Adun yang tidak memegang jawatan ketua bahagian,” katanya lagi.

Bantuan tetap kerajaan pusat kepada setiap Adun ialah RM300,000 setahun, tidak termasuk peruntukan tambahan yang perlu dimohon, tambahnya.

Katanya lagi, seseorang Adun sukar membantu penduduk di kawasan yang diwakilinya tanpa wang peruntukan tersebut.

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Probe paper on Kugan’s death almost completed
Jan 26, 09 8:09pm

MCPX

The investigation papers on the death of lock-up detainee Kugan Ananthan will be completed tomorrow and submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Wednesday.

Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the police will need to interview several more witnesses, which could be done by tomorrow.

“Yesterday we have taken statements from 11 police officers who were on duty at the time of Kugan’s death.

“We have also called in several witnesses who were there when Kugan was arrested and during his death.

“The witnesses’ accounts are crucial to our investigations,” he said today, as reported by Bernama.

Khalid also said that the investigations were carried out in a professional and fair manner by a special team from Bukit Aman.

He added that the police had also taken statements from individuals who saw police arrested Kugan on Jan 15.

At the same time, Khalid also urged the public not to speculate on the second post-mortem carried out on Kugan’s body yesterday.

“The post-mortem was carried out independently,” he said.

Kugan, who was arrested on suspicion of being involved in luxury car theft in Sungai Chua, Kajang, died while in detention at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya on Jan 20.

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Murugiah: AG classified Kuhan’s death as murder
Husna Yusop sun2surf.com


T. Murugiah

PUTRAJAYA (Jan 23, 2009) : Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has classified the case of A. Kuhan who died in police custody on Tuesday as murder, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment T. Murugiah said today.

He said Abdul Gani has instructed the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of the 22-year old suspected car thief and has given an assurance that the culprits will be prosecuted, possibly next week.

“He has also assured me that Kuhan’s family can get their lawyers when the case is being tried and the investigation process will be carried out smoothly. Most likely, those involved will be charged in court next week.

“There will be no cover-up by anyone,” he told reporters at the Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) here today.

Murugiah thanked Abdul Gani for his quick action and being sensitive towards the situation faced by the deceased’s family members.

Murugiah who was in Sabah earlier today said Abdul Gani has called him, after going through the case which has earlier been classified as death due to pulmonary edema or fluid accumulation in the lungs, and asked him to inform Kuhan’s family and the public about this latest development.

He advised family members to be patient, have faith in the investigation process, wait for the result of the investigation and not to organise street demonstrations.

Murugiah said Abdul Gani will call up both doctors – from Serdang Hospital and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre – who have come up with the post-mortem reports to get their statements and check whether beatings can result in accumulation of fluid in lungs.

Kuhan was arrested on Jan 14 to assist police in several robbery and car theft cases. With his assistance, police recovered 15 stolen luxury vehicles. However, he had collapsed and died during interrogation.

Asked whether Abdul Gani was referring to the police when he said the culprits will be nabbed soon, Murugiah told reporters he has no knowledge about it but said “I don’t think he was referring to the police.”

On whether a second post-mortem will be conducted on Kuhan’s body, Murugiah said Abdul Gani has told him the family had requested for it but he (Murugiah) did not know whether it will be done or not.

Meanwhile, on Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar saying that Murugiah and fellow Deputy Minister Datuk S. K Devamany will have their statements recorded in connection with the morgue incident in which Kuhan’s body was tampered with, Murugiah said the police statement was “uncalled for.”

“We were given an impression by the police as if we had barged into the mortuary room. They made us look like gangsters. We went there after receiving calls from the deceased’s family members,” he said with regret.


Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail

Murugiah said being the deputy minister in charge of the bureau, he felt responsible to answer to the calls and visit them at the hospital, adding it has nothing to do with the fact that the case had involved an Indian.

“I have the right to be there. I have a job to do. The bureau is expected to act as the middleman, to calm things down. They (police) have to respect the protocol.

” We are deputy ministers. There are procedures for this. They (police) can call us nicely instead of making the statement which has tarnished our image,” he said, adding he has called the police as soon as he came into the office today and given his statement.

Murugiah said he went there to pacify the family members and avoid further provocations which could result in racial sentiments and untowards incidents, adding he has also talked to the hospital director about the matter the following day.


He added that when he reached the hospital at about 12.30am Wednesday, the mortuary door was opened and the crowd was around the body.

He went in for a while but stepped outside later as he could not stand the smell inside.

He added that he will pass the written report he received from Kuhan’s mother to Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok who has said he will bring up the matter to the cabinet after his Chinese New Year leave.
Murugiah: AG classified Kuhan’s death as murder
Husna Yusop


T. Murugiah

PUTRAJAYA (Jan 23, 2009) : Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has classified the case of A. Kuhan who died in police custody on Tuesday as murder, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Deparment T. Murugiah said today.

He said Abdul Gani has instructed the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of the 22-year old suspected car thief and has given an assurance that the culprits will be prosecuted, possibly next week.

“He has also assured me that Kuhan’s family can get their lawyers when the case is being tried and the investigation process will be carried out smoothly. Most likely, those involved will be charged in court next week.

“There will be no cover-up by anyone,” he told reporters at the Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) here today.

Murugiah thanked Abdul Gani for his quick action and being sensitive towards the situation faced by the deceased’s family members.

Murugiah who was in Sabah earlier today said Abdul Gani has called him, after going through the case which has earlier been classified as death due to pulmonary edema or fluid accumulation in the lungs, and asked him to inform Kuhan’s family and the public about this latest development.

He advised family members to be patient, have faith in the investigation process, wait for the result of the investigation and not to organise street demonstrations.

Murugiah said Abdul Gani will call up both doctors – from Serdang Hospital and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre – who have come up with the post-mortem reports to get their statements and check whether beatings can result in accumulation of fluid in lungs.

Kuhan was arrested on Jan 14 to assist police in several robbery and car theft cases. With his assistance, police recovered 15 stolen luxury vehicles. However, he had collapsed and died during interrogation.

Asked whether Abdul Gani was referring to the police when he said the culprits will be nabbed soon, Murugiah told reporters he has no knowledge about it but said “I don’t think he was referring to the police.”

On whether a second post-mortem will be conducted on Kuhan’s body, Murugiah said Abdul Gani has told him the family had requested for it but he (Murugiah) did not know whether it will be done or not.

Meanwhile, on Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar saying that Murugiah and fellow Deputy Minister Datuk S. K Devamany will have their statements recorded in connection with the morgue incident in which Kuhan’s body was tampered with, Murugiah said the police statement was “uncalled for.”

“We were given an impression by the police as if we had barged into the mortuary room. They made us look like gangsters. We went there after receiving calls from the deceased’s family members,” he said with regret.


Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail

Murugiah said being the deputy minister in charge of the bureau, he felt responsible to answer to the calls and visit them at the hospital, adding it has nothing to do with the fact that the case had involved an Indian.

“I have the right to be there. I have a job to do. The bureau is expected to act as the middleman, to calm things down. They (police) have to respect the protocol.

” We are deputy ministers. There are procedures for this. They (police) can call us nicely instead of making the statement which has tarnished our image,” he said, adding he has called the police as soon as he came into the office today and given his statement.

Murugiah said he went there to pacify the family members and avoid further provocations which could result in racial sentiments and untowards incidents, adding he has also talked to the hospital director about the matter the following day.


He added that when he reached the hospital at about 12.30am Wednesday, the mortuary door was opened and the crowd was around the body.

He went in for a while but stepped outside later as he could not stand the smell inside.

He added that he will pass the written report he received from Kuhan’s mother to Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok who has said he will bring up the matter to the cabinet after his Chinese New Year leave.

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Bedah siasat kedua siap..
Jan 25, 09 11:58pm
Bedah siasat kedua ke atas mayat A Kugan siap pada kira-kira jam 9.30 malam ini di Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM).

Bedah siasat itu, yang bermula pada kira-kira jam 2.30 petang, dijalankan oleh pakar patologi yang dikenalpasti sebagai Dr Prashant.

Ketika dihubungi, Ahli Parlimen Kapar, S Manikavasagam memberitahu Malaysiakini bahawa doktor telah memberi penerangan ringkas kepada keluarga Kugan, peguam mereka N N Surendran dan ahli-ahli Parlimen yang hadir.

Penerangan tersebut mengambil masa lebih daripada 30 minit mengenai keputusan bedah siasat tersebut.

Bagaimanapun, keputusan bedah siasat itu tidak boleh didedahkan menunggu siasatan terhadap kes kematian Kugan.

Manikavasagam berkata selain beliau, ahli Parlimen Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo dan ahli Parlimen DAP bagi Teluk Intan, M Manogaran turut hadir di PPUM.

Ambil contoh tisu

“Apa yang kami mahu ialah anggota polis terbabit didakwa terhadap apa yang berlaku,” katanya, sambil menambah bahawa pakar patologi itu turut mengambil contoh tisu dari mayat Kugan.

kugan detainee death morgue scene 220109Kugan, 22, ditahan reman sejak minggu lepas kerana didakwa terlibat dalam kes samun kereta mewah, sebelum meninggal dunia ketika dalam tahanan di lokap Balai Polis USJ 8, Subang Jaya pada 11 pagi Selasa lalu.

Keluarganya yang tidak berpuas hati dengan kematian Kugan mendakwa dia didera polis kerana ada banyak kesan kecederaan pada tubuhnya walaupun laporan bedah siasat menunjukkan kematiannya akibat paru-paru berair. Mereka mahu bedah siasat dilakukan sekali lagi.

Ekoran kecaman orang ramai, Peguan Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail telah mengklafikasikannya sebagai kes bunuh.

Sebelas anggota polis berpangkat konstabel dan lans koperal dari balai polis Subang Taipan – tempat Kugan meninggal dunia  – telah dipindahkan serta merta kelmarin.

Ketua Polis Selangor, Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar dilaporkan berkata, kesemua mereka kini ditempatkan melakukan kerja-kerja pejabat di ibupejabat polis kontinjen di Petaling Jaya.

Laporan bulan depan

Sementara itu, Surendran juga enggan memberi komen apabila ditanya sama ada keputusan bedah siasat itu menyokong dakwaan keluarga Kugan bahawa wujud unsur-unsur jenayah dalam kematian anak mereka itu.

Menurutnya, laporan penuh mengenai bedah siasat kedua itu dijangka akan disiapkan awal bulan depan.

Mayat Kugan dijangka dikebumikan Rabu ini.

Kelmarin, pengerusi DAP, Karpal Singh menggesa pihak kuasa mendakwa doktor yang melakukan bedah siasat ke atas mayat Kugan yang didakwanya membuat laporan palsu.

Assistant minister quits party post
Tony Thien | Jan 24, 09 1:24pm
An assistant minister from Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp) yesterday resigned from his post as the party’s assistant publicity chief as he felt he could no longer perform his duties due to being constantly

MCPX

sidelined by other party leaders in Sibu.

Dr Soon Choon Teck, 65, assistant minister of housing and state assemblyperson for Dudong since 1998, faxed his letter of resignation to party secretary-general Sim Kheng Hui on Friday morning. He also posted the letter to Sim at party headquarters in Kuching.

Confirming his decision, Soon told Malaysiakini that he could no longer discharge his duties as assistant publicity chief and that the only way forward for him was to resign.

He added that he was aware of requests by grassroots for him to resign as state assemblyperson. “I have not given any thought to that. Nothing at the moment,” he said.

george chan hong namSoon, one of the party’s seven state elected representatives, had a serious falling out with Sibu party leaders, led by senior minister and deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh, after he (Soon) sided with party president and Deputy Chief Minister Dr George Chan (right) in a party conflict two years ago.

The two factions in the party appeared to have set aside their differences and put up a united front during recent party elections and decided to give the party a chance to recover after its serious debacle in the May 2006 state elections, when it lost badly to the opposition, especially DAP.

supp and dap and voters and sarawak state electionThe DAP took six of the party’s state seats, with PKR taking one and an Independent, now pro-BN, taking a Dayak majority seat. Supp managed to retain the other state seats with reduced majorities and there is a big question of the party’s future, especially with the coming state elections in two to three years’ time.

Soon is now serving his fourth term as the elected representative for Dudong and sources said the party has already decided to replace him in the coming elections.

There has also been talk that he or his supporters have been holding talks with the opposition, especially PKR, about him leaving Supp to join the opposition party.

However, Soon has denied such rumours, saying that he will remain loyal to Supp.

Political observers say that Soon may be dropped at the next state cabinet reshuffle expected to take place in March unless Dr Chan can put his foot down and stop it since he (Soon) has remained a loyal Chan supporter and can work with party colleagues from Kuching and Miri.

dr soon choon teck 230109The opposition is said to be interested in luring Soon over but is not prepared to guarantee he will be re-nominated for the same seat under an opposition ticket.

Conflict to be settled soon

On a related matter, Supp’s management committee is expected to submit a formula to resolve the conflicts on the formation of the Dudong branch to the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC) soon.

Publicity and information secretary Alfred Yap yesterday said the committee had been working out a formula to keep everybody happy.

“Actually, our management committee deliberated on the matter on Wednesday, and we are working out a certain formula so that it will be endorsed by the CWC with regards to the formation of the Dudong branch,” Yap told reporters at a press conference during Supp’s Chinese New Year open house at the party’s headquarters in Kuching yesterday.

The conflict over the Dudong branch set-up cropped up last year when two pro-tem committees were set up, one with Dudong assemblyman Dr Soon as the chairperson and Lanang MP Tiong Thai King leading the other.

To resolve the matter, Supp on March 10 last year, called for a CWC meeting, which decided to set up a co-ordination committee to resolve the ‘twin’ committees within three months.

The party leadership has targeted to resolve the conflict by May this year.

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Elected rep spurned by own party Tony Thien | Jan 20, 09 5:27pm A Sarawak United People’s Party (Supp) elected representative is finding himself increasingly sidelined and ignored by other party leaders in Sibu after he sided with Deputy Chief Minister and party president Dr George Chan in a party conflict last year. MCPX george chanAlthough the factions, led by Chan (left) and the other led by deputy secretary-general and senior state minister Wong Soon Koh appeared publicly to have set aside their differences, Dr Soon Choon Teck, the Dudong state assemblyperson and an assistant state minister and a staunch Chan supporter, has continued to be given the cold shoulder and boycotted from party activities. law hieng dingSoon’s decision to throw his support behind Chan as the latter’s leadership was challenged by all Sibu elected representatives from the party, including former Sarikei MP and party deputy president Law Hieng Ding (right), was seen as a betrayal of the Sibu Foochow cause. Since then, he has been sidelined and ignored by the Sibu branch led by Wong. Soon today confirmed to Malaysiakini that the party’s Sibu leaders have boycotted him for the past two years. However, he was quick to say that he and his supporters in Dudong had no intention of leaving the party to join PKR or any other party. There have been rumours after the falling out between the medical doctor-turned-politician and his colleagues that he was secretly in talks with some opposition parties. War of words Asked about rumours that he was about to call a press conference to make a major announcement, Soon said, “Nonsense. No such thing.” When asked whether he would consider resigning if pushed to a corner, he said: “No.” Things got worse a few days ago when Wong and Soon engaged in an acrimonious verbal exchange over the recommendations for new councillors in Sibu. Wong, who is in charge of local government matters, had been quoted last week as saying that Soon could not appoint councillors as the matter must be decided by the party. Soon replied that as an elected representative he had the right to make recommendations. Today, he insisted that he had, in fact, submitted three names for the two councils – Sibu Municipal Council and the Sibu Urban District Council. Soon said he was not perturbed and that he would bring the matter up at the next party meeting and the meeting of the Barisan Nasional.

yet…

Not congratulating President  Obama on his mere words…they were almost the same uttered by other US Presidents, but repeated in a different way.   Congratulation would be on what he delivered to all people of the world…as he promised.

He must know, even before the UN Secretary described…touring the rubble-strewn streets…the destruction he said was heartbreaking…with US$350 million needed immediately in aid…but Palestinians facing uphill battle when the US & western world classified HAMAS, the Palestinian Authority in Gaza as terrorist…

Yes, no congratulation to President Obama for keeping silent on such colossal destruction of innocent lives and property…whoever he might be on the time of execution of the destruction…

That might be his first foreign policy crisis…an unforgettable one by many people of the world…

Congratulation would be due when he made real change occur…enough words spoken about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Oleh Rozaini Mohd Rosli

Apabila rakyat meminta hak mereka, pemimpin berkata,”Tunggu dulu…kita perlu tengok agar tidak membuat kesilapan…perlu selidiki mekanisme dan pentafsiran peraturan dan undang-undang mengenainya…tak boleh terburu-buru.”

Bila rakyat yang tidak ada rumah dan tanah memohon keduanya, pemimpin berkata,” Kita perlu selidik undang-undang…kita tak boleh buat sesuatu dengan terburu-buru…banyak pentafsiran oleh peguam-peguam yang berbeza…”

Kebiasaannya, rakyat akan mengadu kepada insan-insan yang mendekati mereka.

Keperluan rakyat terlalu banyak. Tetapi jentera kerajaan juga sudah semakin bertambah, khususnya bagi Pakatan Rakyat yang telah memerintah lima buah negeri di Semenanjung Malaysia.

Rakyat meletakkan kemenangan pada kerajaan-kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat agar menyegerakan usaha untuk meringankan bebanan dan memenuhi keperluan asas rakyat dalam hal perumahan, tanah, pendidikan anak-anak, dan kesihatan.

Kerajaan Selangor yang dipimpin oleh Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, telah mengetengahkan usaha merakyatkan Ekonomi Negeri Selangor untuk memberi sebahagian keselesaan kepada rakyat.

Tentunya fokus terhadap mencapai kecemerlangan dalam memberi khidmat kepada rakyat menjadi antara agenda utama kerjaan Negeri Selangor. Ia menuntut suatu gandingan yang cemerlang antara agensi dan jentera kerajaan negeri dalam memenuhi dasar negara dan pengoperasian Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Selangor.

Pegawai dan kakitangan Kerajaan Negeri Selangor sewajarnya menjadi pengangkat utama agenda Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Selangor (KPRNS). Rakyat tidak akan bertolak ansur dalam soal tersebut. Suatu ukuran baru mengenai prestasi pegawai dan kakitangan kerajaan Negeri Selangor perlu diwujudkan. Kesemua gerak kerja dan pengoperasian dasar kerajaan negeri adalah bertumpu kepada menjadikan keduanya rakyat-oriented. Budaya sedemikian sungguh asing bagi pegawai dan kakitangan yang sudah biasa dengan didikan Umno-BN yang menjadikan program lebih ketua-oriented dan menghasilkan rakyat yang terasa dis-oriented dengan janji-janji pemimpin dan sifat oppotunis pegawai dan kakitangan kerajaan negeri. Budaya sedemikian menyuburkan rasuah dan penyelewengan serta menimbulkan budaya mementingkan diri yang mendalam; ketiga-tiganya akan menyusahkan rakyat dan menghalang mereka dari mendapat apa yang patut untuk mereka terima.

Ukuran baru prestasi yang disebut sebelum ini perlu bagi memastikan bahawa pegawai dan kakitangan yang berada dalam tampuk perkhidmatan kepada rakyat melaksanakan amanah mereka tanpa diskriminasi dan dengan sikap yang profesional.

Lanjutan daripada itu, pegawai dan kakitangan yang tidak memenuhi kriteria tersebut wajarlah diganti dengan pegawai dan kakitangan yang lebih bersedia, rela dan meyakini dasar-dasar dan budaya kerja yang ditetapkan oleh kerajaan negeri.

Rakyat tidak lagi sanggup untuk terus berada di bawah satu gaya dan budaya pentadbiran yang mirip kerajaan Umno-BN.

Beberapa orang penduduk di Selangor menyuarakan harapan bahawa kerajaan negeri Selangor yang baru ini tidak melengahkan usaha-usaha yang berkesan dalam memperbaiki sistem dan budaya kerja di kalangan jentera kerajaan negeri Selangor. Merayatkan ekonomi negeri Selangor memerlukan suatu jentera yang bukan sahaja arif mengenai pengagihan sumber ekonomi kerajaan negeri tetapi yang sensitif dan menghayati keperluan utama dalam arena pembangunan insan sebagai satu sektor yang akan menjamin daya saing rakyat negeri Selangor di peringkat antarabangsa dan global. Pemacuan pembangunan insan rakyat Selangor akan menghasilkan satu kelompok rakyat yang tinggi ilmu pengetahuannya, senantiasa memelihara alam sekitar, menghindar rasuah, salah guna kuasa dan penyelewengan, dan kelembapan dalam gerak kerja pentadbiran kerajaan negeri serta benar-benar boleh diharapkan untuk menjana kesejahteraan masa depan negara dan rakyat marhain.

Kerajaan yang berjaya di mata rakyat yang sudah celek politik ialah kerajaan yang bertindak serta-merta dan tidak jemu mendengar aduan rakyat (walau dari mana datangnya), menelitinya segera tanpa sebarang kelengahan, dan membuat keputusan-keputusan yang menjadi priority dalam jangkamasa yang sesingkat mungkin. Rakyat senantiasa diberi satu time frame yang jelas oleh kerajaan yang mentadbir dalam memberikan keputusan-keputusan yang menyentuh priority Rakyat. Hubungan dua hala sedemikian adalah di antara ciri-ciri pentadbiran yang cemerlang. Kebiasaannya dalam era pentadbiran kerajaan negeri Umno-BN, priority mereka yang memerintah tidak sama dengan priority rakyat. Dengan sebab itulah berlaku kemiskinan rakyat yang berterusan, penjagaan kesihatan rakyat yang buruk, kos kehidupan rakyat yang tinggi, perumahan yang jengkel dan berbagai lagi kemelesetan yang dialami oleh rakyat.

Rakyat meletakkan harapan yang cukup tinggi pada pentadbiran negeri-negeri Pakatan Rakyat, khususnya di negeri Selangor.

Seperti insinuasi harapan dalam kata-kata seorang pengundi Cina muda di Kuala Terengganu sebelum hari mengundi dalam pilihan raya kecil Kuala Terengganu pada 17 Januari lalu, ”Semoga berjaya, (Pakatan Rakyat).”

Posted on: January 12, 2009

Israel pounds new Hamas targets, enlists reserves

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli warplanes pounded the homes of Hamas leaders and ground troops edged closer to the Gaza Strip’s densely populated urban center Monday, as Israel weighed a decision to escalate its devastating offensive.

Despite the tightening Israeli cordon, militants managed to fire off at least four rockets Monday morning. There were no reports of injuries, though one rocket hit a house in the southern city of Ashkelon.

Black smoke rose over Gaza City’s suburbs, where the two sides skirmished throughout the night. At least six Palestinians died in the new airstrikes or of wounds on Monday, Gaza health officials said. One of the dead was a militant killed in a northern Gaza battle.

The army announced Sunday that it was sending reserve units into Gaza to assist thousands of ground forces already in the territory. The use of reserves is a strong signal that Israel is planning to move the offensive, which Gaza officials say has killed some 870 Palestinians, into a new, more punishing phase.

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27, bombarding Gaza with dozens of airstrikes before sending in ground forces a week later. The operation is meant to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel. Fighting has persisted despite international calls for a cease-fire. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have died.

Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, has been playing a key role in trying to forge a cease-fire. In Cairo, Egypt’s state-owned news agency reported progress in truce talks with Hamas but provided no specifics.

International Mideast envoy Tony Blair was in Cairo on Monday, meeting with President Hosni Mubarak following talks with Israeli leaders on Sunday. Egypt has put forward a three-stage proposal to end the fighting.

“I think the elements of an agreement for the immediate cease-fire are there,” Blair said, adding that, while more work needed to be done, he hoped to see a cease-fire “in the coming days.”

Israel’s representative to the talks, Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad, was in close contact with Egypt. But in a sign that more work is needed, he postponed a trip to Cairo, officials said.

With Israeli troops surrounding Gaza’s main population centers, Israeli leaders have given mixed signals on how much further the army is ready to push, saying the operation is close to achieving its goals but vowing to press forward with overwhelming force.

“Israel is a country that reacts vigorously when its citizens are fired upon, which is a good thing,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Israel Radio on Monday. “That is something that Hamas now understands and that is how we are going to react in the future, if they so much as dare fire one missile at Israel.”

Israeli security officials say they have killed hundreds of Hamas fighters, including top commanders. However, there has been no way to confirm the claims, and Hamas officials say the group is determined to keep fighting.

The army also says Hamas has been avoiding pitched battles against the advancing Israelis, resorting instead to guerrilla tactics as its fighters melt into crowded residential areas.

In Monday’s fighting, the army said it carried out more than 25 airstrikes, hitting squads of gunmen, mortar launchers and two vehicles carrying Hamas militants.

It also said ground troops came under fire from militants holed up inside a mosque. An Israeli aircraft attacked the squad, and Israeli troops then took over the mosque, confiscating rockets and mortar shells.

Israeli leaders are expected to decide in the next day or two on whether to push the offensive into a third phase — in which the army takes over larger areas of Gaza. This move would require the use of thousands of reserve units massed on the border with Gaza.

A push into densely crowded urban areas would threaten the lives of many more civilians. More than 20,000 Palestinians have already fled Gaza’s rural border areas and crowded into nearby towns, staying with relatives and at U.N. schools turned into makeshift shelters.

International aid groups have repeatedly said Israel must do more to protect Palestinian civilians, who are believed to make up about half of the dead.

Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of firing artillery shells packed with the incendiary agent white phosphorus over populated areas of Gaza. The chemical, used for creating smoke screens and for illuminating battlefields at night, ignites when it comes in contact with oxygen and can cause serious burns and spark fires as it drifts to the ground in long trails of smoke.

Marc Garlasco, a military analyst working for the rights organization, said he witnessed such shelling from the Gaza-Israel border last weekend. He reviewed AP Television News footage on Monday of similar midair fire that he said was white phosphorus.

“You basically have what looks like the head of a jellyfish and the tentacles coming down on fire,” he said. “It’ll burn for approximately five to 10 minutes, depending on atmospheric conditions and this causes extreme fire and the potential for civilian harm.”

The Israeli army refuses to say whether it’s using phosphorus, saying only it is “using its munitions in accordance with international law.”

White phosphorus is not illegal. Under customary laws of war, however, Israel would be expected to take all feasible precautions to minimize the impact on civilians, Human Rights Watch said.

As soldiers geared up for battle, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited hundreds of reservists at a base in southern Israel on Monday.

“I don’t think Israel has ever had an army better trained, organized and sophisticated than you,” he told them, according to a statement released by his office.

For the time being, the reserve units have been taking over areas cleared out by the regular troops, allowing those forces to push forward toward new targets. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified operational strategy.

In addition to Egypt, European envoys have been pressing efforts to negotiate an end to the war even though Israel and Hamas have ignored a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and durable cease-fire.

Israel is demanding an end to years of rocket attacks, as well as international guarantees to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons into Gaza through the porous Egyptian border. This complex goal would require Egyptian or international help in shutting off the smuggling routes.

Israel has been bombing tunnels that run under the Egypt-Gaza border.

In an e-mail message early Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said his group would not consider a cease-fire before Israel stops its attacks and pulls back from Gaza. He also demanded opening of all border crossings, emphasizing the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

That would relieve economic pressure on the destitute territory but also strengthen Hamas control of Gaza, which Israelis fear will allow the group to re-arm.

In Paris, the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said Monday that European military observers should be sent to Gaza to monitor any eventual cease-fire.

Germany’s foreign minister suggested Sunday that Egypt and Israel were favorable to having international experts deployed at the Gaza-Egyptian frontier to stop arms smuggling. Kouchner, however, said Monday that “neither the Egyptians nor the Israelis want international observers on their territory for the moment.”

___

Barzak reported from Gaza City and Federman from Jerusalem.

By-election test for ruling coalition
Baradan Kuppusamy | Jan 10, 09 1:25pm
Prime minister-designate Najib Abdul Razak, who succeeds Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in March, faces a by-election that will test whether voters, especially the majority Malays, still support the 13-party coalition government which suffered massive setbacks in general elections last year.

MCPX

This acid test for the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition comes at a time of political and economic uncertainties with the economy shrinking and the country possibly staring at a recession after several decades of high-profile growth.

Politically, the country faces a possibly rocky transition from Abdullah – rejected by voters for failing to carry out the promised reforms — to Najib who will have to face a vote of confidence in parliament.

Waiting in the wings is opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who has not given up his dream of becoming the prime minister by engineering defections from government benches with various promises and inducements.

najib and kuala terengganu by electionAn attempt to topple the government on Sept 16 failed dismally, but Anwar has vowed to not give up despite the worries that his antics are adding to existing national uncertainties.

Najib himself is embroiled in the murder case of a Mongolian woman for which two officers of his security detail have been charged. A close friend and political adviser, accused of abetment, was controversially acquitted.

While these controversies are unlikely to stop Najib from becoming prime minister, they create a dark cloud over his administration.

More importantly, it will be a big blow in the public arena if the government loses the Jan 17 by-election — although a victory or defeat does not alter the power balance in parliament.

The battle is between traditional rivals, the ruling Umno – which leads the ruling coalition – and its pro-Islamic opponent that goes by the Malay acronym of PAS. The key issues are Islam and syariah laws and their relevance in Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society with a secular constitution.

Numerous internal squabbles

PAS has upped the ante by announcing that its candidate, Wahid Endut, was chosen by god and that it was a sin for Muslims, who form 90 percent of the 80,000 electorate in the Kuala Terengganu constituency, fronting the South China Sea, to reject him.

Under such a contention, the ruling coalition candidate deputy home minister Wan Ahmad Farid, 46, faces an uphill task convincing the mostly conservative Muslim voters that he is an eligible candidate.

The government is banking on its development record, moderation and multi-ethnic cooperation to win over the voters. The election was unexpected and comes after the sudden death of the incumbent, a government lawmaker, in December.

Najib told national television on Jan 6 that the government cannot effort to lose this election and still manage the country well. “We need to win and the people should give us a win during this trying time,” he said, adding a loss would be devastating.

A disparate multi-racial coalition led by Anwar fared handsomely last year in the general elections, but was 30 seats short of forming the government.

The Umno-led coalition lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in four decades, but has shown its ability to rule and pass new reform laws despite the reduced mandate.

The opposition on the other hand is hit by numerous internal squabbles showing that major differences continue between the secular Chinese DAP party and the fundamentalist PAS party which Anwar has been unable to overcome.

kuala terengganu wan ahmad farid mohd abdul wahid endut azharudin mamatOverall, Malays make up 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people, while Chinese account for 25 percent and Indians eight percent. Each ethnic group is represented by a party in the ruling coalition, an arrangement that has worked to keep down racial tensions in the past.

Political analysts said Najib is desperate for a win to enhance his image, overcome the setbacks of the scandals that dog him and show the people and the diplomatic community that he has the credentials to lead the country.

“A win will help Najib put his stamp on the ruling alliance and woo back majority ethnic Malay voters. A loss would signal a further erosion of support and raise political uncertainties and possibly rattle foreign investors,” said an analyst, a political science lecturer with University Malaya, requesting anonymity.

“The by-election could not have come at a worse possible time for the government which is facing a power transition and a possible recession,” he said.

The government, however, is pulling out all stops to win and has rolled back several unpopular recent decisions it had recently announced to appease voters.

The key issue, beside Islam and syariah, is whether Umno has done enough for rural Malays despite practicing the NEP – a Malays-first affirmative action policy that has alienated the Chinese and Indian minorities.

Divides could have widened

Anwar won over most urban poor Malay votes last year on a campaign platform that argued that the NEP benefits were hijacked by Umno leaders, and promised to continue the NEP but on a needs base, irrespective of race.

Most rural Malays though remain with the government, essentially disagreeing with Anwar’s promise to extend NEP benefits to all races that need it.

The by-election thus visits this core issue of whether non-Malays are ‘equal’ to native Malays despite enjoying citizenship and state benefits in equal measure.

Since the election losses, Malay language dailies that are allied with Umno have been harping on Anwar’s ‘betrayal’ by helping non-Malays gain greater political and economic clout.

Numerous protests have been organised by Malays, some even appealing to the Malay sultans to intervene and ‘save’ the Malays from being overwhelmed by non-Malays.

convertion forum protest bar council 090808These protests have raised fears among all races and indicate that racial and religious divides could have widened considerably.

Analysts are keenly watching the by-election outcome which they say would show whether Malays are buying the official propaganda that Malays are under threat and need to rally around Umno to save themselves.

Anwar, who is a star attraction at the by-election campaigns, has renewed his vow to seize power from the ruling coalition as the two sides lock horns.

“I want to say that we in the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition are determined to topple the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition,” Anwar said at an opposition rally late Sunday that drew some 12,000 supporters.

“A win brings us one step closer to Putrajaya,” Anwar said, referring to the enclave 30 km outside the capital where the federal government sits.

“It is a barometer for the future direction of politics in Malaysia,” Anwar told the cheering crowd. “As I see it, the winds of change from the March 8 electoral tsunami are still blowing strong.” – IPS

T’ganu contractors gets RM16 mil windfall
Andrew Ong. Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | Jan 10, 09 5:47pm
The federal government today awarded a whopping RM15.8 million worth of small infrastructural projects today to 583 class-F contractors through a computerised ‘bidding’ system.

MCPX

The contracts were awarded to Terengganu-based contractors through the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) at a function at the Wisma Darul Iman, Kuala Terengganu.

kuala terengganu by election 100109 f class contractor lucky draw.jpgAt the function, the contractor or a representative would be invited on stage to prompt a computer (right) to randomly select a project for the company. The nature and value of the project would then appear on a big screen.

All the projects – worth between RM30,000 and RM200,000 – were limited to the Kuala Terengganu district.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who officiated the event, said that the event today was a ‘world record’ where every participant was able to obtain a contract.

“In this lucky draw, everyone wins. Everyone gets a contract,” he said.

Najib (below) said that the computerised system was the most transparent and proudly noted that the system was designed by a Terengganu-born.

kuala terengganu by election 090109 najib“We will consider bigger projects in subsequent phases for contractors who get small projects this time. In this way, we can ensure that the people stand to benefit while the contractors are able to earn an income and the economy continues to grow,” he said.

The contracts distributed this morning were among a slew of goodies being handed to Kuala Terengganu residents so far ahead of the impending by-election for this parliamentary constituency on Jan 17.

Opposition cries foul

Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa criticised Barisan Nasional for only improving the district ‘s infrastructure during a by-election campaign period.

“Why only are roads being tarred now? Why are there goodies being given to the voters only now?

“The message they are sending is that you must vote for me because I tarred your roads and gave your kids lap tops,” he said.

opposition boycott batu talam election pc 110107 nasharuddin“Maybe in the past, the rakyat could be hoodwinked by this ‘instant’ projects […] it is the right of the people to have good infrastructure. The question is why are they receiving it only now?” he added.

Nasharuddin (right) was speaking during PAS’ daily press conference at the party headquarters in Batu Burok this morning.

At another press conference, PKR information chief Tian Chua urged the government not to use public funds to fish for votes.

“Don’t wait for an election. Give it as a right. In Selangor and Perak, we don’t give land before an election. We announce it long before,” he said.